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  1. #1
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    Are they worth the difference?

    i'm intrested in getting a cheap bike. i saw a Menís Huffy Cavern 15-Speed All-Terrain Bike - 26" for like $63 and somewhere else a 26" Mens' Roadmaster Mt. Fury Mountain Bike for $53 are they worth it? any
    difference? what do you think?

  2. #2
    Senior Member SingleSpeeDemon's Avatar
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    I can't say either are worth it. You'd be better off to find a quality bike at a garage sale for the same or less or maybe--MAYBE--a little more.
    My Current Bikes:

    • 1993 Giant Kronos
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  3. #3
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Anyone else want to field this one? Ok, I guess I'm up...

    The answer is "no".

    That was mighty terse...you may be wondering what I mean.

    Well...between two bikes of substandard to dangerous levels of quality, with heavy, cheap and poorly made alloys, and components that at best function poorly and after a while function not at all...$10 is only a difference in the marketing of two bad bikes.

    Lesson the first, while we're here. Those bikes are NOT "26"" bikes. THAT, my friend, is a peculiar sizing practice employed by big box stores to distinguish between "children's", and "adult", or "full-size" bikes. They are simply referring to the size of the wheel. A proper bike will be sized by the height of the seat tube, and will come in a wonderous variety of sizes, of which one will be a proper fit. An x-mart bike, if it fits, then you just got lucky, cause they only come in one size.

    The componentry, while substandard to start with, may border on dangerous depending on the labor that went into it. You will need to ensure that everything is properly adjusted, and that it functions correctly (or at least as correctly as it is capable of.)

    I bought an x-mart bike in my youth...within a month the rear derailleur would only index half the gears, and the front not at all. It would be many many years before I discovered what a proper bike was, and re-learned the joy of riding.

    Huffys and the like are terrific for children, and I strongly encourage them for that. Particularly if they are kept simple...one speed, simple parts, etc. They teach children the fun of riding, and get them out excercising. The only unfortunate side effect is that the associations could carry over into the adult mind.
    Good night...and good luck

  4. #4
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    By the by, I understand working on a budget...but a bike is worth more than a pricey dinner for two. If your budget is very tight, shop used.
    Good night...and good luck

  5. #5
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    On further review...

    My new answer is "yes."

    When I read your question again, I realized what you were asking. Those bikes are indeed worth $50. About a dinner for two, in the end.

    Kinda like a disposable camera vs. a "real" one. Get my metaphor there?
    Good night...and good luck

  6. #6
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Ask yourself how a product ,a bike in this case, can be made , labor
    and all, for less than $75. The cost of the metals alone would pass that
    in a quality bike.

    This is a true blue case of ...........ya get what ya pay for. In this case you're
    buying new junk which is what you paid for.

  7. #7
    jcm
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    Very good bikes can be had for that price at garage sales.

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    A friend of mine put an advert in a local paper requesting a "Cheap" bike suitable for a beginner. Had so many bikes offered to him at give away prices and did not buy any of them. He asked me to sort out the 3 bikes he was given. 1 was rubbish, 1 was not a bad bike but about 30 years old and did need some work done on it and the last one was a 15year old Trek 820 in immaculate condition.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  9. #9
    Just shy of 400W ranger5oh's Avatar
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    Shop used. That Huffy will break, and you will get injured.. or it will break, and leave you stranded... or it will break, and just end your passion for cycling.
    2008 Cannondale System Six
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    60% of the time, it works everytime.

  10. #10
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    That Huffy will break, and you will get injured.. or it will break, and leave you stranded... or it will break, and just end your passion for cycling.
    are you saying this from personal experience? have you seen it?

    1. what is the minimum you have to pay to get a bike that's not gonna injure you, leave you strandad, etc.?

    2. which companies are allways trustable?

    3. where is a good place to get used bikes?

    4. are mountain bikes the cheapest?

  11. #11
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    if the bikes are that bad that they fall apart and injure ppl, is there not some kind of quality control?

    or is a bike not important enough for that, and only considered a toy.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    It depends on how you're going to ride it. If you're just looking to ride a bike around the nneighborhood or to the corner market and back, the Huffy isn't going to leave you stranded, it's not going to up and break in half or anything like that.

    However, if you're looking for a bike to ride hard, whether it's hitting the trails or cranking hard on the road, I'd not look to a big box store bicycle. As noted previously, you're better off buying a good used bicycle. Reasons being shifting quality, weight, durability etc. I'd stop by the local bike shops, and look for used bikes, look at Craigs list, look at other online classifieds, or even ask the local bike shop to keep you in mind if someone's looking to trade a bicycle in.

    I hope this isn't a troll.

  13. #13
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    what about this i saw at target?

    Schwinn 26" Men's Ranger Bike
    $139.99

    (1. which companies are allways trustable?
    2. where is a good place to get used bikes?
    3.are mountain bikes the cheapest?)

  14. #14
    Senior Member Shemp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jclants
    what about this i saw at target?

    Schwinn 26" Men's Ranger Bike
    $139.99

    (1. which companies are allways trustable?
    2. where is a good place to get used bikes?
    3.are mountain bikes the cheapest?)
    1.) if you see it at a department store, you can forget about it
    2.) good place for used, you local bike shop, local bike club, classifieds (craigslist) and ebay if you can pick-up and not pay for shipping
    3.) doesn't matter. buy the bicycle type that fits your needs.

    If you want to be happy with your bicycle purchase and usage, but what works best for how you want to ride it. If you want to buy based on price alone, you're going to shortchange yourself in terms of satisfaction. I highly suggest buying from a local bike shop because a) the bike will be set up correctly b) you usually get free tune-ups or flat fixes for a year or more c) if something isn't right, they'll be able to address it unlike a dept store.

  15. #15
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jclants
    or is a bike not important enough for that, and only considered a toy.
    Give the kewpie doll to this man over here!

    Precisely. X-mart bikes are considered toys. What part of the store are they carried in, by the way?

    No, the frame will not spontaneously compust, or disintegrate, or anything like that. But as a piece of equipment designed with the mindset of "toy", it is not suitable for serious riding. Time and distance will take a severe toll, and rider comfort and satisfaction over time and distance will also be impacted.

    Again, to summarize:

    Yes, worth $50.
    Heavy, poorly crafted frame.
    No sizing options.
    Mechanically suspect componentry. (At least after a short while...)
    Highly suspect assembly.
    Worse, not better.
    Good night...and good luck

  16. #16
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jclants
    Schwinn 26" Men's Ranger Bike
    You weren't paying attention. What did I say about bike sizing? That bike is not a 26" bike, unless you happen to be 7 feet tall. If not, you simply cannot stand over it.

    That bike has 26" wheels.

    30 years ago Schwinn was a terrific company that made some of the finest bikes in the world. (Don't start Raleigh fans...this isn't the thread for it.) That company no longer exists. The current "Schwinn" is the dessicated remnants of that company which currently belongs to I don't even know who now, after changing hands many many times. That's big box capitalism for you.

    It's still probably better than the Wal-Mart bikes, but not by much. It makes me want to sob to see such a fine name reduced to this in the race to produce shareholder payouts.

    Brands to trust? (I hate that phrase, but this isn't the place for philosophy either.)

    Specialized, Fuji, Trek, Raleigh, Kona, Surly, Burley, Cannondale, Giant, LeMond, Felt, Redline, Haro, Jamis, Marin...that was in no particular order, simply as they came to mind. Some make all kinds of bikes, some are more specific or focused.

    Places to shop used?

    E-bay. Craigslist. Local classifieds. Garage sales (playing roullette here...). Does your local bike shop (LBS) have a used bike board? Is there a local bike co-op? Is there a used bike store? Maybe a "diamond in the rough" can be found at a pawn shop? (Though I hate supporting the last decade's growth of pawn shops.)

    Are mountain bikes cheaper?

    In this country yes. Mainly due to the proliferation of "toy" bikes. MTBs are pretty much toys anyway, but the nice ones are much much nicer toys. Road bikes are increasingly rare in the US...pair that scarcity with overall better engineering (lightweight and smooth components), materials (sleek and lightweight yet strong frames), and innovation (STI comes to mind, often called "brifters") and you have a more expensive product. But oh so worth it.
    Good night...and good luck

  17. #17
    hill hater nova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shemp
    1.) if you see it at a department store, you can forget about it
    2.) good place for used, you local bike shop, local bike club, classifieds (craigslist) and ebay if you can pick-up and not pay for shipping
    3.) doesn't matter. buy the bicycle type that fits your needs.

    If you want to be happy with your bicycle purchase and usage, but what works best for how you want to ride it. If you want to buy based on price alone, you're going to shortchange yourself in terms of satisfaction. I highly suggest buying from a local bike shop because a) the bike will be set up correctly b) you usually get free tune-ups or flat fixes for a year or more c) if something isn't right, they'll be able to address it unlike a dept store.

    I never thought id be saying this about a dept store bike. Recently in the a&s forum there was a post about a car v bike crash. Bike in question was a wally world 200ish dolar schwinn vacity. The original poster posted me via instant message here on the forum to her eye the bikes frame seems to be undamaged. This looks like a typical car tryign to climb the bike tire slam you hard to the ground crash. Schwinns may very well be the exception to the dept store ikes always suck rule.

    I say if a new cyclist is unsure if riding is for them and are funds limited and cant not find a used bike at a thrift store then these bikes might be worth a try.

    Regardless of frame quality i seriously doubt the components are going to survive more than a season or 2 at most.

    Bikes to avoid any thing with huffy kent murray or road master name also on this list are pacific and most other brand names.
    My advice first hit the thrift stores. Looking for older model trek mtbs they seem to show up alot around here older model schwinns with lucgged frames in the road bike area they also show up alot least around here. Other often seens here cannondales old motobecanes (80s and under) univega also 80s 90s fujis 80s and 90s and not one of them above 75 bucks. Again as for schwinn dept store bikes they seem to be a exception to the general rule of all dept store bikes being total garbage. This is only based on one car v bike crash im aware of.

    I sware if i had a realy good job id get me one of the road bikes and destroy it by pure abuse and just see what they can take. Lets just say if i have a hard time destroying a bike when i try to well its worth having haha

  18. #18
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    Ok jclants what type of bike riding are you planning to do? Buying an inexpensive bike my get you interested in cycling or disinterest you.

    To get back into biking last year, I purchased a year old brand new hybrid from a bike shop. I plannrd on riding bike trails and roads. A hybrid bike like a Giant ST can be bought for around $230 MSRP.
    Born Again Bicyclist! I found my Faith.

    Giant Cypress, GF Wahoo, Trek 7.3FX, Schwinn Sprint

  19. #19
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    You weren't paying attention. What did I say about bike sizing? That bike is not a 26" bike, unless you happen to be 7 feet tall. If not, you simply cannot stand over it.

    That bike has 26" wheels.
    i wanted to reply sooner, its just that i don't really have that much time online.

    i was paying attention. its just that i just copied the line from a website and pasted it here.

  20. #20
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    now that i'm seeing company names, i do remember that i did have a Murray bike till a few years ago when it was stolen. i had it for about 7 years. no heavy cycling. just around the neighborhood and park. the last i remember, the brakes were not all that great, the back brakes were just to slow me down and to come to a comeplete stop i had to use the front brakes. the gears as well weren't good i was only able to get the second gear and some of the higher gears from the total 10 speed. if i tried to get the first gear it wouldn't go. i can't remember if the chain fell off, or it just wouldn't go.

    i'm not sure what i'll do. i don't have money, (i mean too much of it) i'm too lazy to start searching for something good and spending time and money. the temptation to get a cheapie delivered to me and just riding feels to be overpowering me at the present moment.

    so far i haven't decided yet. (as a rule, when it comes to decisions, i can take forever)

    but the information here is really amazing.
    Last edited by jclants; 07-21-06 at 02:49 PM.

  21. #21
    cheap for a roadie Hummeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banzai_f16
    Kinda like a disposable camera vs. a "real" one. Get my metaphor there?
    Isn't that more like an anology?

  22. #22
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hummeth
    Isn't that more like an anology?
    mixed metaphors?

    Aaron

  23. #23
    Senior Member Caspar_s's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jclants
    i'm not sure what i'll do. i don't have money, (i mean too much of it) i'm too lazy to start searching for something good and spending time and money. the temptation to get a cheapie delivered to me and just riding feels to be overpowering me at the present moment.
    If you don't have much money, I say go for it. Also from the sound of it you're not going to be riding a lot. I have a cheap (Cdn$70) store bike that I commute to work on in the winter. Sure it is heavy and the components aren't so good and are kinda rusty - but it has lasted through two or three winters now. I leave it outside at work, don't wash it off, leave it downstairs outside my apartment (don't want the snow etc inside). I even had it coated in ice once. I had to bang it against the ground to get enough off to turn the cranks. A bus pass would cost about the same - per month.

    Also, once you're riding you can get the experience to know what you want for your next bike - and you can get around to the garage sales and thrift stores to keep an eye out for a good used one. Also, there is probably no better bike to have to learn how to fix your bike...

  24. #24
    Senior Member AnthonyG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jclants
    i'm not sure what i'll do. i don't have money, (i mean too much of it) i'm too lazy to start searching for something good and spending time and money. the temptation to get a cheapie delivered to me and just riding feels to be overpowering me at the present moment.
    OK, a cheap bike delivered to you means that it comes in a box only 3/4 assembled. No labor costs for the seller as they are simply forwarding on the box from the manufacturer. The usual problem with cheap departments store bikes is that they aren't assembled by experienced mechanics so unless you have good bike mechanic skills yourself, and it doesn't sound like you do then you could do a realy bad job of it yourself and endanger your own life.

    My advise is that its worth paying a little more at a Local Bike Store to get it built up properly.

    Regards, Anthony

  25. #25
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Forever might be too long, jclants, but do take your time. One thing to put into the equation is; how much are you going to ride it. I really believe if you get into the 300.00 - 400.00 range on any of the brands that banzai mentioned, you are going to spend a lot more time riding it, and less time moving it around the garage, to get it out of the way. And, if you ride it a lot, you are going to find things that need improving (any bike, any price). It will make you almost physically ill to spend more on an upgrade than the cost of the entire bike. Trust me.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

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