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Selling a Used Bike Online: What to Know

September 10, 2019

Moving on a pre-loved frame, complete bike or parts is a great way to free up some space, rid yourself of clutter and source some extra cash. While the process of selling a used bike may be different from buying, a lot of the considerations are the same.

As an online marketplace for both new and used bikes, we're here to help you quickly sell your bike. However, before you jump in seeking eager buyers, in this article, we'll give a few simple tips to help maximise the value of your pre-loved pride and joy.

Short on time? Jump to each section below;

Understand What You're Selling


Before you get started, it's essential to do some basic research and learn what it is that you're selling. Knowing the brand, model, product year and frame size are all crucial pieces of information that buyers will seek.

The bike should have the brand detailed on it clearly, with the model name usually appearing on the frame's top tube. Using BikeExchange or Google images can be an excellent way to help narrow down exactly what year your bike was from.

Learn what the bike sold for as new and what comparable bikes are being sold for when used. As a general rule of thumb, a well-kept and maintained modern bicycle will earn approximately 50% of its original retail value. Of course, some brands hold their value better than others, so use this as a gauge only. With this information, you'll need to weigh up servicing costs and whether they're in the budget of still turning a profit on the bike sale.

Finding the frame size can get tricky if the sizing sticker has been lost. One way around this is to measure the length of the head tube, or top tube and compare it to what bike manufacturers call 'geometry charts'. Most of these are still available online through the relevant brand's archives.

Freshen Up Your Ride


Whether you're still riding it or looking to sell it, a clean bike is always better. To get your ride looking its best, you'll want to use some spray-on bike cleaner, a bucket and a soft-bristled brush.

Once you've scrubbed it, you'll need to rinse the bike clean lightly. Lightly is the keyword word and certainly be careful to not point any direct stream of water at the bike's bearings, suspension or other moving components. For this reason, never use a pressure washer.

Wipe it dry and don't forget to re-lube the chain afterwards.


Washing the bike will get you most of the way, but if some of the parts are worn out or past their life then consider a replacement. For road bikes, nothing makes an old bike look new again like fresh bar tape. For mountain bikes, consider replacing that old ripped saddle and the grips.

Replacing cables can bring new life to the feel and performance of brakes and gears. If the gears aren't shifting smoothly or the brakes are full of friction, then this could be a cost-effective way to renew these components.

Inflate the tyres to the pressure marked on the sidewall and check them over for any worn spots or cracks. Consider replacement if the rubber has perished.

Get It Serviced


Making sure the bike is working safely and correctly is key to an honest sale. Having the bike checked by a bicycle mechanic will ensure it's safe and in correct working order for the next owner. See our Bike Shop Directory, to find a bike store near you.

There's a good chance your old bike may need new cables, a chain or other wearable parts. If you choose not to have these replaced, that's fine, but be honest in your listing.

Good Photos Matter


Never underestimate the selling power of a good photo. While a good camera can help, it's not a must. Even the camera on your phone can take a good picture with a little patience.

Don't be tempted to use the manufacturers own photo, buyer's want proof of the current status of the product being sold. Here are a few quick tips for getting better pictures of your bike.

  • Light is the most critical aspect of photography. Find an evenly lit area outdoors to take the photo. Early in the morning or before sunset in the evening is best.

  • The lead photo should always be taken from the drivetrain side of the bike (right side)

  • Squat down and take the photo at the level of the bike. Taking from above can change the perspective of how big, or small the bike actually is.

  • Find a clean wall or another background to place the bike against. Be aware of distracting elements in your photos, the focus should be on the product. If there's nothing to lean the bike against, find yourself a stand or stick to prop the bike up with.

  • Take a few different angles to show off the whole bike, including any cosmetic issues. At BikeExchange, we suggest uploading at least four photos of the bike you're selling.

  • Take photos of how the bike or product is going to be sold. Remove any accessories that aren't included in the sale before photographing it.

Listing time

Once you've got your photos and the relevant information of the bike you're looking to sell, then you're ready to list it.

Simply follow the prompts of our website by entering your personal details. From here, enter the information you have of the product to fill in the relevant fields.


Title: provide the bike brand, model, year and size.

Key Feature: These fields give you a chance to point out critical aspects of the bike or product. You can have as many or as few of these as you'd like. This is the perfect place to mention the frame material, the bike's age, key upgrades and any accessories included.

Description: This is your chance to sell what you have to potential buyers. You can have fun with this, but our advice is always to be honest and clear. Few bikes are absolutely perfect, and buyer's want to know of any issues they may be buying into. Point out scratches, worn items or in the rare case, why it's perfect.

Another common question buyers have is why you're selling it – if it's to upgrade to something new, that you're moving out of town or perhaps you just prefer golf, it may just help sell it. Be sure to point out any modifications made to the bike's equipment and what additional accessories are included.

That's it! Once your bike is listed, your classified will sit on-site for 60 days. If you're motivated to move your bike on a quicker, sellers can pay a little extra to upgrade their listing to a featured spot. Featured ads appear at the top of a page, or search results and are proven to attract more interest from potential buyers.

BikeExchange is the place where the world buys, sells, learns and rides. Connect with us today on social media, or sign-up to our weekly newsletters for the latest deals, buying advice, guides and more.

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