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Buying Used Bikes in Amsterdam: How, Where and What to Watch Out for

Wondering where to get second hand bikes in Amsterdam? How about what to watch out for? Get the know-how here.

There are a ton of options for buying second hand bikes in Amsterdam but there are a few things you absolutely need to know such as avoiding getting previously stolen bikes (it happens) or simply just knowing where to get them.

With so many used bikes in Amsterdam, buying a brand new one is not necessary, especially if you’re looking for cheap bikes. Follow my personal tips for buying bikes in Amsterdam!

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BUYING USED BIKES ONLINE IN AMSTERDAM

Buying a used bike in the 1000+ second hand shops in Amsterdam can be more expensive than you’d like.

If you need to be extra budget savvy, you can buy cheap bikes in Amsterdam online.

There are several places online that you can get a second hand bike in Amsterdam.

If you are a tourist buying a bike in Amsterdam for the week because it’s cheaper than renting one, resell it or give it to someone (like me?). DO NOT ditch your bike around the city. We have enough bikes taking up the city’s space.

Pro Tip: Surprisingly, bike locks should be about 30-50% of the cost of your bike because bike theft is so common here. Get a solid back lock and chain.

Facebook Groups

There are various Facebook groups where people sell second hand bikes in Amsterdam.

People tend to jump on great deals for cheap bikes so keep your notifications on for every post!

Online Marketplaces

People also sell second hand bikes on online marketplaces.

  • Marktplaats – the Dutch version of Craigslist
  • Craigslist – an online marketplace commonly used in the United States

HOW TO AVOID BUYING STOLEN BIKES

When you buy a second hand bike online, there is a risk that it was stolen. Since bike theft is a common issue in Amsterdam, it’s always a good idea to be aware of what you’re buying.

If you are caught riding a stolen bike, you can be arrested for possession of stolen goods even though you didn’t steal it yourself!

There is a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment or at the least a €400 fine

To be real, no one is going to pull you over and check if your bike is stolen, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

One way to check if your bike has been stolen is to check the bike frame number. The number can be found under the bike, or around the seat, or around the front handle bars or by the peddle.

Input this number into the national stolen bike registry before you pay for the bike.

If you’re living in Amsterdam and your bike is stolen, you can also register it stolen in the registry!


GETTING A USED BICYCLE AT A SECOND HAND SHOP IN AMSTERDAM

If you’re buying a used bicycle in Amsterdam at a store, don’t just pop into the first shop you see to buy a bike.

Go online, look up bike shops, and check to see if they have any reviews.

This is important because buying a used bike from a store vs. online means that you’ll be paying a premium. This premium includes:

  • The maintenance work done on the bike
  • and any warranties included with the bike.

You’ll want to find a bike shop that has good reviews stating that they fixed the bike up nicely and that they included a standard three month warranty for the bike that they actually honor.

Best Second Hand Bike Shops in Amsterdam

So you’re aware, bike rental shops such as Rent a Bike in Dam Square also sell second hand bikes so don’t exclude bike rental shops from your search!

Bikes from rental shops are great because if it’s a good rental shops such as Rent a Bike, you know the bike has been continually maintained throughout its life.

I also recommend Otto Bikes on Overtoom where Mike, my husband, got his third (one was stolen and another broke down beyond repair; third time’s a charm).


BUYING USED BIKES AT AMSTERDAM MARKETS

You can also buy second hand bikes at markets in Amsterdam. They won’t always have better choices or prices than used bicycle stores, but still worth checking out. Here are a couple:

Albert CuypmarktAlbert Cuypstraat/Ferdinand Bolstraat

  • Amsterdam’s largest market also has food, produce, herbs and spices, used and new furniture, clothing, and general goods.
  • Hours: Monday – Saturday 9.00 am – 5.00 pm

Waterlooplein Flea MarketWaterlooplein, 1011 PG

  • There are 4 used bike shops spread around the market.
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 9.00 am – 5.30 pm; Saturday: 8.30 am –5.30 pm.

BEST LOCKS FOR YOUR USED BIKE

Once you buy your “new” bike, make sure to get two heavy-duty chain locks for it or a chain lock and a back lock.

As a tip from Karen, an expat here, buy a lock worth about 30-50% of your bike.

If you have a cheap bike in Amsterdam, buying an expensive lock might seem counterintuitive, but locks are worth the investment here since bike theft is common.

Here are some highly recommended bike locks:

back lock for your used bike in amsterdam
good lock for second hand bikes in amsterdam

Note: Even though these are great locks, they do not guarantee your bikes from not being stolen.

Demonstration of Two Bike Locks on a Used Bike

Bikes in Amsterdam always have two locks.

There’s one that goes on the back tire (see the black circle on the back tire underneath the seat).

This is very convenient to have when you are running into a store to buy something, but don’t need to lock your bike up fully.

There’s also a chain lock for your frame.


I hope this helps you get familiar with the second hand bike market in Amsterdam.

Comment below where you end up getting a used bike from or if you have any tips that others can use for buying their bike!

Thanks! ~Sarah


Want more Dutch expat tips?

Follow @imadamexpat on TikTok, ask @sarchetrit on Instagram, or read related this guide to living in Amsterdam

Related Amsterdam Posts: Tourist Tips & Restaurant Recommendation


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Bikes in Amsterdam

du du thai lan

Friday 5th of February 2021

du du thai lan

blog topic

Satish Waghmare

Friday 27th of September 2019

Thanks for sharing tips about second hand bike. I am came to Amsterdam 3 days back and today in few hours I am about to buy second hand bike. Now, I will check with seller both chain lock and back lock..

Thanks you very much and Keep up the good work.

Eastman Global

Thursday 23rd of November 2017

Great tips for buying used bicycle...I like Your article because it gives me very useful,helpful and great information about used bicycles. Thanks for sharing.

Jack R

Sunday 29th of October 2017

Hey Sarah I like your article very much. Amsterdam bike one of the best bikes for me. I personally like it very much.

Thanks

Karen

Wednesday 5th of October 2016

Good tips, however the biggest part of having/buying a bike here in Amsterdam is NOT getting it stolen. I do not recommend the chains from HEMA as someone who has gotten their bike stolen WITH a HEMA chain. Similarly, you should be getting one wheel lock and one chain lock as they require a different toolkit, preferably from different brands. My rule as told to me by a Dutch friend: Have a chain worth about 30-50% of your bike or if you have a cheap bike, have an expensive chain. I was recommended Viro by a friend and it's worked well enough so far. The reality is that you need to protect your bike, no matter how crappy it is, and it's best to buy a crap bike. ;)

Natalie

Wednesday 25th of January 2017

That is so interesting....buy an inexpensive bike and an expensive lock. We don't bike much in the US overall other than for fun and then you usually just bike around and go home - no need to worry about locking a bicycle up somewhere. We don't even own bicycle locks because we never leave them anywhere!

Sarah

Wednesday 5th of October 2016

Great advice. Thanks!

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