No I'm Not a Pirate!
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: The middle of somewhere in Indiana
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My wife and I bought a couple of the Next La Jolla step through frame bicycles about two years ago. I have fairly good feelings about them; they seem to have really surprisingly well built frames: TIG welded aluminum. I would rank the quality right up there with many of the big name aluminum frame bicycles. The frames on our bikes are built by Kent bicycle company, but I don’t know if they are still building the frames for the Next La Jolla bikes now, or not.
My wife and I were in Wal-Mart about a week ago and sadly the Next La Jolla bikes seem to have several changes on them… like painted handlebars, welded painted gooseneck, cheaper looking paint job on the frame, and I could be wrong, because it’s hard to tell, looking at it in the store, but the frame looks smaller on the bike to me now on the new ones (ours are19 inch frames). Our two bikes had nice chrome handlebars, and gooseneck, and a beautiful anodized looking blue aluminum frame, but that was two years ago, and Wal-Mart does seem to have a way of chipping away at quality once they have something that sells well…
The first thing I did when we bought our bikes was change the grips, (they are bad) and put a front brake on the bikes for added safety. The tires and rims seem to be fairly well made, and the seat is not the best, but adequate (my wife wanted hers replaced ASAP). The rear hubs are probably not the greatest, they seem to be generic copies of a single speed shimano hub, but they seem to function fine for the riding style this bike is built for. The front hubs seem ok.
The only thing I have had to do to both bikes, was after twenty five miles, I had to adjust the bearing cones on both front and rear hubs, and both bikes. I did re-grease the hubs after about fifty miles, because Next doesn’t seem to be overly generous with grease in the hubs. The crank is a three piece forged crank, but I couldn’t tell you whether you could put a multiple chain ring crank on it or not. It looks like you could, but I don't know if it is a standard size or not...
Over all I’ve been fairly happily surprised by the quality of the bikes… I wouldn’t want to start a cross country ride on either of them, but then again that wasn’t what they were built to do… And, for the money, they are hard to beat... Someday I would like to convert mine to a internal geared three, or five speed… then I would really like the bike even more. Hope this helped you some Oqbigbird.