Is it better to spend $350 and get a bicycle from a Bike Shop rather than spend under $100 to get a bicycle from Wal-Mart?
$350 isn't much for a bicycle ANYWHERE. Even Wally World now sells bikes costing $350 and some more. Here's a Mongoose Walmart carries semi-comparable to those found in a bike shop for $499. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Mongoose-Switchback-Sport-27-5-Men-s-Hardtail-Mountain-Bike-Silver-Small/795149866 Besides the lower quality, most Wally World "associates" do NOT know how to assemble a bike. This could be some clueless, minimum wage flunky who was selling Goldfish last week in the Pet Dept. Three out of every four bikes sold at Big Box Stores FAIL a basic safety inspection. http://www.bikeroar.com/articles/big-box-store-bought-bikes-fail-basic-safety-checks Bottom line...you only get what you pay for. You want to risk your LIFE on something costing only $100 assembled by God-knows-who? Be my guest. Plus discount store bikes come with NO service warranty. They do NOT fix anything that might be warranty related. REAL bike shops offer a FREE "service warranty" good for at least one check-up and/or tune-up as the bike gets settled in. Some will do this for a year. One bike shop near me does this for the LIFE OF THE BIKE for the original owner. https://www.bigshark.com/about/policies-and-shipping-pg11.htm Actual picture below of a Schwinn sold by Wally World. Notice anything wrong? The handlebar has been installed BACKWARDS! 😲
Oh, please. $350 isn't enough to get a really good new bike anywhere. A good hybrid or fitness bike will cost about $500. http://www.fujibikes.com/usa/bikes/city/fitness/absolute/absolute-2-1 Mountain bikes are higher. http://www.fujibikes.com/usa/bikes/mountain/sport/nevada/nevada-27-5-1-5 Road bikes start around $700 to $800. http://www.fujibikes.com/usa/bikes/road/endurance/sportif/sportif-2-3
A $100 bike will quickly become very expensive if used on a regular basis. A $350 bike? Depends on the bike. A simple single speed bike selling for $350 could be good quality. A $350 multi geared bike won't be as well made. The more features you include, the more it costs to build a quality product. If you enjoy cycling and plan on riding often an inexpensive bike can be a false economy, it will break down often and you will constantly paying for repairs. A $100 bike that breaks down after a week and has to be replaced after a season of casual riding is an expensive and frustrating purchase. If you plan on riding on an almost daily basis, $500 is a reasonable starting price.
Buy second-hand and spend between $100 and $350. Look for community projects that refurbish bikes - lots of cities have them.
If you will only ride your bike once and then forget about it, you should buy the cheaper model.
Just depends how much your enjoyment with cycling is important to you. You will get what you pay for. Will you be spending lots of intimate time on the bicycle?....or just be using it for a 30-minute jaunt every so often?
Filled With God
Possibly so or not
The original Peter G
Buy for $100, and keep the 250$ for replacing bits. You'll need to!