Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Love/hate relationship with Performance Bike

I don't know very many cyclists who have not made at least one purchase from Performance Bike. They're like the Wal-Mart of the bicycle industry, satisfying our collective thirst for cheap clothing and components. I'll admit that I order from them about once or twice a year. It usually takes me that long between orders before I'm ready to do it again.

I love that I can get bib shorts from them for $60-70, when the same shorts would cost $120-140 at the LBS. If the LBS happened to have the shorts I wanted at all. This is the beginning and end of the love.

I hate that they have a sliding scale for shipping charges, so the more you spend (and the more money they make on your order) the more they charge you for shipping. Why can't they be like backcountry, overstock, Zappos, or Amazon and either do cheap flat rate shipping or free shipping over a certain threshold?

I hate that if you need to exchange something, you have to pay for shipping back to them, and then they will charge you for shipping yet again when they send out the new product. Moreover, returns are a total pain in general because they won't accept returns on anything that's been used at all. How am I supposed to know if something works or not unless I've used it? Neither backcountry nor REI cares how long I've been using something when I return it. Of course one could argue that neither backcountry nor REI is giving me the bib shorts deal I'm getting at Performance either, but I've had plenty of tremendous deals from steepandcheap (a backcountry affiliate) and REI/REI Outlet, and neither one would ever tell me they aren't honoring their return policy because I bought the item on sale. The biggest problem is that neither backcountry nor REI carries Louis Garneau bib shorts, otherwise I'd just buy from them and have no reason to rant.

But you want to know the thing I hate most about Performance Bike? Of course you do--you're still reading. Well I'll tell you: it takes FOREVER for them to ship stuff. I am pretty sure that I could ride my bike faster from their warehouse to my house than it takes for my order to arrive. For instance, I placed an order a week ago Friday, and it's still not here.

Had I placed that order from backcountry, it would have arrived the following Monday, Tuesday at the latest. It's taking longer for this order to arrive than if you do store pickup with REI and place your order the day after the weekly truck leaves the warehouse and have to wait an additional week for the next truck to depart.

Is their shipping department allergic to working past 4:00 p.m.? Do they send things via carrier pigeon to the hub of whichever carrier will deliver the parcel? Is it going to show up in the back of a Bob trailer being pulled by some sweaty guy on a Rivendell? I really don't understand why it takes so long. Granted, I live in one of the more remote parts of the country, but this is still ridiculous.


  1. If your order does indeed arrive in a BOB trailer being pulled by a sweaty guy on a Rivendell at least he can't use the excuse that he got a flat tire. The dude is carrying not just one, but two hand pumps.

  2. You nailed this one. I feel exactly the same way about Performance Bike. They have the WORST shipping efficiency I've ever seen. Another complaint -- their bestselling items are often out of stock.