Is Purchasing a Bike online a Good Idea?

Assembled Bike

It might seem an attractive option to purchase a bike online, however in our experience this can not only end up being more expensive, it can also be a dangerous strategy.

Recently we were approached by a lady who had purchased the above bike, which arrived partially assembled. However, she lacked the corrected tools, and it was left in bits until she brought it to the shop for us to put together.

Once I came across a child’s bike belonging to one of my son’s friends. The bike’s brake and gear cables were incorrectly routed, the wheel on back to front and the handlebars so loose, they would turn around when the bike was ridden over rough ground. My son’s friend told me his dad had put it together and didn’t know what he was doing.

When we get a new bike to assemble in the shop, not only do we make sure it is correctly assembled, we also use torque wrenches to make sure fittings are correctly tightened, as over tightening can damage a component and under tightening may mean they will come loose.

When many bikes are assembled in the factory, final adjustments are not usually made, so brakes and gears will require further adjustment, which we do in the shop.

Also, on cheaper bikes the manufacturers often skimp on the amount of grease used in bearings, and these may be over tightened on the assembly line, meaning the bike is more difficult to pedal.  So as part of our assembly and pre-delivery inspection process, we add more grease to bearings and make sure they rotate freely without play.  We also adjust the brakes and gears and make sure the bike is the best it can be before you ride it, or give to a child for Christmas.

If you find a bike you like online, do come into the shop before you place your order.  We may be able to get the same bike, or a similar bike, from one of our suppliers and won’t charge you extra for assembly.

If you do decide to go ahead and purchase a bike online, we are of course available to assembly it and carry out a pre delivery inspection.  However, we will need to charge you for this so the final cost may not be attractive as it might first seem.  However, you can be assured that your bike has been assembled safely by a professional.