Buying a bike

So with so many options into buying bikes out there here is a quick list of places where you can buy bikes and things to consider.


Go Sport and Decathlon etc
For a new bike the obvious examples are the big shops such as Go Sport and Decathlon. These are the big hitters in the sports shopping industry and carry a lot of their own brand stuff. They have a good sales service, a pretty good repair and after care service. They will also configure your bike and any gadgets you buy for you (sometimes at an extra cost).
The downside is though that you will be one of hundreds of people with the same style bike. Also depending on the value of your bike, the likelihood of it getting stolen is greater as it becomes harder to trace and appealing to thieves.
However they do provide insurance. Ill have to check into this.


On-Line,
So the first bike i bought in Paris was a second hand vintage Peugeot from popular french website www.leboncoin.fr ever since i have used this website frequently for buying and selling stuff.
There is a big selection of bikes available and they are are of all types, ages shapes and sizes. Some will need repair and some will not, this is an important factor in buying online, keeping in mind that some of the repairs might cost the same price depending on what needs doing and if you have to replace items or just adjust them. A big repair cost factor is if you are going to do them yourself or have it professionally done.
I'm sure there are many other websites, but i just haven't used them.

I bought my first vintage bike here for €60 euro, while i do love this bike i did have to put a bit of time and money into tuning and oiling the brakes.

Some tips for using the website.
  • Know what your looking for, whether it is price, style etc.
  • Call if possible, if they give you a phone number use it, as the good bikes go fast.
  • Be available to collect the bike on that day or within the next day or two. People wont wait and will often sell the bike to whoever shows up first.
  • Haggle, if you see your ideal bike but its a bit too expensive, then ask them if they can drop it down to your price. Also if you are available to collect it immediately this can be a good haggling point.
  • Test your bike before handing over the cash. Take it for a spin and test everything, especially the breaks, gears, lights, tyres and wheels(not buckled). 
  • Remember you can still say no.
Marché aux Puces,

So while slightly out of the centre of Paris the flea market of the Porte de Montreuil in the 20th is where i bought my second bike. This is my vintage orange Peugeot. 
My friend Liz recommended this market to me, as she had bought her bike there for only €40, it works perfectly and while not the most beautiful it hasn't been stolen. 
I bought mine off the same guy, who admittedly was very nice. I got to take it for a spin and he even offered to adjust saddle handlebars ect. The cost was €70 euro and I loved the bike so much i forgot to haggle.
Apparently the market can be very hit or miss, there were only 8 working bikes available the day I went and apparently it can take a few visits to find something you want. However the majority of the bikes were €50 euro, and that is for ones in perfect working order.
They also had a stall that sold bicycle parts and did repairs, all at well below the cost of a Parisian boutique. 


For more info on market adventures read my post Flea market take 2 and 3
I'd recommend it even just as a day out, so here are the where and whens.

Location: 20th
Metro: Porte de Montreuil
Days its open: Saturday to Monday
Opening Times: 7h to 19.30



Hidden costs when buying a bike

As with many things in life there are costs that you just don't factor in when you buy something at first. Eg. cost of pet gerbil €10, cost of gerbil food at pet shop by the Seine €12.
After i bought my first bike these are the things i had to buy, which lets be fair are the same cost as the bike. The prices are rough prices from memory, so they are not accurate.
  • Lock €15
  • Second lock after the key broke in the first one €7.50
  • Bell €10
  • High vis vest €3
  • Oil for brake cables and chain €3
  • Lights €20
  • Another front light after i lost one of the others €6.90
  • Pump €15
  • Puncture repair kit €4

While not all this stuff is necessary (especially if you don't lose or break it), here are the basic things you will need in terms of priority for cycling safely around Paris
  1. lock -  pretty self explanatory. Price of the lock should reflect the value of your bike.
  2. bell - contrary to belief the biggest threat to cyclist are pedestrians, especially on the bicycle lanes located on pathways. I would recommend the biggest loudest bell you can buy.
  3. helmet - while not "cool" i should be worn at all times, especially if you are just a beginner to cycling in Paris.
  4. lights - the Irish slogan is "be safe, be seen" and I cant stress this enough. If you don't have working lights on your bike, get attachable ones, or at least high-vis reflective clothing.




4 comments:

  1. hello i work for LBC radio in London could you email me i would like to talk to you about an interview tomorrow? Hollie.atherton@lbc.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello, Am I overly optimistic in hoping that child seats are readily available?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I just wanted to say thank you to this really helpful information regarding buying a cheap second-hand bike in Paris. I went to Marché aux Puces today (Sunday @ 6pm) to look for a bike, but couldn't find anyone selling it. So I goto the leboncoin.fr, and plenty of options!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Bonjour Cecily, I've been trying to search for cycles on leboncoin.fr, but it's not showing me any results. Is it necessary to join the site before searching? or am searching incorrectly?

    Please advise.

    ReplyDelete

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