I had originally posted this over in general discussion, and gotten some good responses. After finding the Clyde forum, though, wanted to post over here as well to see if there are any clyde-specific issues that I need to take into consideration.
FWIW, I'm 6'4, 275.
My 3 kids pooled their money for father's day and bought me a "15 speed" Wal-mart mountain bike so that we can start riding as a family. Given that they spent their own money on it, and it was a big deal for them, I'm looking to upgrade the bike just enough so that I can safely tool around the neighborhood and some paved trails with them for 3-4 months before upgrading next spring.
I've read through the threads, and know that even tying to upgrade this bike is probably useless, but hopefully there's SOMETHING that can be done. I'm willing to accept a certain amount of throwing good money after bad given the situation.
Unfortunately, as is to be expected, the shifting is less than optimal, and both brakes work hardly at all.
So, what I'm looking for are recommendations for specific component upgrades that will get me through 3-4 months with it. Specifically, I was thinking new brakes, slicks (instead of the knobbies that are on there), and, maybe some help with the gears/derailleur. I know that a lot of the parts on the bike may not be standard sizes, but, hopefully, I can at least get it to the point that I can comfortably shift at least the back gears and stop when needed. Also, being a Clyde, wondering if I should go ahead and replace at least the rear wheel now, or wait until it has issues.
I went to my LBS last night for advice, but they indicated that they won't work on Mart bikes at all.