by: Molly Hurford
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, one thing is certain: it’s never been harder to buy a new (or used) bike. With global supply chain problems and shortages, most bike shops are left telling customers that the delivery date for their new bike is months away. But if you need that bike right now – or you’re sitting on an old bike that’s still in decent condition that you keep meaning to sell – Cycling Avenue might just be your new favourite place on the Internet.
We know that buying second-hand can be better for the environment as well as your wallet when it comes to clothing, and bikes are no different. Cycling Avenue buys used bikes and refurbishes them, stripping them down completely and giving them a thorough clean and tune-up. Then, the bikes are certified as Ready-to-Ride before going up for sale on the website, and come with a 30-day trial period after purchase.
While similar brands have been operating in the U.S., Cycling Avenue is the first Canadian company of its kind, which means buying a bike through it won’t cost a fortune in shipping or in taxes and customs fees.
“There really wasn’t anybody in this space offering certified refurbished bikes,” says Alain Bovet, Cycling Avenue’s general manager. “People are used to buying online, sure. But the idea of refurbishing, certifying and tuning up a bike before it’s resold, that’s what you can’t find on eBay or Kijiji.”
Buy a bike on a budget
If you’re simply looking to buy a used bike, you likely have noticed that they’re not too easy to come by these days. Bovet notes that he’s seeing bikes on Kijiji that are three years old selling for more than their original retail price. Because of that situation, Cycling Avenue is a great spot to look when bike shopping. In addition to the guarantee that comes with the bike, plus the tune-up and detailing, you can actually see photos of the bike that’s “on the lot,” rather than a stock image when you’re shopping online. Think of it as buying a certified pre-owned car from a dealership rather than buying a used car off of some guy’s front lawn. The brand recently added an in-house expert who’s available for video consults about picking the best bike for your needs (and helping choose the right size).
Perfect for the “n+1” person who needs to get back to “n”
We all know that the perfect number of bikes to own is one more than you already have. But for those with tiny garages or tight budgets, that’s not always realistic. Cycling Avenue lets sell your bike and buy a new one at the same time. “We remove the obstacle of, ‘Hey, I want a new bike, but I have a bike already so what do I do with it?’” Bovet says. “Then we can make that bike available to somebody that doesn’t want to buy a new bike, who maybe doesn’t have $5,000 for a 2021 bike, but now, can afford the 2018 used model that’s in great condition.”
If you’re a “new year, new gear” person, you can actually drop off your old bike at one of the shops that works with Cycling Avenue – there are 60 in Canada now and the number grows each month – and put the credit from the old bike toward a new model from the shop floor. For example, you could drop off a 2018 Trek to your local Specialized retailer, and leave with a 2021 model, with the credit from the sale of your old bike going toward the purchase of the new one. Not only do you avoid a bike pileup in the garage, you’re using your old bike to fund your shiny new rig.
Could you make more selling your bike on Kijiji? Potentially, yes. But you also have to deal with answering questions (“Would you take $20 for this $2,000 bike?”), meet people to complete the transaction and potentially have the buyer come back to you if he decides he doesn’t want the bike after all, or notices a problem. Send it to Cycling Avenue, and your job is done – and you’re off the hook for any followups.
The site is expanding every month, with new bikes and also with new offerings. Currently, Cycling Avenue offers frames, wheels and bike parts in addition to full bikes, plus a small range of accessories, such as GPS mounts, cages and bottles. The brand is growing rapidly: expect to see shoes, kits, accessories, pumps, seat bags, and even (new) helmets available soon.
Brought to you by Cycling Avenue