Over the past few months, I have been on a mission to become more active and improve my fitness. I haven’t ridden a bicycle since I was a kid and had no idea where to start. Asking around among friends, the name Perkiomen Bicycles seemed to come up quite often as a place I should visit.
When I told my wife I wanted to buy a bike, she perked up at the idea. Like me, she hasn’t been on a bicycle in years and thought it would be a great activity for us to do together. So, bright and early on a Saturday morning, we decided to visit and shop for new bikes for both of us. Neither of us knew exactly what we were looking for and hoped the sales staff could guide us through our purchase.
This Blog Post details our visit to Perkiomen Bicycles. If you are in the market for a new bicycle, I hope our experience can help steer you in the right direction!
Table of Contents
About Perkiomen Bicycles
Perkiomen Bicycles is a full-service Bicycle Shop and Service Center on PA Route 29 in Schwenksville, PA. They offer various services, including maintenance, setup, and individual bike fitting for riders. They sell Bicycles of all types – Including E-Bikes, Mountain Bikes, Road Bikes, Hybrid Bikes, Youth Bikes, and More.
Hours of Operation
|Monday||10:00 AM||4:00 PM|
|Wednesday||10:00 AM||6:00 PM|
|Thursday||10:00 AM||6:00 PM|
|Friday||10:00 AM||4:00 PM|
|Saturday||10:00 AM||5:00 PM|
|Sunday||12:00 PM||4:00 PM|
One of the things that impressed me about Perkiomen Bicycles is the volume of bikes they have on display. What you see in the photo above is only about half of their in-store inventory. They also have a hefty supply of bikes that haven’t been assembled yet. Don’t worry – if you want one of those, they’ll assemble it for you, and it will be ready to pick up in a couple of days.
Perkiomen Bicycles offers many brands and styles, from modestly priced entry-level mountain bikes to sticker-shock-inducing E-Bikes. Their current Inventory is available to browse online.
Perkiomen Bicycles is located along the Perkiomen Trail. This 19-mile-long trail between Green Lane Park and Valley Forge National Park is a local bicycle hotspot, and it makes perfect sense why Perkiomen Bicycles would offer a rental service.
They have a variety of Hybrids for rent at $10 per Hour (Max $30 per Day), as well as Tandems ($50 per Day) and Tag-Along and Trailers at $10 per Hour (Max $30 per Day). Calling ahead to reserve your ride is recommended.
Please visit the Perkiomen Bicycles Rental Page for Current Pricing and More Information.
In addition to Street Parking in front of Perkiomen Bicycles, a parking lot is located behind the store. This provides parking away from the busy street and an easy way to access the Service Entrance at the back of the store.
During my visit, I parked my wife’s Chrysler Pacifica out back and found it a bit cramped. Additionally, the directional arrows painted on the ground are confusing. If you follow them when leaving, you will find yourself at a dead end and will have to turn around.
Perkiomen Bicycles has a liberal test ride policy. They allow you to take out a bike (or several) to enable you to get a feel for what works best for you before making your purchase.
My wife and I did not take advantage of this service. However, Alison did mention that we were welcome to take our potential purchases out for a test ride. While we were there, an individual did come in and take a bike for a test ride. The process appeared painless, and the staff seemed happy to allow the test ride.
It is also worth noting that the Perkiomen Trail is accessible from the Perkiomen Bicycles Parking Lot. It is a popular cinder trail and a great place to test your new bike. My wife and I took a quick ride on the Perkiomen Trail before loading up our bikes and heading home.
Free Coffee and Water
When you walk into Perkiomen Bicycles, immediately to your left, you will find a place to sit down and relax – a rider’s lounge of sorts. I found this to be a great little perk, and I can see this coming in handy if you have a few minutes to kill while waiting for a bicycle service to be finished.
The shop also advertises Free Coffee, Free Water, and Free Popcorn. A sign on the Perkiomen Trail also points to Perkiomen Bicycles as a Water Stop. I found this to be a very welcoming way to invite people to stop in and check out the store.
My Experience at Perkiomen Bicycles
Choosing a Bike for my Wife
When my family goes on vacation at the Jersey Shore, my wife is the type of person who enjoys riding on the boardwalk with the kids. She likes a nice casual pace while taking in the scenery. It is fair to say that she has no desire to hit a rugged mountain trail or to push a bicycle to its limits.
As my wife explained this to Alison, it became clear that the best bicycle for her would be a Hybrid. Something that would do just as well on a paved trail as it would on a cinder trail. Alison pulled out several models for my wife to sit on and inspect.
My wife narrowed her selection to two bicycles – both Jamis Citizen Series Street Comfort Bikes. After a bit of deliberation, she opted to go with the Jamis Citizen 3 for its additional comfort options over the Jamis Citizen 2.
Choosing a Bike for Myself
After my wife finished selecting her bicycle, it was my turn to discuss options with Alison. I explained that I wanted to be able to ride on paved trails with my kids, but the bulk of my riding would be done on dirt and gravel trails around Green Lane Park.
The first bicycle she pulled from the rack was a Bianchi Mountain Bike. It was an awesome bike, but it was well outside of my budget. From there, she showed me a couple of options from Fuji. After weighing my options, I decided on a Fuji Adventure 27.5.
After my wife and I had our bikes picked out, we informed Alison that we would also need helmets. She took us to the display and pointed out a couple to try on. We spent several minutes looking through what was available and settled on the same helmet – the Giro Isode MIPS.
My initial reaction was that the helmets seemed a bit expensive. Since we were going home with bikes, I didn’t want to order something online and wait for it to arrive. We spent $65 per Helmet, and when I checked that price when I got home, I found that it was the going rate. Less expensive options were available online, but I was happy to learn I didn’t overpay in the store.
Making Our Purchase
Before visiting Perkiomen Bicycles, I spent a little time on their website poking around. I learned that they were in the process of hosting a sale on all bikes that they had in stock. All models were between 10% and 20% off. This would help ease the financial strain on my wallet, and I was eager to take advantage of it since my wife and I planned on purchasing bikes.
The sticker price on my wife’s Jamis Citizen was originally $790 and was marked down to $650 on sale. My Fuji Adventure 27.5 was originally $585.00 and was marked down to $440 on sale.
One thing worth mentioning is that at the register, they have a sign that explains all credit card purchases incur a transaction fee of roughly 1.5%. I don’t like seeing additional fees after the fact, but as a small business owner myself, I understand the burden of credit card processing fees.
Between our bicycles and a pair of helmets, our total cost was $1,293.20. It was a little more than we wanted to spend, but I think the sale resulted in us getting more for our money.
What I liked about Perkiomen Bicycles
Walking into Perkiomen Bicycles, I found the store very comfortable and welcoming. 90s Alternative played over the sound system, and we were greeted with a smile. Even though my wife and I were new to bicycles and had several seemingly dumb questions, we were never talked down to.
I like to frequent local Brick & Mortar businesses when it makes sense. I know that I will pay a little more at the register in exchange for a high level of customer service. In the case of Perkiomen Bicycles, I felt that customer service was excellent – going above and beyond what I expected.
A few days after our purchase, I was curious and cross-checked pricing. I’m happy to report that my wife and I paid less than we would have elsewhere.
What Could Have Been Better
When I spoke with friends about purchasing a bicycle, one of the main benefits they explained to me was that a Bike Shop would be full-service. They would ensure the bike fit me and would also make any necessary adjustments before I left the shop. I could also rely on them to ensure the bike was set up correctly by mechanics who knew what they were doing.
While I was happy with the initial setup and final mechanical check, nothing was adjusted on either bike to fit us. I don’t know how much adjustment either of our bikes has outside of Seat Height and Seat Pitch, but I wound up fiddling with them on my own to increase comfort.
One minor annoyance I found was how busy the shop was on a Saturday morning. At times, Alison was bouncing back and forth between us and other customers, trying to help everyone who came into the store. My wife and I stood around several times, waiting for her to return and help us. The service was good, but it felt a little disjointed.
On Saturday, August 26, I took my new Fuji Adventure out for a ride through our housing development. I got a mile from home when the bike began to behave oddly. Taking bumps over the rear tire felt harsh and aggressive. It didn’t take long to discover my problem – I picked up a large nail and had a flat tire.
Since I was still new to biking, I didn’t have the tools to fix the flat. I decided to remove my wheel and take it to Perkiomen Bicycles to see if they could handle the repair for me. I arrived around Noon, and the store was busy.
I initially spoke with someone who told me I’d have to leave the wheel and return for it later. They didn’t have anyone available to handle the repair, and if I was in a rush, they could sell me an innertube to handle the repair myself.
While they were tracking down an innertube, Alison came over and asked if I was there for a tube replacement (I was holding my wheel with a flat tire). I told her I would appreciate it if they could do that for me. She took the wheel and told me that she would hook me up.
About fifteen minutes later, my wheel was repaired, and I was back in business. She rang me up, explained that the nail had created a large puncture in my innertube, and gouged up the protective sleeve inside the wheel. She replaced the tube as well as the sleeve.
The total cost of the repair came in at roughly $28. I was happy to pay for the while-you-wait service and left the store a happy customer.
Did Perkiomen Bicycles Earn My Future Business?
Something to know about me is that I can be highly brand loyal. If you treat me right and value my business, you will become my go-to source without exception. In the case of Perkiomen Bicycles, I felt welcome and appreciated each time I walked into the store.
Perkiomen Bicycles will be my first stop for new bikes and services. If you are in the area and looking to buy your first bike, I recommend checking out what Perkiomen Bicycles has to offer.