American multinational retail giant Walmart has been running since 1962, and it’s usually the go-to store when you want something cheap but brand new, including bikes. The question, however, that most bike enthusiasts ask about Walmart is: are Walmart bikes good?
Walmart bikes are not good for everyone. They are only good for kids and entry-level riders on a tight budget but understand a few things about bike maintenance. Part of their downfall is that they’re low-quality, heavy, less reliable, less durable, less safe, poor performers, to name a few.
I’ll explain the pros and cons of Walmart bicycles to make it easy for you to make a case for them. And if you think getting a Walmart bike is an option for you, I’ll explain how you can make your Walmart bike better.
But if Walmart bicycles are not an option, I’ll take you through some of its best (and cheap) alternatives.
Let’s get started:
Are Walmart Bikes Good or Bad?
This is one of those questions you start with ‘it depends.’ Walmart bikes may be good or bad for you, depending on the type of buyer or cyclist.
Let’s discuss separately the good (pros) and the bad (cons) of Walmart bikes.
9 Reasons Walmart Bikes May Be Good (Pros)
Generally, Walmart bikes may be good for you because of these nine reasons:
1. Walmart Bikes Are Affordable
Walmart is arguably the largest discount box BMX store out there. So, it’s always a consideration when it comes to budget bikes.
Believe it or not, you can get a new Walmart bike for under $150. Mark you, I’m talking about Walmart bikes for adults as kid’s options are way cheaper, some under $50.
2. Brand New Bikes
Yes, you got that right! Walmart bikes are brand new. So, not only do you get them at some crazy price tags, but you also buy new ones.
The bikes won’t come with scratches or dents, or broken parts. If they do, you can return them, as I will explain later. Walmart guarantees that its bikes are all brand new and ready to ride.
3. Familiar Brands
You are likely to notice familiar bike brand names like Schwinn, Huffy, and Firmstrong when shopping at Walmart. So, even though there are no-name brands, you can still get a bike from a recognized brand that is brand new and cheap.
Note, however, that the options on Walmart don’t match the quality levels of those in the brands’ stores.
4. Flexible Return policy
Walmart offers you up to 90 days (3 months) to return your bike if you are not satisfied and claim a full refund. The condition is that the bike has to be in good condition (same as you bought it), and you should provide the original receipt as proof of payment and ownership.
5. Wide Selection
There is no bike category that Walmart doesn’t stock. Once you visit its store, you’ll find bike categories like BMX, adult tricycles, cruiser bikes, mountain bikes, commuter bikes, electric bikes, fat-tire bikes, tandem bikes, and hybrid bikes.
6. Entry-Level Choices
Walmart bikes are generally good for those who are getting into bicycling. That includes kids and adults who want to occasionally ride for fun but not regular commuters of fitness cycling.
So, if you are wondering if Walmart bikes for boys and girls are good, then yes, if the kids are only getting into casual cycling. Seasoned riders will, however, find them cumbersome and less reliable.
7. Easily Upgradable
Let’s get one specific straight; you’re not getting a bang for the buck here as affordability and value are two different things. But since you are buying cheaper, you can always upgrade the components you are dissatisfied with.
Some upgradeable components include wheels, saddles, handlebars, and brakes.
8. Cheap Replacements
If a part breaks on a Walmart bike, it’s usually easy to fix it as the replacements are cheap and locally available. You can even order them from Walmart.
Though Walmart doesn’t service its bikes, which is quite a shame, they make the bike replacement as affordable as the bikes.
9. Easy Buying Process
Buying a bike from Walmart is as easy as walking into a store and picking up grocery supplies. You only need to visit the store, make your selection, pay for it and wait for it to be delivered. It’s that straightforward.
Who Should Get a Walmart Bike?
After looking at the pros that come with Walmart bikes, one thing is clear, Walmart bikes are not suitable for everyone. So, who are these bikes good for?
Well, you should go for Walmart bikes if:
- You are buying for a kid and are on a budget
- You are just getting into bicycling
- Your overall budget is under $150
- You are not planning to ride often
- You are familiar with bike maintenance/upgrades
On the flip side, you shouldn’t get a Walmart bike if:
- You are a seasoned rider
- You are planning to ride regularly
- Your budget is above $150
- You know nothing about bike maintenance
11 Reasons Walmart Bikes Are Not Good (The Cons)
Now, here are 11 concerns that come with Walmart bikes:
1. Low Quality (And Sometimes Non-Standard) Parts
The quality of the components is the biggest concern when buying from Walmart. Though some bikes may have familiar brand names, they are not as good quality as what you find in the respective stores.
Even worse, some components may be non-standard, making it difficult to find their replacement.
2. Walmart Bikes Can Be Very Heavy
In particular, Walmart bikes for men and women are heavier than most. Since the manufacturer wants to save on production costs to sell cheaply, they choose low-quality and often heavy materials like hi-ten steel.
3. Walmart Bikes Are Less Reliable
Since the manufacturer uses low-end specs, the bikes are less likely to hold for long. They will require frequent adjustment or repairs and replacements. That makes them less reliable and even annoying if you are a regular cyclist.
4. Walmart Bikes Are Often Less Durable
Walmart bikes for women and men are suitable for riding in perfect conditions. But once you get to challenging terrains, the bikes are likely to break down quickly. The more they break down, the lower their lifespans.
5. The Bikes Are Less Safe
The fact that Walmart bikes are made from low-quality cheaper, and often non-standard parts means they are likely to fail at some point, which can be dangerous.
Something could break, and you crash or fall off the bike and hurt yourself. Other parts may become loose and detach, resulting in a serious accident.
6. Poor Performers
Here’s a spoiler alert: you cannot win a competitive cycling event with a Walmart bike no matter how experienced you are.
Unless you do an overhaul upgrade and the other bikes, have to be low quality to beat them. Whether it’s speed, comfort, or endurance, Walmart bikes are average.
7. Lower Resale Value
You cannot expect to buy cheap and sell high. It just doesn’t work in the world of Walmart. And considering that Walmart cycles are less reliable, less durable, and low quality, their resale value is likely to drop once you buy and start riding the bike.
8. High Maintenance and Upgrading Costs
While Walmart bikes are cheaper to buy and fix, the overall maintenance cost is high. The price is even much higher if you upgrade some of its specs. So, cheap, yes, but only in the short-term but not long-term.
9. Not Completely Assembled
Though Walmart promises to assemble its bikes 90%, sometimes the assembly is partly done. You are likely to find some loose parts or unadjusted specs, which means you cannot ride the bikes yet.
The best approach would be to take the bike to a local mechanic to help you assemble it completely.
10. Sizing Difficulties
Though Walmart tries to stock as many models as possible, they often stock only a few sizes per model. That leaves out some people who may be interested in the model.
If you are not careful, you may buy the wrong size, which can be inconvenient even if you have up to 90 days to return it.
11. Walmart Bikes Are Less Prestigious
Some people won’t accord you respect just because you are riding a Walmart bike. Even more alarming is that some mechanics may look down upon your bike and fail to fix it accordingly because it’s a Walmart. So, if you want prestige, you won’t get that from Walmart.
How to Make Your Walmart Bike Better?
Did you know that you can make your Walmart bike better? Yes! And it takes these upgrades:
- Seat – Consider replacing the bike seat with a comfortable and more performance-oriented option
- Handlebar – Swap the handlebar with a more comfortable and ergonomic option.
- Wheels – Replace the wheels, including the tires, with quality options
- Cables – Upgrade the brake cables
- Brakes – Switch to disc brakes as they are more reliable than disc options
- Crankset – Upgrade to a better crankset for top performance
- Fork – Get a more robust and more dependable suspension fork.
Here are cheaper alternatives to Walmart:
- Buy second-hand from eBay, Facebook marketplace, or Craigslist
- Buy entry choices from reliable brands like Trek, Cannondale, and Giant
- Shop on Amazon
People Also Ask
1. Do Walmart Bicycles Come Assembled?
Yes, Walmart bikes come assembled 90%. You’ll, however, have to do the 10%. Note, however, that sometimes the assembly is not well done. So, you may have to take the bike to a local mechanic to check it out.
2. Do Walmart Bikes Last?
Walmart bikes are not the highest quality or strongest choices. However, with good care and maintenance, the bike can last long like other bikes.
3. Are Walmart Mountain Bikes Good?
Walmart mountain bikes don’t have the best quality specs or the most robust frames. So, even though they are cheap, they are less durable, less reliable, and costly to maintain. Overall, mountain bikes are good for entry-level riders who don’t plan to ride daily.
Are Walmart Bikes Good? Closing Thought
There is no denying that Walmart bikes are cheap and even easy to replace and upgrade. Sadly, they are only good for kids and entry-level cyclists on a budget and those who aren’t planning to ride regularly.