words Al Woods
There’s a lot of good bikes to choose from in this day and age. Realistically, though, performance shouldn’t be your main focus when selecting a bike; rather, it should be getting the best deal.
Sure, knowing the best time of year to buy a bike should help you secure a killer deal, but what else? Today, we’ll look at five of the best methods for scoring an incredible deal on your next bike purchase.
Four Ways To Get a Good Deal On a Bike Purchase
There’s no need to pay top dollar for a high-quality bicycle. You can bring home that shiny new mountain bike with minimal financial impact when you apply the following strategies:
1. Purchase During the Off-Season
Late fall to winter is the best time to roam the floors of those bike shops. During this time, shops operating on model year systems try their best to dispose of inventory. Hence, there’s a good chance they’ll offer major discounts on all their bikes, including top-of-the-line models.
Some of the remaining newer models and products with mixed reviews could have discounts of up to 25 percent. That said, bicycle models, specific bike model sizes, and colorways will be limited to what’s available for this particular season. For instance, in terms of size, you could be left with either the smallest or the largest sizes outsold by their better-performing mid-size range counterparts.
The only time this strategy might not work is if you’re super-selective about the bike you want. In that case, you may very well end up needing to pay top dollar for the item.
2. Consider Purchasing From Bike Rentals
Contrary to popular opinion, bikes from bike rentals aren’t all that bad. A reputable establishment should have some great, well-maintained selections for you. Check out if there’s one among their fleet you can get a better discount than a brand-new model.
Although the bike has been ridden on, the fact that a seasoned mechanic maintains it means it’s likely in excellent condition. Another benefit to purchasing a rental bike is it could come with the original manufacturer’s warranty.
Depending on the brand, the warranty could be shorter or longer. Either way, it’s an advantage you don’t often get with other strategies.
Using this method, you might even be able to purchase a demo bicycle belonging to a demo fleet, though timing is a little trickier with this option. There’s also a level of risk that comes with choosing from a demo bike fleet because they could have bikes with severe wear and tear.
That said, a brand-new demo bike might not be as brand new as one might think. It’s parts might simply have been overhauled before resale. It should not discourage you from getting the bike, but it should make you extra critical of it to ensure a good purchase.
3. Go for a Second-Hand Bike From a Private Party
This shouldn’t be too bad an option when you trust the seller. However, if you don’t, save it as a last resort.
What makes this one of the better options on our list is its potentially high discount. First-year depreciation for bikes sits at around 45 percent. That means you could get a year-old bike for half the original price. That’s not bad, especially if the previous owner took care of the item well.
Speaking of wear and tear, that’s key to opting for this method of bike buying. The steed could have minimal wear and tear because it had a responsible owner. Or, it could have gone through a monstrous beating, making it look way older than it actually is.
In the latter’s case, parts might need to be replaced. Thus, it might not be such a good deal if you can’t negotiate a lower price.
4. Opt for a Custom Bike
Here’s an option for those who absolutely refuse to spend loads of money on a particular bicycle. While it’s sure to take more work than letting your cash do the talking, the effort could be well worth it in the end.
For this strategy, you need to buy a frameset and use components that are already there. Parts that are missing should be readily available online at budget prices. Nail these requirements, and you should be able to build a custom ride that’s just as good and cheaper than a brand-new one.
A word of caution, though. Make sure to research high-quality budget components, as it’s easy to get carried away and end up even eclipsing a brand new bike’s price when taking on this venture uninformed.
The Best Deals Don’t Often Offer the Best Bikes
Often, we can be very selective about the bikes we buy, preferring to end up with models fitting our vision more than anything else. In such a case, even the very best deals might not grant the bike of our dreams.
While any of the above methods are capable of granting you an excellent bike, they might still not offer exactly the kind of bike you’re looking for. Therefore, the top-dollar route could be your only real path to optimal satisfaction.