Used or new gravel bike?
Of course we would all like to get our hands on the latest gravel bikes available. The answer is obvious, but unfortunately it is not always possible. There are many decisions that can lead us to choose a used gravel bike. It is not simply just a question that has to do with the funds we have available. In the last few years the cycling industry (and not only) has had to deal with limited availability of material and supply chain difficulties that can in turn effect the deliveries of the new models. So if you want to get in the saddle immediately, the idea of searching for a used gravel bike should not be entirely ruled out.
Attention however, a used gravel bike does not necessarily have to have thousands of kilometres and years of activity behind it. The most difficult problem to solve is to try and reconstruct the life of a bicycle based on its origin and all the reasons that can lead someone to place their bike on the second-hand market. Once in possession of these details we can really understand if the bike we have taken the time to take a look at is a golden opportunity not to be missed ...
If the bike is placed on sale by an authorised dealer, the guarantees could be greater than those in a negotiation of a private sale. By being an authorised dealer of a particular brand in a specific country area generally means being trained on the product and having a direct and preferential channel with the manufacturer for any type of problem. We should not forget that generally, during the sale, an agreement can be placed in writing which establishes the guarantee conditions which in general is equal to 1 year. The dealer may indeed have sold the bike himself to the previous owner. An aspect that should not to be overlooked.
Under these conditions it is possible to have some more peace of mind than the negotiations between private individuals, an area where it is necessary to tread with far greater caution. The first rule, in any case, is to ask the seller to demonstrate any purchase documentation, in particular the invoice. This is the only way to safeguard yourself as to the originality and origin of the bike. If the invoice is not made available, the seller can be advised that they can retrieve all the documentation by requesting it from the retailer or place of purchase where they bought the bike
Bikes can be labeled as second-hand even if in reality they may have only slight superficial defects that may arise from use in marketing activities such as trade shows, bike tests, internal ride activities, etc. These are often defined as outlet models, coming from the current or previous model year range that can have a discount varying between 10% and 30% off the original price.
The downsides of a used gravel bikes essentially concern the overall quality of the frame, fork and components. The materials with which the frames are built (eg. Carbon fibre, steel or aluminum) respond to ride stresses and wear in different ways. As a result, defects can emerge more or less clearly. Steel, for example, is subject to corrosion in different ways than carbon fibre which in most cases is inert. If we thinking of buying a steel gravel bike it becomes essential to check with greater care the quality of the paint, as it is extremely important to protect the tubes. Any scratches can be a real invitation for rust.
When we take a look at a used bike, it is important to remember that the more desirable brands have a higher possibility of being false copies of the original. Here are some guidelines on How to spot a fake frame
Used gravel bikes: the pros
Used gravel bike: the cons
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