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Buying a bike last year was no easy feat—and so far, the same goes for 2021. With the movement away from crowded public transportation, growing concerns about our environmental impact, and finding ways to spend more time outside, bikes seem to be selling out quickly. Finding the right bike—or any bike for that matter—almost feels like winning the lottery.
But don’t let growing reports of bare bike shop shelves deter you. Numerous retailers are restocking inventory year-round to keep up with growing demand. While shopping for a bike either online or in-store can feel pretty daunting, it’s usually a matter of simple math to find the right size for you. Most retailers understand the plight of at-home sizing, so you won’t have to search too hard to connect with a live customer service agent or pull up a comprehensive online diagram to help you find the perfect fit. They can also inform you of the difference between dirt bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, and more, so you can find the right model for you.
Ready to take your transportation up a notch? We’ve found the 11 best places to buy bikes online from retailers like REI, BikeExchange, Schwinn, and more.
1. Dick’s Sporting Goods
Our favorites: GT Men's Aggressor Pro Mountain Bike —$479.99 and Schwinn Signature Women's Largo 7 26-inch Cruiser Bike—$399.99 Prices: 🚴 Return policy: 30 days, but the item cannot be returned if it has been assembled, opened, or if the factory seal is broken. Free shipping: Yes, if you spend at least $65 Price matching: Yes
Dick’s Sporting Goods is a household name in all things athletics, and part of that is attributed to its robust bike section, which features a wide selection of reliable and recognizable brands like Schwinn, Charge, GT, and Mongoose.
From mountain bikes to cruisers to hybrids, shopping for bikes at Dick’s is made easy through its user-friendly navigational tools. Simply narrow down your preferred wheel size, brand, frame size, color, and the like, and you’ll be a click away from your dream bike. Each product page is complete with a “frequently bought together” section, which can help you stock up on biking necessities you may have overlooked, like a bike rack, kickstand, or water bottle cage. Customers agree that delivery is fast and efficient.
The best part about shopping for bikes at Dick’s? You’re eligible for free assembly, whether you buy online, in-store, or pick it up, which means less work for you. Plus, with its price match guarantee policy, the store will match the price if you find your bike cheaper elsewhere.
Our favorites: Electra Cruiser 1 Step-Through Bike—$329.95 and Cannondale Topstone 1 Alloy Bike—$2,150 Prices: 🚴 🚴 🚴 Return policy: One year if new, or 30 days if gently used Free shipping: Yes, if you spend at least $50, though may not apply to oversized items Price matching: No
REI is a true one-stop-shop for all things outdoors. As a co-op, its lifetime $20 membership grants you (among many other things) 10% off bikes. Our health and fitness editor Sara Hendricks recommends its in-house bike shop for its superior fitting services, though thanks to its handy online bike fitting guide and virtual outfitting service with an expert, you can shop for a bike from the comfort of your home.
Assembly is included when you pick up your bike in-store, and while it isn’t if you opt for delivery, most product pages include a comprehensive video to guide you through the process seamlessly.
REI’s prices vary vastly, depending on the brand and model—you can snag a top-shelf Cannondale electric bike for over $4,000, for example. But its bestselling options, ranging from step-through bikes to mountain bikes, are all well within the $300 to $500 price range.
You might not be able to fully trust the likes of Craigslist or eBay to buy a used bike, but a marketplace like BikeExchange is a great choice when looking for a great deal on a name-brand bike.
BikeExchange’s concierge quite literally takes all the guesswork out of finding the right bike for you—simply pop in a few details like height, budget, and type (road, hybrid, mountain, etc), and it will hit you with suggestions based on the current inventory. For more casual questions, you can use a chat box to speak with experts while you shop online as if a retail clerk were right there with you. And you’ll likely need all the assistance you can get—at the time of this writing, BikeExchange’s website contained 3,680 bikes for sale, ranging from hardtail and full-suspension mountain bikes to road, cyclocross, and gravel bikes. Bikes are shipped partially pre-assembled with major parts like the fork, frame, suspension, crank, and rear-wheel intact.
Our favorites: Women’s Huffy CranbrookCruiser Bike, 24-inch—$189 and Men’s Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Bike, 26-inch—$520 Prices: 🚴 🚴 Return policy: 90 days for bikes sold by Walmart, varies by third-party seller Free shipping: Varies by location and delivery method Price matching: Yes
There's value in shopping somewhere we're all familiar with—especially when making a major purchase like a bike—and Walmart happens to have a user-friendly interface to help you navigate its massive selection of bikes. Sort through categories like BMX, folding, electric, and cruiser bikes, wheel size, brand, and, in true Walmart fashion, deal type. Though most of the bikes you'll find are made for casual use.
Walmart has all your bases covered on the product page: You can add on at-home bike assembly for an extra $49, along with an Allstate-powered protection plan for either three or four years, which covers mechanical and electrical failures and malfunctions as well as 24/7 live support. Reviewers love Walmart’s "forever warranty" policy and that you can use Affirm to pay for your bike over the course of three, six, or 12 months.
Keep in mind that certain bikes come from third-party sellers, which you can spot beneath the “Sold and shipped by” tag under the product icon on the main landing page. These sellers often operate under different policies, so always double-check where your bike is coming from before buying, see what other customers have to say about a given seller in the reviews, or look for the “Pro Seller” icon above the seller on the product page to ensure you know what you’re getting into.
Leading the charge in all things e-bikes is Charge, a brand from the makers of Schwinn and Cannondale. These new “it” modes of transportation allow you to cycle up hills and zoom in and out of traffic with less effort compared to a standard cruiser bike.
As a proud owner of the Comfort bike, I can ride long distances—up to 50 miles on a single charge at speeds up to 20 miles per hour—without a single pang of back or neck pain thanks to the bike’s unique upright position and pillowy leather seat. Pressure sensors detect the air level in your tires, so your bike will never tire out on you mid-ride. While I was confident I wanted the Comfort option due to my chronic back pain, you can always request a test ride at a location near you before you settle on your favorite option. Their bikes are by no means cheap, but monthly installments with Affirm (interest-free if paid within six months) do help soften the blow.
Though Charge’s bikes do require some assembly, instructions are easy to follow and building only takes around 10 minutes. The bikes are attractive and made for those with back pain—you can transport nearly a duffel bag’s worth of belongings or groceries on the rear shelf, marvel at the handlebar display featuring your speed and miles left on your charge, and fold your handlebars and pedals in for easy storage and transportation. Charge understands e-bikes are new territory for most riders, so it helps you acclimate with a helpful beginner’s guide.
Our favorites: Sole Bicycles The OFW II Single Speed 29-inch Road Bike—$429.99 and State Bicycle Co. Adult Bicycle 29-inch—$459.99 Prices: 🚴 🚴 Return policy: 90 days Free shipping: Yes, if you spend at least $35 Price matching: Yes
Target is notorious for being the place you shop with no list, “just vibes.” But given its wide bike selection, you’re going to want to be a little more intentional. Luckily, Target makes it easy with its bike buying guide, assisting you in choosing the kind of bike you need, along with the likes of appropriate seat width, frame material, handlebar height, gearing, and more. Most of these bikes are on the lower end and are better for casual riding.
What’s unique about Target’s interface is that you get a highlight reel of each product right on the landing page without having to click on it, allowing you to compare bikes and add them to your cart right then and there. This is helpful if you’re the type to accumulate far too many open tabs on your browser.
Target’s prices are notoriously fair to begin with, but you can take advantage of even more savings with its RedCard, which offers you 5% off everything (yes, even bikes), free shipping, as well as an additional 30 days to return or exchange your item. You can tack on Allstate two-year bike protection for an extra $49, which includes mechanical defects and wear and tear coverage with no deductible, or pay in installments with Affirm.
Target’s reviewers tend to be a little more animated and passionate compared to other retailers, giving you a candid look into how customers really feel about a given bike—without any confusing marketing jargon.
7. Bikes Online
Our favorites: 2021 Polygon Cascade 4 Mint 27.5-inch” Mountain Bike—$599 and Polygon Path 2 Disc Urban City Bike—$649 Prices: 🚴 🚴 🚴 Return policy: 14 days Free shipping: Yes, if you spend at least $50 Price matching: No
It’s not hard to see why Bikes Online has become one of the most popular destinations for all things cycling and gear. Consistently garnering rave reviews from customers for its superior customer service and fast shipping, Bikes Online serves as an affordable alternative to standard sporting goods shops. As a direct-to-consumer retailer, it cuts out the importer, distributor, and bike shop, allowing shoppers to get warehouse prices.
Finding the right fit is simple with its Bike Fit Calculator, which is available right on the product page. Additionally, it offers a model comparison chart so you can see exactly how your model in question stacks up against other varieties in the same line.
You can also take advantage of the buy now and pay later option by selecting PayPal as your payment method for purchases above $99. From there, you apply for PayPal interest-free credit, get approved in seconds, and can take up to six months to pay it off in installments of your choice. All bikes come delivered pre-assembled for free.
Our favorites: sixthreezero EVRYjourney Women's Step-Through Hybrid Cruiser Bicycle—$519.99 and Schwinn Sanctuary 7 Cruiser Bike—$299.99 Prices: 🚴 🚴 Return policy: 30 days Free shipping: Yes, with Amazon Prime, or if you spend at least $25 on an item Price matching: No
Ah, Amazon—the default retailer of choice. Though it can be overwhelming to sift through what feels like endless inventory, it helps to start with Amazon’s algorithm-generated list of best-selling bikes. From there, you can narrow down your search to include bike types like cruiser bikes, fixed gear bikes, BMX bikes, and more. Most of the bikes available are geared towards more causal riders, too.
Unlike other more obscure retailers, popular bike brands on Amazon garner up to several thousand reviews—many of reviewers are specific in both their criticism and their praise—which can help you vet the bike’s quality and shipping process. Like Walmart, be wary of third-party sellers, and when you can, purchase directly from the brand itself.
Take advantage of Amazon’s nearly infinite selection of gear by checking out the “Sponsored products related to this item” section on the product page. Though brands pay for exposure in these slots (as opposed to inclusion based on their own merits), it might help remind you that, yes, you probably should invest in a top-quality helmet or mount rack to go along with your bike purchase.
9. Academy Sports + Outdoors
Our favorites: Huffy Men's Sienna 27.5-inch 7-Speed Comfort Bike—$199.99 and Ozone 500 Women's Shock Force 26-inch 21-Speed Mountain Bicycle —$169.99 Prices: 🚴 Return policy: 60 days Free shipping: Yes, if you spend at least $35 Price matching: Yes
For an affordable bike from a reputable brand, look no further than Academy, which carries everything from comfort bikes to road bikes to hybrids. Though the retailer sells bikes on the lower price end, self-professed “bike snobs” claim to have found their dream bike at Academy for well under $200. Best of all, Academy will match your price if the bike is sold cheaper anywhere else.
While product pages are pretty bare-bones, you get all the information you need to make an informed purchase, like features and benefits, dimensions, customer reviews, and a Q-and-A section worth checking out to see if someone had the same question as you. Academy’s product pages’ minimalism could be considered a bonus if you’re the type to get overwhelmed by specs and flashy diagrams. Plus, all in-store pickups (or in-store purchases) are eligible for free assembly.
To save even more on your new bike, sign up for the Academy Sports + Outdoors credit card, which grants you $15 off your first purchase, 5% off all future purchases, and free shipping on orders over $15.
Schwinn has become almost as synonymous with bikes as Kleenex is to tissues—that’s how strongly it has upheld its reputation since its inception in 1895. The brand is sold at several major retailers, but there are numerous reasons to shop straight from the source. On its website, you can indicate how you ride (Bike path? Trail? Commuting?), which will show you a list of bikes suitable for your needs that you may have not thought of on your own. Plus, purchasing directly from the manufacturer might save you a few extra bucks in the process, and you’re also guaranteed free shipping no matter how little you spend.
Complete with how-tos, safety tips, assembly, sizing and buying guides, its corporate blog is the closest thing you’ll get to a visit to the bike shop without having to make an appointment. Though Schwinn’s website is void of customer reviews, you can always look up the product model at one of its affiliated retailers to see reviews and then place your order directly through Schwinn.
11. Home Depot
While you’re browsing Home Depot for a new light fixture or can of paint, you should also head to its bike section, which features a robust selection of reliable and recognizable brands like Huffy, Tony Hawk, and Kawasaki. Most bikes cost less than $400, making Home Depot an all-around affordable choice whether you’re a casual urban rider or competitive cyclist.
Shopping for kids? Home Depot is rife with exciting Disney-, Angry Birds-, and Frozen-themed options they’ll love showing off around the neighborhood. Don’t be discouraged if much of the inventory is out of stock (which, at the time of this writing, it currently is) because Home Depot is constantly restocking throughout the season.
Home Depot is quicker to launch Black Friday deals than most major retailers, according to our deals writers, which means you can get a head start on bike shopping during the fall or off-season when biking isn’t as top-of-mind for most folks and save in the process.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.