Purchasing a used bike can be an easy way to save money when shopping for a bike as you can avoid the initial depreciation that comes with purchasing a new bike. However buying used has some risk to it, whether it is shady sellers or hidden damage you may have buyers regret post purchase. Trek’s new Red Barn Refresh program is one of the first factory certified preowned bike programs that seeks to eliminate the risk of used bikes and ensures used bikes find new owners to enjoy them. Each bike is “certified awesome” with a full 151-point inspection, servicing and cleaning by a Trek technician at Trek’s facilities. Once each bike has been processed, they are professionally photographed and listed on Trek’s website where they can be directly purchased and come with a full Trek factory warranty for peace of mind.

The Red Barn Refresh program features a wide variety of bikes from top-of-the-line road bikes to commuter bikes. Most of the bikes available through the program come from Trek’s demo and marketing bikes as well as Trek’s trade in program. Currently the program accepts Trek bikes 10 years old or newer with a value greater than $150 based on the Bicycle Blue Book Value Guide. Vintage Trek bikes are also accepted on a case-by-case basis which means you may come across a future classic on the listing as well. The used bikes are only available through the Trek website and are shipped directly to your door tuned nearly fully assembled with custom packaging and instructions.


One of the key parts of the Red Barn Refresh program is the direct-to-consumer bike sale model. Rather than buying a bike from a local Trek retailer, the bikes are purchased online and shipped directly to your door. The bikes are shipped in special Red Barn Refresh bike boxes that are designed to simplify assembly and unboxing process. Visually, the boxes are slightly wider than traditional bike boxes with Trek branding and a fun “RIDE BIKES, HAVE FUN, FEEL GOOD” quote printed on the backside. What makes the Red Barn bikes special is how the bike is secured to it and how the box opens up. 

Instead of opening the sides of the box and then struggling to slide the bike out of the box, the entire front panel of the Red Barn Refresh box flips open to reveal the bike and provide a working surface. The surface of the box is labeled “build your bike on this cardboard rug” with additional graphics along the inside of the box. It’s a simple but very nice touch that lets you access the bike and assemble it without scratching it on the ground. The other key detail is that the bike is carefully packed with cardboard separators and Velcro straps. That eliminates the typical plastic zip ties which can be difficult to cut without scratching the bike paint. Trek also includes assembly grease, a set of instructions and a 5 Nm torque allen key. 

Trek Red Barn Refresh Preowned Bike Program Cyclist Guide - Bike Assembly
Clever touches like the “cardboard rug” and use of Velcro straps make it fast an easy to assemble the bike.

The instructions aren’t bike specific though and instead have easy to understand graphics to cover the typical tasks. There may be extra parts or details that differ compared to the instructions, so you’ll need to carefully look over everything. For example, the Emonda SLR 7 we received had an additional cover for the integrated handlebar that was in a separate envelope with writing on the outside. Also, depending on your bike you may also need a torque wrench (i.e. something like the Topeak Torq Pro Stick) with a higher torque rating than the provided tool for tightening the seat post or other components to the factory specifications. Putting the bike together is an easy process though and only takes about 20 minutes as all the packaging is easy to remove  and nearly everything is pre assembled and the bike is tuned up from the factory.


As a part of the direct-to-consumer model of the Red Barn Refresh Program, the used bikes are all only available on Trek’s website. The bikes are listed under the “Pre-owned” tab on the top navigation bar and broken down into the main bike categories of road bikes, mountain bikes, city bikes, e-bikes and even kids bikes. Once you select a bike category you’ll find a full listing of all the bikes currently available. Unlike your normal Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace posting with long distance night time photos, each bike has professional photos from every angle and close ups of any wear and tear. Trek even adds mechanic notes to each listing with details for the bike with what is included and notable damage.

Trek Red Barn Refresh Preowned Bike Program Cyclist Guide - Fun Packaging
Big and bold graphics set the bike box apart from standard shipping boxes.

At this time, the Red Barn Refresh program is still quite new so most of the bike listings are nearly new demo or marketing bikes. As more bikes are traded in you should see more variety become available. In terms of pricing, each bike has the used price and original retail price listed next to it. Some of the bikes carry nearly 50% off the original prices while the average discount seems to be around 30%. It’s a great way to save some money when buying a bike and put the savings toward accessories or event entry fees. Although Trek has done a nice job with the bike listings, you’ll find yourself scrolling through pages as the page filters are pretty basic. The size filter is limited to size ranges (i.e. XL / S / M / L and corresponding cm size groupings) with no available filter based on bike model.

Trek Red Barn Refresh Preowned Bike Program Cyclist Guide - Unique Box
Trek has developed a unique box design with a folding front that lets you easily access the bike and all the parts.

Once you’ve found your bike you simply add it to your cart. After that point it’s just like purchasing any other Trek accessory as you input your information to complete the transaction. All the bikes ship directly from Trek’s facilities which means you can’t test ride the bike or see it in person without first buying it. Thankfully, Trek offers a 30 day satisfaction guarantee which lets you return the bike at no cost as long as it’s still in new condition with the original packaging. While it would still be nice to be able to window shop the used bikes at local retail stores, the direct-to-consumer approach and refund policy make the entire process risk free.


Overall, we found the Trek Red Barn Refresh program to be a well thought out and simplified way to purchase a used bike. Not only does the preowned bike program let you save a significant amount of the original retail price of a bike but you also have the peace of mind of a full warranty. Trek does a full inspection and overhaul of every bike to ensure it’s ready for a new owner to enjoy without having to worry about overdue maintenance or hidden damage that can occur with typical used bikes. Each bike also has professional photos and a clever Red Barn Refresh specific packaging that ensures you know exactly what you’re buying and make it easy to assemble it. 

The Emonda SLR SL7 we chose through the program arrived in like-new condition with no brake rub and smooth shifting right out of the box. Trek even includes charging cables and other key accessories with the bikes which ensures you have everything you need to enjoy the bike. The only downsides to the program is that you can’t view the bikes in person before purchasing, although there is a free 30 day return policy, and that the listing pages lack basic filter options such as bike model. Also note that the optional trade-in portion uses the Bicycle Blue Book assessment value which can be quite low. That said, if you’re in the market for a new bike and want to save a bit of money without giving up a factory warranty then you should definitely check out Trek’s Red Barn Refresh program.

Disclaimer: The products for this guide were provided by Trek. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.

Leave a Reply