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In this Article

The Differences Between a Used Bike and a Certified Pre-Owned Bike

In this Article

Published on November 16, 2023

In a nutshell, the main difference between a used bike and a Certified Pre-Owned bike is that the former is an aging bicycle, while the latter is a bike experiencing a second youth. Of course, a Certified Pre-Owned bike is still a used bike. Simply put, it has been meticulously examined by experienced mechanics to enable you to buy your bike with confidence. But if we delve into the details, what are the differences between a Certified Pre-Owned bike and a used bike? What are the advantages and disadvantages? We explain!

Find your Certified Pre-Owned bike

The differences between a Certified Pre-Owned bike and a used bike

Economical and ecological, riding a bike is trending, and that's great! But to truly embrace the environmental approach, it's preferable to turn to second-hand options. And for that, there is much more than Facebook or your local bike exchange hub. Certified Pre-Owned is a safer option and increasingly popular. Let's zoom in on the differences between used and Certified Pre-Owned.

Transparency about the bike's condition

When buying from a classifieds site, you're never 100% sure about the real condition of the bike. It might look beautiful and be thoroughly cleaned, but that doesn't mean it's in good condition.

A crack in the carbon frame concealed by a spray, a mechanic piece nearing the end of its life, play, noise... Many defects can be discovered in the days following the purchase. Trying to arrange a new meeting with the seller to demand a refund often proves futile.

On the other hand, when purchasing a Certified Pre-Owned bike, any potential aesthetic defects are clearly stated. No nasty surprises! You're informed about a scratch on the seatstays, a non-serious impact on the down tube, etc.

Why are we only talking to you about aesthetic defects? Because by choosing a Certified Pre-Owned bike from The Cyclist House, material problems are corrected by our fantastic mechanics! 🔧

They repair, adjust, and replace anything that is deficient to guarantee you a secure purchase.


Advantage to the used bike... Naturally, by opting for a bike that doesn't offer a warranty, you pay a bit less. The price difference between a used bike and a revised used bike is, in a way, the risk you take.

It's a gamble. It would be wrong to say that all used bikes are defective. Many great deals can be found on peer-to-peer platforms. But there's a risk that this might not be the case. You can't rely on a mechanic's word during your purchase. The price difference is there, plain and simple.

After-Sales Service (SAV)

Let's consider the scenarios.

With a used bike, you try (in the best case) the used mountain bike or road bike. If it suits you, you pay, then load it into your car trunk. From that moment on, you'll never hear from the seller again.

By choosing a road bike, a gravel bike, or a Certified Pre-Owned mountain bike with us, you have a month to return the bike if it doesn't suit you. You also get a one-year warranty!

And that's not all; we commit to offering you a buyback offer during the year following your purchase if you eventually want to resell your bike.

Advantages of Certified Pre-Owned bikes compared to used ones between individuals

Certified Pre-Owned bike vs used bike: advantages and disadvantages

Used bikes: pros and cons

The main advantage of used bikes, as we've already mentioned, is the price. By accepting some risk, you save money. Often, it's even possible to negotiate a little more at the time of purchase.

Another advantage is the choice. The offer on classifieds sites is plentiful. Hundreds of bikes are put up for sale every day. As a result, you always end up finding one to your liking.

The major disadvantage is that you can never buy with complete peace of mind. Used bikes are said to be sold "as is," which doesn't mean much in essence.

Unlike cars, there's no mandatory technical inspection for bikes. Hence, it's impossible to rely on a reliable diagnosis at the time of purchase... 🤔

Certified Pre-Owned: strengths and weakness

You've understood it; the strengths of one are the weaknesses of the other. The downside of a Certified Pre-Owned bike is the slightly higher price, a guarantee of safety. You'll also have to be content with a more limited offer as it depends on our stocks (and we're very demanding!).

On the flip side, the bike is guaranteed and in perfect condition. To go even further in transparency, we assign it a score out of 10. On what criteria? We'll explain right away! 👇

Certified Pre-Owned Bike: The Expertise of The Cyclist House

Professional Bike Inspection

To ensure the condition of our bikes, we have established a rigorous inspection and reconditioning process.


When approached by someone looking to sell their bike, we ask for details (general condition, age, brand...) and photos. This allows us to ensure that the used bike can become a quality Certified Pre-Owned bike.


When the bike arrives at our workshop, it undergoes a thorough inspection by our team of qualified mechanics.

The inspection includes a (very!) comprehensive examination:

  • Frame
  • Stem
  • Handlebar
  • Brake fluid
  • Fork
  • Bottom bracket and crankset
  • Derailleurs
  • Seatpost
  • Rear suspension
  • Chainrings
  • Tires
  • Handlebar grips
  • Derailleur hanger
  • Cranks
  • Brake and transmission levers
  • Saddle
  • Wheel hubs
  • Bottom bracket screws
  • Brake calipers
  • Brake and transmission cables/housings
  • Rims and spokes
  • Cassette
  • Brake pads
  • Chain

Of course, we adapt the inspection procedure based on the type of bike (no need to check the suspensions of a road bike, for example… 😊).

For Certified Pre-Owned electric bikes, we perform a detailed check of the electrical components (motor and battery).


Used bike Certified Pre-Owned by a professional mechanic

Only bikes meeting our very strict criteria reach this stage.

Mechanics spend time on each model to address mechanical defects, repair any material issues, and replace necessary parts.

More specifically, their intervention includes the following steps:

  • Thorough cleaning and lubrication
  • Wheel truing and tension check
  • Lubrication or replacement of cables and housings
  • Adjustment of the derailleur hanger
  • Front derailleur adjustment
  • Rear derailleur adjustment
  • Brake adjustment or bleeding
  • Maintenance or replacement of damaged parts

By following this rigorous process, The Cyclist House ensures that its Certified Pre-Owned used bikes are in excellent condition and ready to ride as soon as you receive them!

Rating of the Revised Used Bike

Based on the overall condition, any improvements made by the previous owner, and the replaced parts, our expert mechanics assign a rating (out of 10). A graph (found on each product page) further details this rating on specific points: steering/transmission/frame/suspension/wheels/tires. Each of these points is also rated out of 10.

In addition to all this information, real photos of any defects are added to the general photos, ensuring a transparent purchase.

As you can see, at The Cyclist House, we take this seriously!

Score 10/10: Like New

These bikes are in absolutely perfect condition or are new (it happens, and we still sell them at a lower price!). What more can we say?

Score 9/10: Excellent

Although they have been ridden, bikes with a score of 9/10 are in excellent condition.

As they are not new, some signs of wear such as scratches or small marks may be visible, but the overall functioning is impeccable. Defects are purely aesthetic.

Score 8/10: Very Good Condition

These bikes show visible signs of wear on the components. These damages are due to normal use. However, fully revised by our experts, these bikes are in very good working condition.

Score 7/10: Good Condition

These bikes clearly had a life before reaching you. Paint chips or very light dents may be visible, but nothing that structurally compromises the bike's good condition.

Our mechanics' intervention turns these second-hand machines into excellent Certified Pre-Owned bikes.

... And After?

You won't find a bike with a lower score!

If the bike doesn't meet our standards during the inspection (significant dents, structural carbon damage, excessive wear), it doesn't make it into our inventory. We want to ensure you have an optimal experience with your Certified Pre-Owned bike.

💡 Need advice for buying your Certified Pre-Owned road bike? We have a guide for that!

Certified Pre-Owned bikes and used bikes have in common that they are second-hand models. The big difference is that the Certified Pre-Owned bike has been inspected and brought up to standard by a professional. It is therefore in much better condition, and that is well worth its slightly higher price.

Gravel, MTB, electric bike, road bike... We have plenty of certified pre-owned bikes in great shape looking for a new owner. Adopt one! 😉

Brand bikes Certified Pre-Owned by The Cyclist House

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