Trading at “thrift shops” is very widespread amongst biking enthusiasts: online or through friends and acquaintances, one looks for the trendiest product at a favorable price. But how can one approach a potential deal when it comes to wheels and, above all, how can one avoid the risk that a deal could become the most classical rip-off? Let’s find it out together in the following article.
To buy a “used” racing bike component means exposing oneself to various types of risks.
You saw a set of wheels in an online buy and sell site: the wheels are polished and look brand new. The advertiser guarantees that he has only put a few kilometers on them and states that he is thinking about changing them to move up to a higher quality model. You, with your mouth watering, pre-taste the low-cost bargain. What to do? Sure, the price is appetizing…But keep in mind that the wheels and its components are subject to wear and tear. In the event of a purchase, this is a detail which exposes you to a series of risks for which you should be aware of.
1. Risk of reduced performance
A used wheel could present excessive backlash on components, for example the hub, which ensure a perfectly smooth ride on the road. You might also feel the wheel vibrating, bouncing or hear strange and disturbing noises. The wheel may have been subject to poor maintenance, in which case, you may have a product that has a reduced performance compared to the same model when bought it brand new at your trusted store.
2. Economic risk
Another very concerning issue is that which is relative to your wallet. Buying a pair of wheels which are used and perhaps of dubious origin, may lead to negative surprises in regard to the initial reduced investment, thus bringing you back to no savings at all on what initially seemed like a great deal. You might also end up having to spend a lot of money in the workshop to solve possible mechanical issues or (in the worst case), having to replace your wheels, thus nullifying your initial savings. Thinking about it, after some time has passed, maybe it would have been better to stay on the safe side and buy brand new wheels for your racing bike.
3. Danger to your safety
A pair of used wheels with terrible performance will also negatively affect your safety on the road. Let’s suppose for a moment that the braking surface is excessively worn, maybe the result of using brake pads that are not compatible with the model in question: by buying a product of this type, you could expose yourself to conditions of long or delayed braking, which is one of the most frequent causes of collisions or more severe accidents, especially going downhill or on a wet road surface. Certainly not the best way to end a day, wouldn’t you say?
“So, you are telling me it is best not to purchase used wheels?” (Not exactly)
The world of carbon wheels is vast and there exists many different types of products: the most important manufacturers today sell excellent full carbon wheel models, offering a quality warranty on the materials and assembly. The wheels that you can find on the market are, therefore, safe and have great performance when new, but we certainly cannot bet on who has had them or on how such wheels were treated when we speak about used products. You could find a cyclist who has actually traveled just a few kilometers on them, taking great care of the cleanliness and maintenance, but you could also run into a seller that is not honest.
How can one be sure not to make the wrong purchase? The advice we can provide you as a manufacturer, is to accept exclusively “guaranteed” bike’s wheel sets, that is products which are still under warranty or that the seller offers you a real quality guarantee. This is the only way you can be protected, at least economically, when you buy a used product.
To verify if a wheel set is under warranty, we recommend that you request an original copy of said warranty from the seller offering you the bargain. If he/she is a legitimate seller, you will see that he/she certainly thought to keep the original warranty!
If, instead, you are considering purchasing new wheels, please take a look at our online shop.
Cycling wheels: new wheels or used wheels? It is an undisputable fact that the purchase of a used products subjects you to some risks which, as we saw earlier, you can partially avoid by choosing to buy wheels that are still under warranty. The purchase of used wheels in excellent condition, could also be a good way of testing the quality and performance of a carbon wheel set, if you have never had one yet.
The advice we offer, however, is that once you have tested the carbon product and have verified that it is the right one for you, is to invest in new products which can provide you a real fantastic riding experience and the highest levels of safety.