Deals on wheels at the London Cycle Exchange
London Cycle Exchange
When buying a second hand bike there isn't always a lot you can do to guarantee that the bike you're buying will be in good nick, or indeed belong to the person selling it. You could bag yourself an eBay bargain, or deal with a classified dud.
"If you don't know a lot about it then you have to find the right source and then you've got to trust the source," says Matt Connelley, founder of the London Cycle Exchange.
"You want to know that a month down the line you won't have to replace the groupset and you've lost the money you saved from going second hand."
Connelley's interesting idea is to bring the concept of ‘used approved' to the second hand bike market. By only purchasing used bikes worth around £1,500 or more when new, and with a full-service history and proof of purchase, it carries out a full service before offering buyers a three month-long warranty with their purchase.
"70% of cars bought are second hand, and 50% of used car sales go through dealerships because people want the warranty," Connelley explains. "This business is about being that trusted name in cycling."
It's early days for the project. Most of its current income is from selling bikes owned and ridden by cycling event organisers HotChillee and Jelli, with Connelley admitting that he only makes a small return dealing with individuals.
However the aim is to one day rent commercial premises where the bikes and operations can be housed: essentially a second hand bike dealership.
"I want it to be a drop in centre with all the bikes where people can drop their bike in, get a price for it there and then, part exchange it for one that's there, or they can just buy one that's there."
To find out more about the idea, head to www.londoncycleexchange.com