Buying a used road bike

by goldtop   July 21, 2013  

I've been hankering a while now for a road bike and so recently bought a used Bianchi Nirone 7 which popped up on ebay. I'm always very cautious when buying anything this way, but thought that buying from an established bike shop (Bianchi dealer no less) would minimise any pitfalls.

I contacted them by phone and must admit the way they dealt with my enquiry gave me confidence to buy off them. Unfortunately when the bike arrived it was not in as good shape as the advert stated...pretty shocking really.

Rear derailleur blocked almost solid with old lube/mud residue severely affecting the shifting.
Rear wheel was not correctly seated in drop outs.
Rear brakes were out of alignment with wheel and were ineffective.
Rear brake blocks were unevenly set with one side at an angle and touching tyre wall.
Excessive noise every pedal rev which I suspect to be from the bottom bracket.
Handlebars severely crimped through movement of stem.

When I contacted them about this they offered to take the bike long as I'd stand the shipping cost! Eventually they grudgingly agreed to supply some used handlebars and new bar tape. I've now sorted out the rest of the issues with the exception of the BB which seems to have settled down (maybe that was something else).

I don't want to name and shame the shop, but thought it right to draw attention to others who might be considering buying unseen.

6 user comments

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eBay's buyer protection will give you a full refund if the bike doesn't match the description. I know from experience, when I had something similar happen (bike had a dented steerer tube and lower spec wheels than described). You do have to pay the return postage, though.

posted by lc1981 [56 posts]
21st July 2013 - 18:09

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oh common, name the shop!

posted by mhtt [45 posts]
26th July 2013 - 0:16

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I think the shop also needs named and shamed, so we can all be weary, because it really sounds like they don't know how to look after bikes

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9364 posts]
26th July 2013 - 0:24

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I would certainly like to know the name of the shop please.

posted by billyman [145 posts]
26th July 2013 - 9:17

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billyman wrote:
I would certainly like to know the name of the shop please.

Hmm...not sure if I can directly name the shop, but they are situated in Cumbria and begin with P Wink

Just to add, when I received the bike the rear quick release was protruding from the box which the carrier noted and I took a pic. The shop then claimed that the damage (listed in my first post) was likely to have occurred in transit.....but still they refused to cover return costs! TBH there was no way the condition of the bike was a consequence of this as it was very minor. Furthermore they stood by their description of the bike being "in good order both cosmetically and mechanically"

There were actually some new components fitted to the bike (new chainring set, new cassette, new chain) so they had obviously done a lot of work on it, but missed a few details such as it stopping and changing gear!

Having said all this, now that I've managed to sort all the problems, I am actually very happy with the bike and believe I paid a fair price for it. However I'm still concerned that a shop would let a bike go out as it did.

posted by goldtop [12 posts]
26th July 2013 - 11:08


I was lucky enough to buy major things for my bike locally, really getting to feel the frame and groupset before buying.
You can't usually go wrong with buying new online, if it's not perfect it's not as described.
When it comes to used, either have great pictures from ALL angles or ask for them. Tech's to the point where asking would take 1-2m of their time. If they avoid showing you something, it's an obvious red flag. Look at their wording too! I know that one right now looks nice, but more will appear!

[custom] '12 Cannondale CAAD10 - Rival

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posted by badkneestom [134 posts]
26th July 2013 - 14:24

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