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Old 11-20-04, 05:48 PM   #1
patzza
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Walmart Folder

I have a Dahon Speed 8 myself and really enjoy riding it. I recently was browsing the walmart website and saw a "Stow away 20" folder" for $ 130. What do you guys think about this bike? Is this a good beater bike? http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=2513003
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Old 11-20-04, 07:14 PM   #2
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I have not seen that model. You have to make that decision yourself based on if the bike fits you properly (I.E) does the seatpost come up high enough for you also does the handlebar stem rise high enough so you are not hunched over? What is the gearing? I would say 54 to 56 gear inches would be minimum gearing for a single speed bicycle . IF it is geared much lower it will be too low.Last but no least how much does it weigh?
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Old 11-20-04, 07:32 PM   #3
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This is the only info. I found on the website. The shipping weight is 39lbs

Product Information
Speeds: 5 speed gearing with twist shifter
Suspension: Adjustable comfort suspension
Frame: Aluminum 20 inch frame
Features: Folds in 3 easy steps

Description


* Lightweight, 20-inch frame
* Quick-release seat and handlebar adjustment
* Shimano 5-speed gearing with twist shifter
* Weatherproof resin fender
* No tools required for assembly or folding and unfolding
* Maximum weight limit 250 pounds
* Seat elevates to approximately 34"
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Old 11-22-04, 02:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patzza
This is the only info. I found on the website. The shipping weight is 39lbs

* Lightweight, 20-inch frame
That bike weigths 39 lbs and lightweight???

Holy Cow! That bike weights almost twice as much as my Speed at 23lbs! Is there any bike Walmart sells that doesn't weight a ton??
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Old 11-22-04, 04:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
That bike weigths 39 lbs and lightweight???
To be fair, the text only said that it had a lightweight frame. Maybe it just has very, very, very heavy tires.

Or, since it's really the shipping weight that's 39 lbs, maybe it ships in an iron box.
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Old 11-23-04, 08:46 AM   #6
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I was under the impression it was available at your local Wal mart.
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Old 11-23-04, 08:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patzza
I have a Dahon Speed 8 myself and really enjoy riding it. I recently was browsing the walmart website and saw a "Stow away 20" folder" for $ 130. What do you guys think about this bike? Is this a good beater bike? http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=2513003
Now that i have seen the website I recall seeing that bike at The forest park wal mart . I was not terribly impressed but I think if you need a longer seatpost you should be able to get it easily enough. The roadmaster low rider bike looks better to me though.
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Old 12-01-04, 04:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by james Haury
I was under the impression it was available at your local Wal mart.
I saw one at a Wal-mart in Fraconia, VA last July. I looked it over and was moderately impressed with it. My memory was it was a 6 speed rather than a 5, Wal-mart web postings are not always correct. Even with 20" wheels, I think I'd recommend adding an fder/double crankset to one of those, my recollection was it didn't have that high a top gear. It felt like it weighed about 30 lbs.
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Old 12-25-04, 11:36 AM   #9
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Well, I got the Stow away for my brother for Christmas. He was stoked, and so was I, since he will not be riding my Bike Friday! Whoooo hooooo!

Anyway, it's a 5 speed, rapid fire shifter folding bike. I talked to my brother. He thinks it's between 25- 30 pounds. I lugged that thing up the stairs by myself... 4 flights to get to his apartment. It was heavy, but not overly-cumbersome.

We put air in the wheels. He loves the bike. He's headed out with the kids to ride his bike and the kids' bikes in the open air garage area (I also got one of my nephews the Schwinn Sting-Ray for christmas).

Apparently, it's supposed to come with two seatposts. The standard one fits 5'- 5'11, and the other seatpost is for taller people. I didn't get the bike pre-assembled, so I'm heading back to Walmart to get the other seatpost. Bastards! They tried to rip me off!

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Old 01-09-05, 04:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
Well, I got the Stow away for my brother for Christmas. He was stoked, and so was I, since he will not be riding my Bike Friday! Whoooo hooooo!

Anyway, it's a 5 speed, rapid fire shifter folding bike. I talked to my brother. He thinks it's between 25- 30 pounds. I lugged that thing up the stairs by myself... 4 flights to get to his apartment. It was heavy, but not overly-cumbersome.

We put air in the wheels. He loves the bike. He's headed out with the kids to ride his bike and the kids' bikes in the open air garage area (I also got one of my nephews the Schwinn Sting-Ray for christmas).

Apparently, it's supposed to come with two seatposts. The standard one fits 5'- 5'11, and the other seatpost is for taller people. I didn't get the bike pre-assembled, so I'm heading back to Walmart to get the other seatpost. Bastards! They tried to rip me off!

Koffee
Since it's a 5 speed, a nice upgrade might be going to 7 speed if the dropouts can be spread.
I know that's primarily aluminum, but are the rear stays steel or aluminum?
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Old 01-09-05, 12:36 PM   #11
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I don't remember. I don't live in the same state as my brother, so I can't check, and I don't think he would know which way.

I think what he's got is fine. If he gets into cycling and rides consistently, I'll just upgrade him to a new bike that is much higher quality.

Koffee
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Old 01-15-05, 07:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
I don't remember. I don't live in the same state as my brother, so I can't check, and I don't think he would know which way.

I think what he's got is fine. If he gets into cycling and rides consistently, I'll just upgrade him to a new bike that is much higher quality.

Koffee
Too bad you're not MY sister. You could buy me a new bike too...

Only 5 1/2 months to this year's Tour Transalp!
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Old 01-15-05, 10:42 PM   #13
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it looks too good to be true for me. Its still from walmart, and i dont think it would be worth the $.

but hey, i could always be wrong, i would like to see some halfway decent bikes at walmart eventually. It wouldent hurt to test it out.
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Old 05-31-05, 09:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patzza
This is the only info. I found on the website. The shipping weight is 39lbs

Product Information
Speeds: 5 speed gearing with twist shifter
Suspension: Adjustable comfort suspension
Frame: Aluminum 20 inch frame
Features: Folds in 3 easy steps

Description


* Lightweight, 20-inch frame
* Quick-release seat and handlebar adjustment
* Shimano 5-speed gearing with twist shifter
* Weatherproof resin fender
* No tools required for assembly or folding and unfolding
* Maximum weight limit 250 pounds
* Seat elevates to approximately 34"
Don't rely on "shipping weight" to determine the product weight! Couriers (and Canada/US Post) seem to use some kind of "volume*weight" formula (dimensional weight I think they call it) to calculate shipping.

I get a lot of stuff shipped that says "shipping weight: 2 pounds" for something like a paperback book. (more like 2 ounces)

I'm kind of impressed with that bike! I'd love to try one. Have to take a trip to Walmart now just so I can compare that bike with my KHS.

C.
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Old 05-31-05, 09:27 PM   #15
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Ok, just in case everyone wanted an update on the Walmart folder.

It's crap if you plan on doing any type of distance riding.

It has 5 gears and that's it. My brother wasn't using it, so my sister-in-law began using it and going on rides with me. Initially, she did like it, but the more you ride it, the worse it performs. So if you work less than a mile away and just want to scoot out to work and back, this is your bike. If you actually want to DO something with the bike, it won't work.

My sis-in-law is frustrated with the bike. She says that she has to pedal about 100 rpm just to keep the bike going, whereas I am going about 70 rpm (any faster, and she won't keep up with me! And she's new to cycling, so I don't want to scare her away). Today, she said the chain felt more slack than normal, and I can see it's sagging a bit. Bleah.

We're retiring that bike for now and I'm going to do some maintenance on the bike I got for her. It's an old school retro- 80s bike, but it's a 12 speed, and if there's anything my sis learned, it's the importance of gears (which she phoo-phoo'ed about originally, thinking that gears are no biggie). We're going to take the bike I got her for a spin, and if it still doesn't work out, I've pledged to take my $420 worth of Performance coupons over to Performance and get her a nice new bike with all the extras and niceties. I like that she's enthusiastic about riding, and she wants to go more distance (as an ex-smoking, overfat, non-exerciser, she's doing great, with about 15 mile rides each time we hit the road together), but with those little wheels, crappy shifters, and slack chain, the Walmart bike ain't cuttin' it.

Don't get the Walmart bike if you are even a tiny bit enthusiastic about riding. It won't last long enough for you to ride it more than 6 times (she's only ridden 5 times, and we're already in trouble!).

Koffee
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Old 05-31-05, 09:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
Ok, just in case everyone wanted an update on the Walmart folder.

It's crap if you plan on doing any type of distance riding.

It has 5 gears and that's it. My brother wasn't using it, so my sister-in-law began using it and going on rides with me. Initially, she did like it, but the more you ride it, the worse it performs. So if you work less than a mile away and just want to scoot out to work and back, this is your bike. If you actually want to DO something with the bike, it won't work.

My sis-in-law is frustrated with the bike. She says that she has to pedal about 100 rpm just to keep the bike going, whereas I am going about 70 rpm (any faster, and she won't keep up with me! And she's new to cycling, so I don't want to scare her away). Today, she said the chain felt more slack than normal, and I can see it's sagging a bit. Bleah.

We're retiring that bike for now and I'm going to do some maintenance on the bike I got for her. It's an old school retro- 80s bike, but it's a 12 speed, and if there's anything my sis learned, it's the importance of gears (which she phoo-phoo'ed about originally, thinking that gears are no biggie). We're going to take the bike I got her for a spin, and if it still doesn't work out, I've pledged to take my $420 worth of Performance coupons over to Performance and get her a nice new bike with all the extras and niceties. I like that she's enthusiastic about riding, and she wants to go more distance (as an ex-smoking, overfat, non-exerciser, she's doing great, with about 15 mile rides each time we hit the road together), but with those little wheels, crappy shifters, and slack chain, the Walmart bike ain't cuttin' it.

Don't get the Walmart bike if you are even a tiny bit enthusiastic about riding. It won't last long enough for you to ride it more than 6 times (she's only ridden 5 times, and we're already in trouble!).

Koffee
Sorry to hear about that Koffee.

The geometry looked nice - any chance you'd take the groupo from the other bike you're fixing up and try it out on the Walmart folder? I've improved bikes in the past with groupo switches.

C.
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Old 05-31-05, 10:08 PM   #17
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What's the gear range for the folder? What speed did she have to maintain 100 rpms to keep up with you?

Even cheap bikes can maintain their rear wheel position, so maybe a nut is loose back there leading to chain slack.

Like a lot of the cheap bikes, replacing some of the crap components will actually make them fairly decent. Of course, sometimes that's almost impossible for weird sizes. 7 (or less) speed shifting bikes are pretty smooth compared to quirky 9/10 speed drive trains, except on all but the nicest components.

Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown

My sis-in-law is frustrated with the bike. She says that she has to pedal about 100 rpm just to keep the bike going, whereas I am going about 70 rpm (any faster, and she won't keep up with me! And she's new to cycling, so I don't want to scare her away). Today, she said the chain felt more slack than normal, and I can see it's sagging a bit. Bleah.
Koffee
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Old 05-31-05, 10:12 PM   #18
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Another low cost ($99) walmart folder - 5 speed kent

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=3596785

* Simple quick-release system folds from 58" x 43" to an easily stored 30" x 30"
* Opens and folds in three easy steps
* Rear band brake and front alloy caliper ensure quick stopping and easy maintenance
* 20-inch wheels deliver smooth rolling and responsive handling
* Alloy rims and quality tires offer a lighter, more comfortable ride and superior braking
* 5-speed index shifting makes it easy to find the right gear
* 10-inch and 18-inch quick-release seat posts allow height adjustments to suit individual riders
* Includes comfortable Velo saddle
* For riders 7 years and up
* Maximum height: 6'2"
* Maximum weight: 250 lbs.
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Old 05-31-05, 10:50 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by jasong
Another low cost ($99) walmart folder - 5 speed kent

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=3596785

* Simple quick-release system folds from 58" x 43" to an easily stored 30" x 30"
* Opens and folds in three easy steps
* Rear band brake and front alloy caliper ensure quick stopping and easy maintenance
* 20-inch wheels deliver smooth rolling and responsive handling
* Alloy rims and quality tires offer a lighter, more comfortable ride and superior braking
* 5-speed index shifting makes it easy to find the right gear
* 10-inch and 18-inch quick-release seat posts allow height adjustments to suit individual riders
* Includes comfortable Velo saddle
* For riders 7 years and up
* Maximum height: 6'2"
* Maximum weight: 250 lbs.
That's the one my sis is riding.

What we've both noticed is that the bike used to ride decently, but the more she rides, the more slack the chain gets. But it's all good. She's not riding tomorrow, so I get the chance to take down her old school bike and fix it up.

I'm not going to go through the drama of changing out components. It's not that serious!

I will reward her with a brand new bike if this other one doesn't work. She gave up smoking after 13 years and chose cycling as her exercise. I've been nagging her since I met her (about 9 years ago) to give up the cancer sticks. I even told her kids that she's gonna die if she keeps smoking and urged them to cry to her if she won't give them up, and they nagged her too. She's finally given them up. That should be rewarded if she continues to keep up with the good habits.

Koffee
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Old 05-31-05, 11:39 PM   #20
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Before you PERMANENTLY retire the Wal-Mart folder, you might want to have a kind, easy going tech at a good LBS look it over. Some techs get angry when asked to look at a Wal-Mart bike...sort of like a world-famous brain surgeon asked to look at a broken fingernail. So, find the "kind and easy going tech".

Maybe...just maybe, the folder could be made into a pretty good "around the block" bike with some careful reassembly and adjustments from a good tech. I've seen some Wal-Mart bikes that had heavy, crude frames, but fairly decent wheels with alloy rims, and decent Shimano shifters and brakes. BUT, the original factory assembly was awful, and the store "set up" was inept beyond comprehension.

If the tech can make it into a useful "mile or two" bike for $50 or so, you may yet get your money's worth out of it. And, if he tells you that the bike is "hopeless", well...at least you'll know.
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Old 06-01-05, 12:23 AM   #21
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This bike ain't goin' nowhere anytime soon. I bought it, and if my sister-in-law can't use it, then my smoking, overweight brother can use it to go the mile to work and home. He drives. It's a mile, for goodness sake!

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Old 06-01-05, 12:56 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong
What's the gear range for the folder? What speed did she have to maintain 100 rpms to keep up with you?

Even cheap bikes can maintain their rear wheel position, so maybe a nut is loose back there leading to chain slack.

Like a lot of the cheap bikes, replacing some of the crap components will actually make them fairly decent. Of course, sometimes that's almost impossible for weird sizes. 7 (or less) speed shifting bikes are pretty smooth compared to quirky 9/10 speed drive trains, except on all but the nicest components.
14T small rear, seems to be about a 40-44T ring. So that gives a top gear inch of no more than about 63.

A 53T big ring could bring it up to about 75 gear inches. Maybe replacing the rear freewheel with an 11/30 could bring it into the high nineties, but unless the rear is steel, spreading the dropouts would risk frame damage.
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Old 06-01-05, 01:03 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
That's the one my sis is riding.

What we've both noticed is that the bike used to ride decently, but the more she rides, the more slack the chain gets. But it's all good. She's not riding tomorrow, so I get the chance to take down her old school bike and fix it up.

I'm not going to go through the drama of changing out components. It's not that serious!

I will reward her with a brand new bike if this other one doesn't work. She gave up smoking after 13 years and chose cycling as her exercise. I've been nagging her since I met her (about 9 years ago) to give up the cancer sticks. I even told her kids that she's gonna die if she keeps smoking and urged them to cry to her if she won't give them up, and they nagged her too. She's finally given them up. That should be rewarded if she continues to keep up with the good habits.

Koffee
Last winter we were discussing another Walmart folder on this and several other threads in this forum, the Stowaway-which had a softtail. The Kent recently posted is a hardtail. The Kent appears to be a steel bike as well rather than the Aluminum frame of the Stowaway.
Is the bike you bought your brother a hardtail or softail?

Since you appear to be with your brother now, if you have the softail, could you check whether it has a steel or rear triangle. A magnet will be attracted to steel but not aluminum.
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Old 06-02-05, 04:08 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Before you PERMANENTLY retire the Wal-Mart folder, you might want to have a kind, easy going tech at a good LBS look it over. Some techs get angry when asked to look at a Wal-Mart bike...sort of like a world-famous brain surgeon asked to look at a broken fingernail. So, find the "kind and easy going tech".

Maybe...just maybe, the folder could be made into a pretty good "around the block" bike with some careful reassembly and adjustments from a good tech. I've seen some Wal-Mart bikes that had heavy, crude frames, but fairly decent wheels with alloy rims, and decent Shimano shifters and brakes. BUT, the original factory assembly was awful, and the store "set up" was inept beyond comprehension.

If the tech can make it into a useful "mile or two" bike for $50 or so, you may yet get your money's worth out of it. And, if he tells you that the bike is "hopeless", well...at least you'll know.

Couldn't agree more!

I find it distasteful to be critical of an inexpensive bike.

If that's what someone could afford, rather than being critical of them, a tech should make it a challenge to see what they can do with what they've got on hand. Spending money's easy - using yer noggin' takes a bit more work.

A local shop that unfortunately closed (owners moved cross-country) had a great bunch of techs. They kept a "box-o-stuff" around with spare chainrings, cassettes, pedals etc.

If someone came in with a Walmart bike and needed something (like a higher gear) they'd rummage in the box to see what they could do, usually only charging labour. (they kept whatever got taken off the bike to go back in the box)

***

I bet that bike has some real potential. Gears are easy to futz with so why not see if you can tweak it?

BTW: that other Walmart folder bears a striking resemblance to an un-advertised Norco model, the "Origami" http://www.jvbike.com/bikes/Origami.htm Built for Norco in China, not in their catalogs. Wouldn't surprise me if Walmart used the same supplier and got a slightly lower-end groupo put on to keep the price down.

GREAT discussion guys/gals!

Chris
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Old 06-02-05, 06:58 PM   #25
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convert it to a 1 speed around town bike or a fixed wheel ?
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