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Frugal dads: Choosing a used kid’s bike

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 08-07-2007

Bikes are like a lot of kids’ stuff. Kids grow out of them so fast and it’s hard to rationalize buying “new.” Especially when kids are small, and not wrapped up buying “fresh off the lot,” you can buy a used kids bike and save a lot of hard-earned cash. Here are things to look for in a used bike:

  1. Think about color. Pink is a great color if you have two girls. But green might be better if your little boy will be next in line to get the bike.
  2. Check that all screws and joints are tight. You can tighten stuff up later or take it to a bike shop for a quick tune-up.
  3. Buy the right size. A bike that is too large will be unwieldy for your child and risks an accident.
  4. Look for a clean chain. If it’s covered in grease though, you can have it cleaned.
  5.  Watch for corrosion and rust in the body. Like in a used car, rust is not a good sign and reason enough to keep looking.
  6. Kick the tires. If the tires are cracked, they’ll have to replaced soon. If simply low on air, make sure to get them pumped.

    Make sure though to buy a new helmet. Head protection gear should be sized for your child and, like a car seat, should be in top condition for maximum protection.