Used Bikes: an example

If you’ve been to Pedal Rev you already know that we sell both new and used bicycles.  These days we sell more new bikes than used.  The used bicycles that we sell all come to Pedal Revolution as donations.  We do not buy bikes or do trades.  This presents the obvious problem of supply and demand.  One reason Pedal decided to sell begin selling new bikes also is that if we were to rely on the amount of used bikes that people donate to the shop we would quickly run out of bikes to sell.  As the shop has grown we’ve added new bikes as an option for our customers and to maintain a strong variety of bikes for sale.

Customers always seem to be curious about our used bikes so I’ve created a breakdown of the re-building of a recent one to explain how we create them.

This is an older lugged steel frame that was donated as a complete bike to us last week.


The state of the bike when it was donated to us was pretty rough like many bikes that show up here.  The parts were original and in poor shape. 

The first step is to strip the parts off of the frame.  This is typically a step that our youth interns assist us with.  It gets them familiar with the different tools and let’s them learn how different parts function and how they are attached by way of removing them from the frame.

The second step is a good cleaning of the frame, checking for significant wear or rust that might compromise the integrity of the metal.

At this point the mechanic comes up with a plan for the bike: what style of bike will it be?  Will it have gears or be a single speed?  Will it be a road bike, a mountain bike, or a hybrid?  Once we have a designated plan for the bike the mechanic begins to accumulate the parts he or she will need for the build.


For this one i decided to make it an all-around lightweight city bike.  I’m mixing a few good condition used parts to give it some flavor with new parts for the basic functional aspects.  I’ve found a nice old singlespeed crank with a great condition Stronglight chainring, a good condition Shimano 600 rear derailleur, a used 1″ quill stem, Used Shimano stem mount single friction shifter, and some MKS touring pedals.  Everything else on the bike will be new.


A set of new wheels.  When we re-build a older frame we typically convert the wheel size from 27″ to a contemporary 700c allowing for a greater variety of tire options.   We use double walled rim wheels with sealed bearing hubs for most of our rebuilt bikes.  They have a higher cost but hold up well for daily city riding on rough streets.


I’ve picked out some kevlar re-inforced slick Continental city tires for extra durability and flat resistance.


To accomdate the longer reach needed for the wheel size conversion we use a longer reach brake caliper.


Picked out a classy Soma Arc bar and some new brake levers and grips for a clean look.


After everything is installed and adjusted we give it a final test ride to make sure everything is working well.  We then have a second mechanic check our work while we determine a price based on parts and labor.  After that the bike is finally ready for the sales floor.


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