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Why should I avoid buying bikes from big box stores?

The other day, a customer came in with his brand new big box store bike. He asked me, how much for a tune up. He mentioned that it was not properly shifting and the brakes felt inadequate.

My bike mechanic checked over the bike and noticed a couple big issues with it. The bottom bracket was loose, the wheel nuts were not tightened and the brakes were hanging on by a thin brake cable thread. Let's talk about that bottom bracket. Older bikes, the bottom bracket is usually adjustable and can be tightened.  Modern bikes use a sealed cartridge bottom bracket. Those aren't adjustable, so to fix this issue, you now have to remove the entire bottom bracket (labour intensive) & replace with a brand new one. I highly recommended to my customer, to bring it back to the big box store and ask for a refund.

I cannot emphasize enough to spent a few extra dollars, buy a reputable name brand bicycle from your local bike shop and get what you pay for. Included in your price, is the priceless knowledge and service of a bike shop that know what they are talking about. The big box store bicycles simply do not hold up and are unsafe. In the majority of the cases, the bicycles are not assembled correctly or have such poor quality parts that the bike will be in repair every few weeks. Another option is to buy brand name bikes used, from your local Kijiji or from our inventory of used bikes.

The most disappointing part about big box store bikes, it may have now left a very negative impression of biking as a whole on that particular persons mind. And they are extremely frustrated when they are left with a garbage bike which adds to our landfill that simply does not work how it should.

Our biggest recommendations before purchasing your next bike:

1. Do your research and think about what you want to get out of your bike.

2. Visit a couple bike shops before committing to a bike.

3. Ask for their return policy in case it is not what you thought it would be (At Go Dutch, we give every customer 2 weeks time after purchase or else money back)