Monday, June 8, 2015

Bicycle Shop Bicycles Versus Department Store Bicycles

SE Palisade 7 - Far better than a department store bike & priced at $349

It's something that every bicycle shop has to deal with. People come in expecting to buy a bike at the same price they see advertised at department stores. There is really no comparison in quality between our bikes and theirs.  Keep the following facts in mind when you are comparing a department store bike to one sold at a bike shop:

  • Department store bicycles are made cheaply from inferior materials to keep the cost down. The average department store bike is only ridden about 75 miles in its lifetime.
  • Bicycle shop bikes come in different sizes to fit you. Department store bikes come in one size, which means you may be in an uncomfortable and inefficient riding position.
  • Circle City Bicycles employees spend about an hour assembling a bike, testing it out, and making sure that the brakes work and the gears shift smoothly. Most department store bikes are assembled in 10-15 minutes.
  • Reputable bike shops stand behind their products. If there is any problem, they fix it. Try taking a bike back to a department store to get it repaired.
  • Department store bikes just aren't designed to be repaired. You may save when you buy them, but they will cost you down the road in repair costs.
We try to tell our customers these things, but many think we are just trying to sell our "overpriced" bikes. Perhaps the message would be more believable if it came from a well-known, unbiased source who does not sell bicycles. Someone like ...

Consumer Reports

The entire article can be found here. Here are a few excerpts:
  • Find a good bike shop. You'll pay more, but we think you're more likely to be satisfied. Bikes from big-box stores might not be properly assembled or well matched to your body.
  • Avoid cheap bikes, except for very casual use. Inexpensive bikes--those selling for less than about $200, often in big-box stores-- may seem like good deals, but we advise spending $300 or more.
  • Mass-market bikes have cheaper construction than higher-priced bikes and can weigh seven or eight pounds more. They come in only one size, so you're not likely to get a great fit. And mass merchants can't match bike shops for quality of assembly, expert advice, and service.
  • Adults should consider inexpensive bikes from a department store only for the most casual use.
If you absolutely cannot afford a new bike from a bicycle shop, we highly advise that you purchase a used bike on Craigslist. Our greatest fear is that if you buy a cheap department store bike, you won't like it and give up on cycling. That would be a real shame. I bought a Fuji America in 1978 for $429, which was a lot of money for a college student. I have never regretted it and I still have the bike today.

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