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?