Harvest Century September 22nd

Portlander offers ride-alongs for Craigslist purchases

Posted by on December 2nd, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Ted Daly-1

Tom Daly wants to help with
your used bike purchase.
(Photo © J. Maus)

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.

Story continues below

advertisement

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.”

You can contact Tom Daly at wtfbikes(at)gmail(dot)com. His website at WTFBikes.net (for Well Tuned Fast Bikes) will be up and running in a few days. Stay tuned to his Twitter feed for updates.

Thanks to Joe Bike for the heads up on this story.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

29 Comments
  • Avatar
    joe December 2, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    that’s a great idea

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Miguelaron December 2, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    tom’s awesome.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    John Lascurettes December 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    This is the coolest new service idea I’ve seen in a while. I hope it works out for him, I’d love to see him succeed at it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Anonymous December 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    awesome!!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Gene December 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    I will be taking Tom up on this offer. I am new to biking, recently stopped by Bike Gallery in Beaverton to find my size. I would LOVE to have someone knowledgeable come along for a second opinion. Thanks for offering this service. When the time comes, I will be calling you.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    cold worker December 2, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    i’ve been told i need to do this for the last year and a half or so. you snooze you lose. damn.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Mikey Mike December 2, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Tom, Id like to fly you out to Fort Lauderdale to check out a bike for me

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    ScottG December 2, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    What a great way to help people get set up with used bikes without the risk. Kudos for coming up with this idea!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    D.R. Miller December 2, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    definitely worth more than 15 bucks, hopefully he is happy to accept gratuities.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Bill Stites December 2, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Tom through his work at the JoeBike shop on Hawthorne. His enthusiasm and creativity is undoubtedly a seed that will sprout many new ideas.

    Allowing us our own personal interpretation of your acronym is a nice little marketing touch. You will always be known as WTF bikes to me.

    Good luck Tom!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Todd Boulanger December 2, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    That is a very affordable deal (too affordable I fear), unless there was such a resource in each neighborhood. The travel time and initial contacting eats up a lot of this metered time.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Todd Boulanger December 2, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Actually something fairer would be $15 for bikes under $100 and then plus 10% for value above the initial $100.

    Another variant of this model would be for sellers to have the basic quality of a bike checked and ‘certified’ beforehand. Something like paying for ‘points’ in the real estate sales gig.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    West Cougar December 2, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    So if it’s $15 for a basic inspection, how much to play “bad-cop” to help haggle the seller down?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Stace December 2, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    awesome idea.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Tom Ddayaly December 2, 2009 at 8:24 pm

    Wow! Thanks for all the positive feedback! Today has been a great day for me.

    Todd-Your proposed system is exactly what I was thinking of before I decided on a flat rate. Right now I have a lot of free time and I’m just stoked to be getting my name out there. More than likely, I’ll have to raise the price eventually but better to keep it cheap while i can!

    West Cougar-In the name of fostering good business relationships, I will leave all the haggling to you. I’ll totally tell you in private what I think you should pay, though! That will give you more leverage in your eventual purchase.

    Thanks again, BikePortlanders!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    April December 2, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    I’ve wondered before why nobody does this, especially as all three of my bikes were originally purchased off craigslist.

    It’s a fabulous idea!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    k. December 3, 2009 at 8:26 am

    a sorely needed service. The prices on many of the bikes listed on CL ARE scandalous.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    AaronF December 3, 2009 at 8:31 am

    Great idea.

    I’d strongly consider this service if I didn’t already have a bike. I hope you get your name out thee and make a bunch of money! 🙂

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    spare_wheel December 3, 2009 at 8:47 am

    “The prices on many of the bikes listed on CL ARE scandalous.”

    Seriously. I’ve seen bikes for sale at prices higher than retail.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    sam December 3, 2009 at 9:46 am

    Seriously, that’s a bargain. I almost want to buy a bike I don’t need just for the ride-along expert experience.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    fredlf December 3, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Tom could expand this (very cool) business model by offering a “virtual” inspection on ebay auction bikes too.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Antload December 3, 2009 at 11:00 am

    You go Tom!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Jedi December 3, 2009 at 11:18 am

    I’ll do this too. Sounds like a good Idea, I’m stealing it!!! HAHA

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Tom Daly December 3, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Hey ya’ll, the website is up and running again.

    Thanks again for the overflow of positivity, I just can’t get enough!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    buglas December 3, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    This could also be a service that a seller could use if they’re the sort that would feel bad about selling something that turned out to be a lemon – “certified used bikes”. Also might be good for setting a reasonable selling price.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    ME 2 December 3, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Great idea. I’ve had mixed success using CL looking for bikes. It can get pretty absurd. I remember going there repeatedly for several months looking for a used mountain bike and every time I found people trying to sell 5-10 year old bikes at prices comparable to new bikes. It’s a huge issue considering the advances in design, components and the decline in the costs. Many CL bike sellers seem to think there is a sucker born every minute. Those top of the line shimano shifters or rock shox do not retain their value 10 years later.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Natty December 4, 2009 at 9:48 am

    “Well Tuned, Fast” Bikes

    Cute … I used a different “WTF” expression this morning when I looked out the window and realised today was the day the studded tyres would be mounted.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Chris December 4, 2009 at 10:21 am

    How does he verfey if they are legit(as in not stolen)?

    And to the #5 poster, if you don’t think the bike shop you are in can size a bike for you, find a new shop!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • […] Tom Daly, the guy who offers bike-alongs to make sure you get the right used bike off Craigslist? He was all set to open his new shop, WTF […]

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar