Thursday 13 November 2014

How to source cheap bike parts and accessories in Australia

Summary: Buying bicycle parts and accessories is unnecessarily expensive if you are forced to purchase them when not on sale and from a typical bike shop which has high costs to recover. I buy consumables (e.g. brake pads, chains) in bulk on special and wait for clearance prices on more expensive equipment. In this post, I'll provide details of some of the parts and accessories I've bought - prices, websites and tips on acquiring decent quality equipment cheaply.

Related Posts:
> See the buying a bike and gear category of this blog.

1. Main websites I use to source parts and accessories cheaply
(a) Cell Bikes - Has regular clearance sales and specials. Overstocked items also get discounted significantly to normal prices. The online store is based in Sydney but you can now get free delivery to the Fitzroy North store. Ships within 2-3 business days.

(b) Chain Reaction Cycles - Has a very large range of parts and accessories so can find things like spokes here which are hard to find cheaply on Australian sites. There is often free delivery to Australia. Prices on items not regularly discounted significantly in Australia are much cheaper. For example, I always buy my Schwalbe tyres and tubes from here. Delivery takes around 2 weeks.

(c) The Bicycle Depot - Often has very low (even below cost) prices on surplus stock it is clearing for other vendors. When it has big clearances I often stock up on parts and tools which I could always give away to one of the bike sheds I volunteer at or to friends.

(d) Grays Online / - These online clearance businesses have merged and the same products are listed on both. As they get rid of other's surplus stock, items on sale or auction can often be had below cost. Note that for some recent listings I have found the same items at The Bicycle Depot for $1 less.

(e) Bike Exchange - While this site doesn't list many clearance/sale items, it is Australia's biggest and best aggregator site and is always worth checking for comparison prices and to find the stores with the most competitive prices for certain equipment.

(f) The Bicycle Store - Regularly has low prices on some types of parts (chain rings, chains, etc).

(g) Pushys - Regularly has brand sales and clearances particularly on accessories. My Fiction skate helmet often sells for as little as $15 here.

(h) Cycling Deal - Limited range of sale items but the discounts can be significant.

(i) Reid Cycles - Often has rushed and poor service and assembly is often lacking but may be a decent option for acquiring well-known components cheaply in a physical Melbourne bike store.

(j) eBay - I personally don't use it much but some types of ultra cheap parts may be worth trying out this way. For example, solar-powered bike lights and similar electronic equipment that can be had extremely cheaply on eBay.

2. Cheap sources of consumable parts
Below are the links to where I've most cheaply and reliably sourced consumable parts from:

40mm Brake pads (The Bicycle Depot)$1/pair- Clearance; bought 8 pairs for $8
- My last Shimano pair from Cell Fitzroy North cost $12
Brake cables and casing (The Bicycle Depot)$1 each- Clearance; bought 6 for $6
Derailleur cables and casing (The Bicycle Depot)$2 each- Clearance; bought 2 for $4
KMC Single speed chain 1/2 x 1/8 x 112L (The Bicycle Depot)$5 each- Clearance; bought 4 chains for $20
21-24 speed chain 1/2 x 3/32 x 116L (The Bicycle Depot)$7 each- Clearance
Rim tape - Hochdruck 16mm (The Bicycle Depot)$3/pair- Clearance; bought 2
Rim tape - Schwalbe 20mm (Chain Reaction Cycles)$3.50/pair- Regular discount
Schwalbe road tubes (Chain Reaction Cycles)$8.50 each- Regular discount
Schwalbe Durano Plus tyres (Chain Reaction Cycles)$37 each- Regular discount
Bike chain lube - Rock N Roll 118ml (Cell Bikes)$10 each- Special; bought 2
Puncture repair kits (The Bicycle Depot)$1 each- Clearance; bought 2
Spokes (Chain Reaction Cycles)~$2 eachNot yet bought

3. Cheap sources of other bike parts, accessories and tools
Below is a list of other equipment I've acquired cheaply for eventual replacement or for my volunteer bike fixes.

Rear mudguard - Zefal Swan (Cell Bikes)$12- Clearance; bought one for future use/gift
Wired cycle computer - Ventura XIV 14 function (The Bicycle Depot)$7 each- Clearance; bought 2
Kryptonite Evolution Mini U-Lock (Cell Bikes)$71- Special price
Multi tool - 18 function Le Tour (The Bicycle Depot)$6- Special price
Spoke wrench - 3.2/3.3/3.4mm (The Bicycle Depot)$6- Clearance
Stem for 25.4mm handlebars (The Bicycle Depot)$10 each- Clearance; bought 4
Bottom bracket 1/2" torque wrench (The Bicycle Depot)$10 each- Clearance
Freewheel sprocket remover with chain (The Bicycle Depot)$6 each- Clearance
Cassette sprocket remover for Shimano hyperglide (The Bicycle Depot)$6 each- Clearance
7 speed cassette 14-28T (The Bicycle Depot)$7- Special; bought 2 for workshop
Shimano-compatible 8 speed cassette 11-32T (The Bicycle Depot)$13- Special; bought for workshop
Shimano Chain CN-HG40 6/7/8 Speed (Cell Bikes)$12- Special; bought for workshop
36 piece Super B bike tool set (The Bicycle Depot)$99Clearance; bought one for loans/workshop
Mountain bike handlebar grips - Bike Ribbon Katana grips (Cell Bikes)$7- Clearance; bought one for future use/gift
Rear bike rack (The Bicycle Depot)$15- Clearance; bought one for future use
Crankset remover for square axles (The Bicycle Depot)$4- Clearance
Chain rivet extractor tool for Shimano hyperglide (The Bicycle Depot)$4- Clearance
Road saddle - Ventura universal (The Bicycle Depot)$4- Clearance
Chain wear indicator tool (The Bicycle Depot)$3- Clearance
Mini pump with holder  - Ventura (The Bicycle Depot)$3- Clearance; bought 2
Freewheel half ball 18T (The Bicycle Depot)$2 each- Clearance; bought 5 for $10
Platform pedals (The Bicycle Depot)$3/pair- Clearance
Axle track nuts for rear and front hubs (The Bicycle Depot)$2 each- Clearance; bought 4 for $8
Stem spacers 1.1/8" 10mm (The Bicycle Depot)$1 each- Clearance; bought 8 for $8
Floor pump with universal valve - Tioga (Cell Bikes)$7- Clearance
Lightweight full-fingered gloves - Cell (Cell Bikes)$5- Clearance
Universal Car Bike Carrier - Bike Rider (Cell Bikes)$50- Clearance
Single speed spanner 15mm - Tobe (Cell Bikes)$5- Clearance

4.  Bike parts and accessories I've yet to find regularly cheap sources for
- For the below parts, I haven't found places to save a lot of money. If you know of any, let me know.

Handlebar bar tape (Cell Bikes)$15Hard to get your desired colour without paying standard price
Bullhorn handlebar 25.4mm (Cell Bikes)$35Full price. Could not easily find a local supplier with a special