Finding the Best Deal: Where and When to Buy a Bike

A quick guide to finding the best deal on a bike
Flickr/Markus Spiering

It's not an unfamiliar concept that bikes can be expensive. As the industry becomes more popular and technology is advancing, bikes are becoming everything they need to be for a better way of transportation. And aside from newer bikes, older, more vintage models are proving their success and being sold at outrageous prices.

Related: How to Buy a Bike

So if you are in the market for a cheap bike, new or used, there are certain times and places to find the right one. We’ve previously put together a list of road bicycles under $800 (which for those of you who know just how crazy expensive road bikes can get, these are great deals) and some new bicycle companies, such as Priority Bicycles, are working hard to offer quality bikes at an affordable price. But for a basic guide in finding a great bike without breaking the bank, here are a couple tips.

1. Craigslist.
Yes, craigslist can be great. But it also can be filled with scams. You can be put in an awkward situation very quickly, and drop money on a bike that ends up costing you double what you paid for it in repairs. So knowing when to look on Craigslist is key. The best deals you will find are around college campuses. Around May check out bike sales in areas surrounding campuses. There will be a lot of students selling nice bikes in great condition, for cheap. Make sure you know what type of bike you are looking for beforehand, and always test ride. If a Craigslist seller is not willing to let you test ride, it is probably a scam, and you should move on.

2. Dealer sales.
The prime time to go to your local bike dealer is late January to early March. This is usually the peak time for sales. Dealers are often preparing for new stock that arrives in spring and summer, and are trying to get rid of some of the leftover Christmas stock so there will often be a large sale. Buying from a dealer is always great because it provides you with a reliable, neighborhood service that will help you with your bike. Also, bikes will often be newer, and be less likely to have problems. Find a dealer near you at
National Bicycle Dealers Association website.

Related: The 50 Best Bike Shops in America

3. Online.
While buying a bike online can be risky, especially since you should always
fit the bike in person, there may be some deals hidden throughout the web. One site called claims to save you a large amount of money on bikes. If you are hoping to buy a bike online, you should go to a bike dealer first to try out the bike. Find one you like in person, and then search on websites for a better deal. The downfall to buying on these sites is not having the services provided by your local dealers.

Research is key. Know the bike you are going to buy and make sure it is a good brand, and has good reviews. You don’t want to be stuck with a cheap bike that is uncomfortable and dysfunctional. If the bike fits... ride on!

Click here for how to sell your bike for big bucks