Jenni Morton-Humphreys was said to have hatched the plot when her blue bike was spotted for sale on Facebook hours after being taken.
The 30-year-old had appealed for help on the Bristol Cycling social media page when it was stolen from the city centre on July 9, the Bristol Post reported.
Another keen-eyed user saw the expensive bicycle being flogged and offered to liaise with the man selling it, on her behalf.
Last Monday a meet-up was arranged, with Ms Morton-Humphreys going along as an apparently interested buyer.
She told the Bristol Post that the police advised her against the plan and said they could not accompany her.
"I made sure I had nothing on me, no possessions at all apart from the stuff in my hands - and they were a cigarette packet and a set of keys. I handed them to this guy as I got on the bike and said 'here, hold my stuff'.