Bikes and accessories can be found in discount stores, sporting goods stores, and online. Why should consumers go to a bike shop rather than buying at these other establishments?
Discount and sporting goods stores must limit their bike and equipment selection because they sell many other products. These stores will usually carry multiple brands of comfort and mountain bikes, which are the most popular for casual bikers, while providing only a minimal number of hybrid or road bikes for biking enthusiasts.
Online retailers offer a vast selection of bikes and accessories, but many retail sites are devoted to specific manufacturers' products. Online selection can also be overwhelming, with a multitude of retailers vying for your business. Most importantly, you can't actually see the products in person. Pictures cannot compare to an actual physical presence.
You can choose from many different manufacturers and styles of bikes in a bike shop, and can have bikes customized or adapted to meet your needs or body type.
Bike shops also sell accessories and equipment for the bikes they sell, which can make a difference when you need a piece of equipment replaced. For example, If your seat is stolen (it happens) and you need a matching seat post, discount and sporting goods stores sell a very limited selection of posts that may or may not match the bikes that they sell. If a bike shop doesn't have the post in stock, the staff will be able to order the correct post to fit your bike. Discount and sporting goods stores' staff will likely lack the expertise to be able to order the correct part.
Online retailers offer every size of seat post imaginable, but the post must have a very specific diameter or the post won't fit properly. If your post has been stolen, you cannot measure it to determine the size of the replacement. If you're lucky, you may find the correct post on the manufacturer's website, assuming that it is a popular brand.
This is where bike shops really shine. The sales staff have extensive knowledge of bikes and equipment, and can guide a consumer to the style of bike that best suits their needs and their wallet. Most importantly, they can match customer and bike according to height and weight.
Sizing a bike frame to the customer is important if the consumer is serious about riding. Riding a bike that isn't the proper size can cause stress injuries and unnecessary fatigue.
Bike shop staff can also provide solutions for specific issues that confront a cyclist, such as uncomfortable seats or chafing (skin irritation caused by friction from pedaling). Whether your eventual goal is commuting to work, participating in all day road trips, or exploring rugged mountain trails, bike shops can also advise and guide you to the best bikes for the task in your price range.
To learn more, contact a bike shop like Tri-A-Bike Inc.