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