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Old 10-05-11, 07:49 PM   #1
rickyhmltn
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A couple of observations on bikes coming from an average american public.

1.) I didn't even KNOW that other bikes other than Walmart and Kmart bikes existed.
I had never even heard of Trek, Specialized, Gian, Fuji, Raleigh, etc... I though Schwinn was the top of the line. I had heard of Lance of course but just thought he rode some random road bike.

2.) It is very difficult if not impossible to order a name brand (Trek, Cannondale, Giant, Specialized, etc..) bike online and actually have it delivered.
Frustrating but I suspect they are just protecting Brick and Mortar bike shops.
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Old 10-05-11, 08:04 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear about the lack of bicycle/cycling education among the US public.

Why not see about getting something a bit different than the usual brands ... look at Seven, Rivendell, Waterford, Gunnar, Marinoni, Hasa/Saga and other good brands. You might be able to order frames online from them, and build them up.
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Old 10-05-11, 08:08 PM   #3
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There is so much more to the bike than just the bike, if you just order a bike blindly all bikes would have the "big box bad rep" a LBS will make sure you get the right size and fit the bike to you, give you tips, maintenance, etc...
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Old 10-05-11, 08:58 PM   #4
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Hi there Ricky, my friend!

You know, for every big name bicycle model you can mention, there's almost an equivalent you can order on line. It's just a matter of knowing where to go and how to get there, Ricky...

For example, there's a model from Giant called the Sedona. You might not be able to order it directly from Giant, but you can sure order its equal from bikesdirect.com or Nashbar.com.

The Sedona is somewhat of a hybrid that sits straight up with handlebars over the seat. It's got an aluminum frame and thick treaded tires. Giant also makes another type of hybrid called the Cypress. It's tires have a larger diameter and its tires are just a tad thinner, but everything else is just about the same. These are all through the big boy, Giant. The Sedona costs $430 and the Cypress costs $520.

Now, let's see...If we go to bikesdirect.com. We can click onto to comfort bikes and we can plainly see a really nice bike with altus derailleurs, just like the kind that both the Sedona and the Cypress have. The bike that looks so much like the Sedona, is called the Windsor Dover 3.0. The Sedona sells for $430, but the Windsor Dover sells for $319.95. Hey! ChaChing! That sounds like a savings to me!

If we click onto hybrid bikes, we can plainly see a bike that looks very much like the Cypress and it's called the Dawes Eclipse. The Eclipse sells for only $299.95, whereas the Cypress sold for $520. Hey! ChaChing! That sounds like a another savings to me, too!

It would appear that these Big Name Bike Companies are selling at too high a price. Looks like we'll just have to buy from Bikesdirect.com or Nashbar.com for now on...Right? That way, we'll get quality bikes at a more reasonable price!

Check out Bikesdirect.com below:

www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/dover3.htm
Windsor Dover ~ $319.95


www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/eclipse2.htm
Dawes Eclipse ~ $299.95

- Slim

Last edited by SlimRider; 10-06-11 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 10-05-11, 11:29 PM   #5
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Yes of course... and also remember that beings as you had no idea there were bicycles other than walmart bikes, Remember that you are not a bicycle mechanic... so when your online purchase needs adjustment or fixing or warranty work, your **** out of luck. Bikesdirect is making money so I cant blame them, but the general public needs to understand that if they purchase a bike there, they aren't getting any kind of support that goes with this kind of purchase. Bicycles that are worth a damn need regular maintenance just like a motorcycle or a car. If you aren't qualified to do this, then it might be better off having a LBS employee help you pick a bike that suits your needs.

Remember, what you save in upfront costs, you'll end up paying anyway in tools/labor costs that you wouldn't normally have to pay if you had supported your local economy.

All that being said, Its your money, spend it as you like.
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Old 10-06-11, 12:04 AM   #6
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Yes of course... and also remember that beings as you had no idea there were bicycles other than walmart bikes, Remember that you are not a bicycle mechanic... so when your online purchase needs adjustment or fixing or warranty work, your **** out of luck. Bikesdirect is making money so I cant blame them, but the general public needs to understand that if they purchase a bike there, they aren't getting any kind of support that goes with this kind of purchase. Bicycles that are worth a damn need regular maintenance just like a motorcycle or a car. If you aren't qualified to do this, then it might be better off having a LBS employee help you pick a bike that suits your needs.

Remember, what you save in upfront costs, you'll end up paying anyway in tools/labor costs that you wouldn't normally have to pay if you had supported your local economy.

All that being said, Its your money, spend it as you like.
Yes!

But the OP also has to remember that just because people don't have sufficient funds or have limited experience in purchasing bicycles, that the world of cycling is NOT closed off to them. So what if it's a bike out of a box! You have a computer and you can always do a computer video search to do just about any bicycle mechanical repair, or installation, that any bicycle mechanic can do. If you can find the proper video that features the installation or repair that you're preparing to do (and there are many of them), you can watch that same video a hundred times if you like. I'll just bet you'll be able to perform the task at hand then, won't cha! Also, you have access to any public library , where you might find all kinds of books, manuals, CD's, and DVD's concerning bicycle building and repair.Today's cyclist is surrounded by almost unlimited sources of information. Heck! This is the age of information!

All the OP really needs are a few Allen wrenches, some open head wrenches, an adjustable wrench, a couple pair of pliers, and some screw drivers (both Phillips and Flatheads), for starters. The third and fourth hands can come later.

Besides, usually all of these bikes in a box, come with directions and are already pretty much completely assembled. So, no worries there, anyway.

When the OP becomes their own bicycle mechanic, that's when their savings will be realized. Perhaps, lost upfront, but saved in the end through their own industrious ingenuity, intelligence, and mechanical aptitude.

Hey, sometimes we just have to give people time. If we're determined and creative enough, we can take a Walmart bike and turn it into a cyclist's dream.

Dream on..OP!

AND.... Make your dreams come true!

See you on the road my friends!

- Slim

Last edited by SlimRider; 10-06-11 at 07:11 AM.
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Old 10-06-11, 06:38 AM   #7
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OK, I did a bit of cleaning up here. If you notice your post missing, it was either out of Guidelines or in reply to such a post. Please keep the discussion civil from now on. Thank you.

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Old 10-06-11, 07:03 AM   #8
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how far are you from louisville? you can find a shop here. hit the highlands (northernmost section of bardstown rd/baxter ave.) and you'll find a couple right down the street from each other (with a couple used/vintage shops in the same stretch).
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Old 10-06-11, 07:06 AM   #9
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Hi Ricky!

Regardless as to what others may say, bikesdirect.com would be an excellent resource to use, if purchasing quality bicycles tend to be out of your reach financially. It would be the preferred route, over purchasing from Walmart, and others, outside of the LBS realm.

Tools are cheap and they don't have to be purchased all at one time either. Besides, most of us have tools laying around somewhere anyway. I'm most certain that you at least have some tools. If not, it doesn't matter, you will have some soon.

Anyway, both bikesdirect.com and nashbar.com will be good resources for you to use in the future. Just remember to use your video search box when looking to see how certain installations and repairs are done. The library should be used, as well.

Have A Nice Day!

- Slim

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Old 10-06-11, 11:47 AM   #10
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There are online stores that can sell you Specialized, Giant and Cannondale bikes. Trek supports their LBS franchises so that is harder. But there is a great advantage in visiting a LBS and that is service. At a big box store the person that puts your bike together quite often has no more or maybe less bicycling mechanical experience than the customer. So it is a coin toss that you will get a bike with proper spoke tension or even proper shifter adjustment. An LBS will more than likely check out all of the bike assembly and can often change some things if you wish before you take the bike home. If you happen to have a defective bottom bracket from someplace like Bikes direct your options are limited. Often people end up taking a big box bike or an online bike to an LBS to get things adjusted anyway. One of my LBS makes more from working on just those kinds of bikes than they do servicing what they sell.
But the biggest difference may be the quality of the components. Wheels are often where mass market bikes skimp and wheels will make a big difference in ride quality of most any bike.
Once people know what they want or have experience with cycling online purchases can save you a lot of money. But still having a good relationship with a LBS can be worth more than someone realizes till they have something break that they do not have to tools to fix.

And Schwinn has been improving over the last few years and even are now offering some LBS quality bikes.
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Old 10-06-11, 11:56 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by rickyhmltn View Post
1.) I didn't even KNOW that other bikes other than Walmart and Kmart bikes existed.
I had never even heard of Trek, Specialized, Gian, Fuji, Raleigh, etc... I though Schwinn was the top of the line. I had heard of Lance of course but just thought he rode some random road bike.

2.) It is very difficult if not impossible to order a name brand (Trek, Cannondale, Giant, Specialized, etc..) bike online and actually have it delivered.
Frustrating but I suspect they are just protecting Brick and Mortar bike shops.

Sad indeed. I believe that the American public is not keen on the bicycle as most see it as a toy or a form of exercise equipment that belongs in a gym, and not as a mode of transportation.
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Old 10-06-11, 03:09 PM   #12
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Sad indeed. I believe that the American public is not keen on the bicycle as most see it as a toy or a form of exercise equipment that belongs in a gym, and not as a mode of transportation.
I agree. But there is the added problem of the number of options the public now has. I hate to say it but back in 1973, the high water mark for adult bike sales, most bikes were used as a multipurpose machine. One bike had to serve as a shopping bike, commuter bike, touring bike and general transportation. Today very few bikes fit that bill so we have the infamous N+1 rule. There is also the problem of where to park your bike if you do use it to go shopping? In most places I go to if you don’t have some immoveable object to lock your bike to there will not be a bike to come back to after you get done shopping.


What other form of transportation do you have to spend so much time worrying about getting ripped off as much as we do a bike? Then think about some of the advice we see even in these forums, “buy a POS bike for shopping” so you won’t feel so bad when it gets ripped off. No one ever says such things about any other form of transportation. Even people who walk know to get a good pair of shoes.
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Old 10-06-11, 04:29 PM   #13
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rickyhmltn, I think it has more to do with local rather than the US as a whole.

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Old 10-06-11, 04:57 PM   #14
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rickyhmltn, I think it has more to do with local rather than the US as a whole.

Brad
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Old 10-06-11, 06:29 PM   #15
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Back in '97, I went to a LBS to buy a Specialized Hardrock. Based on my research this was the best bike for me. The salesguy took the time to talk with me and ask me a few questions. He got me to upgrade to a Rockhopper. Good thing I listened. It was worth the extra money. It lasted through 12 years of abuse bordering on insanity (rode it down 6 flights of stairs once). He also told me that I needed a 20.5" frame, not a 19". His input made the difference between a bike I loved and loved to ride vs. one that I would ride when I had to. When the frame cracked, a local shop honored the Specialized warranty.

I can honestly say I know my bikes. Others still have knowledge I don't. I won't buy a bike unseen.
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Old 10-06-11, 06:42 PM   #16
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Back in '97, I went to a LBS to buy a Specialized Hardrock. Based on my research this was the best bike for me. The salesguy took the time to talk with me and ask me a few questions. He got me to upgrade to a Rockhopper. Good thing I listened. It was worth the extra money. It lasted through 12 years of abuse bordering on insanity (rode it down 6 flights of stairs once). He also told me that I needed a 20.5" frame, not a 19". His input made the difference between a bike I loved and loved to ride vs. one that I would ride when I had to. When the frame cracked, a local shop honored the Specialized warranty.

I can honestly say I know my bikes. Others still have knowledge I don't. I won't buy a bike unseen.
Hey there Flying Merkel!

You mean to tell us that as gingerly as you treated that Rockhopper, the frame still cracked!

..........Unbelieveable!

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Old 10-06-11, 07:17 PM   #17
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I rode it up stairs, off loading docks, used it as a downhill bike. The third day I had it, we ended up in the ocean one night. I was a fearless rider, not a good rider.

Yep, two cracks in the headtube, one on top the other on bottom, growing towards each other

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Old 10-06-11, 10:41 PM   #18
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The best piece of advice I ever got in these forums was, "Try before you buy." You might look at something and think you will like it. But if you try it first you will know.
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Old 10-07-11, 10:03 AM   #19
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As far as I can tell craigslist offers every kind of bike ever made and you can try before you buy.
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Old 10-07-11, 12:49 PM   #20
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1.) I didn't even KNOW that other bikes other than Walmart and Kmart bikes existed.
I had never even heard of Trek, Specialized, Gian, Fuji, Raleigh, etc... I though Schwinn was the top of the line. I had heard of Lance of course but just thought he rode some random road bike.

2.) It is very difficult if not impossible to order a name brand (Trek, Cannondale, Giant, Specialized, etc..) bike online and actually have it delivered.
Frustrating but I suspect they are just protecting Brick and Mortar bike shops.
Not protecting at all. Your view point on this tells me that you, like many not "into" cycles, have no concept of what is needed to "fit" a bike to you.

Yes"fit" the bike to you. Anyone can throw a leg over a bike but it takes a lot of knowledge to know how to set/adjust the bike to your body and abilities. Without a proper fitting your ride experience will be much much less that it ever could be.
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Old 10-07-11, 01:26 PM   #21
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Not protecting at all. Your view point on this tells me that you, like many not "into" cycles, have no concept of what is needed to "fit" a bike to you.

Yes"fit" the bike to you. Anyone can throw a leg over a bike but it takes a lot of knowledge to know how to set/adjust the bike to your body and abilities. Without a proper fitting your ride experience will be much much less that it ever could be.
Therein also lies the problem of 'just buy a bike on-line'. If you don't know anything about bicycles...like most of the American public... or most of your knowledge about bicycles comes from the bike you had when you were 10...like most of the American public...you aren't likely to get the bike you need from an on-line retailer. And if you order the wrong one, you have to pay twice for shipping. There goes that price advantage

A cautionary tale about bicycles: When I married my wife many eons ago, we both had '10 speed bikes' that we had got from Sears as kids. The bikes were 27" bikes and were identical in nearly every detail, including size.

I'm 6' tall and my wife is 5' tall. She rode the bike with the saddle smashed as far down as possible. When she 'straddled' the bike, she still had a good 2" or 3" before her feet hit the ground.

HelMart and the other Big Box Boys still sell their bikes the same way. One frame size fits all
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Old 10-07-11, 01:56 PM   #22
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rickyhmltn, I think it has more to do with local rather than the US as a whole.

Brad
It sure does not fit in the West San Fernando Valley. Take away the internet, take away the phone books and I can still think of 3 shops I would know about just from happening to pass them. And those are only he ones that are hard to miss, not the storefront shops, and does not count REI or various other general sporting goods stores with at least better than Walmart bikes.
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Old 10-07-11, 02:02 PM   #23
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I buy most of the bikes I ride used. However, when I buy bikes for my kids I get them at the LBS. I know when I shell out the extra money for a bike in at the local
shop, I am not only buying a bike but buying the use of years of accumulated knowledge that comes from repairing and fitting bikes for a very long time.

I bought a Jamis, boys mountain bike for my #2 son when he was 10. He road heck out of that thing. He wore out 2 sets of tires. All toll that bike has been through two of my boys. It has been rebuilt 3 times and still hangs in the shed waiting for the grandsons when they come over and need something to beat on.

The last time I had it rebuilt the mechanic told me to through it out; it would cost $100 to rebuild it. I told him for $100 I could go to Allmart and pick up a bike and the boy could ride it for a day or a week and I'd have to bring it back. Been there; done that and got a T-Shirt as the saying goes. So he rebuilt it once again. Cost: $ 106.00!
My youngest son got another year out of it until he out grew it and it is still serviceable when my grandson's come around and we go out for a ride.

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