Tips on how to purchase a used bike
1- If the price seems too good, its probably is.
2- Use your local community non-for-profits like Two Wheel View (https://www.twowheelview.org/buy-a-bike) in Calgary, or Facebook Market place, a FB bike verified cycle buy and sell group, and Kijiji to search for bikes. Facebook allows you to view the seller’s profile and get an idea about how legit the deal could be.
3- Do not go to meet the seller alone, always take a friend and be aware of your surroundings when you show up.
4- If your taking cash, leave your money in the car until you decide you want to purchase the bike. This can reduce the risk of being robbed during the sales process.
5- If something doesn’t feel right, leave. Your instincts typically are your best indicator of how the deal is going. Ask questions about the bike, most people selling mid to high-end bikes will know the build and if any upgrades have been done.
6- Make sure to look the bike over, if parts are mismatched like wheels, components, the frame has been poorly repainted, features covered by tape, ask about it. This is typically a good sign a bike has been stolen.
7- Ask the seller to supply you with a serial number over the phone. You can check the serial number on Bike Index and CPIC to see if it was reported stolen. If they won’t move on. You should also double-check the number is the same when you see the bike in person. Make sure they gave you the actual number.
8- Pass on bike delivery from the seller — unless you know the seller. This allows the thief to get your address and they can come back and target you in the future.
9- We have seen suspect sellers advertise suspect bikes as registered to them, they have the bike registered on CPIC (you can not register a bike on CPIC) or they say it’s on Bike Index. You can always reach out to FB stolen bike group page admin who can take a look if needed.
10- Spending a couple of thousand dollars cash on a used bike can be a huge risk, you could buy a damaged frame, stolen bike, or get robbed. Our local bike shops have some great deals on right now (support local) and the money you think you are saving buying used, may not be as much as you think. Buying new gives you the security the bike is built properly, not stolen or abused, and you can get the right size and color that you want.
More tips for bike theft prevention here https://bikecalgary.org/theft/
(Published with permission from Brent — thanks for the tips and wisdom for us to share).