If you're also looking for some cheap cycling gear, we tested the cheapest pieces of cycling kit we could find in the shops: The Cheapest Cycling Clothing: To the Test.
If you are after a bike but don’t have a lot of money to spare, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to get a cheap bicycle – check out our guide below.
Generally speaking, as you go up in price the parts on the bicycle become better quality, more robust and often lighter weight. The same is true of the bicycle frame itself. This is why last seasons bike or a good quality second hand bike can be great value.
If you just want something to ride to work or the shops on, there are literally thousands of options, with many retailers producing their own cheap bicycle ranges. These are ideal for getting about, boosting your fitness and saving money on your commute.
Cheap bicycle shops
Shops like Halfords, Decathlon and Evans Cycles all have a bike range starting at low prices. The cheapest bike on sale at Halfords is only £100, though you’ll have to not mind the fact that it’s likely to be a pretty heavy steed!
You might also want to have a look at our 10 Commuter Bikes Under £300 article.
Buy last seasons bike on sale
Don’t mind if you’re not riding the latest model of bike? Then save money by buying last seasons bike at a reduced rate.
A lot of bike shops like Evans and Cycle Surgery will sell off the previous seasons stock cheaply in the autumn (around October time) as this is when the new season stock starts coming in. You can often pick up a bargain, though there are likely to be limited sizes and models available.
Buy shop-soiled stock
Many bike shops, especially the bigger ones, will sell off slightly damaged stock at a reduced rate. This may have had a knock in the showroom, or come back from a test ride a bit grubby. Again, if you don’t mind it not being pristine, there is often a bargain bicycle to be found.
Buy an ex-demo bike
After a cheap mountain bike? You can often get a bargain by seeing what’s for sale at your local trail centre bike shop. They will often sell off their ex-demo fleet. You know the bike you are getting will have been well looked after and maintained, and in all likelihood not ridden that hard. Perfect!
Buy a second hand bicycle
There are plenty of second hand bicycles around, you just need to make sure the one you are looking at isn’t a stolen bicycle, and follow our second hand bicycle checklist to make sure it’s in good working order.
Online, have a look at sites like EBay and Gumtree, where there are literally thousands of second hand road bikes, mountain bikes and hybrid bikes listed.
Some bike shops will sell second hand bicycles which they have refurbished; these should have been thoroughly checked over and will be in good condition and ready to ride. This tends to be local bike shops rather than the bigger bike shop chains.
Another great place to look for second hand bicycles are local social enterprises and charities. These will often have sales of cheap bikes that have been carefully refurbished. It’s worth having a look at the following, though there are plenty of others about.
It’s also worth keeping your eyes out on the noticeboard in your local newsagent or supermarkets; second hand children’s bikes are often listed there.
If you want a way to spread the cost of your bicycle, and get all the accessories you need at the same time, then ask if your employer is part of the Cycle to Work Scheme. This will essentially allow you to purchase a bicycle through your employer and pay it back through salary deductions, and you will save money on the overall cost of the bike. Have a look at our ‘the Cycle to Work Scheme: How it Works’ article.
You can spend up to £1000 on the bicycle plus accessories, and with plenty of road bikes under £1000, mountain bikes under £1000 and hybrid commuter bikes under £500 you'll be ready to ride in no time.
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