Buying a Bike

Assess Your Needs

Over the years, we've definitely found some bikes we like, but we try not to get too hung up on brands and components. We care a little less about particular bikes, and a whole lot more about what bikes do for people, and about what they can do for our communities.

But there are different types of bikes, and before you buy one, take the time to honestly and thoroughly evaluate your cycling needs: the frequency and distance of your ride, the importance of comfort versus speed, potential savings over other transit options, other ways you may use the bike over time, items or passengers you might carry, maintenance costs, accessories, to name a few.

We have a lot more tips on buying a new bike here, here and here.

Because we want the bike to serve you well, we are discriminating in our choice of quality products, and you should be too. Ask lots of questions and expect straight answers. Buy a bike that suits your body and your riding needs. We're here to help you find what you need.

Our bike selection

Assembling an inventory of bikes is never a finished project. It is a process of balancing market offerings, vendor availability and customer demand. We endeavor to represent a wide selection of popular and niche categories in the store, however we cannot possibly stock all that our vendors offer.

We are not an online store, pulling bikes from an in-the-middle-of-nowhere warehouse. Our real brick-and-mortar Chicago neighborhood store is staffed with conscientious and experienced staff, who perform the assembly, fitting, consulting and repair services, to make sure you get the most out of your bike long after you've completed your purchase.

When you have your heart set on something, call us to make sure we have it. If it's in the store, come in and test ride it to make sure it's exactly what you want. If not, we will be glad to either suggest alternatives, or special order the product for you, taking the risk and the guesswork out of the process for you.


With the exception of folding bikes, and select clearance models, most bicycles we carry are meant to be sold in a face to face transaction at our brick-and-mortar location, and are not available to be purchased online. There are two very important reasons that this is so.

  1. It is contractually required in Dealer Agreements between us and our vendors.

  2. Even more importantly, this is how we believe bicycles are meant to be sold. Bicycles are fundamentally different from any other commonly purchased retail product. Unlike jeans, books, or pet supplies, etc., all bicycles require thorough, professional assembly to function properly and safely.

It is our job and obligation to you to make certain that the bicycle you purchase from Cosmic Bikes fits you well, is well suited to your intended use, and that you are familiar with its collection of features and systems. For the majority of the bikes we sell, this requires a personal approach, including:

  • A discussion of your specific needs. Are you looking for a city commuting bike, and long-haul adventure vehicle, a fitness machine, or a workhorse that can do it all? Or does your bike need to carry several members of your family, or perhaps be able to go anywhere that you go?

  • Fitting and adjustments for personalized fit. Since few of us fall within the range of “average”, we look beyond the frame size printed on the sticker, and work with you to optimize your comfort on the bike of your choice by modifying certain key components, including the saddle, stem, handlebar and sometimes even tires.

  • In many cases, you’ll be able to ride out the same day with a bike we have in the store after we’ve completed needed modifications. If not, we will order you the right bike with a full deposit. (Under most circumstances, your deposit, and any merchandise purchase you make from, is fully refundable within 30 days from the time you take delivery of the product.)

  • When your new bike arrives, we will assemble it, have it ready for you to test-ride, and make any further needed modifications. In some cases, you may need to ride a bike for a week or two before you discover that additional tweaking is needed. The labor on any such modifications is included in your original purchase price.

Each bicycle purchased from us is covered by our extremely comprehensive New Bicycle Service Plan.