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Make a list: Before you buy something, make a list of the features you need. This will help you stay focused and avoid buying wrong models.
Set a budget: Determine how much you can afford to spend on your online shopping. Stick to your budget to avoid overspending.
Compare prices: Compare prices at different sellers to find the best deals.
Check the quality: Before you buy, inspect the quality of the product. Make sure it is in good condition and will meet your needs.
Read reviews: If you are shopping online, read reviews from other customers to get an idea of the product’s quality and performance.
Try before you buy: If you are buying clothing or shoes, try them on to make sure they fit properly and are comfortable.
Check the return policy: Make sure you understand the sellers’ return policy in case you need to return or exchange an item.
Pay securely: When making a purchase online, make sure the website is secure and use a secure payment method such as PayPal or a credit card.
Keep receipts: Always keep your receipts in case you need to return an item or for warranty purposes.
Avoid making impulse purchases by taking the time to consider if the item is something you really need or want.
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Bicycles are the coolest things we humans have ever invented.
You can ride them in the flatlands, in the mountains, and on the beach.
You can go great distances — even traversing entire continents with them — or you can pedal the pump track that you build in your backyard.
Outside of running, few sports are as universally accessible.
The bicycle plays a role as both a fitness experience and an environmentally-friendly, low-cost commuting tool.
My Passion For Cycling
As a child, my little blue bicycle was my favorite toy. For me, it was freedom, adrenaline, friendships, adventure and creativity rolled into one toy.
Whether I was pedaling through town with my brother riding on the handlebars (not advised), riding it down the steep face of a dirt berm on a new construction site (the foreman chased us away), pedaling to the corner shop for eggs and milk, or creating new paths through the woods…
…any day with my bicycle was always guaranteed to be a good day
One of my first forays into “long-distance” cycling was when I convinced the substitute babysitter to takes us on a long ride to the nearby park. We got “lost,” and, without much water, had to find our way back home.
The entire ride was only 4 miles, but as an almost 10-year-old feverishly pedaling my undersized 20″ bicycle, it was one of those epic days you remember forever.
As I grew older, I kept investing my allowance money on used bicycles that would invariably break down. We ended up with a pretty disgusting heap of junk bicycles that dad had to haul off in his pickup.
It wasn’t until I bought a used lady’s Cannondale bike at auction that I began to understand the difference in quality.
This Cannondale had serious issues with a tired, worn-out drivetrain. I never did get it to shift correctly. On top of that, it was too small for me.
But it re-ignited the fire. I’d ride every day after school before I got my homework done. The ability to get away from the stresses of entering adulthood and enjoy the wind in my hair was how I kept my sanity through the freshman year of college.
Later, my love for the sport helped land my first gig at a local bike shop and started my amateur racing career. Some of the best times of my life, frankly.
Increasing The Accessibility Of Cycling To My Readers
High prices keep bicycles from being ubiquitous in America. It truly is a “rich man’s sport,” similar to golf. When entry-level bikes at your local shop are hovering at the $900 price point, it is too intimidating for new people to even try cycling.
My goal for this site is to help point new riders to alternatives.
If you know where to shop, and which bicycle brands are a good value for the money, you can often find deals that other people would miss.
I always have friends asking me for advice on how much they should spend on a bicycle, or whether certain brands are good cycles to buy.
And it made sense to put this information together on a website where I could refer them.
The goal of this site is to help you find those high-quality cheap bicycles and ultimately make this sport affordable to people who otherwise think it is out of their reach.
“Boxstore Specials Vs “High-end Shop Bicycles”
The challenge to my endeavor is that low-quality bicycles keep new riders from building a connection to the sport.
I talk about my own experiences with poorly-made bike brands, but when you buy a poor quality cycle that breaks after one season — it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
It is hard to form a strong cycling habit when your bicycle is broken every time you want to go for a ride.
You need your cycling experience to be frustration-free.
Bicycles are inherently high maintenance. The gears and brakes need to be adjusted once a year (even on the high-end models), and their tires love to go flat once a week (I add air to my tires every ride).
But when you have bikes made of lower quality parts, those maintenance issues happen much more frequently.
The Importance Of Supporting Your Local Bike Shop
One of the problems with our sport is how much cyclists love to buy things online.
We enjoy the tax savings, and often we can get generous discounts and lower prices through online closeouts.
The problem with our online shopping fixation is that bicycles need repair and servicing.
And, unlike your local auto repair shop, there isn’t enough margin in providing repairs to keep the local bike shops in business.
They need to sell bikes (and accessories) as well as fix them. It’s the only way they’ll stay in business.
So, as much as I appreciate your business through my site, if there is a way to buy something from your local shop, I encourage you to do that.
And, even if you buy something from my site, it doesn’t hurt to give you still provide your local shop frequent “token” business. Even if it is only a couple hundred dollars every year, it can go long ways towards making sure you’ll always have a reliable, local source for bike advice.
For many of our readers, a great way to build a relationship with your local shop is to have a local shop assemble their new bike.
This helps ensure the assembly is done correctly (and safely!) while also giving you a place for getting plugged into the local cycling community.
Whatever you do, please don’t get your online shopping advice from your local bike shop. It’s utterly insulting to be asked to help customers shop online at a competitor’s store.
And, yes, I’ve had people ask me to help them do that.