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Walk to a Walmart or other mass-market dealer and you will discover mountain bikes, road bicycles and city bikes—some for $100, and some brands you can get for more money at your local independent bike dealer.
The biggest retailers are able to sell motorcycles to masses at very modest costs as these shops acquire bulk orders of a single model, utilize cheaper parts, do not shell out for skilled assembly, and adopt a more uniform policy. But if you’re on a budget, you can go to one of the merchants and go out with enough motorbikes for the entire family for less money than you would pay for a single motorcycle from another source.
You won’t be able to obtain the whole bells and whistles you can find on a bike from your own business or from a merchant of sports equipment such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, but you are ready to go.
Walmart Bikes Pros
- Walmart bikes are cheap- Walmart has some of the best deals on new bikes. They simply cannot be beaten on pricing. A complete mountain bike with gears costs under $100 at Walmart. Kids bikes under $50 at Walmart. For comparison, entry-level bikes at local bike shops start at roughly $300. That’s probably why my father bought all my bikes from Walmart. Walmart can cut costs in many ways. First, they place massive orders for bikes. Economies of scale allow them to sell bikes cheaper than any other bike shop. Walmart uses employees to assemble bikes rather of paying a bike technician. More one-size-fits-all bikes sold. Less models and sizes to stock.
- Mountain bikes, beach cruisers, road bikes, E-bikes, commuters, folding bikes, women’s bikes, recumbent cycles, and kids bikes are all available at Walmart. They have bikes in 16′′, 20′′, 24′′, 26′′, 27.5′′, 700c, and 29er. Walmart has bikes in every type and size. Not all stores carry these bikes. In some cases, you can only find a model online or in
- It will be a new bike– When you buy a bike at Walmart, it’s brand new. No dings, dents, rust, or wear and tear. Unlike a used bike, no parts need to be changed or enhanced. You won’t get a lemon. The bike will be in immaculate condition. If you like, you can ride your bike home. For these reasons, many individuals prefer new. Buying fresh is stress-free.
- If you’re not happy with the bike, you can return it for a full refund within 90 days. The bike must be in the same condition as when purchased. Bring your original receipt to save time. As far as I know, Walmart accepts returns without issues as long as you don’t abuse their policy. Check out this article from savingadvice.com on returns.
- A warranty may be available- If your Walmart bike breaks, you can purchase a 2-3 year extended warranty. Even if it is available, I recommend not purchasing the extended warranty. However, the warranty is optional.
- Why invest $1000+ on a bicycle you may never use? Buy a cheap Walmart bike, ride it till it breaks, then upgrade. If the bike ends up collecting dust in your garage, you aren’t lost much money.
- Walmart bikes employ standard-sized parts that are easy to find. No proprietary parts. Replace your brake pads if they wear out at any bike shop. Replace your shifter cable if it breaks. Not at Walmart. Most replacement components are available in their stores. You can easily replace non-wearable parts like handlebars and pedals online or at your local bike store.
- For example, if you wish to upgrade your Walmart bike with better components, you may easily buy new parts and install them. Most Walmart bikes have Shimano or Sram brakes and drivetrains. The majority of parts are standard-sized. No proprietary parts.
- Why spend a lot of money on something the child will outgrow in a few years? They can’t tell a decent bike from a cheap one. This is especially true for youngsters.
- No assembly required- Bikes purchased at Walmart are fully constructed and ready to ride. You don’t have to worry about anything.
- Walmart sells name-brand bikes- Not all Walmart bikes are knock-offs. Large cycling brands build entry-level bikes for Walmart. So Walmart carries Schwinn, Mongoose, and Huffy bikes. These are some well-known cycling brands. Of course, these bikes may have been designed by different teams from those sold in bike shops. I think Schwinn makes the greatest Walmart bikes.
- Buying a Walmart bike is simple. You can shop for a bike at your leisure. You won’t have to deal with pushy salespeople trying to upsell you. Because many bike stores rely on commission, salesmen can be aggressive. Buying a bike at Walmart also eliminates the need to visit a private seller’s home. You can buy the bike and ride it home. You don’t have to wait for delivery or assemble.
- It’s a bike- Don’t feel bad if all you can afford is a Walmart bike. At least you’re getting out there and riding. Bike from Walmart can be used for commuting or grocery shopping.
Walmart Bike Cons
- Walmart bikes may be risky- This could be for various reasons. First, Walmart bikes are more prone to breakdown due to inferior components. If a critical component fails while riding, you could crash and hurt yourself. On a poorly manufactured wheel tacos, for example, you could fall straight to the earth. Improper assembly might also be dangerous. For example, loose handlebars, seat, pedals, or axles could cause a crash. Parts can also come loose. On my beach cruiser, something happened. While cycling, my handlebars slipped. Thanks to my slowness. I also had my multi-tool to retighten them.
- Bikes often come 90% built from the manufacturer in a box. It’s possible that the bike was made in a factory that only makes mass-market bikes. As an example, a hub or bottom bracket may be missing lubricant. The wheels may be off. When the bike arrives at Walmart, a staffer installs the handlebars, pedals, and wheels. The biggest issue is that the Walmart bike builders aren’t trained mechanics. They’re just regular employees following orders. They probably aren’t torqueing bolts. They don’t check spoke tension or lubricate the hubs and bottom bracket. Not adjusting derailleurs or brakes. Sometimes they just mess up. I’ve heard of individuals complaining about greasy hubs or loose headsets. These manufacturing errors lead to premature wear. Incorrect assembly might also be dangerous. After purchasing a Walmart bike, you should inspect it yourself or take it to a bike shop to ensure it is correctly assembled, adjusted, and safe to ride. Check spoke tension, bolt tightness, and oil on moving parts. An inspection at a shop will cost $50-$100.
- Low-quality parts- Major cycling firms often make the components used on Walmart bikes. So, most Walmart bikes have Shimano or Sram components and KMC chains. The issue is that the parts are inferior to those found on a bike store bike. Cheap parts are sometimes produced expressly for Walmart bikes. On a Walmart mountain bike, you might find a non-branded suspension fork or shock. The frames are also budget. They may be faulty. Some frames may have warped or bent tubes. The bike’s hardware is likely to be of inferior quality. Bolts could rust faster. These low-quality parts are less durable, require more frequent adjustments, and don’t work as effectively. For example, inexpensive tires or brake pads may only last a few hundred kilometers. On a budget bike, you’ll need to adjust your brakes and shifters frequently. Your bike can be slow. Brakes may be lacking in power. The seat’s quick-release may slip. Poor-quality parts can cause issues.
- Although initially cheaper than bike shops, Walmart bikes can wind up costing more. Adding in the extra maintenance costs may result in higher long-term costs. For example, a $200 mountain bike from Walmart. You buy it, then take it to a bike shop for a $100 inspection. A few months later, your plastic pedals shatter, your wheel deviates, and your derailleur needs adjusting. You fix everything for $100. You could have got a nicer bike for the same money.
- The non-standard parts may be: To save money, some parts are created in a different size or style than the industry standard. As a result, some replacement parts may be difficult to find. So many cheap Walmart bikes have handlebars less than the current norm of 25.4 mm. Some models still use the previous 22.2 mm. The result is a bit more difficulty locating appropriate handlebars.
- More maintenance- The low-quality components found on Walmart bikes are more readily out of alignment. For example, to maintain your derailleurs and brakes working smoothly, you may need to tweak them every few months. Cheaper parts wear out faster and need to be replaced sooner. Shoes, tires and grips that are too cheap wear down faster. Bolts easily rust. Maintaining your Walmart bike requires extra time and money.
- This can be difficult to find. The bike must fit your body for a comfortable riding position. Each Walmart bike model normally comes in only one size. You may have problems finding a bike that fits if you aren’t average height. Comparatively, bike stores stock a variety of frame sizes. A typical model comes in 4–7 sizings This provides for a better fit. Another issue is Walmart’s bike sizing. Buying a bike? They may provide mountain bikes with 24′′, 26′′, 27.5′′, and 29′′ wheels. The 26′′ model may have an 18′′ frame and the 29′′ model a 20′′ frame. According to the store’s sizing chart, shorter people should ride 26′′ wheels and taller people 29′′ wheels. This is a bad way to size bikes. The wheel size is not related to the frame size. Buy a bike that is too big or tiny for your height. Of course, you can adjust a bike’s fit after purchase. Adjust the handlebars and seat height, for example. Riding a bike that doesn’t fit properly can cause joint pain or damage.
- Maintenance is required to maintain a Walmart bike roadworthy. As previously stated, Walmart bikes require more frequent maintenance than bikes sold in bike shops. If you don’t know how to maintain your bike, you’ll end up spending more than if you bought a more expensive bike. Paying a bike mechanic to fix your derailleurs or replace your brake cable quickly adds up. Buying a Walmart bike is affordable if you learn basic bicycle maintenance and buy a few tools. This is not a big deal. Changing brake pads and derailleurs is simple. You only need a multi-tool. You can learn everything about bike repair by watching YouTube tutorials.
- You can’t get a bike serviced at Walmart or other big box stores. They don’t have a bike shop. You can either take your bike to a local bike shop or undertake the job yourself. The good news is that Walmart sells most of the things you’ll need to keep your bike working, including tires, brake pads, cables, lube, basic bike tools, and so on.
- The lower-end components on Walmart bikes break down more frequently and require more frequent adjustments. You don’t want to be stuck or miss a meeting due to a bike malfunction. In order to get to work on time, consider paying a little more and getting a higher-end bike from your local bike store.
- Walmart bikes weigh a t Weighing a few pounds more than a comparable bicycle shop bicycle. The frames are built of hefty materials like high tensile steel. This steel is heavier than Chromoly, which is used in many high-end frames. The tubes are frequently simple gauge. This adds weight since the tubes contain more material. The Walmart bikes’ low-end components are likewise heavier. Heavy bikes waste fuel. A faster start requires more energy. They take longer.
- Unstable resale value- Bikes in general are unstable. Even a high-end bike is worth less when you get it home. Worse are Walmart bikes. Expect little when you sell it. Your $99 Walmart bike may be worth $20 after a season.
- Walmart bikes are good for cruising on flat surfaces. Off-road riding is a gamble. Components can shatter. It is rare for a high-end bike to fail catastrophically. Avoid Walmart bikes if you expect to ride tough routes. If you decide to take a chance, be careful to regularly inspect your bike for safety.
- Walmart bikes don’t last as long and are throwaway. They just don’t last as long as store bikes. After 100-200 miles or 15-20 hours of use, the bike may start to malfunction. Cheap frames rust or wear out. Cheap parts wear out. They are also more delicate. Hard riding might cause injury. For example, the inexpensive plastic pedals on most Walmart bikes are easily broken. I’ve heard of a crank arm snapping. Sure, you can replace things when they break.
6 Reasons Why you Shouldn’t Buy a MTB from Walmart
1. Low Cost for Low Quality
Depending on your objective, the 199-dollar bike may be appealing. If you’re a mom who wants one to ride with her kids every now and then, it may be sufficient. But for an MTB aficionado or someone who uses it frequently, such a bike is absurd. No way can he win a race with it.
Walmart can provide an MTB at such a low rate because vendors buy in bulk. Cheap components and substandard assembly are generally obtained from China, where impoverished laborers make them. The low cost may still entice the frugal, but the low quality compromises the product’s longevity and durability.
Cost-cutting tactics often include inferior cables, spokes, and bearings. These are the unseen components that contribute to the bike’s overall performance. When it comes to an inexpensive bike, the dangers outweigh the perks.
Buying quality things at a reasonable price is doable, but not so with mountain bikes. For a $150 mountain bike, assuming Walmart adds a 50% markup plus taxes, that leaves only $75 for the bike itself. That’s not enough for a good mountain bike, so something has to give. It’s the quality in this scenario.
2. No Options
Look closely at the seemingly infinite possibilities in Walmart’s bike area. You’ll see they’re all the same. They’d mostly be front-suspension with 26-inch wheels. Then you’ll notice the lack of full-suspension, rigid, and hardtail mountain bikes. Bulk ordering results in limited selection.
3. Poor Assembly
A fully-assembled mountain bike usually costs extra, whether purchased locally or online. In some cases, this is already included in the price, but the buyer is guaranteed a bike assembled by a professional mechanic according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
With partially constructed bikes being transported to Walmart, customers will either have to assemble them themselves or have them assembled by the retailer, although poorly. This is why buying a bike from a legitimate bike shop is ideal.
4. Unskilled sales staff
You may have queries concerning the bike that the staff may not appropriately answer. It is simply too much responsibility for Walmart to educate everyone of their employees on every product they offer, given their minimal wage.
So if you approach a clerk at the bike section, he’s probably been manning several departments over the last six months. Worse, he may be a new employee with little prior customer service experience, let alone knowledge of derailleurs and drivetrains. Just one of the many benefits of buying your MTB from a bike shop.
My neighborhood bike shop is great, and I usually learn something new. It’s a delight to visit them and I always resist buying anything.
Sure, your $150 mountain bike is cheap, but once it breaks, it’s gone. And it may have just lasted a few months. Suddenly, the funds you thought you had become a loss.
Quality bikes cost more but last much longer. And if you run into problems, you can fix them by repairing or replacing the broken parts. This is unlikely to be possible with a Walmart MTB. When it is possible, you may pay much more than the initial $150.
A inexpensive bike’s brakes may not be reliable. The specs may say Shimano, but they will be lower-grade. If you expect to ride your bike frequently, buying a Walmart bike is dangerous. It will not be able to resist the physical strains of riding it.
6. Size Restrictions
Walmart’s mountain bikes are all the same size. Even a non-cyclist would agree that bikes should be available in various sizes to accommodate different riders. This leads us back to Walmart’s bulk purchase. Having only one style of bike that is replicated several times decreases prices dramatically.
I’ve given you plenty of reasons not to buy a Walmart mountain bike. If you’ve read this far, you’re probably new to mountain biking or have been riding casually without much consideration. So, I hope I was able to educate you enough to make you think twice before buying your first (or first major) bike.
As a buyer, you should consider your budget and goal. Your limited budget may prevent you from purchasing a bike from a specialist shop. So you bought that 129-dollar bike at Walmart. Remember, you’ve been warned. Ride safely and wear a helmet!