Should I buy a two-wheeler or a bicycle?

This is what matters when buying a used bike

Buying used bikes can save a lot of money. But you can also experience nasty surprises. Find out where you can buy cheap, how you can check the condition or protect yourself from stolen goods in our guide.

A used bike is usually many times cheaper than a new model. But it is not always really a bargain or the shortcomings are noticeable at first glance. If the offer is too tempting, it is likely that it may be stolen goods. Every year around 30,000 bicycles are stolen in Germany alone.

Is the seller trustworthy?

Before buying a used bike, you should first inspect the previous owner and the bike, if possible. Has it been cleaned thoroughly or only half-heartedly cleaned? The answer to this question already gives an initial indication of how well the owner has looked after his bike. A trustworthy provider speaks openly about Previous damage and defects. You get a first impression when the following questions have been answered:

  • How old is the bike?

  • How many kilometers has it been driven?

  • How often was a service done?

  • Which parts have been renewed, which have remained unchanged since the beginning?

  • Has the bike been stored outdoors or protected from the weather?

Is the bike okay? Our checklist

So you can use the technical Condition of the bike judge better:

  • Do the front and rear wheels run in one line?

  • Do the brakes hold and work?

  • Does the bike feel safe?

  • Does the bottom bracket rotate without friction losses?

  • Can the wheel be pushed easily or does something drag?

  • Is it rusted or badly scratched?

  • Are the brake pads still sufficiently available?

  • Are the sprockets and tires already worn out?

  • What does the frame look like? Do the weld seams have small cracks?

Pay attention to this during the test drive

You should definitely take the Brakes and the circuit test extensively. Check that you can insert all gears properly and that nothing gets stuck. How is the suspension? Does it work light front and back? Is the bike roadworthy?

Where do you buy used bikes?

You can use used bicycles at the specialist dealer, on-line or Private acquire.
Usually a little more expensive, but they are usually reputable Dealers. Many of the large bicycle markets now have second-hand departments. The advantage for the dealer: Here the bikes are checked again by a specialist before they are offered, and missing accessories can be purchased at the same time. Another advantage: Here you usually get professional advice free of charge. You can also test several models.

Classified ads in newspapers, trade magazines or on the Internet are another possibility to find out more about the offer. Also at Online or live auctions - e.g. from the police, the city or on Ebay - you can also find it. But: In these cases it is difficult to take an extensive test drive. The same usually applies to buying a bike Flea markets.

Nightmare used bike: buying stolen goods

Anyone who buys a used bike that later turns out to be stolen has a problem. Because according to German law it is not possible to take ownership of a stolen object to acquire. Owner remains in such a case the Stolen. So when the owner reports, the buyer has to return the bike. He would then have to contact the seller and ask for the purchase price back. It is all the more important to have the Contact Seller to be able to and not to buy bicycles anonymously. Many stolen bikes are in the so-called INPOL investigation file registered by frame number. The police can use this file to match frame numbers and assign owners.

You should pay attention to this in the sales contract

Even if it's a used bike, you should go for one written sales contract to avoid complications later. Our recommendations:

  • Let all the existing ones Original documents hand over to the bike, regardless of whether it is documents about the initial purchase or repair invoices. Because this results in a traceable past, which in case of doubt serves as proof that the bike was not stolen.

  • In the contract, the Frame number, the name of the seller and, ideally, his ID number must be documented. The frame number is engraved and can usually be found under the bottom bracket or on the seat tube.

  • On the Presentation of ID exist and include the data in the sales contract. It would be even better to request a copy of your ID - provided the seller is willing to do so. This makes it easier to approach the contractual partner in the event of difficulties.

  • A detailed description of the bike in the sales contract can help to understand later defects.

  • Material defect liability: Private buyers and sellers should expressly agree on this topic. If both parties agree to a disclaimer, a simple sentence in the sales contract is sufficient. Attention: If there is no express agreement on this, the seller is liable for defects that existed at the time of delivery. A dealer who sells a bicycle to a private person may not exclude liability for material defects. He owes at least one year warranty for such transactions (called: consumer goods purchase). In addition, the following applies: If a defect appears in the first six months, it is assumed that it already existed at the time of delivery. If the dealer cannot refute this, he has the duty to remedy this deficiency.

    You can find sample sales contracts for used bicycles and e-bikes here

There is more information from the ADAC lawyers in the video series "Quite logical - the most common mistakes when cycling".

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