The biking community around the world is growing, thanks not only to greater consciousness about healthy lifestyles but also eco-friendly ways to decrease our carbon footprint. The cycling industry has come up with more and more products for bike aficionados, from basic racing bike frames to top-of-the line gears.
Building and maintaining a racing bike can rack up quite a cost however, but don’t worry–here’s how you can save money on your next ride.
If you already have a bike, you probably have an idea about bicycle mechanics, so it would make sense to buy used. Doing so will help you save hundreds of pounds, perhaps more. Look around your local bike shops, which often act as exchange centres for pre-owned bikes.
Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from buying used bikes from online marketplaces such as eBay, but be warned about bogus sellers and scams as well as stolen bikes. It’s always better to check the bike out in person and with someone who can make a thorough mechanical inspection.
Time your purchase
Riders suggest putting off buying a new bike until after the racing season. When racing season starts, manufacturers rarely become flexible in terms of pricing, so you probably aren’t going to be getting any good deals. Wait until the end of racing season–around September to October–when riders sell bikes and gear up for the best deals on used racing bikes.
End-of-season sales are also the best time to score discounts from manufacturers on the year’s bike models. Around October, new models for the next year start hitting bike shops, so retailers give discounts on old models to clear floor and warehouse space. For accessories such as lights, the sale season is at the end of winter.
Consider new old stock
Many local bike shops may have new bikes in old models and offer great value for them. Some may be from major manufacturers such as Bianchi, Specialized Allez and Cannondale, but the key here is that even if the models are already considered “vintage” the bikes from these brands are top-notch. Additionally, you can fix up older bikes using new parts when necessary.
Bike experts suggest buying a bike model that is considered mid-range to high-end. For this you’ll need to do your research on the different racing bike makes and models, stock components and their original prices, then do a lot of legwork scouting bike shops. Chances are you’ll find something that meets your needs and suits your budget.
Get the same quality for less
Unless you’re gunning for the Olympics, buying a top-of-the-line, ultralight racing bike with all the bells and whistles will probably not make sense if your goal is to save money. The rule of thumb is the lighter a racing bike is, the more expensive it will be. You don’t need to spend £4,000 if you can have a high-performance bike for just £1,500 or less. If the cheaper–but excellent–alternative is just a kilogram heavier than the pricier one, muscle it up. You will hardly feel the weight difference.