There's more to bike buying than finding the cheapest price

Thinking of buying a new bicycle? One of your first choices, and not necessarily an easy one, will be where to shop. It can be a challenge because there are a myriad of stores that carry two-wheelers, from specialty retailers, to giant department stores, to enticing online stores with cheap prices, to backyard garage operations.

Where you buy, however, has everything to do with what you get. You see, bicycles aren't like toasters or suitcases. Bikes are shipped to us, broken down in boxes and they must be assembled and tuned. There are many types, too, and you shouldn't rush into buying unless you have an educated idea what bike is best for you. Measurements and adjustments are required to ensure the frame is the correct size and that the seat and handlebars are properly positioned. Every new bicycle requires a minor tune-up after several weeks of use.

That's why we strongly recommend shopping at a good specialty bicycle store in your area. Here you'll find competent salespeople and expert mechanics who'll ensure that you get the right bike and a quality machine. Look for a store that's clean, has helpful personnel, offers a good selection, and an on-site repair department.

Here are the top advantages of buying from a bicycle store:

1. The Best Selection

Bicycle retailers offer a wide selection of bikes for different needs and uses. This means there's a great chance for one-stop shopping. If the bike you want isn't in stock, you can order and get it quickly. The people at the shop are experts ready to answer all your questions. When shopping for a bike you're going to find there are a million different options out there which is overwhelming. Lessen the stress and ask your local crew for their educated and trained suggestions for the right styles of bike specificlly for you. There are lots of great brands out there but more importantly than the exact brand is finding a brand people with knowledge believe in and work with. Doing so will give you the peace of mind that your bike choice is right for you and that the shop you are buying from will stand behind it, which you do not get from buying online. If the new bike is to be a surprise, the shop will even help you keep it hidden.

2. Comfort And Safety, Guaranteed

Bicycles come in different sizes. And they're very adjustable. Shop experts will help you find the right frame size and then dial in the fit by positioning the seat and handlebars to your child’s dimensions  (this can happen after you've surprised your child with the bike, too). This ensures optimum comfort and complete control for safe rides. We have highly trained sizers and fitters on staff who can assist you with any and every comfort related issue.

3. Professional Assembly

You might be surprised to learn that bicycles are not completely assembled at the factory. They come disassembled and in a box, and the shop spends about an hour assembling, tuning and testing the bike (at no additional charge to you). What's more, the shop technicians are happy to make adjustments and provide advice should you need assistance during a purchase or after a sale.

4. Free Tune-Up Included

All bicycles require maintenance. The most important service is the first tune-up, which is due after the bike has been ridden for a few weeks. During this time, the new cables stretch, spokes loosen and adjustments change. For the new bike to ride right and last as long as possible, Visalia Cyclery not only provides a first free tune-up where all systems are checked (a $80-$100 value, depending upon the work required) but LIFETIME FREE Tune-ups on all bike purchased here. When you buy from us you don't just buy a bike, you buy an experince and you and your bike become part of the VC family.

5. Every Bike Guaranteed.

Bicycle retailers stand behind every bike they sell. If something goes wrong, bring it in and they'll be happy to deal with it. In the rare event of a breakdown, there's also a manufacturer's warranty protecting your purchase.

6. Best Resale Value

Bicycles purchased at bike shops last longer and hold their resale value better, which is a nice feature when it comes time to purchase the next size. Instead of discarding the bicycle, you'll be able to pass it down to another child or sell it and make money towards the new machine.

7. Accessories, Too

Cycling's more fun when they have the right gear to go along with that new bike. Bicycle stores are loaded with top-quality accessories and equipment such as helmets, locks, pumps, hydration systems, computers, and plenty of other goodies designed to help increase the quality of your ride. Plus, the shop has the expertise to help you make the best selection. Check out our "Meet the VC CREW" section at the top of the page to get suggestions from each of our team on their favorite and most tried and trued accessories and items they use on a daily basis.

8. Free Advice

Finally, perhaps the best reason to buy from a bicycle store is that they're staffed by knowledgeable and enthusiastic cyclists who love to share their expertise. As you get into cycling, there's a lot to learn and having a helpful friend at the shop is the best way to get the advice you need. When you talk to us you aren't just talking to a salesman, you're talking to a cyclist and not just your average joe but a rider who sees thousands of bikes come and go and knows first hand the parts, brands, and accessories that can be trusted and can point you in the right direction from first hand experience.