People often ask us about the re-sale of bikes and what they should go for that holds value the best and will be easiest to sell in the future. As technology (and fashion) in bikes seems to move on ever quicker the temptation is to part with our hard earned cash every year. The reality is that most cyclists can only allocate limited funds for new purchases, so if you want to be able to upgrade on a regular basis re-sale ease and value is key. Here’s our top tips for re-sale of road bikes.
Start with the obvious but the price will dictate how quickly you can sell. The average spend on a road bike is about £1500*. So if the market volume peaks around that level then there will be the most buyers looking to buy in that price range. As a general rule a second hand buyer will be looking for 30-40% discount from new after one year. So a £2200 bike re-sold a year later for around £1500 is where the most buyers will be.
Again obvious but certain brands are just more popular and more desired than others even if the specification on paper looks the same. This could be for reasons (not limited to) reputation, customer service, history and pedigree, sponsorship, pro endorsement and branding.
The RCE top 5 favoured brands, based on what we get asked for the most and sell the quickest are (in order);
This is where there is a lot of variation and where the technology advances regularly. The three main component manufacturers are Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo. Shimano are far and away the most popular and common. In terms of perceived value for money the Shimano Ultegra groupset is the one to go for and therefore the best re-sale component group. When buying a new bike always try and get the most up to date version of the components that is available at the time.
Clearly there is nothing you can do about size but the fact is medium size bikes sell quicker. So if you are extra large or extra small you have a lot less buyers available. Build that in to your expectations and don’t expect to sell as quickly – it doesn’t mean your price is necessarily wrong. Also think about the other factors like brand to help compensate for the smaller pool of buyers. So if you are 6’8” and want to be able to resell your bike quickly stick with the main brands.
Once you have your bike it's so important to look after it. The condition will directly impact the value and appeal of a bike. Always clean the bike after riding including a degrease of the drive train. A full regular service is of paramount importance. Be careful when transiting and storing your bike, paint chips and scuffs put people off. Replace bar tape and a discoloured or worn saddle before sale.
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*London Business School report on cycling trends (2010). Average spend by the ‘enthusiast’ category of cyclists. Adjusted for inflation.