Bike On! Great Deals on All Things Bicycle
The season of skiing and snowboarding and of hunkering down fireside with a large hot chocolate is upon us. Or some of us, but not all of us. For some, the season of the bicycle never ends and for those people, now is the best time to shop. Bike gear from 2009 is mostly gone, but what’s left is marked down to ridiculously low prices. Bike shops nationwide are gearing up for the holiday season and offering spectacular deals on bike stuff. It’s the perfect time to get your shop on and here are some of the best spots to hit.
Bike Nashbar is the online mecca for all things bicycle. Seriously. This place has everything — and I do mean everything — you could need. Shorts, jerseys, gloves, any random bike part you just happen to need right away, they have it. For less. Even with shipping costs. They also have wicked holiday sales and impromptu discounts. Sign up for their newsletter so you can stay on top of the goodness that is their bike deals. The downside is that they only ship in the United States and Canada.
Local Bike Shops
Swing by your local bike shop and talk shop for a while. They know things — things you need and want to know. All you have to do is ask. The people who work here just rock. They know where the sweetest local rides are. They can tell you how to fix your bike on the cheap. And they can sell you stuff for super cheap because they often have used bike gear to spare and can cut you a deal on it.
This is also the first place to look if you want to buy a used bike. Often the staff members will bring in their old bikes, which they have diligently cared for, and sell it on the shop floor. You might find a two- or three-year-old lightweight road bike tricked out with all the gears you’d need for a hill any size — for a few hundred dollars, a fantastic deal. That same bike bought new would cost between $600 to $800. A new Huffy, with fewer gears and less-sturdy components, would cost around $100.
Started by bike fanatics out of a garage in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, this super bike shop is now nationwide with stores in 15 states, but you can get anything you need online. Performance Bicycle is the easiest shop for me to find when I hit a new town and because their fare is standard across the shops, I know I’ll always find the brand or style I’m looking for. Every shop has a mechanic and can make adjustments on your bike. Their prices aren’t always the best, but they are consistent, which is nice if you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to shop around.
Bike Expos and Swaps
Teeming with thousands of bike enthusiasts, packed with the best bike gear around, and filled with awesome deals, the bike expos can’t be missed. If you’re in the right spot at the right time, you’ll hit the bicycling jackpot. Getting the goods here is all about timing. Some super bike expos have already passed, like the San Francisco Bike Expo that finished a few weeks ago, and some are yet to come, like the Seattle Bicycle Expo that’s coming in March. Check out the expos in your region. They’re happening all the time.
Other Places to Hit Up
Secondhand sports stores offer an assortment of all things sports related and are worth a shot when you’re looking for bike stuff. The caveat here is that they don’t keep a standard stock, so if you’re looking for something specific, you may be disappointed. If you’re just looking around, though, you can stumble across great deals. A good one is ReCycled Cycles in Seattle.
Other spots to check are outdoor gear shops, such as REI or Big 5 Sports. They generally offer a small selection of bike apparel and accessories. In a pinch, they’ll do.
Or you can check out the local bicycling clubs. Truly, these riders know everything there is to know about bike stuff in your area. They ride hard all the time, they know where to find things and they’re always happy to add more bike enthusiasts to their ranks. Great ones to check out are the Fremont Freewheelers and Western Wheelers in the San Francisco Bay area and Cascade Bike Club in the Seattle area. Of course, most cities and towns have cycling clubs. A quick Internet search can help you find them, as can a stop by your local bike shop. Check the bulletin boards for details.
Once you’re decked out, it’s time to hit the trails. So saddle up and bike on! The season is now.