Bike Europe is reporting that retailing monster Wal-Mart is now selling a $1900 all carbon Italian road bike through its local stores. And sure enough, you can find it listed online as well at Walmart.com.
"Assembled by the hands of skilled Italian mechanics," as the product description claims, the bike features carbon fiber frame and fork, and mostly Shimano components with Ultegra derailleurs, crankset and bottom bracket, and 105s for the cassette, chain and brakes.
This is an interesting strategy when you consider that Wal-Mart's top-selling bike is currently an $80 Huffy. Does this threaten the local bike shop? The article frets that this may be the case, but I doubt it. This is no different that the challenge already posed by online retailers. Wal-Mart will come up short in the same areas that the Internet sellers do: they can't match the personal service and on-going maintenance that only your LBS can offer.
Question: would you buy a "high-end" road bike from Wal-Mart? Even if it were assembled "by the hands of skilled Italian mechanics?" Add your comment below.