Black Friday 2017 might seems a while away now - but it'll be here sooner than you think - we explain what to expect come the busiest shopping day of the year

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The Black Friday sales can present a fine hunting ground for anyone after a good deal on a bike, discounted cycling clothing or an offer on a piece of technology such as a GPS cycling computer or helmet camera.

A tradition with origins in America, Black Friday sales hit stores online and on the high street on the final Friday of November – the last pay day before Christmas.

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However, each year the lines get a little blurrier – where once retailers were offering genuinely jaw dropping deals for one day only, now the sales often continue right up to Christmas.

The idea may have been originally to entice shoppers to buy their gifts from one retailer over another, but shoppers are now just as likely to be grabbing a bargain for themselves as for a friend or loved one.

In previous years, all of the major retailers have got on board with the festive sales, most of them championing a handful of flagship deals, with plenty more general sale offers available as well. Smaller brands are often seen offering free services, post and packaging, or accessories on top of key items.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Black Friday sales…

Black Friday shoppers spent more in 2016 than 2015 - with the majority of sales made online

Black Friday shoppers spent more in 2016 than 2015 – with the majority of sales made online

When do the Black Friday sales start?

The official Black Friday sales begin on Friday 24 November 2017.

What is Black Friday?

Black Friday is the first Friday after Thanksgiving (which in 2017 is 24 November), and is traditionally seen as the start of the Christmas shopping season, with high street retailers opening their doors at the crack of dawn and offering big discounts for shoppers who have set their alarm clocks.

For consumers and retailers in the UK, Black Friday is a recent phenomenon, but it has been going strong the United States for decades. In fact, the origins can be traced back to the 1950s in none other than Philadelphia, USA.

Amazon launched the concept in the UK in 2010, with Asda joining the party in 2013.

The rise of internet shopping has allowed the Black Friday tradition to spread throughout the world, with the UK’s bike retailers like Wiggle, DecathlonChain Reaction Cycles, Evans Cycles, and Ribble Cycles all getting caught up in the scramble to get shoppers to part with their cash.

Is Black Friday really ‘a thing’ in the UK?

The simple answer is yes. In fact, in the four days between Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016, the British public spent £5.8 billion – that’s a 15 per cent increase on spending in the same period in 2015. Black Friday was bigger online in 2016, with £2.8 billion of the sales being processed on the web – 20 per cent more than the shopping seen in 2015.

Expect deals in store as well as online. Image:Russell Ellis

Expect deals in store as well as online. Image:Russell Ellis

Where can I find the best Black Friday bike deals?

Last year, all the major cycling retailers followed the same pattern demonstrated by the major retailers – with big deals in tech, as well as discounts on bikes.

The end of year placement of the sale period means it’s useful for retailers to boost their 2017 sales, and also helps them to shift 2017 stock in order to make space in their warehouses for 2018 bikes – so we can expect to see similar trends this year.

When will these Black Friday bike deals be available?

Different retailers take different approaches to what is the busiest shopping day of the year, so Black Friday bike deals won’t necessarily become available at 00:01 on 24 November.

Some retailers will publish their plans in advance, with everything from countdowns to the launch, to announcements on social media and daily deals drip fed through the month.

We’ll update this page as deals are announced, too – picking out the very best offers as well as outlining the sales plans publicised by an array of retailers – so keep checking back for new and updated offers.

Black Friday sale shopping tips

When Black Friday 2017 really kicks off, you can expect to be bombarded with deals and offers from every angle. It’s easy to be tempted into making impulse purchases, resulting in an overspend that leaves you feeling unfulfilled – but with a little careful planning you can make sure you enter December having made genuine savings that leave you with a glowing halo and a healthy bank balance.

Here are our tips for Black Friday sale shopping success…

Be well informed

A handful of retailers will remain completely silent about the details of their Black Friday sale until the actual day. Most will drip feed information, giving you a chance to prepare for your shopping in advance. Here’s how to stay informed:

  • Sign up to mailing lists: A plague that you avoid most of the year, ahead of Black Friday it’s actually a really good idea to subscribe to the mailing lists of major retailers, as they’ll often send priority invites to view sale stock ahead of the general public
  • Bookmark this page: Retailers will send us forewarning of their sale offers in the form of press releases – and we’ll publish the information on this page as soon as we’re able
  • Follow brands and retailers on social media: They will share details with their loyal followers in advance – so click ‘like’ and ‘follow’ to be first in the queue

Weed out the chaff

There will be some excellent and genuine discounts. But there will also be some chaff.

Many retailers will place a Black Friday badge on their general sale tab – adding in a handful of new, mega offers created especially for the occasion.

This means that there will be a few new and genuine deals – often on pieces of tech and bikes – and these will probably be the deals that the retailers are shouting the loudest about via email and on social media. However, there will also be the same pair-of-socks-with-stars-on that was reduced by the same percentage last week.

If you had every intention of buying said pair of socks anyway, knock yourself out – but don’t be fooled into thinking every offer on the Black Friday page is ‘here today, gone tomorrow’.

Write a list and set a budget

Sure, that cycling computer reduced by 70 per cent is mighty tempting. But did you actually want a new cycling computer?

Before you hit the sales, write a list of items that you actually need. Most cyclists have no trouble here. Set yourself a budget for each required purchase – and stick to it. Unless the Shimano Dura Ace Di2 version is just a smidge over your intended spend – in which case we say go for it every time.

Check returns policies

As always, these vary from store to store – but in some cases returns may be limited to 30 days. So if you pick up a gift for someone on Black Friday – November 24 – by Christmas day a return may be out of the question. Though we don’t doubt your gift giving prowess, it’s a good idea to bear this in mind.

  • Steve

    On the NFTO website – There’s very cheap Pro Castelli Kit Half price + 10% christmas discount on all products – If you like NFTO team colours! Just picked up a thermal jersey…

  • Karl Schmollmann

    You should also check out Fatbirds they’re smashing it! I was just checking out the newsletter. They’ve got a minimum of 15% off all bikes, Min 20% off lights and tools, up to 70% off helmets and locks, up to 50% off pedals and loads more. I’m not sure what’s going on there but they’ve gone mental!

  • Some of these deals aren’t as good as they look at first glance. The Ultegra groupset has been available for similar amounts throughout the year. Next we’ll have a deal for 105 at just under £300, oh but wait, that’s not new either. So to say Ultegra is £999.99 is stretching it a bit. When it first came out it was probably closer to that price, but it’s been cheaper for most of the year! Don’t get sucked in!

  • J1

    “Probably the most fashionable helmet in the peloton”

    Come again?