Buying New or Buying Used?

The past two posts about buying stuff has triggered a lot of response, not just in the comments but in emails to yours truly. I hope there’s enough interest out there to put up with one more shopping post — when do you buy used gear? And what kind of used gear do you buy? (It just occurred to me that we’re spending a lot of time talking about shopping — and the readership of this blog is overwhelmingly male. Flame comments from the ladies are expected, and probably deserved.)

I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever bought used gear. Only one item sticks in my mind — my San Marco Ponza saddle. That came from my friend David. I bought it for two reasons: He was letting me try it out, and I was close to pulling the trigger on it anyway — I like it — and I had a minor fall that scuffed the side of the saddle. He would have taken it back, but I go by the “you break it, you buy it” ethic.

I inherited a jersey from my wife. She bought a man’s cut jersey, and even though it was a size larger than she normally takes, a man’s cut doesn’t fit a woman’s curves. But she only wore it once before tossing it in my lap one afternoon.

Our old friends at eBay sell all sorts of used bicycling gear, including clothing — including pre-owned shorts(!). I think I’d draw the line there.

Craig’s List is another option for used gear. You can buy used shorts here, too. I was amused by the disclaimer in this ad:

Giordana mesh-top bibs, size Medium
I have used these bibs no more than three or four times.
I am a professional cook and bought them at a smaller weight. I have since gained too much and they no longer fit.
It is not gross to buy used cycling bibs. These have been kept clean, washed after every use and stored in a dry area.
For the bargain hunter looking for great, virtually unused bibs, these are the ones.
Italian quality, good style, great fit, comfortable pad.

Hmm. If I took a medium, I’d give him a call … no I wouldn’t.

Based on your comments, it looks like most of you avoid buying used clothing. But a number of you indicated you do buy some things used.┬áRegardless if it’s a use bike or a used derailleur, it’s probably wise to give it a thorough inspection before agreeing to the purchase. That’s a lot more likely if you buy used from someone locally, as opposed to an online purchase.

What things? And what attracted you to the used item when, with a little astute shopping, you might have been able to get the same thing new at a deep discount?


  1. RamonH says

    Ok, I will bite. All of my cycling jerseys, with the exception of one have been bought used; most on e-bay, a couple on swap meets and yard sales. I would buy more used if I could get a hold of it, but my area is really not known for cycling. Additionally, I do like to support the local LBS, so a lot of things are come from there.


  2. John Z says

    Funny, I have bought all sorts of bike gear – frames, drivetrain, computers, etc, but rarely clothing (at least used). Usually, the discounts on new clothing, especially end-of-year closeouts, are so good, there’s rarely a reason to buy used.

  3. says

    To make my bike budget last and go further I’ll hunt for deals new or used. Although I’m not sure if I’ll ever go with used bibs, but I’ll bonktown or get Blackbottoms on closeout. I also order my tubes for the year in bulk to get a better deal.

  4. says

    My first mountain bike race (circa 1994?) was on a used bike, wearing used shoes, shorts, glasses and gloves. Now days, I don’t buy clothing that I can’t try on first, but that’s simply due to fit/form. I’m not too squeamish if it can be thrown in the washer first, though I think I’d draw the line at a used helmet (eww!) since I know what mine is like.

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