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Buying a bike? Going online may not save you money, survey finds

Where's the best place to buy a bike?

July 2, 2019

Shopping online is usually a money-saving move. But that's not necessarily the case with bicycles, according to a new report from Checkbook.org.

They shopped for 20 different models at bike shops in seven major U.S. cities (including Seattle), as well as online retailers – and found almost no price difference.

"Bike manufactures maintain strict pricing controls over their products, so you won't find big price differences at all from store to store, online versus in person,” said Kevin Brasler, Checkbook’s executive editor. “For the bikes we looked at it was surprising to find even a $5 difference from store to store for the exact same thing."

Because prices don't vary much at all, you might as well benefit from going to a local store, Brasler said.

A good local bike shop can offer you solid advice about what to buy and what not to buy. They can show you a lot of different models at different price ranges. They can also make sure you get a good test ride and that the bike you choose fits properly.

Checkbook is an independent, non-profit, subscriber-based consumer rating and education service. As a courtesy to STAR 101.5 listeners the complete shopping guide and local bike shop ratings will be accessible through this website until July 20, 2019.