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WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING A BIKE
When purchasing used or second hand bicycles you want to make sure that the bike you choose is in suitable mechanical condition. If you're unsure about mechanical matters, try to find a friend who knows about bikes, and take him or her along with you.
Before checking for anything else, try the bike for size. Its not going to be a lot of use if your feet cant touch the ground at its lowest saddle setting! You should be able to touch the floor with at least your toes when sitting in the saddle, and have only a slight bend in the leg when on the furthest stroke of the pedal.
Next, check the joints. Look for hairline fractures and paintwork, which may be covering damage, and check that the wheels are aligned correctly they should be in line with the frame when seen from above. Lift the front of the bicycle and shake from side-to-side wheels and joints should feel secure and not wobble.
Give the tyres a good squeeze and check the tread and look where the tyre meets the wheel to check for corrosion. Spin both wheels and check for wobble or buckling they should spin smoothly.
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