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I need a new touring bike. I live in an area where such bikes are associated with exorbitant prices. Given that I am really attracted to buying my next touring bike from Bikesdirect.com and cut the middle man and the exorbitant local prices. Do any of you have experience with this online supplier.

I am a reasonably good biker with decades of experience riding. I typically bike for 20 to 25 miles at a time, and bike at an average speed of 15 mph. Any recommendation on the topic is most welcome.

closed as off-topic by mattnz, Criggie, PeteH, Daniel R Hicks, alex Oct 29 '16 at 16:26

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking product/service/learning material recommendations or item valuations are off-topic because they tend to become obsolete quickly. Instead describe the situation or specific problem you are trying to solve, or try chatting about it in The Velodrome." – mattnz, Criggie, PeteH, Daniel R Hicks, alex
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    This is likely to be closed as a shopping question. If you word it to be more about buying online generally, then theres a better chance the question will stay open. – Criggie Oct 29 '16 at 9:14
  • You should never buy a bike (particularly a touring bike) without test riding it first. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 29 '16 at 12:14
  • you are getting down voted because you seem to be inviting OPINION - worse the opinionated answers could come off as possibly-thinly-veiled spam, which is the other reason for downvote. this q may not be an ad for a site it looks like it MIGHT BE - that's something we [the stackEx community] tend to wig out about. – Tapper7 Oct 30 '16 at 6:10
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I've assembled probably 8-10 of them, had a regular customer or two who commuted on the cross/touring ones, and done service on maybe another 8-10.

My overall impression of them is pretty favorable with some caveats. They clearly come from the same factories as many other brands, with similar quality control and factory assembly. There was some kind of issue with a DOA stem on one I assembled, and they took care of it promptly, I believe by comping the customer the price of an equivalent part from us. Having encountered one out of the box defect issue on the above mentioned sample size doesn't distress me at all.

You probably know this, but their "list" prices are a total gimmick. Basically those numbers are the highest full retail price anyone would ever pay for a similarly equipped name brand bike plus a 10-20% padding, and without regard to the value or cost of the assembly. Meanwhile, a very large number of bikes are actually bought from brick and mortar dealers at sale prices in the 10-20% off range, and sometimes more. So you can see that you do get some legitimate savings, but they inflate the number about as much as they probably think they can get away with.

You're also dealing with a bike in a box straight from the factory. They tell people to expect around 15-20 minutes to assemble it if you are "familiar with bicycle assembly," and that statement is optimistic to the point of being totally false. Their bikes don't present any special challenges or abnormalities, but as is usually the case, getting everything right simply is going to take much longer regardless of experience, and as with any new bike in a box will sometimes require relatively specialized tasks like hanger alignment, post/tab facing, and brake bleeding, along with the tools. The more routine assembly tasks of adjusting all the bearings, brakes, gears, truing the wheels, and fastener safety, along with all the tools involved for those things, are simply requisite. And, if there are any defects or quality control issues with anything, it's up to you to spot them and deal with them in a way that's safe and appropriate.

So in summary they're a legit way of getting more bike for less money, but it's not all upside.

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Trying to answer generally - bikes bought online are typically bought sight-unseen and that is the biggest problem. There's no way I'd buy a new bike if I couldn't ride it first - same goes for shoes or houses or hats.

They may be significantly cheaper than the posted RRP / MSRP, with some searching you should find almost-as-good pricing in a shop.

Also, online buying makes warranty claims harder, even more so if you're buying from another country.

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