I have a love-hate relationship with what some consider the best bike deals, whether that means bikes, frames, components clothes or other accessories.
There are some great deals out there — gear that works really well for a reasonable price. But there are also some seriously terrible offerings. And some are just mediocre.
I’m a total bargain hunter, though I’ll splurge from time to time where it really matters and makes sense.
I know there are other riders out there like me. Some are new to cycling and looking for some insider/longtime cyclist information. Others have ridden as many years as I have or longer, and just have fun seeing what others think of some of the cheap bike equipment brands they love — or love to hate.
What “Best Bike Deals” Will I Cover?
My plan is to cover as much of the cycling equipment spectrum as possible.
At the moment, my first thoughts are about bike shorts, jerseys, helmets and sunglasses. If I can make it happen, I’d also like to get into bigger-ticket stuff like complete bikes, wheels, frames and forks.
Ideally, I’d like to get multiple examples of each. I already have some reviews up, and this post will link out to those. I’ll also provide some previews of what I’m using right now.
I’d like to hear your ideas, too. If there’s some gear out there that you think is too expensive and you want suggestions for cheaper alternatives, let me know! I also want to know about the below-the-radar gear you’ve uncovered.
In the meantime, here are some general categories along with links to any existing content or a “coming soon” label.
This post will always be a work in progress — come back now and then to see what’s new!
Best Deals on Clothing or Bargain Basement Horrors?
The Black Shorts
Here’s some info about the most generically named brand of cycling gear ever. I have more than a year on their shorts, which adds up to some helpful insights.
Vittoria Viper Mountain Bike Shoes
At that price, I couldn’t pass them up. They required some work with a Dremel tool to hack away some of the sole to get a Crank Brothers pedal cleat in there.
But that’s not all. Read on to see what else I have to say about the Vittoria Viper.
Cheap Bike Accessories
Tifosi Fototec Sunglasses
I’ve never understood why so many cyclists pay so much for pricey sunglasses. I’ve uncovered more than a few cheaper pairs of glasses that did a great job. My latest find, the Tofisi Fototec, have lenses that change tint according to your light conditions.
Wait, hold on: My wife bought a pair of these and let me try them. It took one ride to convince me that they’re solid. I went out and got a pair of my own, too. So really, this is HER discovery.
Anyway, I’d consider these sunglasses one of the best bike deals going — and you can even use them for running, driving or whatever activity gets the sun in your eyes.
A full review is coming soon!
Kali Protectives Helmets
I’ve used a few different Kali Protectives helmets. They’re comfortable and have defended my noggin through a few crashes.
They are also bargain-basement priced next to premium helmets like Catlike or Kask — which are admittedly awesome. But Kask gives riders a good way to protect themselves without breaking the bank.
Yet again, this is another brand that deserves a review that I haven’t given.
Watch for the full review!
Yeah, Garmin is pretty much the industry standard. But this below-the-radar brand has provided me with reliable GPS data for more than 4 years. For some reason, though, I’ve neglected to write about it.
So far, the Bryton GPS has been as far as New Zealand with me, dutifully tracking my stats. It’s definitely helped make me a better rider and captured a lot of the fun I’ve had along the way.
A full review is coming soon.
Components That Cost Less But Do the Job
Shimano Tiagra Hydraulic Disc Brakes
About a month after the pandemic started and the supply chain issues kicked in, I scored a deal on a bunch of amazing Shimano Dura-Ace gear for my road-plus bike — this was a fully hydraulic shifter/brake lever combo, with derailleurs.
The deal didn’t include brakes. So my buddy Kale at Bicycle Haus said* “Schmidly, all we have for now is Tiagra. And it might be awhile before we have Ultregra and that kind of stuff again.”
Now, Tiagra is like four steps down from Dura-Ace. But he assured me that it would work well, especially coming from a cable/hydraulic hybrid set of calipers.
*More accurately, he shouted it at me. Kale is extremely enthusiastic, and that translates into a voice that seldom ever operates at less than 327 decibels. Seriously, his voice can be seen from space.
Watch for the thrilling conclusion to this story in a future review …
Vittoria Terreno Tires
When I moved from my Lemond Zurich — a pure speedster of a road bike — to a gravel bike, the world of tires opened up to me. My current bike can handle any tire up to like 45c wide.
I’ve experimented with all sorts of stuff. And one of the best tires I’ve found is also one of the best bike deals right now. And again, I’m amazed I haven’t written about the awesome line of Vittoria Terreno tires before. I’ve tried them in several models and widths, and they simply punch far above their pricetag.
Watch for a full review of the Vittoria Terreno tires.
Follow Along for More of the Best Bike Deals
I’m going to build this page out as much as possible. And I want to make it fun and useful to everyone out there, so feel free to pitch some ideas my way by commenting on this post.
NOTE: I may also do a guide to expensive gear that is absolutely 100-percent worth the money.
This post just might contain affiliate links. Fear not, they’re non-spammy and benign. Hey, I have to keep this thing running somehow!