Used Bikes for Sale in Montreal - City Bikes - Modern and Vintage

VÉLOS USAGÉS - USED BIKES - MONTREAL - StephaneLapointe.COM Stephane
LAPOINTE
.COM

USED BIKES
Fully Tuned by an Expert - Warranty


BUY - SELL - RENT

Free delivery in Montreal
Phone 1-450-764-9226
E-mail bikes@pistescyclables.ca
Used Bikes for Sale in Montreal - hybrid bikes and road bikes

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Information

General information

Accessoires à ajouter à votre vélo
Accessories

Accessoires à ajouter à votre vélo
Accessories

Men's Road Bikes for Sale
Road Bikes

Men's Hybrid Bikes for Sale
Hybrid Bikes

Mountain Bikes for Sale
Mountain Bikes

Vintage Ladies' City Bikes for Sale
Vintage Ladies'
City Bikes

Vintage Men's City Bikes for Sale
Vintage Men's City Bikes

Ladies' Road Bikes for Sale
Vintage Road Bikes

Ladies' Hybrid Bikes for Sale
Ladies' Hybrid Bikes

Folding Bikes for Sale
Folding Bikes


 

Pistes cyclables de Montréal
Montreal Bike Paths

Les meilleures pistes cyclables du Québec selon mon évaluation
Quebec Bike Paths

La Route Verte - description, commentaires et photos
La Route Verte

Raleigh

CCM

Peugeot

Velo Sport

Bianchi

Fiori

Miele

Garlatti

Mikado

Leader

Norco

Browning

Nishiki

Niji

Beekay

Mercier

Motobecane

Panasonic

Specialized

Devinci

Opus

Free Spirit

Supercycle

Pro Tour

Tour du Quebec

Triumph

Dahon

Bonelli

Precision

AVP

Giant

Venture

Baycrest

Trek

Huffy

Suteki

Schwinn

Columbia

Centurion

Elvish

Universal

All Makes and Models


 

 

Fully refurbished used bikes and stunning vintage bicycles for sale.
Each bicycle meticulously rebuilt by an expert and guaranteed to ride like new or almost!

FREE DELIVERY IN MONTREAL
.

Bikes Currently Available

Select a bike type below or learn about the different bike types and which is the right one for you.

Road Bikes for Sale, Touring Bikes,  Modern and Vintage Road bikes
Hybrid Bikes for Sale Hybrid bikes
Mountain Bikes for Sale Mountain bikes Folding Bikes for Sale Folding bikes Kid`s Bikes for Sale Kid's bikes
Recumbent Bikes and Trikes for Sale Recumbent bikes Delivery Bikes and other Work Bikes for Sale Delivery bikes BMX Bikes for Sale BMX's

RENT a bicycle

SELL or DONATE a bike

Want more bikes ?
Browse pictures and specs of hundreds of used modern and vintage Canadian bikes, including previously sold bikes, sales brochures, bike collections and more. View by make or by type

Bike Accessories, trailers, carriers and more Others..


INFORMATION


Information General information
Stephane Lapointe,  bike expert specializing in used and vintage bikes
Stephane Lapointe, P. Eng., M.Sc.A.
Bike Expert Specializing in Used and Vintage Bikes more..

Why Purchase a Bike Here ?

Get expert advice

  • Get help choosing the correct bike for your needs, the correct size for your height and within your budget.
  • The majority of customers are urban Montrealers, without a car, using their bike to commute everyday, often regardless of the weather. For you a bicycle is not a toy just for fun, it`s serious business because you count on it for work or school and to go anywhere. You want to deal with an experienced expert taking it seriously like you. You are ready to compromise on the look of a used bike, but it must absolutely be reliable, comfortable, safe and performant.
  • I`m not desperate to sell any bike to anyone, I prefer telling you to wait for the right bike if I don`t have the right one for you.
  • See also The Different Types of Bikes and Which Size of Bike you Need

Bikes are fully tuned, rebuilt and road tested before they are sold

  • Every bike goes through a meticulous inspection and repair process. Anything broken, worn, loose or rusty is fixed or replaced. Typically I will replace stiff cables with new ones, put new tires if cracked or worn, true the wheels, adjust brakes and gear shifting, lube the bearings, replace torn seats, new brake pads, re-tighten every nut and bolt and much more.
  • I invest the money required to buy new parts and do the job right. I'm not cheap and won't re-use old brake cables or worn tires for example, contrarily to other recyclers.
  • Once the job is done, the bike is taken for a good ride and usually it goes back on the work stand for final tuning. Many problems are revealed only when riding hard and fast.
  • Because the bike is covered by a 30 day warranty, and most of my customers are using it daily to commute in sometimes harsh conditions, experience taught me what are the critical points to verify and which bicycle makes and models to avoid.

The bikes are cosmetically in average to perfect condition

  • Each bike is cleaned to reveal how good it looks.
  • Average bike will have minor scratches here and there and might have minor surface rust. Bikes are not repainted, they have the original paint so it`s usually not perfect. (however some bikes were repainted by a previous owner). Rusty wrecks are not sold, they are dismantled for parts.
  • Read the comment area on the web page describing a particular bike to know more about it`s condition. Some bikes are in excellent or even mint condition, for others the paint and chrome are quite worn and rusty but it rides well. In these cases a comment in the bike description will mention its out of the ordinary condition. Otherwise you should assume the bike is in average cosmetic condition, i.e. it looks like most used bikes you see on the street.
  • Average condition is relative to its age, we don`t expect the same level for a 5 year old bicycle and a 60 year old antique one.

The bike is delivered for free

  • The price of the bike includes delivery at your home, workplace, school or anywhere you want in Montreal. Why loose time going across town to check out a bike that might be a piece of junk. If you purchase extra accessories, for example a basket or a bell, I will install them free of charge on delivery. More on delivery..

You try the bike before deciding to purchase

  • When purchasing a new bike, the majority of bike stores, including large retail chains, won`t let you try the bike on the street before purchase. It`s ridiculous !
  • You must always try a bike before purchase to make sure it is the right size for you, to check the riding position, road handling, performance and more. Also it is the only way you can make sure the gears and brakes work correctly.
  • When purchasing a bike here, the seat will first be adjusted, then you try the bike on your street in your neighbourhood in a real situation. The seat might need to be raised or lowered a little, then you try it again. You test it for real before deciding to purchase.

The bike is covered by a 30 day warranty

  • I will come back to fix it if a problem occurs within 30 days after purchase. More on warranty..

Trade your old bike againts a rebate

  • You have an bike no longer needed ? Give it in exchange of a price reduction, make room for the new bike, save the assles of selling it yourself. Whatever the condition it will be restored and resold, or recycled for parts and metal. More on Sell, Trade or Donate your Bike

Not a stolen bike

Environmentally friendly local purchase

  • When buying a used bike here instead of a new bike made in China or Malysia, you make an environmentally friendly and fair trade local purchase. It`s a genuine example of sustainable development by re-using, recycling and reducing the impact on the environment. You help a local Canadian micro-business instead of a big corporation with many middlemen. See also Buying a Used Bike is Smart and About Stephane Lapointe

See Also


DELIVERY AND TEST DRIVE


Bike delivery in Montreal
Bike delivery, road test, seat adjustment.

Free Delivery

  • The shop being 1 hour from downtown Montreal by car, in Sainte-Justine-de-Newton, the vast majority of customers have the bike delivered to their home, school or workplace. Where is the shop..
  • The price of the bike includes delivery, there is no extra cost.
  • I deliver each bicycle myself, it`s a professional and personalized service. It's not like receiving a bike by mail or UPS !
You test drive the bike before purchase
  • The bike size is verified, I will adjust the seat, handlebar and anything else required.
  • If you have little cycling experience, I will show you how to ride and change gears if required.
  • You then take the bike for a ride on your street, around the block, to give it a good try, shift gears and test the brakes. If you don`t like it or it doesn't fit, you don`t have to purchase it.
  • It`s not a roaming bike store, it is expected that you are seriously interested in a specific bike, actively shopping for a bike and ready to buy. Sometimes I can bring 2 bikes to try.
  • To avoid spending time and fuel for nothing, I ask many questions on the phone before fixing an appointment, to make sure it`s the right kind of bike for you, the right size, that you don`t have limiting medical issues like back pain or major overweight, etc... All special cases are invited to visit the shop instead.

Delivery Area


Click to enlarge

  • Delivery area covers all of downtown, including McGill, Concordia, Mile-End, Plateau, Rosemont, Hochelaga, NDG, Verdun, Lachine, etc.. Click on the map above to enlarge if you are not sure.
  • If you are outside the delivery area, we must fix an appointment inside the delivery zone, for example at a metro station like Henri-Bourassa or Berri-UQUAM. For people East of PI-IX boulevard, like Poine-aux-Trembles, delivery can be done at the PI-IX metro station for example.
  • Note that you can carry a bike in the metro outside rush hours, after 19h in particular.
Delivery schedule
  • Monday evening, Wednesday evening and Friday evening, between 7pm and 11pm (19h and 23h).
  • See below to fix an appointment

Payment

  • Cash only.
  • I can take your old bike in exchange of a price reduction, more on trade-ins

Accessories

  • If you purchase extra accessories, for example a basket or a bell, they are installed for free
  • You should mention the accessories you want in advance, when fixing the appointment, to make sure they will be available.

No Shipping

  • There is no shipping of bikes by courier services like UPS or any other company. I will not pack a bike for shipping and deal with the risk, trouble and cost of shipping such a large item.
  • If you are from outside Montreal, you must visit the shop in person, or come to Montreal to meet, or have someone from Montreal taking care of delivery for you.

FIX AN APPOINTMENT and Reserve a Bike


Phone 450-764-9226

  • You can phone any time and leave a message if there is no answer and I'll phone you back. I`m often in the shop or out delivering bikes so I can`t always answer the phone. If your phone is private and the number doesn't display to the receiver, make sure you leave a call back number in your message. Make sure you pronounce each number slowly and clearly!
  • Once we scheduled an appointment the bike is reserved for you until you try it. If you change your mind, found a bike elsewhere or wish to cancel the appointment for any reason, please phone ASAP such that the bike can be put back for sale to others.

Email bikes@pistescyclables.ca

  • You can email for information but emails are taken care after phone calls. It's just less complicated and faster to phone. If you leave a call back number in your email I`ll phone you back.
  • We can't fix an appointment or reserve a bike by email. I won`t go to an appointment unless we had a live phone conversation to make sure it is serious. It's safer for you and me to make sure the other person is for real, not a complete stranger from the internet.

VISIT THE SHOP



VÉLOS USAGÉS - USED BIKES - MONTREAL - StephaneLapointe.COM Stephane
LAPOINTE
.COM

2598 2è rang
Sainte-Justine-de-Newton
Québec, J0P 1T0

Phone 450-764-9226
Appointment Required

Display with Google Map...

Visit the shop in Sainte-Justine-de-Newton

The shop being about 1 hour from downtown Montreal by car, the vast majority of customers have the bike delivered to their home, school or workplace instead. Note that all bikes ready for sale are already shown on the web site. There are more bikes at the shop awaiting repair but they can only be sold as is, without any warranty.

Appointment required

  • Phone 450-764-9226 before coming to fix an appointment and discuss the bikes you are most interested in. A bike can be put aside and reserved until you try it, to avoid coming here for nothing.
  • Appointments are usually set on Tuesday evenings and Thursday evenings.
  • It is a private residence, not a formal retail store.
  • If you don't have an appointment chances are great nobody will be present to serve you, or something else might have priority and you will be asked to come back another day.

Directions from Montreal or Ottawa

  • From downtown Montreal it's about a 1 hour drive. From Ottawa it's about 1 hour 15 minutes. Check with Google Map...
  • Highway 40, exit 17 for St-Lazare/Hudson
  • Route 201 South for about 10km, go up the hill and down on the other side
  • Turn right on Chemin Sainte-Marie
  • Go straight for about 10 km in flat fields. After a while the surrounding becomes forest, road not so straight anymore.
  • Chemin Sainte-Marie changes name for "2è rang" so you are actually already on the street
  • The address is 2598 on "2è rang" , at the corner of "Montée Noire"

PAYMENT


  • Cash only, Canadian and US dollars accepted
  • No checks, no credit cards, no debit cards accepted.
  • No credit, partial payment or deposit. You must pay in full on delivery.
  • There is no sales tax added to the price because it`s a small operation. I can legally avoid charging the sales tax.
  • If you have an old bike you no longer need, you can trade it for a price reduction depending on the condition, more on trade-ins..

BIKE ACCESSORIES


Bike Accessories Available, - New and UsedBike Accessories Available, - New and UsedBike Accessories Available, - New and UsedBike Accessories Available, - New and UsedBike Accessories Available, - New and Used

  • Baskets, racks, bells, locks, lights and other new and used accessories are available at a price much lower than downtown`s bike shops. See "Accessoires de vélo" section (French only for now) if you wish to add anything to your bicycle.
  • Most accessories installed free of charge
  • You should mention the accessories you want in advance, when fixing the appointment, to make sure they will be available.
  • No shipping or delivery of accessories alone, only with the purchase of a complete bike. To purchase accessories or parts please visit in person.

WARRANTY


  • Even if I rebuild, inspect and test drive every bike thoroughly, some problems might occur only after a few days of usage.
  • If the bike has a problem in the month (30 days) following purchase, I will come and fix it for free. Don`t hesitate to contact me whatever the problem. Typical problems are tire loosing air (slow leak), brake adjustment required, saddle sliding down, etc...
  • Even after 30 days, if you feel there is a problem with the bike and the problem was already there when you pruchased it, you should contact me to discuss. I won`t be pissed, I actually like the feedback and it is the best way to improve and learn. It is highly likely that I will come to fix it for free even after the 30 day warranty period, or at a very low cost.
  • Notice that some collector bikes are sold as is, without warranty, to preserve their original condition. Also not covered are special usage bikes like BMX`s, bikes sold with a deep discount, frames alone or bikes sold as is for parts or project. Those bikes are clearly identified with a NO WARRANTY on the bike`s web page.
  • If the bike has a major problem and can`t be repaired, I'll take it back and refund it in full. In all other cases the sale is final
  • Many customers are students on a tight budget and without the tools and knowledge to fix a bike. If you feel you were ripped off don`t hesitate to contact me and I`ll come to the rescue! I don`t want to let down honest people and I wish to keep my good reputation.
  • You cannot try the bike for a few days and come back proclaiming "it`s not the right bike for me", because the bike is too heavy, too hard to pedal uphill, or other qualitative or usage specific problems. The warranty covers mechanical problems only. I am open to discuss an exchange in those cases, on a case by case basis. So you must give it a good try before purchase, at the time of delivery, and ask questions to make sure the bike will suit your needs.
  • If you plan on buying a bike needed only for a few days, and then pretend it has problems to get a refund when you are done, you should check the bike rental service instead.
  • The warranty doesn`t cover cases of abuse and neglect.
  • The warranty doesn`t cover damages due to an accident, for example the bike fell while parked and something broke or bent, you fell with the bike while riding, bike damaged during a move or transport, a wheel bent by a pothole. I can fix it for you in those cases, but there will be a fee.
  • The warranty doesn`t cover cases where you tried to modify the bicycle or install an accessory, and you can`t make the bike work correctly afterwards. I can fix it for you in those cases, but there will be a fee.
  • For your information, the warranty on new bikes purchased at a bike store is 1 year for defects and 30 days for adjustments. Obviously I can't guarantee a used bike for more than 30 days in those conditions.

BIKE SERVICE and REPAIR


  • You previously purchased a bike here and it now needs repairs or a tune up ? I`m available to do the work at a very reasonable cost. I can come to fix it on location or, if required, I'll bring it to the shop and bring it back once repaired. I actually like to see the bikes again and learn from the customer feedback. Get in touch for an estimate of the cost and time required, and to fix an appointment.
  • Note that your bike is covered by a 30 day warranty and during that period it will be repaired for free. Even after 30 days, if the problem was present when you pruchased it, I will likely fix it for free or at a very low cost. See warranty for details.
  • Currently I service only the bikes I sold in the past because I know their overall condition, I don`t service bikes purchased elsewhere.

BIKES WANTED - SELL OR TRADE YOUR OLD BIKE


  • You have one or many bikes for sale or donate ? I am interested even if they are not in great shape ! Your bike will be refurbished and proudly used by the next owner, or taken apart to fix other bikes.
  • Pick-up service I can come to your place, no need to move the bicyle(s). Get the garage or basement cleaned up in one deal taking just a few minutes!
  • Cash payment right away.
  • Even outside the Montreal area, sometimes I travel far for a big lot or for a few particularly interesting bicycles.
  • If you buy a bike here, you can trade-in your old bike in exchange of a price reduction.
  • Note that if you give your bike to a non-profit organization for recycling, they never pay anything and might even ask up to $25 per bike to pick up and ship the bike to a developing country !
  • Also purchasing bicycle lots for example rental and patrol bike fleets, store close-out or bankruptcy, bicycle hoarder clean-up, auctions, bundles of new or used parts, tools, accessories. New old stock (NOS) sitting on store shelves for too long, warranty return bikes with minor damage and more. If you own a bike store in Quebec or Ontario contact me when cleaning up your business!
  • Metal recyclers, scrapyards, pickers, non-profit organisations: put all the bikes aside for me, I`m a buyer even during winter.
  • Usually between $0 and $50 is offered for a bike depending on the condition, age, make, model, quality and other factors. I can pay more for high quality bikes in very good condition. However if you think your bike is worth a few hundred dollars, it would be better to sell it yourself to another individual.
  • More interested in city bikes, hybrid bikes and road bikes (racing style formerly known as "10 speed"), old and modern, for men and women.
  • Usually I don't pay much for mountain bikes or kid's bikes. I`m still interested in your mountain bike or kid`s bike, it will be refurbished like the other ones. However given the low resell value and the fact there are plenty around, I can`t offer much more than $5 or $10 even if it`s in rather good condition. Many child bicycles are given to me for free every year.
  • Warning to bike thieves: to protect myself from bike thieves, the seller must show a valid ID with picture. If your bike later turns out to be stolen, your ID will be transmitted to police.

To sell or donate a bicycle contact Stephane Lapointe
phone 450-764-9226 or email bikes@pistescyclables.ca

_Used Road Bikes for Sale in Montreal_Vintage Ladies' Bikes for Sale in Montreal
Left: men with road bike contemplating the Saint-Laurent river, end of canal Lachine bike path, Montreal.
Right: lady pushing her city bike on Rachel Street's bike path, downtown Montreal.


ABOUT STEPHANE LAPOINTE


  • Bike touring since 1982, Stéphane Lapointe is the author of the web site PistesCyclables.ca a complete Guide to Quebec's Bike Paths. Visit the web site (French only) to see maps, pictures and rating of almost every bike path in the province of Quebec, including the Route Verte network and Transcanada Trail. It's the right place to go if you need a map of Montreal's bike paths network for example.
  • Bicycle and vintage car restorer for over 20 years, Stéphane Lapointe is a renowned bike expert and a leader in the restoration and recycling of used and collector bicycles. He owns a collection of bicycles, among which many folding bikes. Visit the web site dedicated to the bike collection (in French)
  • Aerospace engineer and a graduate of École Polythechnique de Montréal, he earned a Masters degree in Robotics. He worked on many innovative projects for customers like Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, the US Air Force and Hydro-Québec.

Le guide complet des pistes cyclables au Québec

Stéphane Lapointe  travelling on the Route Verte biking network, crossing into New-Brunswick_My own touring bike loaded for a long trip
Stephane Lapointe is the author of the web site PistesCyclables.ca a complete Guide to Quebec's Bike Paths.
It's the right place to find a map of Montreal's bike paths network for example.

 


General information


 

Buying a Used Bike is Smart


Why purchase a used bicycle instead of a new one, or ride a BIXI ?

  • A bike is free to use, no permit required, always available 24/7, you are not waiting for the bus or a taxi, you are free to go anywhere anytime. Easy to park and no parking fee.
  • A BIXI is heavy and slow and you must pay for it every year or every day. You force like crazy to move forward and happy when you finally reach your destination. You hope there is still a BIXI available at the starting station, and hope the destination station is not full. You cannot take a BIXI to roam around to discover the city and surrounding areas, or take a long ride on a bike path on a sunny summer weekend.
  • When buying a used bike instead of a new one, you save a lot of money on the bike itself, plus you save the sales tax.
  • Because bikes are low tech devices and parts are always available at a relatively low cost, it is possible to restore and make them ride like new again, or almost. Aside from the cosmetic aspect, a used bike can be as good as a new one, and it makes economical sense to keep it for a long time. It's not like a car or electronic product which are very costly to repair and rapidly become obsolete. To know more about the condition of the refurbished bicycles sold here see Why buy a used bike here and also What to expect when buying a used bike elsewhere.
  • Older bikes use less plastic parts so they are often sturdier and more reliable than the newer ones. For example newer plastic gear and brake levers are fragile and jam easily.
  • Older bikes are less attractive for thieves and don't get stolen as much as brand new ones (but still you should always use a good U-lock !).
  • It seems like all new bicycles are grey or black and without any accessory from the factory. Older bikes are stylish. Where can you find a golden, brown, purple or orange bike nowadays with chrome fenders and a chain guard ? Used bikes come in a wide variety of style from the 50`s to the 90`s.
  • When buying a used bike instead of a new bike made in China or Malysia, you make an environmentally friendly and fair trade local purchase. It`s a genuine example of sustainable development by re-using, recycling and reducing the impact on the environment. A lot of rebuilt bikes would have gone to the scrap yard otherwise. It`s better to re-use a bicycle instead of recycling the metal to manufacture something else. You help a local Canadian micro-business instead of a big corporation with many middlemen.
  • But there is more ! Most older bikes were designed and made in Canada. Buying a used bike is environmentally friendly, but it`s even more if the bike was originally made in Canada. By recycling a vintage Canadian bike you also help preserve our industrial heritage and culture.
  • For commuting or for leisure, cycling is a fun and useful exercise, not necessarly a serious sport. It keeps you healthy, happy, young and good looking. You are free and outside breathing fresh air. You come across other active and motivated people like you. You don't need a membership at the gym anymore to do boring stationnary exercises and bread poluted indoor air.
  • Take you bike on Montreal`s bike path network to discover its attractions, roam the various neigbourhoods, parks, historic sites, along the rivers. It is the best way to quickly and freely get in touch with nature, its flora and wildlife, silence and private time alone in a big city. Some places you can reach only by the bike paths.
  • The province of Québec has one of the most extensive bike path and bike route network in the world. Each year thousands of people from around the world visit the province bike touring. Discover the bike routes in your region, go on a trip one the Route Verte netwrok, or even travel across Canada on the Transcanada Trail.
  • Contrarily to cars or electronics, bikes have changed very little in the last 75 years. One reason is that the bike industry is very standardized. For example tires used in the 50's are still in use today, pedals are interchangeable on almost every bike, etc.. So if you look at a brand new bicycle, except for the trendy colours and fancy gear shifters, it's just the same as a 40 year old bike! At the end, for most people there are few technical advantages in buying a new bike, unless you are in the market for an high end racing bike.
  • You can find on the market reproductions of older bikes, but they have very few chrome parts, they cost a lot and usually are low qualtiy. Why pay more when you can have the real thing for a fraction of the cost!
  • A bicycle is the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Bikes are proven to be the most efficient way for the human body to travel. When studying the amount of energy (calories) required to travel 1 kilometre, riding a bike was found to be more efficient than a car (of course), but also much better than walking, running or anything else !
  • About the Bikes Sold Here and What to expect when purchasing a used bike elsewhere

Where the Bikes Come From


Given the bike theft rate in Montreal, it is legitimate for people who live in the city to be concerned about the origin of the used bikes sold by anyone. In the country area where I live, and in the nearby suburbs south-west of Montreal, almost everybody owns a bike to be used only on sunny Sundays. It`s part of the standard suburban fixture. In every home you see bikes hanging in the garage, stored in sheds, barns and elsewhere. Some hoarders have piles of bikes at the back of their barn! This fact being acknowledged, it`s surprising how few people are really using their bike for transport or leisure. You never see anyone riding a bike on suburbs and rural roads! After a few years people get older, the bike haven`t been used more than once or twice in the last 3 years. Sometimes it needs a minor tune up or it`s got a flat. So it doesn`t take much for the bike to be tossed in garbage, or put up for sale at a yard sale, to make room for something else. The result is that I find many used bikes and some of them are in like new condition under the layers of dust. Some bikes were probably not used more than 5 times in their whole life. Because a bike is cumbersome and occupies a lot of space, some people are so desperate to get ride of them that they donate it to me or to charity.

So it's rather easy to find any used bike outside Montreal, but nowadays we come across mostly cheap, low quality, heavy, kid's size mountain bikes originally purchased in retail chain stores like Canadian Tire and Wal-Mart. It's much harder to find good quality adult size bikes ! Tall men's road bikes and vintage city cruisers for women don't show at every yard sale. People who purchase a brand new adult size bike, after age 18, usually are more serious bike users, they pay from their own pocket, and intend to keep it for a long time. They won't give it away at a yard sale after 5 years like they do for their kid's bikes.

Here is a list of where I find used bikes:

  • This web site is visited by many looking to sell or donate a bike and searching the net for information. See the Bikes Wanted section if you have a bike for sale or donate !
  • Yard sales and bazaars, mostly on long weekends in the Spring and Fall, for example Victoria Day and Labour Day weekends.
  • Flea markets and other improvised business on country roads.
  • Trade-in from customers. I take your old bike in exchange of a price reduction depending on the condition.
  • Also purchasing rental and patrol bike fleets, store close-out or bankruptcy, bicycle auctions, bundles of new or used parts, tools, accessories. New old stock (NOS) sitting on store shelves for too long, warranty return bikes with minor damage and more. If you own a bike store in Quebec or Ontario contact me when cleaning up your business!
  • Metal recyclers making a living picking scrap metal from garbage. There are many in the country area where I live. I pay them more than what they get for the weight of metal, so they bring all the bikes they find.
  • Non-profit organization recycling bicycles to employ handicap people and have them learn useful skills. They often don't have the knowledge to fix and no local market for expensive road bikes and vintage bikes, so they contact me.
  • Thrift shops, Salvation Army stores and other charity stores.
  • Word of mouth from family, neighbours, friends, customers. I live in a small village where everybody knows everybody. Older folks go to church and they tell their friends someone is looking for old bikes. They collect bikes for me knowing they can make a profit.
  • Bikes wanted ads in local newspapers, at my local post office and other public places. Wanted ads on classifieds web sites.

So I actually have more bikes than I need and I`m becoming pickier with time. I even refuse free bikes if they are not worth the trouble and storage space. I would never buy a bike knowing it`s been stolen. This being said, when buying/selling a used product like a bike, car , furniture, or just about anything else, you always run the risk of ending up with previously stolen goods. I honestly can't guarantee without a doubt that none of the many bikes I deal in a year is a stolen bike. It happened once that I checked a suspicious bike that turned out to be stolen. I was able to contact the owner by contacting the store where it was purchased new. The owner was astonished that someone found her stolen bicycle and was going to bring it back !

If your bike was stolen

  • If your bike was stolen in the province of Quebec, you should first report it to the police. If the bike is found by the police, which is rather frequent, it will be returned to you.
  • Check with your home insurance to know if it is worth claiming the value of the bike.
  • If you see a bike on the web site and you think it might be yours, don`t hesitate to contact me. If you have a police report and you can prove ownership (serial number, invoice, custom features) or facts are all pointing your way, I will gladly give it back to you. I will also supply the information about when, where and from whom I purchased it myself so the police can investigate.

Protecting yourself againts bike theft

  • Always use a good quality U-lock ($25 or more) and always attach it to a solid object, not a wire fence for example.
  • Never use a chain or a cable
  • Take note of the serial number, keep the invoice, take pictures of the bike. This helps your insurance claim and the police investigation if stolen.
  • To reduce the risk of theft and increase the odds that the bike will be returned if found by police anywhere in the province, you should register your bike at www.veloretour.ca. A Velo Retour sticker is available from some bike retailers at a cost of $5 for 3 years.

Vélo Retour


What to Expect when Buying a Used Bike Elsewhere


The comments below are based on my own experience buying used bicycles from many different sources each year. See Where the Bikes Come From to learn more about where you can find used bicycles. After reading this section you will probably be convinced to buy a fully refurbished used bicycle here instead of buying an "as is" bicycle elsewhere.

  • All used bikes sold by individuals and other retailers are sold "as is", without any warranty.
  • Whatever the seller said, all used bikes I purchased needed some work before they could be used efficiently. Most of them were barely ridable! Sellers just want to get ride of the bike and they won't invest any time and money fixing it for you. Actually the main reason why they want to sell the bicycle is often because of a problem they can't fix, and it would be too expensive to have a shop do the work! So they decided to buy another one and get ride of the clunker.
  • Sometimes the seller thinks the bike has no problems because they know nothing about bikes themselves. They don't realize that a pedal is bent, the bottom bracket is loose, the wheels are not straight, etc... they just think it's normal and have no other bike to compare.
  • Comments like "it only needs a minor tune-up" actually means it needs a full tune-up, there is no such thing as a minor tune-up. The seller knows it's got problems, ask him what exactly the problems are.
  • Other sellers are plainly lying. They pretend it works very well but they haven't used it for years. It might have been working well when parked, but after years of storage you can't simply add air in the tires. The tires will have cracks and flat spots, the cables, levers and shifters are stuck or stiff, and more work is expected. The seller might say "I used it just last week", but it`s obvious the bike has been parked for over a year or more.
  • Whatever the bike you purchase, it must be adjusted for you, and tools are required to lower/higher the seat and handlebar. When you test drive a bike, the first thing you must verify is that the seat post is not stuck in the frame, and the seat can be adjusted to your height. When buying a bike from me I do all the adjustments for you on delivery.
  • You must try the bike before purchasing, many hidden problems are revealed only when riding. Check that it shifts correctly in all gears and the brakes work. Also check for bent wheels, bent crank and pedals, pull to one side because of a bent fork, skipping chain, and the list goes on.
  • If the seller hasn't even taken the time to put air in the tires, it is because he hopes you want you try it. You should be very suspicious and walk away or deal the price down below $25.
  • You might plan on buying a cheap bike needing work and fixing it yourself. If you have the time, tools, space and qualifications it might be a good option. Just make sure the bike really only needs work you can handle. If it takes the whole summer to make it ride really good, you need to buy special tools, you must convert one room in your apartment into a bike shop (fixing a bike is an oily and messy affair) and your whole place smells WD40, and then you spend hours on blogs trying to figure out how to do the job from other amateur's advice, it's not a good deal! As soon as you must bring the bike to a repair shop, because you don't have the special tool to remove the chain, the crank, the freewheel, or align the wheels, you will end up spending the same amount of money as if you would buy a fully rebuilt bike from me.
  • Some sellers are shady people trying to sell bikes of suspicious origin. When I post a "bike wanted" ad I always get phone calls from guys with all kinds of bikes for sale, but they obviously know nothing about them and nothing about bikes in general.
  • A lot of bikes advertised on the net are in far away suburbs or out of town, you would need a car to go have a look and bring it back. Think about the trouble and cost of getting there, and if you do buy the bike and need to bring it back to your place, will the bike fit in the vehicle ? How much time and money are you going to spend just in fuel cost ? And if the bike is not the right size or a useless clunker, you did it all for nothing !
  • It might be surprising but when I go to a bike shop and discuss with vendors and mechanics, it's obvious that most of them are not serious cyclists themselves, and some of them haven't ridden a bike in years ! Other vendors are young and inexperienced So they know a lot about the new bicycles they sell but very little about older ones and about cycling in general. It's easy to understand why. The bike season is short and they must take care of their business 7 days a week during the summer to make ends meet. So they have very little time to go cycling themselves.
  • see also About the Bikes Sold Here

The Different Bike Types and Which is the Right One for You


In North America most people are buying a bike as if it's a toy instead of a transportation device. As a result most people are not riding a bike suited to their needs.For example in the 70's racing style road bikes, known back then as "10 speed", where sold by the millions. A road bike is for speed, performance, bike touring, but not very comfortable at low speed city cruising. Then the road bike trend was replaced by the mountain bikes, which are great for low speed off road use, if you are in great shape. But because mountain bikes are too heavy and inefficient on paved roads, most people don't have enough muscle to get them moving, so they stayed parked most of their life. This trend still goes on today with the recent "fixed gear" fad, which is more a gadget than a useful transportation bicycle. I am surprised how easily people can be convinced to buy a completely irrational product unsuited for their needs. It's the main reason why too few people are using a bike to commute, they just don't have a bike they can commute with! The bike shop they purchased it from just wanted to pocket their money. Then the Montreal Bixi's came out and many discovered what a useful comfortable bike could be like, but this kind of bike existed all along. Ill-informed people were just following the hoard. Forget about what others will think and what's trendy. Ask yourself what you will use the bike for and follow links in the list below.

You should read the whole list before deciding!

  • I need to go to work or school everyday, ride around town or suburb, go shopping -> city bikes or hybrid with fenders or road bikes with fenders or folding bikes
  • I need a light bike I can carry up the stairs and park in my apartment. I will use it mainly to ride around town ->road bikes or hybrid or folding bikes
  • For leisure and to stay fit I want to ride on bike paths on sunny days during the summer -> road bikes or hybrids or city bikes
  • I want to travel by bike, go for long rides on bike paths and roads, explore the Route Verte -> road bikes or hybrids or #city with 15 speed or more
  • I want to be the fastest guy/girl on the block. Don't care too much about comfort, I want the fastest bike I can get for my money -> road bikes
  • I am a sports person wanting to seriously get in shape or stay fit. I want a bike for training, racing, bike touring ->road bikes
  • I am on a tight budget, any bike will do as long as it's cheap and it works well ->low cost mountain bikes
  • I need a very sturdy bike that can take abuse because I am heavy and/or I will drive it hard, jump off sidewalks, I don't want to worry about potholes. Not a wimpy bike that needs to be taken car of -> mountain bikes with suspension
  • I need a bike to ride off road, at low speed, on gravel trails and mud (not stone dust bike paths) -> mountain bikes
  • I need a bike to ride during the winter -> mountain bike or city bikes single speed with coaster brake
  • I need a toy for my kid, to learn how to ride a bike in the neighbourhood -> kid's bikes and trikes or BMX's
  • I want a bike to do tricks, jumps, aerobatics, to use at a local park ->BMX's
  • I am an older person needing a bike easy to step in and out, and very stable because I'm afraid to fall -> folding bikes or adult tricycles
  • I need a bike I can carry in the trunk of my car, on a boat, RV, bus or plane -> folding bikes
  • I want a bike I can carry many grocery bags with, a case of 24, and whatever else needs to be carried in real life. I live in the suburb and want to make a real difference by taking my car less often to do the grocery, whatever other people think -> adult tricycles
  • I need a stationary bike to exercise indoors -> Exercise bike

Vintage and Modern City Bikes


Vintage city bikes on Montreal streets._Vintage city bikes on Montreal streets.
Vintage city bikes on Montreal streets.

CCM Esprit vintage ladies' city bike, purpleRaleigh Sports vintage men's city bike
Left: CCM Esprit vintage ladies' city bike, purple. Right: Raleigh Sports vintage men's city bike.

CCM Caprice FF vintage ladies' bike, 10 speed, with whicker basketRaleigh Transit vintage men's city bike
Left: CCM Caprice FF vintage ladies' bike, 10 speed, with whicker basket. Right: Raleigh Transit men's city bike, 3speed

Up until the late 70's almost every bike sold was what we now call a city bike, also known as a utility bike on Wikipedia.

Intended use of city bikes:

  • Perfect for cruising in an urban environment, go to work or school everyday, go shopping and more.
  • Good for cruising on bike paths during the weekend, for leisure, picnics, ..
  • The most comfortable and practical bike you can get (see characteristics below)
  • They are rather efficient, certainly faster than mountain bikes.
  • If the bike has 10 speeds or more it can also be used for long distance rides, but most city bikes have 6 speeds or less so they don't venture more than 30 kilometres (20 miles) from home.
  • Because of the limited number of gear ratios, city bikes with less than 10 speed avoid steep hills. But if you don't mind pushing your bike up steep hills, you can go around the world on a city bike with 3, 5 or 6 speeds.
  • Vintage bikes with single speed and coaster brakes (back pedal to brake) are good for the winter because nothing gets jammed by ice and snow. Those are very reliable because of their simplicity. More on that below.

Main characteristics of city bikes are:

  • Many accessories installed at the factory
  • Comfortable spring mounted and padded saddle
  • Raised handlebar, curved toward the rider, leading to comfortable upright driving position and better visibility. Your not leaning forward and there is little weight on your arms and hands. You can see all around you and above cars.
  • Flat rubber pedals (beach pedals) so you can ride with any shoe wear, even barefoot if you like.
  • Mudguards to protect your clothes from the rain, dust, mud and other debris propelled by the tires.
  • Chain guard to keep your pants clean and prevent your pants from being stuck in and torn by the chain.
  • On vintage city bikes, mudguards and chain guards are either chrome plated or painted the same colour as the rest of bike. Most other components are also chrome finished, so vintage bikes are stylish and stand out.
  • Many city bikes owners fit them with extra accessories like a front basket (metal or whicker), rear rack, bell, light system and more. I offer some of those extra accessories and install them for free. Just ask what you need before delivery.

Few speeds, simple to use

  • Before the mid 50's all bikes were only 1 speed and those are still available new today (more on 1 speed bikes below). See for example the CCM Rambler.
  • Starting in the mid 50's the 3 speed city bike was introduced. Those are very easy use, the shift levers are marked 1-2-3 and it makes clic-clic-clic when shifting, just like a modern indexed system with fixed lever position. 3 speeds are enough for urban commuting if you don't have to go uphill. You have a lower gear to get up to speed from a dead stop or going up hill. You can go faster with the top speed when going downhill. The Montreal self serve Bixi's have 3 speeds and they are very popular. See for example the CCM (CYCO) 1956 and the Universal 1977.
  • From the 70's onward most city bikes are 5 speeds, later ones 6 speeds. Still today many city bikes produced have 6 speeds or 7 speeds. It's better to have 5 or 6 speeds because you can gradually build speed without forcing too much. If you have an headwind or going up a moderate hill you can cruise on a lower ratio without loosing the rhythm. See for example the Raleigh Lenton and the Velo Sport Express 5.
  • Although they are not as common, you can find 10 speed (or more) city bikes. For example the vintage Raleigh Sprite 10 and the CCM Esprit. Those bikes are more versatile, you can go up steep hills, travel longer distances while carrying goods.

1 speed with coaster brakes:

  • Older vintage city bikes are 1 speed with coaster brakes (back pedal to brake). Recently new bikes reproducing old styling cues were introduced, also with 1 speed and coaster brakes. You see a lot of those heavy "beach cruiser bikes" in sea resorts like Wildwood and Cape May N.J.
  • Those bikes have the advantage of simplicity and reliability. Without brake levers, cables, speed shifters and other parts eventually needing maintenance and replacement, 1 speed bikes are good almost forever.
  • They are perfect for traveling short distances in a mostly flat neighbourhood. If you can walk to your destination in under 30 minutes, it will take less than 6 minutes by bike to get there. So it's perfect to go to the metro station which seems too far to walk to, but it's annoying to wait for the bus because it's not that far.

If you are an inexperienced rider thinking that a 1 speed bike is better you might be wrong.

  • Of course a 1 speed is easier to operate, you just sit on it and pedal, but because it's only 1 speed it's hard to get up to cruising speed, you can't go up any hill, once you have a swing you pedal like crazy and can't go faster, everybody is faster than you.
  • Braking is tricky because you must pedal in reverse and step on the pedal hard with all your weight. Braking distance is long, not ideal for quick stops in city traffic.
  • So 1 speed bikes with coaster brakes are ok in town if you do have some cycling experience. Otherwise 1 speed bikes are better for cruising on flat rural roads and long bike paths without any stop and go. You can take your time to get up to cruising speed, and you keep your swing until destination.
  • For inexperienced urban cyclist my recommendation is to look for a bike with 3 to 6 speeds instead. 3 speeds are very easy to operate.
  • Bikes with single speed and coaster brakes (back pedal to brake) are good for the winter because nothing gets jammed by ice and snow. They don't loose braking power when wet and frozen up.

Performance

  • City bikes have narrow tires with light thread, because they roll on asphalt all the time.
  • City bikes are rather efficient and you can easily cruise at 20 km/h on a flat road. They are much lighter and faster than an heavy mountain bike with wide and deep threaded tires.
  • Typically older city bikes have 26x 1 3/8 tires and 55 PSI maximum pressure. Those tires are a bit wider than those of a performance road bike. From the 80's, tires of 27 x 1 1/4 or 1 3/8 were used with a pressure of 85 PSI and they are the same tires used on performance road bikes of the period.
  • Most city bikes are not high tech and have few light weight alloy components. They are sturdy, but given the all steel parts and accessories like fenders, they are also heavy. The older the bike, the heavier it is.

There are few city bikes available on the market today. Bike stores will instead sell you an hybrid bike and install fenders and chain guard as extra accessories. Pseudo vintage repro bikes are also available, but those bikes are very heavy and have wide 26" tires. They are repro's of bikes from the 40's, built with mountain bike parts, not great for commuting. See for example the Schwinn Point Beach

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Road Bikes


Nishiki men's road bikeCCM Corsa 10 ladies' road bike with slanted frame
Left: Nishiki men's road bike. Right CCM Corsa 10 ladies' road bike with easy to step in slanted frame. Modern road bikes are not produced with a slanted frame for ladies' anymore.

hot babe bike touring on Quebec's Route Verte network_hot looking dude on high tech road bike, training on Ile Notre-Dame's Formula 1 racing circuit in Montreal
Left: hot babe bike touring on Quebec's Route Verte network. Right: hot dude on modern high tech road bike, training on Ile Notre-Dame's Formula 1 racing circuit in Montreal, accessible to everyone.

My own road bike loaded for a long trip
My own touring bike loaded for a long trip

Road bikes are also known as racing bikes, speed bikes, older folks call them "10 speeds" even though most of them have more than 10 speeds. This category includes the touring bike sub-genre, and the fix gear sub-genre. Today's road bikes are high tech machines and very expensive. Carbon fibre, titanium, aluminium have replaced traditional materials on almost every part on the bicycle. There are almost no new road bikes selling under $1000, and prices can go as high as your budget allows.The good news is that I rebuild many fine road bikes from the 70's, 80's and 90's and my road bikes go for as low as $125, fully rebuilt and ready to go.

Road bikes were first used only by racers but they became accessible and very popular in the 70's and early 80's. Millions were sold in that period and everybody was buying a road bike just because it was trendy. The road bike market plunged in the 80's with the mountain bike trend, but it never completely faded away because cycling as a sport will always be present, and road bikes are the most efficient bikes to go from one point to another over medium to long distances. Touring bikes equipped with fenders, racks and panniers have always been the bike of choice for traveling.

Intended use of road bikes:

  • You want to be the fastest guy/girl on the block and you are ready to trade some comfort for speed.
  • For sports person wanting to seriously get or stay in shape, for training and racing. No need to go to the gym anymore.
  • Bike touring, go for long rides on bike paths and roads, explore the Route Verte.

Main characteristics of road bikes are:

Drop handlebar and aerodynamic position

  • The main characteristic of a road bike is the drop handlebar and aerodynamic position. It gives the rider a lower leaned forward driving position for better aerodynamic i.e. lower wind resistance. Another advantage of the handlebar is that you can grab it in many different places so you can change your riding position. By grabbing the top tube your raise yourself a bit.
  • To cut aerodynamic resistance even more, racers like to ride in pleton, following very closely.

Light Weight

  • Light weight, the lightest as possible so accelerations are faster, it's easier to climb hills (remember Newton's law F=M*A). The reason why space age materials are used to build modern road bikes is only to save weight, and the price of the bike is directly related to it's weight.
  • When experts shop for a road bike, the first thing they do, before they even look at it, is to weight it and ask for it's official specified weight.
  • Older road bikes from the 70's, and lower quality more recent ones, have mostly steel parts with chrome finish. In the 70's most road bikes, even from top makes, were still using steel parts but the frame was made of lighter steel alloy. One exception is the Rapido Favorit made in Czechoslovakia, which was a forerunner of bikes to come, with mostly alloy components.
  • Brake levers and brake callipers were among the first components to be made of lighter alloy metal. In the 80's companies gradually started using alloy handlebars, stems, pedals, rims, seat posts, cranks and slowly almost every part of the bike was built out of alloy or aluminium. Nowadays the same process is going on, metal alloys being gradually replaced by carbon fibre and titanium on just about every components, so it drives the prices up all the time.
  • Because of their light weight alloy frame and parts, road bikes are more fragile and won't tolerate abuse like a mountain bike would. Thin wheels and tires don't like Montreal potholes (more below). But other than having to carefully watch the road ahead, if you are reasonable and use the road bike as it should, on paved roads and bike paths, not jumping off sidewalks for example, a road bike is actually good forever.

No Frills

  • True racers, to save weight, will cut accessories to the minimum, however a bottle and holder to hydrate the thirsty cyclist and a trip computer to know the cruising speed are almost essential.
  • It's also a good safety precaution to bring a spare inner tube and bike pump because any loss of tire pressure might be catastrophic.
  • Typical sporty types riding road bikes for training will invest money on sexy lycra wears, helmet, sunglasses, and more.

Thin Wheels and Tires

  • Razor thin wheels is the other important feature of a road bike. Skinnier tires are better because less contact surface with the ground equals lower rolling resistance. So another way to judge the quality and price of a road bike is to look at the tire size.
  • But as the wheel and tire width shrinks, the pressure most be increased to raise the bike off the ground. Pressures of 90 PSI and over are typical, so tires are hard like rock.
  • The tires have little threads, almost slick, but it doesn't matter even under rain. Thread on bike tires are useless anyway, they just slow you down.
  • Road bikes from the 70's and 80's have 27 x 1 1/4" tires and they are ok for commuting on paved roads and packed stone dust bike paths. True racers of that period used slightly thinner 27 x 1 1/8" tires. More recent road bikes use 700c wheels with 700c x 28c tires or thinner. A 28c tires is ok for commuting and bike touring. True modern racers use 700x23c or thinner tires not suitable for daily use.

Anti-slip Pedals and Toe Clips

  • All road bikes have pedals designed to grab to shoe sole for more efficient pedaling and to prevent slippage. On older bikes the pedals are regular looking but have small teeth in the metal. You can use any pair of shoes, but it's preferable to ride with hard sole shoes otherwise you feel the pedal and it might hurt on long runs. Riding barefoot is very uncomfortable.
  • In the 70's and 80's toe clips with adjustable leather straps were available to hold the shoe on the pedal and prevent slippage. They take sometime to get used to, not ideal for city commuting with many stops and go, so most people took them off. Some of the road bikes I sell still have toe clips but they can be easily removed and put back if required for long rides out of town. See for example the Nishiki Odyssey.
  • Since the 90's pedals on road bikes are special devices similar to ski bindings. Special shoes, with a bracket bolted under the sole, clamp on the pedals. The binding releases when twisted sideways, the release tension is adjustable. So nowadays pedals are sold separately (no joke, modern road bikes are sold without pedals!) and you must spend extra cash buying a combination pedals/shoes of your choice. All road bikes I sell have regular pedals on them but they can be fitted with modern "clip" pedals.

Minimal Comfort, but easy to improve if required

  • Comfort is minimal on road bikes when new out of the factory, because road bikes are fitted with light weight saddles that are hard like crazy, the skinny tires are hard like rock so bumps are transferred directly to the rider, there is a lot of weight on your hands and arms, you must raise your head up to see up front.
  • Note that you get used to it pretty fast and you can minimize the discomfort by installing a padded saddle (we do on most road bike we sell), wearing gloves or installing foam handlebar grips, replace standard seat post with a suspension type, etc... See for example the Norco Avanti. My own road bike I use to travel is quite comfortable after a few modifications.

Commuting and Touring

  • Since most users of road bikes are not actually racing them but are using them for commuting and long distance road trips, accessories like comfortable saddles, fenders, rear and front racks, panniers, lights and many others can easily be fitted to the bike to make them comfortable and useful bikes in all conditions. Holes are pre-drilled in the frame to fit most common accessories.
  • I have been bike touring all my life and I am the author of the web site PistesCyclables.ca a complete Guide to Quebec's Bike Paths. For me cycling is a way of life and bike touring is the ultimate way to travel. Visit the web site guide (in French only) to review my exploration of almost every bike path in the province of Quebec, including the Route Verte network and Transcanada Trail. It's the right place to go if you need a map of Montreal's bike paths network.

To determine what size road bike you need view the Bike sizing charts . Because of the lean forward position, it's very important to get the right size road bike for your height, more than with other bike types.

Fix Gear Bikes

Recently the fix gear bike trend emerged within inner city neighbourhoods. A fix gear bike is a road bike with only 1 speed. The single rear gear is fixed to the rear wheel hub, it can't rotate freely from the rear wheel, thus you must pedal all the time because the rear gear and front crank/chainwheel are linked by the chain. You slow down by pushing with all your weight on the rising pedal, and if you have toe-clips, you can try at the same time to pull on the other pedal to reverse the usual motion. On some fix gear bikes this is the only braking mechanism provided, but most have at least one regular brake on the front or rear wheel. A variation is the single speed bike with a freewheel from a BMX and conventional brakes. Yet another variation is the single speed with coaster brakes, i.e. back-pedal to brake, just like the old city bikes. Fix gear bikes originated from close circuit oval track racing, circus shows and bike polo. For those applications on a flat surface with other racers, you don't need gears and brakes anyway. Their main advantages are very light weight, simple, aerodynamic. Part of the fun of owning a fix gear is to build your own custom bike. Check out the current inventory of project bike frames and complete fix gear bikes..

I don't have a very positive opinion on fix gear bikes. The problem is that some people are now trying to commute with them, in an environment with traffic lights, uneven roads with uphill climbs and other road users, all situations requiring good brakes and different gears. Fix gear bikes are confined to inner city because you can't go anywhere with them! Just like a BMX and other 1 speed toy bikes, either it is geared too high so you can't climb any hills, or it's geared too low and you are overtaken grandmothers riding BIXI's. Thus a fix gear bike is only good for short trips around a flat neighbourhood, just like a kid's bike. It seems like their users think they will change the world and get noticed by going backward. Most fix gear bikes are built starting from an older 10 speed road bikes, useful and safe, that can carry you around the world. After stripping the brakes and transmission components and spending a ridiculous amount of money on fancy looking wheels, you end up with a dangerous and useless poseur bike. If I have 10 fingers on my hands, it doesn't make sense and it isn't cool to cut off 9 of them to keep only 1 ! I expect the fix gear fad will quickly fade out once the young dudes figure out why gears were invented (even my girlfriend's sewing machine has more than 1 speed!). The best advice I can give to would-be fix gear users it to try first a real road bike with 10 speeds or more, or try a 1 speed vintage cruiser with coaster brakes if you want a simple, reliable and useful bike.

The fix gear trend is certainly loosing steam judging form the many owners wanting to trade-in their fix gear for a real road bike with gears and brakes. On this site you can find for $350 or less a fully rebuilt high quality road bike (example Miele or Fiori), light weight, with 12 speed, both brakes, with original paint in excellent condition. Unfortunately I don't take fix gear bikes in exchange, it is too much work to put back the brake system and gear system, even if you paid $900 for it.

View road bikes currently available for sale

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Hybrid Bikes


Peugeot Panorama Men's hybrid bikeMinelli Ladies' hybrid bike
An hybrid bike is similar to a road bike, but with wider tires and mountain bike style handlebar for a more upright position

Fiori Modena road bike converted to hybrid style with a straight handlebar and slightly large tires.
Fiori Modena road bike converted to hybrid style with a straight handlebar and slightly larger tires.

Hybrid bikes are designed as a comprise between performance (weight), sturdiness, comfort and versatlity. They are much lighter and faster than mountain bikes on paved roads, more comfortable and sturdier than road bikes which are strictly performance oriented. Hybrids are the latest trend and top selling bikes today. They were first introduced in the 80's as lighter ladies' mountain bikes, but hybrids really picked momentum in the early 2000`s. Used hybrids bikes are harder too find because not too many come up for sale yet.

A good description of an hybrid bike would be that it's like a road bike with slightly wider tires and mountain bike style handlebar for a more upright riding position. After mountain bikes became very popular in the late 80's people got used to the straight handlebar with all the weight in the palm of the hands, and wide tires you can roll over anything with. But slowly people riding on paved roads realized that there is no need for wide and deep threaded tires, no need for suspension, and overall frame weight was overkill for road use. However many found the riding position of the mountain bike more comfortable than the agressive low position of the road bike drop handlebar. So the term hybrid comes from the crossing of light weight road bike components and mountain bike style driving position.

Many older road bikes with drop handlebars are beeing converted with a mountain/hybrid handlebar. This conversion requires to change also the brake levers, brake cables and the grips. Performance hybrid bikes are now produced by manufacturers.

Intended usage

  • Hybrid bikes are good for transportation, short and long distances.
  • Once equipped with mudguards (usually not included on new bikes) they are equivalent to city bikes, good for cruising in an urban environment, go to work or school everyday, go shopping and more.
  • For cruising on bikes paths during the weekend, for leisure, picnics, ..
  • They are efficient, certainly more efficient than mountain bikes, not as efficient as a road bike.
  • If the bike has 10 speeds or more (most of them do), it can also be used for long distance rides. Most modern hybrids have 18 or more speeds so they are used more and more for bike touring instead of road bikes. Equipped with accessories like rear and front racks, panniers, water bottle and more, they can carry you around the world.

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Mountain Bikes


for true off-road usage mountain bikes need front and rear suspensionladies' mountain bikes with slanted frames
Left: for true off-road use mountain bikes need front and rear suspension. Right: ladies' mountain bikes with slanted frames.

Mountain Bikes for Sale
Typical low cost modern mountain bike

Mountain bikes are much like an adult BMX and are intended mainly for off-road use. Because they are built sturdy, used mountain bikes can be found in very good condition. Many were almost never used, people finding them too hard to move forward. Mountain bikes were big sellers up until recently but the trend is slowing down. They were sold by the millions and you can find cheap new ones on the market. So I have no choice but to sell used ones even cheaper. If you are on a tight budget, any bike will do as long as it works well and looks good, I have low cost mountain bikes for you!

  • Mountain bikes are good winter bikes because their threaded tires have traction in snow.
  • Mountain bikes can take abuse and be driven hard, you can jump off sidewalks, don't have to worry about potholes. Not a wimpy bike that needs to be taken car of.
  • Mountain bikes are perfect for dirt trails with soft surface, mud, loose gravel, water holes and other obstacles.
  • The many low gear ratios and deep threaded tires allows you to go up steep hills.
  • The straight and wide handlebar is better to absorb shocks and more stable at low speed.
  • Mountain bikes are heavy and require a lot of strength to get moving. Top speed is low even if you are in great shape.
  • Real mountain bikes have at least a front suspension, with rear suspension even better. A mountain bike without front suspension is useless off-road.
  • Networks of mountain biking trails are found in the province of Quebec. In the summer ski resorts like Bromont and Mont Saint-Anne will take you and your bike up the mountain and you go down a network of marked trails.
  • For commuting a mountain bike is inefficient because it's very heavy and the threaded tires induce an high rolling resistance. Mountain biking is for those in good shape! If you need to ride on paved road with a mountain bike, it's a good idea to mount narrower high pressure slick tires, for example 26x1.75 in place of 26x1.95 This reduces the rolling resistance greatly and effort required. Maybe you should be looking for an hybrid or city bike instead.
  • The mountain bike trend is slowing down as people realise it's not an efficient bike for riding on paved roads. More and more hybrid bikes are sold to people who want a bike that rides like a mountain bike but with a light frame and narrow tires.

Bike sizing chart to know the size of mountain bike you need.

View mountain bikes currently available for sale

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Folding Bikes


folding bikes are perfect for low speed city cruising, window shopping, crowded market streets, discovering new neighbourhoods_vintage folding bikes were always sold fully loaded
Left: folding bikes are perfect for low speed city cruising, window shopping, crowded market streets, discovering new neighbourhoods.
Right: vintage folding bikes were always sold fully loaded with fenders, rear rack, spring saddle, chaingard, beach pedals, tool bag, bell and more. They are head turning cute little bikes with tons of style.

Vintage Maino folding bike attracts many "they don't make them like that anyore" comments from strangers._Vintage Maino folding bike attracts many "they don't make them like that anyore" comments from strangers.
Vintage Maino folding bike attracts many "they don't make them like that anymore" comments from strangers.
Dahon Gateway V folding bike can be carried in a suit case_Dahon Gateway V folding bike can be carried in a suit case
Dahon Gateway V folding bike can be carried in a suit case

The fact that folding bikes can be folded for transport and storage is just one of their many advantages. Many folding bike users actually never fold them ! A more accurate name would be "small-wheeled adult bike" and indeed some companies manufacture bikes with the same characteristics but without the hinge to fold them.

Folding bikes are the unknown underdogs among city bikes and much more people should use them, urban dwellers in big cities like Montreal in particular. In other parts of the world like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tokyo, New York, folding bikes are very popular because it's so crowded that parking spaces for bikes are scarce and people bring them up in their apartment.

  • Folding bikes are cleverly designed for use as a practical and efficient transportation device, it's not a toy. They are like city bikes but with smaller wheels and lower frame easy to step in and out.
  • Older folding bikes were always sold fully loaded with fenders, chain guard, rear rack, comfortable spring saddle, raised handlebar for upright riding position, rubber block pedals. Some had a tool bag, a bell and more. So they can be used to commute comfortably on a daily basis.
  • It can be said that folding bikes are the ancestor of the self serve Bixi's in Montreal. If you like Bixi's you will like a vintage folding bike.
  • Folding bikes are sold in one size fits all, but they are equipped with extra long seat posts and handlebar stems so the saddle and handlebar can be quickly adjusted with quick release attachments. Most older folding bikes can be ridden by people up to 5ft 9in. Modern folding bikes can accommodate taller cyclists.
  • Because it can be adjusted quickly, the same folding bike can be shared by every member of a family or group.
  • Because of the small size wheel, typically 20x1.75, they are easier to carry up stairs and take up less space when parked inside, folded or not.
  • Folding bikes have no horizontal bar between the seat post and handlebar stem, the frame is very easy to step in and out. Many have an extra low U shaped frame. Thus folding bikes are very good for older folks with reduced stretching abilities.
  • The smaller wheels and lower centre of gravity make the bike more stable and agile at low speeds. They are perfect for low speed city cruising, window shopping, crowded market streets, discovering the neighbourhood around your hotel or marina while on a trip.
  • Wheel base (distance between the axis of the wheels) of some folding bikes is almost the same as a full size mountain bike or road bike. But the wheels being smaller it's more stable and agile at low speeds.
  • Folding bikes are not very efficient, but certainly more efficient than a mountain bike. The main issue is the top speed limited to 15km/h or less. So they are not ideal for long rides.
  • The typical tire size is 20x1.75 with small threads. Those tires, combined with the 3 speed or more, make the bike versatile, it can be ridden on paved roads but also off road, in campgrounds gravel trails for example.
  • Their smaller size makes them cute little bikes. The proportions are not the same as regular bike and older folding bikes have tons of chrome. They are stylish and attract positive comments from stranger.
  • When folded you can carry it on a bus, subway, in the trunk of a car, on a boat or RV. Transport bags with handles are available.

I own a collection of vintage folding bikes. Learn much more about them and view more pictures by visiting The Folding Bike Collection (in French)

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Kid's Bikes and Tricycles


Boy's bike with 12in wheels and training wheelsGirl's bike with 14in wheels
Because new kid`s bike are very inexpensive, it's not worth my trouble fixing and delivering low cost kid's bike, but I do have some available at my shop if you come here in person.

Vintage girl's Mustang style bike with banana seat and hi-rise handle barkid's road bikes
I restore and deliver special interest kid's bikes like vintage Mustang's (left) and kid's road bikes (right)

Junior bikes with 24 inch wheels, like this vintage city cruiser
Junior bikes with 24 inch wheels, like this vintage city cruiser, can be used by petite women 5'2" and shorter.

  • Kid's bike come in a wide variety of style and size.
  • See the Kid's bike sizing chart to know what size bike you need.
  • It's hard to find a used bike with the training wheels still on it. As soon as the kid is able to control it's balance the training wheels are taken off and tossed away. But universal training wheels can be purchased separately from any bike store, including Canadian Tire.
  • A 24in bike can also be used by adults measuring less than 5ft 2in.
  • Having kids myself I know they grow out of their bikes quickly and you are shopping for bikes almost every year if you have more than 1 kid. A brand new one is really inexpensive, you can buy a new kid's bike for between $49 and $149 from chain stores like Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart, Zellers, and others. So many busy parents don't want to loose time finding a good used bike, and those who are expect to pay $25.
  • Used kid's bikes are usually quite beaten up, particularly boy's bike. They are passed on to the younger one, to relatives and neighbours. They are poor quality to start with, left out in the elements, and neglected.
  • Given the very low cost of new kid's bike, I recommend you pay max $25 for a used one and you find it in your neighbourhood. Otherwise the price of fuel makes it not worth going out of town to purchase one. Also don't buy a bike needing any repairs.
  • For me a beaten up kid's bike often needs as much work, if not more, than an high end adult bike I can sell for much more. Unfortunately it's not worth my trouble fixing and delivering low cost kid's bike, but I do have some available at my shop if you come here in person.
  • However I do restore and deliver special interest kid's bikes like vintage Mustang's, vintage 24in city bikes, higher quality mountain bikes and BMX`s, kid's road bikes and the like .View kid's bikes currently available for sale
  • See the Kid's bike sizing chart to know what size bike you need.

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BMX Bikes


GT Dyno BMXSkyline Free Style 3000 BMX
Left: GT Dyno BMX. Right Skyline Free Style 3000 BMX

The term BMX is an abbreviation of Bicycle Motocross and was initially introduced as an un-motorized motocross for kids, to be used on closed circuit dirt tracks with natural and/or artificial obstacles, including jumps, just like a motocross circuit but on a smaller scale. With time kids living in suburbs and cities who didn't have access to a dirt track, so they started using the urban furniture to do tricks, jumps, and basically monkey around the neighbourhood to show off. BMX's were modified for acrobatics with foot pegs sticking out of wheel axles, and special braking system allowing the steering wheel to rotate 360 degrees without brake cable interference. Nowadays BMX dirt circuits and urban parks are found in some cities, many BMX riders use skateboard parks to do their tricks.

  • BMX's have 20 inch wheels with 20x1.75 or wider tires.
  • BMX's are 1 speed, but without coaster brakes (back pedal to brake) like other 1 speed kid's bike. The brakes are the standard lever/calliper system on both front and rear wheels. High end BMX's have a special rotary plate on the steering column so you can turn the steering wheel 360 degrees, or more, without brake cable interference, and you can still brake while doing it.
  • BMX's are built very strong, every part of the bike is heavy duty.
  • The raised handlebar is reinforced with an horizontal bar linking both handles.
  • The stem holding the handlebar to the frame is strong with 4 bolts
  • Wheels have more spokes than a regular 20in wheel for strength, the rim is double wall
  • The frame is designed with extra cross members and strong steel, so they are heavy.
  • The saddle gets beaten a lot, so its got minimal padding and it's narrow to avoid rubbing. The preferred riding position is such that the saddle is set very low.
  • Foot pegs are installed on front and rear hubs replacing the usual wheel nuts.
  • Foam pads are added to the top horizontal tube and handlebar to avoid injury
  • Riders should wear helmet, gloves and other protective gear for knees and mouth for example
  • The gear ratio is set quite high for a kid's bike. The chain ring, freewheel and crank length can be modified for more or less top speed and torque.
  • BMX's are always abused so it's hard to find good used ones. They often need major repairs, were modified by amateurs, were repainted probably because stolen.
  • See also kid's bikes and mountain bikes
  • See Bike sizing chart to know what size you need.

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Adult Tricycles


Typical adult tricycle, the Free Spirit 3 speed
Typical adult tricycle, the Free Spirit 3 speed, with large basket and comfortable oversize saddle. The design haven't changed much over the years.

Joy Rider Trail Mate, 1 speed with chopper style handle and small front wheelSears Shop Mate tricycle for adult
Left: Joy Rider Trail Mate, 1 speed with chopper style handle and small front wheel. It's a factory bike, not a custom. Right: Sears Shop Mate small wheeled tricycle for adult. It's hinged so the front part with seat and handlebar tilts in curves, while the 2 rear wheels stay on the ground.

Adult tricycles are the most useful bike to carry big loads, because they always have a large basket in the back. When I got my first tricycle I wondered what I would do with a bike mainly used by retired but active people "who can't use a real bike anymore". The next day I had to go to the grocery store to purchase more than just a pack of cigarettes, so I took the tricycle. That first trip made me realize that a tricycle is the only bike that can really replace a car. You put your grocery bags in the back, a case of 24, your empty bottles for refund, and whatever else needs to be carried in real life. I'm now completely converted and I recommend an adult tricycle to anyone who wants to make a real difference by taking their car less often, whatever other people think. In many countries of the world modified tricycles are used to carry just about everything, including taxiing people. Others use tricycles for long haul bike touring and apparently this is a popular trend in England.

Important warning: if you can't ride a bicycle for any reason, you most probably won't be able to ride a tricycle either. Based on my own experience, I see many people shopping for an adult tricycle because they can't ride a bicycle. They think a tricycle will be easier because you don't have to keep you balance on top of it. Unfortunately this isn't true ! Sure when the bike is at a complete stop, and on a completely flat surface, you can just sit on it like on a chair. But as soon as the bike is moving you must force to stay on. The bike doesn't tilt in curves and uneven pavement, you must compensate centrifugal force and uneven saddle. A tricycle is very heavy and requires great force to get moving, it's almost impossible to go up any grade, unless you are in very good shape. It might be hard to understand, but I saw young healthy 17 year olds riding bicycles but they just couldn't handle a tricycle and went in the ditch on my street !

  • Adult tricycles are not for an overweight person, anyone with poor health or muscle weakness. I see kids and spouses shopping for a tricycle for their mother or wife in the hope she will go out and do some exercise. This is not a good idea, the tricycle will stay parked
  • A tricycle is good for someone who owned and used a bicycle not too long ago, but for some reason can't use it anymore. Typically older active folks, wanting to stay active, but having reduced balance ability and are scared to fall.
  • Adult tricycles are designed such that it's easy to step on and off the bike. There is no top horizontal bar, the frame is built as low as possible.
  • They are loaded with mudguards, chain guard, large rear basket, raised handlebar for an upright riding position. They are much like city bikes but with 3 wheels.
  • Tricycles don't go fast because they are heavy and have few gear ratios. You don't need to go fast because you have plenty of free time and you are afraid of speed anyway.
  • Older ones are only 1 speed and you should avoid them. I strongly recommend at least 3 speeds because you need a low speed to get going from a dead stop. With a 1 speed any inclination is hard to get over, forget about hills. With 3 speeds or more you can go longer distance, faster, and climb moderate hills.
  • Adult tricycle usually have an oversized and very comfortable saddle.
  • An important aspect of tricycles is the braking capacity. Because the bike itself is heavy, plus the load you carry, you need strong brakes. Curiously it seems like the designers of some tricycle have forgotten this aspect and some have poor braking systems. One problem is that on a 3 wheel bike the braking system on the rear wheels must be designed differently than on a 2 wheeler. So some tricycle only have a brake on the front wheel and it's not enough.
  • Another important aspect of a tricycle is that the bike rolls away by itself when you park it on an uneven surface. The good thing is that it doesn't need a bike stand, but it needs a parking brake instead! Curiously older tricycles don't have a parking brake so you must be careful where you park it to make sure it won't roll across the street while you're inside the grocery store.
  • Tricycles need a big parking space, preferably inside your garage, make sure you know where you'll park it before purchase.
  • Tricycle are much wider than a 2-wheeled bike, they take up half a lane in traffic, so they are not welcomed on busy streets during rush hour! They are good for cruising on low traffic streets in the suburbs, country roads, small town and villages, and on bike paths. Many are used inside campgrounds and other enclosed properties, for example inside large factories to deliver mail and parts.
  • Turning with a tricycle always feels odd, you can't tilt the bike in the curve and always sit straight, so you slide off the seat and feel the centrifugal force when taking a sharp turn. At high speed one of the rear wheels might lift off the ground, and the bike might even roll over.
  • Some tricycle are designed with an hinged frame, the front part with seat and handlebar tilts in curves, while the 2 rear wheels stay on the ground. See the Sears Shop Mate 1976 for example. This also acts as a rear suspension because one of the rear wheels can hit a bump without affecting the rider's balance. It's just like driving a bicycle, but those tricycles are much harder to find.
  • Tricycles use the same parts as bicycles except the rear axle and the rear wheel hubs. When buying a used tricycle check that the rear wheels are good. You can always align them and replace the tires, but if the rear wheel is seriously bent and needs replacing it will be hard, if not impossible, to find a spare rear wheel.
  • An important issue with big tricycles is they are hard to carry. You need a pickup truck or van without the rear seat to bring it from and to the bike store for repair. Some bike stores will deliver.
  • See also folding bikes (stable and easy to step in/out), city bikes, recumbent bikes and low rider trikes, delivery and other work bikes

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Exercise Bikes


Supercycle 0109 stationary bike

For exercising indoors get your own exercise bike and save on gym membership! I noticed that when you put a exercise bike in the same room as the TV, when the commercials come on the whole family is fighting over it to spin until the commercials are over. Kid's like them because they have something to "chew on" while they wait for dinner for example. The trick is not to put the exercise bike in the basement or a separate room in your house, it will sit idle. Stationary bikes should be in the living room, kitchen, or anywhere it can be used while doing something else, for example listening to TV or radio, talking with the other members of the family, etc... I find it very boring to simply pedal looking at a wall, and I'm a bike fanatic.

Because exercise bikes stay inside and many were rarely used, they are always in excellent condition, often like new. Buying a low cost, but perfectly running, used exercise bike won't ruin you, it doesn't take too much space, and you can pedal while doing something else. I don't understand why anyone would go and buy a new one, there are so many perfect used ones for sale in the classifieds. The same goes for all training machines. People put thousands of dollars buying fancy machines thinking they will loose weight effortlessly and quickly and by staying at home! New Year's resolution obliges, it's in early January that stores cash in. A few months or years later the big machine is taking a lot of space, wasn't used more than 10 times, and the buyer actually didn't loose any weight but gained more. So it's time to sale before it looses all it's value.

  • When looking at used exercise bikes, the main thing to watch for is the speedometer/odometer. Make sure they both work, i.e. when you pedal it shows a speed and the distance increases slowly but surely. On older models the speedo is all mechanical and usually it works fine. But later models have electronic computer that are not as reliable and un repairable. Stay away from any fancy electronic computers needing batteries or plug in, unless they work perfectly.
  • The other thing to watch for is the system that changes the effort needed to pedal. There are many different kinds of devices to adjust the resistance of the spinning wheel. Make sure you can adjust it in fully freewheel mode (no resistance at all) and gradually increase, without sharp steps.
  • Some tensioning device will bend the wheel, or make a notch on it, if the tension stayed on while the bike was parked for a while. Make sure the wheel spins straight and balanced.
  • A timer is also commonly found so you can spin for a set amount of time, then a bell rings. If the timer doesn't work it's not a big deal, just use your watch.
  • Make sure the seat can be adjusted easily for your height. Some models have a quick release attachment so the seat can be adjust quickly for different heights. Exercise bikes are sold in 1 size fits all, so very tall or short persons must be careful to buy a bike they can use comfortably.
  • A comfortable seat is also a must, but you can change it for any regular bike seat
  • An alternative to exercise bikes, if you already own a bike, is to purchase rollers and use your regular bike instead. You find rollers in bike stores.

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Tandem Bikes


Tandem bike

Tandems are rare but have been around for many years. I bought and sold very few used ones, so I can't say I know a lot about them. According to a local bike shop, some people inquire about tandems but very few actually purchase one. I was told it's hard and can be dangerous to ride, so not for unexperienced riders. Starting and stopping is the hardest part. It's a major cause of dispute and can strain your relation! Tandems are much like a conventional bike but with an elongated and reinforced frame, longer chain and rear cables. As far as I know the wheels and tires are the same as on a regular bike. Since the supported weight is greater, tires must wear faster, flats, broken spokes and bent wheels predictably more common. Avoid pot holes.

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Delivery Bikes


Grocery delivery trike in Montreal_Ice cream vending trike in Montreal

Taxi trike seen in Old Quebec_

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Recumbent Bikes and Low Rider Trikes


Recumbent bike_Low rider adult trike
Left: a recumbent bike of rather conventional design. The steering apparatus on some models is under the seat. Right: modern high quality Trike.

Recumbent bikes are rather rare and people who ride them seem to be attached because I see few used ones up for sale. When they first came on the market, in the early 90's, a short period of popularity followed because of the novelty. You could buy them in department stores like Canadian Tire. Nowadays few manufacturers still offer recumbent models. Contrarily to conventional bikes, recumbent bikes come in many different designs, the steering and seating position being the main distinctive feature. Most have small wheels and tires, typically 20" front and 24" rear, same as on kid's bikes.

The main appeal is the riding position being lower and more aerodynamic, wind drag is reduced. Also you can push harder on the pedals because your back is supported. Some riders with disabilities preventing them from using a conventional bike might be able to ride a recumbent bike.

However recumbent bikes have drawbacks explaining their low popularity. The difficulty of climbing steep hills is one problem. Low speed balance is an issue, you can't stand up on the pedals to push and pull on the steering handle, so when hitting a steep hill you might have to step off and push it up to the top. Low speed balance is harder on recumbent's with strange steering design. On some models the steering handles are located under the seat and close to the body. It takes time to get used to it. Lately 3 wheel models, named "trikes", began to be manufactured in larger numbers. Trikes are heavier but solve the low speed balance problem.

The main problem with low riding bikes is, since the rider is almost sitting on the road, they are hard to see in traffic. Usage of a long pole with an orange flag is an highly recommended safety precaution. Vehicles exhaust is right in your face and you can't see anything in front, other than the bumper of the car you are following. Because of those serious safety and health issues, recumbent bikes are seldom seen on the road, even less on city streets. They are fine on bike paths where most of then are spotted. Also note they can't be carried on most car bike racks, not convenient when you want to try out a different bike path.

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Which size of bike you need 


There are some quick methods explained below to determine approximately what size of bike you need. Bike sizing charts are also found below so you can determine in advance if a bike is a potential fit depending on your height and bike type. However, people having different leg to body ratio, the only way to know for sure is to try the bike and adjust the seat height.

Important! the information below applies to older bikes only. Newer men's and ladies' bikes have a lower frame with a longer seat post. On older men's bike the top horizontal tube is really horizontal. Newer bikes have different frame geometry, the top tube is not completely horizontal but lower toward the saddle.

Measuring Bike Frame Size

  • The size of a bike is the length of the tube supporting the saddle, measured from the top of the seat tube (not counting the seat post) to the axis of the bottom bracket (axis of the crank)
  • Most older adult bikes have a frame size between 19in and 25in. and the same model of bike is manufactured in different sizes. For example vintage Raleigh Sports city bikes were produced in only 2 sizes: 21" and 23" frame for men, and 19.5" and 21" frame for ladies. Very popular road bikes were produced in more sizes, for example the Velo Sport Appalache in 47, 54, 57, 60, 63, 66cm.

Why Bike Size Counts

  • When selecting a bike, the most important aspect is obviously that the seat can be adjusted to your height.
  • But it's also important that the bike is not too long and forcing you to lean forward with arms stretched, or too short forcing you in a cramped position with arms too close to your body. So it's not simply a question of installing a longer seat post if the bike is too small, or lowering the seat as low as it can go if too tall.
  • The length of the bike or wheel base is more or less important depending on the type of bike and riding position. On bikes with an upright riding position, the length is not very important, you simply sit higher if you're taller and you can use an extra long seat post (more below). This explains why city bikes are manufactured in only 2 or 3 different sizes. Portable folding bikes are made in only one size for all.

The bike size you need depends on the type of bike.

  • Different bike sizing charts exist for mountain bikes, road bikes, BMX's, etc... Different types of bike have different frame geometry, wheel size, riding position and other factors influencing the size you should purchase.

 

Quick methods without measuring tape and bike sizing charts

  • Method #1:
    • Divide you height by 3. For example I am 5' 9" = 69" so I need a bike frame of 23" approximately.
  • Method #2 if you have a bike in front of you:
    • This method works if you have a bike in front of you and it's a men's road, men's mountain bike or men's city bike, with an horizontal top tube.
    • Step over the horizontal bar, don't sit on the bike, put your 2 feet flat on the ground, legs extended.
    • There should be at least 2cm or 3/4 inch between the frame and your crotch.
    • On road bikes there shouldn't be more than 5 cm or 2 inch clearance, otherwise the seat might not come high enough or the bike won't be long enough. So 2 to 5 cm (3/4" to 2") clearance between frame and crotch is what you should look for.
    • For mountain bikes it's safer to have more clearance for off road use. Clearance of 5 to 13 cm (2" to 5") between the bar and your crotch is what you should look for.
    • This rule doesn't apply for ladies bikes with a slanted frame and modern mountain bikes with unconventional frame design. See bike sizing charts below instead.
    • You shouldn't use a bike if the clearance is less than 2cm (3/4 in) as described above. Kid's riding a bike too tall for them is a major cause of accident.

Short riders under 5ft 2in

  • Contrarily to what you might think you can easily find a bike for your height. Petite women represent a good portion of my clientele.
  • Almost all ladies' bikes with a slanted ladies frame are built to accommodate riders between 5ft 0in and 5ft 8in. At 5ft 2in or under select a frame size of 18in, 19in or 20in.
  • If you are shorter than 5ft you should also look at junior bikes with smaller 24in wheels and you will have an even wider choice (full size adult bikes have 26, 27 or 28 inch wheels). Junior bikes with 24in wheels are listed in the kid's bike section.
  • Under 5ft 0in you can try a full size ladies' bike with 18in or 19in frame but you would probably feel and look better on a junior bike with 24in wheels.

Women 5ft 8in and taller

  • you need a frame of 22in or taller. Unfortunately ladies' bikes with slanted frame were not produced above 21in. You should be looking at men's bikes instead. You can always try a ladies' bike with 21in frame and a longer seat post, but the bike might be too short, the handlebar won't go high enough, your knees might hit the handlebar.

Tall riders 6 ft and above

  • unfortunately tall bikes are much harder to find for reasons I can't fully understand. If you are 5ft 10in or above, you need a frame size of 23" (58cm) or above. See bike sizing charts below.
  • Curiously, even if the average male height is 5ft 10in in North America, manufacturers don't produce large numbers of bikes for people above that average. I find few used ones for rebuilt. It's probably because most new bikes are purchased by teenagers, not fully grown adults. So I find large quantities of smaller bikes for people between 5' and 5'6", mostly mountain bikes nowadays, but very few tall bikes.

Bike Sizing Charts

Important! the information below applies to older bikes only. On older men's bike the top horizontal tube is really horizontal. Newer bikes have different frame geometry, the top tube is not completely horizontal but lower toward the saddle. Newer men's and ladies' bikes have a lower frame with a longer seat post.

Road Bike Size

  • see Table 1 below
  • On road bikes with a leaned forward position, the length of the bike is critical for a comfortable and safe position. Whatever your height you shouldn't compromise on the size and wait until you find one of the correct size. Popular road bikes are manufactured in many different sizes. For example the Velo Sport Appalache from the 80's was produced in 6 different sizes: 47, 54, 57, 60, 63, 66cm to suit everyone.

Hybrid Bike Size

  • see table 1 below
    Older Road Bike and Hybrid Bike
    Frame Size
    (?)
    Rider's Height*
    18" - 46 cm 4' 5" to 4' 8"
    135 to 143 cm
    19" - 48 cm 4' 8" to 4' 11"
    141 to 149 cm
    20" - 51 cm 4' 11" to 5' 2"
    150 to 158 cm
    21" - 53.5 cm 5' 2" to 5' 5"
    158 to 166 cm
    22" - 56 cm 5' 5" to 5' 8"
    165 to 173 cm
    23" - 58.5 cm 5' 8" to 5' 11 "
    173 to 181 cm
    24" - 61 cm 5' 11" to 6' 2 "
    180 to 188 cm
    25" - 63.5 cm 6' 2" and over
    188cm and over
    *The only way to know for sure is to try the bike and adjust the seat height.

Table 1: Bike frame size for older road bikes and hybrid bikes

City Bike Size

  • See table 2 below
  • With city bikes frame size is not as important as with road bikes, because the riding position is more upright, most of the weight is on the seat. Most vintage city bikes were produced in only 2 sizes, typically 19" and 21" frames for ladies, 21" and 23" frames for men.
  • Shorter people will easy find a suitable vintage city bike, but tall ones are harder to find. You won't find a vintage ladies' bike taller than 21in, or a men's taller than 23in. You must be able to adjust the seat high/low enough, and if the bike is too small your knees will hit the handlebar when turning.
  • If you are shorter than 5ft you should also look at junior bikes with smaller 24in wheels and you will have an even wider choice (full size adult bikes have 26, 27 or 28 inch wheels). Junior bikes with 24in wheels are listed in the kid's bike section.
  • Females above 5'8" should look at men's city bikes instead.
  • Males above 5'10" must use a 23" city bike and put a longer seat post if required.
    Older City Bike
    Frame Size
    (?)
    Rider's Height*
    18" - 46 cm 4' 5" to 5' 0"
    19" - 48 cm 4' 8" to 5' 3"
    20" - 51 cm 5' 0 " to 5' 5"
    21" - 53.5 cm 5' 2" to 5' 8"
    22" - 56 cm 5' 5" to 5' 11"
    23" - 58.5 cm 5' 8" to 6' 2"
    *The only way to know for sure is to try the bike and adjust the seat height.

Table 2: Bike frame size for older city bikes

Mountain Bike Size
    Mountain Bike
    with 26" wheels
    Frame Size
    (?)
    Rider's Height*
    14" - 35.5 cm 4' 8" to 5'1"
    142 to 155 cm
    15" - 38 cm 4'9" to 5' 4"
    145 to 163 cm
    16" - 40.5 cm 4' 11" to 5' 7"
    150 to 170 cm
    17" - 43 cm 5' 2" to 5' 10"
    157 to 178 cm
    18" - 46cm 5' 5" to 6' 1"
    165 to 185 cm
    19" - 48cm 5' 7" to 6' 4"
    170 to 193 cm
    20" - 51cm 5' 10" to 6' 6"
    178 to 198 cm
    21" - 53cm 6' 1" to 6'7"
    185 to 201 cm
    22" - 56cm 6' 3" to 6' 7"
    191 to 201 cm
    *The only way to know for sure is to try the bike and adjust the seat height.
Table 3: Bike frame sizes for mountain bikes with 26in wheels.
Download mountain bike sizing chart from ebicycles.com for more accurate data.

BMX's Size

  • download BMX bike sizing chart from ebicycles.com
  • or use the frame size calculator from ebicycles.com at http://www.ebicycles.com/article/bicycle-frame-size-charts.html
  • With a BMX you need a bigger clearance between your crotch and the frame to avoid injuries. BMX riders like to ride with a very low seat. Most of the time you stand up on the pedals to do tricks.
  • As you grow and become an adults, you need a longer BMX frame, or you can replace the straight seat post with a slanted backward seat post.
  • The only way to know for sure is to try the bike and adjust the seat height.

Folding Bike Size

  • folding bikes are manufactured in one size fits all. Most older folding bikes can be ridden by kids and adults up to 5ft 9in. Above that height some folding bikes saddle won't go high enough. Modern folders can accommodate taller cyclists.
  • folding bikes are all equipped with extra long seat posts and handlebar stems so the saddle and handlebar can be quickly adjusted with quick release attachments.
  • frame size not very important, the riding position is upright, most of the weight is on the seat, and folding bikes are used mainly for low speed city commuting and cruising.
  • the wheel base (distance between the axis of the wheels) of some folding bikes is almost the same as a full size mountain bike or road bike. But the wheels being smaller it's more stable and agile at low speeds.
  • The only way to know for sure is to try the bike and adjust the seat height.

Kid's bike and tricycle size

  • Measure the inseam and check table 4 below
  • you can also use the bike size calculator from ebicycles.com at http://www.ebicycles.com/article/bicycle-frame-size-charts.html
  • Kid's bikes are not measured by frame size, but instead by wheel size.
  • As soon as a kid is able to walk he can ride a small tricycle.
  • From age 2 to 6, depending on height, a bike with 12 in, 14in or 16in wheels with training wheels. Typically that bike will be good for 2 years or less. Once the kid found his balance, the training wheels can be removed.
  • From age 5 to 9, or between 4' and 5' tall, a bike with 20in wheels is better. That's the wheel size of BMX's.
  • Pre-teens aged 8 to 13 should use a junior bike with 24in wheels.
  • Once they have grown to 5 feet or more, they can start looking in the adult bike alley, but it's better to wait until they are 13 years old at least before buying an adult size bike, otherwise it might be too small when they become fully grown adults.
  • The only way to know for sure is to try the bike and adjust the seat height
Inseam
Wheel Size
less than 16 in (40 cm) 12 in
16 to 20 in (40-50 cm) 14 in
20 to 22½ in (50-57 cm) 16 in
22½ to 26 in (57-66 cm) 20 in
26 to 28 in (66-71 cm) 24 in

Table 4: Kid's Bike Sizes

Exercise Bike Size

  • Exercise exercise bikes are manufactured in one size fits all.
  • they're all equipped with extra long seat posts and handlebar stems so the saddle and handlebar can be quickly adjusted with quick release attachments.
  • frame size is not important because the riding position is very upright, all the weight is on the seat, no need to be leaned forward and aerodynamic when exercising inside!
  • The only way to know for sure is to try the bike and adjust the seat height.

Adult Tricycle Size

  • Manufactured in one size fits all, usually a small frame such that the seat can be set very low.
  • For older riders the seat is often adjusted lower than it should be, so it's easier to sit. However because the tricycle is very heavy and requires effort to move, the seat should be adjusted to the correct height as much as possible, because you will need all the power you have to go anywhere.
  • Tricycles use the same seat posts as regular bikes so you can put a longer seat post, if required, to pedal efficiently.
  • The only way to know for sure is to try the bike and adjust the seat height.

Tandem Bike Size

  • I don't know much about tandem bikes, but since most of them are road bikes or city bikes style, I guess you should look at the road bike chart above.
  • The front and rear seats are adjustable independently.
  • If the 2 riders have very different height it could be impossible to find a suitable tandem for the pair
  • The only way to know for sure is to try the bike and adjust the seat height.

Delivery Bike Size

  • see adult tricycle above

Recumbent bike and Trike Size

  • too many different frame designs to make general rules, you must try it to know if you can ride it comfortably

Adjusting Seat and Handlebar


The Rule for Efficient and Comfortable Pedaling

  • when pedaling your leg should be almost fully extended when the pedal reaches the furthest point. What is almost fully extended ? One way to know is when you put your heel at the centre of the pedal your leg is fully extended.

Inexperienced Riders and Kid's

  • A good portion of my customers are young ladies with little cycling experience. For inexperienced riders this way of adjusting the seat is scary because your feet don't touch the ground at a stop. So the seat can be set a bit lower such that stops are easier.
  • You shouldn't adjust the seat such that both feet touch the ground flat or almost when you are at a stop! This makes the seat way too low and the pedaling very inefficient. You get cramps in your legs, knee pains, your butt hurts, the ride is unstable, and of course everybody is faster than you.
  • You must understand that when stopping a bike you must step down and place yourself between the seat and handlebar, with 1 foot on the ground and the other on the pedal. When departing raise yourself back on the seat on the first stroke of pedal.

BMX's and Off-road Mountain Biking

  • the rule above doesn't apply when doing trick on a BMX. The seat can also be set lower when riding steep trails with mountain bikes. Most quality mountain bikes have a quick release to re-adjust the seat height quickly.

Adult Tricycle

  • for older riders the seat is often adjusted lower than it should be, such that it's easier to sit. However because the tricycle is very heavy to move, the seat should still be raised as much as possible because you will need all the power you have to go anywhere.

If the Bike is too Small

  • you can always use a longer seat post if you can't adjust the seat high enough.
  • Note that seat posts are manufactured in many different diameters, in 0.1mm increments. You should bring your current post for precise measurement with a calliper when shopping for a replacement, you can't simply feel a difference of 0.1mm.
  • Taller riders can adjust the seat height alright with a longer seat post, but they end up riding in a cramped position because the bike is not long enough, the un-adjustable handlebar is too close to the body.
  • This is not a big deal on city bikes with an upright riding position because you are simply higher on the bike. However with road bikes with a leaned forward position it's very uncomfortable.

see also bike sizing charts above

Adjusting the handlebar height and tilt

  • It depends a lot on the type of bike and the way you like to ride. In general the handlebar should be at the same height as the seat or higher.
  • Raised handlebars are more comfortable but the position is less aerodynamic.
  • On road bikes the handlebar is lower than the seat for an aggressive leaned forward position, to cut wind resistance and go faster.
  • As for the tilt, the place where grip the handlebar should be parallel to the ground or slightly tilted toward the rider. Too much tilt is dangerous because your hand might slip off the handle when hitting a bump.

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