An Orlando-based news station has run a segment on buying bikes in boxes from supermarkets in the build up to Christmas.
Unfortunately for the independent bike business, supermarkets take the lion share of Christmas business – some 74% or 16 million bikes a year – according to the National Bicycle Dealer’s Association in America.
For the report, the Local 6 news station took a sample of bikes from supermarkets and found that the majority were assembled to a dangerous standard.
Bicycle mechanic Joshua Jiannuzzi, a former K-Mart assembly worker, assisted the news station in assessing two Walmart and two Target. With the bikes in the stand at Kyle’s Bike Shop, the mechanic found bolts that appeared to be hand tightened, as well as poorly installed brakes that hadn’t been given any attention prior to leaving the supermarket. Most commonly, it was the stem that had not been tightened, leaving the bike prone to sudden shifts of the handlebar when pressure is applied.
Of the four bikes purchased three failed Jiannuzzi’s inspection, leading the mechanic to strongly recommend buyers head to the bike shop for final assembly should they choose to buy cheap.
To watch the report in full, click here.