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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Kinda new here and I searched around and couldn’t find something that fit this subject.

Over the years I have had lots of hobbies some cheap some not. In the not so cheap area (value not dollars) model building/RC cars/trains ranks pretty high I once saw a balloon sell for $4 at the hobby shop, the exact same thing $0.50 will get you 100 at any local grocer or whatnot.

So here’s my question. Where have you guys found deals on things you use for cycling from places other than bike specific places.

So far my only thing I have managed to do is figuring that honey and some extras works just as good as any of the $1 a pack goo things and tastes damn good.


Hopefully we can get more of these tips to help out some of us struggling bikers

Forgot to mention that i found 2 pairs of cool max socks at target for 4.99. sure beats 7-10 a pair for bike socks (though they do look cooler)
 

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A few suggestions....

I ride year-round, but I don't think I own any bike-specific winter clothes. Things you'd wear for cross-country skiing (or any other aerobic sport) work fine: Wicking layer, insulating layer and shell, adjusted to suit the weather. You can often get "last season" fleece etc. in places like Ross for half price or less.
If you're REALLY cheap, all the wool sweaters you can carry out of the Salvation Army or other thrift shop will run you about five bucks. I also wear XC ski gloves from REI, about $14 on sale. You pretty much have to buy shorts and shoes, though I wear boots and wool socks with platform pedals and toe clips when it's really cold, and a pair of cycling underwear, like Andiamos, turns almost any shorts into bike shorts for rides up to an hour or so.
Small fasteners and other hardware are often cheaper at places like Home Depot than at a bike shop, but the difference is small and I don't need much of it, so I usually buy at the LBS anyway (local bike shop, if you don't know the acryonym). It lets them know I'm around, and if I need something in a hurry, they recognize me as a customer. Any automotive grease at Kragen, for about five bucks a pound, will do as well as the $4.99-a-tiny-tub stuff from the shop in bearings, but I use ProLink chain lube even though you can easily mix your own (recipes have appeared here several times). A year's supply costs five or six dollars, and it's another reason to drop by the shop. And with a few exceptions, the tools you already have will work for a bike tune-up--you don't have to buy a whole new toolkit (as you progress, you will need a few specific things).
Some bike clothing is laughably expensive, and you don't really need, say, a drawer full of team jerseys at $60 or $80 apiece. A T-shirt works fine, and if you look around places like www.sierratradingpost.com, you can sometimes find wicking ones, made of CoolMax, for $10 or so. I'm embarrassed to wear a real team jersey anyway...I feel like I'm putting on pads to play with my kids in the park.
Finally, mail order/Internet prices are attractive, but don't forget to factor in the shipping. Buying four $6 tubes for $4 apiece isn't much of a bargain if you have to pay seven bucks for shipping and wait a week.
 

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Some Mechanic's gloves work well as cycling gloves. There are a couple models of Sears Craftsman which are my current favorite MTB gloves and road gloves for cool season rides. They also work fine on road- cut off the fingers for cooler running in summer.
Generic athletic ankle socks can be lots cheaper on sale ($1- 2/pr) than the logo-laden cycling specific socks (up to $10/pr or more).
Cory is right about cycling shorts- those are totally cycling specific and well worth the investment for rides longer than 10-12mi.
I happen to like the features of cycling jerseys with wicking fabric, front zipper, and rear pockets. You can find these on sale at web retailers or sometimes LBS's for under $25-30 for relatively plain jerseys. I got a couple nice ones from my local cycling club when it was closing out last year's design at $20!!!!!
Even LBS's use lots of small stuff from non-cyling sources (e.g. from quality bearings to 3M tape to finish handlebar wraps).
Bottom line is to follow you instinct. If it looks like it would work well for your cycling needs, it probably will.
 

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I use Under Armor style shirts instead of jeresys. They are light and provide good wicking of sweat to keep you cool. You can buy the cheaper brand of them at walmart for $7, or the Starter brand for $12. The Under Armor brand is about 20 a shirt, and I have not noticed any difference. If your not brave enough to wear it alone, putting it under a light t-shirt works well. I wear Mechanics gloves also.
 

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You're Not the Boss of Me
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BIcycling Mag did an article on how PayDay candy bars have a protein/carb/electrolyte combo that is comparable to many of the higher priced (and less tasty) energy bars. I now buy 'em by the case. The only struggle is avoiding the temptation to snack on 'em at home...
 

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A good hardware store will carry metric bolts in a variety of thread counts. Bottle cage screws and other small bolts are much cheaper than LBS prices.

Near my house is a small mower repair shop that has a sideline business selling cheap bicycles and parts...I buy most of my cable housing, cables, and other misc parts from him because they are much cheaper than an LBS. He mostly carries parts made by Pyramid, Dimension and Delta but those companies have some decent parts expecially for communting type bikes. A seat post is around $10. Bottle cages $5. V-Brakes are around $15..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for all the great tips. i am not that much of a noob. i already have several pairs of shorts and socks as well as a few jerseys. i cant believe i didnt think about mechanics cloves, as i use them when i weld and work on my car. Nutrition is a place that i feel they rip us off the most, its crazy how expensive some of the exotic stuff is. i am about to buy a GU flask and i will be filling it with honey and some other bits for a home made goo, save myself a ton of money for energy.
thanks again for the tips. and now i am off to ride.

Brian
 

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papa sboak
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zip ties, velco strips, krazy glue, hose clamps, fishing line, rubber window/door trim, foam tubes (split on one side), trash bags, duct tape, pvc piping

with the above mentioned items, you can modify & tweak almost anything you have around the house to work for you for at least a short while. in the end, it's best to modify what was already designed specifically for it though.

in winter, all of my snowboarding underclothes work great

I use Underarmour sleeveless shirts as well as the person above, they're the absolute best! I gave all my Coolmax stuff to my girlfriend as it kept shrinking.
 

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Picked up several Next brand (Walmart's store brand of the original manufacturer Topeak's version) Panoram multifunction cyclecomputers for $12.95 each compared to the original Topeak brand which was about $40 a piece. Also picked up some nice Schwinn multitool kits for about $5 that are virtualy identical to one of the name brands that sell at about $18, I think that was at Target. Kmart has 12gr CO2 cartridges at about $8-9 per 24 while they cost about $3-4 a piece at LBS.
 

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cygor98 said:
. Nutrition is a place that i feel they rip us off the most, its crazy how expensive some of the exotic stuff is.

Brian
Drink and eat real food.

Gels and bars come in handy on really long rides. But, I find that both my stomach and wallet are happier when I stick to real stuff. Some of my favorites include: banannas, bagels, orange juice, ham sandwiches, coca-cola, potato ships and pop tarts.
 

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A few more items:
1. Fig Newtons instead of Powerbars
2. Automotive hand cleaner - works great for removing grease from hands; not sure if there is a bike-branded equivalent, but it would surely be much more expensive
3. Craftsman/GearWrench 15mm wrench instead of overpriced Campy peanut butter wrench (even the ratcheting Craftsman is much cheaper than the Campy (no-ratchet) wrench)
4. Marine grease instead of water-resistant bike grease (for pedal bearings, etc.)
5. If you feel you need a torque wrench, get it at Sears; much cheaper than Park or any other bike branded torque wrench
 

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Pain Is Gain
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Patch kit - $2 at a LBS, $1.35 at my next door hardware store, and the glue tube that comes with it is five times bigger than the one from LBS.
 

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Scuzzo
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ok im in, we have a chain of stores called The Dollar Store where you can get sunglasses cheap and thats where i get my shades for riding, every one thinks im sporting $50 and $70 pr. shades but they cost $1.08. make sure they have UV protection. it feals completely different to break cheapo $1 shades then the 150 dollar oakes i use to sport..

see ya on the road
 

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jlfbogey said:
Picked up several Next brand (Walmart's store brand of the original manufacturer Topeak's version) Panoram multifunction cyclecomputers for $12.95 each compared to the original Topeak brand which was about $40 a piece. Also picked up some nice Schwinn multitool kits for about $5 that are virtualy identical to one of the name brands that sell at about $18, I think that was at Target. Kmart has 12gr CO2 cartridges at about $8-9 per 24 while they cost about $3-4 a piece at LBS.
I have no experience with Next cyclocomputers. I agree with the CO2 savings at discount stores- I've used those for years with no problems. But get a QUALITY multi-tool. My experience with a Schwinn multi-tool is that it is crafted from inferior soft steel & does not hold up to anything but light use. My Topeak Hummer (now called Hexus for identical tool) has held up for 3 years of regular service (inc. as a second hex wrench on my home workbench). Rding alone far from home is not the time to figure out that your cheap multitool's hex wrench just rounds off its edges when you try to turn a tough hexnut. -Been there, done that :(
 

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many of my outdoor activities have carry-over items. i use the same base layer clothes for cycling and backpacking. the food tricks are the same - i buy clif bars in bulk at the local big box store - $0.36 each ain't bad. i use the same cold and cool weather gloves and merino wool socks. my cycling wind tights are used when backpacking in snow.

i wear a lot of my backpacking gear when i'm out shooting pictures of trains too. i'm more comfortable in my hiking clothes than my buddies in blue jeans and cotton shirts. i doubt i'll ever wear cotton tees again ;)
 
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