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  1. #1
    Senior Member biggieou's Avatar
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    Help w/new bike decisions

    I am looking at two bikes at Walmart:
    Mongoose XR75 and a Next Mountain something
    I like the Next bike as it has disc brakes and seems put together better. Do you guys have any experience with this type of bike? Last time I rode a bike Clinton was about half-way through his first term, so some things have changed. What is with the gear shifters being in the handlebars. My old bike had thumb switch things that shifted gears. How reliable is this new set up? Sorry for the dumb questions.
    I realize you guys will say I should get a nicer bike, but I'm in college and really cant afford a nice one, so a cheapo will have to do for now.
    Last edited by biggieou; 04-12-06 at 06:09 PM.

  2. #2
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    Personally, xmart bikes are not worth much of anything to me. I spend more time fixing them than riding.
    Perhaps you could try a used bike shop or craigslist.
    Generally, a decent used bike is much better than a walmart bike. Of course, I am generalizing. I'm sure there are cases when the reverse may be true.

  3. #3
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    I'll second DataJunkie on that. A Wal-Mart bike can range from substandard at best to dangerous at worst.
    And while there are some awfully trashed used bikes out there, a decent used bike will serve you better now and down the road than a Wal-Mart bike will.
    I bought a Target bike in HS (yes, scoff if you will, but teenagers are stupid, and I didn't know better). Within a couple of weeks less than half the gear ratios were useable, as the derailleurs wouldn't make the appropriate transitions.
    Good night...and good luck

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    Definitely get a used real bike from a bike shop. You won't spend more, and you'll have a much better bike.

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I've got a Mongoose from Walmart, and I've put approx. 10,000 miles on it over the past 6.5 years, including regular commuting, various training rides, a number of centuries, and a 200K brevet. I've ridden it in every kind of weather imaginable ... all year round.

    And here's what I've done to it in the way of repairs and maintenance: I keep the chain lubricated, I fill the tires, and I've changed the tires once. I have had it in for a general tune-up once, and they replaced the chain for me at that time. That's it.

    That Mongoose has been the BEST bicycle investment I've ever made!!! I spent a grand total of about $300 on it (including bar ends, pedals, and that tune-up) ... and I saved myself thousands of dollars in bus fare and gas.

    He's been hibernating recently, but I'm about to dig him out again to use for commuting to work over the summer.

    I don't know exactly what you're looking at there, but I can tell you that my shifters are also in my handlebars and they've worked fine all this time. I can also tell you that despite what certain people might think, a department store bicycle can be a good, solid, reliable bicycle.

    Here's my Mongoose!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Senior Member biggieou's Avatar
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    Thanks Machka for the honest reply. Thats the same style of bike I'm looking at with the suspension. Is it possible to get fenders or a rack for these styles?
    Last edited by biggieou; 04-12-06 at 08:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by biggieou
    Thanks Machka for the honest reply. Thats the same style of bike I'm looking at with the suspension. Is it possible to get fenders or a rack for these styles?
    Remember that Machka probably didn't get all the extras she has on the bike at Wallmart. Wallmart just won't have the service that a bicycle shop will have. . . if you can find a good bicycle shop you trust!
    I . . can . . . doooo . . . it

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foehn
    Remember that Machka probably didn't get all the extras she has on the bike at Wallmart. Wallmart just won't have the service that a bicycle shop will have. . . if you can find a good bicycle shop you trust!
    Right ... the fender I've got on mine, I got at MEC: http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1144898666868

    I have used a rack on it, which I got at Canadian Tire, I believe, but MEC has one too: http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1144898666860 .

    I picked up the clipless pedals at Nashbar: http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=

    And the bar ends I got at an LBS in a "closing-out" sale.


    foehn is also right that if you expect service from Walmart, you won't get it. Also, some LBSs may refuse to service the bike too, because it is a Walmart bike (I encountered that at one place). If that happens, take it to a place that will be happy to service it ... and make a note of that place ... because if they are happy to service a Walmart bike, they are worth returning to for future business. I bought my custom road bicycle, and some touring equipment, at the LBS which did not have a problem servicing my Walmart bike.

    It also helps to be able to make a few of your own adjustments too.

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    Why do you need a suspension bike? If I were actually going to do mountain biking that requires full suspension, I certainly would NOT want to be on a walmart bike! Commuting and town riding do not require suspension, in fact, a suspension bike will just slow you down on the road.

    Really, you should look at some decent used bikes. Machka has alot of experience and know-how to deal with her walmart bike, and it has worked for her. If you have not biked in a long time, do you really want the hassle of making a walmart bike work when you can have a better trek or specialized bike? Even used, those bikes are better quality, and if you get it from a bike shop, it'll likely be better assembled and you'll have real service.

  10. #10
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    Don't be too down on the suspension bikes. Yeah cheap suspensions tend not to last, and after you're used to riding, you don't need or want a suspension when riding on the road. But when you're first starting out, having a cushy ride might make the difference between continuing to ride and giving it up.

    I bought a bike with a suspension fork and seatpost. After about three months of consistent riding, I knew I preferred a road bike with no suspension. However, had I bought that first, I might have gotten discouraged because it was too uncomfortable to ride... so I don't really regret my purchasing decision.
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  11. #11
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    I agree, if you're not going to be bombing down root and rock-covered dirt hills, you do not need rear suspension. Look for a hardtail bike. If you're going to be riding mostly on streets, then don't get knobby tires. Get nice, smooth slick tires. They don't have to be super-thin road bike tires, just smooth.

    You may be surprised at the low prices some bike shops charge for their bikes. I definitely encourage you to visit a few bike shops, and ask about used bikes.

    You'd also be surprised at how many bikes simply get chucked on the side of the road on garbage day! I plucked a perfectly good 80s 10-speed road bike from the trash a few months ago. A bike you find in the garbage should be thoroughly inspected for damage. It may also need a new chain (almost always) and maybe new tires or other components, but these will usually cost you less than a new bike.

    I also recommend you check Craigslist (online classifieds) and Freecycle (classifieds where everything is free - seriously!) for deals.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member biggieou's Avatar
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    Folks, folks, I understand that you all dont like WallyWorld bikes, but it doesnt bother me. My original question wasnt what you thought of WallyWorld, but rather if you had heard anything of these bikes. Like I said I dont have alot of dough to drop, I've checked the local bike shops and they dont have anything used in my price range, so I will just get one from WalMart. I'm not all hardcore into like you guys/gals are. I dont care about speed, if I did I surely wouldnt be buying a bicycle, I dont care about doing sweet jumps off rock cropings or whatever. I just want a bike to ride around town in, to class, and one the bike trail.

  13. #13
    45 miles/week Eggplant Jeff's Avatar
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    OK then I would say, buy whichever one feels better when you ride it (Ride it as far as they'll let you, take it out in the parking lot, go around the building, etc). I think if the prices are similar, and they're both at the same store, the quality is unlikely to be significantly different between the two. I agree that if you start having problems, taking it to an actual bike store for service is the way to go, but most likely you'll be happy with it for occasional riding.

    And, if you really get seriously into biking, your first bike purchase will not be what you finally decide you want no matter WHAT you buy . So don't worry about it.

    [edit] Oh and it's probably going to come with big ol' knobby tires. If you really spend most of your time riding on trails, that's fine, but if you're like most folks and only occasionally hit the trails (most of your riding is around the neighborhood, to school, etc) go to a bike store and buy the cheapest SMOOTH tires that'll fit your bike. They probably won't be totally smooth, but they'll be a lot better than the knobby ones your bike will come with. I got a set for my son's bike for like $15 for the pair. If they don't have really cheap ones in stock, ask them to check their catalog. You should be able to get a pair for like $20 or less. Smooth tires will let you go faster, ride smoother, etc.
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  14. #14
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Do not get a full suspension! Surely they at least have hard-tails there. A full suspension adds weight, and a cheap one is prone to breakage. Most importantly, a full suspension saps energy out of every pedal stroke, slowing you down and tiring you out.

    That sort of equipment is only necessary for jumping tree stumps down a mountain side.
    Good night...and good luck

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banzai_f16
    Do not get a full suspension! Surely they at least have hard-tails there. A full suspension adds weight, and a cheap one is prone to breakage. Most importantly, a full suspension saps energy out of every pedal stroke, slowing you down and tiring you out.

    That sort of equipment is only necessary for jumping tree stumps down a mountain side.

    You can tighten down the suspension so that it isn't bouncy at all.

  16. #16
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    I don't know anything about the bicycles that you are trying to decide on buying but here is what I suggest.

    Once you decide on the bike you want to buy from Walmart or wherever, buy it and then take it to a bike shop you trust. I say this because many big-box stores place more attention on the fact that they just put them together and get them out the door, no matter what consequences may happen to the people who buy them. If you have someone you trust check your purchase, these possible problems can be nipped in the bud.

    Good luck and good riding.

  17. #17
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggieou
    Folks, folks, I understand that you all dont like WallyWorld bikes, but it doesnt bother me. My original question wasnt what you thought of WallyWorld, but rather if you had heard anything of these bikes. Like I said I dont have alot of dough to drop, I've checked the local bike shops and they dont have anything used in my price range, so I will just get one from WalMart. I'm not all hardcore into like you guys/gals are. I dont care about speed, if I did I surely wouldnt be buying a bicycle, I dont care about doing sweet jumps off rock cropings or whatever. I just want a bike to ride around town in, to class, and one the bike trail.
    Put an advert in a local paper "Wanted-- Cheap bike for Collesge student"- People have bikes in their sheds that were bought on the spur of the moment- used once and never again. I can tell you that amongst the rubbish you are offered there will be one or two Bikes that anyone would love to own. And they will all be cheaper than Wallmart.

    On suspension- unless you are paying a lot more money than you are thinking of- Don't even think of suspension Front or Rear. That $80 bike has a suspension fork on it that costs abour $10- Bad suspension forks start at $60 when the original packs up.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  18. #18
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by powerhouse
    I don't know anything about the bicycles that you are trying to decide on buying but here is what I suggest.

    Once you decide on the bike you want to buy from Walmart or wherever, buy it and then take it to a bike shop you trust. I say this because many big-box stores place more attention on the fact that they just put them together and get them out the door, no matter what consequences may happen to the people who buy them. If you have someone you trust check your purchase, these possible problems can be nipped in the bud.

    Good luck and good riding.
    Good idea- Pay $80 for a crap bike and pay your LBS lots more to put it right- My LBS will not even look at cheap bikes- Retrue a wheel and the spokes snap- No longer a $10 job- Drive train does not work- $80 for the cheapest crank with fitting.
    Only way to keep a Wallmart running is to fix it yourself- and if you have the capabilities to do this- then you understand bikes and would not go any where near Wallmart's or anything like it.

    Sorry if this is rude- but it hard trying to keep these cheap bikes running. I know because my neighbours have them.
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  19. #19
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Yes, do get the bike checked over. I have seen a few dangerous mart bikes. The worst was a little girl with loose handlebars and a loose seat. If you can, test ride the bike. Check that the brakes work, the seat and handlebars are tight and there is enough air in the tires. The shifters on the handlebars are great when they work. There's a chance that yours won't as the assembler may not be bicycle knowledgeable.

    Your safety, and the end cost of the bike after having a brand new bike fixed are two of the reasons experienced bike owners say go to a bike shop. Not the only reasons, but two big ones.

    Your bike might be assembled correctly, but don't count on it.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    The problem I have with going with a used bicycle is that I've seen the used bicycles that show up in the local "thrift" shops here ...... and they are in SCARY shape!!

    Most of them have cables that have long since rusted away and died; often the previous owner didn't realize that the left pedal has left-hand thread and tried to force it on or off, thus stripping the thread; gears have only half their teeth; some of the ones I've seen are completely missing their chains; wheels are bent and badly out of true; the tires have rotted away; the frames have nicks, dents, scrapes etc.

    And often these bicycles were originally purchased from a local department store anyway!! Only now they are in really, really rough shape.

    The reason these bicycles are in the "thrift" shop is because they are in such bad shape that the previous owner realized he'd have spend a fortune to fix it all (more than he spent on the bicycle in the first place) ... so it was just easier to give it away ... and the personnel in these "thrift" shops haven't the faintest clue that the bicycle is supposed to have cables and a chain, etc., so they just accept it, slap a $25 tag on it, and hope that someone will buy it.

    At least with a new bicycle (even if it is from a place like Walmart) the cables are new, the gears have all their teeth, there is a chain, etc. No, a Walmart bicycle is not in the same league as a much higher-end bicycle from a bicycle shop, but IMO it can be a better choice than a used bicycle for someone who doesn't have a lot of money, and who doesn't have a lot of mechanical knowledge, or time, to fix a used bicycle up into a rideable condition.

    IF a person could find a good quality used bicycle in good shape for an inexpensive price, then I might say to go the used route. And for that, I'd check the "Buy and Sell" section of my local cycling association's webpage.

  21. #21
    Cycle Dallas MMACH 5's Avatar
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    I have an x-mart MTB. I got it for $5.00 from the city impound. I put on new brake pads, cables and tubes. After lubing up the chain, it was good to go. I have since added a rack and upgraded the crankset, but otherwise, it's still the lowly bike with some sort of criminal history that called to me from a pile of other bikes.

    I commute on a 20+ year-old road bike, but for what little off-roading I do, this has served me well.
    That's gonna leave a mark.

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