One of the questions we get asked all the time here at BikeTips is: “What’s my bike worth?”
Although it’s easy to get attached to bikes, there are always others you will want to ride and own. Eventually, there’s going to be a time when you are going to need to sell a bike to either make funds for another or even to make more space at home!
Understanding how to value a bike is an essential step in selling one – and in buying a new one.
Many cyclists struggle to find the correct value of their bikes when it comes to making a sale. The balance between selling a bike quickly and getting the right money for it can be very challenging.
In this article, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know to value your bike, covering:
- What Factors Affect How Quickly A Bike Devalues?
- How To Value A Bike: 3 Essential Methods
- Robbie’s 4 Top Tips For Selling A Bike
- Robbie’s Video Guide: What’s My Bike Worth?
Let’s get to grips with the question every cyclist needs answered at some point: What’s my bike worth!
What Factors Affect How Quickly A Bike Devalues?
Before we start speaking about how you are going to value your bike, it’s important to understand why and how bikes devalue. Here’s what heavily affects how quickly a bike will devalue.
#1. New Vs Used Bikes
When you leave the bike shop after buying a new bike, it devalues.
You can expect to lose 20% to 30% before even riding a new bike once it’s been bought. It’s similar to a car in that as soon as you have driven it off the forecourt new, it devalues to secondhand buyers.
New bikes are inherently more expensive.
#2. How Old Is The Bike?
The age of the bike also makes a big difference. As the bike ages each year, you can likely lose roughly 10% at a time.
That being said, the older the bike gets, the less it devalues each year, before eventually reaching a flat value.
As a very rough guide, it might be reasonable to estimate that a bike loses 10% or so in value for each of the first 10 years, then 5% or less for the next 10-15 years, before more or less evening out.
As a rough example, the below table shows this depreciation modeled over 20 years for a brand-new bike bought for $3000.
|Year||Depreciation||New Rough Value|
|1||20% (New to Used)||$2400|
Of course, this rough model can be affected by a vast range of factors – most importantly how well the bike is maintained and how much wear and tear it suffers.
Different cyclists may also have different opinions on how much depreciation they attach to age, but in our opinion, this is a decent start point to work from.
It’s also important to remember the depreciation each year is calculated as a percentage of the current value of the bike, not the original value.
#3. What Brand Is The Bike?
Then we have the brand.
There’s no denying that the better the brand, the more value the bike holds over time. When cyclists look at secondhand bikes, they see big brand names and know they have the quality to last.
For high-end, classic models from the best vintage bike brands, some bikes may even increase in price over time as they become increasingly collectible – but it should be noted this is rarely the case, and more often for older steel-framed bikes than modern classics.
#4. What Condition is the bike in?
Another important factor is the condition of the bike.
A well-looked-after bike will fetch much more than a neglected bike. When cyclists start to see things wrong with a bike, they always get put off parting with money as they will have to spend more later.
It’s also reasonable for a buyer to assume that, if one part of the bike is severely worn or damaged, other parts likely will be too.
#5. What Is Current Demand on the Bike Market?
It’s also important to consider the current demand.
In winter, people tend not to buy bikes, and if they do, off-road bikes typically hold more value. In summer, bikes tend to be worth more than winter, and road bikes are more popular. The bike type does matter.
This might not make a huge difference (perhaps only 5-10% or so), but it’s worth considering if you want to get the absolute best price when selling your bike or to snag a bargain.
How To Value A Bike: 3 Essential Methods
The biggest challenge for many people when it comes to selling a bike is finding the right value.
You don’t want to advertise it too cheap and also don’t want it to be too expensive, either ripping someone off or failing to sell for months on end.
Here are our three tried and tested methods for working out a used bike’s value:
Method #1. Historic Market Value
The first method is to understand the historical market value and what your bike is currently selling for.
To gauge this, I like to use the excellent platform of eBay. This selling site is great for finding a bargain and has some great tools for valuing.
Head to the site, and in the search bar, pop in the brand and model of your bike. Here you will see a list of all the bikes that are currently for sale. We’re not particularly interested in these, though, as many could be overpriced.
Head to the filters tab, and then scroll down to completed listings. Here, click “Sold Items”. The page will refresh, and it will give you a list of all the sold bikes that fit your brand and model.
You will have to look through them and find bikes that look the same as yours and match the specifications on parts (groupset, wheels, etc). Make a note of around five bikes and take the average price to be the rough value of your bike.
Method #2. Personal Estimate
Next, we have a personal estimate.
This is where we take all the factors that affect the deprecation and apply them to the bike to understand its value. Here’s how I do this by applying these factors to the bike. Some will decrease value; others will increase it.
- New To Used: Take away -20% of the value instantly if you bought new.
- Age: See the table above.
- Condition: If the bike is in poor condition then take away another 10-25%, depending on the severity. If serious damage has occurred, you may need to deduct significantly more than that.
- Condition: If the bike is in excellent condition we recommend adding 10% or so.
- Recent Full Service: If the bike has recently had a full service, this can also add around 10%.
- Upgraded Parts: For bikes with upgraded parts, add 50% of the part value.
As an example, this is how I would arrive at a personal valuation of my Lynskey GR270 gravel bike, pictured above.
Here’s how I came to the value of the bike by using these figures:
|Lynskey GR270 (New)||Value Change|
|Original Value (new)||–||$3000|
|New to Used||– 20%|
|Age (3 years)||– 30%|
|Condition (moderately scratched)||– 10%|
|Recent Full Service||+ 10%|
|Upgraded Parts ($500)||+ $250|
|Total||– 50% (+ $250)||New Value: $1750|
I have concluded that my bike is now worth around $1750. I can appreciate that over the 3 years I have owned it, I have lost around $1250 in value.
Method #3. Parts Value
The last method is what I like to call “parts value”.
This is where we break down the main components of the bike for what they would sell for to come to a valuation of what our bike is worth.
Here again, we will use the Lynskey as an example. This is how I would break down this bike’s value depending on the parts. I personally only focus on the larger component sets, rather than each single component.
|Lynskey GR270||Component Value|
|Frame and Forks||$600|
|Groupset (Shimano Ultegra/105)||$400|
|Wheelset (Pre-owned Carbon)||$400|
|Finishing Kit and Accessories||$200|
It’s important to remember these are the prices they sell for on eBay in used condition, rather than their value if bought new.
As you can see, we find a similar value to the second method we used. If your bike is up for sale for a long time, you can break it down to sell for more, but it does take time.
Robbie’s 4 Top Tips For Selling A Bike
When it comes to selling a bike, so many cyclists fall short when advertising it.
You can add so much value to a bike – and inspire confidence in the buyer while helping them quickly assess whether it’s what they’re looking for – by spending a little more time when it comes to telling others about your bike.
Here are our top tips!
#1. Detailed Descriptions
When writing a description, it’s important to be as clear as possible.
Many cyclists will write, “Gravel bike, Shimano components, good condition.” This tells the buyer almost nothing, and honestly puts many people off.
This is a better route to go down:
Robbie’s Improved Description
Welcome to the advert for my Lynskey GR270 gravel bike. It has been a pleasure to own and has taken me on many adventures, including a mixed-terrain ride from London to Paris. I am selling due to getting a new bike and not using it enough to warrant keeping it.
It’s a titanium frame with super lightweight Lynskey carbon forks. It has some scratching on the surface but is structurally sound. It’s got an Ultegra/105 mixed groupset and comes with the Yoeleo carbon gravel wheels. It’s light, fast, and fun.
It’s just been given a full service by myself, an expert bike mechanic. I’m looking for $1600, but I’m open to negotiation. I don’t want to get rid of it, but I would rather someone else enjoy it than it gathering dust. Thanks for taking the time to read my advert.
#2. Share Your Experience
It’s helpful when selling a bike to not only give good detailed information but also tell the story of the experience that you have had with the bike.
When did you buy it? How much have you ridden it? Any adventures to share you used it for?
Buyers love this, and you get more genuine people interested.
#3. Take Great Pictures
One of the best ways to sell a bike is to get a good set of pictures.
Providing plenty of clear, well-lit pictures in a nice location tell the buyer so much about the bike.
Also, make sure the bike is super clean. I rarely entertain adverts with one bad picture of a dirty bike. If you think you’ve got a great bike that’s let down by its appearance, you could even respray the frame to add value!
#4. Be Reasonable
When it comes to selling a bike, it’s important to be reasonable.
Be fair with your pricing, and always understand that in a perfect world you shouldn’t just get a fair deal for yourself, but for them too.
Cycling is a great community, and it’s important that there’s fairness and respect through any sale.
Robbie’s Video Guide: What’s My Bike Worth?
Check out the BikeTips YouTube Channel here for walk-through bike maintenance guides and more!
What’s My Bike Worth? You’re ready to find out!
Over your time as a cyclist, you will own many bikes.
Knowing how to value a bike is a great skill to learn, not just to benefit yourself but other cyclists too.
We hope you enjoyed our article and now know how to value a bike!