Metropolis Bikes

Bikes for City Life

the bike shop advantage metropolis bikes

Getting ready to buy a new bike? Make sure you shop smart and learn about the real benefits of buying from a professional bike shop.  The bicycle you buy and where you buy it has a huge impact on your safety, your comfort and the amount of enjoyment you have riding.


Bicycles are vehicles that can travel at high speeds and withstand demanding conditions.  To perform optimally, they should be constructed of quality materials, assembled and maintained by skilled bicycle mechanics, and adjusted to fit you properly.  


All bikes are not created equal.  There is actually a vast difference between 'department store' bikes (also known as mass merchants or big box stores) and specialty retailer bikes - differences that add up over the life of your bike.  When you factor in follow-up service and maintenance, you could very easily end up spending more for your lower quality department store bike than a higher quality bike from a specialty shop.  Check out this handy chart that compares the two, and explains the Bike Shop Advantage.  These benefits will ensure that you select the right bike for your needs, the correct fit, and a lifetime of cycling enjoyment!

Comparison:  Specialty Bike Shops v. Mass Merchants





Did you know that manufacturers design different bikes for different markets? Bikes built for specialty bike retailers use higher quality components and materials for higher performance and enhanced comfort.  The bikes are more lightweight yet more durable than their big box counterparts. As in all things, you get what you pay for.

‘Department store’ or ‘big box’ bikes are built to meet a price point.  They are built with cheaper materials and inferior workmanship, such as big unsightly welds at the joints. For instance, a Schwinn purchased at a big box store is made to different specs than a Schwinn made for the specialty retailer.  Again, you get what you pay for.


People come in a variety of sizes and so should the bikes they ride. We ensure that your bike is the right size and adjusted properly - just for you. The proper fit is essential to the correct riding posture and ensures a comfortable and efficient ride.  The test ride is one of the most important determiners of proper fit.  We encourage test rides & offer personalized attention throughout the process.

Mass-merchant bicycles come in very limited size runs forcing you to compromise on fit. These stores also do not have experienced staff with the necessary skills to determine your size, nor the ability to adjust the bikes properly.  This generally results in an uncomfortable and inefficient ride.
Test rides?  No.


Bike shops have a wide selection of bicycle models, sizes, styles and colors. Our expert staff coaches you through the process of finding the best bike for you, whether you are a commuter, fitness cyclist or recreational rider. We also have the most current and innovative accessories that you need for safe and enjoyable riding.  Our staff will consult with you to find just the right accessories and gear for you and your bike.

Selection is generally very limited.  Again, big box stores seldom carry full size runs, so you are forced to purchase what is on hand.  They often purchase fleet sales of bikes that were not strong sellers and are being discontinued. Staff product expertise is extremely limited or non-existent.  Keep in mind that the same guy who put together the BBQ likely also built your bike.


Bicycles are shipped in boxes and need to be assembled properly. Bike shop bikes are assembled in-store by experienced mechanics.  Each is test ridden to ensure proper function and safety. We then carefully adjust them to fit you specifically.  We also spend the necessary time explaining the functions of each bike to ensure your understanding and safe operation.

Mass-merchants often sell unassembled bikes.  Usually, customers end up bringing these bikes to a specialty bike shop, incurring an assembly charge and adding to the purchase price.  Plus, no test rides, tune-ups or safety tests are available.  Again, many buyers eventually bring these bikes to our shop for initial tune-ups and adjustments, further adding to the purchase cost.


Bicycle shops employ an experienced staff who welcome post-sale service and adjustments, usually for free or at low cost. Bicycles sold at bike shops come with full warranties. Most issues can be resolved in-house. 

 Most mass merchants do not have any post-sale service whatsoever.  To keep your bike running properly, you have to take it to a specialty shop for service, incurring a charge for every visit. Products sold here have manufacturer warranties only.


Bicycle shops are the central source for cycling information in the area. They help you find great places to ride, organized events and often serve as advocates for cycling legislation and facilities in your area, too.

They mainly just sell stuff.


Our shop employs a knowledgeable, skilled, and enthusiastic staff with a real passion for cycling. The Metropolis staff brings a wealth of experience and expertise to share with you.  We enjoy building relationships with our customers.

They just sell stuff.