The bicycle you buy, and especially where you buy it, has a huge impact on your safety, comfort, and how much fun you have riding!
Bicycles are fun vehicles that can travel at high speeds and withstand even demanding conditions. To do their best, they need to be constructed of high-quality materials, assembled by competent and trained bicycle mechanics, and properly adjusted to fit you right.
By purchasing your new bike from a professional bicycle store instead of from a mass merchant or "discount" department store you receive numerous important advantages, which we outline here.
COMPARISON: Bicycle Shops vs Mass-Merchants
Mass-Merchants / Department Stores
Bike Comfort and Fit
People come in all sizes and need the expert fit bike shops can provide. They ensure that your bike is the right size and adjusted properly just for you. Test rides and follow-up fitting fine-tuning is available, too. The result is easy, efficient and safe cycling and more fun!
Mass-merchant bicycles come in few sizes forcing you to compromise on the fit. These stores also do not have experienced staff who understand how to measure you or how to adjust the bike to fit you. Plus, they don’t offer test rides and don’t do follow-up adjustments. The result is an uncomfortable, inefficient ride.
Bike shops have a wide selection of bicycle models, sizes, styles and colors. Their expert staff coaches you through the process of finding the best bike for you.
Selection is usually very limited and staff expertise is limited, too, or non-existent.
Bicycles come in boxes and need to be assembled carefully and properly to be safe, work right and hold up. Bike shop bikes are assembled in-store by experienced mechanics, and each is test ridden to ensure proper function and safety. They are then carefully fit to you at the time of purchase. Test rides, tune-ups and instructions assure safe and great rides.
Some mass-merchants sell unassembled bikes meaning you have to do it yourself (yes, it's "only" a bicycle, but it still requires significant know-how to build it right). Plus, no test rides, tune-ups or safety tests are available. Many buyers eventually bring these bikes to bike shops to be properly assembled or adjusted.
Value After The Sale
Bicycle shops have an experienced staff who welcome post-sale service and adjustments, usually for free or at low cost. They want to satisfy your needs and help you fully enjoy cycling!
After buying a bike from a mass-merchant, you have little or no help after the sale, either if problems occur or if you just want help to enjoy your bicycle more.
Bike shops offer a wide selection of quality cycling accessories, helmets and clothing in many models, colors and sizes. The staff consults with you to find the right accessories and gear for your bike and how and where you ride.
Usually a limited or poor selection of accessories is available, with little or no help to choose the right ones. Often, these are cheap, knockoff products, which can create safety and reliability issues, too.
Bicycles sold at bike shops come with full warranties. And, most problems are resolved in-house. Plus, shops stand behind their bikes and products with experienced mechanics and riding experts.
Products sold here have manufacturer warranties only, making it impossible or cumbersome to get a repair or adjustment. They may let you return the bike for a refund.
Bicycle shops are the central source for more than just great bicycles accessories and apparel. They help you find the great rides, latest cycling info, and often serve as advocates for better bike paths and facilities in your area, too!
They mainly just sell stuff.
Shops employ knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff, many who are cyclists with detailed knowledge in the field. Their only job is satisfying your cycling needs, and they love doing it!