The 9 Best Places to Buy Bikes in 2020

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products and services; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

Best Overall: Bicycle Warehouse

"Carries BMX, e-bikes, road, path and pavement, mountain, and kid’s bikes."

Best Value: Nashbar

"Leans more toward affordable set-ups that don’t sacrifice quality for low prices."

Best Shopping Experience: REI

"Matches your online shopping with some in-person guidance and experience."

Best for Vintage Bikes: Classic Steel Bikes

"Perfect for those who like the appeal of an old-school vintage bike."

Best for Cargo Bikes: My Amsterdam Bike

"Ranks as the largest U.S. online cargo bike store."

Best for Kids: Amazon

"Carries everything from strider bikes to those with training wheels."

Best for Used Bikes: Bike Exchange

"A great resource to find lightly-used and new bikes."

Best for E-Bikes: Electric Bike Shop

"Sells extra batteries at a discounted price for those who’ve already purchased a bike."

Best for Custom Bikes: Moots

"Has been making some of the highest-performing custom bikes since 1981."

Our Top Picks

01 of 09

Best Overall: Bicycle Warehouse

Giant Contend 3 Road Bike (2020)

 Courtesy of Bicycle Warehouse

https://bicyclewarehouse.com/collections/road-bikes/products/giant-contend-3-road-bike-2020

When it comes to the biggest inventory, Bicycle Warehouse delivers. The site carries all types of bikes, including BMX, e-bikes, road, path and pavement, mountain, and kid’s bikes — each subdivided into even narrower bike genres to help dedicated and novice bikers make their selection. And the brands they cover are equally deep, with everything from high-end manufacturers to more budget-friendly options. Filtering and shopping follow a conventional retail user experience, with options to sort by brand, price range, size, gender, model year, and more niche specs like drive train, frame material, or the amount of shock travel. In other words, Bicycle Warehouse will appeal to the detail-obsessed as well as the casual shopper. Product details and specs are clearly laid out, and they support user reviews and star ratings, though some products may lack that info. Along with carrying all other things bike-related, they are the Southern California chapter of a nonprofit program that helps establish self-sustaining bicycling businesses in the developing regions of Africa.

02 of 09

Best Value: Nashbar

Fuji Bikes 2019 Roubaix 1.5 Road Bike (Satin Anthracite/Cyan) (XS)

Courtesy of Nashbar

https://www.nashbar.com/fuji-bikes-2019-roubaix-1.5-road-bike-satin-anthracite-cyan-xs-1091242549/p991415?v=950972

 

Nashbar is a venerable, online and brick-and-mortar retailer that has been around since 1974. They offer every type of bike — BMX, cyclocross, gravel, mountain, road, hybrids and commuters, kid’s, and single-speed/fixed gear — from most major mainstream brands, as well as parts like frames and forks. The customer experience is refreshingly straightforward, making it easy to filter brand, product status, color, gender, wheel diameter, and frame size, as well as more nuanced elements like e-bikes-only or selections based on the desired suspension. Rather than carrying high-end bikes like Santa Cruz or Surly, Nashbar leans more toward affordable set-ups that don’t sacrifice quality for low prices. Their VIP rewards points program will encourage repeat purchases, and they also carry all things cycling, from clothing to parts to tires and tubes. Most bikes that are more than $99 ship for free (look for the “Super Saver Shipping” designation). And, they also have a robust content arm, producing stories about bike racing and tips and advice for aspiring cyclists.

03 of 09

Best Shopping Experience: REI

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.2 Bike

Courtesy of REI

https://www.rei.com/product/106336/co-op-cycles-drt-12-bike

 

Champion outdoor brand REI also sells bikes, and their wide retail footprint can let you match your online shopping with some in-person guidance and experience — helping you narrow your selection based on fit and feel. In addition to a robust inventory of bikes across all major genres, the site also supports a large library of buying advice and riding tips, making it a go-to resource before (and after) you make a purchase. The brand's inventory is equally rich, but budget shoppers should look at Co-op Cycles, REI’s line of proprietary bikes, which typically offer high-quality rides for lower prices than other major brands.

Filtering and sorting are what you’d expect from a major online retailer, including sub-categories, brands, gender, wheel size, and best use, as well as more informed specs like break type or gear configuration. Star ratings and user reviews are pretty well-represented, and the compare feature lets you line up a few options to weigh their characteristics easily. Shipping varies based on bike, but most are available for free in-store pick-up, and often come with a maintenance/tune-up package. As a bonus, if you’re a member of their Co-op program, buying a bike will add some revenue to your account, which you can then apply to all things outdoor gear-related.

04 of 09

Best for Vintage Bikes: Classic Steel Bikes

Chesini Precision Campagnolo Super Record Size 59

 Courtesy of Classic Steel Bikes

https://www.classicsteelbikes.com/product/chesini-precision-campagnolo-super-record-size-59/

For those who like the appeal of an old-school vintage bike, look no further than Classic Steel Bikes. They may not boast electronic shifters, air shocks, or auto-raising seat posts, but their bikes evoke the classic, retro aesthetic. As you’d expect, the inventory is thin and the prices are a bit high (and in Euros). Most complete kits are road bikes, complete with clean, clear graphics, updated mechanics, and like-new bar taping. Product details delve into the bike’s history and legacy, along with how the frame has evolved over the decades, with specific info on the model for sale. There's less emphasis on user reviews by bike, in part because most bikes are close to mint condition. They also offer individual frames as well as group sets, parts, and vintage jerseys and shoes. Shipping isn’t free, but they do process orders throughout the world.

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Best for Cargo Bikes: My Amsterdam Bike

Babboe City

 Courtesy of My Amsterdam Bike

https://myamsterdambike.com/product/babboe-city/

Cargo bikes are a trendy, eco-friendly alternative for parents to grocery shop or ride around their kids with — something that the biking-obsessed city of Amsterdam has been doing for decades. The aptly-named My Amsterdam Bike ranks as the largest U.S. online cargo bike store, and the variations of their Babboe model is the world’s best-selling cargo bike: a long bike with a big basket nestled into the frame between the handlebars and the front wheel. They offer this rig in a variety of versions, including electric and one built for singletrack, along with a host of accessories. However, this may not be the right place if you're looking for something slightly more streamlined.

06 of 09

Best for Kids: Amazon

RoyalBaby Freestyle Kid’s Bike for Boys and Girls, 12 14 16 inch with Training Wheels, 16 18 20 inch with Kickstand, in Multiple Colors

 Courtesy of Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KXF5BTP/?tag=tripsavvy02-20

While Amazon carries pretty much every bike available, the sheer inventory of bikes for toddlers, tykes, and pre-teens make it easy for parents to hone in on what they want. The online retailer has everything from strider bikes to those with training wheels to higher-performance bikes tailored for the more experienced young rider. Amazon also makes it a breeze to search by price, brand, wheel size, weight, number of gears, gender, age-range, and so much more. And of course, there are copious, reliable user reviews and star ratings to help filter through the marketing language.

07 of 09

Best for Used Bikes: Bike Exchange

2017 Felt Cafe 24 Deluxe Men Charcoal MD

Courtesy of Bike Exchange

https://www.bikeexchange.com/a/cruiser-bikes/felt/ut/orem/2017-felt-cafe-24-deluxe-men-charcoal-md/144991049 

Bike Exchange is both a great resource to find lightly-used and new bikes, as well as a place to get rid of your old ride. And it’s not just other cyclists selling their ride — brick-and-mortar retailers also use the site to help move unsold inventory, and the pricing is wonderfully competitive, offering savings of up to $1,000 in some cases. All the major brands are represented, including Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, and Giant, and the bike categories are broken into four main sections: road bikes, mountain bikes, kid’s bikes, and e-bikes. The site also sells components, clothing, wheels, helmets, and nutrition. Filters on the left side of the site help narrow down the expansive inventory, with specs like riding style, wheel size, models, sellers, condition, gender, color, and availability.

Product-level details are fairly robust, and you can contact the seller directly if you have additional questions. Most ship free, though that depends on the seller. And, Bike Exchange also lets you sell your bike (or components, wheels, and more). Ad prices (their term for a post) break out into second-hand and new products, and are priced based on the selling price, with a fee that ranges from free (for used products less than $500) to $20, along with a $10 upgrade option to flag the ad as “Featured” for additional exposure. All ad pricing runs for 60 days.

08 of 09

Best for E-Bikes: Electric Bike Shop

VENDETTA BY PRODECOTECH ELECTRIC BICYCLE 2019 (EXCLUSIVELY AT ELECTRIC BIKE SHOP)

 Courtesy of Electric Bike Shop

https://electricbikeshoponline.com/products/vendetta-by-prodecotech-electric-bicycle-2016-exclusively-at-electric-bike-shop

Unlike dedicated online retailers, Electric Bike Shop boasts both a website and a brick-and-mortar retail store with owners who’ve been playing with e-bikes since 2008. In addition to free shipping on both bikes and batteries, they sell extra/replacement batteries at a discounted price for those who’ve already purchased a bike. Each bike comes with a free headlight, taillight, cable lock, and handlebar bag. They also give you a bunch of information that outlines helpful tips on owning an e-bike and other guidelines. The only downside? The site browsing leans heavily on the display of each bike — they don’t offer filtering toolsets around things like brand, price, or other distinguishing characteristics.

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

Best for Custom Bikes: Moots

Uniquely Moots - Frame Details

 Courtesy of Moots

https://moots.com/uniquely-moots/#crafted-with-precision

For cyclists who reject the notion of an off-the-rack bike, Moots has you covered. The Steamboat Springs, Colo.-based company has been making some of the highest-performing custom bikes since 1981, hand-crafting each bike using the highest-quality titanium available for the frame before building out the rest of the rig with equally high-end components. The site breaks bikes into three general groups: road, mountain, and gravel + cross, and then sub-divides each section by more nuanced specific categories like performance, endurance, urban/commute, and specialty.

Rather than relying solely on an online purchase, the first step is to visit one of the many authorized Moots dealers throughout the country (and the world) to help select your optimal fit and narrow things down to the right model (or to start designing your own specialty rig). Then, select from a library of frames and build out all the other elements, from frame size and break configuration to crank and group set, among many others, including a selection of finishes. The bike is then shipped to the local dealer and hand-assembled.

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