I know this is an unexpected response but there is actually some overlap in quality of bikes in bike shops and sporting goods or big box stores. The higher end non-bike shop bikes are often similar to low end bike shop bikes. A good bike shop adds value to their bikes through expert advice and post-purchase service. Bike shops make very little on bicycles themselves. I can almost guaranty you that your LBS makes less money on their bikes than Dick's does. They make money from people becoming cycling enthusiasts and buying clothes, racks, tires & tubes, upgrades, etc. The margin on smaller items is much better than on bikes. My bike shops averaged 10% margin on new bikes after factoring in assembly and a checkup; we made a little more on kids and mountain bikes and even less on high end road bikes. Nobody is going to get rich selling bikes like this! It is in bike shops best interest to promote cycling in your area and make cycling as enjoyable for you as possible. Dick's Sporting Goods, Costco, Walmart sell bicycles. Bike shops sell cycling.
Fitness Minutes: (530) Posts: 103 2/10/13 1:17 P
thanks everyone for the great responses! I will give LBS another shot and if not there are several bike stores within a 2-hour to a 2 1/2 hour drive, one city I will be traveling through on my way to visit a friend in two weeks has a bike store that carries Specialized and Raleigh per their website so will also try there. I live in north Louisiana in a small city with one bike shop but we are within a 2 hour drive of Jackson Mississippi to the east and 2 hours from Shreveport to the west. We had just gotten a Dick's here in town (we have a big mall since we're right on the I20) so didn't know if it was good option or not. We also have a Target and Walmart but I did want to buy a good bike that I can ride for years to come.
current weight: 180.0
Fitness Minutes: (31,713) Posts: 2,093 2/7/13 1:44 P
I also recommend you return to your LBS and ask for the owner. Share your experience and see if they will clean up their act. $600 is a great budget for a bike! If your LBS is not helpful you may have to drive to the next town for help at their LBS. No exchange? No test ride?? No WAY!
Another option is to research online reviews of different hybrid bikes then order the bike. My daughter just picked up the Fuji Absolute 2.3 for $400. It's a sweet bike. She looks forward to her bike rides now! My husband also tried it and fell in love with it.
Good luck! Remember you DESERVE great service at your LBS!!!!!!
Huh...do you have any friends who are self described "bike nerds" that could gently steer you through the process?
If not, in answer to your initial question, the answer is yes, for example, they have a perfectly serviceable Diamondback Insight, below. BUT, the price point is high and you could likely get the same amount of bike at the LBS.
I would consider giving the LBS another shot at your business, see if they're responsive to some questions about helping you fit a bike properly, perhaps you just got a poor salesperson or caught them on the wrong day. That said, are there any other shops you could check with as well?
Fit is priority, if anyone just wants to shoehorn you into any ride that's in stock...that's, not ideal...
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current weight: 180.0
Fitness Minutes: (62,159) Posts: 1,088 2/7/13 11:20 A
oh and I should mention it's a big investment for me. If I don't like it I can't afford to go back and buy another one. It's pretty much a one time purchase for me if I spend the $600 (which was a Christmas gift plus my savings). I'm a stay at home mom who homeschools so I have to be super careful with my money since it will be another ten years before I'm back in the workforce :)
current weight: 180.0
Fitness Minutes: (530) Posts: 103 2/7/13 11:15 A
I'm looking for a bike that I can ride on paved bike paths, around the campground (again on paved roads but in Louisiana that means incredibly bumpy! lots of holes to swerve around) and in our neighborhood (again bad roads) for exercise. We don't have rails to trails programs within easy driving distance in our area so if we're going to ride it has to pretty much been on the road with traffic. I would like to ride maybe 15-20 miles on special occasions possibly 3-4 times a year. And that is because to get to a bike trail I pretty much have to travel a long way. thanks for all the responses.
We have one local bike shop they offer the Raleigh Cadent one in stock the Trek f/x which they'll order but if I don't like it I'm stuck with it The bottom line is I was turned off by the LBS staff who isn't overly helpful (they're the only one in town) when I went in it was pretty much " there's a hybrid bike, straddle it, ok I think that one will fit you" so given that I'm spending a potential $600 plus tax for a bicycle I expect a little more service and interest in what I want out of biking. Sales seemed very self service there which is a shame because their service department is awesome (I have a Trek road bike that I have serviced at the same shop).
current weight: 180.0
Fitness Minutes: (70,907) Posts: 86 2/7/13 9:08 A
If it is a long term purchase I would go to the bike shop. But check around at different shops because they usually have exclusive agreements with different brands of bikes. I have also noticed that they seem to prefer to sell you a bike they have in stock but are generally happy to order a bike for you if you ask.
I think it depends on 1) how much money you have to spend and 2) what kind of riding you are doing. If you are just going out on the weekends to ride then I think you can get a perfectly acceptable bike at Dick's. If you are looking to ride organized rides like a century or put on some serious miles then I would say go to a local bike shop and get a better bike. Even the lower end bikes at a LBS will cost you $400. Schwinn also has bikes at Walmart. They aren't the same as the bikes that are in the Schwinn store but they are backed by the same company and same warranty.
A man who wants something will find a way; a man who doesn't will find an excuse. - Stephen Dolley Jr.
My son bought a bike from Dick's a couple of years ago. It's a piece of junk. The gear shift doesn't work and the brakes all but fell apart. We took it back for adjustments once and it still doesn't work. He got tired of fighting with it and lost interest in two months. We can't even sell it, it's such garbage. In the spring I'm going to swallow my pride and take it to our local bike shop and see if they can salvage it enough to give it to our 14 y/o to ride around the neighborhood with his friends.
So I would say that's a big no. Don't buy a bike from Dick's. Not if you want to be a serious rider.
***** Laurie in Northeast Ohio *****
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I always recommend people go to a local bike shop, but there's no shame in buying a cheap bike. A local bike shop will most likely cost you more, but they will take the time to get you into the right bike and you will know the bike was put together properly. They'll also tell you to bring it back in after a month or so for them to check the bolts & screws.
Tell the person at the shop what type of cycling you plan to do and how much money you want to spend. Like a good real estate agent, they will show you things above your price range to give you an idea of your options, but if it's unlikely a good shop will steer you into spending too much. Local bike shops survive on repeat business and word of mouth. You don't earn those when you rip people off.
The answer really depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for an inexpensive bike to see if this sport is right for you, practically any bike can do that. But know that a heavier bike can be drudge and rob you of a lot of the fun you would otherwise have. And for the extra $100 you'd spend at a bike shop, you could end up with a bike you'll ride for years.
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I have a bike (hybrid-type) from a big box store, that was given to me. It is heavy, not a pleasure to ride after a few miles. Go get yourself fitted at a local bike shop. Talk with them about the type of cycling you'd like to do. The lower end hybrid's are much better than those from a store like the one mentioned. They are made better and can be serviced. They are usually lighter in weight. That is the big difference and you will be more likely to enjoy your ride. I have 3 other bikes (fitted) from my bike shop. They are a pleasure to take out and ride, whether I am doing a fun ride on the hybrid, a serious road ride with roadies or mountain biking the local trails. Hope you get to cycle soon. It is so much fun.
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Fitness Minutes: (530) Posts: 103 2/6/13 10:51 P
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