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  1. #1
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    The Beauty of Walmart Bikes

    I know many here might disagree, but you've just got to admit, nobody really ever criticizes Walmart bicycle frames. However, they almost always complain about how Walmart bikes don't function.

    Well, just exactly what is it that makes bikes function, or work, or move?

    It's their components!

    Walmart frames are usually just as strong as any other bicycle frame, given the same material. However, their componentry is absolutely deplorable. That which should be steel or aluminum, is plastic. That which should be machined within certain specifications is only approximated. Quality control is almost nonexistent. Mass production of cheap component parts to install on Walmart bikes has been the standard for years. In many cases, these components will not last for any respectable period of time with daily use. Both Walmart and their component manufacturers are aware of this fact. However, do you think that they care?

    No, absolutely not!... Why not you say?

    Because the rule and standard of the day is profit! Emphasis is not placed upon the quality of the goods or services, to be delivered or made available, to the American cyclist. The Walmart focus is primarily centered upon their profit margin. Walmart asks, "Where in this line of production can we profit the most?"

    The huge profit in Walmart bicycles lies not so much in the production of their bicycle frames, but in the production of the cheap components that are attached to those frames. All of their components are cheap knock offs or flimsy substitutes of the quality that should be there, instead.

    If we thoroughly examine the handlebars, the grips, the shifters, the brakes, the derailleurs, the wheels, the tires, the seats, their posts, and the chains, you will see inferior materials throughout. This is where Walmart makes its profit and this is where it suffers the most in customer satisfaction.

    I believe that if you were to immediately change every single component on each Walmart bicycle after purchase, it would last at least an additional ten years. Unfortunately, what happens, is that once a cheap bicycle lapses into disrepair. Few owners are willing to pay for repair when the approximate cost of the repair, is close to the price of the entire bicycle. The bike then just becomes scrap metal.

    The business of Walmart is all about profit and there is certainly nothing wrong with profit. However, when we use inferior components that are known to be rendered useless only within a couple months, that would appear to be criminal. When we offer no customer service or satisfaction to accomodate the victims of such exploitive practices, then that should be viewed as a felony within the eyes of the law.

    So we Americans do indeed have the inalienable right to condemn Walmart for its use of cheap componentry installed upon their bikes, and their lack of concern for the American consumer. We do indeed have a right to complain about Walmart's lack of customer service.

    However, I think at this point we should reserve applause for the beauty in the strength of their bicycle frame, until their componentry approaches its level.

    I strongly suspect that the only beautiful thing that Walmart does with regards to its bicycles, is their strong frame!

    - Slim
    Last edited by SlimRider; 10-07-11 at 02:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Arrowana's Avatar
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    When I look at an average Wal-Mart "MTB", I see a decent set of brake pads, tires that can have studs added for winter use, cables and housing that can be used on bikes, and a bunch of scrap metal. Sure, I often take a few other things, but they generally sit unused, or still do a crappy job when installed on a good bike.

    I wonder if you have really looked at Wal-Mart frames. The most common ones are full suspension heaps of junk. I suppose the rigid ones are useable, but they are still very heavy, and are hardly beautiful. It isn't hard to find pics of welds on them that are quite ugly.

  3. #3
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    It's not a "felony" if the bikes outlast their warranty period, or if Wal-Mart honors the warranty when they don't.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  4. #4
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Their frames are pretty solid... literally.

    Have a friend who has an x mart rigid hybrid and this Al frame is a boat anchor with the worst ride quality I have ever experienced regardless of the tyres we have put under it.

    He wants to upgrade it with new wheels and a better crank and a bunch of other bits and my advice was to get himself to the LBS and for a little more than what he planned to spend, can get himself a decent entry level hybrid with a good warranty and way nicer parts.

    Suggested he keeps the x-mart bike as his B bike.

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    Most of the Walmart bikes I see are step-through cruisers, here. I don't know enough about frames to really judge the quality of the welds and such on them. I -am- interested in knowing just how good bigbox FRAMES are in isolation; there is some merit in having a bike that looks like a cheap POS when you need to leave it parked on campus or when running errands in neighborhoods where the two main industries are both illegal.
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cyclomania's Avatar
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    The beauty of walmart bikes is the pricing. So you decide to purchase say a cheap MTB from walmart. You end up liking the exercise, the bike out performs its price. And soon you desire an upgrade to a sturdier bike from your LBS. Walmart has done its job of getting you interested in bicycles without the high end investment other stores offer and little risk.
    I agree with the above poster! There is a purpose for POS bikes, getting you someplace quicker than walking and you're free from worry away from the bike. As you go about your business, the bike sits chained to a lamp post, since it has such a low resale value, thieves shrug why bother. Yet the bike still may get stolen. But the loss is less great.
    If you do decide to buy a walmart bike, examine the customer reviews first! Some bikes are less crappy than others!
    Last edited by Cyclomania; 10-07-11 at 02:04 AM.
    Sometimes when I'm out doing a shopping run, I'll be offered a free sample (cut of pizza, doughnut, cheezywiz thingy)...little do they know that behind every bite is my gasoline!

  7. #7
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    The bicycle shaped objects of today are nothing like the bike shaped objects of my youth... at the co-op we can take old 70's steel bicycles with their 3 speeds, five and ten speeds, and coaster hubs and turn them into very usable bikes but the modern BSO's rarely have any parts we deem salvageable.

  8. #8
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    ... you've just got to admit, nobody really ever criticizes Walmart bicycle frames.
    What nonsense. Walmart, and their equivalents in other countries, typically sell frames that are cheaply constructed, of cheap, thick tubing that is vastly heavier than it needs to be and is poorly welded, too.

    Why do you spend your time posting such rubbish, and at such length?
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    What nonsense. Walmart, and their equivalents in other countries, typically sell frames that are cheaply constructed, of cheap, thick tubing that is vastly heavier than it needs to be and is poorly welded, too.

    Why do you spend your time posting such rubbish, and at such length?
    Hi there Chasm54!

    So what do you mean "cheap" tubing? Most of Walmart's aluminum bicycles are made of 6061 aluminum just like that you'll find in most LBS.

    What do you mean "thick" and "heavy" tubing? How does tubing being thick or heavy contribute somehow to its inferiority? If anything, the strength and stiffness of aluminum actually resides in both the diameter and thickness of its tubular walls, for bicycles. Of course, just like all the other aluminum bicycle frames we find in all LBS, the mass of the thick and oversized aluminum tubes, is a direct consequence of their construction.

    Therefore Chasm, I wouldn't call it rubbish at all. I would rather call it the naked truth about the strength in Walmart's bicycle frames.

    - Slim
    Last edited by SlimRider; 10-07-11 at 07:59 AM.

  10. #10
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    I would call it you responding to someone posting " Theres more to a frame that just tubing" when you were doing your BD shill.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowana View Post
    When I look at an average Wal-Mart "MTB", I see a decent set of brake pads, tires that can have studs added for winter use, cables and housing that can be used on bikes, and a bunch of scrap metal. Sure, I often take a few other things, but they generally sit unused, or still do a crappy job when installed on a good bike.

    I wonder if you have really looked at Wal-Mart frames. The most common ones are full suspension heaps of junk. I suppose the rigid ones are useable, but they are still very heavy, and are hardly beautiful. It isn't hard to find pics of welds on them that are quite ugly.
    Hi there Arrowana!

    So what you're saying then, is that you're taking cheap Walmart components and installing them on other bicycles. Excuse me, but that practice can only be seen as decreasing the value of the recipient bicycle. The brakes on most Walmart bikes are made of the cheapest plastic and metal within the industry. The tires used to transport Walmart bikes are some of the cheapest ever produced in modern civilization. Usually, they make some deal with a large tire manufacturer, to mass-produce a huge number of the cheapest bicycle tires, for a small and market dependable profit.

    Insofar as referring to Walmart bikes as, "Heaps of Junk", well they are most certainly as useful as their componentry allows them to be. If you're referring solely to their componentry, you're absolutely correct! However, if you are referring to their frames, nothing could be further from the truth!

    When considered together as a whole bike, let's just say, " that a chain is as strong as its weakest link!"

    - Slim

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    It's not a "felony" if the bikes outlast their warranty period, or if Wal-Mart honors the warranty when they don't.
    Hey there TS!

    Walmart plays a very insidious game involving statistics. It's sort of like how the lottery is run. Walmart knows that after a limitted period of time, most of their components will wear out. Most components will wear out, based upon normal wear and tear. Walmart is not responsible for the normal wear and tear on its cheap components. Walmart is only responsible for faulty components or improperly installed components. How do you prove, faulty installment?

    The statistical lottery scheme enters the picture, when you understand that most people are not going to bother returning a $99.00 bicycle after its components fail after a few months. In fact, many Walmart customers lose their receipts, don't read or adhere to their warranty rights, and don't care until the actual time of failure. By that time, when no receipt is recoverable or warranty ignorance is realized, the consumer submits to suspended concerns.

    Bingo! Walmart wins again!

    This is the resounding pattern seen repeatedly all over the country. Large companies that sell cheap products, realize that most dissatisfied customers do not return after only a short period of time has transpired.

    Therefore, since educated people in business, study the behavioral trends of the public, and decide to capitalize upon those trends, as opposed to making more reliable goods and providing better services, then that, I believe, is a type of illegal lottery, and therefore, a type of racketeering. Both of which are considered to be felonies.

    - Slim

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    Their frames are pretty solid... literally.

    Have a friend who has an x mart rigid hybrid and this Al frame is a boat anchor with the worst ride quality I have ever experienced regardless of the tyres we have put under it.

    He wants to upgrade it with new wheels and a better crank and a bunch of other bits and my advice was to get himself to the LBS and for a little more than what he planned to spend, can get himself a decent entry level hybrid with a good warranty and way nicer parts.

    Suggested he keeps the x-mart bike as his B bike.
    Hey there Sixty!

    You know there's a greater probability that you're right. However, people have upgraded Walmart bikes before, much their overwhelming satisfaction!

    - Slim

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    What do you mean "thick" and "heavy" tubing? How does tubing being thick or heavy contribute somehow to its inferiority? If anything, the strength and stiffness of aluminum actually resides in both the diameter and thickness of its tubular walls, for bicycles. Of course, just like all the other aluminum bicycle frames we find in all LBS, the mass of the thick and oversized aluminum tubes, is a direct consequence of their construction.
    You don't understand engineering. The frames are heavy to compensate for being not-carefully made.

    A carefully-made frame can be lighter and be as strong.

    And the suspensions on these low end bikes are just for show.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 10-07-11 at 09:24 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    The bicycle shaped objects of today are nothing like the bike shaped objects of my youth... at the co-op we can take old 70's steel bicycles with their 3 speeds, five and ten speeds, and coaster hubs and turn them into very usable bikes but the modern BSO's rarely have any parts we deem salvageable.
    Hi Sixty!

    It is my solemn belief that the only difference between a bonafide legit bicycle and a BSO, in this day and age is the componentry....

    Most frames made today are held together by some of the strongest welds ever known to mankind. That includes many of the mass-produced spot-welded bicycle frames. Of course, as we all know, a pretty weld does not necessarily make for a strong weld.

    - Slim
    Last edited by SlimRider; 10-08-11 at 01:54 AM.

  16. #16
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post

    Therefore Chasm, I wouldn't call it rubbish at all. I would rather call it the naked truth about the strength in Walmart's bicycle frames.
    That's because you patently don't know what you are talking about.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    Hey there TS!

    Walmart plays a very insidious game involving statistics. It's sort of like how the lottery is run. Walmart knows that after a limitted period of time, most of their components will wear out. Most components will wear out, based upon normal wear and tear. Walmart is not responsible for the normal wear and tear on its cheap components. Walmart is only responsible for faulty components or improperly installed components. How do you prove, faulty installment?

    The statistical lottery scheme enters the picture, when you understand that most people are not going to bother returning a $99.00 bicycle after its components fail after a few months. In fact, many Walmart customers lose their receipts, don't read or adhere to their warranty rights, and don't care until the actual time of failure. By that time, when no receipt is recoverable or warranty ignorance is realized, the consumer submits to suspended concerns.

    Bingo! Walmart wins again!

    This is the resounding pattern seen repeatedly all over the country. Large companies that sell cheap products, realize that most dissatisfied customers do not return after only a short period of time has transpired.

    Therefore, since educated people in business, study the behavioral trends of the public, and decide to capitalize upon those trends, as opposed to making more reliable goods and providing better services, then that, I believe, is a type of illegal lottery, and therefore, a type of racketeering. Both of which are considered to be felonies.

    - Slim
    Good luck with your class action lawsuit.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclomania View Post
    The beauty of walmart bikes is the pricing. So you decide to purchase say a cheap MTB from walmart. You end up liking the exercise, the bike out performs its price. And soon you desire an upgrade to a sturdier bike from your LBS. Walmart has done its job of getting you interested in bicycles without the high end investment other stores offer and little risk.
    I agree with the above poster! There is a purpose for POS bikes, getting you someplace quicker than walking and you're free from worry away from the bike. As you go about your business, the bike sits chained to a lamp post, since it has such a low resale value, thieves shrug why bother. Yet the bike still may get stolen. But the loss is less great.
    If you do decide to buy a walmart bike, examine the customer reviews first! Some bikes are less crappy than others!
    Hey there Cyclomania!

    Of course, I stand in complete agreement with this interpretation of yet another perspective of the beauty. The beauty of presenting or extending a cycling opportunity to the financially impoverished. A large segment of society, would not ever consider taking up cycling in any serious manner, until after being introduced through the inexpensive pathway of Walmart.

    Thank you so much for this, Cyclomania! this gives us all just another thought to ponder...

    - Slim
    Last edited by SlimRider; 10-07-11 at 12:25 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    You don't understand engineering. The frames are heavy to compensate for being not-carefully made.

    A carefully-made frame can be lighter and be as strong.

    And the suspensions on these low end bikes are just for show.
    We're not addressing the suspension issue here, only the strength of the frame. Admittedly, the frames are strong!...Maybe cheaply made, but strong nonetheless!

    - Slim

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JusticeZero View Post
    Most of the Walmart bikes I see are step-through cruisers, here. I don't know enough about frames to really judge the quality of the welds and such on them. I -am- interested in knowing just how good bigbox FRAMES are in isolation; there is some merit in having a bike that looks like a cheap POS when you need to leave it parked on campus or when running errands in neighborhoods where the two main industries are both illegal.
    Yes, Justice!

    A G R E E D !

    - Slim



  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    That's because you patently don't know what you are talking about.
    That's so untrue..I wouldn't say, "patently"!

    - Slim

    PS.

    What have I stated here that's in error?
    Last edited by SlimRider; 10-07-11 at 09:13 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimi77 View Post
    Good luck with your class action lawsuit.
    Too bad you can't sue for immorality!

    - Slim

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    The frames are heavy to compensate for being not-carefully made.
    Ah, but are the frames equally strong, if weight is removed as a variable? Some of us don't give a damn how heavy it is - I, for instance, had only minor annoyance with an 80+! pound bike, and that annoyance was reserved for the few times I needed to put it on public transit.
    Current stable: Sun Atlas X-type (mine), Trek Navigator 3 (wife), two Sun Revolution cruisers (wife, daughter)

  24. #24
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    If it were not for these budget priced bikes, a lot of kids would be disappointed on Christmas morning and etc.
    Not everyone can afford to go to an LBS and then watch their kids outgrow the 'better quality bike"
    If you stay away from the blingy bikes with all the bells and cheap whistles and stick with a coaster brake basic bike, they ain't that bad.
    We have people in our developement that have been using Huffys and the like for basic transportation for years.

  25. #25
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobn View Post
    If it were not for these budget priced bikes, a lot of kids would be disappointed on Christmas morning and etc.
    Not everyone can afford to go to an LBS and then watch their kids outgrow the 'better quality bike".
    Nobody - certainly not me - is criticising anyone for being unable to afford an expensive bike for their kids. But acknowledging that these bikes are cheap is very different from saying their frames are of good quality, as the OP claims. Sixty Fiver is right, bikes that were at the cheaper end of the market thirty years ago were of much better quality than today's equivalents.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

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