Buying online - what are your top tips?

HeatherMillsLeg
HeatherMillsLeg Posts: 90
edited June 2013 in Road beginners
Hi,

We all love saving money and shopping online. Unfortunately as a result your LBS ( local bike shop) doesn't love it or you as much.

After buying a few bikes online and undoubtedly saving hundred's of £ there are quite a few pitfalls that I fell into as a beginner.

My top tip is to buy a Torque Wrench. These are NOT cheap tools. You are looking at £40+ but will be invaluable if you have to do any maintenence.

Online retailers will generally send you a pedal spanner & an Allen Key for you to fit pedals and adjust bars and stem. They will make out that this is simply a case of turning them and tightening up the bolts.

And it IS that easy. The problem is that many beginners, it's what I did, tighten these bolts as tight as possible and think - "wow, so easy, I'm a bike mechanic"!

The problem is, if you do not torque bolts correctly it can lead to serious and expensive damage and could be dangerous and is more than likely going to result in annoying creaks and groans.

Anyway - that's my top tip - what's yours?

Comments

  • t4tomo
    t4tomo Posts: 2,643
    So how much did it cost you to replace your crushed carbon handlebars then? More or less than what you saved by buying online?
    :wink:



    My top tips are:

    Evans on price match and deliver to store (to try on for any clothing etc) for most of my stuff.

    Be wary about bidding on ebay if you've been drinking.
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • lc1981
    lc1981 Posts: 820
    My top tip is to buy a Torque Wrench. These are NOT cheap tools. You are looking at £40+ but will be invaluable if you have to do any maintenence.

    A cheaper option than a torque wrench if all you're using it for is the stem, bars and seatpost clamp is a Ritchey torque key. They can be had for £15 and are small enough to carry with you on a ride.
  • t4tomo wrote:
    So how much did it cost you to replace your crushed carbon handlebars then? More or less than what you saved by buying online?
    :wink:



    My top tips are:

    Evans on price match and deliver to store (to try on for any clothing etc) for most of my stuff.

    Be wary about bidding on ebay if you've been drinking.

    It didn't as I only have an alloy bike - but the main reason for posting this is definitely that!

    All I did recently is flip the stem on one of my bikes - lovely "flex" noise. I knew it wasn't torqued properly, bike mechanic comes along with a torque wrench, does it properly - noise gone.

    Obviously in the next few weeks sales are going to go through the roof - and I can see a lot of people making very expensive mistakes - just trying to give a heads up.

    Good tip on the cycle clothing at Evans - would be good if they opened a store in Dorset! They's smash it - unsure why they haven't??

    Alternatively buy from sites such as Wiggle or Chain Reaction who offer free postage & returns.

    Another tip - if you are unsure about things ensure you buy from a site that offers free returns. Evans don't do that.
  • lc1981 wrote:
    My top tip is to buy a Torque Wrench. These are NOT cheap tools. You are looking at £40+ but will be invaluable if you have to do any maintenence.

    A cheaper option than a torque wrench if all you're using it for is the stem, bars and seatpost clamp is a Ritchey torque key. They can be had for £15 and are small enough to carry with you on a ride.

    Helpful - didn't even know about them. Any links?

    In theory that sort of tool should really be included -

    but I bet it isn't. Certainly not on any of the bikes I have bought online. And even more vital if you are splashing out on carbon...
  • keef66
    keef66 Posts: 13,123
    My top tip is to check the price of a new component on Ribble before bidding for a used one on Ebay.
    Some of the prices people pay for used stuff on there are mental!
  • clickrumble
    clickrumble Posts: 304
    If you're buying components do the research beforehand, measure up and otherwise check to make sure that the part will fit or is compatible. In case it doesn't, make sure you haven't chucked away the product packaging so you can return it.
  • lc1981
    lc1981 Posts: 820
    lc1981 wrote:
    A cheaper option than a torque wrench if all you're using it for is the stem, bars and seatpost clamp is a Ritchey torque key. They can be had for £15 and are small enough to carry with you on a ride.

    Helpful - didn't even know about them. Any links?

    Yes, http://www.google.co.uk!

    Best to get the one with interchangeable bits so that it fits a variety of bolts.
  • have stuff delivered to the neighbours (mine is a ride buddy) and then get parts on the bike before the other half see anything.. as long as it's not substantially different to the replaced part (wheel is a wheel) she never notices...
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    Mine is a little bit more observant when it comes to kit. Not sure how I'm going to explain the Wilier Izoard becoming a Scott Foil...
  • Bozman
    Bozman Posts: 2,518
    Folk generally use the LBS when they start out , but as soon as you learn how to do the work yourself the LBS becomes redundant. I buy everything on line and build the bike up. Torque wrench?.....it's all down to common sense.
    If I'm not sure about a frame etc I'll pop to a bike shop to size up, but I'll buy it on line.
    Advice - buy a good pair of cable cutters, but don't cut your cables inside your house because a week later you'll end up with a strand of cable stuck in something.
  • Pross
    Pross Posts: 40,535
    Mine is a little bit more observant when it comes to kit. Not sure how I'm going to explain the Wilier Izoard becoming a Scott Foil...

    Respray and new decals to prolong the life and save money long term? :wink:
  • Buckie2k5
    Buckie2k5 Posts: 600
    Pross wrote:
    Respray and new decals to prolong the life and save money long term? :wink:

    i like it!
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,583

    My top tip is to buy a Torque Wrench. These are NOT cheap tools. You are looking at £40+

    Don't disagree with your point, but this for £25 does a fine job
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B000RO1ZCG/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1372464422&sr=8-1&pi=SL75
    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    Top tips?

    Buy long lengths of cable housing and workshop pots of ferrules and housing terminators. Good things to have around.

    Torque wrench is only any good if you know how to use one. You'd be amazed how many people don't.
    - - - - - - - - - -
    On Strava.{/url}