Let’s face it, we all buy online to save money and here at The Bike Institute we’ve noticed the “shift” in the bike trade where customers, bike shop staff, shop owners, and even distributors all order online.
Whether it is bikes, clothes, or furniture if it is cheaper than your local store 9 times out of 10 we’ll pay for it online and get it delivered to our homes, hassle free. The same goes for bike parts and those home mechanics who can buy and fit bike parts themselves with the right tools are growing more and more. However, even the most experienced mechanic or home mechanic may choose the wrong part, size or damage when installing. Since we opened in 2012 we’ve always had a steady stream of customers who have chosen a part online only to find that it won’t fit their bike or with the wrong tool damaged the part they were trying to fit. This happens often and it’s no big deal.
So if you have bought online and need us to fit the part please bring your bike and part in and we’d be very happy* to fit it for you. Sometimes with certain brands and high end parts need specific tools to fit, and we’re not bragging but we have a seriously kitted out mechanic workshop – and we’ll only charge you the standard workshop rate!
We all need a little guidance so here are our top five tips to consider before you buy online.
- Buy from a reputable source online. Big brand stores will have a considerate return policy and warranty section. Buying from some dude on ebay won’t.
- Know your bike: Get to know your bike and it’s parts ( Shimano, Campagnolo etc) and research about your specific parts and its size and configuration. Knowing a bit about how your gear system operates and how it will wear and tear will help you decipher what part is needed and it’s tools.
- Get the right size: Knowing the difference between a cartridge style bottom bracket or having the right brake pads for V brakes on your bike is crucial. Check out any exact size specifications of your bike brands when available ( usually available from bike brand’s own website).
- Pricing: buy cheap, buy twice so if something is too cheap compared to general RRP price you can bet it’s fairly dodgy. Shop around, read bike forums and calculate shipping and taxes before you click PAY.
- If you are not sure, leave it to the mechanic. If you can change a part yourself, go for it! Remember if things go wrong bring the part into us and we’ll fit it for you ( providing it is the right part). Bike shops, including ours have a wide range of parts and accessories in store and have access to the right wholesalers to get the right part. Finally, saving money that is also hassle free is a hard task to master, if you are unsure please call in to us or your local shop and save yourself the trouble!
*Unfortunately we cannot take phone calls for those looking for advice on which part to buy online as we don’t have the manpower needed for those calls.