The Best Time to Buy a Bike

when-to-shop

Photo/Greg Kaplan


The best time to buy a new bike is when you want one. But if you want to save up to go big or get your hands on the newest, latest and greatest, you'll want to pay attention to these bike buying tips.

Any Time

If you have "new bike fever," you're not likely to wait for any specific time to buy a new bike . Depending on the brands your local bike shop carries—and whether they own their inventory—they may have a little flexibility to adjust bike pricing , so it's definitely worth asking about any sales, price adjustments or packages.

Federal Holidays

Online sellers and local bike shops frequently have sales around major holidays—just like appliances and automobiles. Look for great deals on new bikes around President's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Black Friday. The later you wait, the more leverage you'll have on current and previous year's bikes.

Early Spring

While the pros are racing in Europe in early spring and on crazy new bikes, you can frequently see, hold, touch and buy some of the same rides in early April. Many brands officially debut new bikes and gear for the coming year at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. If you want to be the first on your block to have the newest model, this is the time to start shopping.

Mid-Summer

The Tour de France is not only the biggest bike race of the year on the pro calendar, it's also a huge event for the cycling industry as a whole: This is when most bike brands can get massive amounts of TV coverage and print exposure. With all of that free publicity, it makes sense that this is when brands launch their new, expensive bikes and also start to discount last year's models. So if you're looking for the latest new bikes, early July is the time; if you're looking for a deal on last year's models, this is the earliest you'll see the prices on them drop.

Early Fall

If you're shopping for a time trial bike, deep race wheels  or similar bike accessories , the IRONMAN World Championship in early October is the time to identify and buy a new time trial bike  or aerodynamic gear.

Early fall is also when most brands begin to clear current model year inventory, so look for the best bike sales a few weeks after the autumn equinox.

End-of-Year Holidays

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales don't exclude bikes. Manufacturers and shops need to clear space and new old stock ("NOS") for the upcoming year. Take advantage of their need and leverage a great deal on a current model year bike and accessories.

READ THIS NEXT: A Beginner's Guide to Buying a Bike  

About the Author

Greg Kaplan,

A lifelong endurance sports athlete, Greg raced bikes on the road as a junior prior to changing his athletic focus to rowing. Upon retiring from elite rowing competition, Greg revisited his passion for racing bikes and also added some swimming and running into the mix, competing at the ITU Age Group World Championships on multiple occasions. He and his wife Shannon—also a rower, bike-racer, and triathlete—enjoy traveling, learning about wine and keeping up with their rescue cats when they are not training or racing.
A lifelong endurance sports athlete, Greg raced bikes on the road as a junior prior to changing his athletic focus to rowing. Upon retiring from elite rowing competition, Greg revisited his passion for racing bikes and also added some swimming and running into the mix, competing at the ITU Age Group World Championships on multiple occasions. He and his wife Shannon—also a rower, bike-racer, and triathlete—enjoy traveling, learning about wine and keeping up with their rescue cats when they are not training or racing.

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