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9 Tips For Saving Money When Buying A Bicycle

In some ways, proudly owning a bicycle will be a money-saver. You can save on fuel by commuting by bike or use it to train for free.

But all these advantages include a vital upfront value. An excellent-quality new bike can value wherever from $400 to upward of $15,000. Even the decrease finish of that vary is a lot of money if you’re on a tight finances.

But there are methods to get the advantages of biking at a decrease value. By procuring strategically, you will discover the very best bike for you on a finances you’ll be able to afford.

Tips for Saving Money on a Bicycle

It’s simple to get sticker shock wanting on the costs of latest bicycles, significantly at small native bike retailers. But with this sort of buy, you get what you pay for. All the elements of your bicycle — body, tires, and elements — get higher the upper you go up the worth scale.

By paying for high quality upfront, you’re extra prone to get a bike that serves you for a few years, decreasing your true value to personal it over the long run. So moderately than going for a low cost bike, it makes extra sense to look for methods to decrease the price of a high quality one.

1. Choose the Right Type of Bike

The first and most essential rule for saving money on a bicycle is to decide on the proper of motorcycle for the kind of bicycling you wish to do. If you select the mistaken kind of motorcycle — for occasion, a rugged mountain bike for commuting or a highway bike for mountain biking — you’ll nearly actually get annoyed with it and wish to commerce it in inside a few months. It’s simply a waste of the money you paid for it.

There are many sorts of bikes with extremely particular names and makes use of, reminiscent of racing bikes, gravel bikes, path bikes, and cruisers. But based on The Bicycle Planet’s YouTube channel, bicycles fall into 5 major sorts: highway bikes, mountain bikes, health hybrids, sports activities hybrids, and luxury hybrids.

Road Bikes

Road bikes are simply what they sound like: bicycles for driving on roads and paved surfaces. They’re light-weight and fast-moving with slender tires that may roll quick on pavement. They have a number of gears that can help you alter your pace on stage surfaces and hills.

Most highway bikes have a drop-bar handlebar, which curves downward and towards the rear of the bike. Using such a handlebar requires you to experience in a bent-forward position, which reduces air resistance so you’ll be able to go sooner. This driving position will be uncomfortable for those who aren’t used to it, nevertheless it’s probably the most environment friendly option to journey lengthy distances.

A highway bike is the bike of selection for skilled cyclists in racing occasions just like the Tour de France. It’s additionally a good bike for other forms of on-road biking, reminiscent of health driving or long-distance touring. Road bikes will also be a affordable selection for commuting, however provided that they will accommodate equipment like fenders and storage racks.

According to Outside Online, highway bikes can be found in a number of value ranges. For round $500, you will get a heavy however sturdy highway bike with a metal body and 16 speeds. A lighter aluminum body and higher brakes prices nearer to $1,350. An ultralight carbon bike with hydraulic disc brakes, and an digital drivetrain prices round $11,000.

Mountain Bikes

A mountain bike is constructed for off-road driving on slender, bumpy filth trails. These rugged bikes are heavier than highway bikes and never as quick for driving on pavement. They function flat handlebars and large tires with numerous tread to roll over roots and rocks. Mountain bikes additionally supply extra low gears for getting you up steep slopes and hydraulic disc brakes for managing sharp descents.

Another crucial function of mountain bikes is suspension, which protects you from the jolts of the path. Some fashions, referred to as “hardtail” bikes resulting from their inflexible rear finish, have suspension on the entrance tire solely utilizing a gadget referred to as a suspension fork. Others, referred to as full-suspension fashions, present suspension on each the entrance and rear wheels.

Overall, mountain bikes are cheaper than highway bikes. According to Switchback Travel, hardtail bikes with aluminum frames sometimes value lower than $1,000. Lightweight, full-suspension bikes constructed to face as much as probably the most difficult trails value $3,000 to $5,000.

Fitness Hybrids

Hybrid bikes are a cross between highway and mountain bikes, taking totally different options from every kind. A health hybrid is a hybrid that the majority intently resembles its highway bike “parent.” It’s comparatively light-weight and doesn’t supply the suspension of a mountain bike.

But in contrast to highway bikes, health hybrids sometimes have flat handlebars that present a extra upright driving position. That could make them extra comfy for driving lengthy distances. They even have wider tires to offer extra traction for off-road driving.

As their identify implies, health hybrids are ultimate for individuals who see a bike as a option to work out with out investing in a health club membership. They’re additionally a good all-around selection for anybody from commuters to casual weekend riders. The Bicycle Planet calls them the “Honda Accord of bikes.”

Fitness hybrids are inclined to value lower than both highway or mountain bikes. In a roundup by Bicycling journal, 2021’s prime health hybrids vary in value from $440 to $875.

Sport Hybrids

A sport hybrid, or twin sport, is a hybrid bike that’s nearer to a mountain bike in model and performance. They have rugged tires, flat handlebars, disc brakes, and entrance suspension to assist them stand as much as the pains of path driving. They additionally present the wide selection of gears discovered on a mountain bike.

They’re heavier than health hybrids and customarily not as quick.

A sport hybrid is a good compromise for somebody who primarily needs a bike for path driving however needs to have the ability to take it out on the highway as nicely. It received’t go as quick on paved roads as a highway bike or health hybrid, however it’ll present a smoother, extra cushioned experience than both.

Dual sport hybrid bikes from Trek Bikes vary from $600 to $1,220 in value. At REI, hybrid bikes with entrance suspension are a bit pricier, from $700 as much as $4,100 for a high-end electrical mannequin.

Comfort Hybrids

It’s barely complicated to name a consolation bike a hybrid, because it doesn’t look very like both a highway bike or a mountain bike. Rather than the dropped handlebar of a highway bike or the flat handlebar of a mountain bike, consolation hybrids have excessive, raised handlebars which are simple to manage. That provides them probably the most upright driving position of all bike types.

These bicycles are constructed for consolation in different methods as nicely. They function massive, closely cushioned seats, and a few fashions have entrance suspension to guard you from bumps. Their tires are wider than a highway bike’s for further cushioning and traction with out the heavy tread of a mountain bike. Many consolation hybrids have a step-through body that makes them simple to mount.

One widespread number of consolation hybrid is the cruiser. It has large handlebars and fats tires appropriate for driving sandy surfaces, reminiscent of a seaside. Cruisers sometimes have not more than seven gears, and a few have just one. These single-speed bikes are generally referred to as “fixies,” quick for “fixed gear.”

Comfort hybrids aren’t constructed for pace or off-road driving. They’re greatest for the casual bicycle owner who simply wants one thing to tackle quick journeys across the neighborhood. For instance, they’re good for a jaunt to the park or market. But they’re not ultimate for those who reside in an space with numerous hills or regularly pull heavy hundreds.

Cruiser and “townie” bikes (consolation bikes for in-town use) are the most affordable of all bike sorts. At REI, these types promote for $330 to $650. Townie bikes from Trek Bikes vary from $530 to $800.

2. Know Your Budget

Once what sort of bicycle you need, work out how a lot you’re prepared to spend on it. Check costs at on-line retailers to learn the way a lot it’s best to anticipate to pay for a first rate bike with the options you need.

You might additionally do that analysis by evaluating fashions and costs at your native bike store, however there are a number of causes to not. First, small bike shops don’t have a massive choice, and their costs are usually on the excessive aspect. You can get a higher general view of obtainable fashions and prices on-line.

Also, any time you go into a retailer, you’re prone to be subjected to a gross sales pitch. Even for those who plan to enter a bike store simply to look, you possibly can simply be tempted into making a buy instantly. It’s higher to know your finances earlier than you set foot within the retailer. That approach, you’ll be able to ignore fashions exterior your value vary and give attention to getting the very best worth for your greenback.

3. Test Different Models

Once what kind of motorcycle you need and your value vary, you’re prepared to start out bicycles in individual. But don’t restrict your self to wanting. If you see one thing you want that matches your finances, take it for a highway check. Most bike shops enable them, so long as you permit your ID and a credit score card behind to make sure you don’t simply experience off with the bike.

Put the bike by its paces in your check experience. Spend round quarter-hour attempting all of the gears and seeing the way it handles hills, corners, and sudden stops. If you wish to check out a mountain bike, discover out if the store has a demo day scheduled when you’ll be able to take its bikes out on a actual path.

If you haven’t made up your thoughts which sort of motorcycle you need, check out a number of sorts. You can get a higher sense of what you need by driving a bike than studying about it. For occasion, you’ll be able to work out whether or not you like an upright or bent-over driving position or how a lot you care concerning the bike’s suspension and weight.

As you experience, contemplate how nicely the bike matches you and the way comfy it feels. While driving, it’s best to be capable to lengthen your legs absolutely on the pedals with out having to stretch. Your driving position shouldn’t really feel hunched or cramped. You additionally want to have the ability to get on and off simply and attain the bottom if you come to a cease.

But don’t fear if the match wants some changes. Most native retailers supply a complimentary becoming that adjusts the bike to suit your distinctive top, weight, leg size, torso size, and joint angles. If you purchase your bike on-line or from a person vendor, you’ll be able to pay a native store to carry out this service or do it your self utilizing pointers from REI.

4. Shop During Sale Season

In normal, the very best time to buy for a bike is within the fall. According to Bicycling, most main bicycle manufacturers put out new fashions each year, often within the fall. When the brand new fashions are set to return out, bike retailers are inclined to promote their older stock at a low cost to make room for new fashions.

In many circumstances, you’re not lacking a lot by selecting final year’s fashions over this year’s. The adjustments are sometimes purely beauty, reminiscent of a new coloration scheme and possibly a few minor adjustments to the elements. The weight and fundamental performance stay the identical. Thus, by selecting final year’s mannequin, you’re successfully getting the identical bike at a considerably lower cost.

But for those who can’t wait for the autumn gross sales, there are a few different occasions all through the year when bikes are inclined to go on sale. According to Bicycle Universe, you’ll be able to typically discover good offers on Black Friday, all through the Christmas season, and generally round Easter.

5. Shop Online

There are many locations to buy for a bike on-line. You should purchase from a web-based retailer like Amazon, an public sale web site like eBay, or immediately from the producer. Shopping on-line provides you a extra complete number of bikes to browse, and the Internet can supply higher costs than native shops. And browser extensions like Capital One Shopping might provide help to discover a higher value.

But procuring on-line has its downsides too. The greatest one is that you simply don’t have the chance to check the bike before you purchase it. Sometimes, you will get round that by borrowing a buddy’s bike or driving one at a bike store’s demo day earlier than ordering it on-line. But there’s no assure of discovering a deal on the precise mannequin you examined.

Also, if you purchase a bike on-line, it’s a must to assemble it your self. Not everybody has the ability to deal with that kind of job, particularly for those who run into issues like a kinked cable or air bubbles within the brake traces. Depending on the character of the issue, you might need to return the bike or take it to the native store for a restore, which might eat up a lot of the money you saved shopping for on-line.

A closing draw back is the issue of getting repairs underneath guarantee. Instead of merely taking the bike again to the shop the place you purchased it, it’s a must to contact the retailer, clarify the issue, ship the bike again, and wait to have it returned. That might imply going with out your bike for weeks.

It’s as much as you to resolve whether or not the financial savings from shopping for a bike on-line outweigh the issues. To make an knowledgeable determination, evaluate costs at native shops and on-line to get an thought of how a lot you stand to save lots of.

6. Try the Local Bike Shop

Don’t overlook your native bike store as a place to get a whole lot in your subsequent bike. Though they cost extra on common, they’re additionally extra prepared to barter on pricing than huge chains or on-line retailers. And even when they will’t match the web bike value, generally they’re prepared to throw in equipment like a helmet or panniers (attachable luggage or baskets).

Local bike shops produce other perks too. They often have a educated workers who will help you discover the appropriate match and let you know which options are most helpful for the form of driving you wish to do. They additionally supply perks like a free tune-up or reductions on future service. And they make it a lot simpler to get repairs underneath guarantee.

Along with these advantages, you get the satisfaction of supporting a native business that’s essential to your neighborhood. If you’re going to experience your bike frequently, you’ll come to depend on your native store as a supply of elements or emergency repairs in addition to a place to attach with different cyclists. Supporting it together with your procuring {dollars} helps guarantee it stays in business.

7. Look at Secondhand Bikes

You can get probably the most vital bicycle financial savings by shopping for it secondhand. Just like automobiles, bicycles depreciate rapidly in worth, so you’ll be able to typically discover a fairly high-end used bike for a fraction of its unique value. My husband as soon as purchased two used bikes for $30 on Craigslist. He’s nonetheless driving one in all them eight years later.

If you’ve performed your analysis and located a specific bicycle you’re keen on, you’ll be able to strive looking for the identical mannequin on eBay or Craigslist. Other locations to look for a used bike embody:

  • Local Bicycling Groups. Local bike golf equipment, such because the Rochester Bicycling Club, typically have Web-based labeled advert boards the place members purchase and promote outdated bikes. Buying from a native group means you’re coping with a well-known vendor inside your native biking neighborhood who actually understands bikes.
  • Police Auctions. Local police departments, reminiscent of New York City’s, typically maintain auctions of unclaimed stolen items. You can discover these auctions by listings in native papers or by looking for “police auctions” or “public auctions” on-line. Some departments additionally maintain on-line auctions by websites like
  • Cycling Teams. According to Cycling Weekly, some skilled biking groups promote their used bikes on their very own web sites or producer websites like Canyon. These bikes have positively seen some onerous use, however they’ve additionally acquired common skilled care. Plus, they arrive with built-in bragging rights.

Buying a secondhand bike carries the danger of getting caught with a lemon. But you’ll be able to reduce this threat by doing cautious analysis. First, guarantee the vendor is respected. Check their promoting historical past on the positioning you’re utilizing to verify they’ve expertise promoting bikes or bike-related gear.

Second, ask loads of questions. Find out concerning the bike’s historical past, situation, any defects, and whether or not the vendor has the unique buy receipt. If you’re shopping for from a native vendor, take a good take a look at the bike earlier than shopping for it. If you’re not that educated about bikes, deliver an skilled buddy to offer the bike a good once-over and guarantee it’s in first rate form.

Minor issues with a used bike don’t must be deal breakers. As lengthy because the body and wheels are in good situation and the worth is true, you’ll be able to take it to your native bike store to cope with any minor issues. The workers there can alter the derailleur (gear system) and exchange the brake pads, cables, tires, chain, or seat.

These repairs add to the price, so issue them into the entire value before you purchase. If the bike wants a lot of repairs, you’ll be able to all the time ask the vendor for a low cost. But even with restore prices factored in, a used bike will sometimes value a lot lower than a comparable new one.

8. Build Your Own Bike

If you’ll be able to’t discover the precise bike you need at a value you’ll be able to afford, you’ll be able to build it as an alternative. Assembling a bicycle from elements will be cheaper than shopping for a full bike as a result of it means that you can combine and match used and new elements. For occasion, you possibly can purchase a good, barely used frameset and wheels, then add new elements like a drivetrain and saddle.

The specialists at Cycling Weekly advocate spending most of your finances on a good-quality body and fewer on the elements. You can all the time select to improve them when you could have extra money to spare. And it’s a lot simpler to seek out good elements that match an current body than the opposite approach round.

When selecting a bike body, give attention to the standard of the development, not the fabric. Carbon bike frames will be very mild and aerodynamic, however provided that they’re nicely made. Cheap carbon bikes reduce corners, so you find yourself with a bike that isn’t that mild and doesn’t experience easily. Aluminum is a cheaper materials, permitting you to get top-notch development at a lower cost.

9. Save Money for Accessories

If that is your first bike, bear in mind you’ll want some equipment to go together with it. It’s no good having a top-notch bicycle if it turns into unrideable the primary time you get a flat tire since you forgot to purchase a restore equipment.

So if you’re figuring how a lot you’ll be able to afford to spend on the bike, put aside some money for equipment. Depending on how you employ the bike, important gear can embody:

  • A Helmet. An excellent helmet is your greatest safety towards a probably deadly head damage. Look for one licensed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, matches nicely, and supplies correct air flow to maintain you cool. According to Consumer Reports, a top-notch helmet prices round $50, and it’s nicely well worth the funding.
  • A Bike Lock. Just a few months after my husband spent lots of of {dollars} on a new bike, a thief snipped proper by the old style chain lock and stole it. Don’t make the identical mistake. Protect your funding with a sturdy high-end lock. The most cost-effective one advisable by Cycling Weekly prices round $60.
  • Lights. If you’re planning to experience at nightfall or after darkish, you want headlights and taillights so passing automobiles can see you. You can choose up one in all every for wherever from $20 to $100.
  • A Pump. Unless you wish to feed quarters into a fuel station’s pump each time your bike tires run low, you want a bicycle pump to maintain them correctly inflated. A fundamental flooring pump prices between $20 and $75. Handheld pumps, that are extra moveable however more durable to make use of, are a bit cheaper.
  • A Repair Kit. With a fundamental repair kit, you’ll be able to deal with issues like a flat tire or a thrown chain at house or on the highway. At a minimal, you want a tire patch equipment, tire lever, wrench, and multitool for fast changes. You should purchase a full set for round $20 complete.
  • Storage. Rear storage racks and panniers are useful for commuters who wish to tote a briefcase or customers hauling house groceries. They value round $50.
  • A Phone Mount. With a phone mount, you need to use the GPS maps in your smartphone whereas driving. You can choose up a fundamental mount for as little as $12.
  • A Water Bottle Cage. Staying hydrated on a lengthy experience is far simpler for those who hold a water bottle inside simple attain. A simple cage that mounts to your bike body can maintain your bottle in place for $5 to $20.
  • Cycling Gear. You can go for a bike experience in your avenue garments, however for lengthy rides, bike shorts designed for the aim (about $20) are way more comfy. A packable windbreaker ($20 to $70) is useful to have in case of rain. And decent-quality sunglasses ($20 and up) are a should.

Final Word

Once you’ve discovered the bicycle of your desires, keep it correctly to maintain it in nice form. Keep the chain correctly adjusted and lubricated, and be careful for put on on the brake pads and tires.

Maintaining your bike prices money, nevertheless it saves you money in the long term. Paying to have elements repaired or changed as needed can hold your bike operating longer and forestall you from having to shell out for a new one. If you’re comparatively useful, you are able to do the repairs your self with the help of YouTube movies or mates from a bike membership.

The different option to get the utmost worth out of your new bike is to experience it as a lot as potential. If one thing’s holding you again from placing your bicycle to a specific use, contemplate whether or not investing in a new bike accent would make a distinction.

For occasion, for those who don’t use your bike for commuting as a result of it’s darkish if you depart work, a set of motorcycle lights might make it potential. If you don’t take your bike procuring as a result of you’ll be able to’t haul your purchases house, possibly you’ll be able to add panniers or a bike trailer. Add what it’s essential to make your new bike work for you to get probably the most out of your funding.

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