As a cyclist, the search for newer and better gear is constant — there's always something else out there. Premes, Picks, Promos will highlight both the next big thing and the sleeper deal.
Hey, remember that balance between being thrifty and being cheap? It's time to aim for thrift and get the most out of your cycling cash.
On a fairly regular basis, QBP and other distributors release specials-and-closeout lists to their dealers in an attempt to clear space for new stuff. Some dealers take advantage of this and bring in products they couldn't normally sell. But since the cost is lower, they can drop the retail price low enough to make these items a quick sell.
Much of the time, it's random accessories and dead-in-the-water products. As in, there's a reason some of this stuff is discontinued. But sometimes you can grab things at way, way less than retail and stock up — or upgrade — without blowing your budget for the next six months.
Here are a few deals worth chasing if your shop is willing to order a few items in for you:
- SRAM PG-1070 cassette, 12-25 only — from Trek. You should be able to get one for between $70-80, and it will last a very long time. MSRP $106.99
- SRAM OG-1090 cassette, 11-23 only — from QBP. The Red cassette (gray-Red, not Black Red) is on sale from a lot of sources, but the gray 11-23 version is $35 less at cost than the Black version. You'll have to check with your shop to see what they'll do for you.
- SRAM Red components — Trek and QBP. With the new Red group filtering into stock, the old stuff has to go. Front derailleurs are discounted most, followed by brakes and cassettes. Shifters and rear derailleurs are full price at QBP, while Trek has the rear derailleur discounted.
- Shimano Di2 components — Trek. With the new 11-speed Dura-Ace 9000 group coming later this year, the original Dura-Ace Di2 bits are starting to move. I wouldn't call the discounts good enough to pounce yet, but it's worth keeping an eye on — especially because that original group won't likely be compatible with anything going forward due to the changing wiring standard. If you're on the DA Di2 train, having spare parts is never a bad idea.
- Bontrager tires — Trek. There are currently an awful lot of tires at an awfully low price. While MSRPs haven't changed, the dealer costs are way, way, way low. If you have a friendly dealer, you'll want to check out these road tires: RXL AC in 23mm and 25mm, R4 tubeless, RXL TT in 19mm (!) and 23mm widths. There are a ton of off-road tires, too. Prices are low enough that you could spend, say, $200 and not have to worry about training tires for a few years.
- Maxxis Radiale tire — QBP. If you're a Maxxis rider, the Radiale road tire in 22 and 23 is 40 percent off. Not bad for a $100 tire.
In no way am I guaranteeing you'll be able to get these deals — it all depends on the kind of relationship you have with your local shop(s). And, for some of you, they might not actually be great deals. That's fine. But if you've ever struggled to keep your gear up to date or had to delay the purchase of essentials (tires, for example) because of budget issues, you should check some of this stuff out.
In addition to publishing GamJams Midwest, Bryan Redemske has managed the Trek Bicycle Store of Omaha (Midtown), is a professional writer and a Cat 3 racer. He drinks a lot of coffee.
Sheesh, some of that stuff is expensive. Good thing you get your frames and wheels at Pro Deal pricing. Wait — you don't? You might want to look at November Bicycles. They've got a new racer-specific model designed to strip unnecessary pricing out of the cost of your new bike. It's like a Pro Deal for everyone.
November Bicycles. Race Smart.