I have been asked 3 times in the past week, where is the best place to buy cycling gear online. It is a very difficult question to answer. A part of me says to support your local bike shop (LBS). Then again, if you look at the ridiculously high prices some of them charge, it is easy to understand peoples reluctance to spend locally when you hear what the LBS is asking in comparison to the overseas online shops.
Take for example one of the people asking me this week. He is looking at replacing his SPD-SL pedals with Speedplay Light Action pedals like mine. He is just back on the bike after virtually destroying his ankle at work. He finds it nearly impossible to unclip his bad foot these days.
He asked me what I paid for mine and where did I get them. His local bike shop in Sydney was asking $210 for the CroMo version. I knew I had got mine cheap off a guy who didn’t want them, but was pretty sure they weren’t $210 at the time.
When looking online, I use 2 sites that let you see what all the good online shops are charging. The first one is http://frugalrouleur.com which I use the most. The other is http://byke.com.au/ which I was sent recently.
Lets see what comes up when I put Speedplay Light Action into the search bars.
As you can see, it brings up the pedals as well as accessories for those pedals. But you will notice, the pedals aren’t $210! With just a brief look at those screenshots, you can see they are listed at $123.52. You need to go looking to see where and if they are in stock, but that is a very big saving over the LBS.
I am not suggesting you completely ignore your LBS, I use mine for repairs, service and advice all the time. If you develop a relationship with the guys and girls at your local, you might find they give you better pricing and if you need something in a hurry or a repair, it is always good to have a relationship with the local bike shop.
If you have suggestions for smart shopping, leave a note in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.