As we come close to the second birthday of COVID-19 closures in North America, it may feel like we are a bit of a broken record here at Slowtwitch when it comes to supply chain issues in our sport. However, as Dan wrote yesterday about Andy Trouard's bike, parts remain extremely difficult to source. If you're looking for new frames, or new parts, you may be searching for quite a while.
There are alternatives, of course. There's our Classifieds forum, which can be a treasure trove of equipment. Speaking personally, I've bought and sold roughly a dozen bikes in my decade here on Slowtwitch. It's a relatively pain-free experience, once you get yourself registered and through the minimum posts requirement before being able to start a buy/sell thread.
Understandably, though, there are many other consumers who would prefer a storefront to do their shopping through. And that's where The Pro's Closet comes in. We've written about The Pro's Closet a few times before -- whether as part of our Budget Challenge Series, or whether it's the expectation when selling to The Pro's Closet. Today, however, we're going to talk about a lesser known secret with The Pro's Closet when you purchase one of their certified pre-owned bikes.
Guaranteed Trade-In Values
When you purchase a certified pre-owned bike from The Pro's Closet, there are a few perks that come along with that purchase. First and foremost, you're getting a bike that's relatively freshly-tuned up. The description will often make mention of a.) exactly what might be wrong with the bike, if there is anything wrong with it (e.g., a paint scuff), and b.) it'll also make note of whatever new parts went onto the bike before it gets shipped to the purchaser. More often than not, you'll see stuff like "new bar tape," or "new Schwalbe tires installed," or more.
You're also getting a bike that is packaged into a box well, and simple to be able to take out of the box and be ready to ride.
Here's my latest purchase from The Pro's Closet (and more on it in a minute), just removed from the box. This took less than 10 minutes to be ready to ride coming out of the box, all while using the included torque wrench set from TPC.
Arguably, though, the most important factor of purchasing from The Pro's Closet are the return policy and the guaranteed trade-in policy. First, let's say you buy a bike and decide after a ride that you're unhappy with it. As long as that's within 30 days of purchase, you're able to send that on back to The Pro's Closet. And they'll help you find another one. (Based on current inventory, that's going to be pretty easy. There are a lotof bikes available.)
And then there's the trade-in policy. For the 12 months after your purchase from The Pro's Closet, if you decide that you want to trade that bike back in, you know exactly how much you'll be receiving for that bike -- whether for cash or for credit with The Pro's Closet. It's as easy as logging into your account, and reviewing your prior purchases to see what your current trade-in value might be.
Shortly after publishing my article about e-bikes, I decided that I needed a different bike in the line-up here at the house. As much as I enjoyed riding the Cannondale in question, it was also the only uni-task bike in my house. That made it expendable as compared to the rest of my bike fleet.
It also, conveniently, had come from The Pro's Closet and had been purchased within the last twelve months. With just a couple of clicks, I then had a return shipping label ready to go and a bike to pack. Within a week, I had my guaranteed trade-in value, which I took as store credit, and immediately went bike shopping.
And lo and behold, there was a bike I had really wanted: the 3T Strada in 1X form. Not only that, it has arguably my favorite drop-bar of the moment on it: Easton's EA70 AX. It's an awful lot like the bars Dan wrote about here, and it's damned near perfect. It also goes with the mullet-style drive train with a 42t chainring paired up with an absurd 50 tooth granny gear out back. I can't wait to bring this outside.
And really, that's what we're looking for when it comes to a new bike: love. The advantage of buying through The Pro's Closet boils down to this: if you don't love it, you can easily swap your purchase for something you will. Given how challenging the bike market is these days, that's a huge win.