How do you buy your commuting gear?

We here at do our bike and accessory purchases in a number of different ways. We’ve bought bikes and gear from local shops, scoured Craigslist for deals, and hit up any number of online vendors for the parts and accessories we need. Lots of stuff is available online — it used to be that your only recourse was the mom-and-pop bike shop for bikes, but now e-commerce has made it possible to shop from the comfort of your home (or office). You can easily purchase complete bikes for sale from Bicycles Online or a number of other Internet sources.

Sometimes when we are sourcing parts for special projects like keeping our vintage road bikes or racing MTBs up and running, we tend to go to Ebay first to check prices or to find the really oddball stuff we’re seeking. We’re always looking for the deal; we commuters tend to be a frugal lot! If we don’t find something online, we’ll pay a visit to one of our favorite local bike shops. Some of us tend to use the local shops for “instant gratification” items (particularly bike accessories and consumables like tires and tubes and small parts).

On occasion, we’ve even been known to ask our fellow cyclists if they have (or know where to find) a particular piece of the puzzle. And, a few of us keep some fairly well-stocked parts bins so we can source the “strange and unique” in return when called upon to do so!

We’re curious to hear from you: where do you generally buy your bikes, parts, and gear from? Strictly local, online only, or a combination of the two? Lets hear about it in the comments below.