Even though this is mainly an automotive website I thought I would share my experience buying a bicycle from Performance Bike to read this review. Besides I get asked about alternative transportation methods to cars a lot as an auto journalist so I should have some firsthand knowledgeable about that, right?
Performance Hybrid Bike
For those that like to keep up with this automotive website you might have seen my post about getting into cycling and ridiculous bike prices. Instead of just wasting more time and energy on looking for a bike, I decided to pull the trigger and got a Diamondback Insight from Performance Bike.
Since I'm new to owning an adult hybrid bike my main concerns were;
- A reasonable purchase price
- The bike getting stolen
Each time I went into a local bike shop it seems like they try to convince you to get something in the $800+ range, no matter what your looking for. Since I live in the city where your stuff can get stolen often, spending that much on a hybrid bike for commuting purposes was not going to happen. I also was budgeted for installing other bicycle accessories like a rack, saddlebags, bike computer, etc. A lot of bike accessories can add-up quickly.
I had considered buying the Diamondback at Dick's Sporting Goods. My hang-up was that workers know little about bicycles and apparently they don't let you test ride the bike outside the store. Dick's did have a the bike for slightly less than Performance Bike. I asked if they would price match the Insight which they did. I assumed buying a hybrid bike from a large bicycle retailer had the advantage of them putting the bike together properly. I also assumed that Performance Bike employees know more about cycling than the average big sporting retailer about bicycles. “Assume” is the keyword there.
The reason I choose the Diamondback Insight was I tested out a Small while visiting someone and thought it seemed like a good bike for what you pay. I had tested out the Medium at the store where they bought this Diamondback small. I was told at this bike store by one of the employees that they recommended a Medium since Small seemed cramped for my size. I believe the sizing on the Small was 15-inches and the Medium was 17-inches.
I called my local Performance Bike store a couple of times to see if they had a Medium or Small in stock I could ride. I had visited the local store twice and each time they only had a Large Diamondback Insight frame, which is 19-inches, which definitely was too large. I decided to just order it online since it seemed like such a hassle finding an available one in stock.
When I went to pick-up the Medium I had ordered it felt slightly different than the one I had ridden before. I couldn't quite figure it out. I rode the bike around the parking lot of Performance Bike and it quite honestly felt large. Also the brakes seemed out of adjustment and were squeaking a lot in the front so I took it back to have the mechanic look at it. I asked for a sizing assessment from the mechanic, who wasn't that helpful. He didn't seem to really care so I just thought I'd find another work.
I asked about the sizing to another associates in the store at the time. I wondered if they had a Small in stock, of course they didn't because I guess they sell or just don't stock them. I left the store with the Insight and just decided to ride it around. I got a few opinions about the sizing from friends and family but obviously they didn't know anything about bicycling sizing. I stopped at a local bike shop and asked and all I was told was that they really only know sizing for what they sell, Treks. Yeah pretty smart.
Final Thoughts about Performance Bike
My personal experience at Performance Bike I wouldn't buy a bicycle from them again due to not having a helpful explanations about the sizing when you are in the store. I'm sure a lot of people probably go to Performance Bike for buying a hybrid bike, since I've heard these are stores most popular sellers. I guess I'm not sure why I couldn't get good help from store associates regarding sizing for a hybrid.
For now I've kept the Diamondback Insight medium. I guess the man reason I have kept the Diamondback Insight I bought was because it was a good deal, just about $300. Also I don't know, maybe I like the color. I have thought about taking it back since I was told they have an extremely generous return policy and will accept anything bike. Perhaps the best reason to buy anything through Performance Bike? I've only ridden the Diamondback Insight a couple of times.
In the future I might go to Performance Bike for bicycle parts, accessories, and clothing since they carry a lot more than a local bike shop. However, like I said I definitely won't be dropping any sort of cash to buy another hybrid bike or other bicycle from them in the future.
I have thought about buying a road bike from commuting, casual racing, and charity rides. If I want a road bike I'll either go the BikesDirect route and make sure I know exactly what I want to get in terms of geometry and size, find a used road bike, or find a local bike shop that will cut me a good deal. Road bikes are rather expensive.
I'd be happy to head from regular readers or anyone happening upon this article. Were you going to buy from Performance Bike but now you won't? Have you bought a hybrid bike or other type of bike from Performance Bike? Did you enjoy the experience or were you dissatisfied? If you shop at Performance Bike what bike accessories have you there and how have you found the customer service and overall experience? Good, bad, needs improvement?
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