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Old 06-22-04, 04:47 PM   #1
Portis
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Maybe if people won't take the opinion of forum members, they will trust Consumer Reports.

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Wal-Mart and Toys “R” Us sell plenty of bikes from brands such as Huffy, Mongoose, Roadmaster, and Schwinn for $100 to $200. They seem like good deals, so why would we advise you to spend $300 or more for a bike in the Ratings?

Because you get what you pay for. Mass-market bikes have cheaper construction than higher-priced bikes and can weigh 7 or 8 pounds more. They come in only one size, so you’re not likely to get a great fit. And mass merchants can’t match bike shops for quality of assembly, expert advice, and service.

In the long run, performance matters most, so we tried out two full-suspension bikes and one front-suspension model from the big-box stores, priced at $120 to $230. Shifting of the full-suspension bikes’ 21 speeds wasn’t nearly as smooth as on bike-shop models. Shock absorption and handling were fair to decent on pavement and on smooth dirt paths, but these so-called mountain bikes couldn’t handle rough off-road terrain. On steep paved roads, the extra weight, poor gearing, and mushy suspensions made pedaling uphill very hard.

The front-suspension model, also with 21 speeds, did much better on pavement and on fairly smooth dirt trails--but only after we adjusted the sloppy setup to make it roadworthy. Plus it comes in only one size, so fit will be hit or miss.

Consider cheaper bikes from a department store only for the most casual adult use, and stick with a front-suspension model, which is likely to be better than a cheap full-suspension bike. You may want a mass-market bike for kids who will outgrow a bike quickly or toss it about.

Still, if your budget allows, we’d recommend that you buy one of the $300 comfort bikes in the Ratings. You’ll get a lot more bike for the buck.
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Old 06-22-04, 06:52 PM   #2
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Couldn't have said it better myself!

Do you have a link to the article, by chance?
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Old 06-22-04, 06:57 PM   #3
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Make this a sticky in every forum so we can just point to this instead of answering the same question five times a day...
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Old 06-22-04, 07:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by iamlucky13
Couldn't have said it better myself!

Do you have a link to the article, by chance?
It's in the subscriber area. I can't link to it directly. Sorry.

BTW, I became aware of this on my local news. They actually ran this report as a story. So since i have a subscription, i went and checked it out. I was amazed to hear this on my local 6 o'clock news. I thought i was hallucinating.
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Old 06-22-04, 07:59 PM   #5
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No problem. Thanks for the info.
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Old 06-22-04, 08:09 PM   #6
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You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink - some people, no matter what, will still buy those cheap bikes. You just can't get them to understand quality over quantity.

My wife just about died when I suggested we buy two matching Gary Fisher Tassajaras back in 2001, saying why do we need such expensive bikes. After we got them and she road it on the trails one time, she was convinced it was worth it - much much better than what she had been using.

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Old 06-22-04, 11:46 PM   #7
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That article from Consumer Reports was right on, but don't trust everything they say. Some of their testing is flawed science and they come up with bogus reports and push it on the consumer who are ignorant and will buy anything they recommend. I did!!!! My wife bought a Panasonic Vacumm cleaner about 10 years ago based on it being the most reliable with the most suction...17 months later it died. My wife then bought another Panasonic based on the latest consumer reports still said the same thing (she assumed she got a lemon), 15 months later it died. She then bought a Hoover Tornado because at the time that one was the best according to CR...23 months later it died. We then said screw CR and bought a Kirby that CR said was only average in reliablity and suction...guess what? It has a great deal more suction than the others and it's still running after 5 years. You think I would have learned my lesson...nope!!! I bought a Honda lawn mower based on CR saying it was the best in reliabilty and grass cutting...after 24 months Honda finally refunded my money (though they only paid me the sale price and not the retail price so I would not been able to get into an equal quality mower), after 11 repairs to the rear drive unit...and after I called them about 100 times to refund my money or replace the mower which they refused to do even though each repair was costing them $350!!! I now have a Toro and this thing mulches grass far better than the Honda did even though CR said other wise. And they know nothing about stereo's or speakers so stay clear of their advice on that stuff.
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Old 06-23-04, 10:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by froze
That article from Consumer Reports was right on, but don't trust everything they say. Some of their testing is flawed science and they come up with bogus reports and push it on the consumer who are ignorant and will buy anything they recommend. I did!!!! My wife bought a Panasonic Vacumm cleaner about 10 years ago based on it being the most reliable with the most suction...17 months later it died. My wife then bought another Panasonic based on the latest consumer reports still said the same thing (she assumed she got a lemon), 15 months later it died. She then bought a Hoover Tornado because at the time that one was the best according to CR...23 months later it died. We then said screw CR and bought a Kirby that CR said was only average in reliablity and suction...guess what? It has a great deal more suction than the others and it's still running after 5 years. You think I would have learned my lesson...nope!!! I bought a Honda lawn mower based on CR saying it was the best in reliabilty and grass cutting...after 24 months Honda finally refunded my money (though they only paid me the sale price and not the retail price so I would not been able to get into an equal quality mower), after 11 repairs to the rear drive unit...and after I called them about 100 times to refund my money or replace the mower which they refused to do even though each repair was costing them $350!!! I now have a Toro and this thing mulches grass far better than the Honda did even though CR said other wise. And they know nothing about stereo's or speakers so stay clear of their advice on that stuff.
They are right more often than not and considering they take no money from advertisers, they are trustworthy. I haven't been disappointed in one product that i have purchased based on their recommendations. They certainly aren't going to be able to give as comprehensive advice as specialists in given areas. I don't think you can expect them to be as knowledgeable about bikes as most long term members of this forum are.

They certainly are more regarded (by the average joe blow) than a bunch of strangers in a bike forum. That is why i think this article is important. Most people just think that people advocate better bikes to be snobs. This article lends some additional legitimacy to the advice constantly repeated on this forum.

Last edited by Portis; 06-23-04 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 06-23-04, 11:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
Maybe if people won't take the opinion of forum members, they will trust Consumer Reports.
I agree on their ascessment on the dual versus single suspension bikes. I have the duel suspension mountain bike and regret not buying the hardtail. When it's time to upgrade my Pacific Toy Store 24/7 outdoor bike, I'll choose a hardtail from Huffy. I'm still waiting for that junk bike to brake in two so I can justify buying the Huffy!
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Old 06-23-04, 11:26 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
I agree on their ascessment on the dual versus single suspension bikes. I have the duel suspension mountain bike and regret not buying the hardtail. When it's time to upgrade my Pacific Toy Store 24/7 outdoor bike, I'll choose a hardtail from Huffy. I'm still waiting for that junk bike to brake in two so I can justify buying the Huffy!
Heh good luck, I've seen the same delivery guy riding the same pacific toy store bike delivering chinese food 365 days a year rain or snow during the last 2.5 years of my college stay in brooklyn.
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Old 06-23-04, 11:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
Maybe if people won't take the opinion of forum members, they will trust Consumer Reports.
Sigh! There was a time when you could walk into a Western
Auto , Gambles or anyone of many hardware stores and get a
decent bike. Then everything when offshore to Asia.

Everything except the perception that you still can buy a
decent bike at a hardware store.
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Old 06-24-04, 10:28 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Heh good luck, I've seen the same delivery guy riding the same pacific toy store bike delivering chinese food 365 days a year rain or snow during the last 2.5 years of my college stay in brooklyn.
Are you watching him every night working on it so it runs another day?
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