Peeps are always asking me where they can buy cheap bikes.
ANSWER: Minneapolis Police Auctions.
About once a month, the Minneapolis Police Department auctions 100 bikes. Because I strive to provide y’all with useful content, I recorded the sale price of all 100 bikes auctioned this afternoon, and created the following histogram (click to enlarge) and descriptive statistics:
Sum = $6,590
Max = $550 (Bianchi Veloce, a rare find….)
Min = $5
Average = $67 ($62, not including the Bianchi, a statistical outlier)
Median = $50
Mode = $30
Nevermind my date error on the histogram, you perfectionists. I transcend time.
So…. these are pretty cheap bikes! All of them are “rideable,” although you should pretty much plan on anything you buy needing a full tune-up, so if you’re going to pay someone to do that, you’ll have to factor that into the cost. Regardless of what you pay at the police auctions, I almost always feel like everyone gets a good deal. If you’re looking for any old bicycle just to ride around town, the police auction is the pace to go – for sure. Mechanically solid bikes (even if they need a little tune-up to reach their full potential) are routinely selling for $30-$70.
Note: The sample size is 98, rather than 100, because I missed one sale price (hey, it was loud in there, ok? gimme a break!) and because one of the auction items was a non-bicycle (it was a razor scooter that sold for $7).