Most people will probably get their first bike from Walmart, and possibly even many others after that! Why might you ask? Because Walmart is everywhere, and anyone that shops at the superstore is going to be walking by those bikes on a regular basis. They are inexpensive, and look great.
Now you may ask yourself, “Are Walmart bikes any good?”. I think that is a question that many, many people ask, and I hope to answer. The short answer is, yes, they actually can be a great option for a huge majority of people out there today.
They offer an inexpensive, and decent quality bike for those people that may not quite be bike enthusiasts, but want to be out and about on their bike enjoying their neighborhood or town.
We here at BikesFAQ have at least three different Walmart bikes that have had a varying amount of success with, but all of them have given us exactly what we paid for, and honestly expected.
Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. It is extremely difficult to beat the pricing that Walmart has for their bikes, this is mainly because they are able to buy bikes in such massive bulk, that they can get that price point lower.
However it also is a result of having lower quality components added to the bike. It isn’t often that you will find a bike at Walmart that has high end components, because that really isn’t Walmart’s market.
They are looking to get you into a bike at the lowest possible price point.
If you keep this in mind when you are shopping, and not expecting to get the same quality a similar bike that is twice the price but resembles it has, you should be just fine.
As mentioned, we have multiple bikes from Walmart, and I don’t really have that much of an issue with the quality, but of course it can’t compare to a real enthusiast bike that is three or four times the cost.
We have put many hundreds of miles on our Walmart bikes! Their usability is great, and the fact that there are so many options from them means you can get what you want, whether it be a beach cruiser, a true mountain bike or something else.
I have found nicer bikes are going to get you a much better ride, and an easier, nicer experience than what a Walmart bike has to offer, but it’s a great starting point.
You won’t beat the prices of Walmart bikes! With their buying power, and the ability to have different inexpensive parts means you won’t be able to get a lower price elsewhere.
If you are looking to just get started in bicycling, it really is a great price to start out.
That said, you likely, will quickly find you either enjoy bicycling, and will want to upgrade to something better, or you may not like it, and the bike finds its way into storage.
One huge thing about Walmart is pure availability! They offer tons of different types of bikes, ranging from cruisers, hybrids, mountain bikes and more.
However to keep costs low, they buy a huge bulk of one size of bike per style. Which means that if you like a specific bike, it may not be the right size for you.
Do not buy the wrong sized bike, you will regret it.
I think that replacement parts are generally the one thing that causes someone to give up on their Walmart bike.
When a single component breaks on one of these bikes, it generally means you will have to spend about the cost of the bike to get that one component.
Generally most people will end up throwing their bike away, making it more of a disposable bike, rather than an investment. Once thrown away, they buy another one with all new components.
A great example is when I bent one of my 700c wheels a while back, and went to replace it, only to find it was more expensive than my bike itself.
Does Walmart put bikes together?
You probably will notice when wandering through Walmart’s bike selection that they are all put together! While they are completely assembled, let’s just say, they aren’t exactly put together by experts.
While I am sure some Walmart’s have an employee that does know what they are doing, many Walmart’s are going to have an employee that is just assigned to assemble the bikes. They don’t have extensive experience, or training, and really only have the user manual to be able to assemble them.
What should you do before using the Walmart bike?
As we just talked about in the last section, many times bikes at Walmart are put together by someone of whom is not an expert.
Because of this, it is highly recommended that you either teach yourself on how to tune a bike, or take it to a shop afterwards to be tuned up.
When someone that isn’t trained puts a bike together, it can result in loose spokes, incorrectly put together components, and more. This can make it borderline unsafe, and it is highly recommended that you pay attention to this before riding your bike.
How long will a Walmart bike last?
These bikes, if taken care of, can last a really long time! I know one of our cruiser bikes is around 5 years of being ridden regularly.
You just want to make sure you watch out for any damage, and fix it when it needs to be fixed.
Of course, on the tail end, they also can last very little time as well. Which again, is why you should always have a bike tuned up before using it, as that can quickly cause the bike to break earlier than it should.
While this may not be an overly popular opinion, I think many people will find that Walmart bikes are exactly what they need.
It is kinda like buying a guitar (which this example is given of a lot). Many people will buy a guitar, then quickly find that either they enjoy it a ton, and many many more people will find they will probably never play it again.
The choice here is how much are you going to pay to see if you are going to enjoy bicycling or not!
Already know you enjoy bicycling? I probably would save up and buy a nicer bike that you will be able to enjoy more, and for longer.