Read our experience of buying bikes online to see what's in store for you
Building and build quality
Our most recent reviews of Marin, Canyon and YT bikes have surprised us with the attention to detail with their build processes and packaging. All the bikes part kits have offered torque wrenches, detailed instructions or tutorials with labeled or numbered parts to make things easier. There is always a warning on the box stating that if you're unsure, the bike should be checked or built by a professional bike mechanic.
The high level of quality in the packaging meant in all cases the bikes arrived damage free with nothing out of alignment making gear and brake adjustments not required. Attaching the bars, pedals and dropper post cable are the crux of the build. Bicycles Online have in depth video tutorials that help with this.
More and more local bike shops offer bike builds for bikes bought online, if in doubt chat to the professionals and see how they can help.
Getting to your bike shop during business hours just isn’t possible for everyone and it's one reason why online retail is booming. While I enjoy visits to my local bike shops, sitting in the comfort of home sipping a beverage of choice and comparing endless models ain't bad either. My most recent bike purchase had me doing all my research online and picking up the bike from my local which combined the benefits of both channels.
Some bike brands are now offering online purchase and designated store collection to ensure they too are offering more convenient ways to buy.
With convenience and a direct sales model things like bikes and product availability can be hit and miss. When an item is out of stock, it can often be out until the following season. Many shops have other brands or even stores that may have what you’re after.
Customer Service and warranty
After-sales support can sometimes be the most important aspect of a new purchase and direct to consumer brands have had to be on the front foot in this area. We have been fortunate to only report hassle free dealings through these buying channels and have explored the creative ways brands provide support to riders across the globe.
Some brands have distribution centres in select regions making bikes and service parts available in shorter timeframes much like that of your local shop, others are required to send directly from their centralised warehouses. Our recent purchases from Bicycles Online and Canyon had one and two day delivery times for their bikes, Bicycles Online form here in Australia and from Canyon via UPS direct from Germany.
We would assume that a required service part from either of these brands would see similar arrival times.
Getting in touch if needed is super simple too thanks to live chat with tech representatives and online forms that with very short response times across the board. As most buyers are online after the standard 9-5 working day, there always seems to be a country up and able to offer support which is pretty impressive and all part of brands being competitive globally.