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Buying a Bike on Amazon: Pros and Cons

Buying a bike on Amazon is a convenient and affordable alternative to buying a bike at a bike shop. Amazon offers a wide range of quality bikes that ship straight to your door. Usually with free shipping and easy returns. They offer convenient assembly options as well. That said, there are some major drawbacks to consider. This guide outlines the pros and cons of buying a bike on Amazon. We’ll cover pricing, quality, reliability, the purchase process, assembly, returns, and more. I’ll also list a few things to look out for when shopping for a bike on Amazon as well as share some bike recommendations.

Over the years, I’ve bought a few bikes on Amazon. Overall, my experience has been pretty positive. In this guide, I’ll share my thoughts.

A woman riding a road bike
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure policy for details.

Are Amazon Bikes Any Good?

Amazon offers a wide range of bikes including road bikes, mountain bikes, kids bikes, folding bikes, hybrids, and more. Prices range from under $150 to well over $1000. Quality varies widely. Some models offer an excellent value while others aren’t worth buying.

In terms of quality, the average Amazon bike is generally below what you would find at a bike shop and above what you would find in a big box store like Walmart. Average prices range from around $300-$500. At this price point, you’ll get a decent bike equipped with name-brand components.

These Amazon bikes are reasonably reliable and durable. They will be a bit heavy and slow. The fit and finish may not be perfect. At this price range, you will get a solid value for your money. These bikes offer an affordable option for those who are just getting into cycling as well as those who just need a cheap bike for transportation.

The most expensive Amazon bikes cost around $1000-$1500. These are equivalent to mid-range bikes you would find in your local bike shop. In fact, Amazon even offers some name-brand bikes such as Raleigh, Diamondback, and Schwinn. If you can’t or don’t want to buy from a local bike shop, Amazon offers a great alternative.

Amazon’s cheapest bikes sell for less than $200. These mass-produced bikes are usually cheap junk and are best avoided. At this price range, the fit and finish are poor. The components are low-end and wear out quickly. Reliability and safety can be an issue as well.

Amazon doesn’t offer high-end bikes. If you’re looking for a premium model, you’ll have to buy it at a bike shop or at another online shop that specializes in bikes.

How Are Amazon Bikes Sold?

You can buy a bike on Amazon just like any other product. Simply shop for the bike you want and add it to your cart. There are plenty of options to help you narrow your search. After you find your bike and pay, Amazon will ship it to your door. The purchase process is painless. Most Amazon bikes come with free shipping and easy returns.

Amazon ships their bikes partially assembled in a large bike box. Most models come around 85% assembled. Before riding the bike, you’ll have to attach the pedals, seat, handlebars and stem, and front wheel. You might also have to make some adjustments to the derailleurs and brakes. Sometimes the wheels will need to be trued. You also need to air the tires up.

A cardboard bike box
A typical bike box with a bike helmet for scale

Some bikes require more work than others before they’re ready to ride. If you’re handy, you can assemble the bike by yourself. You can also take the bike to a bike shop to have it assembled and tuned by a professional bike mechanic. Amazon also offers assembly options in many areas. I’ll talk about these more in-depth later on.

Pros of Buying a Bike on Amazon

There are a number of good reasons to buy a bike on Amazon instead of at your local bike shop. In this section, I’ll outline the most significant benefits.

Amazon offers a wide selection of bikes

Amazon offers something for everyone including mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrids, city bikes, single-speed bikes, folding bikes, fixies, e-bikes, kids bikes, women’s bikes, fat bikes, BMX bikes, recumbent bikes, and more. They offer bikes in every wheel size including 12”, 16”, 20”, 24”, 26”, 650b, 700c, and 29er. Most Amazon bikes are also available in a range of frame sizes for riders of different heights. Whatever style and size of bike you’re looking for, Amazon offers a suitable option.

a folding bike
Amazon sells a wide variety of bikes including folding bikes.

Amazon offers affordable bikes

If you’re on a tight budget, Amazon is an excellent place to buy a bike. Prices are significantly lower than what you would find at your local bike shop. For example, the cheapest Amazon bikes cost less than $200. For around $250-$300, you can buy a decent entry-level bike with name-brand components. Shipping is included with most bikes.

Many bike shops don’t carry bikes in this low price range. It’s not profitable for them. At most bike shops, entry-level mountain bikes start at around $500. Entry-level road bikes start at around $600.

Amazon is able to cut costs and sell bikes cheaply in a number of ways. First, they order enormous quantities of bikes from the manufacturer and store them in their warehouses. Economies of scale allow them to buy bikes cheaper than local bike shops. They can sell these bikes cheaply and undercut bike shops. They can also sell cheaper bikes that wouldn’t be profitable for small bike shops to sell. In addition, Amazon doesn’t have to pay someone to assemble the bikes. They are shipped in their original box. They also don’t have a storefront where they sell bikes.

a full suspension mountain bike on a bike path

Amazon offers an excellent return policy

If the bike is the wrong size, arrives damaged, or you’re simply not happy with it, you can return it within 30 days for a full refund in most cases. Amazon accepts returns pretty much no questions asked. Their return policy is painless, in my experience.

If you bought the bike from a 3rd party seller on Amazon, the policy might be slightly different. Some sellers may say that they don’t accept returns unless there is a defect. You’ll want to be sure to check the return policy before you buy if you’re buying from a 3rd party. If the 3rd party seller doesn’t want to accept a return, Amazon will usually step in and help you out. They are very buyer-friendly. Amazon requires that sellers accept pretty much all returns within the first 30 days.

Amazon Offers Free Shipping on Most Bikes

One advantage to buying a bike on Amazon rather than at another online shop is that shipping is usually free. Many bikes are eligible for Prime 2 day free shipping. Most 3rd party sellers also offer free shipping to stay competitive.

When you buy a bike from other online shops, you often have to pay for shipping. This could cost anywhere from $100- to $300+ depending on how far the bike has to travel. If you’re buying the bike from someone in another country, shipping could even cost more.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you may have to pay return shipping if you need to return the bike. Whether or not you have to pay return shipping depends on who sold you the bike and the reason you’re returning it.

Most bikes sold by Amazon come with free returns. If the bike was defective, return shipping should be free. If you simply don’t like the bike or if you bought from a 3rd party seller, you may have to pay return shipping. In this case, you’re looking at spending around $75-$100. You’ll also want to check this before you buy.

Buying a bike on Amazon is easy and convenient

You don’t even have to get dressed or leave your house to buy your bike. You can sit in your easy chair at home and shop at your convenience. Once you find the right bike, Amazon will ship it to your doorstep. In some cases, they can even ship it directly to a local bike shop, which can assemble the bike for you. I’ll talk more about this service later on.

When shopping for a bike on Amazon, you can also sort through more bikes more quickly than you could in person while visiting bike shops. You can use Amazon’s search function to narrow bikes down by brand, size, number of gears, weight, tire size, suspension, price, and more.

This allows you to easily sort through hundreds of bikes to find the right one for you. This is much more convenient and less time-consuming than driving around town to multiple bike shops and talking to a bunch of salespeople.

You don’t have to deal with salespeople

When buying a bike on Amazon, you don’t have to talk to pushy salespeople. You can shop at your leisure without anyone bothering you or rushing you. Nobody tries to upsell you on things you don’t need. Nobody is spewing marketing talk at you. It’s a much more relaxing shopping experience.

To me, this is the biggest benefit of buying online. I really don’t like talking to salespeople. Particularly at bike shops. Constant up-selling exhausts me. In some cases, bike salespeople can be a bit condescending as well. For example, I once had a bike salesperson tell me that my bike was junk and that I should just buy a new one rather than getting it repaired.

Of course, not everybody feels this way. Some people prefer the experience of shopping in person. There are also some really helpful and knowledgeable bike salespeople out there.

The bike will be brand new

When you buy a bike on Amazon, you’re getting a brand new bicycle. You don’t have to deal with the hassles or uncertainty of buying a used bike. The bike won’t have any dents, scratches, rust, or wear and tear. You won’t have to replace or upgrade any components. You won’t get a lemon. The bike will arrive in ready-to-ride condition. The paint will be pristine and shiny. If something is wrong with the bike when it arrives, you can return it, as outlined above. For many, buying brand new bring peace of mind.

A mountain bike on a bike path
A shiny new bike is a joy to ride. Used bikes often have minor problems

You can easily compare different models and their components

When shopping for a bike on Amazon, you can take your time reading through the product descriptions and components lists. If you’re unsure about a particular component, you can take a break from shopping to do some research online.

For example, maybe you’re not sure whether you want a steel or aluminum frame or disc brakes or rim brakes. Take some time to read some guides or watch some videos to help you decide. Maybe you see a term in the product description that you’re not familiar with. For example, maybe you’re not sure what thru-axles are. You can just open a new tab and look it up on Google.

When shopping at a brick-and-mortar bike shop, you could pull out your smartphone to compare bikes and research components. This isn’t quite as comfortable as comparing bikes in the comfort of your home. Particularly when there’s a salesperson pestering you or trying to explain something you don’t understand.

Amazon can help with assembly

Amazon bikes arrive partially assembled in a bike box. If you’re not comfortable assembling the bike by yourself, Amazon offers a couple of options. They can ship your new bike directly to a local bike shop, which will assemble the bike for you. You pick up the assembled bike. Amazon also offers mobile bike shop assembly. In this case, Amazon ships the bike to your home and a professional bike mechanic comes to your home to assemble the bike for you. All you need to do is make an appointment.

Prices for these services vary depending on the bike. These services are not available in all markets. If you need help with assembly, you’ll want to check on the cost and availability of these services before you order your bike. I’ll talk more in-depth about assembly options in the next section.

Replacement parts are easily available

Amazon bikes use standard-sized parts that are easy to find. Amazon sells pretty much any part you could possibly need for your new bike. When your tires, brake pads, chain, grips, cassette, cables, or tubes wear out, you can simply buy replacements on Amazon. If you want to upgrade your pedals, handlebars, or seat, replacements are available. You can also buy accessories like lights, fenders, luggage, and more on Amazon.

Whatever you need for your new bike is easily available. Prime shipping allows you to get the parts you need in a couple of days. With a few simple tools and some basic bicycle knowledge, you can install your new parts by yourself at home.

Amazon bikes offer good value for your money

In terms of quality, most Amazon bikes fall in the lower end of mid-range. They are a step up from Walmart and big box store bikes but a step down from name-brand bike shop bikes. If you’re on a tight budget, you can buy a decent quality bike on Amazon for $300-$500. For your money, you’ll get a decent steel or aluminum frame with a lower-end Shimano or Sram groupset. The bike won’t offer the best performance or the lightest weight but it will be reliable and durable. You’ll get good value for your money.

A man riding a road bike in the rain

A warranty may be available

Some Amazon bikes include a product warranty. Sometimes a 2-3 year extended warranty is available at an additional cost. These warranties generally cover frame or component defects. You might be able to get your bike repaired if something fails at no fault of your own within a certain amount of time. Of course, if you notice a defect within the first 30 days, you can simply return the bike to Amazon.

Personally, I don’t buy extended warranties. They’re generally not worth the money. If a warranty comes with the bike, it’s a nice bonus.

Amazon bikes are a great option for those who are just getting into cycling

Most riders are better off buying an entry-level to mid-range bike when they’re just getting into cycling. You don’t need to go out and spend over $1500 on a new bike when you’re just starting out. After all, you don’t know if you’ll actually use it or just let it collect dust in the garage. You can buy a cheap bike on Amazon for around $300, ride it until it wears out, then upgrade the bike or upgrade to a better bike if you find that you enjoy cycling.

Parts are easily upgradable

Most Amazon bikes come with low-end to mid-range components. If you find that you want to upgrade a part, you easily can. For example, if you find the seat to be uncomfortable, you can buy a softer model and bolt it on. If you want to swap out the handlebars for a different style, you can. Brakes and drivetrain components are easily upgradeable as well. Most Amazon bikes come with name-brand Shimano or Sram parts. Derailleurs, levers, chains, brakes, wheels, etc. are all standard sized. Keep in mind that not all parts are cross-compatible. You’ll have to make sure you buy the right size if you decide to upgrade something.

If you’re on a tight budget or you’re just getting into cycling, you can buy an entry-level bike and slowly upgrade it into a more mid-range bike as you become more involved in the sport. For example, you could start out with a $500 mountain bike as a base. A few months down the road, you could upgrade the wheelset and install better tires. This would greatly improve performance. Down the line, you could upgrade the suspension components. You might install a higher-end drivetrain when the original parts start wearing out. For some riders, it makes more sense to slowly upgrade components rather than starting out with an expensive bike.

A Brooks bike saddle
If you want to upgrade to a more comfortable saddle, you easily can.

You can buy some name brand bikes on Amazon

Not all Amazon bikes come from knock-off, low-end, or no-name brands. You can buy bikes from familiar manufactures. For example, Amazon sells bikes from Schwinn, Mongoose, Diamondback, and other major bike manufacturers. These aren’t the most respected or highest-end brands in the sport but they are recognizable and respected. Recently, Amazon started selling a few bikes made by Raleigh. This is a highly respected and well-known brand.

It’s a bike

If all you can afford is an entry-level bike from Amazon, you shouldn’t feel bad about it. At least you’re getting out there and riding a bike and getting some exercise.

Cons of Buying a Bike on Amazon

Amazon bikes aren’t for everyone. Sometimes you’re better of buying locally. In this section, I’ll outline some of the biggest drawbacks to buying a bike on Amazon.

Some Assembly is Required

Amazon bikes are shipped around 85% assembled in a big cardboard bike box. Some models require more assembly than others.

At the very least, you must install the handlebars, peddles, saddle, and front wheel. Chances are, some components will also require adjustment. For example, the derailleurs and brakes may need to be tuned a bit before the bike is ready to ride. Some bolts may need to be tightened as well.

It’s also a good idea to perform a safety inspection to make sure everything was assembled correctly at the factory. You may also need to pump up the tires. If you’re not comfortable working on your own bike, assembly can become a major drawback to buying a bike on Amazon.

A bike being assembled on a bike stand at a bike shop

There are 4 ways to get your Amazon bike assembled:

  1. Assemble it yourself- Most Amazon bikes are designed to be easily assembled at home. This job takes anywhere from half an hour to half a day depending on your level of skill and the amount of assembly required. To assemble an Amazon bike, you’ll need some basic bike tools including Allen wrenches, an adjustable wrench or peddle wrench, a set of sockets or wrenches, and maybe a screwdriver. The sizes you’ll need depend on the bike. Some Amazon bikes include all of the tools you need for assembly. Most likely, you’ll need to install the handlebars, pedals, saddle, and front wheel. You’ll also need to adjust the derailleurs and brakes. The bike should include a basic instruction manual. If you’re unsure about how to install or adjust a part, you can easily learn by watching some YouTube videos. Some manufacturers also offer videos and online chat if you need additional help. Some Amazon bikes come ‘ready to ride.’ To assemble these bikes, all you need to do is install the front wheel, peddles, and seat then pump up the tires. The brakes and derailleurs come pre-adjusted.
  2. Take it to a local bike shop to have it assembled- If you’re not comfortable working on your new bike, you can take it to your local bike shop and pay for professional assembly. This could cost anywhere from $75-$175 depending on the shop you go to and how much work they need to do to assemble the bike. You’ll want to factor this cost into the total cost of the bike. If you have to pay $175 to get your bike assembled, you’re better off buying a bike that is already assembled locally. Another drawback is that you’ll have to find a way to transport the bike to and from the bike shop. You may need to buy a bike rack for your car or ask a friend for some help. Bike boxes are big and bulky. They don’ fit in small vehicles.
  3. Have the bike shipped directly to a bike shop for assembly- In some markets, Amazon will ship your bike directly to a bike shop near you and a professional bike mechanic will assemble the bike for you. The bike will be ready to pick up 24-72 hours after it arrives at the shop. This service is sometimes included in the price of the bike but may be available for an extra fee. Keep in mind that this service is only available for select bikes in select markets. You’ll also have to find a way to transport the assembled bike from the bike shop to your home.
  4. Have the bike assembled by a professional at your home- In some markets, Amazon offers professional bike assembly at your home. If you choose this service, Amazon ships the bike directly to your home. A local professional bike mechanic will then come to your home to assemble your new bike for you. You schedule the date and time for the mechanic to stop by. The job usually takes around 1-2 hours depending on the type of bike you buy and how much assembly it needs. The bike mechanic brings all of the tools they need. They will also tune the bike and inspect it for safety. You can learn more about Amazon bike assembly here.

Returns are a hassle

If, after assembling the bike, you realize that it’s not the right size, it’s damaged, or you simply don’t like it, you may want to return it. This will be a hassle.

First, you must request a refund and hope the seller accepts it. If you bought the bike directly from Amazon, this usually isn’t an issue as long as you’re requesting the return within 30 days. If you bought from a 3rd party, they may not be quite as willing to accept returns. You may have to call customer service or get Amazon involved if the return isn’t accepted. This can cause some headaches.

To return a bike to Amazon, you’ll also have to take it apart and pack it back into the box it came in. This can be a bit of a challenge. Bike boxes are just large enough to squeeze a bike in. It will take some time to take the bike apart, fit it in the box, replace the packing material, and seal the box up. If you pack the bike poorly and it gets scratched or damaged during shipping, the return may not be accepted and you may be stuck with the bike.

After re-boxing the bike, you’ll have to ship it. This involves loading the heavy bike box into your vehicle and driving it to a drop-off location. If you drive a small vehicle or don’t have a vehicle, this can be a challenge. You may have to ask a friend for some help. In some markets, you may be able to schedule a home pickup for returns. Depending on the reason for return and who you bought the bike from, you may have to pay return shipping. This could cost around $100.

You’ll then have to wait for the return to be processed before you can get your money back. Amazon usually processes returns pretty quickly. It may take a bit longer to get your money back if you bought the bike from a 3rd party seller.

Of course, it’s not that easy to return a bike to a local bike shop either. Many don’t accept returns.

Choosing the right size can be a challenge

To achieve a comfortable riding position and ride efficiently, the bike has to fit your body. If the bike is too small, you’ll feel cramped. If the bike is too large, it will feel unwieldy. Riding the wrong size bike long-term can also cause discomfort and even joint pain. There is not much room for error when it comes to bike fit.

A major problem with buying a bike on Amazon is that you can’t sit on the bike and test the bike out for size before you buy it. It’s easy to buy a bike that’s too large or too small. It’s impossible to get an exact fitting when you buy a bike online.

When you buy a bike in a bike shop, an employee will measure you and help you choose the correct size bike for your body. Some shops even offer a riding position fitting. Professional fittings are also available for an extra charge. This ensures that you get the correct size.

To help you choose the best size, most bike listings on Amazon include a size chart. These offer a helpful guide. The problem is that size charts for bikes aren’t all that accurate. Bike size charts are usually based on rider height. Everyone’s proportions are a bit different. Two people of the same height could need completely different frame sizes due to differences in the lengths of their arms, legs, and torso. If your height is between two sizes, it’s difficult to choose the correct bike without sitting on it first. Choosing the correct size can also be difficult for those with odd body proportions. For example, some people have particularly long arms or legs that can throw bike sizing off.

Another problem is that bike sizes between brands and models aren’t all that consistent. A 56cm frame from one brand could be the same as a 58cm frame from another brand. A large from one brand could be a medium from another brand. You can’t just go into a bike shop and test out sizes unless you’re testing out the exact bike that you intend to buy.

If your bike shows up and you realize that it’s the wrong size, there are a couple of solutions. If the sizing is close, you can make some minor adjustments. You can adjust the seat height and position. You can also buy a shorter stem to move the handlebars closer to you or a longer stem to move the handlebars further away. It is also possible to swap out the cranks for different lengths. This is a bit more involved.

If the sizing is way off and can’t be corrected by some minor adjustment, you’ll have to return the bike and ship it back or ask to exchange it for another size. That’s a hassle. Of course, you could also just accept that the bike isn’t the correct size and live with it.

No test rides

drop bars
You can’t take the bike for a test ride before you buy it.

A test ride can tell you a lot about a bike. For example, you’ll learn how the bike performs. To test the bike, you can shift through the gears to see how quickly and smoothly they shift. You can brake hard to test the stopping power. You can corner and accelerate hard to see how the bike handles.

During a test ride, you can also get a feel for the bike’s comfort. You can sit on the seat and grip the handlebars to see how they feel. You’ll feel the ride position. Some bikes offer a more upright riding position, and others are more aggressive. You can also get a feel for the ride quality. You’ll get a feel for how well the bike can handle bumps and corners.

When you buy a bike on Amazon, you don’t get to take it for a test ride. Not being able to take a test ride is one of the worst parts of buying a bike online. You won’t know anything about the performance, comfort, and ride quality of the bike until after you’ve bought it and assembled it. You could end up buying a bike only to find out that you don’t like the frame geometry, handling, ride position, etc.

These days, many bike shops allow you to test ride a bike before you buy it. At the very least, you’ll get to sit on the bike to see how it feels. Pretty much every private seller will let you test ride a bike when you’re buying used.

You’re buying the bike sight unseen

When you buy a bike on Amazon, you don’t know exactly what you’re getting. There are risks to buying a bike without seeing it in person. For example, some product listings contain conflicting information. I saw one bike listing that claimed the frame was steel in the title. In the product description, it said the frame was aluminum. Which is it? Sometimes the product description is outdated from a previous model year. Bikes change from year to year. For example, maybe in previous years, the bike came with a rack but the current model doesn’t. If the description wasn’t updated, you might be disappointed when the bike arrives. Sometimes the description is simply incorrect. Translation errors can also create mistakes.

The bike could also arrive damaged. Imagine you buy a brand new bike and it arrives with a big scratch in the paint. Chances are, this damage is only cosmetic but it is still annoying. If you had bought a new bike in person, you would never have accepted a scratched frame. You’ll have to decide whether or not you want to bother sending the bike back and asking for a replacement. It may not be worth the time or to bother exchanging the bike. If you’re really unlucky, the bike could arrive with severe damage like a bent frame. This can happen during shipping if the bike was dropped. In this case, you’ll have to box the bike back up and ship it back. This is a time-consuming and annoying job.

The fit and finish could be poor as well. Maybe the bike looks great in the pictures but looks cheap when it arrives. For example, maybe the welds and paint job are of poor quality. Maybe the bike was put together sloppily and the components are bolted on crooked or out of adjustment. Maybe the wheels aren’t true. You won’t know until the bike arrives. You can’t examine welds, paint quality, or build quality in photos. The photos in the product listing are usually not the exact bike you’re buying. They are just stock photos that show how the bike is supposed to look. Oftentimes the bike you get is slightly different.

A bicycle drivetrain
You can’t inspect the build quality of the bike or the quality of the components when you buy online.

When you buy a bike from a bike shop, you can inspect the exact bike you’re buying. If you spot defects, mistakes, or you’re not happy with the quality, you can pass on the bike or negotiate a lower price. You can’t do that when you buy on Amazon. You’re buying the bike sight unseen.

The bike may be less safe

There are several possible reasons for this. The most likely is improper assembly. If you decide to put the bike together by yourself, it’s possible to under-tighten a component or simply make a mistake. For example, if you didn’t properly tighten your handlebars and they slip while you’re riding, you could crash and injure yourself.

The manufacture could also make a mistake during assembly. Maybe they didn’t tighten the rear axle enough and you don’t catch it while putting the bike together. The wheel could come off and cause you to crash. This kind of error is unlikely if you buy a bike from a bike shop or get your bike assembled by a professional.

Another potential safety issue is low-quality components. Many Amazon bikes are low-end. The cheap components that come with these bikes are more likely to fail than higher-end components. If a cheap component catastrophically fails while you’re bombing down a hill, you could crash and injure yourself. For example, maybe you hit a pothole and a cheaply made wheel tacos under you. Sudden failures are less common on higher-end bikes from bike shops.

Damage during shipping could also make the bike less safe. For example, maybe a careless handler dropped the bike or knocked it against something. This could weaken the frame. An aluminum or carbon frame or fork could be compromised after taking a hard hit. It could fail and cause you to crash.

It can be difficult to use the warranty

When you buy a bike on Amazon, it may come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Whether or not this has any value really depends on the manufacturer. In many cases, the warranty is pretty much useless.

For example, if you find a defect on your new bike, you might have to sit on hold for hours before you reach a person who can process your warranty claim. If the bike was sold by a foreign company, there may be a language barrier to deal with. If the defect is minor, it may not be worth the hassle to deal with filing a warranty claim.

Another problem is that you may have to ship the defective bike or part to the manufacturer to prove that it was defective before they issue a replacement. You’ll usually have to pay for shipping. In this case, it may not be cost-effective to even use the warranty.

If you do manage to get your warranty claim approved, you’ll have to wait for the warranty parts to arrive or for the warranty work to be done. If you’re dealing with international shipping, you could be waiting for weeks before you can ride your bike.

In some cases, the manufacturer may simply deny your claim and leave you with a broken bike. These problems are common if you buy a bike from a no-name brand. Customer service is often poor or non-existent.

When you buy from a local bike shop, an employee can often help you file a warranty claim with the manufacturer. For example, imagine you got a defective frame with a small crack. You could take the bike to the bike shop where you bought it for an inspection. An employee could then contact the manufacturer and explain the situation.

If a professional from a bike shop tells the manufacturer that the bike was defective, they will probably believe them. This makes the warranty process much easier than doing it yourself. In some cases, the manufacturer will ship parts directly to the shop and the shop can do the work for you. If you’re lucky, this work will be covered under the warranty.

A major manufacturer is also more likely to honor their warranty because they have a reputation to protect. They don’t want a cyclist going around complaining about defective parts and poor service. A small no-name manufacturer might not care quite as much about their reputation.

Poor Product Descriptions

Most product descriptions for bikes on Amazon only list the main features and characteristics of the bike. The specific make and model of each individual component is often not listed. Most product listings don’t include a complete list of specifications. This makes it difficult to compare similar bikes. You also don’t know exactly what you’re getting in terms of quality. You can’t research individual parts to determine whether or not they’re any good.

For example, the seller may list basic information such as the size of the wheels and frame, the type of brakes and handlebars, the frame and wheel materials, the number of gears, etc. This info is nice for helping you narrow down bikes but doesn’t help you much when choosing between two similar bikes. Most of the bike descriptions are just a bunch of marketing talk that doesn’t tell you anything about the specific bike.

When you buy a bike from a bike shop or an online seller that only focuses on bikes, you’ll get a much more detailed product description. For example, in the specifications, you’ll find a complete list of the make and model of every single part including the derailleurs, headset, cranks, seat post, rims, hubs handlebars, chain, etc.

This gives you a much more complete idea of what you’re getting. If you wish, you can research each individual component to determine its quality, weight, materials, features, etc. You can also read reviews of individual components. This info is very helpful. For example, if you find that the cranks are of low quality, you might pass on the bike.

Sometimes information about the frame geometry is also provided. This can give you a good idea about the size and ride position of each frame. You don’t get this information when you shop for a bike on Amazon.

Poor quality components

Most of the components that come installed on mass-market Amazon bikes are made by major cycling manufacturers. For example, the derailleurs, shifters, and brakes may be made by Shimano or Sram. Most will come with a KMC chain. Suntour cranks and forks are common as well. This sounds great in marketing. After all, these manufacturers make some of the best cycling equipment available.

The problem is that the components that come installed on Amazon bikes are generally entry-level and are made specifically for mass-market bikes. You may not even find these parts listed on the manufacturers’ websites. These components are of poorer quality than what you would find on a bike shop bike from a name brand. Some components, like many suspension components, may be non-branded. These are cheaply made and of low quality.

On the cheapest bikes, the frame may be of low-quality as well. The welds may be poor. There may be warped or bent tubes. The paint may have bubbles or thin spots. Oftentimes cheap hardware holds the bike together. Bolts may rust quickly. The quick-release lever on the seat post may not hold the seat tight enough.

These poor-quality components offer poor performance. The bike may not shift as quickly or smoothly as you’d expect. The brakes might not stop you as fast as you’d like. If the bike has suspension, it may act more like a pogo stick than a shock absorber. Cheap components also need to be adjusted or maintained more frequently. They also don’t last as long.

This is really only the case if you buy one of the cheapest bikes in the $150-$250 price range. The mid-mid range models in the $500 price range offer decent quality components that perform much better.

A bicycle handlebar grip, shifter, and brake lever

Sometimes Amazon bikes aren’t assembled properly

Most Amazon bikes come from the manufacturer 85% assembled in a big bike box. If the bike came from a factory that only assembles mass-market bikes, there may be some issues. For example, once in a while, the factory will forget to grease a hub or bottom bracket. The wheels may not be true. Chances are, nobody is checking spoke tension. Components could come sloppily installed. Bolts could be too loose or too tight. These bikes are assembled quickly. Often by people who aren’t really bicycle mechanics. Mistakes happen.

When the bike arrives at your door, you are responsible for the last 15% of assembly. This generally includes installing the handlebars, pedals, and front wheel. Chances are, you’ll also have to adjust the derailleurs and brakes. If you’re not a bike mechanic, it’s easy to make a mistake or just do a bad job.

When a bike isn’t assembled properly, it won’t perform well. The shifting may feel rough or slow. You might experience ghost shifts, grinding, or miss-shifts. The brakes may not produce enough stopping power if they aren’t adjusted correctly. poorly put-together bikes offer a bad ride experience.

Improper assembly can also cause wear and tear. For example, if your hubs don’t have enough grease, they won’t last long. If the derailleurs aren’t adjusted properly, the chain may shift roughly and cause wear and tear on the drivetrain. Improper assembly can also be a safety issue. Imagine if your handlebars slip while you’re riding because they weren’t tight enough.

After buying an Amazon bike, you’ll want to go over it yourself or pay a bike shop to take a look to make sure everything was assembled properly. This will ensure that the bike rides smoothly and efficiently and is safe to ride. You’ll want to check things like spoke tension, tightness of bolts, grease in the hubs, etc. If you take the bike to a shop, an inspection will cost around $50-$100.

An Amazon bike can end up costing more than a bike shop bike

Amazon bikes are cheaper initially but may end up costing more in the long run once you factor in the cost of assembly, maintenance, upgrades, and possibly shipping. For example, if you can’t assemble the bike yourself or get free assembly from Amazon, you’ll end up paying $70-$150 for professional assembly.

Many Amazon bikes are also lower-end than bike shop bikes. If you buy one of these, chances are you’ll have to upgrade, replace, or repair some cheap parts sooner rather than later. For example, maybe the wheels came out of true and you need to pay a professional to true them up. This would cost $20-$30 per wheel. Cheap tires might only last 500 miles before they need to be replaced. These could cost $30-$80 to replace. Maybe the seat is uncomfortable. It might cost $30 to upgrade to a more comfortable model.

Shipping can also be a consideration. If you end up having to exchange the bike for a different size or model, you may be responsible for return shipping. This could cost you another $75-$100.

All of these expenses add up. You could easily spend an extra $200 on your bike to get it assembled and ready to ride. In this case, you would have been better off just paying a bit extra to buy a better bike at a local bike shop.

A man riding a bike on a snowy road

Lower resale value

Bikes don’t hold their value well. According to this interesting article, a one-year-old mountain bike loses over 40 percent of its value. Lower-end, no-name, and mass-market bikes like the ones that Amazon sells depreciate even faster. Don’t expect to get much out of your bike when you’re ready to sell it. If you don’t plan to keep the bike for years, you may be better off buying used. That way, someone else pays the depreciation expense.

The bike may require more maintenance

The low-quality components that are commonly found on mass-market Amazon bikes go out of adjustment more easily. To keep your bike shifting smoothly and braking reliably, you might have to adjust your derailleurs and brakes every couple of months. To compare, a bike with higher-end components might only need to be adjusted once per year or less.

Low-quality parts also don’t last as long and need to be replaced more frequently. For example, cheap brake pads, chains, tires, cassettes, etc, wear out quicker than higher-end models. You may only get a few hundred miles out of some of these parts before they need to be replaced. Bolts can also rust more easily. To keep your Amazon bike on the road, you’ll have to spend a bit more time and money maintaining it.

You can’t get the bike serviced where you bought it

Amazon doesn’t offer bicycle maintenance. After you buy the bike, you’re on your own to maintain it. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to ship a bike just for maintenance. When the bike needs some work, you’ll need to take it to a local bike shop or do the work yourself.

Most bike shops include your first service when you buy a new bike. They’ll adjust the derailleurs and brakes and make sure everything works as it should. You don’t get this service with an Amazon bike.

Luckily, bike maintenance is pretty straightforward and doesn’t’ require many tools. A decent multi-tool is really all you’ll need. Amazon also sells all of the spare parts and tools you’ll need to keep your bike riding smoothly including tires, brake pads, cables, grips, grease chains, cassettes, chainrings, chain lube, etc.

The bike may be heavy

The entry-level bikes that Amazon sells weigh a few pounds more than higher-end bike shop bikes. The extra weight mostly comes from the frame. Cheap frames tend to be made from heavier metals. For example, instead of Chromoly steel or aluminum, the frame may be made from heavier high-tensile steel. The tubes are often plain gauge instead of butted. Plain gauge tubes have more material and weigh more. Low-end components are also heavier than higher-end models.

Heavy bikes are slow and inefficient. It takes more energy to accelerate and maintain your speed because you’re moving more mass around while you ride. As a result, you’ll maintain a slower average speed and tire out sooner.

You may experience reliability issues

The low-end components that come installed on many Amazon bikes may break easily or require adjustment frequent adjustment. You don’t want to be late for work or miss an important appointment because your bike failed you.

If you rely on your bike to get you to work on time, you may want to consider spending a bit more money and buying something more mid-range. Mid-range bikes are available on Amazon but options are a bit more limited.

You may experience durability issues

Low-end bikes work fine for cruising around on flat surfaces. When riding hard, at high speeds, or off-road, all bets are off. Parts can shake loose. Cheap bolts can rust and weaken. A catastrophic failure could occur and cause you to crash. For example, a cheap plastic pedal can break if you’re pedaling too hard. A bolt could shake loose and cause your handlebars to slip. I’ve even heard of a crank coming loose and falling off.

If you plan to ride rough trails, you should probably avoid lower-end Amazon bikes. If you decide to take your chances with a cheap Amazon bike, you’ll want to inspect the bike frequently to make sure it’s safe to ride. Durability will be less of an issue if you choose a mid-range model,

You need to know a bit about bicycle maintenance to make buying an Amazon bike economical

As mentioned earlier, bikes with entry-level components, like those that Amazon sells, need to be adjusted more frequently than bikes with higher-end components. This is the case because lower-end parts go out of adjustment more easily. Cheap wearable parts like chains, brake pads, tires, etc. need to be replaced more frequently than higher-end wearable parts.

If you don’t know how to perform your own maintenance, you may end up spending more money in the long run than if you had just bought a higher-end bike to begin with. For example, paying a bike shop to perform small jobs like adjusting your derailleurs or brakes or replacing your chain adds up quickly. Bike shops charge $50-$100 per hour for labor. A shop could charge $30-$50 to simply adjust your derailleurs. Costs can add up quickly if you have to go to the bike shop every time you need work done.

A bicycle workshop
You’ll need to have some bike tools in order to affordably maintain your bike and keep it on the road.

To make owning an Amazon bike economical, you’ll want to learn a bit about bicycle maintenance. You’ll also need a few basic tools. A decent bicycle multi-tool should allow you to perform most regular maintenance. You can learn how to perform basic maintenance by watching YouTube videos. Anyone can learn to do simple jobs like replacing brake pads, repairing a flat, or adjusting a derailleur.

You can’t buy high-end or many name brand bikes on Amazon

Amazon specializes in selling affordable low-end to mid-range bikes. Many of these bikes are made by Chinese manufactures that nobody has heard of. Some are made by lower-end manufactures such as Schwinn, Mongoose, and Diamondback. The one higher-end brand Amazon carries is Raleigh.

Amazon doesn’t offer high-end bikes. They also don’t sell bikes from major cycling manufacturers like Trek, Specialized, Giant, Cannondale, Surly, Fuji, Kona, Salsa, GT, etc. If you want a high-end bike or a bike from a major bicycle manufacturer, you’ll have to go to a bike shop or order from another company.

That said, Amazon does offer a few mid-range bikes in the $1000-$1500 price range. These will perform as well as a comparably priced bike shop bike. If you’re going to spend that much, you might as well just buy a bike from a bike shop, in my opinion.

Poor performance

Chances are, you won’t win any races with an Amazon bike. These bikes are designed to be economical rather than fast and efficient. The low-end components shift slowly. The bike will be heavy. If there is a suspension system, it won’t function as well as those found on higher-end bikes. This all slows you down.

Some types of bikes aren’t available

Amazon mostly sells road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, and kids bikes. If you want something a bit more niche like a touring bike, gravel bike, triathlon bike, recumbent, tandem, etc. you may not be able to find what you’re looking for. Options are a bit more limited. In this case, you’re better off going to a specialty bike shop that sells the type of bike you’re looking for.

tandem bikes
If you want to buy a specialty bike, like a tandem, you’re better off buying from a bike shop

You can’t negotiate the price or ask for a discount

When you buy a bike on Amazon, you must pay the listed price. There is no opportunity for negotiation. You’re not interacting with another person when you buy.

When you buy a bike at your local bike shop, you can often negotiate a bit. There are a couple of ways to negotiate. You can simply offer a lower price. If the bike has a small flaw like a scratch or scuff, you could ask for a discount. Alternatively, you can ask for additional products or services. For example, you could ask the shop to throw in your first tune-up or an upgraded seat or a rack. Oftentimes, they will. At the very least, they’ll throw in a water bottle and cage. You’ll have more luck negotiating with a small local shop rather than a larger chain of shops.

The search function can make it difficult to find what you’re looking for

Amazon’s search function is good but it isn’t perfect. Sometimes it doesn’t show you exactly what you’re looking for. For example, when I searched for ‘mountain bikes’ all of the best mountain bikes in the recommended section were kids bikes. I don’t know why Amazon would show me kids bikes. One of the top results was a beach cruiser-style e-bike, which is unrelated.

Bike components and accessories are often mixed in with the search results as well. For example, if you sort by prices low to high, you’ll see a bunch of water bottle holders, mirrors, pumps, and other products that aren’t bikes. You would think those would be filtered out while searching for a bike.

The poor search functionality makes it a bit harder to find exactly what you’re looking for. You have to spend some time using the more advanced search functions and playing around with different keywords to find exactly what you’re looking for. The fact that Amazon offers such a wide range of bikes doesn’t help. Sometimes there are too many options to choose from.


Some cyclists are pretty elitist. They may not take you seriously if you ride a low-end or no-name mass-market bike. Some may even try to put you down for riding a cheap bike. This isn’t too common but these types of people are out there.

Who Should Buy a Bike on Amazon?

As you can see, there are more cons than pros. Many of the cons are specific to the lowest-end bikes. These bikes are very hit or miss in terms of quality. The mid-range bikes are a much safer bet. Many models offer excellent value. There are a number of situations where buying an Amazon bike may be your best option.

You should buy a bike on Amazon if:

  • Your budget is around $300-$500- This seems to be the price point where Amazon bikes offer the best value for your money. There are also plenty of options in this price range. If your budget is much lower than this, you’re probably better off buying a used bike. If your budget is higher, you may be better off buying locally at a bike shop.
  • You live in a rural area without a bike shop- Many small towns don’t have a decent bike shop. If you live in one of these places, your only options might be to drive to the nearest big city, to buy a mass-market bike at Walmart, or to order online. You can get an Amazon bike shipped pretty much anywhere. Even rural areas.
  • You want a basic mountain bike or road bike- Amazon offers an excellent selection of entry-level to mid-range mountain bikes and road bikes. These are reliable and simple bikes for someone who doesn’t want or need anything fancy. They are perfect for commuting, running errands, and recreational riding.
  • You don’t like shopping at bike shops- In my experience, bike shops are hit or miss. Sometimes the staff is friendly and helpful. Sometimes they are pushy and constantly trying to upsell. Occasionally, they are even a bit elitist. If you want to buy an entry-level bike, they may not care to help you. Personally, I avoid shopping at bike shops these days. I much prefer shopping online or buying used.
  • You’re buying a kids’ bike- Kids outgrow bikes in just a year or two depending on their age. They also don’t know the difference between a high-end bike and an entry-level bike. It’s usually not worth it to buy your kid a nice bike until they’re a bit older. Amazon offers some excellent deals on kid’s bikes. Of course, you’ll want to be sure to thoroughly inspect the bike when it arrives to make sure it is properly assembled and safe for your kids to ride.
  • You’re just getting into cycling- Those who are just getting into cycling are often better off starting with a basic bike. It doesn’t make sense to go out and spend over $1000 on a new bike if you don’t even know if you’ll enjoy riding it. Many people buy expensive bikes only for them to end up collecting dust in a garage.

Who Shouldn’t Buy a Bike on Amazon?

Mass-market Amazon bikes certainly aren’t for everyone. In fact, most riders are better off either buying used or buying from a bike shop.

You shouldn’t buy a bike from Amazon if:

  • Your budget is lower than $300 or higher than $500- If you’re on a tight budget you’re probably better off buying a used bike. You’ll get more bang for your buck. You can find some nice mid-range or vintage bikes for less than $200. Vintage bikes, in particular, can offer an excellent value. Particularly if you can find one that was top of the line in its day. High-quality components and frames last a lifetime if they’re taken care of so the age of the bike doesn’t really matter. If your budget is greater than around $500, you’re probably better off going to a bike shop and buying an entry-level bike. You’ll get a name-brand bike from one of the major manufacturers. You won’t have to deal with shipping and assembly. It should also come with a decent warranty. You’ll also have a bike shop to rely on for help with maintenance. Many bike shops offer a free tune-up with the purchase of a new bike.
  • You don’t know anything about bicycle maintenance and don’t want to learn- As mentioned earlier, Amazon bikes may require more frequent maintenance due to the lower quality components. If you don’t know anything about bikes and don’t plan to learn, you may end up spending more money in the long run if you have to take your bike into a bike shop whenever something goes wrong. In this case, you’re better off spending a bit more and buying a higher-end bike that doesn’t require as much maintenance.
  • You want to buy a high-end bike- Amazon doesn’t really offer any bikes that could be considered high-end. Their most expensive road bikes sell for around $1500. Most would consider these mid-range. If you want a premium bike with high-end components such as a carbon fiber frame and electronic shifting, you’ll have to go to a bike shop.
  • You live in a large city- In many cases, you can get a better deal on a bike locally. You also won’t have to deal with shipping and assembly. If you live in a large city, there are plenty of bike shops you can visit. You can find one that specializes in whatever type of bike you’re looking for. In cities, there will also be a massive selection of used bikes available. You can always get better bang for your buck when you buy used if you’re willing to do a bit of research and spend some time shopping around.
  • You plan to use your bike heavily- If you plan to ride your bike every day, you may want to consider buying a higher-end bike. Regularly commuting to work and running errands puts a lot of stress on a bike. The bike will get rained on. This can cause rust. You may load it up with a heavy load of groceries. This puts stress on the frame, wheels, and drivetrain components. Low-end bikes can’t handle this kind of abuse for long without parts wearing out or breaking. If you plan to use the bike heavily, you’ll probably want to buy a higher-end used or new bike from a bike shop.

A Few Tips for Choosing an Amazon Bike

Not all Amazon bikes offer the same level of quality or value. Some come with cheap parts that will be a nightmare to use and maintain. Others come with decent name-brand components that will last for many thousands of miles. Some are priced reasonably while others aren’t worth buying. To choose the best bike and get the best deal, you’ll need to pay attention to detail. Exactly what you should look for depends on your price range.

The best value Amazon bikes tend to be the simplest models with tried and tested components. If you’re in the $300-$400 price range, look for basic bikes with rim brakes and no suspension. Also, look for a bike with Shimano or Sram drivetrain and brake components. Smaller wheels are also better at this price range because they are stronger and more durable, even if they’re made from lower-end hubs and rims. Consider choosing a bike with 26” wheels instead of 700c or 29” if you’re buying a bike that costs less than $500.

Avoid choosing a bike that comes with a bunch of fancy add-ons like fenders, lights, racks, a basket, etc. When sellers add these parts, they have to compromise on other more important parts such as the drivetrain and frame. You end up with a lower-quality bike. These parts are added for marketing purposes. You should also avoid bikes with disc brakes or suspension forks. At this price point, the quality and performance of these components will be poor. You’re better off with more basic parts such as rim brakes and a rigid frame and fork.

The most basic bikes are best because the simple components perform better and offer better reliability at this price point. For example, cheap rim brakes perform better than cheap disc brakes. This is the case because they are cheaper and simpler to manufacture. Rim brake technology has been around forever. Even low-end models function fine. The same can’t be said of disc brakes. You can’t get a decent suspension system at this low price point. It’s best to choose a bike with a completely rigid frame. It’s better to have no suspension than extremely cheap suspension.

In the $500+ price range, things are a bit different. Most bikes come with more modern features such as disc brakes and integrated shifters and brakes. Mountain bikes come with front suspension. Most models feature 27.5” or 29” wheels.

In this price range, look for a bike with a groupset that contains all name-brand components from Shimano or Sram. Ideally, all components should be from the same brand. Many manufacturers mix and match parts from different brands to save money. For example, oftentimes they install a cheap no-name crankset and use name brand derailleurs. This way, they can market the drivetrain with a brand name, even though part of it is generic. While the parts are compatible, they won’t work as smoothly as a groupset made by a single manufacturer.

You’ll also want to avoid mountain bikes with rear suspension in this price range. Also avoid bikes with additional features such as fenders, racks, etc. These parts are usually low-end. You’re better off buying upgrades or add-ons later on if you want them.

A Few Amazon Bike Recommendations

Diamondback Overdrive Hardtail Mountain Bike

Diamondback bikes are known for their quality and affordable mountain bikes. The Overdrive features a lightweight butted aluminum frame, a 24 speed Shimano and Suntour drivetrain, Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors, a Suntour suspension fork with 80mm of travel, and 27.5” wheels.

The Diamondback Overdrive arrives in a bike box 95% assembled. Assembly takes just 30-60 minutes depending on your level of skill. All you need to do is install the front wheel, seat, and peddles and pump up the tires. The brakes and derailleurs are pre-adjusted. If you need help, Diamondback offers online video chat and a video library.

This would be a great bike for anyone who is just getting into mountain biking. In its stock form, the bike can handle easy mountain bike trails, bike paths, commuting, and some gentle singletrack. If you want to ride some more advanced trails, you might want to make a few upgrades. This bike makes for an excellent base for upgrading as you grow more experienced in the sport. For example, you could upgrade the suspension fork or tires to make the bike much more capable. Down the line, you could install better wheels.

Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike

This basic mountain bike is perfect for commuting, riding easy mountain bike trails, and taking causal rides around town. It features 21 gears with twist shifters, knobby all-terrain tires with alloy wheels, and a durable frame with a suspension fork.

The Schwinn High Timber is available in a number of sizes and variations, allowing it to fit pretty much any rider. For example, the bike is available with 24″, 26”, 27.5”, or 29” wheels. The frame is available in both steel and aluminum versions. The comes in both disc brake and rim brake versions. A number of different frame colors are available as well. If you’re looking for a basic, entry-level mountain bike, the Schwinn High Timber is a great option.

Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike

The Tommaso Imola Endurance is one of the better value road bikes on the market. It’s a great mid-range option for those who don’t want an entry-level bike but also don’t want to shell out for an expensive road bike from a bike shop.

The Tommaso Imola features a full Shimano Claris R2000 groupset with Shimano Claris STI shifters and brakes. Components are not mixed and matched as they often are on lower-end bikes. This makes for excellent shifting performance. The Claris is a very nice mid-range groupset.

The frame is made from lightweight and durable 6061 aluminum and the fork is made of steel. The frame has attachment points for racks, fenders, and water bottle holders. The bike comes with lightweight 700c aluminum wheels. The complete bike weighs in at 23.6 lbs.

Tommaso is an Italian company that moved its operations to the United States in the early 2000s. They build bikes and sell bikes directly to consumers. This way, you avoid paying a middle man. One drawback is that this bike does require a tune-up when it arrives. The wheels will need to be trued and the derailleurs and brakes will need to be adjusted. You may have to hire a professional if you’re not a skilled bike mechanic. In order to validate the warranty, the bike needs to be professionally assembled.

Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike

This entry-level road bike from Vilano features integrated brake levers and shifters, a double-butted 6061 aluminum frame with internal cable routing, double-walled 700c wheels, and a 14 speed drivetrain. The Vilano Shadow is a perfect bike for weekend rides, commuting, and exercise.

This bike requires a decent amount of assembly. You’ll have to tighten the stem, install the handlebars, install the front wheel, install the peddles, true the wheels, and adjust the brakes and derailleurs. If you’re not a skilled bike mechanic, you’ll probably have to take the bike to a shop for some help. You’ll at least want to have the wheels professionally trued.

A Few Alternatives to Buying a Bike on Amazon

Buying a bike on Amazon isn’t the right choice for everyone. Luckily, there are a few alternatives.

  • Buy a used bike- If you’re on a tight budget, buying used is your best option. You save money buying used because the bike has already depreciated in value. You’re not paying a new bike premium. You can buy a bike that is just a few years old for 50% off its original retail price. You also don’t have to pay tax on used bikes in most places if you buy from a private party. It’s possible to score a decent older or vintage used bike for around $150. if you’re handy and you’re willing to put in some work, you can buy a used bike for less than $100. Some good places to look for a used bike include Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay, garage sales, thrift stores, and bike shops. To help you score the best deal and avoid scams, check out my complete guide to buying a used bike.
  • Buy a bike at a bike shop- All of the major cycling manufactures including Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc. offer entry-level bikes. These usually cost anywhere between $500 and $1000. These models offer good value for your money. They also come with the prestige of owning a name-brand bike. In addition, they’ll come with slightly higher quality components and frames than entry level Amazon bikes. You’ll also get the support network of a major brand. Wherever you are, you can go to a bike shop that supports your brand and buy parts or have your bike serviced. This is nice if something goes wrong that you can’t repair by yourself.
  • Walmart or big-box store bikes- These are generally a step below Amazon bikes in terms of quality. They come with the cheapest possible components and frames. Walmart bikes can work well for those who only ride a handful of times per year. They also offer some decent single speed bikes, beach cruisers, and kids bikes for people who are on a tight budget. For more info, check out my article about the pros and cons of Walmart bikes.

Final Thoughts

Amazon bikes can be hit or miss. If you do your research, you can score an excellent deal on a brand new bike shipped straight to your door. You can shop for your bike without ever having to leave your house. Many models come with high-quality name-brand components. The excellent return policy gives you peace of mind. Assembly is easy if you use Amazon’s mobile bike mechanic service or have the bike shipped to a bike shop. Amazon bikes are perfect for those who are just getting into cycling as well as those who just need a basic bike.

Of course, there are some drawbacks. You may have to deal with putting your own bike together if Amazon doesn’t offer their assembly services where you live. Bike sizing can be a challenge as well. You can’t take a test ride or inspect the bike in person before you buy. You’re buying the bike sight unseen. Some bikes are of low quality as well. Cheap components offer poor performance and durability. Whether you choose to buy a bike on Amazon or not, I hope this guide has helped you in making your decision.

Have you bought a bike on Amazon? Share your experience in the comments below!

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Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, including links from the Amazon Serivices LLC Associates Program. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase through these links. I only recommend products and services that I use and know. Thank you for reading!