Are we approaching a good time for bike buying?

Have wanted to pull the trigger on a new bike since the beginning of COVID but just didn’t feel like I was equipped enough to make an informed purchase (gosh – it might be nice to actually try it before I buy it). Supply shortages didn’t really allow for any of that.

Is the bike industry still operating in pandemic mode, or has supply finally evened out with demand?

And what are the chances that bike manufacturers will end up with excess inventory that they’ll have to manage the way that some of the smart trainer manufacturers did?

Bonus question – with the rise of D2C bike brands – i.e. Canyon and the like – how DO you make an informed bike purchase when you’re buying online?

Very high but not across all brands/models

1.) Take note of all components details. It’s even easier to compare bikes online in this department.

2.) Compare geometries using online tools.

3.) Read reviews form professional reviewer AND regular users.

4.) Ask specific questions in forums.

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Any recommendations for geometry comparison tools? Have been using this one a little bit.

Was in the same boat as you @koalb , 2020 was going to be new bike year… look how that worked out :smiley: Between some stock issues or life stuff that would take a bit away from the bike fund. I have only just bought a bike today. It was actually a 2021 TCR Advance Disc one.
I was looking a lot on line, and strongly considered the offerings from Canyon. But having been on multiple waiting lists from them since Feb this year, gave up on that.
Furthermore, as new models were released recently, the prices increased quite a bit. Mainly due to the group sets becoming more expensive.
Anywho, back to your questions.
The LBS that I got my bike off said that for the entry level bikes, there will be plenty of stock for years to come. The issue will be the good mid range bikes. They are slow to come to stores or still facing issues with group sets. So perhaps there will be a certain aspect of excess inventory, but maybe not for the bikes you are looking at.
(The reason I went to the LBS in the first place was to try get a projected price for a Giant Propel, but they had no info :frowning: )
RE your bonus question, I just tried to find the equivalent model of bike from brands that are in bike stores, with equivalent spec (Say Canyon Endurace with 105 vs Giant Defy with 105).
Compared prices online with prices in stores, spec levels, reviews, videos etc.
Then compare geo as you have been with the website listed.

Hopefully some of this helps? Happy hunting and researching :slight_smile:

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I was thinking perhaps a number of people start selling their rim brake bikes or their mechanical shifting + hydro brake bikes, with the new cheaper di2 disc groupsets .

I haven’t really seen prices drop that much in the second hand market. Have you seen any price drop due to more supply?

I don’t want or need disc brakes or di2 shifting…

A good bike fitter will be able to give you a good idea of suitable stack and reach windows if you don’t know them. That will narrow down the fit front for online purchases pretty easily.

If you’re prepared to buy second hand, there are some bargains starting to come up. eBay uk and various UK forums are starting to see an influx of relatively high end, lightly used bikes. In the last few weeks alone, I’ve seen an Enigma with AXS (£3500), an Aethos with AXS and Zipps (£3700) and a Parlee with Di2 (11sp, £3000).

Whether you’re prepared to drop that kind of change on a 2/h bike is a separate question, but I think there are a lot of pandemic/lockdown impulse purchases that have sat unused in garages for quite a while and, with the economic climate getting gloomier in the UK, people are looking to shift them. Pricing is still very uneven (many people are still holding out for silly prices), but the smarter sellers are realising the market is going to flood and are selling for sensible money.

I’m also starting to see new models discounted for the first time in ages. If you walked into my LBS, and were prepared to pay up front (no finance or C2W) you could probably negotiate 20% off list on just about any bike with a list price over £4k.

And if you want 2/h, mechanical, and rim, well… you could probably pick up something astonishing for silly money, tbh!

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Depends on brand, bike and even local. I have seen major brands have been “on sale,” however still much higher than pre-pandemic. Unfortunately I don’t think those prices will never return, especially with inflation and the increased cost of components.

In Australia I’m noticing a lot of good quality bikes hitting the market place.

In Australia we had lock downs but you were allowed out to “exercise” which saw a huge rise in bike sales.
Now that, that is all over I think a lot of these people that bought bikes to still excercise during lockdown are realising cycling might not be for them.

I just sold one of my MTBs as I can see it being harder to sell as time moves on and I’m thinking of picking up a cheap roadie. Theres a fair few out there with rim brakes and ultegra for less than $2k AUD

seeing lots of sales as of lately in the US. I think things may be normalizing. Used bike prices are also seeimingly back to normal

I always advise people to test ride bikes. IMHO bike fit >> components. Bikes may look good on paper, especially if you focus on specs rather than other, much more important factors such as geo. Canyon is a good example: they make good bikes and have excellent spec for the money. But you don’t know whether they suit you until you ride them. Before getting my 3T Strada, I had a Cube carbon endurance road bike. I hated how that thing rode, and it wasn’t a case of poor bike fit in the literal sense (had it fitted perfectly), it was that the bike did not fit my riding style. It was dead in the corners and more of a cruiser. On paper, it made sense: I got it half-price, because someone didn’t know how to service disc brakes (the brake pistons just needed to be aligned, which took 5 minutes for the pair), and I thought it was an advantage that the riding position was closer to my mountain bike. Didn’t like it.

Just test ride a lot of bikes and see what you like. Some hybrid brands such as 3T have loaners in bike shops. I was able to test ride a 3T Strada and a 3T Exploro on several occasions. I even kept a Strada Due as a loaner for two weeks.

If you have enough experience and know exactly what kind of bike you like and you know how to interpret geo charts, you can go ahead and buy based on geo charts. For the sake of argument, let’s take a more aggressive endurance road bike, the BMC Roadmachine. Yes, this is on the more aggressive side, but how does that suit your riding style? I don’t know.

Then buy a used bike. Seriously.

The entire market has moved the majority of its line-ups to disc brakes a few years ago. Rim brakes are only in entry-level bikes or a few select, very expensive models. If you insist on rim brakes these days, I wouldn’t buy a new bike. Even then, know that the market has moved on, and so should you.

I’d advise anyone to seriously look at the global, regional (and your personal) financial situation before a significant luxury spend right now.


To avoid being forced what to do by the market, that wants to make their profits bigger - not your life easier, when you have decided what you want, buy spare components :slight_smile:

I bought my roadie in 2014, I bought Veloce spares over the following years in sales and have enough spare parts to last another decade perhaps. :hammer_and_wrench::man_mechanic::bike:

You do need to be confident you can resist the next new shiny shiny though…They work very hard to tempt you! It’s their careers work after all.


Hence, my advice to get a used bike. :slightly_smiling_face:

Now is the time for deals as people are selling their rim brake bikes and almost always replace it with a disc brake bike. I did not intend to repeat the rim vs. disc brake argument. But no matter how you feel about the topic, I think it is fair to say the market has moved on.

I think the challenge is in getting a proper test ride. As things like setup, wheels and tyres, saddle, road conditions etc can all make a huge difference to how a bike feels. Taking a bike for a 5-10 minute spin from the LBS is unlikely to give you any meaningful feedback. E.g. my favourite bike felt terrible the first time I rode it because the stock wheels were cheap and heavy with tires to match. I knew that would be the case and was always planning to swap them out for some decent lightweight carbon wheels with nice 30mm tires on, and once I’d done so it felt like a completely different bike. That same bike that now feels so well-planted and smooth on sub-optimal tarmac and sweeping bends at cruising pace also feels a little sluggish and unresponsive on smooth tarmac and sharper bends at race speeds when compared to my race bike. Not sure how much this is due to running 30mm tires vs 25mm, and how much is due to an endurance titanium frame vs a carbon aero race frame. But the difference isn’t really noticeable until I’m railing it through some tight corners in a group, and I’ve never had the opportunity to put a test bike through that kind of riding. I’ve found it hard in the past getting a test bike set up with fit dialled into the nearest mm and pedals and saddle of my choice fitted, let alone being allowed to take it out for a few hours and really put it through it’s paces.

Ironically the best option for test riding bikes near to me is a hire bike company located in a popular riding area with a good selection of roads and terrain, who have a fleet of Canyons you can rent and take out for a couple of hours, and a tie-in with Canyon to get the cost of rental discounted against a bike purchase. Haven’t used them but friends have and say they’ve been great at helping set bikes up to give you a good try before you buy experience. By contrast most bike shops only have new bikes in store and are understandably reluctant for you to take them out for more than a perfunctory ride or to make too many changes to the set up.

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The problem with Testriding for me is that most Bikeshops are still very short on stock and Bikes in sizes 58-61 are nearly never available in stores… so Testriding is basically impossible unless I get very lucky… On the used market I also can’t find many offers in the size I would need, and I’m really thinking about getting a used bike…

I’m intrested to see if it gets better next year and if Groupsets become available again, then I could even build up my own bike…


A longer test ride is obviously better than a short one. But a short one is a kilometers ahead of none. I think you can gauge a bike quite well after a few minutes even. E. g. when I bought a mountain bikes, short test rides were enough. The model I had originally set my sights on felt too wallow-y, even though it was the more expensive option. I knew that the brakes of the one I opted for wouldn’t do, so I upgraded them.

Ditto with road bikes, once you have ridden quite a few, you can get a sense for the way the bike feels even if some of the components are subpar. When I first test rode a 3T Strava, the bike felt great even though the cable-actuated disc brakes were garbage (I was warned by the owner of the LBS 3 times before taking off, and he was right) and the gearing was chosen by someone who doesn’t understand gear ratios (the highest gear was a 46:9 = 5.11 = 56:11).

You can also figure out whether you like a particular style of bike, e. g. whether you prefer an endurance road bike geometry to a race bike geometry. Or which size fits you best.

It is true that some bikes/components reveal their character or their flaws later. E. g. even after two weeks I could not get used to the default Di2 button layout even though I came from a Shimano mechanical groupset at the time. (The loaner did not have the optional Bluetooth box and I wasn’t given the proprietary USB cable either, so I couldn’t reprogram the buttons. Still, defaults should work, and they just didn’t for me.)

Another option are bike fairs or manufacturer-specific events.

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