After all, I did work in the industry for about 20 years. Most of it at a bike shop in a big city. With that being said, I also spent a bit of time working at a big box store, where I was employed by a guy who had the bike building contract. I would go into this store 3 times a week and assemble bikes as fast as I could, record the data and put the bikes in position to be delivered to the sales floor.
I had to be fast. I was only paid $3 per bike. Yup, you read that correctly. $3 per bike. Even if it took be 30 minutes or 55 minutes. Now what does that tell you about the quality of the work that comes out of those stores?
What it tells me, is that the bottom line is money.
It tells me that BigMart doesn't really give a damn about the cyclists at the end of the day. It cares about what the shareholders are going to think.
When you go shopping for that holiday or birthday bike, I hope you keep in mind this little story. Recall it when you imagine what that bike will be like as the rider takes to the street or trail the first, 2nd, 3rd time. Man, I really hope the brakes were set up properly. Hope the "assembler" was having a good day.
Do yourself a huge favour and drive right on past the SprawlMart and go to Bobs Bikes for your bike purchase. You'll be a valued customer and in return you will ride away with a properly assembled and maintained bicycle. Not a bbq.