Good Deals on Bike Stuff

The previous post on bike expenditures got me thinking: What’s the best way to save money on bike stuff?

This may not be the best time of year to write on this topic, being the prime shopping season and all, but maybe it is. Maybe, if we’re going to make some last minute biking purchases, we can get the greatest cost-benefit out of them. Or maybe we can build up some strategies to save money in the new year.

Jeff Hemmel’s idea to use eBay seems to have paid off well for him. He bought two pairs of Peal Izumi Slice Ultrasensor shorts, which usually retail for $100, for $40 and $44. He also used eBay to dispose of some things, like his old cycling computer, and then bought a new computer — a Trek Incite — for $50.

A quick check of eBay with a search for “cycling” turned up a plethora of biking swag. Everything from complete bicycles — new and used — to frames, to lights, jerseys, and accessories. As always with eBay, it pays to know what’s out there, so you can size up potential deals. And being adept at watching wanted items, and pouncing in the last few seconds of the auction, is a skill every eBayer must learn. I haven’t bought bike stuff from eBay yet, but I’ve had good experiences buying golf equipment there, so I’ll have to give it a try in the new year.

Jeff also got what I consider a great deal on tires. In fact, several of you mentioned these folks back in September, when I polled you on your favorite tires. England’s Pro Bike Kit has THE deals on Continental tires, the premium ones — GP 4000s and Gatorskins. You can often find the GP 4000s for around $36 and if you’re a sharp-eyed shopper, you can get Gatorskins for about $31 (I paid $53 at my LBS for one of those). Pro Bike Kit usually ships free to the US, so you’re not making up in shipping costs what you saved on retail price.

Don Blount watches for sales, although he told me he did drive an hour to a Pearl Izumi outlet store to buy some bib shorts. I wonder if the cost of driving that far offset the savings on the shorts? Unfortunately, the closest PI outlet to me is in Fort Worth — a four-hour drive away.

I tend to make impulse purchases when I’m in bike stores, so I wind up paying retail. We have two brick and mortar Performance stores in town, and I’ve had good luck with purchases there, but I found that their in-store stock is nowhere near what the online store offers. And you can get better deals from them online.

How do you save money when shopping for bike stuff? Any tips to share with our readers?

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7 thoughts on “Good Deals on Bike Stuff

  1. The Performance store will match the price on the website. I’ve gotten deals on Craigslist and Ebay. I prefer to buy used on lots of stuff. The exception is shorts – I want that chamois to be clean!

  2. I did some shopping for bike components and a frame on Ebay earlier this year, and found that while it’s a great place to sell stuff, it’s not that fantastic a place to buy stuff. Perhaps due to bid wars, a lot of stuff ends up getting sold for way too much.

    Prime example: I was looking at a used (slightly dinged) 2008 Redline Monocog 29er on Ebay. My limit was (IIRC) around $200. It eventually sold for something like $275 (not including shipping!). I then went to my LBS, ordered a new 2009 Monocog 29er frame, and paid $270. So yeah, someone sold their used frame on Ebay AT A PROFIT.

    I don’t know who’s shopping for bike stuff on Ebay, but I can tell you the real steals seem to be few and far between. There definitely are some, but you have to watch out for price creep!

    I prefer to shop discount websites for new stuff, or go to local sales (club sales or REI attic sales) – the prices are generally better and I know for sure what I’m getting. That only works for common parts though.

  3. I use ebay to buy stuff I can’t find in stores, such as thermal gear that fits me, or even *gasp* team kits. I also found a few deals on there…otherwise I shop on Team Estrogen or Performance’s website.

  4. I buy my threads on Nashbar and at Performance. With discounts, it generally works out pretty well. However, I had no idea there was an Izumi outlet in FTW – I’m in Dallas.
    I do use CL for lots of stuff, but anything that I’m wearing is going to be new.

  5. I’ve mostly given up on ebay and craigslist. Too much hit and miss and frustration with sniping and misadvertised products.

    Twitter has become a great source of deals for me. Companies I follow such as Competitive Cyclist (@compcyclistroad) often have twitter only deals that last a limited time. I’ve scored two pairs of $100 bibs for less than $50 each.

    The website http://www.bonktown.com has deep discounts on products that rotate every 20-30 minutes. It takes some patience, but there are some VERY good deals on equipment and clothing on that site. They recently had a SET of tubular Reynolds DV46 for $899 shipped. That’s a wheelset that usually prices in the $2000 range.

    Combine that with this time of year when companies are closing out 2009 stock with year end sales and I’ve been able to find plenty of high quality products for very good prices.

  6. Craigsist, swap meets like Frankenbike and Mellow swap.

    If you do need something new, find the best price online, print that out and take it to Performance Bike (if they carry it) and they’ll match the price, and you’ll get your 10% store credit back thing too.

  7. I prefer not to get anything at Performance – their staff is often not that great, and Performance makes it hard for the LBS’s that provide good service and high-quality parts, not to mention (often) community support/involvement.

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