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Check points after buying a second hand bike

Published: 16 May 2013

Updated: 20 November 2014

You’ve done all the necessary checks, handed over your cash, found the best insurance deal through MCN Compare (and claimed your free T-shirt!*) and now you own a brand new (to you) second hand bike.

What’s the first thing you should do? Take it out for a thrash? Before you do, spend a few minutes giving it a quick safety check in the comfort of your own garage. The bike may look clean and shiny, but do you really know anything about its service history?

The most important parts to check are the brakes. Get on your hands and knees and with the help of a torch ensure the pads have some life in them. You will be amazed at the number of people who only discover their pads are shot when they get their bike serviced.

Now look at the brake reservoir, is the fluid at the correct level and are there any signs of leakage? When you’re happy with your brakes, look at the tyres.

When you bought the bike you probably gave them a cursory glance for wear in an effort to shave a few quid off the price, now have a good look for any foreign objects in them such as a nail or stone lodged in the tread.

Now check their pressures and also adjust and lube the drive chain if necessary and look for any tight spots.

If this is all good then give the bike a fluid once-over by checking the oil level is correct and also looking at the coolant’s level.

Finally, and again this is so often over-looked, ensure all the bike’s lights work, especially the brake light on both the hand and foot lever’s activation. And check the horn, although not at 10pm when the neighbour’s kids are asleep!

Happy with everything, then it’s time to enjoy your new bike, Remember to take it steady to start with, every bike is different and if you have upgraded in capacity don’t get caught out by the extra power.

*Offer ends May 31 2013, for full terms and conditions see

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