Depending on the occasion you are likely to be buying, gifting or receiving a bike and most times you will be torn between a department store and a bike shop. In this Walmart bike vs. bike shop review, I have highlighted some of the things to consider to maximize your purchase.
As a customer, you want high-quality bicycle equipment regardless of price. So, how do you decide between a high priced bicycle from a bike shop and a readily available department store bike at a much lower price point?
The first thing I would consider is who you are buying it for if it’s for your five-year-old a department store bike will perform just as well as one from a bike shop. This is because they are less likely to use it for rough riding. You can later upgrade them to an entry level mountain bike from a bike shop when they are older since it will be more equipped to take a beating.
In this Walmart bike vs. bike shop review, I have provided a detailed overview of what to consider before buying from either retail outlet.
Some of the differences between these two retailers include:
Fewer selection of colors
Larger variety of colors
One size fits all
Variety of sizes, uses sizing guide
Walmart bikes vs. bike shop-What to consider
To maximize profit, a store like Walmart will make bulk orders for bicycles in one size which simply means your chances of finding a bike that fits your body geometry are slim. Since bicycle sizing isn’t optimized yet, you may end up sacrificing your comfort while saving a buck or two. No need to worry though, there are some tips you can use to fix your ‘wrong size’ issue, especially if you are having trouble reaching your handlebars:
• Switch your short stem for a longer one
• Move your saddle backward or forwards
• Upgrade to an adjustable seat post
Bike shops, on the other hand, carry a variety of models in different colors and sizes, giving the buyer more options and comfort. Sales attendants at your local bike shop will then use sizing guides to find the right sized bike for you based on your height.
The thing with department stores like Walmart is that there will definitely be a quality tradeoff for such low prices. You will end up feeling every pebble and crack in your path, and this is because low prices often translate to cheap components which ultimately makes riding a gruesome experience. All is not lost though, and you can get a good and durable bike at Walmart, and this is dependent on how you plan to use it.
When it comes to bikes, the more you spend, the better the bike components and performance. Bike shops, in contrast, stock high-end bicycles, it may cost you an arm, but you are guaranteed to find a bike that is comfortable, durable and versatile.
With Walmart, you can enjoy cycling just as much as the next guy on a limited budget. Some of their mass-market bicycles use components made by the same manufacturers that make high-end bikes meaning you can get a just-as-good solid bike for a lower price.
When it comes to your local high-end bike retailer, price equals performance. Which means the more you want out of a bike, the more you have to pay for it. But this does not necessarily mean that you can’t afford an awesome bike since they also stock brands that will offer the best cost-performance combination.
Walmart bike vs. Bike shop review
Walmart happens to be the most preferred department store when it comes to purchasing bicycles. At their price range, it’s not uncommon to go into Walmart and walk away with 3 to 4 bikes. The said bikes may not have upgraded features, but they will be functional and fun with the ability to hold their own against a high-end bicycle.
• The store has assembly staff which means you will go home with a fully assembled bike
• They are affordable, and you can get one for the whole family
• Because of their price, Walmart bikes are designed and built to the lowest specifications possible.
If you are searching for a bicycle that will do more than get the job done, then you should consider purchasing a bicycle from a bike shop. Bike shops stock name-brand bicycles that do not cheap out on features such as suspension, frames, and brakes. As a result, their bikes don’t just look good; they play hard as well. Your local bicycle shop will have cycling accessories such as all-weather gear which you won’t find at a department store.
• Their bicycles have good quality components that will guarantee you a comfortable riding experience
• Offer more options in terms of brands, colors, and style
• Quality and expertise of bike shop personnel is higher
• Their high prices may not fit your budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is bike assembly free at Walmart?
Yes, the store has assembly staff that offers in-store assembly free of charge. However, since staff expertise is limited your bike may not be properly assembled.
Are there hidden costs to department bikes?
Yes, their low prices are indicative of low-quality components which means it’s likely you will often be repairing or replacing brakes, gears, and parts such as forks.
Can I buy a mountain bike from Walmart?
Apart from children’s bikes, mountain bikes are Walmart’s most popular bicycle. However, they do not advise the use of their mountain bikes on rough mountain trails. You will end up replacing the entire frame.
Can I get my Walmart bike fine-tuned at a bike shop?
Yes, you can get it done at a price. Most bike shops have evolved and do more than just sell bikes.
How can I tell if my bicycle is the wrong fit?
Simple, if you are experiencing discomfort on our neck, shoulders and lower back you are most likely on a bicycle that’s too small for you.