Hello, I am planning to be in London this coming fall and will be living in the SE1 area, and I'm wondering if anyone has recommendations for how to go about purchasing/finding used bikes. I'm keeping an eye out for used bikes on Craigslist London, but thought that perhaps some of you may have better suggestions!
Buy a new one. They're only about £100 (I know that's $200, but you'll find everything here pretty expensive with the dollar as it is). By the time you've replaced tyres and tubes, brake cables and had it serviced you'll have spent that much on a rusy old heap with worn bearings.
Believe me, I'm as parsimonious as they come, but when it comes to bicycles... buy new.
I agree with Mapmaker - buying new definitely makes sense and you can get a relatively decent bike for not much money. If you're on a really tight budget, a friend of mine bought a bike off gumtree.com, which he thinks is ok (but six months on he is looking to buy a new one).
I bought the cheapest possible new bike about four years ago for about £80. It latest nearly 3 years until it reached it's end of life which was longer than I had expected.
I bought again the cheapest possible new one which then cost £90. It was truly awful and I had it for a few months - I eventually got a full refund.
A year ago, I ventured to Recycle on Elephant Road. There I got for £85 a used bicycle which is fantastic (ok it looks super battered but I don't mind). The frame (aluminium underneath the flaking paint) was apparently form a police auction and the rest was assembled in the shop. The quality and the feeling of cycling is a completely different world to the cheap ones and I am extremly pleased with it.
A bicycle is stolen every 71 seconds in England as new figures show nearly 440,000 were reported stolen last year.
And that doesn't include the bikes that were stolen from the people who were riding stolen bikes and couldn't report the theft!
The hotspots for thefts are central London, Kingston-upon-Thames in south west London, Cambridge and Bristol.
Almost 90% occurred when a cycle was left locked in public. Only 1% of bikes were taken from an owner's home.
My neighbour who has had two bikes nicked asked if he could borrow my bike occasionally and when I asked what happens if it's stolen he waffled, so I said no.
I won my bike in an Evening Standard competition and next friday in the ES,
Friday 4th May Win a place on the London Etape Anglais
We have 10 places to be won to ride in the London Etape Anglais on Sunday 1st July 2007, which is the route used for the UK leg of the Tour de France. Plus, we have five road bikes to be won courtesy of Cycle Surgery.
We took our much-loved but highly impractical (for everyday city riding) road bikes to Recycle and got very decent money for them towards one new and one barely-used bike better suited to bumping around town. They had a pretty good selection of used and new bikes at a range of prices.
Thanks, btw, to all posters for their honest useful comments here and on all aspects of life in the 'hood. We've lived here for 5 months now and the discussion list is always my first resort when faced with all the "where can I..." "how do I..." questions that come up in the course of a week.