A 2006 bike shop Mountain bicycle compared to a 2006 MegaMart, Toys-B-Us, ectc Mountain bicycle.



     I have just recived a small poster in my email someone made up for me so I thought this was as good as any place to show it. It is called "Why buy from us" so have a look then come back and read this page. Maybe it will help you understand what I think is the difernce between The Bike Stand and the MegaMarts out there.

      The Bike Stand has been in business for over twenty five years now and in all those years we have stuck to the principle that for the bike to be safe and last a long time it must be properly assembled. With that said I still get a lot of people asking me why the big discount stores selling bikes in boxes are so much cheaper. So forgetting our service and proper assembly lets look at just the bikes.

      Here we have two bikes a Raleigh M20 and a typical bike from a Box Bike Company or Discount Sporting Goods Store that sells their bikes in boxes or they will, for a price, put them together for you.




Raleigh M20 Box Bike



      These two bike are worlds apart to me but maybe not to you. The first thing we all look at is price. The 2006 Raleigh is 249.99 assembled and with service and ready to go. The 2006 Box Bike was 129.99 unassembled and with very little service.
      Now I know on first glance these two bikes look pretty similar. The Box Bike on the right may even look better because you get a rear suspension but on the Raleigh you do not. So lets get a little closer.



Raleigh M20 Box Bike



      Lets start with the rear derailleur. On the Raleigh I see a Shimano Tourney rear derailleur and freewheel with mega drive. This name is the biggest name in bike components. This is not even the lowest line of the perspective manufacture. But it is a nice lower end brand named part with replacement parts available all over.
      Now lets have a look at the Box Bike. The rear derailleur and freewheel are Sunrace. Now Sunrace is not a bad derailleur it is not is the same price point as a Shimano derailleur. Shimano controls the market while most other companies take the price point that Shimano does not go after. This derailleur I could not find in any of my distributors catalogues. Which means that if it ever needs replacement you would probably have to buy a Shimano derailleur. Not that big a deal, unless the new shifter is not compatible with the Sunrace shifters. Some shifters are not compatible with each other and if I can not get your brand what do you do. Buy another Box Bike instead of fixing it is what some people end up doing.
      Now lets look at the back of the bikes and see that Raleigh has a small silver part that the rear derailleur mounts on too. That is a break away hanger. See how the box bike does not. That is there so if the rear derailleur should hit the spokes or get hit by a stick and get pulled around or broken off, the frame would not be damaged. Pretty cool!
      Before we move on lets look at the rear hub all you can see here is the Raleigh has a nice quick release rear hub that is also made of aluminum alloy but the Box Bike uses a bolt on stamped steel rear hub. With the quick release rear wheel you can remove the wheel with out tools to transport the bike or to repair a flat on the road. As for the hub shell being made out of aluminum or steel it may not seam like much but the aluminum hub shell is made from a single piece of aluminum then machined. The steel hub shell is made from three pieces of steel then pressed together. No welding or even gluing just pressed together. I have never had a aluminum hub shell come apart but many times I have had the steel hubs fall apart only to have the person have to buy a new wheel at this point.



Raleigh M20 Box Bike



      Here we slide up the chain stay to the crank. Again we see the brand name Shimano on the Raleigh bike. And, on the Box Bike we see a brand I have never even heard of before. It is made of mild steel and weighs a lot. As before if and when you have problems with your crank and need to replace it guess who will be found yes Shimano. I just hope it fits on to that bottom bracket or you will need to replace that too.
      You may not be able to see it from this picture but that front derailleur is also a Shimano. This is a common place for companies to cheapen up on the bike because not as many people look at the front derailleur only the rear one.
     Now a part no one ever looks at is the Chain. Yes you guessed it is a Shimano on the Raleigh and no name on the Box Bike. A chain may not seem like a big deal but all kinds of problems are caused by cheap chains. If you look down the chain line and pedal the bike you would see what I am talking about the chain snakes all over causing all kinds of shifting problems like coming off or rubbing the front derailleur. The only way to fix that is to buy a brand name chain.



Raleigh M20 Box Bike



      Now we slide up the down tube until we get to the cockpit the fun part of the bike. As before we see Raleigh has not cheaped out here either. That big brand name just pops out at you Shimano. As before you see Sunrace shifters again not bad just not available to me as a replacement part if, and they all do, break so you would have to put on a Shimano or Grip Shift shifters as long as they work with the Sun Race derailleurs. But even better then the shifters is the no name brakes. I may be wrong but aren't your brakes some of the most important parts of any bike. Raleigh uses Tektro one of the biggest names in brakes, all aluminum brake lever well made and replaceable. The Box Bike uses brake levers that the body is plastic. Just how long will that last and how much will they cost when you have to replace it?



Raleigh M20 Box Bike



      We are not going far now but this is a good picture because it says so much. The Raleigh on the left uses the newer stronger 1 1/8" fork and headset with a brand name head set called Ahead with what is called a threadless system. You can see the bulkier look of the stem with the mounting bolts behind the stem. The same system used on the top of the line racing bikes and mountain bikes. The Box Bike uses an older system 1" quill that has been completely replaced on mountain and road bikes coming out of bike shops today. This system is now only used on small children bikes because the rider is a small light child.



Raleigh M20 Box Bike



      And, for the last picture we will look at a very simple but hard to see little part the Seatpost. The seatpost that the Raleigh uses has a clamp that is connected to the post. This system is again the standard in the industry. From bikes that costs thousands of dollars to this entry level Raleigh they use a similar system that holds the seat in place and you know why because it works. Just that simple. The Box Bike uses the much cheaper separate clamp and post. The only good thing that I can say about this system is it is cheap. I have to admit I did not want to mention it but when I looked at the picture later on I noticed that the rear reflector was pushed up into the seat where you would not be able to see it at night also the seat post clamp is on sideways so the clamp will not hold the seat post very well. I fixed these little things for free but how many things do I have to find and fix for free, because most people that pay this little for a bike do not want to pay me very much to go over the whole bike and fix all that is wrong with it.
      I hope this helps when you start looking for a bike the bike is more the just a set of wheels and a frame.
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