Friday, 4 April 2014

How to find bikes on ebay (to convert to fixies or singlespeed bikes)

Fixed wheel and SingleSpeed bikes are more popular now than ever before, and there are a lot of really nice ready-built single cog bikes on the market, but the very coolest fixies are conversions.  The bikes I really love are almost always built onto old steel frames.

So if you want a truly cool fixie or SingleSpeed you need to find a good donor bike, and it's going to need horizontal drops.  There are a number of sources for donor bikes; Gumtree, local small-ads, post office windows, auction houses, fixed gear bike forums, and on and on and on.  If you find a donor bike through any of these sources then well done, but the chances are you're not going to find what you need.  So ebay is the best place to look, but the amount of bicycles for sale on ebay is a quite overwhelming, try searching just for 'bicycle' and you'll see just how unhelpful the results are.  So how do focus your results enough to make them useful?  Well it's actually quite easy.

How to buy bikes on ebay.

This is just my method, and it's a method I developed partly through laziness.  But I often find lazy methods are the most popular with my readers.

1. Log into ebay, and I mean actually log in (assuming you have an account, if not create one as you're going to need it).


2. Click the 'all categories' drop-down box and choose 'Sporting goods' and click the search button.  Ignore the fact you haven't typed anything into the search box yet:


3. On the left hand menu click 'cycling', and then 'bikes':



4. Now comes the clever bit, we need to start a search that excludes every item that isn't of any interest to us, we do this by entering the word we do want (bike) followed by all the words we don't want preceded by a minus sign.  I'll make this bit really easy for you, because I've done the research already, so copy everything in the box below and paste it into the search box:

bike -mountain -jump -dirt -ladies -girls -bmx -folding -touring -wooden -daisy -hybrid -boys -electric -kids -trials -childs -womens -mtb -childrens -shopper -ladys -batmans -trails -trail -trial -toy -girl -hardtail -suspension -puky -cruiser -T120 -comuter -lady's -commuter -kit -exercise -town


5. Put a tick in the 'include description' checkbox and click the 'Search' button:



6. Now put a tick in the 'used' option on that appears on the left hand side of the search results.  You can also refine the search further by choosing other options like size or maximum price.



7. Now here's the lazy bit, you don't have to bother visiting ebay every few hours to run this search, nah, you can get ebay to let you know when suitable new items arrive by clicking the 'follow this search' option at the top of the results.  When you click on it ensure you tick the email option that appears (the image below shows what the box looks like after ticking the email box).



8. Well that's it now, each time a possible suitable fixie SingleSpeed donor bike appears on ebay you'll receive an email to let you know!


Once you've found and bought a bike to base your fixie or SingleSpeed conversion on ebay then here's a great guide for building your bike...