The Hidden Cost of Online Bike Purchasing

I would like to share with you the experience of recent customer who purchased a bike from a leading online retailer. They offer an online "Perfect Position System" which requires the customer to take a number of measurements from their body and it then spits out the "correct size" bike. In this case the system said that the correct size was a Medium. He called the UK customer service center to query this saying "I'm 6 foot1, are you sure I'm a Medium?" to which they confirmed that yes, according to them he should purchase a Medium. The customer then had to wait nearly two months to receive his bike.

Upon receiving his bike, and then building it himself, he took it for its first ride and instantly felt that something was not right. He then had to pay to have a bike fit. I took one look at it and didn't need my fancy 3D motion tracking system to tell him that the bike was too low and far too short. I had to tell someone that they had completely the wrong size bike.

The customer is now having to try and send the bike back and exchange it for the correct size. This process could take another month which means that he's without his new bike for the best part of a quarter of a year and in addition, he's had to spend an additional £300 for us to do the fit, identify the problem and then refit the correct size bike.

If the bike had been purchased from ourselves, £300 of fitting time and a £100 handover fit would have been included in the cost of the bike, any changes to stem length and bar width would have been included in the cost of the bike, most of our stock bikes can be turned around within a few days and most importantly you'll be riding away knowing that your bike is set up perfectly for you. To me, this is worth far more than the difference in ticket price.

- Ben Hallam

And again...

"I experienced exactly the same situation only a few months ago - the online brand's website and customer service recommended an XS. When he arrives for the fit it took me 30 seconds to work out the saddle was too low, and we were at max extension with the post. He waited 10 weeks for it...

Also, some of the bikes have an integrated bar and stem. How many handlebars & stems do we swap on new off-the-peg bikes here at Bespoke? A lot." - Dan Pells