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  1. #1
    Senior Member Stix Zadinia's Avatar
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    What's the most comprehensive online bike store for looking at parts?

    Hey everyone

    Been wondering as to whether there's some sort of 'definitive' bicycle store online, with lots of options to organize the specs of parts, good review system, large selections, etc.

    Upon a quick google search I've come across:

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/ (from the UK, I think)
    http://www.performancebike.com/
    http://www.racycles.com/

    Do you have any specific site preference?


    Thanks much
    Why does the wind always blow cold, and always the wrong way? -Pain

  2. #2
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    amazon.com, nashbar.com

  3. #3
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    I like Universal Cycles: http://www.universalcycles.com/ , for selection and for the fact that their brick & mortar store is close by. I can order online and pick up stuff on the way home from work.

    You'll find that quite a few online places are conduits for Quality Bicycle Products, a wholesale distributor. That's not a knock on QBP, but you'll start to recognize the similarities in their offerings.

    Universal also has several rescue cats wandering around that I like to visit:

    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  4. #4
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Rescue cats??? I didn't know there was another kind. I keep my barn population at 2 or 3. It's easy; they just show up. I think people see a barn from the road and figure it's automatically a good place to throw their extras. Barns have mice, right??? We try to find homes for the overflow; but sometimes they have to go to Animal Control, where their fate is uncertain.

  5. #5
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    In addition to universalcycles, I like http://www.biketiresdirect.com/ for its broad (and slightly different) selection. I gave up on Performance a couple years ago; their parts selection is pretty limited, and their frequent buyers' club is annoying (and expensive).

  6. #6
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Yep. I second Amazon. When looking for a parts/components, I do a general search and there're a about a dozen different vendors I use, but often Amazon has the best deal.

  7. #7
    S'toon trail rider! MisterK's Avatar
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    Jensonusa. Lots of good deaks. You can compare prices. Simple layout. Waiting on my first transaction so we shall see how it goes service wise

  8. #8
    Senior Member fettsvenska's Avatar
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    Niagara Cycle has a lot of different stuff. I don't care for their website all that much but they have a wide selection at low prices. I also like Tree Fort Bikes but their selection isn't as wide.

  9. #9
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    I buy from Nashbar for a lot of clearance items. Rarely Performance, simply because I have their store 1 mile from home. For less common, or budget quality items, I find Niagara cycleworks usually has what I need. As mentioned above, their web site is not the greatest. Functional but slow. I've frequently bought from various third party vendors on Amazon, which is how I came to use Nigara. I tend to check Niagara's prices at both places and have sometimes found things on sale in one place but not the other.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  10. #10
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post

    Universal also has several rescue cats wandering around that I like to visit:

    If one of our LBS had a shop cat I'd probably stop in more often.

    I have our office cat warming my lap right now. We (coworkers and I) rescued her a couple months ago from a culvert she was living in down the street and put her to work as an office cat. Obsidian (Sid) is a 1yo solid black DSH.

    For On Topic: We like Treefort Bikes and shop there online sometimes.
    Gunnar Sport
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  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    LBS here has a Big Dark Basement, the Troglodyte, lives down there.

  12. #12
    Pentapointed Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    I recently built up a Nashbar touring frame and used Universal and Treefort because they both had an easy to navigate online parts organization and decent prices.

  13. #13
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I use Niagara Cycles, Harris Cyclery, Dutch Bike Bits, SJS Cycles (UK), Velo-Orange, Ben's Cycles, Longleaf Bicycles and occasionally Nashbar/Performance, but they are on my **** list at the moment. Then there is always whatever LBS I happen to stumble across during my travels. I am sure there are other places I have ordered from, but these are the ones that I have used in the past year.

    What I order from whom, depends on what I am wanting.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  14. #14
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I've been using probikekitdotcom for tires. Conti GP4000's for $37 vs $75 at the shop and Performance. Free shipping.

    I just bought Ultegra hubs for $137 a Ribblebikesdotcom FOR THE SET! Vs $74 for the front only at the shop.

    I go where the prices are which usually seems to be spread among various sites.



    hubs by gulpxtreme, on Flickr


    4 tires at PBK for about $150 free shipping. You'd only get 2 at Performance for this much.


    GP4000 by gulpxtreme, on Flickr

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
    I tend to check Niagara's prices at both places and have sometimes found things on sale in one place but not the other.
    Don't only check the prices and the sales, but also check the shipping costs, too. Sometimes the total is cheaper at Niagara direct, sometimes cheaper Niagara via Amazon. Kinda funny, actually.

  16. #16
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    Highly recommend Jensonusa. Never had any problem with price matching from any other vendor, including Amazon. Shipping is free if over $50. Shipping can be slow, but customer service is top notch.

  17. #17
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    I guess stock and prices are where you find them. Realistically, when the distributer's price to retailers on some European tires is the same as what the tires are selling for in Europe - I'd think it has something to do with import dutys and your LBS is never going to be able to compete with shops in Europe selling the same thing. Be happy - everything's more expensive in Canada! Just can't think of any other place I'd rather live!

  18. #18
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    I like Amazon because a lot of stuff is eligible for free shipping if you buy $25 worth - I'm not too fond of shipping charges from online stores (they don't have brick-and-mortar shop costs, they should manage the shipping themselves). That said, I have paid shipping when I had to - but I still don't like it.
    http://treadrightly.blogspot.com/

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    QBP , but they sell to dealers, then You Buy from the dealers..

  20. #20
    Senior Member Stix Zadinia's Avatar
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    To elaborate a bit more, I was wondering if there's some online site where reviews can clearly tell you for example if this or that model of a drive train is better according to USER reviews.
    I know Amazon has decent reviews, but I was thinking more of a site specialized (no pun intended) on bicycles only.

    Sort of like newegg.com for computers and gamers, but for bikes.

    The reason I ask this is because I keep looking at Shimano spares for example, and their site seems (to me at least) not very clear on providing much specifics on what it is that makes this specific part better or that more expensive, etc.
    Why does the wind always blow cold, and always the wrong way? -Pain

  21. #21
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Amazon might sell some items directly. Everything I've bought through them has been (indirectly) from a third party. An actual brick and mortor store that had partnered with Amazon for more exposure. So now as well as paying their normal overhead, which includes credit card companies taking a cut - they have to pay Amazon a percentage too. Free shipping? If your order is substantial (a couple hundred dollars), someone might be making enough to allow free shipping, but the post office doesn't work for free so someone actually has to pay for the service.

  22. #22
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stix Zadinia View Post
    To elaborate a bit more, I was wondering if there's some online site where reviews can clearly tell you for example if this or that model of a drive train is better according to USER reviews.
    I know Amazon has decent reviews, but I was thinking more of a site specialized (no pun intended) on bicycles only.

    Sort of like newegg.com for computers and gamers, but for bikes.

    The reason I ask this is because I keep looking at Shimano spares for example, and their site seems (to me at least) not very clear on providing much specifics on what it is that makes this specific part better or that more expensive, etc.
    The info you're looking for is in the Shimano catalogues suplied to dealers. Maybe you could drop by your LBS and ask to have a look or discuss things with them.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Stix Zadinia's Avatar
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    Ah yes, I've seem those catalogs in the shops, still would be nice to have them on a PDF for myself.

    Well still kind of a let down that there's app not a 'reference' review site out there..
    Why does the wind always blow cold, and always the wrong way? -Pain

  24. #24
    Senior Member Ranger63's Avatar
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    I'm going to go with Universal Cycles. Great selection, reasonable prices and when I have a question about a part I can ask and know I'll receive an answer.

  25. #25
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stix Zadinia View Post
    Ah yes, I've seem those catalogs in the shops, still would be nice to have them on a PDF for myself.

    Well still kind of a let down that there's app not a 'reference' review site out there..
    You mean like MTBR? http://www.mtbr.com/cat/drivetrain/c...52_115crx.aspx

    There's also Road bike review. If you're really looking for specific information on quality, I know what you mean. I find it a little confusing myself. I found a lot of opinions on the bicycle mechanics forum here (or pinkbike, amazon reviews, mtbr or even browsing the forums here). It is somewhat confusing however. Like if you read the thread in the mechanics forum asking if Sora is acceptable. Well, obviously people are going to jump in and defend Sora. But, talking about how the ergonomics work is different. And I read the 2013 Sora brifters is similar to the higher-quality models.

    In general, people say Deore (or Tiagra) is really where the quality starts to show (even if some others insist Acera is acceptable and 2200 or 2300 still shifts well enough if adjusted). But some people prefer Deore LX or 105. [My personal opinion is XT is usually really expensive. And the thing with building a bike with rapidfire shifters though is, if you can find New Old Stock (NOS) Deore or Deore LX shifters and derailleurs for the same cost as recent Alivio, it just seems hard to go with Alivio.]

    Everything is specific though. I read some people would really prefer Deore LX hubs to Deore. If I wanted to say money but still wanted Hollowtech II cranks, I might want to go with Deore. The two smaller chainrings apparently are still steel so they should laster long anyway. (Hollowtech II cranks apparently easier to work with but square taper better sealed.)

    I bought a Nashbar touring frame and decided to put a Shimano Sora (8 speed, now hard to find) front derailleur with a Shimano Alivio (8 speed) rear derailleur and Falcon friction shifters. So, if I was somewhere with no bike shop in sight and had a shifter malfunction, I'd rather have the Falcon friction shifters. I forgot to mention this would be a flat bar setup which the Nashbar touring frame can apparently pull off. (I also chose a front Shimano dynamo hub I found on sale on eBay and Busch & Muller Lumotec Lyt front light and a B&M rear light although I'd like to choose a Lumotec Cyo for a future project because the standlight is much more powerful from what I saw in a Youtube video.)

    Well, that sounded off-topic I guess. You wouldn't believe how many times I changed my ideas about what I wanted for a "dream bike" though. I ended up buying two of almost everything needed to build a bike. So I intend to complete two projects. At first I wanted rigid forks so I went with a Nashbar touring frame. Then I decided I'd prefer going with suspension forks. The second project which I really want will be what I consider an all-around "sports tourer". Whatever, I'm rambling... lol

    List of online stores I've looked at (although I like browsing the Niagra site): niagaracycle, cambriabike, eBikestop, nashbar, icycles, velo orange, bikeparts, bikeman, wheelworld, harriscyclery, jensonusa, universal cycles, eBay, amazon, chainreactioncycles (uk), saint john cycles (uk), bike24 (Germany), bikexperts (Germany), cyclepath.ca (Canada), smartbikeparts, cheapbikeparts360, bikepartsplace, price point, blueskycycling, performance bike, bikeisland, benscycle, starbike, aebike, airbomb
    http://harriscyclery.net/page.cfm?PageID=49
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...s-on-groupsets
    ribble, shinybikes, probikekit (maybe that's pbk), velomine (e-mail for better price), merlincycles.co.uk
    loosescrews, xxcycle
    http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/ http://www.rose-vpc.fr/
    Feeling Good by David Burns

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