American big-box departmental store chain Target has always been an option for cyclists who want a cheap bike. They stock everything from kids to adult cycles in various styles and at friendly prices. But are Target bikes good?
Target bikes are only suitable for kids, entry-level adults, and casual bikers who don’t plan to ride regularly, especially on technical off-road. So, the bikes are ideally not best for experienced cyclists, regular riders, and those planning to take on technical off-roads.
The reason for that, as I’ll discuss the pros and cons, is that Target bicycles are not quality bikes. They feature low-quality and less durable specs that are poorly assembled and tuned.
So, the bikes fail to promise reliability and durability and aren’t the safest. But if you cannot afford a quality bike or just want a simple, upgradeable casual bike for your kid or entry-level cycling, you can consider Target.
I’ll review the pros and cons of Target bikes to help you understand what you are getting. I’ll after that suggest the type of people who should or shouldn’t get a Target bike.
Moreover, I’ll share ways to get a good Target bike and possibly make it better and the best target alternatives.
Are Target Bikes Good or Bad?
Target bikes have their fair share of pros and cons, so we’ve to consider both sides before determining if these bikes are good.
Pros of Target Bikes
Here are the key advantages of buying a bicycle from target:
1. Affordable Choices
Target bicycles are amongst the cheapest new bikes you can ever find. Depending on the bike type, you can find most kid’s bikes from $120 to about $200 and adult bikes from $150 to $350.
MTBs usually cost the most, while beach cruisers are the cheapest.
2. Good Return Policy
Target allows you to return its bike in excellent and unused condition within 90 days of buying. So, if you are not satisfied with the delivery, you can always take it back and claim a full refund.
You can do it in person at the store or send it via mail. However, you’ll need to avail a proof of purchase, preferably a receipt.
3. Brand New Bike
Every bike that Target sells is brand new. You are not getting an old bike with dents, scratches, and rusty parts. No, you are getting a new out-of-box bike.
Of course, the bikes are not the best quality, as I explain under the cons, but you are at least getting something new.
4. Familiar Brand Names
Target stocks some familiar bike brand names. Though not the same build quality as the authentic brands, they come in the same style and look. Examples include Huffy, Joystar, Kent, Dynacraft, Schwinn, Topeak, and Mongoose.
5. Bike Variety
There is just every bike type you can think of on Target.com. You can shop for Target mountain bikes, beach cruisers, fat-tire bikes, and kids’ bikes, among many others.
You can select based on gender, where we’ve Target womens bikes and men’s options. So, if you want a wide range of bicycles, Target stocks more than enough.
6. Kids and Beginner-Friendly
Target bikes are only best for people who are getting into bicycling. That includes kids and beginner adults who don’t plan to ride the bikes aggressively.
Their designs are pretty simple for easy riding, especially on urban roads and other less technical trails.
7. Upgradeable Choices
Though Target bicycles are not quality bikes, their parts are upgradeable. That means you can make them as good quality as you want.
The most upgradeable parts are the wheels, drivetrains, brakes, seats, and handlebars. You just need to identify the parts you don’t like and upgrade them. It’ll be costly nonetheless.
Cons of Target Bikes
Now, as good as Target bikes are, they suffer several setbacks, which include:
(a) Low-Quality Specs
Target bikes are cheap because they are low-quality options. They don’t have the most durable and reliable components, making them unsafe.
Components like drivetrain, wheels, brakes, and even the frames are often low quality, some requiring upgrading.
(b) Poor Bike Assembly and Tuning Adjustment
Only Target bikes 20 inch and above come assembled, but you can request unassembled options. The problem with the assembly is that it’s poorly done.
Also, a big concern is that bikes smaller than 20-inch don’t come assembled. However, the biggest is the bike tuning, as these bikes are poorly adjusted and thus not ride-ready.
(c) Size Limitations
Most Target Bicycles come only in one size, making it hard to find your match. There may be Target bikes 24 inch, 20-inch, 26-inch, and other sizes, but you’ll find most models in one size.
(d) Bike Weight
Target bicycles weigh slightly more than bike-shop bicycles. They often feature heavy metallic frames like steel which are cheaper to produce. Sadly, their huge weights make them less efficient to pedal or compete with.
(e) Expensive Maintenance
Target bicycles use low-quality components, which are often expensive to maintain. The parts are more likely to break down and require repairs or replacements, while others require routine tuning and adjustments.
So, even if they are cheaper to buy, they are not so cheap to maintain.
(f) Not Ideal for Aggressive Use
Since Target bikes feature low-quality specs, they are not best for aggressive riding. If you want to ride them, do it on less tactical trails and smoother roads.
(g) Not from The Actual Brand
Though you may get bikes from familiar brand names like Mongoose, Huffy, Schwinn, and Kent, these bikes are not the same quality as those in these stores.
They may look similar and even have the same specs, but their build quality differs.
(h) Poor Performance (Reliability)
There are several reasons why Target bikes are not performance bikes. First, they feature low-end parts that are likely to break down, thus being reliable.
Second, the bikes are heavier and thus less efficient. And lastly, they are poorly assembled and tuned, thus not ready for competition.
Who Should Get a Bike from Target?
Target bicycles don’t suit everyone. While the bikes are not entirely bad, they serve the following sets of people better:
- Kids – The bikes are more bike-friendly and come in lots of options.
- Beginner adults – You don’t need a high-end bike as a beginner, and thus Target bicycles fit the bill.
- Budget casual riders – You can get a Target bicycle if you don’t plan to ride regularly.
- Urban cyclists – Target bikes suit those planning to ride on less aggressive terrain, and no one matches the description better than urban cyclists.
Who Shouldn’t Get A Bike From Target?
Because of their low-end and unreliable specs, Target bicycles are not the best for the following sets of riders:
- Pro riders – Target bicycles are not performance-oriented, making them unsuitable for pro riders.
- Off-road riders – if you intend to ride aggressively off-road, target bikes are not the best choice.
- Regular Commuters –Regular commuting can be too demanding for a Target bike as they are low quality.
- Those with a budget higher than $350 – If you can afford a bike costing more than $350, you should go straight to bike stores to order a decent branded bike.
How to Get a Good Target Bike
Target bikes can be a big miss or hit based on the discussed pros and cons. It all depends on how you shop. If you are really on a budget and want a casual beginner-friendly bike, you can go to Target.
Remember to go for simplicity over fancy
Don’t prioritize fancy specs like gears, suspension, disc brakes, or accessories like bells, baskets, and fenders if you want an excellent Target bike.
These fancy details only make the bikes costlier to maintain and less reliable. Besides, you can always upgrade the bike with the specs you want, as I will explain next.
Instead, opt for:
- A rigid frame over a suspension frame
- Rim brakes over disc brakes
- Low gear or preferably single speed over multi-geared
How to Make Your Target Bike Better
You don’t have to settle for the low-quality specs with a Target bicycle unless you are okay riding like that.
Every bike is upgradeable, and that includes Target bicycles. Here are some vital upgrades to consider:
- Better quality brakes
- Decent quality gears
- Comfortable handlebars and grips
- More puncture resistance tires
- Stronger rims
- More comfortable and ergonomic saddle
- Stronger and comfortable pedals
- Stronger suspension fork
Check out most of these bike upgrades on Amazon.
Best Target Alternatives
Now that you cannot afford a high-end bike and Target seems like the only budget choice you can find, where do you go?
Here are some cheap alternatives to Target that promise slightly better quality bikes.
- Shop second hand on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Garage sales, and eBay.
- Look for budget branded choices on Amazon and other reputable retail.
- Visit bike shops like Giant Bicycles, Mongoose, Schwinn, and Trek to buy entry-level choices as they are affordable.
- Rent a bike on Spinlister, Bloom, Moqo, or Joyride.
- Take advantage of bike-sharing programs available in states like Washington, New York, San Francisco, and Oklahoma.
People Also Ask
1. Can I Return a Bike to Target?
Yes, you can return a bike in excellent and unused condition to Target within 90 days of buying. However, you’ll need to avail a receipt or any other proof of purchase. You can take it in person to the store or send it by mail service.
2. Do Bikes from Target Come Assembled?
Only bikes with a wheel size of 20-inch and above come fully assembled. Others are not assembled. You’ve to do it yourself, which can be challenging if it’s a new experience.
3. Does Target Sell Good Bikes?
Target doesn’t sell the most quality bikes. Its bikes are low-end and less reliable in performance. They are only ideal for kids, adults, beginners, and casual riders who are not planning to ride on technical off-road.
4. Are Target Schwinn Bikes Good?
The Schwinn bikes you find on Target may look like the options on Schwinnbikes.com, but they are very different in quality. Target Schwinn bikes are budget-friendly but low quality than those on Schwinnbikes.com.
Are Target Bikes Good? Closing Thought
Generally, Target offers budget casual buyers and kids an opportunity to get a bike they can enjoy riding for cheap. These bikes may not have the best quality specs, but they are more affordable and easy to upgrade, and that counts for something.