Why Should I Buy my Next Bicycle at a Bike Shop Instead of a Department Store or Online?

You'll spend less overall.

Although a department store bike or online purchase will cost less initially, a bike shop bike will save you money in the long-run. Immediately after purchasing a bike online or at Costco, you'll spend an extra $40-80 to have it built. Although bikes from department stores and toy stores come assembled, they are often assembled incorrectly and require paying for a professional checkover or more to ensure safety.

You'll have peace of mind that your bike was built correctly.

It is rare to find a bike professional assembling bikes at Walmart or Toys 'r' Us. Rather, these stores have regular employees with no bike experience assembling bikes. Without proper tools or a detailed knowledge of bicycles, it's no wonder these bikes end up assembled incorrectly. The bikes receive no safety check or test ride before going out on the floor. The end result is a bike that is unsafe and difficult to ride. At a bike shop, you can be confident that your bike was built by a professional. 

You'll value your purchase more and want to ride more.

Purchasing a new bike - whether from a bike shop or elsewhere - is an investment. Why spend anything on junk? A bike from a bike shop will ride much more smoothly and need fewer repairs (some of which will be included in its warranty). Department store bikes are not enjoyable to ride. If the bike needs repair, its owner will not want to spend much on it since it's a cheap bike. Department store bikes end up getting ridden less. If you want to love riding your bike, go for bike shop quality.

Your purchase will help the local economy.

When you purchase a bike from your local bike shop, the shop's profits are cycled back into the local economy. Small business owners and employees regularly support other local businesses. 

You'll have friends at your local shop.

When you purchase a bike at a department store or online, the customer relationship ends once the transaction is finalized. At a bike shop, the employees want to help you enjoy your new purchase for years to come. Bike shop employees are local cyclists who are happy to share knowledge and tips about maintaining your new bike, the best local rides, and more. 

You'll have help accessorizing/fitting your bike to your needs.

When purchasing a bike in a bike shop, you'll enjoy a wide range of accessories to choose from. The employees will be happy to help you pick the right accessories for your needs, and they'll often install them for you at no extra cost. A bike shop will also adjust your bike to fit you properly. Bike fitting simply does not exist at department stores, meaning you coud unknowingly be riding a bike that does not fit you properly. This can be uncomfortable and even dangerous.

You'll replace parts less frequently and more easily.

You'll enjoy free service after your purchase.

Bike shops regularly include labor, warranties, and maintenance plans with their bikes. They believe in the quality of the bikes they sell and are happy to help their customers keep them maintained. Department and online stores cannot help with quick repairs and their warranties are cumbersome. 
Bike shops carry higher quality bikes compared to department/online stores. With higher quality components and a professional bike build, you'll be able to ride your new bike for longer before you'll need any repairs. The lower quality components found in department/online stores are more prone to breaking or malfunctioning, especially if the bike was not assembled properly in the first place, which is often the case. Department store bike brands also save money on parts by using their own manufactured parts. Since these parts are not standard sizes, when they break, they can be difficult to find and expensive to replace. 

You'll be able to see and test ride your bike before your purchase.

Compared to department stores, you'll have a wider selection of bikes to choose from. You'll have knowledgeable staff to help you with your purchase including finding the style and size for your needs. Bike shops also have a designated 

It's greener.

Department store bikes are replaced much more frequently than higher quality bikes. Since they do not cost much to begin with, they get tossed out more regularly. Owners cannot justify the cost to maintain and repair a cheap bike. They'll often opt for a new bike instead. This contributes to the landfill. We believe in buying a bike that will last longer that you love and will want to maintain.