Viathon Bikes Drop Prices & Become Available Through Walmart

Oct 2, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  

Viathon Bikes launched to surprise, confusion and intrigue back in April, offering high-end carbon XC hardtails despite links to Walmart.

Walmart are best known for their $300-$500 bikes that had a reputation as bikes that “real” cyclists scoff at when seen in the wild. These bikes were different though. They looked the part, were made from carbon and had specs that would make even the vainest dentist's head turn. The news was interesting for more than the bikes though; Walmart could potentially be a huge player moving into the high-end bike market and cause some serious disruption.

We expected Walmart to use their purchasing power and distribution model to produce some bikes that were unmatched in terms of value. Initially though, the high-end brand was only available on viathonbicycles.com and the value of the bikes wasn't as exceptional as expected. When comparing spec to spec, it worked out to be roughly equal to already existing direct order brands such as Canyon.

That has all changed now though as Walmart have started stocking Viathon bikes and with 11,300 retail units under 58 banners in 27 countries, it's not much of a surprise that they have been able to drive down the prices somewhat too.


The Viathon M.1 is available in the same three spec levels or as a frame only option as before but now they are even more affordable. The top of the range XX1 spec drops more than a grand down to $4,898, the X01 drops $500 to $2,998 and the entry-level GX model now sits at just under $2,000 from $2,400. The frame only is now half price at $1,000.

At this price point, they are now cheaper than equivalent options from even direct sale brands. If you want a carbon, XC, race hardtail and price is your main concern, Viathon could now be the brand to beat.

This is just a first step for Viathon and we'll watch keenly how they develop as a brand going forwards. Can they throw off the 'Walmart bike' reputation and will they begin to expand their offering to more trail and gravity oriented models? One thing is for sure, Walmart has the potential to grow mountain biking to new audiences and get more people out on a decent pair of wheels and these price drops will make that even more likely.

For more information on the Viathon range, check out our first look here.

Find the bikes on walmart.com here.


207 Comments

  • 364 1
 We dentists don't shop at Walmart. Waiting for Whole Foods to offer MTBs
  • 9 6
 That's funny
  • 20 69
flag drpheta (Oct 2, 2019 at 11:21) (Below Threshold)
 Maybe you don't, but I do. Picked up a fishing pole and Razor scooter for my kid there recently.
  • 62 1
 Whole Foods sells the Yeti decals to place over 'Viathon'.
  • 24 4
 I call them Whole Paycheck.
  • 22 1
 Don't forget to donate a dollar for starving children
  • 14 0
 Lol $300-500 bikes my ass.

More like $69-250
  • 32 2
 @reverend27: more like $69-420. Fixed that for ya.
  • 5 0
 @nyhc00: thanks. Smile
  • 4 0
 Whole Foods kinda sells bikes through their shit parent company Amazon.
  • 1 0
 @Dropthedebt: I always make sure to look the cashier in the eye, and firmly say "no, i would not like to help the children"
  • 119 12
 Good. Time for competition to drive down the absurd prices on bikes. Pretty sad that a brand new YZ250 cost thousands less than some of the bikes I come across in the wild.
  • 26 1
 Right? That's a common argument in PB comments and everyone blows up saying you can't actually get a good mx bike for that price... so why did I see one like you mentioned for 6k at my dealership?
  • 37 2
 250? You could get a 450 for the same as a well optioned V10. Absurd that things with engines are cheaper than pedal bikes
  • 13 3
 Honestly the bike prices are high because people buy them LOL. Every single mountain bike I owned is used, unlike a motorcycle they should not depreciate as much (mileage) because there are few moving parts.....I currently ride an RM Altitude MSRP $6k + tax however I bought it used and paid less then the cheapest Viathon bike!!!
  • 22 16
 @samslichter:

Things with engines are cheaper than stiff light pedal bikes. There are plenty of heavy flexible pedal bikes available at a fraction of the cost of a mx.
  • 30 3
 bike brands don't make as much as you think per unit.
  • 25 5
 @BornOnTwo: Don't depreciate? Hah! Try selling 10k bike after 2 or 3 seasons. Even if it's in mint condition, you'd be lucky to get over 2k for it.
  • 4 0
 @samslichter: and this whole time you thought Wyn tv was free HAHA!
  • 8 1
 @samslichter: Ever seen prices on fly fishing rods?
  • 17 2
 You think bikes v motos are bad, hell you can get a casio watch for 1000x less than a rolex. The rolex is just a bunch of metal gears and springs where the casio has a better computer in it than what got us to the moon! Calling all PB keyboard warriors: to the watch forums!
  • 36 13
 @samslichter: why are you comparing a V10 to a 450? You should be comparing a V10 to a Ducati.

This argument is so old and tired and reeks of ignorance. Compare a factory motorcycle to a V10 and get real. A more apt comparison of a $6k Suzuki 250 would be to an entry-level YT Tues, which you can get for $2900.
  • 11 2
 Brilliant, someone commenting who clearly has no idea how much it costs to actually make a bike.
  • 6 0
 Walmart takes their terrible gun selection out then adds this ballbuster.
  • 33 6
 This line of thinking reflects a massive gap In understanding about top line Mtb (for example s-works) and the stock YZ250. An s-works bike off the floor performs at a pro level. You can race and ride it at the highest Mtb level. Stock yz250 is a joke compared to what actual supercross athletes ride. I read an article that estimates the bikes the top pro supercross riders use would cost somewhere in the range 100k-200k. Gwin was smoking everyone on a very close to stock YT tues high end build. Yea 10k is a lot for a bike, but it’s also top tier in the Mtb world.
  • 23 4
 @ride-801 @BornOnTwo

1) Bikes are not expensive because "people buy them". If you dig, you can find margins through every step of the sales process, they aren't high. To add, if what you say was true all the bike companies would be flush with millionaire employees. Clearly not the case. Bikes are expensive for a lot of reasons. One big reason they are so expensive is how quickly technology changes & evolves. Its breakneck pace, and we're willing to pay big for relatively incremental changes. This isn't so true in the moto world where companies get years out of a model (it barely changes for 4-7 years). Economies of scale is 100% at work.

2) The whole "V10 is the same as a top tier moto" argument is tired. No its not. The sports are different. A top tier moto has so many more moving parts. They aren't really comparable the same way a golf club and a baseball bat aren't really comparable.

End of the day you are getting a lot more value out of a moto than a mountain bike, at least you used to. Things are starting to even out now that you can buy a ripping mountain bike for $3K.

Mountain bikes will get cheaper if the industry continues to evolve the way moto has evolved. Changes will be less and less beneficial, bikes will be more relevant for longer periods of time. Geometry will be more figured out, and more constant. Suspension designs already have leveled out.

The key is to let economies of scale work. They currently don't, which is why a company has to charge what they do to recoup their costs.

If they had a longer time horizon to do so, they could accept lower margins, and prices would fall...

/blog post.
  • 18 4
 @ride-801: so true!
I ride a dirt bike and talked to people riding amateur races. They buy the same bike as Î have (YZ250f for approx $9000) and upgrade the suspension ($6000) and tune the engine. This will cost at least $18000. I think that would compare pretty well to a $5000 YT or $6500 Santa Cruz bike. So the dirt bike is 3x more expensive. And the maintenance costs way more. IMO those comparisons are useless.
  • 2 2
 @BornOnTwo: exactly. Supply and demand.
  • 8 2
 @ride-801: and guys have made the mains at in 450 supercross on stock bikes with only upgraded wheels....so just because they bikes that cost that much, doesn't mean they need them.
  • 5 1
 @zutroy: ^^^ nailed it. I didn't get into it, but there are a number of moto bikes out there that with tires, wheels and a suspension revalve are competitive at the top level. Maybe not going to win, but they are very very good. For hard enduro, woods, GNCC, they are basically just as competitive.

So yeah, the whole "you are comparing it to a $100K moto" analogy should kinda be taken with a grain of salt.
  • 27 0
 As much as I agree with the general sentiment, there are some other factors that tend to get overlooked in this comparison:

1: Top spec MTB's are virtually the same as the bike being ridden at the highest levels of competition (tuning and expert mechanics aside). Top spec dirt bikes are great machines, but are thousands of dollars away from the bikes being ridden in top level competition: suspension, engine work.

2: Cost of the whole product line and economies of scale: between MX and Enduro, KTM offers 12 4-stroke models, and 9 2-stroke models (omitting anything under 125cc). The price range for the whole line ranges from $8800 to $14,100. This means that every new(or new ish) dirt bike cost an average of $10K to show up at the trail head. Also to be noted that dirt bikes come in 1 size, and most share a significant number of components.

Trek by contrast, Trek offers 61 different full suspension builds, based on 31 different MTB frame sets, and each frame set can be had in different sizes. Taking e-bikes out of the mix (the new Rail) their price ranges go from $2,800 to $14,500. Considering they have hardtails, kids bikes, road bikes, fat bikes, and everything in between on top, you can see this adds up.

Basic economics, the more of 1 thing you can make the cheaper it gets. KTM sells a lot more than 1 thing, but they have far less variation in product line that does Trek. And when you consider that Trek (or Giant, or Specialized) sell a lot more bikes at or below the $2500 price point vs the $10,000, so at the end of the day, they really don't have that many high dollar bikes to try to spread out those sunk costs or find efficiencies. You see this at most trail heads, yes some people show up of the newest $10K toy, but most don't.

This is only magnified with smaller brands; Transition, who is arguably on the large side of the boutique side, had an annual revenue of ~$10.7M; call their average bike $5K, that's only about 2,100 bikes being sold, over a 7 model line totaling 17 different frames. So potentially they are trying to pay for all their tooling in as little as 123 frames.

3: Competition: it's good, but it can also be bad. You look on the dirt bike side, and you have KTM/Husky, Yamaha, Kawi, Suzuki, Beta, and a small handful of others; but on the MTB side there seems to be a new, high end, manufacturer, is popping up every few months. But people get into business to make money (as lofty as you goals and ideals may be, the mortgage and grocery bills need to be paid), and there are 2 ways to make money: margin and volume. The big guys (Trek, Giant, Spec, etc) have volume covered, so the only way to survive is margin. And you margin needs to cover not just the direct costs that go into the bike, but all the corporate overheads (who does your payroll? do you like to have toilets at work? what about power to run the welder?). You don't gain market share overnight, and you can't stay in business working at a loss.
  • 4 0
 Wal-Mart has these pretzel bites with beer cheese for like $2 bucks, pretty freakin awesome after a ride.
  • 2 0
 @twozerosix: ha, no shit. Grew up trout fishing, thought about picking it up again until I saw the price of a decent ( not walfart) rod and reel!
  • 1 4
 @jorgeposada: you go to Walmart after a ride to get pretzel bites? I usually go grab a beer. To each their own. Cheers
  • 3 0
 @vhdh666: come on - $6k to tune suspension? Doubt it. I used to race MX too and to have the Factory Connection treatment on my forks and shock was like $1500 at most, in 2007. That was full treatment included coated lowers, seals, valves, springs, and included follow up tuning.
  • 4 1
 @Beez177: they're trout - not bluefin tuna. buy a cheap 6 ft. spinning combo and get on with it. you don't need a van staal and custom rod to fish for trout.
  • 2 1
 @Beez177: Hi so we have this thing here called a refrigerator. Keeps loud mouth soup and pretzel nice.
  • 1 1
 @zutroy: Yes, they have. Just like guys have raced at high levels on base model mountain bikes that cost $2,500 instead of the $10,000 high end version.

There is nothing WRONG with a Yari equipped alloy bike with slightly heavier wheels and NX drivetrain. A good rider will out pace a mediocre one regardless of the bike. However, the ULTRA high end of MTB is well within the reach of the masses and there are significant diminishing returns on performance/cost as the envelope of performance is pushed to the ragged edge.
  • 2 3
 This may have been mentioned already but Im not gonna read everything.

Powersports dealers take losses on MX bike sales, yep they lose money on them, so does Honda/Yamaha/etc....

They sell these moto bikes at a loss in an effort to move lawnmowers, pressure washers, dumby carts, etc.
  • 9 1
 @skerby: long rumored. Not true. Companies aren't in the business of losing money, neither are shops. Source: I work in the industry.

Dealerships don't make much on the sale of the bike (or sled, personal watercraft, UTV/SXS etc), but there are manufacture kickbacks in place based on how many they move. The model is strange, and largely based on service, parts and wear parts, but it is not one big marketing vehicle for lawnmowers and pressure washers...lol.
  • 1 1
 @themouse77: eh eh eh...
have you seen their revenue reports?
  • 2 2
 Two many folks here getting a bit specific. The motorcycle comparison is nothing to do with whether its top spec blaa blaa blaa. Its to do with the fact that you can get 200kg of world rounding desert crossing Yamaha Tenere T7 2019 for less than a lot of mtbs now. Point being it comes with a lot more and substantially more development. For less.
  • 1 2
 @mca896: Obviously you know nothing about fishing, check the price of high quality fly rods again. I don't buy cheap shit, but go ahead buy a $19.99 rod/reel combo. Tell how it works out for ya...
  • 3 1
 @JeffreyJim: well said. There are also 2 additional factors that get very little mention: inflation and the cost of doing business overseas.

Your example of a current $3k mountain bike would be something equivalent to a $2k mountain bike from 1999. Back then, that got you a full suspension bike with about 4 inches of travel, early (Hayes) hydraulic discs, and a fork that had no business having 4 inches of travel (think Rockshox Judy LT for those that have been around long enough) The point I'm making is that the bikes we get at $3k now are light years ahead of what you were able to get back then factoring in inflation.


Having worked in the bike industry from 1996-2010, I can tell you that even in that short time frame, the cost to manufacturers have steadily increased, outpacing in some markets, the rate of inflation.


What, at least to me, has no logical explanation is the cost of the flagship bikes rising at an exponential rate. It would be interesting to have data on the take rate of $8000+ bicycles as well as the demographics (i.e. what kind of dentist).
  • 5 1
 Then theres the idiots who think they can get 1500 for their POS 1988 cr125
  • 1 1
 @XC-Only: The fastest growing price band in the MTB space in the US IBD - $5k+. Source: NPD sell-through data. Can't speak to demographics but it's not just dentists buying these bikes.
  • 1 1
 @BornOnTwo: Right, and seriously now that bike geo is so effing dialed and pedal so well in general my guess is that in 10 years bikes of today will still be relevant and capable providing all of the standards do not change. There is little reason to buy a complete bike any more. I tell you, though, my next wheelset will have microspline so I do not have to deal with the BS of paying $300-$400 for a SRAM cassette of reasonable weight.
  • 1 1
 yup. its true, For everyone else. we must also look at what it costs to produce in numbers. as an example they probably make 100-1000-10000 more of the same model moto as they would for the mtb. which would be why the mtb would cost more, not enough numbers to drive down the productions costs, mould costs. machines ect.
i also look at things like brake pads and tires. when 1 car tire is the same as 1 moto tire and the same as 1 mtb tire.
or for motor vehicles. i buy a starter for my 350 power stroke and its cheaper than buying a starter motor more than half the size smaller starter for my wifes husqvarna dirt bike, again production numbers.
brake pads for my truck are cheaper than brake pads for my mtb. go figure. again production costs.
yes so many different quality materials and such will also get thrown into the arguement. but mostly the pricing is for R&D more than the materials themselves. its great that mtb's continue to get better in so many ways, but yes the cost can be a damper. it also sucks the amount of bike frames that continue to break. I love Trek bikes. but will never buy one again cause unfortuanly ive broke 3 swingarms on 2 different bikes. session 88 and remedy.
its hard when buying a used mtb because there is no warranty. as with the used moto market and new moto market it is a very rare occurance that they break frames... unless you a husqvarna owner then youve probably had to replaced that stupid carbon subframe more than once before.
all this being said. i like the qulity of bikes now are so much better than 2009 when you could only buy the top end components for the bike to be half decent. now you can get a decent frame and low end build kit and it will be better than most products produced 5-10 years ago.
  • 1 1
 @Sardine: or you can get a Jager de couture for 10-100x the price of a Rolex. All falls under the same regards, the more human hands touch something the more it costs I guess...
  • 2 0
 @Sardine: Having your own watch is for dentists. Just look at somebody else's wrist, Mr. Fancy!
  • 1 1
 And cost of owenership for the V10 is probably about the same as for a 450
@samslichter:
  • 1 1
 @JasonVH: such a strong point. There are really no factory bikes from the big 5 that come close to offering the comparable performance that an top model premium mob offers. Pro bikes that are races are so finely tuned and heavily modified they are years from release. A modern race bike is not a fat leap from a top spec consumer man. Comparing a basic YZ to a 10g bike is stupid.
  • 2 0
 @XC-Only: well put. Also add to that the almost frightening proliferation of credit and suddenly anyone with a few hundred bucks per month can own a $5,000+ bike. A decade ago, shops and manufacturers offering their own lending services was unheard of. Today it’s par for the course. So much liquidity and there’s no logical reason for bike and component manufacturers not to continue to raise prices.
  • 2 0
 When I worked for Fly racing in sales it was a tough barrier going from Moto shops to bicycle. Moto shops are fine with 35% margin where most bike shops wouldn’t talk to you without keystone margins (50%).
  • 1 0
 @zutroy: buy this one a lobster dinner plz

Also let’s not forget to mention HOW MUCH MORE ABUSE a moto takes than these flimsy pedal cycles.
  • 2 0
 @meathooker: sooooo true.
  • 4 0
 @JasonVH: I don’t know what world you are living in, but comparing a V10 to a YZ450FX is a much more fair comparison that a V10 to a Ducati. A V10 at top spec has a good chance of being a race winning bike. So does the YZ. Something like an S1000RR or a V4 R is wildly different, in the level of refinement, R&D, and technology.
  • 1 0
 @twozerosix: ever seen prices on on wicker lawn furniture?
  • 1 0
 @Sardine: you are right and very wrong. Prices of high end luxury brands like Rolex are 1000x the cost of time pieces made by Casio and their time telling function are comparable: true.
But comparing the materials (think solid gold made in their own foundaries or platinun), craftmanship ( hand made by Swiss watch makers) and overall quality: wrong.
Very different than bikes. A full spec racing hard tail ( whit dropper) for 5k? That is 2k less than the competition. And i think it looks great.
Oh and fyi: #casiosandseikos
Im a bit of a watch guy. And I love Casios!!!
Cheers
  • 1 0
 @msusic: They do depreciate, that is why I buy used, but they should not depreciate as much as they do, you missed my point completely. My point was you can get an amazing used MTB for a fraction of the price!! (Especially if you buy it from a dentist that only used it twice...LOL...joking)
  • 1 0
 @Beez177: MTB is second to fly fishing for me and always will be, and I know allllll about good gear. I fish a Scott Meridian with a Hatch 7+ for 99% of what I do. Yeah it's expensive as hell and also completely unnecessary for 90% of people that fly fish, but for what I do it fits the bill perfectly. It suits my casting style and the reel shows no signs of age after two hard seasons of 100+ days on the water in the salt. But you know what I fish for freshwater? An Eagle Claw Featherlight that cost literally $20 at Walmart with an old Lamson reel, and I can cast the full length of a Rio Outbound with that little combo. Your perception that good gear has to be expensive is part of what keeps people out of fly fishing. You can get into it for a hundred bucks and do just as well as the guy with the Scott and Hatch setup. So don't even think of trying to tell me that I know nothing about fly fishing, because that is something I take offense to.
  • 1 0
 @mca896: I look fly fishing at Wholefoods.
  • 1 0
 @mca896: You might figure it out next time fishing maybe.
  • 1 0
 @jorgeposada: what you wrote is barely even a sentence. "I look flyfishing at Wholefoods"?
  • 3 0
 @mca896: Drives you crazy right.
  • 2 1
 @jorgeposada: Yeah so clearly there is some level of enlightenment that I have not yet reached. Maybe I need to start shopping at Whole Foods in order to understand.
  • 1 1
 @XC-Only: No. Your last part got closer, but that first part was misguided. Thanks for providing an example though... Your "90's 2k bike = current 3k bike" equivalency. They're not equal. The point is that '90's bike was the cutting-edge top-of-the-line wonder of its time. By that logic we should have 3k halo bikes today. The price may equate to a 3k bike today, but a current 3k bike is not the top of the line area 51 creation. Nicer mtb's have boarded a rocketship of exponential growth in cost. '90's bike nice xc hardtail $900 is decently comparable to today's nice xc hardtail $900, whereas today if you want one of the nicest bikes you can buy, have fun with your five figures.
  • 1 0
 @wickrider: Rolex quality has gone steadily downhill over the years.

Look at the prices of their steel watches.

Ironically most cheap quartz watches tell time MUCH better than fancy watches.
  • 1 0
 @jorgeposada: pretty fly fishing for a white guy *bad music ensues*
  • 1 0
 @core-macneil-rider: that's pretty good for a Canadian and it only took you 4 days, you go girl.
  • 1 0
 @jorgeposada: took a Canadian to get the joke.
  • 1 0
 @jorgeposada: well that other American fellow didn’t get you’re joke ;P

And I was even fashionably late to the party.
  • 1 0
 @core-macneil-rider: Ouch man that really hurts, take it easy with me.
  • 1 0
 @bicycle019: Would E-Bikes have anything to this? Genuine response, as E-Bikes, in general, seems to be the fastest growing segment in all of cycling.
  • 1 0
 @mtbikeaddict: I totally get the point your making. The example I brought up was simply to highlight what you *actually* got for your money in the span of 20 years. A $3k bike today, while being much, much farther away from the halo models, is still a measurably *better* bike than it's equivalent inflation adjusted relative from 20 odd years ago, even if that model was the halo bike for that brand.
  • 1 0
 @JeffreyJim: I hear ya, I guess saying they make zero money on those sales is a stretch, sales of replacement oem parts is definitely their bread and butter.
  • 79 0
 I think it's time for a Field Test review on this bike to dispel or confirm all the controversy. I'd like to know how it rides, how well it's assembled, quality of the frame, etc.
  • 50 1
 I agree, actually.
  • 8 0
 Could be interesting. Makes me think of the Walmart gaming pcs released a while back, which were so bad reviewers raised concerns about their safety, despite the presence name brand components. Maybe in this specialist market they've done a better job. Maybe.
  • 14 1
 This should be interesting!!
  • 17 0
 Surprised it hasn't happened already... or will it appear on tomorrow's front page!
  • 7 8
 $2000 is still steep for an entry level hardtail, especially without at 27.5+ option.
  • 9 1
 Someone shopping for a high end bike is never going to go to Walmart for it. (if they care about value, they'll go YT or Canyon, etc.)


No one that shops at Walmart is going to drop a few grand on a bike there.

Not sure how this plays out...
  • 10 1
 @ReformedRoadie: I would consider buying one for the components only if the price is right, then transfer the components of to my compatible frame of choice. I would do that before ordering individual components from my lbs.

And don't start with the whole lbs supporting my community thing - my lbs employs maybe 6 people (at min wage, no benefits). Pretty sure the Walmart is employing more then that.....
  • 2 0
 We don't need a review. At these prices you can buy if for the components and off the frame.
  • 3 0
 One of the podcasts I listen to (maybe Singletracks?) reviewed it. They said it's, basically, a pure XC race bike. They were puzzled by it, because the market for a pure XC race bike is pretty small compared to more general modern geometry hardtails that are built for "fun."

Their bottom line was: This bike would be great for racing, but not a lot of "fun" to just ride on a daily basis.
  • 1 0
 @onemind123: Interesting plan.... Wink
  • 2 0
 @Hogfly:

Here's a link:

www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-gear/first-ride-review-deciphering-the-viathon-m1-hardtail-mtb

Basically, they are saying that that the relatively steep head tube on this hardtail bike is basically best suited for someone who is using it for cross country racing and that due to head angle it wouldn't be a great more versatile trail riding bike. So I would agree that for daily riding for most riders this bike wouldn't be "fun." Other hardtail bikes have gone to slacker head angles.

Carbon frame, low weight and much better price point concerning parts than other bikes mentioned in the article.

This seems like a great bike for a NICA racer who doesn't want to break the bank for a similar bike for those races. I would consider it for exactly NICA races for my kid at the $2000 price point. But then again, just for NICA race/training as he has a good trail bike and a downhill bike.
  • 1 1
 @ReformedRoadie: If they care about value they can also go the pre-owned route.
  • 3 0
 I bet it will ride great.
  • 2 0
 @kwcpinkbike:

I’ve wondered if they might be positioning themselves as a purpose built NICA brand. Like a well-subsidized team could order a bunch of them for their riders in bulk.
  • 1 0
 Also a review of $20 fishing gear
  • 2 0
 @kwcpinkbike: The issue is that brands like Specialized, Trek, and Santa Cruz already offer a 25% discount to NICA athletes for all sales. To break into that market, Viathon would have to back NICA leagues or become a national sponsor.
  • 18 0
 People talking about this being good for "the industry" have no idea what they're talking about. Bikes are getting more expensive because more expensive bikes and bike parts are selling better than cheaper bikes and bike parts. Y'all talk a big game about wanting more low-priced options but no one is out there actually buying them - I do P&A analysis for a bike distributors, I would know.

If you think anyone out there is swimming pools of bicycle money you've been smoking too much. Our margins are narrow, wages are low, and talent is overtaxed. This industry is driven by passion for bikes - we're just trying to get paid enough to keep a roof over our bikes.

Viathon, on the other hand, doesn't need to make a profit off their bikes. Hell, they might not even care if they lose money. They just need to sell enough of them for everyone else to feel the pain and start dropping off one by one. This is literally how Amazon works - they bring prices down so low that no one else can continue to compete because they need to feed their families. Then, when all the competition is gone they jack the prices up to wherever they want it to be and everyone suffers as a result.
  • 2 1
 Doesn't seem like anyone is really sold on Viathon though. Bike industry seems super healthy (at least outside looking in), coming from the moto world. Crazy development cycles, new designs every two years, tons of brands, non-stop evolution, etc etc... There hasn't been a new supersport motorcycle design from ANYONE in like over a decade. Even a hot segment like ADV, sees a new from ground up model maybe every 5 years.
  • 2 0
 Agreed 100%.
  • 3 0
 @roma258: It's not. It's very hard to make it and also find decent paying work.
  • 2 0
 @roma258: The development and progress is exciting but the concern is that the bike industry is nothing but development and process - all icing no cake. If we stopped inventing new shit the whole circus might just collapse in on itself overnight.
  • 1 1
 Let's see the salaries of engineers at Specialized giving us all these "advancements" in recent years that 90% of people riding mountain bicycles on trails don't need. Way too much focus on the manufacturing/engineering side on squeezing out that next 1% gain in performance, then convincing us through marketing (or forcing us in the case of Boost) that we need it.
  • 1 0
 @nosmallplans: What's the fear, that if development stops moving at such a rapid pace, people will realize their current bike suits their needs just fine and won't by a shiny new one every 2 years? How would you handle it, given the chance?
  • 1 0
 @johnkk: They're a lot less than their skill level would give them on the open market. Remember, they're engineers, not sales people. They're not thinking about dollars and cents. They're paid (albeit poorly) to figure out a way to develop the ultimate riding machines. If that means spitting out a new standard that's .8mm wider than the last, then they're okay with doing that provided they can get the parts.

The people who have the ability to put a kaibosh on new standards development, product managers and sales departments, have no incentive to do so. Why? Because people keep buying the new standards!

You speak as if you represent all mountain bikers... but you aren't the voice of all mountain bikers. Someone could release a 160mm MTB standard rear hub tomorrow and guess what: it'll sell. The reality is that the vast majority of the bike-buying public are rich white dudes with money to burn. They're easily influenced by advertising and want to have the nicest/newest thing on the market.
  • 2 0
 @roma258: There's no fear - we're just doing what the majority of buying customers are asking for. They want tech, they want new features, they want new stuff. If in the next 6 months new bikes stopped selling and P&A upgrades shot through the rough, you bet your ass the industry would respond.

Y'all like to think there is some kind of global cabal of cycling industry big wigs voting for or vetoing trends then you're wildly mistaken. All we're trying to do is keep our ears to the ground and see what looks to be trending next.
  • 3 0
 @nosmallplans: dude I'm just quoting you upthread:
"the concern is that the bike industry is nothing but development and process - all icing no cake. If we stopped inventing new shit the whole circus might just collapse in on itself overnight."

I don't personally think there's any crazy conspiracy, from the outside looking in, seems like a healthy industry developing at breakneck pace. It seemed like you point was that it's all smoke and mirrors, instead of customer driven innovation. But I might have misinterpreted it.
  • 1 0
 @nosmallplans: safe to say that cycling, is still maturing as a sport/recreational activity, but at the same time, sales are shrinking--is that unit sales or simply in overall revenue?
  • 1 0
 @XC-Only: Sales are growing but units are shrinking. People are buying more expensive bikes which would indicate we're going deeper but not wider. eBike are part of this but even after we control for eBikes we see that more expensive bikes are selling better than less expensive ones.

I think some people are fine with this but personally I find this uncomfortable.
  • 16 0
 ummm....I regularly pass the bikes in walmart on my way to the sporting goods section to buy fishing/hunting stuff and I don't know of these $500 walmart bikes you speak of...$250 is about the top price going unless yall have some gucci walmarts wherever this story was based?
  • 28 17
 Not a fan of Walmart. I won't shop with them.
  • 50 0
 Meanwhile, the Waltons have put Millions? (not sure exactly) into building up a mountain bike mecca in Bentonville, Arkansas.
  • 30 0
 Correct that... 74 million. That's a hell of alot of awesome MTB trails... read about it here... www.outsideonline.com/2295486/single-track-minds
  • 25 1
 @projectnortheast: I appreciate what the Waltons have done for biking in NWA. I live here & it is awesome. But ... I stopped shopping at Walmart years ago do to the way they do business ... Still not a fan, Still don't shop there.
  • 1 0
 Do Steu and T-Dubs ride Viathons? I have my doubts.
  • 3 0
 @djyosh: I don't see why they wouldn't.

Also TIL: Tom graduated from my local Northern Arizona University. I wonder if he's given our local organization any donations...
  • 2 2
 @Darknut: If you really saw the way the average (some are amazing, but most are not) LBS did business you wouldn't shop there either.
  • 4 0
 @projectnortheast: Not just bentonville. At this point they are basically building trail anywhere Arkansas will let them and every single trail is AMAZING.

I was down in Eureka Springs riding passion play and then doing shuttles over labor day weekend and I met more people that came from CO to check out the trails than people from Arkansas or Missouri where I am from.
  • 2 0
 @projectnortheast: so here we go
  • 8 11
 @projectnortheast: That is a whopping 00.000236% of the Walton's family fortune of 175 billion. What they have done for mountain biking in Arkansas may be great but it effectively is a drop in the bucket for them.
  • 10 0
 @vtracer: still, they did. Most people would have gone with 100 Ferraris.
  • 4 0
 @projectnortheast: it's only the beginning they are saying. Their plans for the area are incomprehensible for the average pinkbiker
  • 4 1
 The issue with Walmart isn't how the founders choose to spend their billions, but the effect that Walmart has on local economies. Someone asked above how can they sell for this much cheaper? By running razor thin margins at insane volumes. No normal business can compete with their strategy.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: Yes, walmart is hard to compete with, but thats what a free market is about. Last time I checked Target, and other stores are still there. And speaking of local economies, if they are putting 74 million plus into other ecoonomies I see that as a good thing for everyone. Trailbuilders get paid, civil engineers, towns draw more business from tourism etc. etc.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: and the way they treat their vendors. there a a few cases that i know of where walmart put previously healthy companies out of business with their purchasing practices.

i avoid going there at all costs. Haven't been in one in two years when i was desperate at a race out of town.
  • 2 0
 @meathooker: It's pretty bad. I wish we talked more about late stage capitalism and how our relaxed antitrust laws have resulted in the consolidation of wealth at the expense of the population on the whole.
  • 2 0
 @friendlyfoe: It's not capitalism but corporatism. Yes antitrust laws have gone unenforced due to political payoffs.
  • 6 0
 There are a lot of reasons why our bikes are so expensive first thought, offerings in multiple sizes.

I’ve been in the Motorsports industry for over 40 years I’ve never seen a size medium YZ250 or a size XL for someone like me, so mass production of 1 single model changes the price dynamic massively
  • 10 6
 Good, we need more of this competition. Like was stated, much of the pricing for this sport is utterly absurd. Mountain bikes that rival the cost of motorcycles, silly parts that cost $30 for a $5 part, extremely expensive tools (because Park Tools is worse than Snap-On), etc.

It’s bad when I want to get friends into riding, but none of them can envision paying the outrageous costs. And if Kawasaki can make a full on ZX-6R with a $9,999 MSRP, then any mountain bike that’s even remotely close to that is absurdly overinflated. Because there is a 0% chance the R&D costs are even remotely close, and same with all the materials.
  • 6 1
 There's this scales of economy thing you should look into:
In microeconomics, economies of scale are the cost advantages that enterprises obtain due to their scale of operation (typically measured by amount of output produced), with cost per unit of output decreasing with increasing scale.
  • 3 0
 @mikeyorange: So the theory is that there are way more motorbikes being manufactured than mtbs, and so the cost can be lower because of scale?
  • 1 0
 Compare top end to top end, yeah you can get a budget moto for less than an s works, but that is simply because moto’s prices increase at a much more exponential rate. I’ve heard quotes saying a pros super cross bike runs around 100-200k. Compare that to a top end World Cup dh bike at around 10-15k.
  • 1 0
 @I wonder how many ZX-6rs are produced and sold. Sure, some R and D for that motorcycle has come from up and down the lineup, but the same can be said for the bike companies. And Kawasaki employs a lot more people in R and D and production than a typical bike company, that’s my guess. I think bikes are priced high and I think the margins are higher than in other enterprises. But I’ve never seen the numbers. I just pay the numbers.
  • 4 0
 Allright, so, the frame is a tad cheaper than it's competitors, but that's about it... I mean, they still have to make the same deals with sram, rockshox, shimano etc. as all the other big brands. Doesn't really looks like a revolution to me yet
  • 2 0
 Right. Unless they are basically making no money on the bikes, I find it hard to see how they could undercut their competition, especially considering the frames themselves don't really often anything out of the ordinary. Now, if Viathon frames were suddenly produced in the USA my American hands, with progressive geometry and class leading weights, that might be a different story - but a Taiwanese sourced frame that is pretty much identical to a Hong Fu or Workswell or whatever isn't really a selling point, especially when it costs a few grand.
  • 1 0
 So how much cheaper are these complete builds? You can buy the same frames on aliexpress for under $300, or if you're more risk-adverse you can buy them through this guy: www.diycarbonbikes.com/collections/hardtailframes

Can anyone who knows better than me how good these deals are for just the components? If I had a $400 frame, could I build up a bike close to this cheap with comparable components?
  • 1 0
 @hamncheez: Honestly, I think you could pretty easily undercut Viathon's prices. Wheels may be a little tricky, as big brands can buy a lot of wheels fairly cheap, where as you as the consumer will have to look around for a good deal.
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: Then the selling point is the convenience of picking up your new bike at the Walmart just down the street from your house. Probably allowed to test ride it. Don't like it after purchase? Drive 5 minutes and return it. Much, much more appealing to great numbers of potential bike purchasers compared to searching online for chinese carbon frames, doing homework on the frame and retailer, dealing with international shipping and returns, sourcing all the components and doing the build-up DIY...
  • 1 0
 @PHeller: Walmart has forced companies and suppliers to sell to them at a loss because long term it works out for the supplier since their product ends up at Walmart.

Walmart has more buying power than anyone else in this sorta industry. They can deffs get stuff at a lower cost to themselves and can afford to sell at a huge loss and has done so before on other products.
  • 4 0
 No dropper on the GX spec? c'mon. Who does this serve?! What's the point? Walmart (and the greater MTB community, tbh) would be better served by selling an aluminum hardtail trail bike w/ decent components, a dropper, and moderate/slack geometry that is trail ready out the door for $800-$1200 (a pricepoint unobtainable currently in the new bike market) so that new riders AND riders who are cash strapped have somewhere to get started that isn't going to fall apart on them after a few rides. I wouldn't ever recommend this bike to someone getting into the sport, because in my biased opinion xc geometry is not a good starting point and the price is simply too high. Spesh's Fuse 27.5 comes to mind, costing ~$1200. If These guys could take a similar (or slightly better) spec and cut $200 off of it, and I'd bet it'd be a huge seller. Shit, I'd probably buy one to beat up/lend out.
  • 6 0
 Will these bikes be sold in a box and assembled by the owner? Or assembled in store by Walmart employees????
  • 29 0
 If it's the latter, I hear the bikes will be spec'd with negative-51mm offset forks...
  • 4 0
 Perhaps we'll see a revolution that surfing seems to be having. At least 30-50% of surfers at my local breaks are on $200 Wavesorms and other "foamies" from Costco and the like. Not just kooks either. Full on rippers.
  • 7 0
 It's funny - as a surfer, I'm seeing a lot of people who typically spend mediocre wave days in the water scrapping for a lousy ride now turn towards mountain biking as their go-to activity when the waves are garbage. Trail systems even in coastal areas are getting so well-built (and relatively easy due to limited elevation, at least on the US east coast) that a lot of people can easily get into the sport if they have a bike. My surfing friends friends and others who are "action sports oriented" are super hesitant to bike at first due to the cost of entry, fear of injury, etc. But once you lend them a bike and let them tear it up, they are all-in, 99% of the time pending an injury. My point is, the greater MTB industry is set to explode, but the issue of entry level cost is still a major concern for people who simply are not willing to dish out >$1000 for a bike, and unfortunately, for anything less than that, you are crippled with lousy geometry, fall-apart components, and a not-so-fun early experience. And yes, while the argument of "buy used" is a good one, most newbies simply don't know where to look, don't know what to look for, and are overwhelmed by the whole used buying experience that they just throw in the towel and go back to the sport they are familiar with. It'll take ONE major company (looking at you, @Specialized, @trek ) to take a risk on the market and make something DECENT in the $700-1000 range with solid, more slack geo, a fun post, working front suspension, etc. that could blow up the market.
  • 3 0
 @snowwcold55: I feel you. MTB is really not friendly to those who are just starting. My first bikes had fall-apart components, and honestly just sucked. If a good bike brand could get off their high-horse, and make a cheap but good entry level bike, it would make them so much money. With that said though, it is really hard to make a good bike that cheap. Especially a Full-sus.
  • 1 0
 @Shafferd912: Agreed, but I love the idea of a hardtail entry level bike that is fun, easy going, and still has a decent bit of quality components attached to it. I get the hardcore mentality that, "Well I learned on a rigid w/ a 77 degree HTA, 120mm stem, 2.0 tires, and learned the f'n basics, and so should you," but that's keeping people out of the sport, just like the price! If you think newbies are going to have the same amount of fun on a 2020 Spesh rockhopper vs. the 2020 fuse, for example, then you are, uh, misaligned.
  • 1 0
 @snowwcold55: Is that bike (decent geo/components for under $1k) even possible though? Even something at around $2k from a major brand should do well however...
  • 1 0
 @roma258: It's a catch 22. If the demand for an entry level bike is there, then they can produce enough units to make it financially viable. But to drive the demand, there needs to be a product in place to capture attention. Most people won't even bother looking or once they see every new bike worth buying is >$1100, they quit. So, that limits demand.

Spesh will argue that their Fuse range meets this demand. I still think it's over-priced for the entry-level rider, as the base model doesn't include a dropper post or hydraulic disc brakes (I think) - including those, alone, would be HUGE, and may solve the problem.

Viathon is in a unique spot because they can get these bikes in front of the masses, which may naturally drive demand a bit more, but again, it's a major risk because you'd be gambling on the entry level segment to explode, and I don't think any of the big brands want to put their brands in a tough spot if that doesn't happen. They'd rather focus on the sure thing like E-bikes in Europe, high end bikes for us crazy enthusiasts, etc.
  • 1 0
 @snowwcold55: 2020 RMB Growler surprised me, especially in comparison to outgoing '19 model.
  • 1 0
 @kryten: Bit of a tough sell when you can get the Fuse for $1200 w/ dropper and 10 spd drivetrain vs. no dropper and 9 spd drivetrain. Geo looks killer though, and tbh, if they could add a dropper and keep the cost at that $1000 mark, we'd be in business.
  • 2 0
 @snowwcold55: Thats fair although arguably Growler has better geo. Maybe even to progressive for a new rider. Did not see that coming after their very conservative '19 and older models. From time time you can get BrandX dropper for under $120 at CRC and it would make a decent first bike just like the Fuse.
  • 1 0
 @kryten: don't forget the KS Eten droppers. Usually around $125, internal or external routing.
  • 3 0
 There may be a slightly lower initial cost but damn, these are gonna have terrible resale value. When you're at this level, you may as well just buy direct from manufacturer through Aliexpress
  • 3 0
 a buddy of mine, bought the g1 gravel bike to keep at his lakehouse (insert dentist joke, he's actually a cpa). i gave it a spin. not bad at all. there's your review...i'll be buying the r1 soon.
  • 2 0
 The GX spec would be tempting if the geometry and looks weren't reminiscent of my 2009 Stumpy hardtail. Things have moved on. A slacker/longer hardtail in the Chameleon/Honzo mold, with carbon frame for $2k might get people looking.
  • 2 0
 Just go to Bentonville, ride those trails, a lot of which is paid for w/ money from Wam-Lart, and I think you suddenly like the idea of their bikes a lot more. Hopefully they turn over some % of these bikes into more trail advocacy.
  • 2 0
 Another thing to note is high-end mountain bikes is still a tiny market when compared to motorcycles/cars/etc. Manufacturing costs vary inversely with manufacturing rate. If you're making more of something, you can afford to invest in tooling and equipment and processes to make it cheaper. Also if you make that thing for many years, it further amortizes the investment. Mountain bike companies (and all sporting goods, for that matter) shoot themselves in the foot by changing their product every other year. It makes it a lot more difficult to invest in processes and equipment that can ultimately bring the cost down significantly. I'm a kiter, and that industry is even worse. It's why car companies like BMW don't come out with a new 3-series every year, but more like every 7. The multi-tier distribution model of sporting goods companies doesn't help either... but it's a reality that's likely not going to change.
  • 4 0
 They need to build a 130/140 travel trail bike for 2k with GX eagle... then I am in lol
  • 1 0
 Giant Stance, pretty close to fitting this bill at 2k!
  • 1 0
 It seems like it would be a good exploring bike for when you'd likely be riding lots of dirt roads as well as singletrack. Also something to liven up trails that you ride regularly. I'd be interested in something like this (depending on where I lived) but it would likely be a third or more mountain bike for me and that seems unlikely.
  • 1 0
 If they add a similarly specced and priced short or mid travel fs bike, those things will sell like hot cakes. Only time will tell though. We know the components are good. But it will be interesting to see how these frames hold up and how or if they are well supported.
  • 1 0
 Pleased to see this. Prices of big brand quality mountain bikes jumped the shark years ago. Too many highly paid engineers on staff working on "advancements" that most riders never needed. Boost? Don't need. Long, low, slack? Don't need. 12-speed, electronic shifting, handlebar diameter changes, four piston brakes, blah blah... don't need.
  • 3 0
 So this is competing against the Ibis DV9? ($1k frame only pricing). Seems like an easy decision there.
  • 3 0
 FWIW, Ibis quietly raised the price on the DV9 to $1250 about ~6 month ago.
  • 1 0
 @Inertiaman: I didn't know that.... It had been a smoking deal!
  • 1 0
 I know you're talking frame only, but at least this one ships with tires that actually fit the frame (unlike the DV9, which has known problem with tire rub on the tires it ships with).
  • 1 0
 @Inertiaman: I just noticed that! In the original Viathon post I commented that the DV9 was a much better deal at $2100 for a NX build. It's now $2750 for an NX build.

I'm kinda bummed, because it was almost in "major splurge" territory, and now it's a bit out of that.
  • 4 1
 Well I'm kinda torn here. Love lower price bikes and bringing the MTB sport to more people.. But ... Walmart.
  • 1 0
 VIAthon doesn't seem VIAble ... I would love to see good reviews on them, but KevCentral's just don't cut it for me for actual riding. I like his channel and all but want to see people ride bikes like I would or better.
  • 1 0
 I'll bet.... this will fail... big time not just a little.

people might drop $1k on a TV or computer at WalMart but, nobody is going to shop for a high priced hardtail at WalMart
  • 1 0
 unless you can pay for it with your grocery bonuses / tickets that accumulated over a year after you forgot the card on your neighbors house after playing some domino. Oh that bike would make a good gift for my grandchild, so he stops playing mine craft and go outside a bit.

Imagine those type of scenarios.
  • 2 2
 Little info you may want to know about the Waltons. They travel by private jet, stay in luxury hotelshave huge parties... And never tip anybody anything EVER. Hey Waltins: quit coming to aspen and stay in facking arkansas. We got bills to pay and we work our asses off for you ya jergoffs. And no im not interested in your bicycle either. At least i know enough to tip my waitress. Unbelievable a$$holes
  • 1 0
 TLDR: "successful family chooses to enjoy their success while remaining frugal to ensure long term multigenerational wealth"

Wow, billionaires travel via private jet, stay in luxury hotels, and have lavish parties? Least surprising news ever.
  • 1 0
 Someone in the Walmart family must be a mtb enthusiast as they also fund the Bentonville Arkansas trails which I believe is where their HQ is located.
  • 1 0
 Someone posted an Outside magazine article above that details it. It's well documented in various media outlets. They also have controlling interests in Rapha and Allied Cycles.
  • 2 0
 Arkansas is also hosting several UCI events in the next few years including cyclocross WORLDS.
  • 2 0
 Could always ride it and return it! Walmart's return policy is insane and the employees there generally DGAF.
  • 2 0
 Read through the small print... "Returns and Refund Policy: 60 days from date of purchase - new or used with proof of original purchase. Returns only available to original purchaser. Refunds can only be issued to your original payment method. We highly recommend retaining the original shipping box & protective packaging for future use. Bike is not returnable if damaged or not fit for continued use (Please see Warranty and Crash Replacement policy) "
  • 1 0
 I'm guessing this is Plan B to get the bike seen by more people... Will it actually be in the store or order online with instore pickup or delivery?
  • 2 0
 i wouldnt buy the mountain bike but their gravel offering is interesting for sure at 3k
  • 1 0
 Not sure where you were getting the 2400 price tag before price drop because I seen reviews months ago and 1900 was the price then not 2400.
  • 1 0
 I would have thought their frame prices would have more closely matched online Chinese carbon frames. How is the Walmart frame wroth 4x an ebay frame?
  • 1 0
 “What is this, a bicycle for ants??!” 439mm size large w/ no XL...actually don’t care, but love an opportunity for a Zoolander quote!!
  • 2 0
 can i return it after thrashing it for a season?
  • 1 0
 60 days, not bad!
  • 1 0
 Damn. So they're definitely taking a loss on these.. Probably trying to compete with REI.
  • 1 0
 Doubt they are taking a loss, even at these prices.
  • 1 0
 Huh, no one wanted to buy a $6k hardtail that has no track record? WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?
  • 1 0
 Needs another $ 1,000 price drop still. Wal-Mart shoppers are not going to spend 3-5 k for a bike!
  • 1 0
 How much is the bike when it has the XX1 components? I might consider buying it for the components.
  • 1 0
 The frame looks eerily similar to a China carbon frame I bought recently for $400 (frame and rigid fork).
  • 2 3
 Wouldn’t be caught dead buying one of their bikes but competition in any industry is a good thing. Will hopefully bring the prices down across the board
  • 1 0
 I'd love to buy a rigid carbon 29er single speed for about $1300 Viathon.
  • 1 0
 Maybe they could pump out some sultans for turner?
  • 1 0
 When are they coming to Walmart.ca ?
  • 1 1
 Bikes cost more than motos, makes no sense at all. I'm cheering for you walmart!!!
  • 1 0
 Everyday low prices.
  • 1 0
 That's a Pivot Les
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