For information on renting bikes, please see our Bicycle Rentals page.
Selling safe, reliable used bikes is an important part of what we do, but our mission is to "help people use bicycles." So please look over all the information here, and we'll be glad to help you find a bike that fits your needs: if it's not a used bike from us, we'll direct you to a good, local, new-bike shop or another bike co-op that can help.
We also sell all kinds of used parts, wheels, and frames; and accessories like clothing, lights and computers, for about half of what they cost new.
We stock a very limited selection of new repair parts like tires, brake pads, and chains; and and accessories like lights, racks, and fenders. Our prices for these are about the same as at any bike shop with discounts for OCBC members. We can order new items which we don't stock, but urge you to patronize your local bike shop whenever possible.
If you still have questions after you read this page, please email Info@OhioCityCycles.org. Sorry, but we can't answer questions about specific bikes or parts we have in stock, as that can change at any time.
LAST TEST RIDES are 30 minutes before our posted closing time, so please arrive with time to give your prospective bike a proper test ride!
How we operate
First, understand that OCBC is mostly staffed by volunteers; and our employees' main job is helping our volunteers and members, so we appreciate your patience when you visit.
Second, OCBC is not primarily a retail bike shop: we sell repaired bikes because we do bike-repair education, and we want to get as many bikes back on the road as possible. Other programs take up most of our time, though, so we are only able to sell bikes during our retail hours (listed to the right), and only the ones we have finished repairing.
Here are a few details that it will save your time to know and help you find the right bike:
Availability of bikes for sale
We keep bikes in a variety of sizes and prices fully refurbished and ready for sale: they are all in our showroom with a tag on the handlebars with the price on it. The tag will also have the bike's size, including the length of the seat tube, in centimeters, from the center of the crank to the center of the top tube (or, for a "girl's" step-thru frame, to where the seat stays meet the seat tube) followed by the top tube length; from the center of the seat tube to the center of the head tube.
Layaway Policy for Refurbished Bikes
- 20% non-refundable down payment is required
- Remainder of purchase price must be paid and bike must be picked up within 30 days
Un-repaired bikes and other sales
We don't sell un-repaired bikes (except to members), so if you want to, say, build a fixie, we do sell clean, evaluated, used frames and parts so you can do it yourself at home; or you can take (or test out of) the Repair Classes for a Membership to use the shop, tools, and advice, and get a discount on new parts.
Sorry, but we cannot buy bikes or offer credit for trade-ins — try selling on Craigslist, or we would be happy to take them as tax-deductible donations.
We are confident that our bikes are are priced fairly (see our pricing system below), so we don't negotiate on price. Anyone can use volunteer time to pay for a bike, the purpose of bike sales is to support our education programs, and the bikes we sell include about $100 in education services. If it seems one is not priced fairly, please let us know -- we'll be glad to review our pricing system (see below).
Forms of payment we accept
We accept cash, check
(with a valid ID) and credit cards (Visa/MasterCard). Credit cards cost us about 2% in processing fees, so please consider making a donation to help cover those fees.
Anyone can volunteer their time and use the $5/hour credit they will earn toward any part of the price of a bike (or anything else we have for sale except new parts and accessories).
Any bike we sell will be safe and reliable; each one gets a full tune-up and any new parts needed. We stand behind our work (and want bikes brought back if something seems wrong), and include a Bike check-over after a few hundred miles of use (and hope bike customers will return for that, even if nothing seems wrong -- we like to see how our work holds up).
However, we stress that everyone is responsible for the mechanical safety of any bike they ride, and -- being used -- OCBC bikes carry no warranty from the manufacturer or from OCBC as to durability or quality of materials. If a warranty or the newest technology is important to you, we are happy to refer you to a local bike shop, with some good advice to start you off right.
It is important to us that bikes we sell are appropriate for their intended use (see the Types of Bikes we sell, below), and the right size and fit. We will take the time to help you with this, and we cover basic bike fit in the free class that comes with your bike. But if your intended use is racing or hard training, a new bike and a professional fitting session from a good local bike shop will be your best investment.
It's also important to us that everyone have the skills and knowledge to use their bike as much as they can, so we offer the following education services with every bike (about a $100 value).
Each OCBC bike comes with:
Free Bike Basics Classes classes on fit adjustments, fixing flats, basic maintenance, etc. -- the "owners manual" for your bike.
Free Traffic Skills Intro class
Free Bike check-over within the first year
Free bike accessory library (after taking bike basics classes)
Accessories and stuff you'll need with your bike
We sell a basic selection of new accessories -- the things that you'll need to use your bike -- a helmet and lock for sure; and perhaps lights, a rack, or fenders. We have some used accessories like small bags, toe-clip pedals, and seats
for sale (or swap, in some cases), but not used locks, lights or helmets.
To help you get the most enjoyment from your bike, we also have a library of accessories like "ergonomic" saddles, clip-in shoes and pedals, and luggage; so you can try these items before you buy them new. We can then order them for you, or we encourage you to get to know your local bike shop for the wide selection of accessories and services they offer.
You should test ride any bike before you buy it. There are short on-road or off-road loops right out our front door -- we'll ask for your car keys or another valuable as collateral, and let you ride any bike we have for sale or rent (a helmet is required: we have loaners if you don't bring your own). We'll adjust the bike (and your helmet) to fit, and make sure it passes a Safety Check. You'll have a better time if you wear the shoes and clothes that you would ride most often in, but not sandals, saggy pants, or hairstyles that will make helmet fit difficult. We have cool-weather clothes you can borrow if needed. If you want a longer test ride you can rent a bike -- a portion of the rental fee is applied toward your purchase -- or you can borrow any bike for our Saturday Social Ride and get some on-the-road advice about riding position and fit.
An important part of OCBC's mission is to help people get started (or re-started) cycling with a good, reliable bike that serves their needs. We'll take the time to help you decide what kind of bike is best for you, and if we don't have it, we'll help you figure out where to find it (preferably a local bike shop near you). We're also glad to help with equipment and accessory questions. Please look at the excellent information in the links on this page, though, and save us all some time when you stop in.
We are often the first stop for people who want to begin bike commuting. Here are a few good links on that topic: LAB's commuter tips, Paul Dorn's blog, and Bike Commute. There are also many good tips for commuters on the pages summarizing our Winter Cycling and Spring Bike Make-over symposia.
Our goal is not to just get bikes out the door, it's to help people use them. We urge everyone to take advantage of the classes offered with each bike purchase, and consider volunteering and/or membership to gain more experience and the satisfaction of maintaining your own bike.
A short summary of the types of bikes we sell:
These are the original version of what are now being marketed as "hybrid bikes." They feature turned-back, city (or "falcon") handlebars for an upright position; three, five or ten speeds; and are already equipped with fenders (and often with a rack). A city bike is a good compromise between speed and stability; comfort and responsiveness; and durability and economy. In this category we have many inexpensive models, several collectible classics, and a few newer "hybrids." Priced from $60 to $250; most around $100.
With wide seats and classic lines; wide, swept-back handlebars; coaster (pedal) brakes; and (usually) "balloon" tires, these bikes are comfortable and relaxed for around the neighborhood, but not recommended for trips longer than a mile or two. Many have classy features like pin-striped fenders, "gas-tanks" housing lights or horns, and copious baskets. Priced from $50 (for something basic) to $250 (for the few collectibles we have); most around $75.
These bikes with dropped, road (or "ten-speed") handlebars and skinny tires offer the best aerodynamic position and lowest rolling resistance, for the fastest, most efficient ride. These will be as fast as an entry-level new road bike -- and will probably be more practical, with room for wider tires -- but the older bikes we have don't feature integrated brake/shift levers. Priced from $100 to $350+; most about $200.
Straight, mountain handlebars for good leverage, and heavy-duty, long-wheelbase frames and wider tires make these bikes slower, but ideal for riding on rough, loose surfaces, or for carrying heavy loads. Most do not have suspension forks or the newer, sealed bearings, so these will not be as good a choice for "technical" dirt riding as a new model, but a rigid fork is lighter and lower-maintenance, so they make great casual off-road cruisers, or, fitted with smooth tires, very durable city bikes. Priced from $90 to $350+; most around $200.
Mostly inexpensive BMX style (12, 16 or 20" wheel) bikes, these are not as indestructible as the newer street, flatland or dirt jumping bikes, but offer an inexpensive way to get kids riding, and come with an economical trade-up offer: within two years you can trade in an OCBC kids' bike, in reasonable condition, for a credit of half the price of the smaller bike when you get a larger size, until they stop growing! Priced from $30 to $150; commonly around $40. We also offer special kids' membership through our Earn A Bike program, to make their early cycling years safer, less mechanically troubled, and more fun. Also, see our How to Ride a Bike page, if you are teaching someone to ride a two-wheeler.
We use this list to fairly and consistently set prices for most of the donated bikes we have available for sale -- accounting for features that make them more useful, reliable, and attractive; more efficient, durable, or pleasant to ride; and most practical to service. Some bikes for sale from our performance-bike rental fleet are off this chart, and are priced at reasonable market value (usually on par with the completed Ebay auction price). Please note: the spreadsheet we use for bike pricing may have changed slightly since this was published.
feel free to ask us how any bike we have is valued, and
why -- we want to help you get the most useful and economical bike for
Kids' bikes (up to 24" wheels) start at $30
Adult bikes start at $50
Add $25 for each feature:
Shimano 3 speed hub
European bottom bracket
Cotterless 3-piece cranks
Standard-size (110 or 130 mm BCD) bolted chainrings
Aluminum rims (each)
Quality (if vintage) Schwinn, Raleigh Sports, or similar
Aluminum rear rack (existing)
Plastic fenders (existing)
Working generator lights (existing)
Very-good condition paint
Subtract $25 for:
Ugly paint or chrome
Cosmetic frame or rim dents
non-standard (usually French) parts
Add $35 for high-end features like:
All CroMo tubing
Aero brake levers
8 or 9-speed cassette cogs
Additional charges for special features, such as:
Sturmey archer 3 speed; or Bendix 2-speed hub +$50
High-end components in top condition (105 or better derailers, etc.) +$25 to $100
Quality aluminum frame +$25 to $100
Carbon frame +$200 to $400
Inch-pitch cruiser drivetrain +$50
Accessories (existing) -- add $10 for:
Good-condition steel fenders
Steel wire basket; Pletscher or steel rack
Cruiser gas tanks, battery lights
Existing accessories, like kickstands, toe clips, bottle-cages, mirrors, bar-ends, etc. are free; or $5 if they need to be installed
New lights purchased with the bike are installed free
$10 labor to install new rack or fenders purchased with the bike or to swap tires.
All bikes include:
Front, rear, and wheel reflectors; those over $100 include new cloth rim tape, and handlebar tape or grips.
All bikes will have sound, used -- or new -- tires and rim-strips; cables and brake pads; chain and gears; and include service and education (outlined above) to ensure they will provide maximum utility.
Here are some examples (not real bikes!) to illustrate how our bikes are priced:
American cruiser (not fancy, just safe and reliable): $50
"Loaded" pre-war Schwinn cruiser (inch-pitch drivetrain, nice fenders, rack, basket, gas tank, springer fork): $200
Huffy 3-speed with nice fenders: $85
Raleigh Sport 3-speed, top condition; with aluminum front wheel for good braking: $220
Department-store mountain bike with steel rims and ugly paint: $50
Chromoly MTB with rigid fork, smooth tires, and quality rack and
fenders; lights installed (ready for year-round commuting): $340
Older French road bike with cottered-cranks: $75
Double-butted chromoly road bike with aero levers and high-end parts: $375
If you have further questions about buying a bike from OCBC, please email Info@OhioCityCycles.org. Sorry, but we can't answer questions about specific bikes we have in stock, as that can change at any time.
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