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This is why you shouldn’t buy bikes from Costco


This here thing is what they call a Northrock Bicycles XC6 mountain bike. It has a 24spd drive train, front suspension and retails around $299. Oh and they’re only available through your local Costco. The problem with buying a bike from Costco is that the guys who assemble these bikes have never been properly trained to build them up the right way. Check out this photo of the Northrock XC6. Looks good from far away, right?


But if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that there’s something wrong with the handle bars. It was installed upside down.

Whoever assembled the bike from Costco, flipped the bar upside down, so now if you were to hit the right brake lever for the rear brakes, it will engage the front caliper, shifting would be confusing as well. So who’s to blame here? Technically the fault doesn’t lie on Northrock, but its Costco’s responsibility to make sure these bikes leave their establishment in proper working order. In all honesty, the XC6 seems like a decent entry level bike, but the assumption of lost quality was provided by Costco’s inept “mechanics.”

RL Policar

RL Policar is an avid mountain biker and the Editor In-Chief of and Between the two sites, he's published well over 4,000 articles (and growing).

27 thoughts on “This is why you shouldn’t buy bikes from Costco

  1. i think that costco have guaranty about it. and if you know about bikes you can pick up another one, calibrate the drivetrain with the 24 speeds, but at the same time if you know how. you can fix the problems. for me it’s a good bike.

  2. Buy the bike at Costco, bring it to a bike shop to assemble for $40, ride the balls off it, and return it to Costco for a FULL REFUND at the end of the season! Don’t be stupid… shop at Costco… Costco seriously rules!!!! Any more questions?

  3. Upside down handle bar? That’s the major complaint? I’ll take that over being raked across the coals at your local bike shop. Call Costco whatever you like, they have very good quality merchandise for reasonable prices. In this case very reasonable prices. With their return policy, if they didn’t have quality products, they’d be out of business. I’ve had a $1000 MTB, for 6 years before it was stolen! You cant buy a comparable bike at a local bike shop for this price. This bike is all I need and shows that local bike shops should focus on service instead of overpricing bikes. I’ll pay them to put it together and to service it when needed and stick to buying bikes from Costco, maybe REI occasionally.

  4. well the assembled one is the floor model. youre supposed to buy it in the box.
    i just bought one today.
    the box says 95% assembled.

  5. I agree with Joyce. Costco ogives you a high end bike for a great price. These bikes come almost fully assembled except for a few parts. I had no problems with mine at my local Costco store. love it. best bike for the best price in town!

  6. I just purchased this bike several weeks ago and so far it works great. I was very pleased with this bike until today. The rear end brakes are making a grinding noise. Good thing Costco has a wonderful return policy. I will exchange it for the same model.

  7. @Jesse, you will always have the same problems with disc brakes. You gota be adjusting them once in awhile. I suggest heading over to youtube and searching “how to adjust mechanical disc brakes” and they will show you how. It’s really easy to do. You just need a Allen keys set.

    You gota loose up a bit the brake pad, and tight it back as it bearly clears the disc. Sometimes the calipers (the part that the disc goes through and it has the brake pad) aren’t adjust well and are a bit crooked so you just loosen the bolts n tighten until the disc are not hitting them. The disc might also be crook but thats very RARE.

    Also, never put DW40 on your discs or any kind of oil. If the discs make an annoying noise when breaking, clean them up with a clean cloth and the noise will be gone.

  8. I have been eyeing one of these babies at my local Costco. For the price you cant go wrong with this beauty! The thing is when you buy this bike it is in the box already 75 percent put together. So If the handlebars are upside down on yours it will be your fault. WooooHooo! Then if you dont like it take it back!

  9. Oh yeah! I forgot! The reason I knew that was because you can go on you tube or the narthrock website and it has videos of putting it together straight out of the box!

  10. UPSIDE-DOWN? WTF? UP-side-DOWN means the the top if flipped for the bottom. It appears what you are describing is the ends were flip-flopped. Granted, it may be “upside-down” but for me it’s that the handgrips were on the wrong side that matters.

  11. The handgrips were on the wrong side? The point is, this bike was not assembled correctly and its a safety issue to the consumer. The handle bar was installed upside down along with the controls that are attached to it. Besides handgrips can’t be installed upside down, they’re round…

  12. I just assembled mine three hours ago. Packaged in a thin shaped box, the handle bar was strapped on the side of the frame. The front wheel was also strapped on the side. All parts very well protected from rubbing against each other. Very well done. Yes if the handle bar is backward it’ll be the assembler fault. If you assembled the handle bar backward don’t embarrass yourself blaming the factory. Now if you bought a floor sample or fully assembled it’s the store fault.

  13. I just bought one of these beauties two days ago and it was stolen out of my trailer where I purposely parked at a busy intersection in a downtown area. I did not make note of the S/N so filing a police report is even more pointless…. needles to say the bike is a great buy! And somebody obviously thinks it’s a quality high end bike since a nice Trek high end mountain bike, a nice aluminum kids trailer(what I pulled with the XC6)and another bike were untouched. I am also down three quality straps that were cut to pull the XC6 out of the trailer.I had a blast with it this morning. So I will go back and buy another. It’s still a bummer though!

  14. The models on the floor are specifically FLOOR MODELS. When a boxed one is not availble, the floor model often times is a available for purchase. HOWEVER, Costco ususally requires one to sign a release form stated that they are not held accountable for any part that maybe assembled incoorectly or malfunction due to assembly as they are not trained bicycle specialists. It is ultimately up to the purchaser to ensure that bicycle is assembled per manufaturers instructions.

  15. That’s why you don’t buy the display models, they’ve been improperly assembled and played with by a thousand customers. there are boxes nearby that have the bikes 95% assembled from the factory and you put them together the rest of the way, no dealing with improper assembly or customers fiddling with them.

  16. I was debating between this one an a Giant 29er with mechanical disc brakes at my local bike shop for $699 an there’s another one with hydrolic brakes for $729 I just need a bike I can put 5 to 10 miles on ea day an still take it for a recreational trip to the mountains tryin to save cash too.

  17. This put down of the costco bike wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that bike dealers advertise on your site, would it? Really? It’s a pretty good bike but don’t buy it because it was assembled poorly. That’s pretty lame.

  18. Technically I do not have any bike dealers advertising here. The banner you see from Jenson is an affiliate, big difference. But the overall quality of the bike you’re speaking of is below entry level, quality of parts used on it are pretty low. Besides the problem I have with this article is the assembly job. Do you really think that the average Costco customer will know the difference on what the photo above shows or how it should really be? No they wouldn’t and that’s the scary part about this. Someone rides a badly assembled bicycle, then there’s potential problems to be had. This puts Costco and even Northrock liable for any damages or injuries.

    Call it lame or not, I’m looking out for the consumer. So feel free and buy a bike from Costco that’s poorly assembled and see how far you get on a mountain bike trail with it.

  19. Costco is great for somethings, but take a picture of the price tag at costco… your local bike shop and see if they will honor same price… mine did bike line and then they give you bike a yearly check up too…..get it from the professionals

  20. I’ve had this exact model for 1-2 years now. Assembled myself out of the box. Even if the store model was assembled incorrectly, I wouldn’t have remembered every detail from the model to mimic while assembling. The store model is there to give the customer an idea of size and quality rather than to instruct assembly. No major problems with the bike so far and it is my favorite mountain bike I’ve purchased for under $500.

  21. The fear of Store bought bicycles is so widespread makes me wonder who has a stake in this. Could it be the local bike shops in fear of going out of business? The bike stores are so pricy its ridiculous. Its crazy. The major stores should start selling some serious bikes with warranty and repair services to offset this ripoff and mark up of prices by custom stores.

  22. Costco has saved me thousands of $ on eyeglasses and hearing aids with excellent service. The only bike I bought there is horrible only because it is a new Schwinn. The chain has jumped off the front gears at least 3 times. the first time it happened the chain wrapped completely around the sprocket and it took me an hour to get it all straightened out and back on the gear and I had just greased the chain and everything so I had grease up to my elbows.after that I hated the bike so much I left it out in the rain for two years. when I decided to get a new bike I realized that after sitting out in the rain for 2 years there was no rust on the bike except for the cable stays and I realized that the bike itself was extremely light in weight so I apologized to the bike and took it into the shop to get a tune up and it was fully adjusted. within a week the chain had jumped off the sprocket again. this time I figured out how to get it back on with very little trouble but then it jumped off again about a week later. the bike has been sitting in the rain for the past six months. it’s because it’s a new Schwinn now made in China.

  23. This message is for Anyone Having trouble ..Finishing the last 10%
    of their costco bike assembly

    Me & my 2 boys ..
    Are Laughing at how Useless
    Those people must be
    ( if you can not do this should not vote )

    . I bought 2 Bikes From Costco ..
    For my Kids ( ages 11 & 13 )
    .. These Bikes were assembled by my Boys ” Blake & Matts ”
    They ..
    watched a Video on You Tube …
    ( blake Read over The Manual )
    HA HA ..if you have a problem with your bike
    ask a grade 5 student ( Blake ) or a Jr High School Boy ( Matts)

    ha ha haaaaa . i saved over $350 on their 2 bikes
    I went to a high-end bike shop ……( with the $350 )
    plus my $500 budget ..Bought a Specialized Cross Over

    and my Boys adjusted my bike
    after the cables stretched … And they did a better job than the high-end bike shop techs ( high-school dropouts )

    Why ? did they do a better job
    1) they gave a shit
    2) they are going to college , Not burning out on pot and other drugs … like the bike shop burn outs
    3) they read a manual watched a how to video
    4) piece of cake
    Save your money , your kids a great bike ..
    but read the manual
    read the manual
    read the manual
    HA HA George Blake & Matts

  24. …. This site should only have real customers
    Not specialty bike shops
    With their over priced
    service charges
    that are always done wrong
    …Posting LIES about discounted bikes that save us MONEY
    if the comment negative about saving $$$$$$
    it is only retail Lies about great bikes at great prices
    SAVE YOUR $$$$$ buy the best priced bike

  25. Seriously, the person who left a comment about returning a bike after using it should be condemned roundly. It is immoral and shifts costs onto people like us who are honest and pay our way. Shame on you.

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