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Old 07-03-07, 07:44 AM   #1
Vartabea
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Toy R' Us

Yo guys,

I know the perception of bikes sold at Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, and even Toys R' Us. Cheap frames, ****ty assemblors, and all together not worth the 50 bucks, especially if your kid is gonna break his ass riding down the street. Now I heard that Toys R' Us might get a 'tech team' like Sports Authority, trained bike assemblors, but a lower selection of bikes. Should I trust these discounted bikes for my kid when this tech team comes on board. I bought my first bike at Toys R Us, but I wasn't a crazy biker like most of you guys are. I just want a good value product that will last him a few years, and not kill him.

Any comments or inferences would help.
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Old 07-03-07, 07:52 AM   #2
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I have a few toy r us bikes for the kids there fine for the kids. Remember bikes are like
shoes the kids will grow out of them no sense spending alot of money on them when there
young. My son just received his first Schwinn from a LBS . He learned to take good care of
his cheaper bike first , now his on to something better. I take the old toy r us bikes and
usually give them to someone less fortunate and let them start the enjoyment of biking.

Dan
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Old 07-03-07, 03:31 PM   #3
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I think the x-mart factor can be given a bit more leeway for kids, as they are less likely to push a bike to its limits. However, it is still important to be wary of bad assembly and dangerous faults in bikes. If you have even a basic knowledge of bikes, I trust you should be able to make a fair judgement call.

Depending on the age of your kid(s), it would be worth considering if they will be riding a lot and may be old enough to gain some genuine appreciation for cycling - in this case it would be a good idea to ensure that they have a decently fit and decent riding bike whereever it came from.
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Old 07-05-07, 08:26 AM   #4
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X-mart bikes = toys.
Bikes for kids = toys.

There's a kind of symmetry there. However, if you have junior doing centuries/brevets/commutes etc at a VERY young age, as opposed to the standard playing around that many kids do...you may want to look into a more "advanced" bike.

Kids do, as stated, outgrow their bikes...and most kids bikes are also exceptionally simple machines.
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Old 07-05-07, 11:20 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Banzai
X-mart bikes = toys.
Bikes for kids = toys.

There's a kind of symmetry there. However, if you have junior doing centuries/brevets/commutes etc at a VERY young age, as opposed to the standard playing around that many kids do...you may want to look into a more "advanced" bike.

Kids do, as stated, outgrow their bikes...and most kids bikes are also exceptionally simple machines.
It really depends on the age of the kid and what she will be doing with it. Around the block, down the alley cruising will be fine, but I think even more important than brevets and centuries is riding off road. A lot of these bikes are designed to look they can go off road. They cannot.

If your kid is like I was when I was young, you'll be fine. If your kid is like my brother was (I wonder what it would be like to jump off that? What about that? dozens of stitches, bruises, and one broken bone before he was ten.) then I would be careful.
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Old 07-05-07, 11:36 AM   #6
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garage sale
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Old 07-05-07, 12:59 PM   #7
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A good kid's bike sold at a good bike shop costs $200 or less. It will last decades with reasonable care, so after kid "A" outgoes it, the bike can be passed to kid "B", and so on for many years. And, the brakes will work, the steering will work, the seat post won't break.

In contrast, the $75 "toy bikes" are not designed for real bike riding at all. They can survive slow easy rides around the block. But, if a "real" boy runs them off a curb at high speed (something boys can 't resist doing), the wheel may fail, the seat post may break, the bars may break. And, the steering and braking is second or third rate from the get-go.

I've seen people drive into a bike shop in a Mercedes or BMW. They want the techs at the bike shop to make a Wal-Mart toy bike safe to ride. These folks spend $50,000 on a car, or $100 on drinks and dinner, they want to avoid spending $200 on a bike for their kid. And, this is a kid that owns thirty or forty video games, selling for $20 to $60 each...$1,000 is not too much for a bag of video games, but $200 is too much for a bike. Strange...
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Old 07-05-07, 05:00 PM   #8
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But alan, you're attempting to inject some form of logic / cost-benefit analysis into that decision making process.

You should stop.
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Old 07-05-07, 05:19 PM   #9
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My daughter, who is 6 years old 47" tall and 60 pounds, broken the rear axle of a new Kent the second time she rode it.
It's not worth it, having your kids ride junk.
Your kids are worth a good bike.
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Old 07-05-07, 05:49 PM   #10
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^ wow, x-mart's gone even further downhill than I remember. They do scrape that barrel eh?
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Old 07-06-07, 12:31 AM   #11
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I buy all my bikes from Department stores. My road bike is a 99 dollar Toys R Us bicycle. I haven't had a problem with it yet except I don't like the feel of road bikes at all. I like the speed of it with the 700x25 tires though. Solid center pull brakes. Only bad thing, if you want to call it that, the gear shifters are at the handlebars aka 1970s style and it weighs a ton compared to a 1,000 dollar road bike.

My regular and favorite bike is a Schwinn from Walmart. One of them took me from South Carolina to Texas two years ago without any problems minus flats.

I would stay away from the Roadmaster series from Walmart unless you upgrade the tires and brakes.

Department store bikes are okay BUT BUT BUT BUT always check the assembly yourself to be sure.
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Old 07-06-07, 08:07 AM   #12
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gpsblake, we all know you ride Wally World bikes because, other than Shealy's, there's nothing else in Leesville, but Wally World. And, even that is actually in Batesburg.
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Old 07-06-07, 01:26 PM   #13
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The problem here is that there is nothing inbetween. You have Target/Wal-Mart/K-Mart on the one hand and two small, expensive LBSs on the other. There is a need, I think for at least one in-between establishment in the Charleston area.
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Old 07-07-07, 08:07 PM   #14
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I have at least 500 (100 of them are single-track) miles on my 80$ Wal-Mart bike. It hasn't broken yet, and I ride pretty hard on the trails. Yes, technically the bike is a heavy piece of crap, but it does the job for now. I'm still going to upgrade to something better/lighter one day.
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Old 07-07-07, 08:15 PM   #15
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I am open to all suppliers. However, the ONE Toys-R-Us bicycle that we have - a trick bike bought by my son for about $300 was a disaster. Now, the bike has been passed on to his little brother and it still a maintanance headache.

If you are looking for low-cost from a big-box store, I would go with a Schwinn (Target, Walmart {hissss**m Costci). Some of the others like Vertical and Pacific are too cheaply made.
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Old 07-07-07, 08:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elkhound
The problem here is that there is nothing inbetween. You have Target/Wal-Mart/K-Mart on the one hand and two small, expensive LBSs on the other. There is a need, I think for at least one in-between establishment in the Charleston area.
Well, I don't know about that. I think that between the two, you can get the full spectrum. The big-box department stores now have Schwinn for a slightly better quality and slightly more money. So, you can the $60 cheapo or the $200 Schwinn.

From there, you can go to and LBS and a lot of them have bikes starting at around $250 to $300 and up, so between the big-box stores and the LBS, you can really pick any level you want these days.
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Old 07-07-07, 10:25 PM   #17
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But... what is wrong with getting a cheap bike, and then over time upgrading the components?

Yes, I understand there is only so far you can go using this route. But my bike cost me 140 (RRP 180).. I have fitted a sealed BB, a new seat, sealed bearing pedals (flats), new sussie forks (not top line, but better than original), new tyres (that really made the difference regards the ride). I am saving my pennies for s new groupset at the moment... and yes, there are only certain groupsets compatible with my bike... but whatever I get 'will' be an upgrade from the original.

It is all fine and dandy to say go spend over 700 for a good bike, but what if you do not have 500-1000... just then... just now?

I also think... that it is how you look after a bike... even a cheap peice of crap. If you ask how to lube it... and get involved in maintaining it, even the cheapest bikes will last for ages. Your 2000 marvels will soon be run into the floor if they are not maintained. I recently passed a Marin with flat tyres, a rusty chain... seat to low... and I just cruised past him on my peice of crap. Also... think on this. If I bussed to work it would cost me 200 a year... if I can get a bike for 80 and I get 12 months out of it without maintenance... I have saved money, and just to be PC... I have NO carbon footprint. This is commuting of course.

My point is... do not be to judgemental over this... If you are a hardcore cyclist, then of course you need the lightest most wonderful bike on the planet, epsecially if you are racing or other sportive activities. If you want a bike to tootle about, or get to work.. you can get by with anything. But you are BOTH cyclist.

This 'toy' that I ride gets me to work... and thus I can earn to feed my family. Getting there by bus would is easy at 2pm, but coming home at 4am would mean a taxi (yes a 14 hour shift... I wanna be fast there and fast back). I kinda get if not angry, but frustrated when the the bike I look after and keep maintained is referred to as a toy. It is in fact an a very important tool, and great fun to ride.
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Old 07-07-07, 11:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cadfael
But... what is wrong with getting a cheap bike, and then over time upgrading the components?

Yes, I understand there is only so far you can go using this route. But my bike cost me 140 (RRP 180).. I have fitted a sealed BB, a new seat, sealed bearing pedals (flats), new sussie forks (not top line, but better than original), new tyres (that really made the difference regards the ride). I am saving my pennies for s new groupset at the moment... and yes, there are only certain groupsets compatible with my bike... but whatever I get 'will' be an upgrade from the original.

It is all fine and dandy to say go spend over 700 for a good bike, but what if you do not have 500-1000... just then... just now?

I also think... that it is how you look after a bike... even a cheap peice of crap. If you ask how to lube it... and get involved in maintaining it, even the cheapest bikes will last for ages. Your 2000 marvels will soon be run into the floor if they are not maintained. I recently passed a Marin with flat tyres, a rusty chain... seat to low... and I just cruised past him on my peice of crap. Also... think on this. If I bussed to work it would cost me 200 a year... if I can get a bike for 80 and I get 12 months out of it without maintenance... I have saved money, and just to be PC... I have NO carbon footprint. This is commuting of course.

My point is... do not be to judgemental over this... If you are a hardcore cyclist, then of course you need the lightest most wonderful bike on the planet, epsecially if you are racing or other sportive activities. If you want a bike to tootle about, or get to work.. you can get by with anything. But you are BOTH cyclist.

This 'toy' that I ride gets me to work... and thus I can earn to feed my family. Getting there by bus would is easy at 2pm, but coming home at 4am would mean a taxi (yes a 14 hour shift... I wanna be fast there and fast back). I kinda get if not angry, but frustrated when the the bike I look after and keep maintained is referred to as a toy. It is in fact an a very important tool, and great fun to ride.
Based on what I have seen, the cheapo bikes aren't worth upgrading. The frames, for example, are more than just a little heavy. Many of them are ridiculously heavy - big clunky metal pipes welded together to which very poor quality parts are attached. So, you might gradually upgrade the parts, but it is something like making stone soup. Pretty soon, you have invested a whole bikes worth of parts.
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Old 07-08-07, 06:13 AM   #19
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A bicycle is NOT a toy.
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Old 07-09-07, 12:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GamecockTaco
gpsblake, we all know you ride Wally World bikes because, other than Shealy's, there's nothing else in Leesville, but Wally World. And, even that is actually in Batesburg.
LMAO!!! Actually, I hate yellow BBQ so I always skip Shealy's and prefer Wiz's.... who happens to be owned by the mayor. And that Walmart, I still can't get used to it being there....and apparently no one else has either, it's been very slow business wise so far.

And don't put down Leesville, we do still have a Western Auto that sells Huffy bicycles.

:-)
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Old 07-09-07, 05:27 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike
Based on what I have seen, the cheapo bikes aren't worth upgrading. The frames, for example, are more than just a little heavy. Many of them are ridiculously heavy - big clunky metal pipes welded together to which very poor quality parts are attached. So, you might gradually upgrade the parts, but it is something like making stone soup. Pretty soon, you have invested a whole bikes worth of parts.
Yep. Plus, it will probably end up costing more than buying a decent bike from a bike shop.
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Old 07-09-07, 06:56 AM   #22
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I never buy anthing from WAL*MART but I only ride cheap bikes.
I ride them hard and put a lot of miles on them.
How many people who bash them actually do that ?
People who frequent forums like this tend to put a premium on high
priced stuff because it varifies one is a 'serious' cyclist.
Here is my boorish editorial on the subject........
They are not assembled in what a 'serious' bicycle rider would
consider a correct fashion. People putting them togther are not allowed
to grease BB's and stuff like that or even spend time on them.
A lot of the time an outside company comes in to build them. They
also put together office furniture and home entertainment centers....Not too much better.
I think the frames are purposely overbuilt for liability reasons but the companies
know that most of them are not going to be ridden much after the whim to buy it
subsides, so the axlenuts/hardware is soft, the tubes are cheap, etc.....
As previosly mentioned, My generic cantilevered frame cheepo has seen duty in three
states, thousands of miles, in all weather. There has never been issue with it other than
flats. Ive gotten parts for it on a sunday nite at K-MArt.
If you dont care about paying 150.00 surcharge for decals or membership into
the club its a great way to keep your commuting costs astronomically low.
Dont let people disuade you.....there is nothing wrong with cheepos despite all you
will hear to the contrary.
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Old 07-09-07, 10:09 AM   #23
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$250 at the LBS? Sorry, the cheapest adult bike they carry is around $600.00.
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Old 07-09-07, 10:51 AM   #24
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If a 'tech team' is like Geek Squad, I will still be leery.
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Old 07-10-07, 09:35 PM   #25
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You get what you pay for . . .
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