Grabbing a Wheel Deal
By Stephanie D. Smith

(MONEY Magazine) – The cool fall weather may not have you thinking about getting on a two-wheeler. But if you're looking for a new bike, now's the time to buy. With 2004 models rolling into most stores in November, many dealers will take 15% or more off the price of 2003 makes. You may face slim pickings in warm-weather states like California and Florida, but towns in cooler climes, like Chicago and Washington, D.C., should have plenty from which to choose. So visit your local bike shop and haggle.

We found the 2003 Jamis Dakar XC Comp off-road bike selling for $1,189, down from its summertime price of $1,359--a 13% savings--at Performance Bike Shop in Northbrook, Ill. We also found a Cannondale R800 road bike for $910 at Sunflower Outdoor & Bike Shop in Lawrence, Kans., down 29% from $1,280. Availability will vary from shop to shop.

Whatever you buy, skip the 2003 model of Trek's 6700 mountain bike. You'll likely find it selling for about $699 these days, down from $819. (We even found it for $650 at the Bicycle Link in Weymouth, Mass.) Buy the 2004 model instead. It boasts bigger wheels, for better off-road handling, and the same $699 price tag. (Trek introduced a new mountain bike for 2004--it costs around $900--and cut its prices on the 6700.) --S.D.S.