It varies a little between manufacturers, but the best deals seem to be when “last years models” are on sale in anticipation of the new year’s models. Just like car sales. Happening now with some manufacturer’s. Often, there’s little difference from one year to the next… maybe some changes in equipment specs, colors, etc., so you basically get he same bike at a nice discount.
Late Summer/Fall is good. A lot of shops have limited space and really want to get rid of current model year bikes. You can sometimes haggle yourself a really good deal. On that note keep a look out for current or previous model year bikes. They’re usually very similar if not identical to the next year’s models but go can go for at least 30% off. I’ve seen some online for up to 60% off.
As others have said, I’ve found that fall is a good time to look (unless – maybe – you’re looking for a fat bike). There are also a lot of ‘Black Friday’ deals that sometimes add an additional discount onto the fall ‘last year’s model’ discount.
The time to look is now through end of year. I just posted a link in the “deals” thread on bikes that Jenson has on sale right now. Over the coming weeks/months there will be more bikes on sale and the discounts will get deeper for some. Here’s the rub, once your size sells out you’re SOL. My advice: figure out what you are looking for now either in terms of specific bikes or at least components/geometry and know your size. When one of the bikes you want goes on sale in your size contact the vendor/LBS and find out how many are in stock in your size. That’s when you make the decision to either pull the trigger or roll the dice.
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It’s a great time of year (in the northern hemisphere) to find bike deals!
Many/most bike shops that have demos can set you up. Over the course of a day (or a weekend), you can likely cycle through several different makes, models, sizes to find one that “fits you best”. And…. most shops offer a HUGE end of season sale as they look to unload this seasons demo bikes.
Since you get to “try before you buy”, it helps to minimize the buyer’s remorse!
Most of this advice sounds good but I think the current environment is different from what the past. COVID has most bikes sold out. I am not sure there will be deals on new bikes just because there are no new bikes to sell and the companies and shops are not hurting to make space or get rid of bikes. Unless you want a really high end bike around where I live bike shops are just about empty. The racks are full of all the repair bikes they have to return to customers. I would highly recommend considering as used bike and probably find some good deals in December. My guess is there will be people desperate for Christmas money and ready to unload that bike they bought and barely rode. The market most likely will be flooded and drive prices down. If you have a bike and can stand to wait my guess is that next Spring is going to be a buyers market and there will be even better deals on used bikes. My two cents for what its worth.