A bike shop brand 2008 Children's bicycle compared to a 2008 MegaMart, Toys-B-Us, or any box bike company, Children's bike.



     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 three bikes a Raleigh MXR 16" wheel bike a Raleigh MXR 20" wheel bike and a typical bike from a Box Bike Company or Discount Sporting Goods Store 18" wheel bike that sells their bikes in boxes or they will, for a price, put them together for you.

      I wanted to do three bikes because bike shops very rarely if ever sell or have access to an 18" bike. So I picked a 16" Raleigh a 18" MegaMart bike and a 20" Raleigh. The first problem I would like to bring up here is the problem of a bike with a tire and wheel size that is not sold by bike shops will mean that, that size is very hard for us to get for you. Since most MegaMart places do not curry much in parts it is put onto us to do that but I have only one supplier that get that size in and half the time they do not have it. So be careful getting some bike that parts may be hard to buy latter on.

      The second problem is as you can see in the pictures the 18" bike is no smaller then the 20" bike. So I can not see a reason for that size bike.




Raleigh MXR Mini 16 Box Bike Raleigh MXR 20



      The pictures will be in order of size from 16-18-20 inch bikes. The first set of pictures I took are to show you that the 18 inch MegaMart bike is 21 inches from the ground to the frame and the 20 inch Raleigh is only 19 inches. So it looks like the Raleigh is even a better fit. The 2008 Raleigh MXR 20 inch bike is 199.99 and the 2008 Raleigh MXR mini 16 inch is 169.99 assembled and with service and ready to go and can be traded back in when you are done with it. The 2008 Box Bike was 69.99 unassembled and with very little if any service.
      This picture also shows us something else it shows a very overly complicated frame design that looks like some full suspension bike. The problem with this design is two. One I can not put it into a work stand to work on it and second it weighed close to ten pounds more than either of the Raleighs.



Raleigh MXR Mini 16 Box Bike Raleigh MXR 20



      These pictures will be of the rear end. It is hard to see but the first thing I could see was the thickness of the drop out. Both of the Raleighs has a 4 mm thick drop out and the MegaMart is only 3mm. It may not seem like a lot but that is 25% smaller and the drop out is what holds the rear wheel in place.
      This picture also shows us the training wheels. They do not look all that different but the training wheel bracket on the Raleigh is 5 mm thick and the bracket on the MegaMart is 3 mm thick. The training wheels on the Raleigh are replaceable so if it wears out-yes you can fix it but not on the MegaMart. The last thing I want to point out about the training wheels is if you look hard you can see the support bracket on the Raleigh is this long heavy steel arm the starts at the rear wheel and moves up the chain stay for almost 5 inches and then bends in to hold on to the frame. The other does not so if the training wheels start slipping this is why.
      The last thing I will point out is the rims you can not tell from the pictures but the Raleighs have aluminum rims which are stronger, lighter and will never rust. You guessed it the MegaMart does not. Is that worth a few dollars more?



Raleigh MXR Mini 16 Box Bike Raleigh MXR 20



      This set of pictures show the seat area. Not a lot going on here accept the seatpost. The seat post on the MegaMart is at the max height. The seatpost, from the bottom of the clamp to the highest it can go on the MegaMart bike is 2 inches. That is compared to the Raleigh that is over 5 inches. That is a lot of growing that the Raleighs will let your little boy or girl grow before you need to replace the bike. Did I tell you the MegaMart bike was cheaper?



Raleigh MXR Mini 16 Box Bike Raleigh MXR 20



      Now we slide up to the cockpit, the fun part of the bike. As before we see Raleigh has not cheapen out here either. All three bikes have a cross bar pad to help if your child has a crash and hits the bar. We do not want to think about that but it does happen but, the Raleigh also has a pad on the stem and trust me those things can hurt too if you crash and hit up there. At least it does on boys because I remember doing that and did not have the pad.
      You can not see it with this picture because of the stem pad but the 16 inch Raleigh has a two bolt stem and the bigger 20 inch Raleigh has a four bolt stem and yes you guessed it the MegaMart has only one bolt. Are we starting to see the trend here?



Raleigh MXR Mini 16 Box Bike Raleigh MXR 20



      There are two things I want to show at this point. The first is the crank. This is called a one piece crank. There is three ways to make them. The first and the cheapest is to start with a solid steel rod and bend it into shape. The second way is to cast it into a mold a little more money but much stronger and lets you put more metal were you need it. The last and the best way is to forge it by forming it cold in a large press. The molecules line up and become very strong. You probably know that the MegaMart bike had the first style and both Raleighs have the second style of crank. Another point to make here is both Raleighs have a pin that is cast into the crank arm that holds the chainring and keeps it from slipping this is the way bikes have been built for 100 years. The MegaMart bike does not. It uses a system that is unique to MegaMart and that is to use a smaller bottom bracket that standard cranks will not work in and to have the chainring held in place with the threaded cone on the inside. So now if you need parts for this crank I can not help you.
      The next thing I see is the chain guard. The chain guard on the Raleigh bikes use steel so yes it will last the life of the bike and you guessed this one too, the MegaMart is plastic which will brake the first time your foot hits it.



Raleigh MXR Mini 16 Box Bike Raleigh MXR 20



      The last set of pictures show the front wheel. Not a lot going on here. The same aluminum rim as the rear wheel here but I looked at that peg and got a little upset here. Pegs are to stand on, to do tricks with. This bikes comes with training wheels yet they install pegs on the wheel and the axle is not even large enough to support the rider if they tried to use it.
      So there you have it. I know I sell these bikes but if you read this through I think you can see a big difference in the bikes you find at a bike shop and the bikes that you find at those big discount stores. It is not that they are giving you a discount on the same bike we sell but they just sell a Cheaper Made Bike and I guess it is up to you if you want your child to be riding the cheapest thing made put together by an untrained kid in a Mega Mart store.
      I hope this helps when you start looking for a bike. The bike is more then just a set of wheels and a frame.
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