After riding my 24" Triax (Dynacraft) PK7 for five years now, the chain has bent and I have grown out of it.
I went online and looked at some Mart bikes and then check the Marts around me and I am down to two bikes: The Shwinn (Pacific Cycles) Merida and the Schwinn Sidewinder. I did some research and learned that each Mart (Target, TRU, Kmart, and Walmart) has their own Schwinn bike they sell. All four Schwinns consist of the same frame but are painted different colors and have different components. I took interest in Walmart's Sidewinder because it is the cheapest of the four (all in the 150-200$ price range) and I also like Kmart's Mirada because it is the most expensive of the four and (when I was in store) had different (better?) components on it than the Sidewinder.
I was wondering if there were any owners of either of these bikes or anyone that knows about them that could give me their opinion on the bikes and could tell me the specs of them. I couldn't pull up much info on the Mirida other than it has entry-level Shimano shifters on it, and the Sidewinder has SRAM MRX Pro GripShifters on it. Any other difference?
Could the owners of either bike tell me if they could justify spending $50 more for the Mirada ($200)?
I'll be using the bike for rides into town and around the neighborhood on asphalt/concrete, nothing serious. It would also be used to get me to the grocery store and to other peoples' houses. I've been riding X-mart bikes my whole like and I've had no trouble with them besides the occasional flat tire. I can't imagine either of these bikes being worse than what I've been riding, and will probably turn out to be a whole lot better.
LASTLY, I know most of you will read this and tell me all Mart bikes are junk, tell me to buy used or on CL, to save money and buy at a LBS, or that Mart bikes aren't assembles well. After enough researching, I get the idea. But I want to talk to and get the opinion from someone who has owned either of these bikes or something similar. My whole family has biked for years and we have a fair sense of how to make adjustments and repairs. I'm starting to develop an interest in the hobby, so I am thinking getting a cheap bike might be a good way to start out, and learn how to make adjustments on it an such and figure out if this is a hobby I want to continue for a long time. I could even upgrade the parts as time goes on and for the same price make it as good as a Trek 7000 minus the aluminum frame and some comfort.
Whew. Thanks for the help xD