Cheap Bike Deals, Voucher Codes & Offers on Sale
How to get a cheap bike. Save money on your commute and cut back on your transport expenses. Find the best men's bikes, ladies bikes and childrens bikes here from Halfords, Argos, Tesco, ebay and more. Plus, discover top money saving tips on second hand bikes in our handy guide...Read more
How much does commuting cost?
Everyone's travel costs will be different. It depends on where you live, what mode of transport you take, how long the distance is and a multitude of other factors. We can only speak of averages. CycleScheme wrote a detailed analysis and came up with these figures, which I've put into an infographic:
£3,727 per year if you drive a car, £1,320 if you get the train, £848 on the bus and just £396 if you cycle.
How were these figures calculated?
Car costs are spread over 5 years. Lots of factors taken into account: initial cost, fuel, maintenance / service, insurance, breakdown cover. Average number of people who buy a loan and the interest. Parking not included.
The bicycle figure includes average spend on new bike (whopping £750), plus equipment, depreciation, insurance and running costs. Also spread over 5 years.
Bicycles save you money on transport costs. The only thing cheaper than cycling is walking.
How much does cycling save you?
The average driver will save over £3,000 per year by swapping to cycling. Over 10 years that's a saving of £30,000.
However, as a reader of Latest Deals you're not just interested in saving money, you're also interested in making money. As I wrote in Money's Big Secret you must remember money compounds over time. Had you invested this saving over 10 years, at a standard growth rate of 7% it would amount to over £35,000.
Plus, the financial benefits don't stop there. As Mr Money Mustache wrote in Get Rich With... Bikes, you save money on future healthcare costs and productivity. The Journal of Labor Research found that women who exercise regularly earn 10% more than those who don't, and for men it's 6%. It's not the bicycle itself that earns you more money, but the productivity and motivation benefits. Cycling can make you money.
When to buy a cheap bicycle
The graph above shows Google search trends of when people are looking for cheap bicycles. It shows over the last 5 years, there are peaks of demand during the Summer months and troughs of low demand in the Winter. When it's nice and sunny, people are keen to cycle. When it's cold and raining, people are less keen.
In general (we'll go into specifics later) purchasing a bicycle when there's less demand will save you money. Winter months tend to have cheaper prices.
This graph from data company ahrefs shows you the most popular bicycle retailers people shop from online. Halfords gets 34% of the attention and Sports Direct 9%.
If we look at when a big company like Halfords has its bicycle sales, you will see it fits in the above trend: Winter is cheaper than Summer.
- 10% Off Bikes - April
- 20% Off Bikes - June
- 20% Off Bikes - July
- 50% Off Kids Bikes - October (Half Term)
- 50% Off Bikes - Black Friday (November)
- 50% Off Bikes - December - January
- You can see the latest deals posted by our community from Halfords here.
However, not all retailers have sales.
Decathlon is a lesser known sporting retailer which focuses on "lowering our permanent prices". It therefore has fewer big sale events, and cheaper prices in general. On various cycling forums, people have expressed surprise at how Decathlon remains cheaper even when brands such as Evans Cycles have a sale on. For bicycles, it tends to have sales on specific products. Price history analysis from PriceSpy shows prices stay steady throughout the year but are often cheaper than other retailers.
Discount Cycle Shop is another online retailer which sells reduced price bicycles. It has mens bikes, ladies bikes, boys bikes, girls bikes and trailers. Similar to Decathlon it focuses on all year cheap prices rather than specific sale events.
Therefore, while in general Winter months are cheaper to buy a bike, be sure still to shop around and compare prices.
Tools to compare prices of bicycles
We have three favourite methods of comparing prices to find a cheap bike:
- Ask a fellow member on Latest Deals. Put a question on Chat and deal hunters will try to help if they can. You can also write in our Facebook Group.
- PriceSpy is a large price comparison engine we use. They have a comprehensive list of bicycles and retailers which you can do a side-by-side comparison.
- Idealo is another price comparison site, which is nice to use if it has the product you're interested in but has fewer retailers than PriceSpy.
Where to get the best bike deals (new)
Many members of Latest Deals are interested in cycling and often share good bike deals. You can find all the best general offers here (scroll up). You may also be specifically interested in kids bikes, road bikes and electric bikes.
Retailers most often featured by our deal hunters:
- Go Outdoors
- Ideal World
- Muddyfox (cheap alternative to Brompton)
- Rutland Cycling
- Smyths Toys
- Toys R Us
Before you buy
- Think about what type of cycling you’ll be mainly doing to get the most out for your bike as well as enjoyment out of the experience such as cycling for transport, cycling for leisure or cycling for competition.
- Most of the time, you will get what you pay for and never more when it comes to purchasing a bike. Try to get the best that your budget can afford since it’ll ultimately be a good investment when it comes to quality features, ride, durability and components. A budget of about £250 is an ideal starting point for bikes you’ll use for transport or leisure.
- Your storage should also be taken into consideration. It is not recommended to leave your bike outside if you don’t have a secure and weather-proof place.
How to get cheap bikes second hand
Buying a bicycle second hand may be the best way to save money. Unlike a car which has many moving parts and difficult engineering, a bicycle is simple. You therefore have much lower risk of buying a broken bicycle second hand. A quick test ride will tell you everything you need to know. Replacement parts and a full servicing will only ever cost a few hundred pounds at a maximum.
In the UK there are two main online marketplaces of second hand bicycles: ebay and Gumtree. For this article, I will concentrate on ebay data and show you when the best time to buy your bike is.
Cheapest times to buy second hand bicycles on ebay
There are optimal times to buy bicycles on ebay to save money. In this section we'll look at:
- 'Mens road bike'
- 'Ladies road bike'
- 'Childrens bike'
Mens road bike
The graph above shows the price history data for 'mens road bike' auctions on ebay over six months (2017).
- Average price: £139.70
- Best time to buy: Wednesday, 8PM - Midnight
Ladies road bike
The graph above shows the price history data for 'ladies road bike' auctions on ebay over six months (2017).
- Average price: £188.68
- Best time to buy: Monday, 8pm - Midnight
The graph above shows the price history data for 'childrens bike' auctions on ebay over six months (2017).
- Average price: £35.53
- Best time to buy: Friday, 4am - 8am
Why are these times the cheapest?
ebay sellers set their own duration times for the auction. It appears that by focusing on auctions that end late in the evening there is less competition from other bidders and you may end up saving money.
This is a simple trick but focusing on the time at which you bid on ebay is not as important as shopping on ebay in the first place. Getting a bicycle second hand is sensible for other reasons other than cost: when it gets nicked.
Note from Tom - Having your bicycle stolen is a common experience. Being small, portable and untraceable they attract more thefts. Do not let this put you off. It is so common cyclists call it the "cycle tax". However, it is a big reason why you may wish to buy second hand. Older bikes attract less attention but are just as good. Plus, the cost of having to replace it will be less, so you continue saving money.
How to buy cheap bicycles on Gumtree
The classified ads website Gumtree hosts some fantastic offers, including new bicycles. While there is no reliable data source for analysing trends, members of Latest Deals have noted that straight after Christmas there seems to be an influx of new listings. Presumably this is because many receive bicycles as gifts and then sell their old ones. You can expect prices to drop during this period.
Cheap bicycles at police auctions
Police auctions provide a great opportunity to purchase a cheap bike. These are reclaimed bicycles for which the authorities have not managed to pair up with their previous owners.
Search for your local police auction, '[County] Police auction' to find your nearest.
They are often held once a month by a private independent company. For example, the biggest in London is Frank G Bowen. Often there is a catalogue of the products available online, or you arrive an hour or so earlier to take a look, make note of which bicycles you wish to bid on and wait until they're on offer.
Note, it's best to research how much the same bicycle is selling for on other marketplaces to make sure you don't pay too much (auctions can be exciting places). Prices can start from just £20.
What's the maximum distance I can comfortably cycle before needing a car?
If your commute to work is further than 15.5km (9.6 miles) cycling may not be a comfortable option for you. These are the average distances people can cycle in one hour.
60 minute and 30 minute cycling distances in London
However, could you cycle to your train station? Could you cycle at the weekends to the shops? All local, smaller journeys could be swapped to a bicycle so you get some of the partial savings (plus health benefits, productivity boosts etc.)
How to cycle with young children
The idea of cycling with children puts many people off. That is until you discover the bike trailer. This nifty device is perfect for safely bringing your children with you, and when not using it for them, carrying your groceries.
Latest Deal'ers who have been cyclists for years are amazed once they discover and give a trailer a go. It is liberating in being able to carry heavy goods including DIY equipment in the back. Do the school run, take them to the activities, and keep cars further back with its wider frame.