There is a term among Professional triathletes “Walmart bike” which is used for cheap and poorly built bikes. However, few months ago Walmart launched Viathon which could change the term “Walmart bike”
Viathon is owned by Walmart and currently sells carbon bikes that sell between $2,300 and $5,985 and during the Black Fridays they sell between $1,998 and $4,848. The triathlon model is R1 bike. It includes model design and quality parts from brands like FSA, Zipp, Fizik, Stan’s No Tubes, Knight, DT-Swiss and Hed.
To build its carbon frames, Viathon engineers developed original molds. To design the bikes, Viathon turned to veteran bike engineer Kevin Quan, who previously worked at Cervelo and designed Diamondback’s Aeden triathlon bikes, as well as bicycles for Parlee, BH and others. Quan also is a partner and engineer at wheelmaker Knight Composites.
Viathon sells direct from its website and promises the bikes will arrive at a customer’s door requiring minimal assembly. The company says every bike undergoes a 60-point inspection before it is shipped and comes ready to ride. Shipping is free in the United States, or you can pay extra for faster deliver.
So why is Walmart making high-end carbon triahtlon bikes? In part, because it can. Walmart’s resources, global reach, and supply-chain expertise makes it better prepared than most to deal with the complicated process of sourcing components from multiple suppliers spread across several countries and combining them into a single product to import and distribute worldwide.
Perhaps the company sees real opportunity. Maybe they’re experimenting with niche product categories. Or maybe the people inside Walmart who love triathlon just want get more people on good bikes and are using their resources to make it happen. Whatever the company’s motives, the bikes looks great—they’re understated but appear to have solid design with great parts.
Viathon R.1 Dura-Ace
795 gram claimed frame weight
28mm tire clearance
12mm thru axles
Flat mount disc brake calipers
Press fit 30 bottom bracket
Internal cable routing
Electronic and mechanical shift compatible
Two down tube bottle position options
Sizes: 52, 54, 56, 57.5, 59cm
was $2,300.00 with Shimano 105
was $3,575.00 with Shimano Ultegra
was $5,850.00 with Shimano Dura Ace