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Thread: Wal Mart Bikes

  1. #1
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Wal Mart Bikes

    Heresey, I know!

    But, my brother in Albuquerque, whom I am visiting, boujght one a few weeks ago.

    I adjusted and lubricated EVERYTHING, and for less than $80, it really is pretty decent (for an $80 bike).

    All the gears shift smoothly, the brakes work, and after screwing the suspension to full tight, it works remarkably well.

    p.s. I even "fit" it to him, and he says it feels MUCH better.




    " You gotta start somewhere, and being in a college town, he should be able to resell it if and when he decides to step up.

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    So are you asking for approval? Or just opinions?
    I personally prefer an older used bike over a new cheap bike. I've been riding my $10 '75 peugeot for 6 months now and haven't had any problems.

    I prefer older steel bikes over new cheap bikes. That's just me though. Some people just want something brand new. i thinkit's kind of cool to have something "broken in" that has a history.

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Heresey, I know!

    But, my brother in Albuquerque, whom I am visiting, boujght one a few weeks ago.

    I adjusted and lubricated EVERYTHING, and for less than $80, it really is pretty decent (for an $80 bike).

    All the gears shift smoothly, the brakes work, and after screwing the suspension to full tight, it works remarkably well.

    p.s. I even "fit" it to him, and he says it feels MUCH better.




    " You gotta start somewhere, and being in a college town, he should be able to resell it if and when he decides to step up.

    +1

    I rode my Walmart bike from 1999 to 2004, commuting almost every day to work in sun, rain, snow, and everything. I also rode all my winter centuries on that bike during those years, and also in 2005. I logged thousands of kilometres ... likely in the neighborhood of 15,000 kms (educated guess based on my logs).

    As for maintenance ... I had the chain changed once, I had the cables changed once, and I changed the tires once. That's it.


    I still have the bicycle, and it needs more work now ... but unfortunately, I think I will need to sell it or give it away.

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    CAT4 joe_5700's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    +1

    I rode my Walmart bike from 1999 to 2004, commuting almost every day to work in sun, rain, snow, and everything. I also rode all my winter centuries on that bike during those years, and also in 2005. I logged thousands of kilometres ... likely in the neighborhood of 15,000 kms (educated guess based on my logs).

    As for maintenance ... I had the chain changed once, I had the cables changed once, and I changed the tires once. That's it.


    I still have the bicycle, and it needs more work now ... but unfortunately, I think I will need to sell it or give it away.

    I have had my eye on a Magna mountain bike at Target for $59! I have spend that amount on pedals alone. I am just so curious to see how well the bike could hold up at that price. If I got 9,000 miles (had to convert your Canuck KM's there), I would be thrilled. I would always be a little bit afraid of equipment failure especially past 25 mph or past 40kph.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe_5700 View Post
    I have had my eye on a Magna mountain bike at Target for $59! I have spend that amount on pedals alone. I am just so curious to see how well the bike could hold up at that price. If I got 9,000 miles (had to convert your Canuck KM's there), I would be thrilled. I would always be a little bit afraid of equipment failure especially past 25 mph or past 40kph.
    Well, I don't ride particularly fast, and I did all that cycling in Manitoba (ultra-flat), so I didn't hit those speeds very often.

    I would recommend going over the bicycle and tightening things up and checking things to make sure everything is functioning properly before you rode it ... but then you'd do that with any bicycle.

    That bicycle more than paid for itself. Bus tickets (my other mode of transportation) cost about $1.50 each way ... so I would have paid out $3000 in bus tickets during that time if I didn't commute by bicycle. And of course, I didn't pay anywhere near that for the bicycle.

    BTW - The longest ride I did with that bicycle was my first 200 km brevet ... not bad for a 40 lb mtn bike with knobby tires.

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    I recently bought a Schwinn Skyliner from Wal-Mart, and I am really happy with it for the price I paid ($99 on clearance.) It had better components than the run of the mill Walmart bikes-Shimano Tourney with SRAM MRX pro shifters, Suntour SR cranks and fork, Alex aluminum wheels, decent stem and bars. While it's no specialized or Trek it isn't all junk. I moved my pedals with toe clips over, as well as my bar ends and Forte Gotham tires and have been really happy with it, even took it out on some singletrack without much trouble, though I do wish it had more headtube angle. Overall though I think there are some decent bikes at walmart for those of us that don't have a bunch of cash to spend or time to pour through craigslist looking for that perfect deal. I bought it because I needed a bike now due to an unfortunate incident with my old one and only had a hundred bucks to drop right now, although I do plan on buying something better in a few months and handing this one down to the wife at that time. Probably going to buy a Haro Flightline or something from Scott or Marin in January or February $$$ providing.

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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    It is what it is.

    I see lots of people using Wal Mart bikes for daily transportation. I respect that.

    My biggest objection is that I frequently have trouble getting the brakes to work to my satisfaction. I HATE Promax brakes! The shifting is usually pretty easy to get to work to my satisfaction. I wish they'd sell a basic, no suspension, geared bike that weighed 10 pounds less.

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    After looking at the new bike prices my next bike may be from Walmart :-(... I have bought cars for the prices on the LBS bikes...
    2009 Giant Sedona ST... Steel rides better.. Now an Xtracycle
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    1979 Specialized RockHopper
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    We see a lot of these (mostly Chinese) bikes at the university. Overall, they are ungodly heavy, being made of the fines "hi-ten" steel or very thick-wall and low-grade aluminum.
    The components are the cheapest available, there is little or no alloy on the bike (often even the hubs are pressed steel), and the brakes are, as noted, dreadful.

    All that being said, if adjusted properly and lubed frequently, they will give good service for a casual knock-around. Kids here use 'em to get from the dorms to campus...they're fine for that.
    From my standpoint as a mechanic, they are hardly worth working on. By the time you figure parts and labor for anything more complex than replacing brake pads or fixing flats....You might as well just buy another one.

    Getting one from the store properly set up is a minor miracle; usually they hire young lads with minimal skills to throw these things together.

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    Yeah the assembly is terrible, I pretty much reassembled the entire bike when I got it, as for the brakes, they are pro-max, but I was able to get it to stop decently, although they require regular centering.

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    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Having worked for a while assembling department store bikes, I have 2 comments.
    The first is, there is a lot of variation on quality, the price level is not always an accurate guide.
    Second, the build quality varies even more.

    If you want to buy one, take someone who knows bikes with you, ( ignore build problems when shopping )
    then, before riding, go over everything.

  12. #12
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Department/sporting goods bikes, and vintage road/english bikes are the most common types of bicycles that get donated to the bike co-op here. I often give the dept. store bikes a small overhaul, as they are a popular pick with lower income people who just need something to ride on but don't want the dropped bars of the road bikes, and want more gearing than the english bikes.

    There are really two distinct camps in these cheap bicycles. There's the ones which are of cheap construction but practical design, which can be made serviceable and affordable. They're fair practicality for the cost. The better ones are of simple design, and often include features to help out in day to day life.

    I have found nothing at fault with the first camp.

    And then there's the camp of cheap bicycles which attempt to imitate their far more expensive, far more sophisticated boutique brethren. Occasionally, we get donated some real nightmares - full suspension bikes with faulty, play ridden linkages, disk brakes with flimsy, poorly performing components, soft, poor metals being used in high stress applications (we have a pile of cheap forks with play in the stanchions and lowers that grows and grows).. I could go on.

    Bicycles can be built reliable, cheap. And those bicycles can be put to good use, its just a matter of sorting out good use of a small budget to build a modest bike, from a flashy waste of metal.

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    I bought a walmart bike this summer. It's a schwinn skyliner. It cost around $150. I love it. I have no complaints. I've been putting over 100 miles per week on it and I've had no problems so far.

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    Taz
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    I have picked a many of these bikes from the trash

    I combine the parts to make a couple of good bikes.

    This is how I learned to repair bicycles. I didn;t want to start on high end bikes. evertything was free and if I broke something it didn't matter.

    I have a old steel frame Biscayne Blazer I bought for $7 and I ride it for comutting and it's all from Xmart free parts even tires and tubes..

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    Senior Member z415's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abneycat View Post
    And then there's the camp of cheap bicycles which attempt to imitate their far more expensive, far more sophisticated boutique brethren. Occasionally, we get donated some real nightmares - full suspension bikes with faulty, play ridden linkages, disk brakes with flimsy, poorly performing components, soft, poor metals being used in high stress applications (we have a pile of cheap forks with play in the stanchions and lowers that grows and grows).. I could go on.

    Bicycles can be built reliable, cheap. And those bicycles can be put to good use, its just a matter of sorting out good use of a small budget to build a modest bike, from a flashy waste of metal.
    You are very very right. Suspension on bikes does not belong in a department store. I'd rather people be safe and grinding every component than have something that looks snazzy and get injured.

    I always find it humorous when people say that their bike is better because is has all kinds of crazy suspension and stuff which then turns to worry when they mention jumping off stuff. I have seen a FS Wal-Mart bike pretty much collapse after the rider took it off three very shallow (enough so that I can ride, not hop, up them easily) which was probably 2 feet - the same two feet that I would feel infinitely more comfortable riding my roadies off of than his bike.

    Frankly, I don't see, besides that snazziness factor, why department stores don't just churn out single speeds. After all, the gears generally don't work anyways and it seems nowadays that single speed commuting is becoming popular.
    Falling is learning...[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]...learn to not fall in a box.
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    Sarcastic Bastid mastronaut's Avatar
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    The best thing about the WallyWorld specials is that you don't need a lock, no one would steal it!
    I had Magna that I took to the dump, the next day it was back in my yard! Kinda spooky....
    Find me here https://www.facebook.com/mastronaut

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Mine ... the one I did 15,000 kms on, etc. etc. as seen in Post #2 ... is a suspension mtn bike.

    Not all suspension mtn bikes from Walmart are bad ... or maybe it depends how you ride and how you take care of them.

    There are several nice shots of my Mongoose here:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1430288...7602332361641/
    and
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1430288...7602327322020/

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    Taz
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    I had a Magna MTB stolen in the burbs of Chicago. I had it locked up overnight at the train station.

    Funny thing was I always lock the cable to the frame.

    What made me mad was the brass indoor/outdoor lock cost more than the bike.

    Someone really stole my lock and got a bike with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Heresey, I know!

    But, my brother in Albuquerque, whom I am visiting, boujght one a few weeks ago.

    I adjusted and lubricated EVERYTHING, and for less than $80, it really is pretty decent (for an $80 bike).

    All the gears shift smoothly, the brakes work, and after screwing the suspension to full tight, it works remarkably well.

    p.s. I even "fit" it to him, and he says it feels MUCH better.




    " You gotta start somewhere, and being in a college town, he should be able to resell it if and when he decides to step up.

    I agree that getting started is the most important thing.

    Often those of us in a hobby or sport forget that some people simply need to test the waters to see if they even like doing something we have come to love. As long as there are those of us willing to help them with whatever little problems they might have and are willing to welcome them into our circle of riding friends even a Xmart bike can be a worthwhile purchase. Getting them out of the house and onto a bike is more important than what they ride.

  20. #20
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Foster View Post
    I agree that getting started is the most important thing.

    Often those of us in a hobby or sport forget that some people simply need to test the waters to see if they even like doing something we have come to love. As long as there are those of us willing to help them with whatever little problems they might have and are willing to welcome them into our circle of riding friends even a Xmart bike can be a worthwhile purchase. Getting them out of the house and onto a bike is more important than what they ride.

    I agree, but...

    Cycling can really be no fun on the wrong bike. Very heavy bikes are really a chore. Bikes that do not shift or brake well do not inspire confidence. Bikes that do not fit well just never let you feel right. X-mart bikes have all these problems.

    We all bought the wrong bikes at first, so maybe there is not real reason to worry this issue too much. But if people had a decent (if cheap) bike to start out, I can't help but think many more people would see what the appeal is.

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    Senior Member EatMyA**'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mastronaut View Post
    The best thing about the WallyWorld specials is that you don't need a lock, no one would steal it!
    I had Magna that I took to the dump, the next day it was back in my yard! Kinda spooky....
    How the hell did that happen?!

  22. #22
    Senior Member brokenknee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatMyA** View Post
    How the hell did that happen?!
    Haven't you ever heard of the person were the Lord won't take them and the Devil is afraid of them?
    Clarity to Agreement (Dennis Prager)

    alot? a lot.

  23. #23
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Not all suspension mtn bikes from Walmart are bad ... or maybe it depends how you ride and how you take care of them.
    We also *do* get ones in where the suspension is working correctly. I don't have anything against manufactuers creating lower end suspension mountain bikes, but they have to be kept within a design range where things are still done right. The incidence of outright failure or improper performance is depressingly high.

    But the reality of my experience on is, i've encountered a high number of these bikes where the materials and design tolerances just weren't right, where the mechanism had seized and was not properly serviceable, or horrible things (I recall a few bikes where the fork was retained as a single piece by a cheap cotter pin the size of a hair pin)

    The bikes need to be kept within reasonable limits of quality and design, something too often exceeded by trying to cram features into a low price range.

  24. #24
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    I do real well on my walmart bikes and ride them everyday. I did a month long tour on a Walmart bicycle. As long as you can do your own adjustments and maintenance, they will last quite a while. I usually buy a new one or two each year, not because they break down, because I like a new ride every year or so. I then donate the older working bicycle to charity.

    BTW: I think the Skyliner is the best of the bunch at Walmart. 99 bucks here also.

  25. #25
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    I know people that have had their x-mart bikes for years and years, and they're still as good as the day they were bought. They've never ever had a flat, never had to replace a single component, or even make any adjustments.... not even had to put air in their tires!

    ....if only they'd take them down from the rafters and just ride them occasionally.
    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

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