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What bike purchases do you make online? (frames?, clothes?..(26 posts)

What bike purchases do you make online? (frames?, clothes?..gregg
Jun 25, 2002 5:56 AM
Are there certain products that you buy online, and others that you won't?

Personally, I find buying shoes very iffy via mail order or internet, but I have had pretty good luck on bike parts (of course, I'm kind of a gear-head, so I usually know exactly what part and part size I need; which helps cut down on returns, etc.)

same...JS Haiku Shop
Jun 25, 2002 6:09 AM
shoes are a crap-shoot, at best, unless you know exactly what make and size you want. i've had good luck and bad, about 50/50.

other stuff? everything, from tubes to whole bikes (frame, kit, wheels, the whole she-bang). in fact, my last four bikes were purchased online. the last one i purchased from a LBS cost $54 (second-hand cruiser with whitewalls).

unless i have a gift certificate or specific reason for buying local (i.e. need it NOW, or can't get it elsewhere), my purchases are 100% online.
Everything but the biketexfan
Jun 25, 2002 6:13 AM
I am not secure enough in my wrenching skills to buy a bike on-line. I do buy most of my accessories, clothes glasses pumps etc. on-line.

Good call on shoes as well. I would not buy on-line unless replacing an identical pair.

Online purchases...biknben
Jun 25, 2002 6:17 AM
I've never really thought about it till now. I tend to buy items online only if I know exactly what I want and/or the sale is too good to pass up. I find having to return stuff to be a huge hassle. Stuff like shoes, frames or fit specific items I typically don't buy online.

OTOH, I recently bought some clothes online from Voler. People were raving about their stuff here, they were running a special, and they have a painless return policy. I needed some clothes but am running low on cash. I eventually caved and placed the order. Thankfully, everything fit. I've since ordered more from them.
Pretty much everything.MB1
Jun 25, 2002 6:18 AM
We plan/buy ahead and look for sales. It is very rare for us to spend mort than $10.00 in a bike shop where we often spend hundreds on line.

Miss M doesn't like the way women are treated in shops. I usually know a lot more than the salespeople in shops.

Matter of fact, I think I'll go on line shopping now. ;-)
most thingsDougSloan
Jun 25, 2002 6:19 AM
The things I buy online the most are replacements for things I already have, like tires, tubes, etc. I buy most components online, as the price difference is vast and the LBS here doesn't stock much. The LBS here can take weeks to get something, when I can have it the next day from a good mail order place. I'm too impatient to wait.

I prefer to buy frames at the LBS. I once bought an Airborne online, though, but that company has an exceptional way of selling.

I have bought shoes, but usually when I know a brand and what size I need in that brand.

I hate returning stuff, and having to return something mail order means I probably won't do it.

re: What bike purchases do you make online? (frames?, clothes?..PMC
Jun 25, 2002 6:26 AM
Things I've bought online are
Component parts (shifters, brakes, cranks, bars, stems ETC...)

Things I haven't bought online but would
Frames given I know the correct size and have been fitted

Things I most likely will not buy online
Cliff Shots
Other assorted small things
Everything except emergency purchasesmickey-mac
Jun 25, 2002 6:30 AM
I buy almost everything on-line unless I'm caught by surprise and need something-usually a tire-immediately. I even made many of the arrangements for my current bike on-line and through e-mail with Carl Strong. My most recent shipment of goods arrived yesterday: Santini bibshorts and socks from I did purchase Sidis on-line through about a year ago because I've owned several pairs of Sidis and feel comfortable with their sizing.
Well hmmm everything but shoesPhatMatt
Jun 25, 2002 6:36 AM
It seems I have purchased it all except shoes. I am very pickey about the fit of shoes so I will pay the slightly higher prices localy for those items. But everything else I have purchased on the net.

it depends on price or availabilityTig
Jun 25, 2002 6:46 AM
I get a 25% discount from two LBS's that sponsor our team, but sometimes online sellers have better sale prices on certain items. Price sells!

Occasionally an online vendor has something the LBS's don't carry, like the Louis Garneau T-bone helmet I bought last week. I bought a pair Sidi Genius shoes from an English site last year for a HUGE discount. I know my Sidi size, so it was no gamble. The colors are also not found here in the US, so they are quite original.

I try to give my favorite LBS business whenever possible. If I didn't get the 25% off, I'd spend much more online. They now carry things like Hammer Gel, which I used to purchase from the manufacturer. This LBS has a 2 day turn-around on most orders for unstocked items, so that is hard to beat.
Garneau helmet questiongregg
Jun 25, 2002 7:33 AM
How did you size the helmet? I have been thinking of ordering one of these, but none of my LBS's carries them and I'm hesitant to order a helmet without fitting it first. I know that I can use the old tape measure 'round the cranium and all, but sometimes that still isn't enough to tell you how the helmet will actually fit.

The Garneau also has some "not found everywhere" appeal to them.

Jun 25, 2002 8:00 AM
This ain't the same helmet, but I will say I ordered a Garneau online using tape-measure sizing only, and the thing arrived a little small. Seemed to run a little smaller than Giro.
Garneau sizing and reviewTig
Jun 25, 2002 10:28 AM
I wear a S/M size in a Giro, and the size M Garneau fit is excellent for me. I did the ol' tape measure a few times with my wife making sure I didn't mess up. Be sure to keep the tape fairly tight. I measured 22 1/2" which put me in the rather narrow window of their size M.

Giro Sizes: 2XS/XS (20 1/2"-22"), S/M(22"-23 1/2"), L/XL(23 3/4"-25")

Garneau Sizes: S(21 1/4"-22"), M(22"-22 3/4"), L(22 3/4"-23 5/8"), XL(23 5/8"-24 3/8")

The T-bone is a wonderful helmet. I can't help but notice that the cooling, especially at the front, is better than my Giro's. That is very important in the super-humid, hot environment here. The Spiderlock retention system and the Ergobuckle strap system is superior to what I've used in the past. The blue color looks great! I can see keeping this helmet for a long time.

The Garneau interior shape is similar to my Giro Boreas and Helios helmets, which is a little too round for my long-oval skull. To relieve forehead pressure and get a better fit for both helmets, I took a dremel tool with a small barrel sander and trimed down the interior above the sweatband area just a little. A bit of 220 sandpaper work and it looks almost like a factory surface. I'm sure this voids any factory warranty, but if a helmet is destroyed that bad, I'll be dead or in ICU anyway and wouldn't care. I doubt such a minor alteration reduces the integrity of a helmet anyway.
re: Well I won't buy shoes online again ...JL
Jun 25, 2002 6:48 AM
After going through 2 pairs of what I thought was the "correct" size Sidi's, I still get pain on the outside of my one foot. No amount of cleat movement or semi-custom insoles has corrected it so they must be slightly narrow. Looks like I'm in the market for another pair of shoes, locally.

I have bought most everything else online (except my current bike). I haven't had a problem buying any clothes online, but if it's from Performance I go to the store near my house to save the shipping and just pay the state tax.
I usually buy two pairs of shoes in neighboring sizeselviento
Jun 25, 2002 8:42 AM
then keep the fitting pair and return the other. Can still work out cheaper than bike shop.

Besides the difference in operating costs, it's a battle between state treasury and UPS.
I did that (sort of) 43.5 and 43. The first pair,JL
Jun 25, 2002 8:51 AM
the 43.5, was giving me more problems and they seemed too long so I wrote it off to that. Then the 43's seemed to fit, but the right foot would start to go numb about midfoot after 15 miles. If I stopped for a few minutes it would go away. Every now and then the left foot would do the same. I think they're a little more narrow than my old pair (not Sidi's). I think the Sidi-Mega's would be too wide. I'm trying pairs with a wider toe box this week.

Happy riding.

The only things I don't buy online........Dave Hickey
Jun 25, 2002 6:50 AM
I'll use an LBS for tubes, cables, tools and lube. If there is a good sale on a saddle or clothing, I'll also buy them locally.
re: What bike purchases do you make online? (frames?, clothes?..t-bill
Jun 25, 2002 6:51 AM
I've bought nearly everything on-line - parts, shorts, jerseys, helmets, pedals, and a used bike via the RBR classifieds. I even bought shoes. I got lucky and they fit like a glove. I just hink it's easier. If you know what you want/need it's so much cheaper. I'm with MB1... I just constantly look for deals. That's my wife's penny-pinching tendencies rubbing off on me.
Shoes/jerseys/shorts are iffy, but oncescottfree
Jun 25, 2002 7:09 AM
I find a brand that fits locally, I figure it's safe to reorder identical items cheaper online. Otherwise, I'd just be returning stuff, which is a HUGE pain. As a result, I have like a million identical jerseys and shorts, and I'm on my third pair of the same brand/model shoes.

Components, tools, everyday supplies like tires and tubes, even whole bikes I would or do order online (except once or twice a year I buy something 'big' at the LBS, paying way too much, to maintain my status as a 'regular' customer who can go to the head of the two-week line and get a panic repair done quickly). If it weren't for that, I'd be virtually 100 percent online.
Quite a bit, but only because LBS stock is so limitedcory
Jun 25, 2002 7:10 AM
I buy a lot of stuff, including my most recent frame, but I claim extenuating circumstances: I'd like to support my LBS, but I'm a Clydesdale (6'4", 230, size 50 shoes), and the shops just won't carry clothing or frames to fit me. Two of our local shops are owned buy guys who are over 6 feet, and even THEY don't carry large sizes. I got a better fit on my Atlantis following Grant's catalog recommendations than I ever have in a bike shop, because nobody had an old bike in back that they wanted to get rid of. They also don't carry anything but the most popular components, few tires over 23mm, etc. If I could get what I want in town, I'd cut my online purchases from probably 80-90 percent of my total to 10-20 percent.
Things I can't get locally.Humma Hah
Jun 25, 2002 7:22 AM
I try to support my LBS when I can. I'd hate to have them close and not be able to run down there for a tube or chain.

I primarily buy retro stuff I can't get locally on-line.
Just bikes & hard-to-find stuff online, LBS for all else...PdxMark
Jun 25, 2002 7:22 AM
As a member of a local bike advocacy group I get 10% off all LBS purchases. That savings, plus the cost of shipping, makes the difference between online & LBS purchases minimal. The 10% doesn't apply to bike purchases, so it's hard for me to justify the hundreds extra LBS bike purchases would cost...
everything but shoes, sunglasses, chemicals and tubesterry b
Jun 25, 2002 7:37 AM
and I'd even be willing to take a shot on shoes now that I know how Sidis fit.

8 bikes, countless parts, all my clothes, helmets.

US and overseas.
I buy everyting on line, exceptLeroy
Jun 25, 2002 8:37 AM
an occasional pr of gloves, or some white lightning chain lube. I can't stand paying too much, and can't stand paying an 8.25% sales tax. I don't have an lbs convenient to my house. I have bought 2 bikes, upgrades, build kits, etc.- you name it - on line, and enjoy doing the mechanical work. It's all worked out fine. I've had no problem buying clothes, or shoes either. I love buying gear on the internet. I get better service and better prices.

Dave Loving
all but shoesDaveG
Jun 25, 2002 8:51 AM
with shoes its all about fit and there does not seem to much price differential between shops and mail order for name brand stuff. I'd probably buy more stuff locally but the selection just isn't there
EverythingMel Erickson
Jun 25, 2002 9:01 AM
I've bought four bikes online, all used including a tandem, from the Marketplace. I buy all types of parts, clothing, etc. I just bought a pair of shoes online (but I confess to trying them on in the LBS first, I'm bad but couldn't pass up 75% savings). Depends on what's available and on sale at the LBS. Last bike purchase was local but the deal was as good as I could get online. Same with my helmet, however, I think I was feeling a little guilty from purchasing the shoes online after trying them on at the LBS first, but the price was very comparable to online. Most small parts are bought at the LBS (cable, bearings, cartridges, lube, grease, other maintenance stuff). I'll occasionally have work done at the LBS when time is tight or it's a specialty repair (rebuild of a Cannondale Headshock for instance). Overall i'd say 80% of my purchases are online.