Where to begin?!
Fixed or Swivel Front Wheel - Personally, the first thing I look at is whether the stroller has a fixed or swivel front wheel! While a fixed front wheel might be a “true” running stroller, when do you ever just get to run straight?! Therefore, since you WILL have to turn at some point, with a fixed front wheel, you will have to apply downward pressure, to lift the front wheel up, turn, and then let the front wheel back down… all that is extra WORK! A fixed front wheel will work, but if a front swivel wheel is an option – that is what I would choose, hands down! *Note – a swivel wheel can be locked into the fixed wheel position if needed*
Wheels & Tires – With regard to the wheels, the BIGGER the BACK wheels, the more easily they will go over rocks and curbs and the like… I would choose a wheel with a larger diameter for this reason, but a smaller wheel, would still work too.
Are the wheels bent in any way? Do the wheels attach securely to the frame or is there a bit of space allowing the stroller to wobble, even ever so slightly, when you run? Some wobble may be doable, but too much space can cause for some very unsafe running! Be sure to take it for a test run, with kids/weight of a heavy bag in it to find out. The front wheel of a used running stroller usually has the most wobble, if any, but pay close attention to all three.
Tires - How is the tread? If there isn’t much tread left, that is OKAY! MOST running stroller’s tires can be replaced fairly cheaply, so don’t let that deter you from buying it. If the tires are flat/not holding air for long periods of time, it may be because they need the tubes replaced. Again, this is something that can be replaced fairly easily and cheaply.
Buckles – You will want to be able to secure your mini Warriors, so be sure that all of the parts of the buckles are there and are functional. It might be something you can replace, but for older models, this might not be an option.
Fabric – With most used running strollers, there is going to be some amount of fading, which is mainly cosmetic, so be looking more for rips and tears that can or can not be patched or reinforced.
Handle Bar – Most handle bars have a neoprene type cover over the metal. With a used running stroller, this neoprene might be dirty, worn or even torn in spots. Great news! This is cosmetic and you can cheaply replace the entire handle bar wrap and it will be as good as new!
Something else to consider about the handlebar is whether it is adjustable or not, and do you need it to be? Many of the newer models have a handle bar that adjusts, up and down. If your spouse might be running with it, this would be an added bonus if they are significantly taller than you.
Double or Single – Obviously looking at your needs, you’d need to decide if you should get a single or a double. Some run with a heavy bag in the second side of the stroller if they have a toddler and will be expecting a new baby in the near future.
Hand Brake – Many newer models will have a hand brake, which will help you slow down going downhill. While not necessary in flat running locations, it would be a nice feature if you lived in a hilly area.
Price – What should you expect to pay for a used running stroller?! Well, that depends on so many things, but here are a few: your location, brand of the stroller, age of the stroller, extra features, like an adjustable handle bar, hand brake or wind shield) condition of the stroller (BOBs typically hold their resale value, even 5 years after their manufacture date), etc. Ultimately, you will have to decide how much of an investment you’re willing to make, based on how long you plan to use the stroller.
Where to find one?!
Ask on your Stroller Warriors' chapter’s page, specifically in the Swap Shop Facebook page; if your chapter has one. Look in the Marketplace of Facebook, as well as local buy/sell/trade Facebook pages. Craigslist and Bookoo might also have some for sale. Don’t be afraid to drive an hour or so away to get a better deal!
Running with your mini warriors is such a rewarding and fun activity for everyone once you have the right stroller! Now that you have a few of the MANY features to keep in mind… It’s time to find the perfect one for you and enjoy many miles and memories with your Mini Warrior!
Good luck and happy shopping!