Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 81
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    New girl checking in!

    Hey, everyone!

    My rear hasn't touched a bicycle since I was a youngster. (Is it true that you never forget how to ride a bike?) I feel totally out of my element here, so I knew that a forum was the right place to come! Articles and such on the internet only give you one opinion. Forums are my preferred way of getting information because you can get so many different opinions on matters.

    Anyway... last November, I weighed over 400 lbs. I am just finishing up with the 300's and should be in the 200's any day now, hopefully. I am 5'4" on a good day, if that helps. Losing my weight has been quite a journey and it is obviously not yet finished. (Nor will it ever be.) Over the winter, Zumba was my best friend! I still love it, but as it warmed up outside, I found myself taking a lot of walks down through the riverside park in our town on non-Zumba nights.

    I had been thinking about other ways to add to my exercise regime that sounded fun, and wouldn't you know, I saw the prettiest purple bike at the exit of our local Walmart. I snapped a picture so that I could look up the bike when I got home. The bike is on clearance, hence the location, and may not be available for long, but I'm more worried about finding the bike that is right for me rather than the first one that catches my eye. Here she is: http://www.walmart.com/ip/700c-Ladie...elmet/16480715

    Now, I've read the stickies and some plus-size cyclist articles on the internet, but I still feel so lost in what it is that I need. What could I consider "good enough" to start out with and find out just how much I enjoy biking before I spend a lot of money on something that will last me considerably longer?

    I live in Millersburg, PA, which is a small town by the Susquehanna River. I make frequent runs to the post office, grocery store, and pharmacy in town, as well as the paved trail in our riverside park. However, my brother's house is six miles away and it is 8 miles to work. It's a very quick drive and if I do well on a bicycle, perhaps it would be a great way to make that trip. Am I underestimating that mileage?

    I don't feel concerned with getting the best equipment right off the bat here, UNLESS it means that I'll bust a spoke halfway to my brother's house and be SOL on the side of the road. Yikes! If that is the difference between a $200-300 bike and a $500-800 bike, this may not be the adventure for me.

    Does anyone have any advice for this lost newbie?

  2. #2
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    My Bikes
    2012 Salsa Casseroll, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.
    Posts
    2,099
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Welcome to the forum. Congratulations on your weight loss. IMO, cycling can be a part of a healthy lifestyle. How much of a part is, of course, up to you. In other words, you could decide to cycle for exercise, for transportation, or just for leisure. You can, of course, built up to rides of 12 to 16 miles round trip, and much further, if you put in the time.

    Now, as to the dreaded W question, my recommendation is to stay away from Wal Mart and other department stores. They are an abomination, and the bikes they sell are cheap, but they are not good values. IMO they could wind up costing you more in the long run than if you just bit the bullet and bought a decent bike to begin with. That isn't to say you can't get a decent bike for $250, but unfortunately you can't get a decent new bike for $250.

    If you have any followup questions, feel free to ask.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thank you.

    I can definitely appreciate the warning to big-box stores. I feel this way about most products, except for when I think that something could make a good "tester" product to see if I want to go out and get the real deal.

    The above bike is on clearance for $150, which is a good price for me. I have not been able to find anything on craigslist, etc.

    I suppose the bottom line is if there is anything out there, even if it isn't the above bike, that is "good enough" to start me out for a month or two while I learn how to bike around town.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    My Bikes
    2012 Salsa Casseroll, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.
    Posts
    2,099
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cagedbird View Post
    Thank you.

    I can definitely appreciate the warning to big-box stores. I feel this way about most products, except for when I think that something could make a good "tester" product to see if I want to go out and get the real deal.

    The above bike is on clearance for $150, which is a good price for me. I have not been able to find anything on craigslist, etc.

    I suppose the bottom line is if there is anything out there, even if it isn't the above bike, that is "good enough" to start me out for a month or two while I learn how to bike around town.
    An old hard tail mountain bike or hybrid that fits you. Trek, Specialized, Giant, Raleigh, or half dozen other good brands. Search these forums on the topic. Seriously. Lots of decent bikes made between 10 and 20 years ago are sitting, unused, in somebody's basement or garage. You just need to find the one in your size that somebody decided to put up for sale for $100 or so.

    If you decide cycling is for you, than be prepared to pay some decent money for a good bike. When it comes to new bikes, you get what you pay for. More money gets you a lighter bike with better components that up to a certain threshold, will also be more reliable and enjoyable to ride. Below a certain threshold, you get a heavy, poorly made piece of junk that you won't much like riding and when you are done with it in a couple of months, you can leave it at the curb for the garbage collector to haul away.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,024
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree that you don't forget how to ride but after being off a bike for 40 years I found that the first 50 feet of riding was exciting. I was second guessing every balancing reflex and muscle twitch.

    The best bike for you is going to be a mountain bike with no suspension. If you could find a $50 or less old walmart bike that is in good shape, it would let you see how you like riding. Many people that I know get some kind of ragged bike that wont even change gears and ride it on flat ground and just get in shape doing so. Later if you feel like you love riding then you will feel better about spending more money to get what you want. So get something cheap that you wont be upset too much about if it breaks and start riding.

    My hat if off to you for doing zumba. That is quite a workout.

  6. #6
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Hammond, La
    My Bikes
    Wabi Lightning RE, Wabi Classic
    Posts
    1,389
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Congratulations on your weight loss!

    I started on a Wally World bike as I've got a history of buying exercise equipment and not using it. My deal with myself was, I had to ride 4 times a week for a month and complete a 20 mile ride before I could get a better bike. The 20 mile ride was torture on the beach cruiser but it got the job done and I moved on. I guess the $100 was well spent and I got what I paid for. Definitely not a long term solution but it got me started.

    Enjoy your ride!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ursa Minor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Santa Barbara CA
    My Bikes
    rivendell romulus terratrike rover
    Posts
    556
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Welcome cagedbird. This forum is a wonderful place to find motivation and fellowship. I felt caged by my fat at 350 because I could barely get out of my chair.
    But the stories here gave me hope and over the last 2 years Ive lost a lot of the weight and now ride 20 miles a day (very slowly lol). It sounds like you have made a good start on your new life.

    Charlie
    Grimly determined to have fun.

  8. #8
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    PNW - USA
    Posts
    226
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hello and Welcome

    I think the WallyWorld bike would be just fine for starting out on. Us heavier cyclists have to get into the $700+ bikes if we want stronger wheels and components. Id spend the $150 and just spend the summer discovering biking all over again

  9. #9
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Wisconsin
    My Bikes
    2012 Salsa Casseroll, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.
    Posts
    2,099
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Surprised by the love for Wal Mart bikes here. To my mind, it makes no sense to say, because of your weight, you need a bike with better components and especially wheels, so threfore, you should go with something really cheap. It is almost as if some say you don't deserve a decent bike until you suffer for a season or two with a crap bike.

    BTW, if you are below 300 lbs, I suspect a standard, well made 32 spoke mountain bike wheel or standard sized wheel should be sufficient. I understand reluctance to spend too much money. I have been there myself.

    To my way of thinking, because of your weight and your relative newness to cycling, you need the support and service of a local bike shop more than the average person. Keep in mind that you get no follow up service from Wal Mart, where as most bike shops offer free maintenance, repairs and adjustments on your bike for anywhere from 1 to 2 years.

    This could pay off. 15 years ago when I first got back into biking, I ran into a problem with spokes popping on my rear wheel when going up a steep hill near my apartment. Bike shop handled the problem, and eventually rebuilt the wheel with upgraded spokes. Had I gone with a department store bike, this type of repair would have cost as much as the bike. BTW, at the time, I was about 250 lbs.
    Last edited by MRT2; 06-03-13 at 09:51 AM.

  10. #10
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Tustin, CA
    My Bikes
    2002 Lemond Zurich, 2006 Santa Cruz Superlight, 2010 Landshark, 2012 Santa Cruz Juliana, 2014 Juliana Premiero Origin 29er and last but not least, the "Frankenweenie"!
    Posts
    4,434
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I suggest getting some active wear - tops and bottoms that wick moisture and are comfortable to move in. JCPennys carries a complete line of plus size active wear (in fact - the sizes are pretty large. I wear an XL - 1X normally but can wear an L). Kohl's and Target are also good. Prices are extremely reasonable, like $12 - 15 a top.

    If you spend any money it should be on a pair of cycling shorts. Do not be intimidated by Lycra. It will be your best friend. Terry and SheBeest makes excellent plus size shorts (Terry up to 3X). Both brands are expensive ($85) but well worth the price.

    Also make sure you get a helmet and wear it. Helmets come in many styles and are priced from $35 - $235. The $35 helmet will protect your noggin as well as the $235 helmet.

    At some point if you like the sport and stay in it, get some cycling gloves. Anyway there is all sorts of stuff you can spend your money on. Starting out however, make sure you have a system to carry water (either bottles that go on the bike or a bladder system like a Camelbak), some tools to change tires (if you don't know how, usually someone coming by will). Take a beginner class at the local LBS or bike club.

    I know getting into the sport is totally overwhelming. Find a bike shop, go in and introduce yourself and don't be afraid to ask questions. Also be prepared to buy product from the shop - you don't want to go in and ask questions and waste the salespeople time if you have no intend on buying at least a tube or something.
    ______________________________________________________________

    Private docent led mountain bike rides through Limestone Canyon. Go to letsgooutside.org and register today! Also available: hikes, equestrian rides and family events as well as trail maintenance and science study.

  11. #11
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Clarita, CA
    My Bikes
    Lynskey R230
    Posts
    4,068
    Mentioned
    35 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    If you're really not sure this is the sport for you, I would buy used and save a few bucks. Then, if you decide you enjoy it and will stick with it, invest in a better bike that will allow you to enjoy it more. But used bikes are available. Not sure of the size, but here is just one example in your neighborhood.

    http://harrisburg.craigslist.org/bik/3844598520.html
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  12. #12
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    PNW - USA
    Posts
    226
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
    Surprised by the love for Wal Mart bikes here. To my mind, it makes no sense to say, because of your weight, you need a bike with better components and especially wheels, so therefore, you should go with something really cheap. It is almost as if some say you don't deserve a decent bike until you suffer for a season or two with a crap bike.
    I agree, more expensive is usually is a stronger bike. However, at the price point the OP is suggesting, for a new bike, WallyWorld will be just as good, and cheaper, that anyplace else. Im 290lbs and I have popped spokes on my $400 mavic wheels. Have I popped less spokes? Probably, but I also have over 3K miles on the wheels. Everyones situation is different.

    I think its better to spend the $150 on a new bike and see if you like the exercise than to go on a scavenger hunt across craigslist when you are not sure what your looking for. A craigslist bike at $150 isnt going to be any better than the OPs linked bike in my opinion. And a local bike shop isnt going to sell her a bike (and service it) at $150.

    If the OP buys the bike knowing its just an experiment into if she wants to keep riding, then she wont be disappointed. She can resell it and upgrade once bitten by the bug. My mom bought a Wallyworld bike in 1999. She rides it on the bike paths a few times each summer. Still going strong today.

    Also, theres nothing like that 'new bike smell'.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    409
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cagedbird View Post
    Is it true that you never forget how to ride a bike?
    No not exactly. Start on a slight down hill. (I said "slight" down hill.) If you have access to a large empty parking lot this would be a good place to start riding again. Set yourself up on a middle gear. Remember it is easier to ride/balance a little faster then you should ride than a little slower. Odds are you will have a crash or two before you get really comfortable...then you will have a really good crash because you are not thinking about riding while riding..



    Quote Originally Posted by cagedbird View Post
    I had been thinking about other ways to add to my exercise regime that sounded fun, and wouldn't you know, I saw the prettiest purple bike at the exit of our local Walmart.

    Does anyone have any advice for this lost newbie?
    I have mixed feelings about Walmart bikes. I bought a Walmart bike as an adult. I believe I got a $1 a mile out of it before I started having issues. This allowed me to relearn how to bike and get a clue as to what I wanted in a new bike.

    At this point, you really can not go to a bike shop and buy the right bike for you because you don't know what the right bike will be. I suggest you get the Walmart bike and understand that you will give it away in 150 miles as you move on to something that fits you better and rides better and if you really get into this cost a LOT more.

    As far as other advice...
    Floor bicycle pump is essential.
    Carry a cell phone because you will get lost or have a break down or the weather....
    Carry water, carry more water than you need...riding to the hospital because of dehydration is not as much fun as you would think.
    Don't over do it. Build slowly. (I fail at this.)
    Don't plan to ride to work or ....l until you have done it with plenty of free time. Remember you have to ride home, so if your max miles a day is 10, don't plan a trip that is 10 miles one way.
    Your rear will be sore the first time you ride. Don't go out and buy a new seat right then, get use to it. Then you may decide to buy a new seat.
    Do buy bicycle shorts.
    Do buy a bicycle jersey.
    Do find a rails to trails to ride close to home. This is a great place to NOT ride in traffic.
    Don't wear headphones and ride. You can't hear anything going on around you and may get run over. (Once you get some experience, you may find places where this is not true.)
    Do watch out for iPod zombies and little kids they will walk out in front of you when you least expect them.
    Do enjoy the journey. This is key to bicycling. If you don't enjoy your time on the bike, then I would suggest finding a different hobby/exercise.




    IF, I repeat IF, you decide this is not a hobby for you please find someone to donate the bicycle to. I let one sit in a shed for many years it rusted pretty good. I should have given it away when I stopped riding and started driving, but.....high school.

  14. #14
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Btw the Mohave desert and AREA 51
    My Bikes
    Scott Spark 20, Orbea Orca
    Posts
    5,194
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Congrats on getting healthier and hopefully into biking. Not only will you loose weight, but your C/V system will get stronger with every ride. CONGRATS also on buying ZUMBA and using it. You will soon go from a cagedbird to a freebird with that kind of discipline and determination.

    I vote in favor of a Craigslist or similar used bike. If you buy right you can sell it in a few months if you want to upgrade.

    Thanks for jumping on board with us here.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Tustin, CA
    Posts
    176
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd say if the Walmart bike is in your budget go for it. It gives you a fairly inexpensive way to try out a new sport. Just realize that if you really get into riding, you will want to upgrade as you learn what you like/dislike, but if you don't you haven't spent much money. My wife now rides a carbon Domane, but her first bike was a Trek Hybrid which she got into riding and 6 months later wanted the roadbike.

  16. #16
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Minnesota/Arizona and between
    My Bikes
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD, 1969 Schwinn Collegiate, Cannondale Quick 4, Terry Classic, Gary Fisher Marlin, Dahon Jetstream XP
    Posts
    3,893
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Given the price of the Walmart bike it might be worth it for the try. But, it is likely of poor quality and so may not give you a good experience.

    I bought my sisters and neices budget bikes. My two sisters have really taken to biking, though they don't put on the kind of miles I put on, they would do the kind of rides you describe.

    One sister I bought a Bianchi. It was either the Torino Dama or the Cortina Dama, I can't remember. http://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/stra.../cortina-dama/ These bikes are around $430-50. It is a sturdy bike and is serving my sister well. If you buy a bike from a bike shop ask if they will throw in a bottle cage and water bottle. They always have for me. We all recommend things like bike shorts and all sorts of equipment, but starting out you probably are just fine without bike shorts. Neither of my sisters use them. If you end up getting chaffing you will want to see about getting shorts then. My other sister got a folding bike from me and it works well for her even though she is at the weight limit for the bike.

    On the Frederick Craigslist is a Raleigh M45 womens mountain bike that looks pretty small and it comes with all sorts of accessories. http://frederick.craigslist.org/bik/3784098236.html You could put slick tires on it and have a much better bike than the Walmart bike. I had a similar Raleigh I kept around for company to ride. They are very sturdy bikes. My neighbor liked it so much that I sold it to her. There is a Specialized Myka in Lancaster City, which is a nice mountain bike, it looks like it is about the right size.
    http://lancaster.craigslist.org/bik/3816314626.html If you buy used you may need to pay a bike shop to tune it up, which increases the cost. Plus, if you get a used mountain bike you likely will want to buy more hybrid like tires, which also increases the cost. And, it is nice to have someone look at the bike with you to see that it is at least in good shape, like the wheels spin true, the derailleurs aren't bent, the brakes are in good shape, etc. Given these issues a new bike may make sense for you instead.



    The most important piece of equipment is a helmet.

    At some point you will have to be able to fix flats. If you are only riding walking distance from home to start, or have a means of rescue, you can put off getting a kit to address flats. Neither of my sisters repair flats on the road. One never has had a flat (lives in Wisconsin) the other gets them regularly (live is Los Angelos) but walks home or calls her spouse. Carry a cell phone. It is best though to carry at least a spare tube, levers for changing a tire, and a hand pump. Videos abound on Youtube on changing flats. Plus, Mr. Beanz on this forum has a great how to change a tire video.
    Last edited by goldfinch; 06-03-13 at 12:48 PM.

  17. #17
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    My Bikes
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Trek 900, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '92 Schwinn Crosscut, '03 Diamondback Tandem, '94 Yokota Grizzly Peak
    Posts
    2,500
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As far as mart bikes go, the Schwinns they offer are a better choice than the other makes. You can get a better bike used, but you need to know what you are looking at. For $150 it's probably an ok starter bike, but know that many manufacturers cut corners to hit that "always the low price" point for Wally-World. Oh, don't expect the mart bike to be properly and safely adjusted either. Have someone else look it over.

    Here's some other possibilities from your local Craigslist in that price range in a smaller frame size.

    trek 800

    Miyata street runner

    Trek 820
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    154
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My daughter got a $100 wallmart bike for her birthday from a relative. She's still growing so it's not a big deal as she'll only get a couple years max use out of it anyway before it will be too small. But it was a huge pain. Even new, I spent several hours resetting it to make things work better. I took a couple of basic things apart on it and they had greased it properly, but I could not get the rear derailleur to function correctly. I messed with it enough that I finally gave up and bought a cheap $12 Shimano Tourney TX35 off Amazon. I put that on and within 10 minutes had it working fine. The front derailleur is still a little goofy, but she doesn't use it much so it's not as pressing. The front shock "suspension" is a waste.

    Overall, I'd have been better off working on a 10-20 year old rigid mountain bike. It would probably have taken up less time. You could probably find and 10 year old or older 18 speed rigid walmart bike for $20-$40 that would probably have better components on it then the newer versions.

    Just some thoughts.

  19. #19
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Minnesota/Arizona and between
    My Bikes
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD, 1969 Schwinn Collegiate, Cannondale Quick 4, Terry Classic, Gary Fisher Marlin, Dahon Jetstream XP
    Posts
    3,893
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by InOmaha View Post
    My daughter got a $100 wallmart bike for her birthday from a relative. She's still growing so it's not a big deal as she'll only get a couple years max use out of it anyway before it will be too small. But it was a huge pain. Even new, I spent several hours resetting it to make things work better. I took a couple of basic things apart on it and they had greased it properly, but I could not get the rear derailleur to function correctly. I messed with it enough that I finally gave up and bought a cheap $12 Shimano Tourney TX35 off Amazon. I put that on and within 10 minutes had it working fine. The front derailleur is still a little goofy, but she doesn't use it much so it's not as pressing. The front shock "suspension" is a waste.



    Overall, I'd have been better off working on a 10-20 year old rigid mountain bike. It would probably have taken up less time. You could probably find and 10 year old or older 18 speed rigid walmart bike for $20-$40 that would probably have better components on it then the newer versions.

    Just some thoughts.
    My husband has a friend who bought a Walmart bike and rode it for a year. Then, it wouldn't shift. He brought it over for me to look at and I could not believe the low quality of the derailleurs and the grip shifters. I did get the rear to work OK, but not great. The front I left on the middle ring and said leave it alone. You could apply a lot of force and get it to shift with difficulty. Now this bike was probably the lowest level Walmart bike, but it certainly shows that quality isn't a priority in what is sold.

  20. #20
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    My Bikes
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Trek 900, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '92 Schwinn Crosscut, '03 Diamondback Tandem, '94 Yokota Grizzly Peak
    Posts
    2,500
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A friend I frequently ride with has one of those $99 "Thruster" fixies from walmart. He estimates he's put 600-700 miles on the bike so far. I've been quite curious to see how it holds up under heavier riding than it was really expected to see. He did have to repack the bottom bracket with new bearings a few weeks ago, but it seems to be holding up remarkably well. Fixies are simpler however. Much less to go wrong. The cheapo stamped steel brakes really worry me, though.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  21. #21
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    PNW - USA
    Posts
    226
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    My husband has a friend who bought a Walmart bike and rode it for a year. Then, it wouldn't shift. He brought it over for me to look at and I could not believe the low quality of the derailleurs and the grip shifters. I did get the rear to work OK, but not great. The front I left on the middle ring and said leave it alone. You could apply a lot of force and get it to shift with difficulty. Now this bike was probably the lowest level Walmart bike, but it certainly shows that quality isn't a priority in what is sold.
    I don't think anyone questions that $150 for a bike is going to buy you low-end quality. If the OP gets a year out of it as your friend did, Id say its money well spent.

    Two of my friends paid over $2,000 for their road bikes and they now sit dormant in the shed just as well as any $150 bike would. I bet if given the option, they'd do a 'redo' and go the $150 route and first make sure the hobby is for them.

  22. #22
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Minnesota/Arizona and between
    My Bikes
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD, 1969 Schwinn Collegiate, Cannondale Quick 4, Terry Classic, Gary Fisher Marlin, Dahon Jetstream XP
    Posts
    3,893
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JackoDandy View Post
    I don't think anyone questions that $150 for a bike is going to buy you low-end quality. If the OP gets a year out of it as your friend did, Id say its money well spent.

    Two of my friends paid over $2,000 for their road bikes and they now sit dormant in the shed just as well as any $150 bike would. I bet if given the option, they'd do a 'redo' and go the $150 route and first make sure the hobby is for them.

    Yup.

    Though, I think the bike started having problems early on and the shifting just got more and more difficult and finally it wouldn't shift at all. OTOH, the brakes worked fine and the wheels held true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yo Spiff View Post
    A friend I frequently ride with has one of those $99 "Thruster" fixies from walmart. He estimates he's put 600-700 miles on the bike so far. I've been quite curious to see how it holds up under heavier riding than it was really expected to see. He did have to repack the bottom bracket with new bearings a few weeks ago, but it seems to be holding up remarkably well. Fixies are simpler however. Much less to go wrong. The cheapo stamped steel brakes really worry me, though.
    My sister's BF has one of those. He also has had no problems. It helps that there is no gearing to get messed up. I also noticed the cheapo brakes.

  23. #23
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    PNW - USA
    Posts
    226
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    Yup.

    Though, I think the bike started having problems early on and the shifting just got more and more difficult and finally it wouldn't shift at all. OTOH, the brakes worked fine and the wheels held true.



    My sister's BF has one of those. He also has had no problems. It helps that there is no gearing to get messed up. I also noticed the cheapo brakes.

    Goldfinch, a little OT but I see in your sig you list 'Schwinn Collegiate'. My wife and I were on a yard sale this weekend and we saw a Schwinn Collegiate for $10. It seemed like a great deal and was great condition. Im thinking we should have picked it up now just because of the cool factor

  24. #24
    Roadkill
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    ABQ, NM
    My Bikes
    Novara Buzz
    Posts
    147
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JackoDandy View Post
    I don't think anyone questions that $150 for a bike is going to buy you low-end quality. If the OP gets a year out of it as your friend did, Id say its money well spent.

    Two of my friends paid over $2,000 for their road bikes and they now sit dormant in the shed just as well as any $150 bike would. I bet if given the option, they'd do a 'redo' and go the $150 route and first make sure the hobby is for them.
    +1

    This is exactly what I did - pulled my Wal-Mart MTB from college out of the garage and started riding to see if I wanted to make it a routine or if it wouldn't work for me. I started out riding one-way, 9 miles then taking the bus home 3 days a week. Then it was both ways (18 miles total) 3 days a week. Now I do it every day. I put 400 miles on the ole Schwinn and then upgraded to a $500 bike. If that is what you are wanting, to test the waters, then I'd say go for it. Just understand that what you will be riding is on the unreliable, inefficient, and uncomfortable end of the spectrum. If you enjoy it on the Wal-Mart bike, you will enjoy it even more on a nice bike.

    FWIW - My Wal-Mart special carried my 250# just fine over some very rough roads. Now, would it have lasted more than a year of that - probably not.

    P.S. I did upgrade the saddle (stay away from gel padded, soft seats!) and put on slicks. I kept the saddle for my new bike and put the slicks on my wife's new (used) bike.

  25. #25
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    10
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    This is all a lot to think about!

    Thanks to everyone for their insight and encouragement. It was exactly what I needed.

    When my mother asked what I was so furiously typing about (I am a fast typist!), I told her that I was researching a bike as a new form of exercise/recreation. She mentioned that my uncle had a few bikes in the shed and apparently some of them actually belonged to us. My mother is going to attempt to bring me the women's mountain bike next weekend when she comes to visit.

    I'll take a photo of that bike or at least see if there is some sort of model number somewhere! If it will carry me down to the park and back a few times at least, it will be worth it to start out.

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •