25-year old Portland resident Tom Daly has worked at several local bike shops and has seen many used bikes in his day. Now that he’s opened his own repair shop, he’s decided to put that experience to use with a unique new service. For a $15 fee, Daly will ride-along with you on used bike purchases to make sure you’re getting the right bike at the right price.
Here’s how it works:
If you’re considering a used bike on Craigslist, but want an expert opinion to make sure it’s legit (as in, not stolen) and worth the money, Mr. Daly will accompany you to check it out. With a frame gauge in hand he’ll make sure the frame is straight and solid, check the forks and all the components, and make sure the bike fits you.
If you buy the bike and choose to have Daly do a tune-up, he’ll apply the $15 ride-along fee to your repair bill.
Daly says the inspiration for his ride-along service came after a realization that “there are a lot of fairly scandalous bikes that pop up on Craigslist.” Daly has bought so many bikes off the popular online classified site that he also knows how to spot someone trying to sell stolen goods. “I know many of the faces of people that sell stolen bikes [on Craigslist] and I know their vibe.”
“There are a lot of fairly scandalous bikes that pop up on Craigslist.”
— Tom Daly, owner of WTF Bikes
Daly says buying a lemon can happen to anyone. “If you’re not a mechanic, you get the bike home and you might notice there’s a crack in the dropout or the derailleur is bent. Or, maybe the guy didn’t set up the drivetrain right and the chain is coming off. You might think the bike’s broken but in reality it’s just a tiny adjustment.”
In the end, it’s all about peace of mind says Daly. “At least you’ll know the bike isn’t broken and you won’t have to worry about getting something that’s completely horrible and ill-fitting for you.”
Last week, Daly helped one of his first customers buy a bike out in Beaverton. “It turned out to be a great little Nishiki. The guy was stoked.”
Thanks to Joe Bike for the heads up on this story.