Bicycle Mechanics - Buying from a local shop
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I have a bike on order from Walmart and am somewhat regretting my decision due to what I've read about quality issues.
Looking on craigslist I've found a few potential alternatives in my price range
For a guy who knows nothing about bikes, how do I evaluate the quality of a bike? I'd like a 7 speed but my experiences with them as a kid were not good (The bike I have on order from Walmart is a single speed) I would really be happy with either though so will probably go with a single speed if I buy elsewhere
07-03-11, 06:15 PM
If you order from a local LBS, they will teach you how to shift and most offer free minnor tune ups. So much better then the walmart or used opition for someone starting out.
07-03-11, 06:21 PM
Tell them you're cancelling the order. They don't bring in the highest quality stuff by a long shot.
For a far nicer mid range sort of budget priced bike and provided you're reasonably handy you can order up a bike from Bikes Direct. Google for them as well as doing a search here on BF for threads about them. SOme love the outfit and others think it's the death of modern civilization. But if you're handy at doing a few basics on a bike you can get a decent enough bike for a pretty reasonable price.
If you're after a single speed or fixie also look at Redline 925's. If you can find one on sale they are lovely bikes for the money.
Buying used can get you a heap of good deals. But only if you know the dozen or more things to check out and what you're looking for. It's a fairly long list.
EDIT- Just looked at the CL links. So you're after a cruiser? Then no problem. Go and buy either with assurance that it's fine. Such bikes are ridden sedately on only sunny days. They don't get slammed over jumps or jammed into curbs or ridden down staircases or commute to work in all manner of lousy weather.
Just look for the obvious stuff. A lot of scuffing indicates that it was crashe badly. A few scuffs is just from poor handling putting them into the van and back out. Check the tires for signs of heat or age cracking on the sidewalls and in the bottoms of the treads. If the tires have them then you're looking at new tires in a year or less just to be sure.
If you're looking for a bike for longer distances that go up and down hills and you plan on riding at a fair pace then these are the wrong ones for you. If you're going to ride it as intended at a leasurely pace down to the store or along a beach path then it's perfect.
07-03-11, 06:48 PM
I certainly agree that it would be better to buy a bike from nearly anyplace BUT Walmart (or Target or K-mart, etc.) You will get a poor quality bike assembled by someone likely to be incompetent and there will be no after purchase service or help. Cancel your order NOW.
As to Bikes Direct, yes they have excellent prices on decent bikes but they arrive as a partial do-it-yourself kit and you better have at least moderate mechanical skills to complete the assembly. They are not for the complete novice. A bike shop can set one up but will charge a fairly high price for the work.
If you aren't sure you can evaluate a CL bike, either find a friend who can or bite the bullet financially and buy a new bike from a real bike shop. Both your satisfaction and safety depend on having a properly adjusted bike.
As a parting thought, good quality multi-speed bikes can be durable, reliable and shift wonderfully if set up and adjusted properly so don't let past experience determine your choice.
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