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Best Place to buy bike parts online
#21
For some reason, I got 'tools' on the brain when I wrote the reply below. I've edited to expand on buying parts.

I rarely buy new components. I typically buy my parts from eBay, LFGSS, and Facebook Marketplace. Consumables like chains, cables, etc., tend also to come from reliable sources on eBay, mostly because I'm happy to wait a few days for Royal Mail to deliver them rather than contribute further to ecological challenges with one-day, cardboard-laden Amazon delivery.

The rest of this is my original post, which is tool-centric...

In the UK, I've bought stuff from Tredz, Wiggle/Chain Reaction (same company) and Amazon. I also use eBay and Amazon Outlet. Been happy with all of those sources.

Typically, I research the 'best' tools for each application, then Google for the best prices. I tend to avoid Tredz/Wiggle for small purchases because of the cost of shipping but they can still work out best/cheapest.

My tool kit is primarily Park Tools, with the odd IceToolz and other 'second tier' names in the mix. I tend to prize quality in tools as good tools last much longer, reduce damage to your parts, and lessen the risk of accidents.

Things were much easier in the UK before Brexit, LOL.

I also have a number of Wera tools, but these aren't specialist bike tools.
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#22
I think this thread was originally a bit vague: "Where is the best place to buy bike parts & tools online, price, service, shipping charges, etc?"

It should have been a little more specific as to what condition (brand new, "new old stock/NOS", used, etc.), quality (professional, economy, cheap, etc.), and what era (modern, vintage/classic, antique, etc.) in order to provide more specific sourcing references.
I have sourced new and used parts and tools directly from the manufacturers, distributors/dealers, specialized retaillers/bike shops, custom fabricators/machine shops, online sellers/retailers (commercial and private), bike co-ops, swap meets, junk yards, and roadside (often while out cycling). I have generally had good experiences with all sourcing; but as previously mentioned, having a good knowledge of your bike, its parts and their function is very important.
When buying tools it is important to understand tool construction and function; like getting a longer handle vs. a shorter handle wrench/spanner, etc. Do you want a tool for your bike's bag or for shop use (or both)? Do you plan to use the tool once or twice, or is it for long term multiple/heavy duty use? Do you have prior experience using a tool where you can compare other like tools in an educated manner knowing what will work best for you?
A lot of "cheap" mass produced stuff is available and may work just fine so that is an individual decision one must make based on your expected use and your budget.
I can say this: most new tools be they from well known companies are not what they used to be. I see "quality" cone wrenches (and other tools) become useless after a short period of time given their frequency of use. I have personally fabricated tools, or modified/repurposed tools which far outperformed specialty "professional" tools made for the same use (and it was much cheaper cost wise); e.g. thinning forged wrench heads of for use a cone wrenches (and not affecting their temper/strength). I use tools that have been around for over 50 years or more (most of my VAR tools) and still get great service from them. Proper use and care of tools is also important to their expected longevity and function.

If you are buying (or salvaging) used parts and tools it is VERY important to inspect them them for possible damage (usually "micro" cracks; I strongly suggest use of a magnifying glass over the naked eye) before using them, and if possible before buying them. Buying used stuff online can be a "crapshoot" especially if it is a no return/refund, or "as is" type of purchase.
Take care,
Jesper

"I am become Death, the destroyer of bicycles." NJS
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#23
+1 for Jesper's point that tools today typically aren't what they used to be. Many of the biggest names in professional tools were taken over by profit-centric conglomerates over the last few decades. Even Snap-on isn't what it used to be. Whether you're buying a new tool or considering a second-hand tool, you really have to do your research and examine the prospective tool carefully.
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#24
I would buy online when I absolutely knew what I wanted. Things that are much more universal. I mostly used non-Amazon but bike-specific or bike-shop online stores. But when it comes to a specific part, I would talk to the local shop as they would guide me better. Last year even the bike shop suggested I shop online when I was looking to change groupset..

(07-17-2023, 10:34 AM)Beth Mason Wrote:  
(07-17-2023, 09:54 AM)Talha Wrote:  
(05-11-2010, 08:37 PM)tlahwright Wrote:  Hi,

Where is the best place to buy bike parts & tools online, price, service, shipping charges, etc?

Thanks

Tim

eBay. You can find rare and old parts on this site. Ofcourse there are people looking for markups but you can find great deals on used parts.

So true about eBay; you just have to know specifically if the component works with your gear set and whether the seller has described it with all the correct details for identification. Sometimes people sell things just to make money and they have no true knowledge of what the item fits and whether it has issues…
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