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Old 04-22-03, 01:36 PM   #26
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Originally posted by Dahon.Steve
Anyone have any ideas what I should do with the old Roadmaster once I'm done with it after four months? I'd feel guilty if I gave this bike away and someone got into a serious wreck!
Everyone hates Roadmasters. My wife and I had a pair for 10 years. They never had ANY kind of maintenance. They sat, unused in my shed for MOST of those 10 years. I took them out, aired up the tires and we rode the heck out of them for the next 2 months with NO problems of ANY kind. I put on slicks because we only rode street with them. The knobbies were fine. I 'tuned' them myself. By that I mean I turned some screws on the derailleurs because a) the shifting was a little slow (from day one) and b) I had NO idea what I was doing. But the shifting was better.
When we got "real" bikes, I gave the RMPOSes to my sister. Her hubby has been riding the thing all over the place with no more maintenance than I ever did to it.

We have a group down here that will take bikes and fix them up for homeless/carless folks to help them on the road to recovery. Find someplace like that to "dump" your (4 mos) old Roadmaster. They'll be glad to have them without fear of some massive failure.
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Old 04-22-03, 01:55 PM   #27
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Bike shops aren't problem-proof either. When I bought my gf her Raleigh, I had to take it back a couple of times for some derailleur installation problems. One of the wheels had fallen out of true, even. The mechanic just made up an excuse about how many different people assemble the bikes and that I didn't need a wheel trueing.

Yeah, right. They assemble the bikes right in the shop! So I ended up truing the wheels at home. Good practice.

Anyway, back to the first question. I got my bike for $172 on eBay, used '91 Trek 7000 aluminum bike weighing less than 30 pounds (haven't weighed it yet, but feels hella light! ). If I were you, I'd go on eBay and get a used bike. Don't worry about components because all components fit all bikes, regardless of the frame size. All bikes are upgradeable. There are very few exceptions to this, and usually that's because the bike's REALLY old, like 30 years old.

Usually, if the bike's a high-end bike, it'll come with quality components and it'll give you some good times before you have to really start spending cash on it to fix it. It may need some maintenance, but nothing that'll break your bank. A new chain costs less than $15 now.

Since you are posting on this board, I figure you are experienced enough to know what bike's a good bike, so even if you find a Walmart bike that's got a good frame, remember: components can be swapped out!!
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Old 04-22-03, 02:11 PM   #28
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Also the support you get from your LBS, will make up for alot of the cost. My brother bought a low end KHS bike from his LBS, they gave him 3 years free maintenance on it. Imagine how much that saves you alone. Bikes from a LBS on average will last longer, for example I picked up a bianchi from the thrift shop, still had original components from what I could tell, and runs beautifuly. $20 for the bike, and replaced the look pedals with some clipped style pedals I had in my garage, and set of tires I was not using. I was amazed how smooth that bike still ran, and it had to be over 20 years old!
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Old 04-22-03, 02:28 PM   #29
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It would be nice if the LBS did quality work ... maybe it's just me, but it seems like the mechanics at the LBS around here are more concerned with assembling new bikes than they are about fixing customers' rides.
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Old 04-22-03, 02:31 PM   #30
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Well, I think it's all been said twice, so unless you have further questions, chose wisely and good luck!
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Old 04-22-03, 02:51 PM   #31
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You will find some good LBS and some bad ones. No doubt about that, but you will find the same in any service oriented business. I'm sure you can't find one person that has not had a bad experience with some type of service they have had done in the past.
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Old 04-22-03, 06:32 PM   #32
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A Walmart Schwinn might be fine for tooling around town but it is definitely a low end bike. Using such a bike might be an interesting strategy for a cross country trip. When it breaks down, you just throw it away and buy another from the nearest Walmart!

Seriously, if I were planning a cross country trip, I'd invest in a good quality bike. The extra cost for the bike is minimal compared to the total cost of the trip. May as well get a bike that will be comfortable during those many, many miles in the saddle and be less likely to break down 100 miles from the nearest bike shop.
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Old 04-22-03, 06:40 PM   #33
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That's not a bad idea supcom.. Figure on a one way cross country trip. Pickup a $60 walmart bike, figure on about $200-300 on bike cost for the trip. Probably pickup a decent saddle to help out. But as it brakes down 3-5 times across the US you pickup a new one. Then just toss it and fly back home the other day.
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Old 04-22-03, 08:52 PM   #34
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Originally posted by Chi
up truing the wheels at home. Good practice.

Anyway, back to the first question. I got my bike for $172 on eBay, used '91 Trek 7000 aluminum bike weighing less than 30 pounds (haven't weighed it yet, but feels hella light! ). If I were you, I'd go on eBay and get a used bike. Don't worry about components because all components fit all bikes, regardless of the frame size. All bikes are upgradeable. There are very few exceptions to this, and usually that's because the bike's REALLY old, like 30 years old.

Usually, if the bike's a high-end bike, it'll come with quality components and it'll give you some good times before you have to really start spending cash on it to fix it. It may need some maintenance, but nothing that'll break your bank. A new chain costs less than $15 now.

Since you are posting on this board, I figure you are experienced enough to know what bike's a good bike, so even if you find a Walmart bike that's got a good frame, remember: components can be swapped out!!

Thanks for the suggestion, but I am skeptical about buying the bicycle on ebay because I can not test ride it and see if it feels "RIGHT" to me. I have spent the whole day here in LA visiting different bike shops, and from about 10 bikes, only 3 would feel good enough. Some would have the handle bar too close which would make me feel unsafe, others would be too short, or too long. Basically some will just not fit me.

I see that Wal Mart bike issue has been discussed a lot in previous threads... However, I still disagree with many things said regarding this, and still HAVE my own opinion.
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts. I have some time to choose the bicycle, and will let you all know what it will be.
Hey, maybe I should actually get that ugly Wal mart two wheeler, ride it across Canada and change the stereotypes a little? Or maybe Wal Mart would even sponsor my trip as it serves a good advertisement purpose. This would also add, actual FACTS about using Wal Mart sold bicycles, as there are very little people who are speaking from their OWN experience instead of their beliefs.

With Best Regards...
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Old 04-22-03, 09:13 PM   #35
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Well Inoplanetyanin, from my personal experience, I have done repair work on more of wally world bikes than I have the rigs I sell or have sold. I also notice the ride quality is not the same form mass merchant dealers as are the bikes I sell or even own. For one the quality of the bearings in the wheels and hubs in my rigs are superior. Same goes for the bottom brackets and the components that make up the wheels. Thus it gives a smoother ride. Also the brake componets are superior mainly in the springs which make for safer stopping. As far as fit goes your LBS should be able to fit the bike to you easily. I for example normally will do this at no extra charge barring the componets you choose are not an upgrade to the stock ones.
Also I gurantee my builds to be safe and assembled correctly. I give a year free service.
It has also been my experience that the assemblers at the mass merchant for the most part are nowhere near qualified to build the bike correctly. I doubt very seriously that out of a mass mercant store that you could ride it across Canada. Also for the type of riding you are talking about, from a safety point of view, unless you are going to learn bike mechanics very soon, you may want to go talk to your LBS about your fit issues again.
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Old 04-22-03, 09:30 PM   #36
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Originally posted by Hunter
Well Inoplanetyanin, from my personal experience, I have done repair work on more of wally world bikes than I have the rigs I sell or have sold. I also notice the ride quality is not the same form mass merchant dealers as are the bikes I sell or even own. For one the quality of the bearings in the wheels and hubs in my rigs are superior. Same goes for the bottom brackets and the components that make up the wheels. Thus it gives a smoother ride. Also the brake componets are superior mainly in the springs which make for safer stopping. As far as fit goes your LBS should be able to fit the bike to you easily. I for example normally will do this at no extra charge barring the componets you choose are not an upgrade to the stock ones.
Also I gurantee my builds to be safe and assembled correctly. I give a year free service.
It has also been my experience that the assemblers at the mass merchant for the most part are nowhere near qualified to build the bike correctly. I doubt very seriously that out of a mass mercant store that you could ride it across Canada. Also for the type of riding you are talking about, from a safety point of view, unless you are going to learn bike mechanics very soon, you may want to go talk to your LBS about your fit issues again.
To give some information:

I worked as an automechanic for over a year, I always fix my own cars myself and was also riding a motorcycle for two years(including US to Canada trips. Yamaha Maxim 650cc). I am studying to be a mechanical engineer.
As far as bicycle, I have ridden one for 17 years in Russia. The same, stock - one speed bike! The only thing that iventually had to be replaced on it, was the rear axle that combines the brake inside, - one that engages when it is turned backwards. The reason that part broke is because I used to run the bicycle fast over a tramplin and then brake with sliding the sheel... Bike was 24 inch wheels, Orlenok, ... teenagers bike. It was used suverly for towing 60,70 kg metal beams for our bulinding house that was 17 kms away from the city. Even my father rode it bike sometimes. All this tells me that the quality of that mass produced bike, sold at a place similar to Wal Mart, in the 80s... was good enough for what I am going to do. Again, all the bearing, chain, frame and pedal components were original while tires were changed 3 times.
If something breaks on the bike from Wal Mart, I beleive I will be able to fix it. As I am going to take extra spare parts anyway, for any bike, I believe it is life important to have them ready, when you are cycling alone somewhere in NorthWesrt Territories...

Many people who study economics know, that often, best sales can be reached when the price on the item is less, because it will result in more overall sales.
Now, I am not talking about classic, expensive bicycles or ones from Europe, but all bikes that are sold at supermarkets, are made either in China, Taiwan, Thailad or other Asian country with low labor rates. Also, I noticed that low end bikes that were sold in the Local Bike Shop that I visited, were also labeled "made in China". That makes me think that the product is generally similar, bike are more expensive because people who assemble them in a bike shop, need to get paid for their time on the job, plus additional warranty, better customer service, adjustments, reputation and so on.
In fact, one of bike mechanic in Helens Cycle, in Monrovie, or Duarte(not exactly sure, it's on Huntington Drive, near 210 Freeway West), that mechanic said that the low end China made bikes are very similar with what is sold at Wal Mart, and he beleives that the major problem is, of course, not experienced asseblers...
enough for right now...

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Old 04-22-03, 09:39 PM   #37
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It's funny to read people who say they wear out a bike in three months...
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Old 04-22-03, 10:14 PM   #38
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Originally posted by Inoplanetyanin
This would also add, actual FACTS about using Wal Mart sold bicycles, as there are very little people who are speaking from their OWN experience instead of their beliefs.
You want facts? Big box bikes are designed to be disposible. If a 90 day warranty isn't indicative of that, I don't know what is. Simply because they have the same country of origin doesn't mean the bicycles are of comparable quality. All Shimano components are not of nearly the same quality, and I could go on and on from there. Look closesly at an inexpensive bike at a LBS and at one at a big box store-you'll start to see many differences. Pick 'em both up as well-there will likely be a substantial weight difference. Don't even get me started on build quality. Think your local Wal Mart even has a truing stand?
It's like comparing a Chevy to a Cadillac-you get what you pay for.
I work at a bike shop so you might go so far as to say I have some experience in this area. I work on big box bikes all the time. Usually by the time I get it in a suitable/safe riding condition it would've been cheaper to get a bike from me.
Oh, didn't you used to be on Altimas.net?
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Old 04-22-03, 10:19 PM   #39
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As a matter of fact, Chevy is exactly the same as Cadillac. Just have a different badge. Many engines are the same as well as other components. Ask any mechanic, he will tell you. GM doesnt make a different quality parts for Cadillac or Oldsmobile, Chevrolet or Buick. The Difference is in acessorie level, name, size and other similarly related factors.
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Old 04-22-03, 10:25 PM   #40
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The Difference is in acessorie level, name, size and other similarly related factors.
Exactly the point I was making with the analogy. Look at the bikes closely and you'll see that.
How's the Altima?
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Old 04-22-03, 10:32 PM   #41
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Originally posted by Waldo
You want facts? Big box bikes are designed to be disposible.
>What proofs are behind this statement?

If a 90 day warranty isn't indicative of that, I don't know what is.

>90 days is because they dont want to have too many people >comming back with replacements or repairs. It's a mass >production and mass selling business, there is a difference with >few people that u see in bike shops.

Simply because they have the same country of origin doesn't mean the bicycles are of comparable quality.

>I didn't say that...
>What I mean is, the price of the bicycle will be determinded by >the net cost, amount of money that manufacturer has to put >into it to build it. Money for the steel, different bolts, plastic, >rubber and so forth.
>Higher quality material is used, the higher the price will be. >However, it doesnt mean that the bike will be sold at a higher >price that those that were chaper to build.
>Let's say it costs $100 for to order all necessary parts to >assemble a giant bike. In order to make money, the price will go >150 for assembling plant, then it goes $170 for shipping it to >US, now you have retailer that also need profit. Here you go, >the price of the bike is over $250- $300.
>While from the factory, box withh all parts could be let go for >$100. If you dont agree with this concept, I have no other thing >to tell you.

All Shimano components are not of nearly the same quality, and I could go on and on from there.

>I dont know what's behind shimano. I am not an expert, a >seller, a shipment person, and I don't beleive you are as well.

Look closesly at an inexpensive bike at a LBS and at one at a big box store-you'll start to see many differences.

>We are not comparing the cheapest Wal Mart bikes.
>The beginning was about a Schwinn Wal Mart bike. Of course >roadmaster or some Glacier point is worse, as it has caliper >brakes, plastic brake levers, twisted black metal tube for the >pedal...
>Compare similar bike!

Pick 'em both up as well-there will likely be a substantial weight difference.

Yes, and the price is different. What makes the bike weight more is the steel frame and heavier rims.

Don't even get me started on build quality. Think your local Wal Mart even has a truing stand?

>We are not comparing a build quality. Already talked about this. >Look above.


It's like comparing a Chevy to a Cadillac-you get what you pay for.

>Said above. You are wrong with that statement.

I work at a bike shop so you might go so far as to say I have some experience in this area. I work on big box bikes all the time.

>What is a "big box bike"?

Usually by the time I get it in a suitable/safe riding condition it would've been cheaper to get a bike from me.

>Again, you are talking about labor of a bike shop technician.

Oh, didn't you used to be on Altimas.net?

>You have a personal problem with me? First you would have to >Tell me enough about >yourself, and I might consider answering >you on this!

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Old 04-22-03, 10:38 PM   #42
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Exactly the point I was making with the analogy. Look at the bikes closely and you'll see that.
How's the Altima?
What point were you making?

My point is is that the quality of the parts is the same on Cadillac, as it is on the Chevrolet!
Acessories is a crouise control, codillac emblem, leather seats, climate control and so forth...

With bike, we were talking about reliability, not acessories!
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Old 04-22-03, 10:41 PM   #43
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[B]You want facts?
B]
You misunderstood. By experience is meant an experience with Wal Mart bicycles. You obviouslt don't have it and you can't have it because you sell bike in a bike shop!

All you "facts" is just your humble opinion.
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Old 04-22-03, 10:43 PM   #44
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Originally posted by Waldo

Oh, didn't you used to be on Altimas.net?
You want to know something personal about me?
Well, I don't feel like getting personal with you, so I expect you to drop this subject. You don't interest me personally..., not to say more.

Please, only bike related subjects.
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Old 04-22-03, 10:44 PM   #45
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In the end it is up to you, if you want to purchase the one at WallMart go for it. You sound like you know enough to work on some of the things on you're bike on your own. I would suggest against the $10 tires atleast though, they won't wear near as well, or resist flats near as well.

If bike shop does not take the time to try to get a bike your size to fit your correctly by swapping the stem... seats etc don't buy their. Most important is you enjoy the bike, if you feel that the walmart bike will fit the needs buy it, and enjoy riding it and by the time you go you will know whether it will be able to make the trip or not.
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Old 04-22-03, 10:49 PM   #46
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In the end it is up to you, if you want to purchase the one at WallMart go for it. You sound like you know enough to work on some of the things on you're bike on your own. I would suggest against the $10 tires atleast though, they won't wear near as well, or resist flats near as well.

If bike shop does not take the time to try to get a bike your size to fit your correctly by swapping the stem... seats etc don't buy their. Most important is you enjoy the bike, if you feel that the walmart bike will fit the needs buy it, and enjoy riding it and by the time you go you will know whether it will be able to make the trip or not.
The reason for the forum was a wish to find out wether people had any actual experiense with those bikes, if yes, what exactly didnt last'... and so forth.
Pretty much only thing I see is general comments on safety issues... "valuing your life"... etc.
Of course I will buy whatever I will choose to buy, no one pushes me. Except, actually, salespeople in bike shops. They are often very pushy... While at Wal Mart, Lady wanted to get back to her shelves...

There are some good and bad sides about both choises, Wal Mart and bikes sold at the Shop.

Gone for today.
Best regards to everybody...
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Old 04-22-03, 10:55 PM   #47
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So you're saying that there's nothing wrong with them designing a disposible bike? Yes, it's effective as a business model (Actually not, Kmart is soon to leave the bike business and other big box stores are said to be considering this as well) and they fulfill this purpose well. What they don't provide is a reliable bike. Saftey is an issue that we'll set aside with build quality.
As for your bit about me not being an expert about Shimano, I'd go so far as to say that I'd probably qualify, what with all the tech seminars they hold that I've been to and the work that I do on their components. Oh, and being a certified Shimano wheel tech probably doesn't mean much to you either, am I right?
Even a big box Schwinn will be of inferior quality to a Schwinn you'd find at a bike shop. Entirely different frame and components again.
Personal problem with you? I don't waste my time with e-thuging. Just thought I remembered you from another site, is that so wrong?
Not quite sure how my statement about it being cheaper to buy a bike from me than to buy a big box bike and bring it to me when (not if) something breaks is irrelevant due to labor costs. Just look at parts cost for a wheel that will almost invariably taco and you're already at the cost differential.
I can't have experience with Wal Mart bikes because I work at a shop? That's hilarious. I work on these bikes fairly often, test ride them after the repairs, and have customers continually tell me, "I should've just gotten a bike from you," but that's not experience?
In any case, I'm done trying to have an intelligent discussion with you on the subject as you're clearly not interested in that.
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Old 04-22-03, 10:57 PM   #48
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You want to know something personal about me?
Nope. See my other post.
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Old 04-22-03, 11:26 PM   #49
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Originally posted by Inoplanetyanin
It's funny to read people who say they wear out a bike in three months...
I go through wheels quickly...freewheels faster...pedals pretty quick depending on quality. Medium end seatpost in a month or so and chain in a fairly short time. My bb lasts around 9 months. All of this is with constant fiddling and maintenance. Quite simply I ride very hard and have broken a couple of frames over the years...it is a matter of riding style.

Sounds like a walmart bike will be fine for you and your riding style but having ridden one for fun I KNOW I would destroy the bike, cook it and then eat it for lunch. And thats only the frame. The parts (non of them) would last a month. The wheelsets on them will be very poor and weak. While you may not be rough on it replace the rear hub at least otherwise the freewheel / cassette will cause problems...

And you don't have to ride the bike AT ALL to know the quality. I can walk you through each part and explain its weakness having never ridden them. I am sure you can do the same thing in regards to cars (which I know nothing about) and I would trust your opinion enough to continue asking others. You have had a 100% disapproval rate in regards to the quality of these bikes yet . Maybe with your riding it will last but most people here are at least remotely rough on bikes and know that the drive train, wheelset and many other parts will break sooner than later under normal conditions. Requiring us to ride the bike to offer an opinion is a cop-out.

Cheers enjoy the bike and ride. If you consider it a disposable bike and it works for you I am just glad you are riding as everyone should be . Oh and the other thing that 'good' bikes do is save weight, and while I am the last to actually care about weight of my bike, walmart / sears / cheapo bikes ALL outweight my beast, which is heavy for a set purpose.

Last edited by Maelstrom; 04-22-03 at 11:52 PM.
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Old 04-22-03, 11:29 PM   #50
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Originally posted by Inoplanetyanin
What point were you making?

My point is is that the quality of the parts is the same on Cadillac, as it is on the Chevrolet!
Acessories is a crouise control, codillac emblem, leather seats, climate control and so forth...

With bike, we were talking about reliability, not acessories!
Your drive train quality and the quality of your wheels are DIRECTLY relational to the reliability of the bike. The parts on that bike (or any low end bike) do not compare in any way to the part on my bike except in theory only (deraileur function for example is the same but the design / materials inside / smoothness as a result of higher quality). And again I will state I don't need to own the bike to know this.
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