I didn’t get a chance to track down a cyclist for this week’s Rider of the Week feature, but I did find this example of why it’s best not to purchase a bike from a big-box store.

Actually while I was taking this photo, there was a young man with his family who were looking at bikes. Of course there was no one there to help him and he was basing his decision on how the bike looked in the rack or hanging on the wall.

Several times I almost went over to tell him to visit one of our local shops to get a bike that was actually worth it.

I didn’t and now I’m regretting it.

Do low-quality bikes get people into cycling or do they keep them from getting more serious because they break and aren’t reliable?

5 thoughts on “Photo: Quality bicycle assembly”
  1. 30 years ago I bought a mountain bike from a local bike shop. It was a “brand name” bike at the time and I paid good money for it. The first time I went to rebuild the hubs I realized it did not have splined axles and dogged washers. I was madder than you could imagine. Prior to that, I bought a upper middle end road bike from the same shop and had continual problems with blowouts. It took me years to figure out that the tires they sold on the bike were way too narrow for the rims. The correct tires looked like they belonged on a tractor rather than a racing bike. The folks at the store saw the fat tires and replaced the correct ones with sexier ones to sell the bike. Basically it was false advertising. I had another bad experience with the same shop and realized then that I wasn’t their friend, like I thought. I was just a mark.
    The box stores don’t provide service and the products are GENERALY not as well made. However, I have seen a lot of people putting in some real mileage on cheap bikes. Personally, I wouldn’t buy a bike from a box store unless I was really broke and couldn’t find a deal on a quality used bike on Craig’s list.
    On the other hand, before I’d buy from a bike shop, I’d ask around to see if they were honest!

  2. I’m under the impression that bike manufacturers specifically make models for big box stores. And, if the prices are the same, the bike shop bike is better. Maybe that could be reflected by target pricing and mark-up being less at bike shops? It seems to me the lower priced bikes at shops are a lot better than they used to be many years ago. My entry level Peugeot from a bike shop back in the day wasn’t so hot. So I upgraded and off I went. Not sure how you convince a non-rider of the difference, though.

  3. Meh, I dunno. I have two bikes, a bike shop bike, and a 15 year old Glacier Point Magna from Target. The old style shifters and brake calipers on the Magna aren’t as cool as the new stuff but it’s still going strong. I think bikes breaking from cheap parts is an urban myth. Bikes are made of metal not plastic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.