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-   -   Shocked by what I found at Target and Wal-Mart tonight... (http://www.bikeforums.net/general-cycling-discussion/398976-shocked-what-i-found-target-wal-mart-tonight.html)

HandsomeRyan 03-18-08 08:07 PM

Shocked by what I found at Target and Wal-Mart tonight...
 
Tonight I went to both my local Target and Wal-Mart stores and found something at each that made me happy.

Target:

In the "bikes" department they had a wide range of helmets in all shapes, sizes, and styles but they also made room for a mirror and directions for making sure the helmet fits correctly! I know everyone has seen people wearing helmets that are obviously not fit correctly removing most, if not all of the safety benefit that a helmet is supposed to provide. I will be emailing Target Corporate to tell them that I (as well as many other cyclists) wholeheartedly support the posting of these helmet-fit guidelines.

http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h1...getHelmet1.jpg

Wal-Mart:

I went to a different Wal-Mart than I usually go to and up on the 3rd tier of their bike rack I saw a bike that looked classier and better built than the usual department store bikes. I investigated further... It is called the Mongoose Paver and it is a 7 speed rigid framed 700c wheeled hybrid with a rack and the one in the store came with a bottle cage as well. The bike was overhead so I couldn't test ride it but I came home and looked it up and it appears to be a great deal for someone looking to get into biking on greenways or MUP's but who doesn't want to invest several-hundred dollars in a new bike. http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=8399245

Do I think this hybrid is as nice as my Raleigh Detour Deluxe? Absolutely not. But I could have bought eight of these for what I have tied up in my one greenway bike. I think this bike is worth a look for the casual cyclist looking to do some fitness or pleasure riding. Kudos to Wal-Mart for selling a bike that isn't a crappy suspended "mountain bike" or overweight SS cruiser.

http://i.walmart.com/i/p/00/03/86/75...48_500X500.jpg

KrisPistofferson 03-18-08 08:23 PM

That's actually not bad. I've always been of the opinion that X-mart bikes would be fine if they'd stick with bikes that can realistically work at their chosen price point, usually less than $150. Singlespeeds and bikes like the one above can viably be done and still be built to last for this price, but trying to facsimilate $1000 mountain or road bikes is where it gets ridiculous.

You can't do suspension and 24+ gears for $100 and have it work right for the consumer, and as a business, it's not ethical to market a facsimile of a mountain bike as if it were made to go off-road and have the directions say in the fine print not to take it off-road because the bike is actually made to carry helmetless illegals and DUIs to and from day labor.

I've seen some of the SS cruiser bicycles there and thought they were adequate and could stand some riding, unfortunately most people go for the aforementioned faux MTB. The cool thing is that crackheads with bolt cutters do, too, and they leave my weird-looking LHT alone.

gpsblake 03-18-08 08:29 PM

I own that very bike, just bought it this month. Works great and makes for a great commuter at a cheap price. 7 speeds, with a 40 tooth front. I wouldn't call it a hybrid though, the tires are as thick as a mountain bike. It's more a cruiser with a rear derailluers and a rear rack.

Machka 03-18-08 08:41 PM

You were shocked? Why?

Places like Target, and Canadian Tire, and Sears, and other department stores have been selling helmets and other bicycle accessories for a LONG time ... complete with instructions on how to fit the helmets.

And places like Target, and Canadian Tire, and Sears, and Walmart, and other department stores have been selling relatively decent, inexpensive bicycles for a LONG time too ... bicycles that work well as commuters, winter bikes, etc.


Now go to a Dollar store and see all the exciting things you can find there! For example, I've picked up camping gear, lighting, and backpacks that collapse down to nothing for my tours ... all for $1. And that's where I get most of my winter gear ... neck gaiters, headbands, gloves, etc. ... all for $1.

I-Like-To-Bike 03-18-08 08:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 6368157)
You were shocked? Why?

Perhaps the OP had previously been getting his information on the subject from the posts of the usual suspects - the hyperbolic Walmart/Xmart bashers of BF.

HandsomeRyan 03-18-08 09:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 6368157)
You were shocked? Why?

Places like Target, and Canadian Tire, and Sears, and other department stores have been selling helmets and other bicycle accessories for a LONG time ... complete with instructions on how to fit the helmets.

I have never seen fit instructions at any department store around here.
For my job (I'm in the magazine business) I recently had a project that took me to about 40 Walmart stores around the southeastern United States and I know that not a singe one of them had a poster explaining how to correctly fit a helmet hung on the wall in their sporting goods department. The K-Marts around here are the same way (they don't even have a very wide selection of helmets).

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 6368157)
And places like Target, and Canadian Tire, and Sears, and Walmart, and other department stores have been selling relatively decent, inexpensive bicycles for a LONG time too ... bicycles that work well as commuters, winter bikes, etc.

Most of the bikes sold by Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Target, etc. are "dual suspension mountain bikes" that are heavy and in the fine print say that they were not even designed for off-road use, or they are overweight singe speed "cruiser" bikes. I'd hardly call these "decent". This bike is different becasue it uses a rigid fork, 700C tires, a rack, and a reasonable 7 speed drive train. They did NOT put on a crappy- power robbing suspension fork (a spring with no damper), a heavy rear suspension setup, 10,000 speed gearing with the lowest level components they could find- sure to break within a week or any of that other nonsense they usually add to make a $100 bike look like a $1,000 bike.

Basically this bike isn't pretending to be something it's not. Unlike many of the other offerings from these types of stores.


Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 6368157)
Now go to a Dollar store and see all the exciting things you can find there! For example, I've picked up camping gear, lighting, and backpacks that collapse down to nothing for my tours ... all for $1. And that's where I get most of my winter gear ... neck gaiters, headbands, gloves, etc. ... all for $1.

My instructable about using Dollar Store lights on a bike has almost 7,000 views. :p
http://www.instructables.com/id/2-Ad...ary-Bike-Ligh/
I love the budget shopping. :D

KrisPistofferson 03-18-08 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 6368220)
Perhaps the OP had previously been getting his information on the subject from the posts of the usual suspects - the hyperbolic Walmart/Xmart bashers of BF.

Big box stores have the reputation they do because most of their bikes are pure crap. I highly doubt a conspiracy among members of a relatively esoteric message board had anything to do with that. 35-pound bikes with suspension and gears that don't work properly is not a quality, or even "decent" bike by any stretch of the imagination. This is what these stores sell for the most part.

No suspension and a single chainring up front is a good idea, though. It's good that X-marts are beginning to carry a more sane alternative to the fake mountain bikes that have given them their bad reputation, what with all the recalls they've had on these white elephants over the years. Maybe one day they'll turn it around and have a reputation for sound, practical bikes. Don't hold your breath.

I've seen your bikes, and you don't ride Wally World bikes either, so why is that?

slvoid 03-18-08 09:15 PM

I never thought I'd see this:
http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=5751048

JanMM 03-18-08 09:25 PM

Walmart doesn't have a ti recumbent available online, do they?

Mr. Beanz 03-18-08 09:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 6368157)
You were shocked? Why?

Places like Target, and Canadian Tire, and Sears, and other department stores have been selling helmets and other bicycle accessories for a LONG time ... complete with instructions on how to fit the helmets.


I've seen this set up for atleast five years. A couple of years ago, Target was selling Lemond helmets as well. About 5 years ago I picked up a seat that looked similar to my wife's comfort saddle. It had the same exact markings "Velo Sport" underneath. Same exact markings and saddle as the one I had picked up at an LBS a couple of months before. LBS saddle was $30, same saddle at Target (different packaging) was $14.:eek:

UncleStu 03-18-08 10:58 PM

Wow- a sensible bike with a rear rack, just add fenders, a computer & some clip-on lights & you're *completely* outfitted & ready! For a $110 bike you could do a *whole* lot worse, that's for sure. If I had seen that, I'd have used that WM gift certificate differently. Oh well, too late for that now.:D

GPSBlake- Can you tell us the standover height on that bike? And whether it has threaded eyelets on the front fork & rear drop-outs for mounting fenders?

gpsblake 03-18-08 10:58 PM

Just a few photos of the bike

http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/4...01smallkw9.jpg
The handlebars are kind of weird & would be very awkward to install headlights. The top bar is not a circle. This bike will make you sit upright like a cruiser. Notice the headlamps? I really use them to hold my GPS units in place.

http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/9...02smallwk6.jpg
Just a general view of the bicycle. Excuse the mess in the spare room. I use Gatorade bottles for my water/drink bottles.

http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/1...03smalljy0.jpg
A view of the rear deralliuer. A low end Shamino but what do you expect for 100 bucks?

I did have to make a few minor adjustments when I bought this bike, I had to adjust the hi-lo screw on the derailluer to make the lowest gear work. And while the brakes worked just fine, I tightened them up just a tad for my liking.

I've ridden this bike 116 miles over the past two weeks.

The rear rack is okay but if I do a tour with it, I'll replace it with my Western Auto rear metal rack with metal side baskets.

gpsblake 03-18-08 11:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UncleStu (Post 6368972)
GPSBlake- Can you tell us the standover height on that bike? And whether it has threaded eyelets on the front fork & rear drop-outs for mounting fenders?

No threaded eyelets in the front. I've never put fenders on a bike before but here is a few photographs of where they would go.

http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/7...e004ly6.th.jpg
Front
http://img169.imageshack.us/img169/5...e005bn9.th.jpg
Rear

I'm not a real tech junkie when it comes to bikes. I will say that this bike is better fit for someone tall than most Walmart bikes. Usually on Walmart bikes, I've got to have the seat extended at the minimum insert line, on this one, I don't have to do that.

KrisPistofferson 03-19-08 10:05 AM

Not a fan of X-marts in general and most of their bicycles in particular, but I will not lie, that is a pretty impressive and practical bike as far as I can tell. Keep us updated on how well it holds up for you.

mlts22 03-20-08 11:43 PM

Definitely a good catch for an X-Mart bike. That is far better than most stuff I see.

The bikes I see usually are the pseudo dual suspension "mountain style" bikes, or the sort of road bikes. Both I've seen usually have drivetrain issues that likely require more cash put in (if its even possible) to fix stuff than the bike's asking price. I've also seen a lot of them with very badly wired brake cables/housings which concerns me.

Unless I find a good special like one bike I saw at Costco which was a decent quality cruiser, I avoid X-Mart stuff for the most part. You really cannot buy a new bike, built with quality materials, for under $400, be it a road bike, or mountain.

alicestrong 03-21-08 06:26 AM

Boy it kind of scares me, actually. You have to admit the X marts do sometimes give the people what they want/need.

That is a fine light duty commuter for around $100...perfect for the person who doesn't trust buying used or have the time/desire to shop around.

It doesn't surprise me much, though. The blinkies I've been picking up at the dollar stores out in LA are exceptional ...for just a buck.

I-Like-To-Bike 03-21-08 09:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson (Post 6368394)
Big box stores have the reputation they do because most of their bikes are pure crap. I highly doubt a conspiracy among members of a relatively esoteric message board had anything to do with that. 35-pound bikes with suspension and gears that don't work properly is not a quality, or even "decent" bike by any stretch of the imagination. This is what these stores sell for the most part.

"Sell" is the key word. Walmart and the other department stores sell bikes to people not concerned with the "reputation" bandied about by a few LBS devotees on a relatively esoteric message board. A poster who doesn't know the difference may often be shocked when confronting that reality.

akatsuki 03-21-08 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson (Post 6368394)
Big box stores have the reputation they do because most of their bikes are pure crap. I highly doubt a conspiracy among members of a relatively esoteric message board had anything to do with that. 35-pound bikes with suspension and gears that don't work properly is not a quality, or even "decent" bike by any stretch of the imagination. This is what these stores sell for the most part.

No suspension and a single chainring up front is a good idea, though. It's good that X-marts are beginning to carry a more sane alternative to the fake mountain bikes that have given them their bad reputation, what with all the recalls they've had on these white elephants over the years. Maybe one day they'll turn it around and have a reputation for sound, practical bikes. Don't hold your breath.

I've seen your bikes, and you don't ride Wally World bikes either, so why is that?

I think the biggest problem with a lot of retailers is the lack of appropriate bikes. As others have commented, if you sell someone a spongy, crappy suspension mountain bike that is completely the wrong size because it is "trendy" and in-stock, well they probably aren't going to become a cyclist of any sort. The same if you sell someone an out-and-out road bike with a drop from saddle to handlebars.

Despite making fun of the suicide levers, those old 80's touring bikes were pretty ideal for the casual rider I think. They had a nice, relatively upright geometry and were well-designed to ride around the suburbs, etc. I would prefer one of those over the urban "hybrid" commuter bikes that they try and sell nowadays.

Buglady 03-21-08 10:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson (Post 6368394)
I've seen your bikes, and you don't ride Wally World bikes either, so why is that?

One can recognise the usefulness of a bike without necessarily choosing it for oneself. Where is it written that one has to "prove" every statement of opinion with action?

I too have been noticing the improvement in department store bikes lately. There was a 6-speed cruiser in Canadian Tire the other day that I really liked. I didn't buy it because I was only there for brake pads (and also I already have five bicycles and no money), but that doesn't mean I think it's a lesser bike or that I am being hypocritical.

operator 03-21-08 10:27 AM

The biggest problem with walmart bikes is not only the crap quality parts, it's also the crap quality assembly job that is done on all of them.

davidsky 03-21-08 11:50 AM

The same company that owns Cannondale now owns Pacific (Mongoose, GT) so you might be seeing some consolidation of design and engineering.

wahoonc 03-21-08 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by operator (Post 6379691)
The biggest problem with walmart bikes is not only the crap quality parts, it's also the crap quality assembly job that is done on all of them.

Yep and I have in my possesion a Walmart sold Huffy Cranbrook and I can't recall the last time I have seen such crappy welds. FWIW I DID NOT BUY THE BIKE it was "issued" to me to use at the plant I am working at. I will get some pictures of the welds on Monday. They didn't even clean up the splatter prior to painting. The bike looks nice from 5 feet away. Some of the welds don't even make it all the way around the tubes. It was assembled correctly, but that may have occurred at the plant rather than WM.

Aaron:)

Machka 03-21-08 07:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by operator (Post 6379691)
The biggest problem with walmart bikes is not only the crap quality parts, it's also the crap quality assembly job that is done on all of them.

Which is easily fixable with a set of allen keys.

KrisPistofferson 03-21-08 07:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Machka (Post 6382250)
Which is easily fixable with a set of allen keys.

Then you have nice, tight crap quality parts.

making 03-21-08 07:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slvoid (Post 6368404)

I have never owned a bike from Italy. :rolleyes:


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