Are cycling retailers really offering good deals on Black Friday?

We ask if all of these deals are really 'bangers', and offer some advice for bargain hunters

shopping
(Image credit: Daniel Gould)

The Cycling Weekly tech team has been monitoring and trawling the internet for the best Black Friday bike deals sales since November 1. We’ve got early warning press releases of impending deals coming out of our ears and eyeballs, sent via an army of clamouring press officers, each one hoping to get their offers front and centre when the clock strikes embargo time. 

Amongst the offers, we really have found some genuinely worthwhile savings (what would I buy? Probably the Continental GP 5000 tyres or that High5 bundle that’s half price, because cyclists always need fuel). 

But is most of it smoke and mirrors? A ‘Which?’ investigation found that nine out of ten of all Black Friday deals were actually the same price or cheaper earlier in the year, so it’s well worth being aware that most of these deals are not the one and only time you’ll be able to purchase the item at this price. 

December 26  will no doubt herald the gleaming beacon that is the Boxing Day sales, consumed alongside a half-eaten box of Quality Streets, for starters. So any ‘buy now, or miss out’ rhetoric is highly debatable at best. 

Some areas of cycling retail are hosting larger savings than others. We were open and honest about the fact that it was difficult, for example, to find electric bike deals in the US. Savings were hovering at less than 10 percent almost across the board, whilst in the UK we found discounts that would save shoppers hundreds. The US deals are still ‘deals’, in that there is a saving - not long ago, we were asking where you could get a bike at all. But the cash left in your back pocket will probably buy you a nice meal, not a helmet and shoes to pair with your new steed as per the UK shopper discounts.

Kids’ bikes have been another area where deals have been thin on the ground, and this is hardly surprising, during a year where ravaged supply chains have left stock levels low, and the promise if a kids’ bike at all under the tree is a reward enough. Again, there are some kids' bike deals, but the savings are not as high as we’ve seen elsewhere - among clothing and tyres nestled on our best Black Friday bike deals page, for example. 

So, how does a team, like Cycling Weekly’s tech crew, go about spotting genuine deals, and what tips can you incorporate? 

Advice for getting good Black Friday deals

Buy kit you would have bought anyway

Winter road bike tyres: choose well for a winter fewer punctures

(Image credit: Future)

Do not fall into the black abyss of buying (often plastic) 'things' that you wouldn’t have otherwise bought, just because you can save 10%. Let's not forget that cycling has just as much of a sustainability crisis to contend with as other industries.  

Most cyclists have an internal list of kit they could genuinely do with buying. Perhaps your cycling gloves are wearing thin, you know your tyres don’t have much life in them, or you really wanted to start training with watts so want a power meter deal ready to reap fitness gains in spring. Make a list of these items, and do not deviate.

Buy from reputable brands

specialized torch

(Image credit: Future)

You’ll notice that our standalone deals posts have a tendency to focus on big brands. That's because we know the likes of Continental tyres, Specialized shoes, and Assos jerseys are extremely popular, be that due to word of increased longevity travelling by mouth or extensive research producing a better fit for the majority. If you know that Specialized shoes fit your feet like a glove, it’s better to buy those at 20% off than a pair from an unknown manufacturer at 40% off.

NB - if you know dhb shoes fit you well, the Dorica won our sub £100 grouptest, and is reduced by 30% at Wiggle, the Specialized Torch 1.0 was a close second, and is down by 30% at the CycleStore.

Use our deals pages

Cycling Weekly's tech team is working round the clock to hunt out deals that we genuinely recommend. And not just for that 'warm glowy feeling' - our title is supported by our audience, via an affiliate program. So it's in our interest to find good deals that people want to buy - not duds. 

We've got a host of deals hubs on specific product groups, as well as one bumper 'best Black Friday bike deals' page. None of the deals are auto-generated, they're all hand-picked by members of the CW tech team, based on experience weeding out good products from bad, and real deals from false discounts. 

Use price comparison tools

ipad

(Image credit: Future)

A humble brag moment for the price comparison tools you’ll see across the Cycling Weekly buying guides. Our price comparison widget has been created and designed in-house, it lists retailers in price order, and it also takes into account customer satisfaction. 

You can also use Google shopping, but we put all the information on one page, next to our expert reviews.

Use price history checks

shopping

(Image credit: Daniel Gould)

Want to know if an item was cheaper a month ago? You can do that. There’s a number of tools available - The Camelizer compares prices across Amazon and can be used to sense check Amazon Black Friday deals whilst Honey searches for real deals, and also notifies you of price drops and available coupons.

Ask your local bike shop what they can offer

workshop

(Image credit: Future)

We absolutely do not suggest that you go into your local bike shop and ask that they price match an online retailer, especially not one that doesn’t pay the same overheads or have quite the same ability to wave profit margins as the giants do. However, you can ask your local bike shop what they can provide. Maybe they’re charging £100/$100 more for the bike you want, but they’ll also chuck in a six month service guarantee, a good cup of coffee, and some local route guidance next time you’re out and about. And you can't put a price on that last one. 

My top eight Black Friday deals

Still convinced you want to go hunting through the Black Friday deals? I'll admit I've been tempted by a few items myself. These are the offers I recommend... 

$77.99

Continental GP5000 Clincher Twin Pack was $164.49 now $77.99 | was £119.98 now £68.99 at Pro Bike Kit

Save $86.50/£50.99. It is a fact universally known that the Continental GP5000 tyres are the best 'all rounder' clincher cycling has to offer. It's always worth having tyres (or, tires) around in your own personal stock, because if you ride enough, they'll always need replacing at least once a year. Get these at a bargain price and have them at the ready. 

now $63

HIGH5 Berry Bundle: was $127.99 now $63 | was £102.84 now £49.99 at Wiggle

Save over 51%. Similar to tyres, energy product needs replacing on a regular basis - this bundle includes all the potions you need to stay well-fueled: energy powder, gels, and bars.  

now £5 at Sigma Sports

Muc Off C3 Ceramic Wet Chain Lube 120ml was £17 now £5 at Sigma Sports

Save 71%. This ceramic lube aims to improve the longevity and performance of your drivetrain. It's waterproof, so suited to winter conditions, and also 95% biodegradable which is great news. Suited to road, cyclocross and mountain bike use - and - at a casual 71% discount.

now $53.72

Castelli Perfetto ROS gloves were $69.99 now $53.72 | were £75 now £53.75 at Amazon

I mean, there has clearly been some sort of miscommunication at Amazon towers, because not only are these listed as 'black unisex football gloves', when all cyclists know that the Perfetto RoS is a cycling glove, but the RRP is down as £59, when every cycling retailer lists it as £75. Regardless, a quality set of gloves makes the world of difference on a winter ride, and the Perfetto 'Rain or Shine' gloves are very good. 

Image

dhb Dorica Carbon Road Shoe: were $132 now $92.00 | were £100 now £70 at Wiggle

Save 30%. Why do I consider these such a good deal? Well, because they won our 'best sub £100' shoe grouptest, at full price - with value for money being a defining feature. With a carbon sole and smart lace up closure, these are a great deal made better. The offer applies one sizes from 39 to 48, too. 

now £83.50 at Oakley

Oakley Radar EV Pitch sunglasses were £167 now £83.50 at Oakley 

Save 50%. The Radar EV is a great frame, offering a wrap-around fit that provides a great field of vision, without being giant - an important factor for me, since I've not got a particularly large head. I don't think I've seen a 50% saving on a 'modern' set of Oakley glasses for a while, so this seems like a good deal to me. 

The Rader EV isn't reduced in the US, but I did find...

now $102 at Oakley

Oakley EVZero Blades Kokoro Collection was $204 now $102 at Oakley

Save 50% Like the Radar EV Pitch, the EVZero glassses have minimal frame to interfere with your vision - even less in fact - and they're a mid-size, which means they offer protection without swamping your face. Again, a 50% reduction is pretty rare on newer styles. 

now $95.00

dhb Aeron Rain Defense Polartec Jacket was $190.00 now $95.00 | was £150 now £75

dhb Aeron Women's Rain Defence Polartec Jacket was £139.40 now $92.81 | was £150 now £100 at Wiggle

Save 50% (men's), 33% (women's). Yes, more dhb - but Wiggle's in-house brand makes some great kit, and like tyres and gloves, winter jackets do eventually get worn out. dhb has teamed up with Polartec to create this jacket, which uses the specialist's Power Shield Pro fabric to keep you dry, whilst still allowing breathability. 

It's pretty unfortunate that the women's model is reduced by 33% whilst the men's is down by 50% (in the red/black model). But to be honest, dhb kit often offers similar levels of performance to much more expensive brands, at a competitive price, even at RRP.

More Black Friday bike deals...