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Best On-Line Places to Shop(25 posts)

Best On-Line Places to Shopdgangi
Oct 17, 2003 4:21 PM
I just posted a similar item on MTBR.com and I decided to re-post this message on this board to get some more opinions. I am interested to know what stores you think are the best on-line stores. By "best" I mean stores you think have the best prices, fastest shipping at a reasonable cost, and best products...

I do quite a lot of on-line purchasing primarily because I travel so much -- sometimes it's the only way I can buy parts for my bike. I have not purchased from everybody, but these are the stores I like the most:

1) Price Point -- great prices, good selection (so-so selection on road bike parts), and very prompt shipping. The Sette brand they now carry is actually really good stuff at rock bottom prices. Automated response when your product is ordered and when it is shipped (including tracking #) is nice.
2) Performance Bike -- huge selection for both MTB and road, store-brand stuff is pretty good, great prices, prompt shipping. Automated responses from their system when an order is placed and when an order ships are good.
3) Cambria Bike -- great prices and prompt shipping. I believe they have an automated notification as well (can't remember).

I am so-so on Supergo. Their regular prices are not very good, except when they have clearance items on sale (and then their prices can be too good to ignore). And in my opinion their house brand stuff is junk: Weyless, Scattante, Supergo. Some of you may disagree, but many of my friends have had bad luck with Supergo house-brand stuff. And besides, those house names just *sound* so stupid! There is a Supergo store in Chandler and shopping there is like shopping at a Wal-Mart -- you get no attention from sales people who do not know much.

I do not like Bike Nashbar primarily because their shipping policies are a joke. What big-name mail-order house ships via USPS with no tracking #? Bike Nashbar, that's who! Their on-line automated system is not accurate (you will get an e-mail stating your order shipped and sometimes it has not shipped). And you still pay high shipping prices...

I have not bought any items from Jenson USA so I cannot comment on their service.

If there are others out there that you feel are superior, please let me know because I will definitely consider buying from them. As I said, most of my bike part purchases are all done via the Internet.

Thx...Doug
My new favorite is...pitt83
Oct 17, 2003 4:42 PM
www.bikeman.com Prices are much better than LBS. They have everything you'd want, unlike many others. I live in New England, so the shipping arrives next day, even if paying for ground.

I like Jenson; their shipping takes all of 7-10 business days going coast to coast so it costs me if I want my product quickly. Their 10 tubes for $17 deal is tough to beat.

I too like pricepoint but I think their catalog is a bit thin.

For road specific, excelsports and coloradocyclist have nice stuff. A bit pricey sometimes, but you'll find nice things (especially road) their which the wal-marts don't carry.

YMMV
My new favorite is...lyleseven
Oct 17, 2003 6:45 PM
Try gearlink.com and wisecycleguys. Both have good specials and pricing on road bike parts.
Check out aebike.comB2
Oct 17, 2003 6:40 PM
They're shipping isn't real fast, but they are reliable and competitive on QBP items.

Also hard to beat excel or colorado cyclist for service and reliability. For tires email critusa@aol.com (no website).

I've bought from Jenson several times and they have been very good to deal with. They're definitely more mtn bike orientated. Also along those lines is universalcycle.com who has had some good deals in the past.

loosescrews.com is good site to get hard to find "old" technology stuff and kind of fun to browse through.

Unlike a lot of other people I really don't care for Performance, Bike Nashbar or Supergo. I can't really put my finger on it, but I very rarely seem to find something I'm looking for that is competitively priced. Not to mention that I have to pay sales tax on Performance stuff since they have a store in Washington.

Good Luck,
Bryan
some of my favorates...bicycle268
Oct 18, 2003 4:54 AM
1) totalcycling.com-(Ireland) very safe and reliable with quick shipping. I've dealt with them for years without a problem. The prices make other US websites look like price gougers (colorado, excel, gearlink, etc). That being said, the selection is less then ideal and there is currency exchange fluctuations to deal with.

2) Performancebike.com- Huge selection and very reasonable prices. They usually have a large number of items on closeout or sale. No issues with shipping. I've probably dropped $5k easy on them in the last three or four years.

Assuming I have confidence that I'm not gonna get scammed, I'm gonna go where the prices are best. I don't see how some people are dedicated to buying from websites that continually overcharge relative to the market,ie- COLORADO CYCLIST...
What's wrong with Colorado Cyclist?Fez
Oct 18, 2003 8:18 AM
Never shopped there, but I hear mixed things about Colorado Cyclist. Selection is decent, but they tend to be very expensive on individual components and clothing (price is usually full retail on everything). They tend to have OK prices on complete bikes and full component groupsets.

I hear when they ship your order w/o any problems, everything is fine (duh).

But when they screw up, almost everyone says they are terrible and they never make good. I hear from many a riding partner that the Customer Service Dept is headed by a legendary iron-fisted lady who really doesn't care about Customer Service. I am amazed at how they stay in business year after year from all the horror stories I have heard.
What's wrong with Colorado Cyclist?Jack9
Oct 18, 2003 5:09 PM
My last two orders from Nashbar came FedEx and they emailed a tracking order, didn't pay for faster shipping either. Got a new pair of Lake shoes from them today, been watching their progress since Tuesday when the email with the tracking number arrived.
What's wrong with Colorado Cyclist?ukiahb
Oct 19, 2003 7:56 AM
all true for CC in my experience...spent $2K on a new bike from them last year, had a minor problem w/ a $25 part, and the legendary customer service surervisor woman basically told me to #$&%&^% off. Tried writing a letter to her boss, that only got me another call from her saying "You'll still have to deal with me!"...I ended up buying the part I needed elsewhere. A damn shame as the bike was built and set up perfectly, and I'd deal with them again if the service problem had been handled properly...also I'd been long term customer prior to this experience...
That woman is amazing!!!Fez
Oct 19, 2003 4:26 PM
I've always wondered what she looked like, because I heard she just sounds mean and intimidating on the phone. There are stories of her all over internet message boards of how legit customers have some pretty standard problems and she then proceeds to tell them "tough luck."

She must be related to the big boss, because I have no idea how someone who is in charge of Customer Service can basically tell every customer to sod off and still hold that position for years.

CC still stays in business, but it blows my mind how that is possible with her in charge of Cust Svc.
Scattante and Weyless Rock!Roadrunner25
Oct 18, 2003 5:07 AM
All of my friends that own these bikes or components have had absolutely NO trouble at all, except a fatter wallet, and less of a snob attitude. Nothing is more lame than not buying a component because of how the name sounds.

Scattante frames are made at the same factory as Kestrel and other "name" labels. Same for Weyless.

You like Performance, but they do not give a tracking number, but nail Nashbar for the same shortcoming.
Scattante and Weyless Rock!dgangi
Oct 18, 2003 5:23 AM
Performance ships via UPS, so of course I get a shipping number. Nashbar ships vis USPS, so it is impossible to track my shipment with them. And all of my orders from Performance have shown up FAST. Nashbar keeps me waiting, and that makes me crazy.

Regarding Weyless and Scattante, I am not saying that everything they make is junk (I know that Scattante frames are made by Kinesis). It's just that by and large, Supergo house brands are sketchy. Check out the quality of their Scattante, Aireon, Supergo, and Weyless stuff. Some of it is good -- some if it is crap IMHO. I've owned both -- good and crappy stuff - from Supergo. So anytime I consider one of their house brands, I check it *carefully* to make sure the quality is good.

Performance Bike's own house brand, on the other hand, has been very reliable for me. I never worry about buying anything with the "Performance" label.

I guess it's a Target / Kmart thing. Both Performance and Supergo target the same audience, but by and large I would say that people think higher of Performance than Supergo just like people think higher of Target vs. Kmart. I could be wrong, but that is the opinion that I have formed over the years, especially with respect to house brands.

Thx...Doug
Performance owns Supergo...[nm]bent_spoke
Oct 18, 2003 7:22 AM
Are you sure about that?dgangi
Oct 18, 2003 10:54 AM
I never heard this before. Performance is owned by "Performance Inc", based in Chapel Hill NC. Supergo is purely a west-coast company with shops in AZ, CA, and WA. Their website doesn't claim a parent company.

Usually when 2 competetive stores like this are owned by the same parent company, they cross-pollenate their store brands to save money. I have shopped at Supergo in Chandler and Performance in Tucson. Supergo and Performance house brands have nothing in common that I can tell.

Thx...Doug
Yep...Dave Hickey
Oct 18, 2003 1:59 PM
Performance owns Supergo, Nashbar, and they just bought 10 Bike USA stores in San Diego.
You're right...dgangi
Oct 18, 2003 9:42 PM
Funny enough, I was at my LBS today and the topic of Supergo came up. The owner told me that Performance just bought them out. You guys were right...Supergo is now owned by Performance.

The owner told me the acquisition was recent, hence the reason the two shops do not carry the same brands. I wonder if Supergo will change to the Performance store name and carry Performance brand items. I hope so...

Thx...Doug
SuperPef?, PerformGO? Supermance?MShaw
Oct 20, 2003 10:00 AM
I live across the street from a Supergo here in O'side. Since the takeover, the employees are dejected, surly, and generally unhappy. Translates into a bad shopping experience.

Good thing I know almost everyone over there...

IIRC, the scheme seems to be to keep Supergo as the "high end" shop, PBS in the middle, and Nahshbar at the bottom. Don't know whether this is still the plan 'cause Supergo is getting rid of their house branded stuff...

To answer your question about changing the name. I doubt it. Around here, Supergo has a good name, while the PBS stores don't. Then again, PBS has sucked since the mid-90s when the Bass shoes guys took over. I used to run one, so...

Mike
I agree, Weyless carbon is great.Dave Hickey
Oct 18, 2003 5:32 AM
I have a bike with Weyless carbon cranks, bars and stem. They cost about 1/3 less than FSA and they're probably made in the same factory. I'm not fond of the Weyless logo but the quality is excellent.
funky namefiltersweep
Oct 18, 2003 7:32 AM
Why? WHY do they have to name it "weyless" ?! Even if they just put one big "W" on their parts, they'd at least cross-over into the snob market ;)
You'd think they'd sell a lot more with a different logoDave Hickey
Oct 18, 2003 2:08 PM
I agree, the logo is my least favorite part but I'm a carbon nut. I bought all carbon cranks, stem, seatpost and bars for $450.
Can the logos be removed?Ken of Fresno
Oct 18, 2003 8:27 AM
With maybe some polish or acetone?
Can the logos be removed?Dave Hickey
Oct 18, 2003 2:02 PM
I can't tell if they're decals under the clear coat or paint. When I get bored, I'll try it. The cranks are the only component that I'd try it on. The bars and stem look great.
re: Best On-Line Places to Shopdanielc
Oct 18, 2003 12:26 PM
Here's what i did when i built up my bike last winter. Got my frame at a closeout...that's the real money saver. Got my DuraAce gruppo, seatpost and saddle from Texascyclesport.com. They had the cheapest prices around in the US at the time. Not sure if its changed since then. Got my Ksyriums and contis from Peddlers-international.com. They're in the UK and deal with US customers all the time. Didn't like Totalcycling because the wheels were out of stock and they couldn't give me an ETA plus their price was slightly higher. Got my stem and handlebars from Wisecyclebuys.com. At the time they offered free shipping and really good prices.
In the end i saved about $1000 by staying away from places like performance, coloradocyclist, etc.

good luck and have fun shoppping.
colin
My three. Sorry I have to disagree w/ you on NashbarAllUpHill
Oct 18, 2003 3:53 PM
Nashbar - good for basic, low-end stuff at a nice price. I don't have any gripes with their shipping or service. At least if a packages goes USPS you know it will get there. (On the other hand with UPS, it WILL BE either lost for good, damaged, or significantly delayed.) Recent purchases include -- a nice threaded ITM stem with a hinged face plate, about $20; two pairs of my new favorite training tire, the Panaracer stradius elite, only $17, with folding bead and all black tread/sidewalls. Can't beat that, and I can't find it anywhere else; Two blinkey red tail lights.

ICyclesusa.com - good for random small parts on the cheap. Numerous derailleur and brake cables, various bolts and screws, chains, and cheap 12-25 cassettes. I like their web interface and their service seems reliable.

CritUSA@aol.com - my source for tubulars and higher end clinchers. Very friendly, prompt service. Prices as good as any of the other "one-off" tire channels.

I avoid patronizing the big name online retailers such as Performance, Excel, and CC. They simply make little to no effort, most of the time, to offer super prices. If I need something a little more bling-bling which my main three sources don't have, I typically look for it on eBay, or go through the LBS (actually, not really local) that supplies my team.
Gary V. Hobbs at GVH BikesJack9
Oct 18, 2003 5:15 PM
If you are looking for a complete bike a frame or a build kit be sure to check out GVH bikes. Gary runs a one man internet shop, he has a lot of beautiful frames and unbeatable prices.

http://www.gvhbikes.com/
Colorado Cyclist, Price Point, Cambriapeter1
Oct 18, 2003 8:34 PM
CC has the best selection of Giordana and Castelli clothing, my favorites. Price Point and Cambria are good for tires, tubes and mtb parts. I have bought from Jenson in the past, can't remember what. I bought a Marzocchi fork from Supergo a few years ago. As for Performance/Nashbar, occasionally. Not a big fan of Performance house brand products.

Best service has been Cambria, as far as getting answers to tech questions. I mostly buy mtb stuff online since I go through it so fast. Road parts, I go to the shop and have the mechanics do the install.