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Assembly of Some Gift Bikes Could Be Unsafe

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- We're counting down to Christmas day. Many kids will find a bicycle under their tree, but is it assembled correctly and safe to ride?

Dave helping out a customer on a bike assembled by one of Bluestone's trained professionals.

Of the 16 million bikes bought in the U.S. last year, 75 percent came from big-box retailers. Such stores often hire contractors who get paid per bike they assemble, creating an incentive to work quickly.

Local bike shop employees warn these bikes can have loose handlebars and stems, or poorly adjusted brakes. Such mistakes may lead to an emergency room visit.

"I'd say come check the bike shop out," said Bluestone Bike & Run Store Manager Dave Taylor. "Often times we are a little bit higher priced than the department store, but ultimately, in my opinion, it's worth it because you get a safely-assembled product and overall the product is higher quality."

A bike from a local shop can cost around $300. Taylor said if you cannot afford one of their bikes, consider bringing your current one to a bike shop for a safety check.