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Questions about Online bike orders

In the past, I’ve bought bikes in-person from the REI stores.

If I were to get one online, I imagine it will be shipped only partially assembled?

Would I be able to bring the bike in for a quick look-over once the stores reopen?

What if the bike doesn’t really suit my kid? Are returns still accepted if I put the bike together?

Thank you, and hope you are all well. 

9 Replies

@DilumRanatunga thanks for reaching out and for your kind words! A few answers - bikes ordered online that are eligible to be shipped directly to your home will required a bit of assembly. Yes, you can absolutely bring the bike into an REI store, once we reopen, for a once-over to make sure you got it all right! Although stores are currently planned to reopen on March 28, please know that circumstances are quickly evolving and it's possible that date could change for some or all stores. And yes, you will be able to return the bike if it doesn't fit your kiddo well; we have even extended our return policy to cover our store closures.

Let us know if you'd like any advice on picking a bike! Or, if you've already got one selected, we hope it's perfect!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

I am very happy to hear that REI has established this process to allow bikes to be home delivered since we are approaching the start of the peak riding season. Since I will not be able to test ride the bike and won't know how it handles on the trail until after a few test rides, I would like some clarification on the return policy language below. 

REI’s Satisfaction Guarantee policy doesn't cover ordinary wear and tear or damage caused by improper use or accidents. 

Assuming that there are no accidents or improper use but the bike has minor cosmetic damage such as scratches, can I return the bike for full credit or in-store credit if I am not satisfied? I know that returns are subject to review by the store personnel when REI re-opens but any guidance that you could provide will be helpful. 


@Charlie Thanks for reaching out!

If you test ride your bike and it is not the correct fit or does not meet your needs, you can return the bike to your local REI store (even if it shows signs of normal wear and tear). 

Hope this helps. Which bike are you looking at?

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Thank you John, that is very helpful. I am interested in the Salsa Timberjack NX+. My only concern is that I have seen some reviews that suggest that it is not a good climbing bike and the front end wanders on steep climbs. That is why I was hoping to get a feel for the weight distribution over the front fork. 


@DilumRanatunga Jen is absolutely right on!

I want to add that we fully assemble and tune the bike before shipping it to you!  The bike is then partially disassembled for shipping. Typically we remove the handlebar, pedals, and front wheel for shipping, but specific bikes may require further disassembly. In every case, we do our best to minimize the work required on your end.

We also include a re-assembly guide and a bike multi-tool to help you re-assemble your bike.  Depending on the bike you purchase, some other tools may be required such as a screwdriver, or an open-end wrench.

We can also assist you with re-assembling a bike through Customer Service, Conversations, or at one of our Retail stores once they re-open.

Thank you for your great question and happy riding!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.


We wanted to update you that REI has made the difficult decision to extend our store closures until further notice. You can read more here and find answers to other frequently asked questions here. We thank you in advance for your patience and flexibility during these unprecedented times.

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@DilumRanatunga in light of the announcement that we are extending our store closures until further notice, we wanted to make sure you were aware that you can reach out to us, via email at, if you need any help from a bike technician putting your new bike together!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

What's the best way to speak with the people actually assembling the bikes? I received a $4k bike yesterday with some shoddy a rabid REI fan, quite disappointed.


@SurferT we're so sorry to hear this. You have 2 options during this timeframe for help with assembly:

  1. Reach out to our team of certified bike techs using - they will need a little time to get back to you but are very qualified and will connect with you over email/phone to help troubleshoot.
  2. We are now offering zero-contact bike services at select REI stores across the country, so if your local store is listed, you call them to set up an appointment.

Hopefully one of these 2 options helps get your bike ready to ride quickly!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.