FAQ: Why should I spend $300 bucks on a commuter bike when I can go to Wal-mart and spend half of that?
Here at commute by bike we promote riding ANY bike to work. We also believe that a good commuter bike can make a huge difference on the success of your commute. So what’s the difference between buying a bike from Big Box retailer stores VS a Bicycle shop?
Although the sticker says ‘Professional Assembly’, the truth of the matter is that a regular employee puts those bikes together on a retailer store. I’ve seen loose brakes, forks installed backwards and loose handlebars on these ‘professional assembled’ bikes. On a bike shop, each bike is assembled by a professional bike mechanic and it’s looked over before the bike leaves the shop.
You will find a ‘one size fits most’ bicycle at the big box retailer. Once you take the bike out of the store, you are on your own to make it fit. If you go to a shop, they will size you and suggest a bicycle that will fit your body. They also fine tune the saddle, seat post, and handlebars so you can ride on the proper position.
You obviously get what you pay for. A bike shop bike will have higher quality components than your Wally world bike. Higher quality means better reliability, lighter parts and longer life. Replacing a cheap part often costs more than a quality part since they are not readily available.
4.Service and Warranty:
I have yet to find someone at my local retail store that knows something about bikes. Also, have you ever seen a good selection of spare parts or a bike service department at your local Target? The biggest plus about buying a bike from a shop is service. Granted, I’ve been to shops where they’ve just looked at me and didn’t even greet me, but 99% of the shops have knowledgeable and friendly staff. As for warranty goes, most shops will include at least 1 year of basic tune ups on the bikes they sell and a lifetime warranty on the bike frames.
As you can see, buying a bike that costs a little more from a bike shop will actually end up saving you money on the long run. You will also get piece of mind that your bike will not break down. You will eventually get your money back on tune-ups alone.