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  1. #101
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    <threadhack>

    all the kmarts here closed down (not really all that upset, the kmarts here sucked anyway )

    </threadhack>

  2. #102
    mousse de chocolat Moose's Avatar
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    Be very careful when asking for opinions, you just might hear some!
    I feel more like I do now than when I first got here.

  3. #103
    Senior Member Waxbytes's Avatar
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    This is a quote I heard that was attributed to bicycle wizard who's name escapes me at this moment. Here is the quote concerning bicycles:

    "Light,strong, cheap....pick any two"

    Wish I could remember who said it, but he is well known.

  4. #104
    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    Originally posted by supcom
    Man, it's warm in here. Would someone turn on the air conditioner?

    OK, lets put this all in perspective. Xmart bikes are designed for several markets:

    1. Kids to use for a few years until the trash them out or outgrow them. Probably ridden less than a couple hundred miles total average.

    2. Adults who haven't ridden a bicycle in years, are way out of shape and think that a few trips around the block will prevent their next heart attack. They ride a few times, then it gets too hot, too cold, or the next episode of Survivor is coming on the Tee Vee and they park the bike in the garage. They like the idea of buying a Schwinn because they had one as a kid and don't know what has happen to the brand name in recent years. Total average riding distance: less than 100 miles.

    3. Senior citizens who want something to get around the RV park. I see lots of RVs with two xmart bikes on the back. If I had to park one of those land whales, I'd get a bike to go down to the grocery store too! These folks probably put a hundred miles average on a bike. Nice easy slow miles for the most part. (No intent to disrespect seniors. Some of them are in way better shape then I!)

    The xmart bike is not designed for cross continent rides. It's not designed for riding 20 miles per day for 10 years. It's not designed to traverse the Great Divide trail.

    That doesn't mean the bike is not good value. Good value means the bike meets the customer's needs at a good price. Not everyone wants to let their darling Junior trash an $800 bike. What need does the average Senior have with a carbon fiber frame and titanium seat rails? If I give my kid a $100 bike and it lasts two years, I figure I've got my money's worth.

    I certainly would not want to try to ride an xmart bike across the continent. However, I'll bet at least one person has done it. It would probably be more of a challenge than doing it with a kilobuck touring bike!

    It's not that xmart is selling a bad product. It's just not the right product for every cycling need.
    Excellent viewpoint. well put.
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

    1985 Custom built 531c Audax/fast tourer.
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  5. #105
    Gordon P
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    "Light,strong, cheap....pick any two"
    I am sure it was Keith Bontrager.

  6. #106
    Grounded Inkwolf's Avatar
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    Just to comment on two of the opposing stereotypes people are championing in this thread--

    When I worked at Toys R Us, we had an excellent bike-assembly team, guys who knew what they were doing. In fact, one of them was a part-time pit-crew member at a local racetrack, so obviously had some mechanical skill! They aren't always minimum wage kids, and the ones that are aren't always unskilled and untrained, either. (Of course, these guys who knew what they were doing were the most vocal in bad-mouthing the cheap crap bikes we sold!)

    The other stereotype, that bike shops won't help you unless you're buying a high-end bike, and the workers don;t know squat--I suppose it depends on the shop, but that hasn't been my experience at all. In my own case, I bought a $380 comfort bike, and they threw in $50 of free accessories, know me by name whenever I enter the shop, and did many free repairs and adjustments for me. That's Team 2 Racing, Green Bay, Holmgren Way. The guys there definitely know what they're doing.

    My mom bought an old used Schwinn--not from the bike shop but from a friend--and the shop that we took it to with a coupon for $10 off a tune-up not only tuned up the bike but WASHED it for her, unasked and at no extra charge,and are happy to assist her with any questions or problems she has. That's The Bike Hub, Green Bay, somewhere on Monroe St(?) just off Fox Riiver Trail.

    The goodwill and great attitudes are fantastic in most of the local bike stores I've been in. And I'd rather help support a local business in any case, rather than a huge chain which underpays their employees.
    "A curious two-wheeled vehicle called the Velocipede has been invented, which is propelled by jack-asses instead of horses."--The Federal Republican and Baltimore Telegraph, July 9, 1819

  7. #107
    FOG
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    Some folks want experience, and I have a bunch. I have three kids and two step kids, and they all have grown. The most disappointing bikes were a couple of low end ralieghs from a LBS. The most pleasant surprise was a Motiv from the local Costco. I have gotten my bikes at the low end of bike shop lines and at other stores, inluding some Toys R us bikes, some from REI, and Dick's sporting Goods, which has a large cycle department. My general impression is that the roadmaster/Huffy type stuff is crap and I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. I think that a used schwinn would be a much better bet. (My friend is still riding the varsity I got in 1966, and I still ride my Le Tour from the mid 70's). I find, however, that upgrading components is a lot of work and tends to be a waste of money, because the parts are so much cheaper when you buy them as part of a new bike. I would also stay away from the bottom 15-20% of the bikes in the typial LBS.

    One possible bargain is to get a no-name bike with good components, as you might find in a warehouse store, as in the motiv line at costco. Some of the Motivs are crap and others are quite nice. Look at the components, and feel the bike for frame weight. You can look at the welds and check to see if the bead appears to reflect good technique.

    I have had excellent luck with REI, and okay luck with Dick's. The good news is that the local Dick's has a cycle mechanic at least as good as the LBS.

    Some of the bikes I have or had:

    16" name bike- ok but corroded, would have been happier with no-name. (LBS)
    20" department store bikes (2)- I was happy enough with these for letting kids learn to ride. The attractive graphics helped get the kids on the bikes (ninja mutant turtles)
    20" specialized Mountain bike- good bike but weird 6 speed shifter cost a fortune to replace when my kid fell on it. Seat post was also a strange size. (REI)
    24" specialized mountain bike- good bike, no problems (REI)
    24" drop handlebar raliegh-crap bike, kickstand was integral and the retaining clip corroded, made the bike a write off. (LBS)
    26" mid quality raliegh hybrid- good bike no problems (LBS)
    27" bianchi road bikebought used a LBS- good bike
    27" raliegh cheap road bike-LBS crap
    Trek 6500 Al mountain bike- LBS good bike
    27" Schwinn Le Tour- panasonic made these- good bike, only one worth updating
    Mongoos Pro Morzine, Dick's- new purchase- I don't like this bike but my daughter did.-it feels very heavy for aluminum
    Motiv Comfort Bike- Costco- good bike
    Mongooze Inferno FS MT Bike- new bike- my 230 lb son bent the rear wheel jumping curbs, Dick's trued it for free

  8. #108
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    As far as the guy looking at the el-cheapo Roadmaster (Built by Pacific, same as now own the Schwinn name, but slotted at the lower end of the spectrum) for his wife: Have you considered that such a junky machine may actually turn her away from cycling?
    My first mtb was from Mongomery Wards, it was cheap, too big, weighed 30 lbs and was scary as can be to ride off road. My husband worked on the brakes, the gears everything, till I just refused to go out with him anymore. A few years later we both got new bikes I got a Trek 7000. It FIT me. I loved it. If I'd had a good bike 10 years earlier I could have enjoyed all of that time on a bike.

    Now most of my time is spent on the road. I have upgraded to very good road bike, and I do put the miles on.

  9. #109
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    If you are going to buy a 'good' bike from Costco, BJ's, or one of those other warehouse clubs, ask to get it unassembled. Sometimes these places get good deals on old stock, but I wouldn't trust their staff to assemble it correctly.
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

  10. #110
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Waxbytes
    This is a quote I heard that was attributed to bicycle wizard who's name escapes me at this moment. Here is the quote concerning bicycles:

    "Light,strong, cheap....pick any two"

    Wish I could remember who said it, but he is well known.
    NEd Overland I think?

  11. #111
    Zippy Engineer Waldo's Avatar
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    ^
    No, whomever said it was Keith Bontrager was correct.

  12. #112
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    The problem with high quality bikes that lasts years and years is that the company that made them are out of business. The bikes are so durable that the customers didn't need to buy new ones or repair them. Most of the profits are from servicing and parts, not the actual bike sale. This is true for car companies as well. Their bread and butter is servicing and parts.

  13. #113
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    Yes, but are they cheaper ?

    OK, the $AUD99 'doorbuster price' bikes are cheap, and not bad value considering what you get (the finish is poor but it's very much a matter of 'never mind the quality feel the width').

    But we are talking here about the absolutely most basic, unsprung, all-steel bikes here.
    They price these low to get you in the store - but the more upmarket models of Huffy etc, are they any cheaper ?
    You'd be surprised - similarly specified LBS bikes are usually cheaper.

    And as for those fully sprung steel framed bikes - they are a very silly thing indeed.

    What does more money buy ?

    Frames - lighter, no difference in strength, in fact steel frames are strongest.

    Wheels - stronger, which means less maintenance (truing spokes).

    Bearings - longer lasting, so less maintenance.

    Derailleurs - Friction shifters, the cheapest, are durable, but no good with motre than about 15 gears (you keep on slipping gears). The more expensive of the thumb shifters are more durable, less likely to select a wrong gear.

    Tyres - puncture resistance, easier fit, can withstand higher pressure so less rolling resistance.

    Other - carbon forks give a degree of springing to road bikes (as well as being light), front suspension so you can ride up kerbs and gives your wrists a break, fully sprung bikes (aluminium !) are more efficient and comfortable on dirt roads.

  14. #114
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    BTW, 'Altus' thumb shifters don't last very long, in my experience. 'Deore' systems are pretty well what you need for a serious bike.

  15. #115
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    A) A bike from your local LBS will last longer so you won't have to replace it as soon, saving you money

    B) A bike from the LBS will most likely be more comfortable, so you will enjoy cycling more and stick with this great life long sport.

    C) Everything at Sprawl-mart is cheap plastic crap. Don't shop there. They are a horrible face-less corporation. support your locally owned businesses as much as possible.

  16. #116
    Kev
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    I checked out the bikes at walmart last week, partialy because of this thread. They have a few good things, not one piece crank on some of them, rims are low end alex.. hubs no-name so who knows how long those will last. Wheels are atleast QR now. Front derailleur did not look bad, can't make them much cheaper , rear deraileur I would be surprised if survived very logn was extremely cheap, v-brakes were half plastic. Just to ride around town would not be to bad, nice throw-away bike.

  17. #117
    Member Bigbiker's Avatar
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    I just bought one of these X-mart bikes, a Scwinn "Aluminum Comp, and it seems to be pretty strong. After reading this thread I took it to a LBS and had the "spring tune up special" performed on it.

    I haven't had any complaints with it. If it breaks at all, X-mart has a full refund/return/exchange policy so what's the risk?

    If I continue and get into this great sport, I will either upgrade the bike with quality accessories (the frame seems very strong)or buy a new more expensive model from the LBS.

    I think that the bike should be looked at for what it is:
    It's cheap
    It's great for beginners to explore their interest
    It's returnable

    View the bike/specs here:

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...A4178%3A103684[/URL]

  18. #118
    Kev
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    I think x-mart bikes are great to see if you want to get into cycling and cheap way to go. For serious cycling, long distances, touring, commuting to work every day I would suggest something a bit better. Since by the time you upgrade the low end components on it you could have bought a higher end bike.

  19. #119
    Senior Member chip's Avatar
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    Yes if you depend on others to maintain your bicycles better buy at a bicycle shop...It is your best insurance...I see that canadian tire is selling those Scherwin bicycles ...Thanks for the update Joe on the stats with that company

  20. #120
    It's in my blood Pete Clark's Avatar
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    If you get an X-mart bike, you'll end up spending more money in the long run.

  21. #121
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I can't believe this thread was brought back to life

  22. #122
    Marathon Cyclist MediaCreations's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bigbiker
    I just bought one of these X-mart bikes, a Scwinn "Aluminum Comp, and it seems to be pretty strong. After reading this thread I took it to a LBS and had the "spring tune up special" performed on it.

    I haven't had any complaints with it. If it breaks at all, X-mart has a full refund/return/exchange policy so what's the risk?

    If I continue and get into this great sport, I will either upgrade the bike with quality accessories (the frame seems very strong)or buy a new more expensive model from the LBS.

    I think that the bike should be looked at for what it is:
    It's cheap
    It's great for beginners to explore their interest
    It's returnable

    View the bike/specs here:

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...A4178%3A103684[/URL]
    I think you may have just posted the most intelligent post in the whole thread.

    You've taken notice of the other posts and got the bike checked out properly. Excellent.

    You're also looking ahead to the possibility of getting something else down the line.

    Your most insightful comment was
    I think that the bike should be looked at for what it is:
    It's cheap
    It's great for beginners to explore their interest
    It's returnable
    I started my cycling on a cheap trashy bike which needed re-tuning all the time. I got sick of it and moved onto something better. But at least it got me started (and showed me the limitations of those bikes).

  23. #123
    Senior Member Inoplanetyanin's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bigbiker
    I just bought one of these X-mart bikes, a Scwinn "Aluminum Comp, and it seems to be pretty strong. After reading this thread I took it to a LBS and had the "spring tune up special" performed on it.

    I haven't had any complaints with it. If it breaks at all, X-mart has a full refund/return/exchange policy so what's the risk?

    If I continue and get into this great sport, I will either upgrade the bike with quality accessories (the frame seems very strong)or buy a new more expensive model from the LBS.

    I think that the bike should be looked at for what it is:
    It's cheap
    It's great for beginners to explore their interest
    It's returnable

    View the bike/specs here:

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...A4178%3A103684[/URL]
    Very glad to hear such an optimistic message and very proud of your choice! You have the guts to do what YOU think is right and not fall into mass thinking stereotypes.
    You also might be interesting in knowing, that in other countries, people have less chances and money to ride something even CLOSE to what you bought. I am full of confidence that the bicycle will last you as much as most others you would get, plus it is less likely to be stolen!

    Congratulation! and hope you keep us updated with how the bike is doing and what your experince is like!
    Someone had to do it!
    I agree, the best post on the whole thread, and the only one that actually brought some ACTION!
    :thumbup: :thumbup:

  24. #124
    Member Bigbiker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the support. I haven't wasted any money if it breaks (the welds and frame style are quite similar to my friends older Mesa) and if I quit riding (I know I'd be crazy to) then I'm not out too much.

    In addition, this thread has given me ideas for my next purchase and how to save money. I appreciate all of the help and information.

    I plan on hitting some trails with it this weekend, I'm just starting so nothing crazy but I'll let you know how it holds up.
    What a long strange trip it's been.

  25. #125
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    So lets review. You originally posted this question:
    So, what reasons can you people point at for not buying this bike?
    You got tons of reasons from people in the forums, most of which you dismissed on the flimsy excuse that since most of the people hadn't actually purchased WalMart bikes in the past, they weren't able to make judgement on them. Its spurious reasoning at best, I KNOW a Yugo is crap, and I have never even been in one. I base that on appearance of the vehicle, reading reviews about them, and hearing TONS of people who do have more experience with the vehicle TRASH it. I also know that the vehicle was built and marketed to be cheap and affordable, not built to be high performance and high quality.

    Now finally, someone agrees with you and makes the same descision as you, so they get kudos and you say that it was the best post. I find that insulting - lots of people put a lot of time into trying to explain just why those bikes are so cheap.

    It is also stunningly ironic to me that buying something at Walmart, the quintessential mass marketer, is considered being 'gutsy' and counter-stereotypical.

    I also have problems with that 'best post' tag - this line:
    It's great for beginners to explore their interest
    Its not great if the bike does not fit, frequently has maintenance problems, and is heavy, slow, and does not shift well. Beginners will get turned off and the bike will be left in a shed to rust. Ok - they saved money because they are not throwing a more expensive bike into the shed to rust, but maybe if the experience was more pleasurable they would have ridden more.

    This was also classic:
    You also might be interesting in knowing, that in other countries, people have less chances and money to ride something even CLOSE to what you bought.
    Um, duh. But whats cool about this country is that you do not HAVE to settle for crap, that you can buy better quality items, rather than settle for what your party official has decided you can buy. Whats your point ? They have no choice - YOU DO !!!!

    Basically, your axe to grind is that it is perfectly logical to buy a Walmart bike, and if someone should deny that, they are
    simply following mass thinking stereotypes. I believe that (your dismissive response) is not being respectful of the years of experience that people on this board bring to the table, versus your stubborn belief that Walmart sells quality not quantity.

    The oldest axioms often ring the truest:

    You get what you pay for !

    If Walmart thought people were buying bikes there on any other basis than simply because its the cheapest, the prices would be higher.

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