Guide To Buying A Quality Used Bike

Where to Buy

Bike Pirates – 1416 Queen St. West

Bike Sauce – 341 Broadview Avenue

Ya Bikes – 242.5 Queen Street East

There are other shops that sell used bikes in Toronto. Make sure you go somewhere that has a good reputation, both in means of acquisition and in safety standards .

Craigslist is an unreliable option. You have little recourse if your new bike has problems. If you do buy a bike from Craigslist, make sure that it receives a check-over from a competent mechanic.

We strongly recommend buying a quality lock for your new bike. Always lock it up, and register it with the Toronto Police. Paying $50 or $100 for a quality U-Lock may seem like a lot of money, but settling on a $20 lock might mean buying a bike sooner than you think.

Consider the price

While someone might be able to get a gem of a bike for very little money, this isn’t often the case, especially if you’re not sure what makes a bike a gem. Be realistic about what your budget will get you and shop around to consider your options. A bike is a vehicle, and you are trusting your life to it. Be an informed consumer and spend wisely.

What to look for

If you can avoid it, do not buy newer Supercycles, Triumphs, or CCMs or other department store bikes. Older bikes from these brands are okay, but the new ones are of poor quality. If you have a limited budget, consider a used bike instead of a cheaper new bike.


No bends, big dents, or cracks. Cracks in the paint or discoloration can indicate frame damage. Ask for the stem and seatpost to be moved, to make sure they aren’t rusted stuck within the frame.


Spin the wheels – they should be fairly straight. Squeeze the spokes to check for broken or loose ones. Inspect the tires for big cracks or holes.

Cables and Housing:

Inspect the housing to look for cracks or splits. Try squeezing the brakes and shifting the gears to see if the cable moves through the housing smoothly.

Take it for a test ride!

The frame should fit properly. You leg should extend fully while pedalling. If you struggle to reach the pedals or your knees stay bent during the entire pedal rotation, the frame is likely the wrong size.