As U.S. Thanksgiving weekend approaches, the racket around Black Friday is reaching its raucous crescendo. If it all seems a bit louder than usual this year, it could be because the cycling industry – already dealing with overstock and lagging sales – is seizing the traditional holiday sale season with both fists to try to clear out as much gear as possible. Or the algorithms on whichever social platform is your preferred poison are getting better.
While this isn’t a sign of good times for the bike industry (or anyone employed in it) it could be a good opportunity for riders to save a little cash. And saving a little cash is always nice, especially when we are feeling the financial crush a bit more than usual. But it is just as easy to get suckered in by the promise of big discounts and end up spending more than you might have if you’d just avoided Black Friday altogether.
Here’s our guide to how to actually save money on bikes on Black Friday
1) Stick to the staples
One way to take advantage of sales is to stock up on the gear you know you’ll use. Look for discounts on replacement parts and wear items like drivetrain parts, tires and brake pads that you already use, but know won’t last forever. It’s not the most exciting thing, sure. But having a spare of your favourite tire is never a bad thing. And can save you money, and the stress of hunting for a last-minute replacement at full cost the next you tear a sidewall right before a race or vacation.
2) Close enough isn’t close enough
Avoid rationalizing deals on “close enough” items just because they’re on a discount. If you’re a 34 and you buy shorts in 32 or 36 because they’re on sale, there is a chance they might work. But, more likely, they’ll sit in your closet and you’ll end up buying a set of 34s.
3) Know what you want before you start shopping
Like going to the grocery store, start Black Friday sales with a list of what you actually need. If you know you need to replace a busted set of wheels, bald tires or bagged drivetrain, sales are a great opportunity to get that inevitable replacement done at a better price
4) Don’t get drawn into unnecessary upgrades
Often the “biggest” discounts are on the most…