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Retailer Review: Nashbar.com

Nashbar logo

Retailer Name: Bike Nashbar
Website: www.Nashbar.com

Continue reading for my thoughts and opinions on Nashbar, a cycling-specific online retailer for road and mountain bikers…

Product Selection and Availability

First of all, Nashbar has a good selection of most road and mountain bike parts and accessories, from low- to high-end. Taking road cranks as an example, I see they have Shimano Nexave hybrid cranks for $30, as well as the newest Dura Ace crankset for $700 (plus Ultegra, 105, and of course, SRAM, Campy, and FSA.)

You probably won’t find every single thing you want in the exact size and color you need, but the selection is pretty good.

What I really like about Nashbar is all the odd stuff you don’t see very often. Sometimes you’ll find an old-fashioned or odd part that you have never seen before, and there are a lot of odds and ends that home bicycle mechanics will like to have on hand.

Another thing they’re big on is NOS (new old stock) products, which is sweet, because a lot of that stuff is better quality than the first-run of the new product lines. Stuff like older 8- and 9-speed cranksets and chains, so you don’t have to upgrade your 1995 bikes to the new stuff!

Pricing

What’s better than having those great NOS parts? Having all that cool gear on closeout! Everything is usually a great deal, like 60% off the original retail price!

Newer components and regular name-brand gear is going to be on par with other retailers, but older parts and house brand merchandise is cheap!

Overall, I think Nashbar is one of the cheapest online stores (sometimes on par with PricePoint, which is basically a bargain outlet.) And sometimes their Nashbar branded items are very high-quality, so it’s a win-win deal.

Discounts & Coupon Codes

To make the prices even sweeter, Nashbar almost always has some sort of discount. They have a sale for every holiday, and sometimes they just issue a 10% off coupon for fun. Sometimes they even offer 20% off coupons on larger orders!

At the very least, there will be some sort of free shipping deal. Just make sure you’re signed-up for their email updates and you’ll always know what’s going on.

The one problem I’ve had that annoyed me was their policy with combining discounts. I can understand not being allowed to apply multiple coupon codes to an order, but apparently they consider gift cards to be one of these discounts, rather than a payment method.

See, I’d put together an order and applied a 20% off coupon code. Then I would enter a $20 gift card number, along with my credit card number, expecting my final order price to drop down by $20. Well, the order price would actually increase! Entering the gift card actually wiped out the initial 20% off discount!

So don’t buy Nashbar gift cards, it’s like shooting yourself in the foot!

Ease of Use (Website and Shopping Cart)

Nashbar starts out with the latest deals on the home page, with a navigation menu running down the left side. I like the two dropdown menus at the top, for quick browsing by category or brand. This is listed alphabetically, which is usually easier to navigate than their categorized lists, wondering if handlebar tape is a “bike part” or an “accessory” and whether it’s listed as “grips/bar tape” or as “handlebar tape.”

Or if you want a hub, it’s not under “hubs.” It’s either under “Front hubs” or “Freehubs/Rear hubs.”

Aside from those bits of confusion, Nashbar’s menu is pretty good. The main categories listed down the side (Bicycles, Fashion, Bike Parts, Accessories, Repair, and Training,) are pretty clear.

Clicking through or searching, you are presented with clean lists of items, photos, and descriptions. The listing usually starts with the highest prices, but you can easily sort by brand, percent off, or price (low to high) with another click or two. Also, the photos enlarge for a better preview when you scroll over them.

The product detail page is pretty nice and clear, and has a nice pop-up function to see the full-size pictures. Sometimes the descriptions are confusing, though. Yesterday I was looking at one of their bikes, and the weight was listed twice. Once as 26.5 lb and the other at 29.87 lb. So which is it?!

I do love the shopping cart. It is easy to understand, and it’s simple to remove items and update quantities.

Overall I do really like the website and shopping cart from an ease of use standpoint. The little discrepancies are annoying, but not bad enough that I’ll totally quit ordering from Nashbar.

Shipping & Handling

Nashbar is great for me because they ship out of Ohio – with standard shipping, my order arrives in 1-3 days here in central Pennsylvania.

Here’s one example where Nashbar really made me happy: Recently I placed a small order with Nashbar – it was 12/22/08, at night. I then purchased standard shipping, expecting to get the order the next Monday due to the Christmas holiday delay in there.

Well, the order arrived on 12/24/08 in the morning! I couldn’t believe it! It took literally 39 hours between ordering and receiving the box!

The rates are reasonable, too. Ground shipping ranges from $5.75 to $12.50 depending on order price, which is not bad at all. [Figures from 12/28/08.]

Just make sure you read their policies before you start ordering. Some people complain about bad shipping, but if you just read the details, you’ll know what to expect in advance. For example, backordered items are shipped via ground shipping. That’s just the policy, and it’s clear as day, so expect that if you have to backorder something.

Customer Service

I can only speak for myself, but I haven’t run into any nasty issues with Nashbar. Any time I’ve had a problem, they’ve always made it right. Not always super fast, but they mean well – everyone I’ve talked to seemed to put forth some effort and actually do their job.

I certainly wouldn’t say they go the extra mile to treat you like a king, but customer service seems “good enough” in most regards.

Nashbar Forever Guarantee

This guarantee is relatively new – perhaps started in 2015 – and essentially says they want you to be happy with whatever you buy, forever. It sounds shockingly good!

I’m going to gather more information (and read the fine print) so I can explain it fully here.

My final verdict is…

Nashbar is a great place to find cheap stuff. I’ve been shopping at Nashbar since the 90s when I had to mail in the order form with a check, and I probably order from them 6-12 times per year.

The best strategy for Nashbar success is to find what you want and wait for a 20% off coupon, and then buy a bunch of stuff at once. (Unless it’s a name brand item in a popular size, in which case you would want to order ASAP.)

So go ahead and order from Nashbar. Use common sense and you should be pretty well off.

Official website: www.Nashbar.com

Product Review Details
Company: Nashbar
Product: Nashbar.com
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Date last updated: 2016-12-31
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: Yes; paid affiliate.

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1 Comment
  1. $150 jerseys for under $50. You can’t beat it!

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coach levi
Hi, I'm Coach Levi. I'm a USA Cycling Certified Level 3 Coach as well as Level 1 Certified with Precision Nutrition. Want to feel better, ride faster, and look great? Let's work together!

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