Mid-Season Repairs on a Collegiate Budget


There are many resources I’ve found while building my cyclocross bike this pre-season and many of them can still be used to find cheap (but still quality) replacement parts. These resources include Ebay, Bonktown.com, Chainlove.com, Craigslist.org, and many more.

Lets start with Ebay because it’s where I saved the most money this pre-season while building up my cyclocross bike. Having a college student’s budget I started with the cheapest parts to replace and worked up from there. The first thing I looked at were chain rings to replace the 53-39t stock chain rings that came with my LeMond Poprad. Creating a “watchlist” of chain rings that were 46t and 38t (that fit a 130mm crankset) allowed me to compare prices and shipping rates (shipping rates do have an impact on the price of the overall purchase). I ended up separately purchasing a 46t Origin 8 chain ring for $23.99 with shipping and 38t Origin 8 chain ring for $10.89 with shipping on Ebay. That makes a total of $34.88 and local bike shop had quoted me $80 for the two.

Other Ebay Deals: Retail Cost My Cost Image
Crankbrother’s Eggbeater Pedals & Cleats $90.00 $27.00 (Ebay)  Eggbeater Pedal
Seat $89.99 $80.00 (Ebay Buy it Now)  SLR Saddle
7800 Dura Ace Rear Derailleur $230.00 $48.00 (Ebay)  Shimano Dura Ace 7800 RD
Tekro CR720 Brakes $70.00 $39.97 (Ebay)  Tekro CR720 Brakes

There are many ways to purchase items on Ebay: Buy It Now, Bid, or Make an Offer. When I first began using Ebay to purchase bicycle parts I was a strictly a Buy It Now kind of guy because I didn’t feel like wasting my time with bidding on an item. But of course things change and I became friendlier with bidding on items because I discovered I could win items at much lower prices than the Buy It Now option.

Moving on to Craigslist.org I must caution you that there isn’t a shipping option when purchasing items and there shouldn’t be as that is usually a sign of a scam. Craigslist.org is great for larger ticket items especially if you don’t mind if they’ve been used. If you don’t mind driving around your state you can use Statewidelist.com to search your entire state’s Craigslist.org pages at once. I’ve found $250.00 Ritchey wheels for $150.00 (and they were brand new!) on Craiglist.org, believe me the deals are out there, you just have to look!

Then is Bonktown.com and Chainlove.com that are two websites great for the random repair parts. Bonktown.com is road bike based and Chainlove.com is mountain bike based. Both websites use a deal of the moment style to clear-out inventories quickly; say they have 90 sets of bib knickers for $54.99 (which I recently purchased) that actually retail for $212.99, they’ll sell quick.

What’s the most you’ve saved on a mid-season repair or a cyclocross build? What places have you shopped for the parts?

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