(Originally posted December 3, 2013)
Today I visited our local Dick’s Sporting Goods store to see what exactly was “in store” for any unsuspecting customer. Clearly, I went in with a sinister purpose; to investigate my findings through the eyes of a seasoned bicycle industry veteran, then to write a scathing take-down editorial assailing one of the giants.
(Walmart would’ve been far too easy)
I’d like to report that I dug up something so shocking that it would curl your toes and make your blood boil. But, alas, I was in for no such excitement. It was a rather humdrum experience that quite frankly was somewhat non-eventful.
Upon entering, I was greeted by some nice displays and very costly mannequins one of which was donning a camo-esque hoodie that I thought looked pretty cool but it felt weird and plasticy to the touch. Not for me.
I meandered amongst the racks and the sales staff that just ignored me, too absorbed in flirting and giggling with one another while seeming to act busy by handling the clothing. Not even looking away to say “hello.” I made my way back to the Bike and Skate Shop. Man I love bikes.
This is a 26″ Diamondback with disc brakes. MSRP is $549.99 but they have it on sale for $399.99. It’s not really an entry level bike, but it”s not trail rated either. It seems like a decent price.
(When this was written) Giant makes the Escape 3 that retails for only $360. That’s $189.99 LESS than the Diamondback!
Giant is regarded as a top tier brand and is comparable to Cannondale, Specialized and Trek. (For the record, Trek bikes are manufactured in Giant’s factories) It’s peculiar because Diamondback, when compared to the top tier brands, is far inferior because they use cheaper parts (That’s a big deal because a bicycle is the sum of its parts.) but their list price is $189.99 more! THAT’S INSANE!
For an additional $46.99 you can even buy one “tune-up” within the first 2 years. (We give you that for FREE).
Now, let’s look at the intangibles:
-Giant and Specialized both offer frame warranties against manufacturer defects for as long as you own your bike. That’s a big deal. Diamondback does not.
-We offer a one year parts warranty on all mechanical parts excluding tubes and tires.
-Our bicycles are built by professionals, trained mechanics that are experienced and fully qualified to build a bicycle. *The pictures below detail some of the mechanical problems found at Dick’s today
-We offer a free comprehensive tune-up on your bike within the first year. This is a total overhaul of the bike, an $80 value, to get it back into its original condition. Furthermore, we offer free lifetime adjustments; barrel adjustments, air, seat height adjustments, etc.
-We offer a wider selection of bicycles and our professionals will help you narrow down your choices so you find the bike that”s just right for your planned cycling scenarios. Plus, we will make sure you”re on a properly sized bike and adjust the seat height so that it is in the safest and most comfortable position for you.
-All of our stores have a huge selection of QUALITY parts and accessories to make your cycling experience enjoyable.
-You will get the attention you deserve and a “Hello” when you walk in the door.
-You are strengthening your community by supporting small business and keeping your dollar circulating in the local economy.
Below is another example of a 24″ bicycle: The sticker price of the Giant XTC Lite is $49.99 LESS plus an additional $18.03 off by the end of the sale. All together, you save $93.02 by shopping with us!!! Those are real dollars!!
Now more ugly truth. Sorry Dick”s.
As I walked around, I couldn’t help but notice all of the mechanical build mistakes that their inexperienced staffers made. This is dangerous. Plus, you’ll be asked to use your expensive Bike Plan tune up to fix what should’ve been done right the first time. What”s the big deal about a “free bike build” if they can’t build it properly?! The following are three examples of improper builds. Not pictured are the numerous examples I found of loose handlebars and stems.
This brake pad is rubbing the tire ?!? and the cable is too long and uncapped. Have you ever been poked by a frayed cable? It hurts!
Can you see the problem?
(Hey Dick’s, you should stick with Under Armour, soccer balls, and guns and leave the bicycles to the pros.)