Buying a new bike used to be a process reserved to the confines of your local bike shop. Even if the shop didn’t have exactly the bike you wanted, they could probably place an order for it and have your dream rig ready to roll in a week or two. Now, in the age of the internet, things are a bit different and slightly more complicated.
While consumers can still walk into their LBS and see lots of shiny new toys in person on the showroom floor, more and more companies are switching to a consumer-direct model. Sometimes, these models cut out the middle-man entirely, while others use hybrid models, relying on authorized dealers for assembly of online purchases. Occasionally, consumers buying a bike will be treated to a curbside delivery and assembly by a mobile mechanic services, such as Beeline Bikes or Velofix.
Last spring, gear editor Travis Engel wrote a piece outlining the new paradigm and where the industry might go from here. Over the past few years, we’ve had the opportunity to review bikes from both consumer-direct companies and from classic brick-and-mortar brands. We’ve compiled a few of the former reviews below, along with brief explanations of how they do business.
Canyon Spectral AL 6.0 | $2,400
AN AGGRESSIVE TRAIL BIKE AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE
Read the full review here, which has a detailed description of how the bike comes out of the box.
Spot Mayhem 27.5+ 4-star | $4,400
FUN-SEEKERS LOOKING FOR A PLUS-SIZE SWEET SPOT, STEP ON UP
Intense Sniper Trail Expert | $4,500
SCOPING OUT INTENSE’S SHORT-TRAVEL TRAIL BIKE
Fezzari La Sal Peak | $6,600
SOON TO BE KILLING A QUIVER NEAR YOU