Our Epic selection of mountain bike stores will help you to get the drop on Quality Bikes, Clothing, Books, DVDs and Safety Gear without paying Top-Dollar.
Mountain Biking can be a very expensive sport. Even more so, when you up the anti and take on the Epic stuff. Quality Bikes don’t come cheap and neither do their parts, that inevitably go wrong or break at regular intervals.
Off-the-shelf prices can be heart stopping. Thankfully, there are ways to get quality, without paying Top-Dollar, you just need to know where to look and how to haggle ;-)
Now living in Switzerland, I’m finding a similar situation, both in the resort areas and also in the main entry points for visitors into the country.
Zurich has some excellent quality Mountain Bike stores servicing the Alps.
Ebay Mountain Bike
As an online phenomenon, ebay is unrivaled and can be as useful as high street Mountain Bike Stores. They recon you can buy anything here.
That’s good news for Mountain Bikers. A quick query shows 79 Specialized Mountain Bikes, 71 Trek and 1774 Shimano parts, just for starters. There are books, dvds, clothing, safety gear, lights, tires . . . you get the picture.
Impressively most items are brand new but have your wits about you. This is a buyer-beware auction house, so check sellers profiles and ask questions to confirm specs, condition, age, damage areas. Also check out the shipping costs direct with the seller.
I’ve used Ebay Auctions on a number of occasions, buying and selling and it’s been a fun experience all round . . . and I’ve never paid Top-Dollar.
Maps, Books and DVDs
There's a lot of great Books and mountain bike DVDs out there.
Here's our selection of titles for you to take a look at - from technique to mountain bike maintenance tips on the trail, Map and compass navigation and GPS, as well as mountain craft and first aid.
I little bit of knowledge goes along way.
How to Haggle
(1) Go to Mountain Bike Stores when they're quiet - never haggle when there's a queue.
(2) Find out the recommended retail price (RRP) of the mountain bike, part, or kit. Otherwise, the sales assistant will bump up the price when you start haggling then knock it down - you'll think you've got a bargain when all you've paid is the RRP.
(3) Don't be confrontational or rude - be jovial and build rapport.
(4) Then say: "I like this full susser but I don't like the price." If they can't give you a discount ask who can. Ask them to get this person for you. Use this person's name when you chat to build rapport.
(5) Open the haggling with a low price. Never say: "What's your best price?" because you will stop the process in its tracks.
(6) After opening with your first offer it's important to stay silent. Wait for them to speak next. If the reply is: "We don't do discount," keep chatting. You might have to ask up to three times before you get some money off.
(7) Read their signals and meet them halfway. If they really can't give you a discount then try to get something thrown in (for example, free pedals, helmet or gloves to go with your mountain bike). If they say no then shop somewhere else, but keep practising your haggling!
(Source: Dominic Littlewood is a consumer expert and star of BBC Television's The One Show)
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