I’m sure we can all agree that our local bike shops are worth supporting and saving. Without them there would be no where to ogle the latest bikes or riffle through rails of riding clothes. No where to try things on for size. And no where to pick a professionals brain when it comes to all things bikes. There is no better support than to make them your first port of call when it comes to repairing, replacing or upgrading your mountain bike and riding kit.
However, we’re not all blessed with an amazing local mountain bike shop. In my locality for example, while there are a couple of decent bike shops, they are primarly geared to cater for road bikes. When it comes to wear and tear parts like chains, gear cables chain lubes etc. they can happily help. But they just don’t have the market to warrant a full range of mountain bikes, riding gear, shoes, bags and all the other extras that we like to equip ourselves with.
This is where we turn to online retailers. They are my go to when I want something new that I can’t get locally. The ones I’m going to recommend are websites I have used and purchased from. I’ve had good experiences with all of them and they are my first port of call either because they offer good value or they have quick delivery times.
Firstly, trying to keep it as local as possible, the Cycle Super Store in Tallaght. They have a good size selection of clothing and components to choose from. They are reasonably priced with frequent offers. You can buy bikes from them under the Cycle to Work Scheme. And you can choose between collecting your purchases in store, or get them delivered which is free on orders over €35.
While it’s no longer possible to get next day delivery with CRC they still deliver in around 3 working days and delivery is free on all but the smallest orders. Their return policy is very easy, as long as an item is unused you have a year to return them for a full refund. This is great, for example, if you’re unsure about a shoe size, order both, try them on at home and return the least desirable one. The one recommendation I would make when searching the Chain Reaction website is to tick the ‘In Stock Only’ filter otherwise you’re likely to get frustrated clicking on items that aren’t actually in stock. And a bonus tip: toggling between UK and Euro prices can sometimes show a big difference. If you have an account with AddressPal, ParcelConnect or similar virtual address service you can have your purchase sent to a UK address to avail of the Sterling prices.
Wiggle are one of the world’s largest online sports shops. They don’t sell just cycling gear but also cater for runners, swimmers and triathletes. Wiggle now own Chain Reaction Cycles, so a lot of the items will be similarly priced on both sites. They do stock slightly different brands so its worth browsing both if you;re looking for something specific.
There are many many online MTB retailers and high street bike shops with an online presence in the UK. But I’ve found myself going to Ubyk on several occassions either becaused they were the only ones to stock a particular item I needed or because they were the best priced.
Where the UK used to be the go to for getting the best deals delivered to Ireland, over the last few years the German online shops have been beating them on price in almost all cases. Where they tend to lose out is on delivery costs. Very few of the German sites will offer free delivery. However, almost all of them will have a fixed charge which means if you can combine an order with a friend, or buy multiple items good savings can be made. Also remember that delivery will be a few days longer than from the UK.
Bike24 are probably one of the largest online bike shops in Germany. They have a huge selection of pasrt, clothing and complete bikes and generally cheaper than the same item in Ireland or the UK. Delivery costs €10 so it is generally not worth buying a single item, but start combining two or more and you should see some nice savings. They have a very easy and no questions asked returns policy.
Bike Discount are another bike website with a large selection of products. They are not always the cheapest, but they do offer a price matching service if you can find a cheaper price in Germany for the same item. They charge €9.95 for most regular deliveries, but check their website if you want to order larger items.
Although predominantly a motor bike clothing and accessory shop, they also have a good selection of mountain bike and BMX gear. Their range isn’t as wide as some of the other shops I’ve listed, but they tend to have better stock of the brands they sell. So this is a good website if you are looking for something hard to find. They also have good sales periodically with worthwile discounts.
This is one of two shops I’m including that I’ve not personally bought from, although that is probably only a matter of time. They’ve been showing up in searches more recently and appear to offer very competitive pricing. Bike Inn is part of a much larger group of websites all aimed at different outdoor activities. Their selection is huge and all the prices appear discounted and competitive. They have a 30 day return policy.
Maciag Offroad is the second retailer that is included despite my lack of experience with them. They were recomended by some one else who had a good experience with them. As the name suggests, they are an offroad directed shop and cater for motocross and the more gravity fed bike disciplines. They stock top brands together with some that may be harder to get from other retailers and offer very copetitive pricing. Delivery to Ireland costs €9.95, pretty standard for German companies, and is free on orders over €99. According to their website, a pre-paid returns label is included in every order to return items up to 100 days after purchase.
Germany is not the only country on the continent where you can find a bargain. France, Italy, Spain and The Netherlands are all offer numerous websites that are worth browsing and comparing. Before making any purchases though, be sure to check the shop you’re visiting will deliver to Ireland.
Alltricks are based in France and cater to cyclists, runners and swimmers and also offer a good selection of items for mountain bikers. Not always the cheapest, they do have bargains and regular offers and offer a best price guarantee although I’ve never tried that out. They offer next day dispatch on orders made before 6pm (which is 5pm for us in Ireland). Their delivery costs to Ireland are very reasonable at €5.99 for 72 hour delivery with DPD.
There are probably hundreds of websites that you can buy mountain biking priducts from, and I’ve listed only a handful that I’m familiar with and that, to the best of my knowledge, have a good reputation. They will be not be the only ones by any means, and below are links to a few more that I know of but didnt make the list because of lack of experience or a smaller product range.
If you know of any that you would like to recommend, please share them with us in the comments.
Photo by Fancycrave on Unsplash