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I'm shopping for a new road bike, probably a Cannondale Synapse or a SuperSix Evo Carbon. Since this is around the time the new models for 2017 are going to come in, shouldn't this be the time when I'll be able to get the 2016 ones lower than retail prices? All the LBS I've looked at are carrying these at full retail prices.

Is there an ideal time to shop for bikes to get them at bargain prices? Are there any other tips to get Bikes at a reasonably lower price than full retail price?

  • Buy from reputable retailer online. LBS need to pay rent, salary, worker benefits, overhead. Stock clearance will not happens unless factory start giving discount. – mootmoot Jun 6 '16 at 17:14
  • As Batman days, beginning of summer is still or even high season, you will have full current year prices... it's more around end of the year and then again more discount will be with out of average sizes or less popular models (because sellers want to get rid of that stock) – gaurwraith Jun 6 '16 at 19:44
  • A lot of major manufacturers don't allow their bikes to be sold online. As far as I know, Cannondale retailers can sell you the bike online, but you have to go to a storefront to pick it up. So, you're probably not going to undercut them significantly even if you try this (and you may miss some in store deals). – Batman Jun 6 '16 at 21:23
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    Actually, the best way of getting a new bike cheap is if you're a regular LBS customer, where they see that it's in their long term interest to look after you. If you buy online, you still need to assemble it, and I'd charge about 10% of the bike's price to assemble it. If you drop the new requirement, the best source is second hand from friends, second hand from your LBS, and finally online. With online you don't know if it fits until you've paid for it. – andy256 Jul 25 '16 at 8:59
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In the US, you generally expect bicycles to get cheaper towards October/November, rather than May/June/July.

Everyone wants to buy a bicycle when Spring gets nice and Summer. Then, they'll ride a few days in the fall and put the bike away in winter. So, sales tend to decline in the Fall/Winter (and the deals come out), so looking in Fall is probably the best.

As for tricks to get bicycles at cheaper prices, you could look at shops in different areas which may have different costs (locally, some bikes here are more expensive than going to one of the cities a few hours away; however, some manufacturers may have price control) or look used (but it seems like you're looking at relatively high end bikes in this case, so you may not have as much luck with it). You may also get a good deal on accessories with a bicycle (a certain amount of free kit in some places), so you could hawk those on eBay or something to recover some money.

  • Yeah, I've twice gotten good deals in the fall, toward the end of cycling season. – Daniel R Hicks Jun 7 '16 at 3:40
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No there is no good seaonal time for a big cut on prices for a bike. That said, there are sporadic sales and Trek hacked the prices on the ALR Emonda by $300 bucks. That was Trek's, not the LBS, doing.

What you can do to compensate is go in with a list of things you would like a discount on alongside the bike. The margins on the bike itself are very low. Get your bike picked out, and tell the salesman that you need some accessories. Helmets are often marked up by 50% if they are the store brand. Saddlebags, tubes are at least 25% off. Shoes and clothing, for some reason, might be only discountable by 10%. Don't forget the waterbottle cages (ask for buy one get one). And on the way out, see if they'll throw in two LBS branded water bottles.

And before I get hated on, I worked at a LBS for 5 years. Mechanic (mostly) and sales. These things are viewed as an investment in you coming back to the shop and buying other goods, especially service on a bike. Furthermore, your gushing words of praise are bought cheaply for those discounts that didn't cost the LBS profit as they did not go below margin. It is essentially an investment of forgone profit into future business.

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