We're fresh into 2017 with a list of resolutions which will make this year the one for achieving cycling goals. But those goals will be much more easily achieved with the right kit for the job. So what better time to stock up on bikes, shoes, helmets and gear than the sales season.
Trawling through the websites and sports shops can often feel like a jumble sale, jumbling up your head. Percentages, 2-for-1 deals and clearance items may seem like a great deal, but are they really? Is it what you need, or are you compromising for the deal? It's easy to get lured in by the bright red sale labels, but more often than not, you can come away with a shopping cart full of unnecessary bits and bobs.
The phrase "once it's gone, it's gone" typically applies to sale items. Stores are trying to clear their warehouses ready for the new waves of goodies to hit the shelves.
Whether you're shopping online and bookmark the page, or if you see it in the store and think of returning another day, be careful because that super ideal pair of bibtights may be gone when you return!
Make a list
While impulsively buying a new jersey or two is fun and always necessary, is there anything else you need?
Time to take a look through your kit bag and see if anything is missing or needs updating. Don't forget we still have a few more colder months to get through until summer, so plan ahead with your kit. Similarly, check your bike over for potential upgrades and even consider your nutritional supplies. You can never really have enough protein powder afterall.
Honesty is the best policy
This is probably the hardest one, but do you really need it?
Don't be fooled by the 75% off price tag. It may be cheap, but does it fit, will you wear it, do you even like it? Best to save the pennies and invest in something more suitable.
Compare and contrast
Buying a bike in the sale can be the best thing to do when you have to stick to a budget.
It may not be the latest model, but bike brands tend to keep similar specifications on their bikes, and just vary colourways from year-to-year, with a few small tweaks here and there. The best thing to do it compare models and prices on the bikes to see if the latest model is really worth this bigger price tag.
Just because it's the sales and it's cheaper than usual, there's no excuse not to do your research before you buy.
Reading customer, website and magazine reviews can be a great insight into whether that product is right for you, but remember to take it with a pinch of salt. Firstly, round-up reviews in magazines and websites will rate the bike taking its rrp into account - so if that price has now dropped it's worth baring in mind. Also, what may not work for one person, may be perfect for you. It's always best to seek out reviews across a variety of sources, and when in doubt, turn to your local cycling community for trusted friendly advice.
The sales are the perfect way to stock up on your cycling kit, and make sure you have everything you need to smash your 2017 goals. While it's fun to do some spontaneous shopping and grab some goodies, remember to shop smart and be realistic as well.
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