Strengths: Cheap membership for all of its perks. If you shop online, over the phone, or in the store you will benefit from having a membership.
Weaknesses: If you don't shop often it may not be worth the $25.00
First of all, I need to straighten a few things out:
1. You should never try coresponding with any company by e-mail. Call them if you have a question or a problem. Don't rely on e-mail. For any company.
2. You absolutely can check your points in the store. If an employee told you that you can't, they were either very busy or didn't know how. Ask for a manager. You can check your balance in the store.
3. You do not get 10% off. You get 10% BACK as store credit. You don't SAVE money, you earn money back for what you spend. There are enough deals going on at Performance (15% off everything, 20% off everything, double points, etc) that you're already saving by shopping there.
You get great customer service in the store. Employees are helpful, and enjoy cycling themselves...so they are helping you get into something they already like.
Performance employees do not work off of commission, they don't try to sell you a bike to make money. They sell you something you will benefit from or enjoy.
a Cross Country Rider
from Astoria, Queens, New York City
Date Reviewed: November 29, 2007
Strengths: 10% off Points can be accumulated without expiration, and cashed in at checkout time on anything except shipping. Pay for the slowest shipping rate and get a free upgrade--every time--to two-day delivery. Free renewal of my already existing Bicycling Magazine and Mountain Bike Magazine subscriptions--I didn't even have to contact the magazine and they didn't add me as a new subscriber, just matched the information and wahlah! Free technical help over the phone, including mechanical tips, sizing, and genuine experience using the products they sell. Customer service on the phone is first rate.
Weaknesses: Don't bother sending e-mail questions, just call them instead--but even the really big manufacturers such as Trek are weak in this area. E-mailing a vendor can only be effectively done with small companies that make a unique product they really believe in--such as Crank Brothers.
I have a few online retailer memberships. I'm an Amazon Prime member for instance--which gets me free shipping but no discount of special reserve sale items like Performance membership does.
The best thing about this North Carolina retailer is that though they are constantly growing they still treat customers like they're your local bike shop. That being the case, you wouldn't e-mail your local bike shop with a question about your account or order status, you would call them up, and should do so with Performance as well. Over the phone, they have the best and friendliest customer service, but over the internet not so good (and that's fine).
When I'm thinking of ordering a part or article of clothing, they always have someone they can get on the phone to help you with your question about sizing, fit, selection, or mechanical help.
One remarkable time I bought teflon cables and housings for my new mechanical disc brake set. I clipped one of the cables and housings, installed it, and then realized that the anchor was too small for my Shimano LX brake levers to hold onto. Performance accepted the return, and refunded the purchase price in full even though I had made a mess of the packaging (because I didn't think I'd have to or be able to return it until they told me over the phone).
As for pricing, they're definitely competitive. It's not typically worth shopping around if they have what you want already, but I didn't know they did price matching as another reviewer mentioned--definitely have to try that one. If you really want to know how good the price is, look for your item on www.qbike.com and it will list the various retailers--including eBay--and their prices. Performance is always near or the best. And with the shipping upgrade that comes with membership of course I normally choose Performance. I also like the points.
Lastly, it's really nice that they added the Bicycling magazine subscription as a member benefit. Moreover, upon getting membership at Performance, my subscription was renewed with my old account and I didn't have to do a thing. Awesome.
Favorite Trail: None in my area thus far (three years as a returnee) except Stillwell out on Long Island
Duration Product Used: 1 Year
Purchased At: Performancebike.com
Similar Products Used: Nashbar, Beyond Bikes, Pricepoint.com
Bike Setup: Not a Performance build.
Date Reviewed: April 21, 2005
Weaknesses: Performance Inc. Stinks!!!
Send a spoof email to Performance Inc. and receive an autoreply. It is just hilarious - the reply received will have no relevance to the original message!!! Try it once or more and receive different autoreply messages! How about that for customer service. Think how frustrating it would be if you REALLY needed service!
a Cross Country Rider
from New Joisey
Date Reviewed: January 4, 2004
Strengths: Save 10%, upgraded shipping, already paid for itself.
Weaknesses: None so far.
I can't understand some of these reviews complaining about performance prices. Here is an example...
I just ordered Avid mechanical disks for my bike. Performance was asking $99, I took one look at mtbr.com, learned that both beyondbikes and jensonusa were selling them for $69. I called performance, they price matched for $69 and I SAVE 10% on top of that!!.
I have been dealing with peformance for over 10 years all through mail order and never had a problem. I think they make some of the best bang for the buck clothing out there. So, if you deal with them often, or pan on spending some money in the future on bike stuff, sign up.
Strengths: Great savings over extended period of time.
Weaknesses: Nothing really wrong with the membership. . . I've had issues with Performance themsleves, but not big ones either. And that shouldn't matter for rating the membership.
I built the above bike with upgrade parts purchased at the Naperville, IL Performance Bike store. Over $800. It got me a free Camelback HAWG. I like that aspect very much :)
Craig from California below hit it right on the head, print the page from Supergo, Frankford Bike, etc, and bring it in to your local Performance Bike shop. They'll match the price. Saved me at least $150, but absolutely nothing to do with the membership.
The membership will however save me 30% off a new trainer this winter. There aren't many members only specials offered, but they tend to be pretty decent deals. And I still can't complain about the 10% rebate coupons :)
I would heartily recommend this product to anyone looking at dropping a few hundred bucks or more in a one year time span. Very gratifying to drop $800 in three weeks and get eight ten-dollar certificates to use :) Building a bike? Price match your parts or wait for their once-in-three-or-four weeks online component sale (print it off the site, and beware the site changes the promos and sale prices Sunday night without warning). You just might get yourself that extra accessory you've been eyeing for the past few months.
The only thing I would wish for would be that the trip from St. Chuck to Naperville took less than the hour round trip it does. But that keeps my wallet happier ^_^'
Bike Setup: Franken-Trek 850 Antelope Steel Mountain frame. . . with Complete Ultegra build except brakes, wheels, fork, stem, headset. Shimano XT front Derailleur, LX rear wheel, LX front V-Brake, everything else is Ultegra :) Rides like a dream! (saving up for new frame)
a Weekend Warrior
Date Reviewed: December 3, 2001
Well, I became a member because I found the $20 was cheap for the benefits. I get 10% into my "savings account" for each purchase plus 2nd day air shipping for the price of USPS priority mail. That's a great deal and quite a benefit when I realize I need an extra part before the weekend rolls in; many other online bike shops charge rip off rates for 2 day air to Hawaii so I'm very pleased with Performance. Also, every order I've placed has ALWAYS been shipped the same business day, with email confirmations always coming in as well.
a Weekend Warrior
from Shreveport LA USA
Date Reviewed: October 10, 2001
Strengths: Reasonably low prices, although there are plenty of other mail order outlets that are just as competitive.
Weaknesses: They appear to be unresponsive to consumer feedback.
Their lower end products are not very durable. My Performance Radial sunglasses have just about fallen apart after 2 seasons of use, and my Performance Century gloves disintegrated after only a year.
I used to order most of my mail order stuff from Performance, and enrolled in their "Team Performance" scheme to save a few bucks more.
I've noticed that their packaging seems to have deteriorated year by year, to the point where stuff arrives loose in a cardboard box, with no padding.
I've now decided to withdraw my custom, however, since Performance appear to be totally unresponsive to constructive criticism of products that they sell. In particular, I have been trying to address the many failings in the Rhode Gear road mirror which they contuinue to sell. This mirror is mounted on a bracket that is far too flexible. If the manufacturer added perhaps a cent or two more plastic, the problem would be solved. Worse though, the mirror cannot be angled in enough to give you a satisfactory rearward view - although it can be angled outwards to a ridiculous degree. The geometry of the bracket is all wrong. That wouldn't even take more plastic to fix. Lastly, the ball joint fitting cannot be tightened sufficiently to prevent the mirror from moving out of adjustment all the time.
I've emailed Performance on three occasions with these criticisms, but their response is simply that they sell lots of these mirrors, with only an average amount of negative feedback.
a Weekend Warrior
from Mountain View CA
Date Reviewed: February 28, 2001
Strengths: Saves 10% after the first $200 Performance often offers additional savings for team members Good Customer Service Good Technical Support
Weaknesses: Occasional screwups
It's a great deal if you like the Performance line of clothing (I like their shorts and tights) or if one plans to buy a big-ticket item (like lights). My riding buddy and I share a membership, which effectively halves the sign-up cost. There are still times when places like Supergo or Pricepoint will be cheaper (Time pedals), or will have an item that Performance does not carry (12-34 XT Cassette), but the membership is particularly effective when used in combination with the seemingly endless sales. As well, one can also use the on-line prices at the store register (make sure to take a copy of the page with you).
Performance does seem to screw up orders about 1/3 of the time, but their customer service will do whatever it takes to make it right in a very timely manner. Their technical support is quite good, and very responsive.
The only scary thing about the Team membership is that every $10 coupon is a reminder that you've already spent $100. It can be frightening to realize how much one spends annually on bike parts and clothing. There are some things I just don't need to know.
from Ocomukowonowokesha, WI
Date Reviewed: January 7, 2001
Strengths: 10% back
Weaknesses: They screw up just about every order. No longer have elite catalog, so therefore no more real 'high-end' stuff, just the run-of-the-mill clothing and crap.
This will probably be the last year that I use this membership due to all the problems I've had recently. Its too bad MTBR.com sold out to the mail-order companies and removed the reviews for them. I remember the days when companies like Performance were getting slammed all the time for there poor service. Then all of a sudden the reviews were gone and now there's Performance ads plastered all over mtbr.com, what gives? Who are you going to sell out to next, Rock Shox??, Trek??
Anyways, back to my review. Since Performance got rid of their Performance Elite catalog, there's really nothing they offer that I need any more. Furthermore, their items are continually back-ordered. Also they have this annoying habit of charging me a different amount than what the total showed on the website. In legal terms this constitutes fraud, since we entered into a contract at the time I hit the "accept" button on the website. Furthermore, customer service is a joke. Got a bike question??...try asking the 40 year-old soccer mom that answers your call...what a joke??
They do have fairly good prices, but I would rather pay a little more for good service. I have since started ordering from Speedgoat. Their prices are about the same, shipping is free, they know what they're talking about--because they're a real-live bike shop, and you get your stuff in a couple of days
Bike Setup: Santa Cruz Superlight, Proflex 857, Fisher Paragon, Trek 2300
a Cross Country Rider
Date Reviewed: January 6, 2001
Strengths: Great Deal if you buy $200 a year or more
A lot of the preveous reviews state the fact that Performance doesn't have the best prices on certain items unless they are on special. My local Performance shop matches prices, no questions asked. All you have to do is show them the advertised best price and they will match it. For web prices all I have to do is print out a copy of the web page.If they don't have the item at the store they will order it for you and if you have them ship it directly to the store there is no freight charge. On top of this 10% off gives you the best possible deal!
a Weekend Warrior
from Laguna Niguel, CA
Date Reviewed: September 16, 2000
Strengths: Very good deals, as long as you're willing to wait a bit until the products are on special. You also get $10 back in certificates for every $100 spent, so it comes in handy. for example, I spent over $300 recently buying parts for my hardtail (all on sale, and all the cheapest I've seen). I got $30 in certificates back, so I went today and got a Giro Gila that was on clearance for $49, minus $10 for Performance members, minus my $30 in certificates. I ended up paying $13 and change for my helmet. Great deal.
Weaknesses: Takes too long for the certificates to come (took me six weeks), staff at stores is often unfamiliar with products or specials. They make you take in proof of their own internet specials to get the price.
A great deal, I just wish they had a better trained staff. It's still worth it for me. If you buy everything on sale there, like I do, it's especially sweet to walk in with free money later on.
a Cross Country Rider
from Silver Spring, MD
Date Reviewed: March 28, 2000
Strengths: Pays for itself
I'm on my 2nd year of membership. I easily spend $1000 a yr (that's $100 back in merchandise). No they don't have the best prices, but the 10% back acn make up for the difference. For the bigger ticket items (shocks, etc.) I'll use Bikeworld or Speedgoat. But for more common things like chains, derailleurs, tires, tubes, Performance is great. Also, I can experiment with unfamiliar goods since Performance has a no hassle return policy. You can even return things mail ordered to the retail store.
I don't buy enough mail order to make the point accumulation worth it. They charged me standard shipping on my membership, too, which was pretty much a ripoff. I thought their members' only area would offer some good deals but they don't. They hardly offer anything!In all, my LBS has nearly everything I need and what they don't have, I'll probably get at Nashbar or someplace like that since I don't think Performance really *has* the best mail order prices. I certainly won't renew my membership.