Let me preface this by saying that I'm usually an LBS kind of person. I have one MTB that came from JCPenney about 12 years ago, and part of why I bought it was because I worked there and got a discount. To its credit, it's still chugging along. My Schwinn came from an LBS about 18 years ago, and it too still has many miles left on it. So, I've had good experiences both ways. The Penney's bike needed adjustments that had already been done on the Schwinn, but I knew how to do them and wasn't bothered.
Well, while shopping at Target today, I looked at their bikes out of curiosity. As I expected, there were alot of MTBs and a couple of hybrids and road bikes. One of the hybrids caught my eye. It was the Schwinn Trail Way, in 700c with 21 speeds. The frame was aluminum and the brakes were like the ones on my wife's GT Outpost Trail. I can't remember the name of them. The front suspension looked identical to the one I saw on a Giant at the LBS. Anyhow, the bike was priced at $199 and looked like it had been in the rack for awhile, not that it matters.
I can't spend $600+ for any kind of bike. I shouldn't even put something like that on a credit card. Even if I had that kind of money I'm a cheapskate and would hesitate to spend it. This Trail Way is all but the peak of anything I could spend for a bike in the near future, and it would be a short time in the future before I could get it anyway.
Now, the big question is, would this bike be suitable for the kind of trail riding I like to do? We have a park nearby with a 2-mile gravelled MUP that connects to another, longer path, which in the next two years will be connected to our local Riverwalk, which is paved. The bike information package said it was suitable for light trail riding, which to me sounds like that type of trail. Small and large gravel mixed with dirt. Having 21 speeds might make for a better commute-type ride on the roads than the 12 on the old Schwinn, and would save some wear and tear on it as well.
I know this thread will probably draw out everyone who claims to dislike discount bikes but has never had one. They don't seem to realize that not all of us can go the pricey route. An earlier thread on the GMC Denali showed that a well-used Denali could go the distance with proper maintenance and adjustment, so I could see this bike possibly able to do the same thing. I almost wish I could run back to Target and grab it before they close.