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Old 06-30-07, 09:30 PM   #1
earthworm94
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Just to stir the pot...

Why there is such a huge difference of price between ***-Mart bike and brand name bikes? (brands: Next, Mongoose, Huffy, Schwinn...)

Obviouslly the quality are not the same. However, if the ***-Mart bikes are so bad they would've been killing or injuring people by the bussels everyday. And I haven't heard of any ***-Mart getting sued for bad quality.

More practically, I need to explain to my parents why would I need to spend $600+ for something you can get at ***-Mart for about $150. To their eyes, both groups of bikes will get one from point A to point B.

Just to hear from you all. Thank you.

Let the mud flies...
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Old 06-30-07, 09:50 PM   #2
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make the car analogy then, don't even need to go into bike reasons. A used car will get you from point A to point B for around 750-1500 bucks if you know how to look. But, the reliability levels of such a car clearly aren't as good as one say for 13000 dollars (think hyundai). So, which would your parents get? The one that, yes gets you from point A to B, but for an unknown time of reliability, or the one that gets you from point A to B reliably for a good amount of time.

Also, what kind of maintenance does an x-mart offer? Most LBS's offer 2 years of free tune ups. Heck there was a nice Fuji road bike in my LBS today for 359.

BTW, I know the analogy I used breaks down at the point of used between bikes and cars since used bikes can be very reliable. Also, the analogy could be made between why do you need a mercedes instead of a hyundai and the real answer is, you don't. That's why I like the used car better for persuasiveness.

Finally, you can get great used bikes (lugged steel 80's, aluminum/steel mid-90's) that have equipment that would only be considered a notch or two off the top level stuff today for quite inexpensive amounts.
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Old 06-30-07, 10:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthworm94
Why there is such a huge difference of price between ***-Mart bike and brand name bikes? (brands: Next, Mongoose, Huffy, Schwinn...)
Huffy is not a "brand name bike". The "brands" you listed ARE ***-Mart bikes at this point.

Quote:
Obviouslly the quality are not the same. However, if the ***-Mart bikes are so bad they would've been killing or injuring people by the bussels everyday. And I haven't heard of any ***-Mart getting sued for bad quality.
Wal-Mart actually did get sued a few years back over a front wheel quick release issue. Apparently there have been quite a few cases of the front wheel suddenly coming off, people going over the bars and eating the pavement pretty bad. It's still not clear to me whether the reason was improper assembly by shop, improper assembly by consumer or faulty construction, though.

In short, however, Wal-Mart bikes are put together hastily by salespeople who don't know what they are doing. This can be quite a dangerous thing. It can also result in premature wear and tear of a bike.

Quote:
More practically, I need to explain to my parents why would I need to spend $600+ for something you can get at ***-Mart for about $150. To their eyes, both groups of bikes will get one from point A to point B.
Do your parents drive an old junker with a rusted out bottom that stalls at every red? Well, why not? It would get them from A to B after all (even if they have to push it to B on occasion ).
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Old 06-30-07, 10:13 PM   #4
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enought said.
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Old 06-30-07, 10:28 PM   #5
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http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/t...view/index.htm
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Old 06-30-07, 11:38 PM   #6
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However, if the ***-Mart bikes are so bad they would've been killing or injuring people by the bussels everyday.
How could they possibly do that, when after three 3-mile rides they rot in the garage?
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Old 07-01-07, 12:02 AM   #7
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Hmm...

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07142.html (Dynacraft frame failure)
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml04/04164.html (Huffy handlebar failure)
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml05/05256.html (Toys-r-us bike front fork weld failure)
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml04/04113.html (Mongoose frame failure)

Let's not forget that the first bike I bought for commuting was a $70 NEXT (pictured here in full commuter regalia) and it lasted all of 6 weeks before the rear axle bit the dust, completely disintegrating. The bottom bracket was also on the way out.

I spent $30 more than that and got a used mountain bike with some decent decade-old components on it from my local bike shop. It got abused all winter long, it goes out on some fun, rough singletrack, I tackle flights of stairs on it (and I'm a 200-pound clydesdale) and it has yet to give me any problems.
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Old 07-01-07, 12:22 AM   #8
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You can't use the car analogy because all cars have to pass safety standards and car reliability is tracked religiously. If a car fails someone(s) usually ends up dead. Cars are pretty expensive anyway and even at that, you get what you pay for in most cases.

Isn't it common knowledge by now that almost anything you buy at walmart is disposable? If your parents can't understand why something from walmart doesn't suck, I'm not sure there is any hope. I just bought my little brother a Specialized Sirrus for his high school graduation and my parents pretty much lost their minds. For me $500 for a new bike is minimal. For my parents, they don't understand that I want my little brother to actually ride this bike everyday. They have bought him walmart bikes which became 3 rusting carcasses in the garage with less than 500 miles between them. They don't understand that by buying from a LBS they will offer service for LIFE. A walmart bike might work out if your mechanically inclined but when stuff starts breaking most people try to hack it back together then it becomes a chore to ride and then we have another rusting bike.

If nothing else, tell your parents by purchasing a decent bike from a LBS you get(usually) tune-ups for life and if something goes wrong they will take care of you.
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Old 07-01-07, 12:38 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Industrial
...which became 3 rusting carcasses in the garage with less than 500 miles between them. They don't understand that by buying from a LBS they will offer service for LIFE. A walmart bike might work out if your mechanically inclined but when stuff starts breaking most people try to hack it back together then it becomes a chore to ride and then we have another rusting bike.

If nothing else, tell your parents by purchasing a decent bike from a LBS you get(usually) tune-ups for life and if something goes wrong they will take care of you.
The bike I have now, it's has those really difficult to adjust caliper brakes. I cracked the nut that hold the rear brake caliper mechanism onto the frame. I have to strip parts from my sister's bike (she don't ride anymore) to fix it. Therefore, I have one semi-functioning and one bike with no rear brake sitting in the garage. It's a shame as the paintjob still looks good
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Old 07-01-07, 12:50 AM   #10
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idk after reading the forums for a few months I can't tell the diff between my 147 dollar denali and a 5k carbon bike both explode when riden, hit by sunlight, gotten wet, or looked at sideways, however those that own them seem to ride them alot and enjoy them. The diff? Honestly idk, I'm a very new and casual rider, I looked found a bike with two wheels and a chain and haven't had an issue since.
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Old 07-01-07, 04:01 AM   #11
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I had an x-mart bike once, the pedal cranks were *sand casted*. Nuff said?
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Old 07-01-07, 06:59 AM   #12
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I need to explain to my parents why would I need to spend $600+
What's their say in it? If you're talking about their money, then I agree with them. I will never be buying my kids a $600 bike, or a nice car. They will take whatever cheapy I give them until they are ready to step up to the plate. If it's your money, and they are guiding you on whether to spend your saved money or save it for college, go to college.

They only want you to succeed.
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Old 07-01-07, 07:26 AM   #13
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A few years ago, a guy in his mid-70s planted the seed in me for riding. First, I was amazed that someone could survive these days without a car. Second, that an old guy could ride a bike thousands of miles a year.

The other thing that struck me was he said, "I buy all my bikes at Wal-Mart. I never spend more than $100 for a bike. Then I ride them until they fall apart."

"How long do you get out of them?"

"I buy two or three a year," he replied.

When I bought my first bike, it was from an LBS. It cost four times what the old guy spends. I still have it. Thus far, it has 4,000 miles on it with no repairs and only general maintenance. Of course, I've "graduated" to better LBS bikes, but I still use the hybrid for grocery runs and rainy day riding.
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Old 07-01-07, 07:50 AM   #14
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The Denali might not suck big time, but... unless you're willing to do ALL of your own work, it'll cost more in the long run than a new bike shop bike.

And, if you're in an area with a strong used market for bikes... a used bike might be better than a new Denali.

DO NOT get a mountain bike from Wal-Mart, they all suck. You have to get suspension to get one that won't fall apart just looking at it, and if you get suspension, it'll be horribly inefficient - your pedaling will go to making the suspension move, not the bike move. Besides, the tires will suck for road riding anyway. (Yes, you can replace them, but that's more expense.)
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Old 07-01-07, 08:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreggy
What's their say in it? If you're talking about their money, then I agree with them. I will never be buying my kids a $600 bike, or a nice car. They will take whatever cheapy I give them until they are ready to step up to the plate. If it's your money, and they are guiding you on whether to spend your saved money or save it for college, go to college.

They only want you to succeed.
I got a masters degree already and I'm earning my own living. But still, they want me to spend money on more useful things like... furniture.
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Old 07-01-07, 08:16 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bikepacker67
How could they possibly do that, when after three 3-mile rides they rot in the garage?
Easy - you trip over them when trying to find something in the garage .
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Old 07-01-07, 08:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthworm94
Why there is such a huge difference of price between ***-Mart bike and brand name bikes? (brands: Next, Mongoose, Huffy, Schwinn...)

Obviouslly the quality are not the same. However, if the ***-Mart bikes are so bad they would've been killing or injuring people by the bussels everyday. And I haven't heard of any ***-Mart getting sued for bad quality.

More practically, I need to explain to my parents why would I need to spend $600+ for something you can get at ***-Mart for about $150. To their eyes, both groups of bikes will get one from point A to point B.

Just to hear from you all. Thank you.

Let the mud flies...
How much time do you have ?

Others have pointed out lots of the drawbacks of a ***-Mart bike. To me it would also be weight and comfort - if you are going on longer rides, the cheap bikes will exhaust you and leave you sore all over. They are likely made of a cheap grade of steel that will easily rust (as opposed to the much lighter weight aluminum and CF on my current bike), and the paint job is likely to also be cheap so it won't give a lot of protection to the cheap steel underneath.

The cheap bikes probably have cheap bearings that will wear and grind over time which would mean that you would have a lot of extra friction when riding.

If I wanted a beach cruiser (something to carry a beach chair and a cooler down to the ocean), I would get a ***-Mart bike. The sea air would rust the thing out in no time, and the sand would get into the gears, so there is no point in using an expensive bike for this purpose. Actually, I would get a *used* ***-Mart bike from a garage sale for 15$. Use until rusted out, and then get another.
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Old 07-01-07, 08:34 AM   #18
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I'd like to mention something about steel, though - there's nothing wrong with a good steel frame, and in fact, for a commuter, steel may well be better than aluminum or CF. (Depends on your situation.)
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Old 07-01-07, 08:58 AM   #19
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Many local bike shops will sell you a good bike for $200, provided you don't mind that it's a generic bike meant for people who will ride flat gravel paths or pavement and don't mind that no huge effort has been made to save weight.
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Old 07-01-07, 09:41 AM   #20
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I got a masters degree already and I'm earning my own living.
In that case, I highly recommend getting the best toys for big boys that you can, because when you're married with children (if that's in your future), there will be many hands reaching into your wallet.

$600 should be your minimum! That is where quality starts.
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Old 07-01-07, 10:32 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by earthworm94
I got a masters degree already and I'm earning my own living. But still, they want me to spend money on more useful things like... furniture.
Here is a completely bike-unrelated piece advice that you haven't asked for, but you may want to start explaining to them that your life is your life, your money is your money, and you will do anything you want with it, thank you very much. I know how it feels - I'm only a couple of years older than you (didn't you say in the other thread you were 22?), and your parents need to realize you are no longer a child. This is especially important (and difficult) if you still live with them (that's why I left home at 18, as soon as I started university). Do you?
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Old 07-01-07, 10:44 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by chephy
Here is a completely bike-unrelated piece advice that you haven't asked for, but you may want to start explaining to them that your life is your life, your money is your money, and you will do anything you want with it, thank you very much. I know how it feels - I'm only a couple of years older than you (didn't you say in the other thread you were 22?), and your parents need to realize you are no longer a child. This is especially important (and difficult) if you still live with them (that's why I left home at 18, as soon as I started university). Do you?
I'm 26. That makes us the same age. Of course there's nothing anyone can stop me on how to spend my money, but I don't want to sound unprudent neither. That's all. I don't live with my parents of course. Honestly, I couldn't stand that by this age. However, that seems to be the trend nowadays in big cities (thus the term adult-lescence).

Sorry mods, for going off-topic.
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Old 07-01-07, 10:47 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spreggy
In that case, I highly recommend getting the best toys for big boys that you can, because when you're married with children (if that's in your future), there will be many hands reaching into your wallet.

$600 should be your minimum! That is where quality starts.
I agree and practicing the concept. That's one way I can justify on spending big money for my other hobbies.
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Old 07-01-07, 11:02 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by earthworm94
I agree and practicing the concept. That's one way I can justify on spending big money for my other hobbies.
If you need more justification just mention your health.

You'll get much more use and exercise out of a bike that's enjoyable to ride.
Living longer and healthier is worth a alot more than almost any amount of money you'd spend on a bike.
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Old 07-01-07, 11:30 AM   #25
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If you're looking for a well-reasoned argument for your parents - and believe me, I still need them for certain issues at 34 - go with the safety angle. Being parents, they cannot completely dismiss that. Even if they won't ever admit that you have a point, they'll at least hold their peace about it. I can be very, very bad, so I'd probably insert certain things that I know would push my mom's emotional buttons big time. Then she'd be the one telling my stepdad to put a sock in it and not me.

Personally, I shop at Goodwill for most clothes and buy my furniture used. The older stuff was better quality anyway...
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