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Old 05-11-12, 06:10 PM   #1
IndianaRecRider 
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Are sporting goods store bikes any better than....

....something I'd get at WalMart/K-Mart/Target?

I'm in the beginning stages of looking for a new bike. I bought my current bike, a Giant Sedona, used back in 2006. Not sure when it was manufactured, but it's beginning to show it's age.

I know that when it comes to buying a new bike, a LBS would be my best option, but I've looked at a few nice bikes at Dick's and also at Sports Authority. I was especially taken with the Edgewood by Diamondback.

From examining it in the store, it seems to be solidly build. It shifted well through all gears, the wheels were true and the brakes seemed like they'd stop the bike pretty quickly. Also, nothing looks like it was put on backwards like I've heard about concerning some discount store bikes.

So, would something like this be a step up from the discount store bikes but still a step below an LBS bike?

Thanks in advance for any comments / suggestions / tips.

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Old 05-11-12, 06:47 PM   #2
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Don't really have an answer, but rather a question. What, exactly, is wrong with the Giant? Anything that couldn't be addressed with a basic tuneup or, maybe, replace tires or inner tubes? While I admit that I could be wrong, I would be surprised if you could find something of better quality in an entry level bike from a sporting goods big box store.
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Old 05-11-12, 07:00 PM   #3
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Yeah it's most probably time for a new bike. However, get the Diamondback Insight from REI, not the Edgewood from a department store. You'll get a better bike, have much greater customer service, and an unbeatable 100% customer satisfaction guarantee and warranty.

The Diamondback Insight ~ $400
www.rei.com/product/832975/diamondback-insight-hybrid-bike-2012-special-buy

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Old 05-11-12, 08:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndianaRecRider View Post
....something I'd get at WalMart/K-Mart/Target?

I'm in the beginning stages of looking for a new bike. I bought my current bike, a Giant Sedona, used back in 2006. Not sure when it was manufactured, but it's beginning to show it's age.

I know that when it comes to buying a new bike, a LBS would be my best option, but I've looked at a few nice bikes at Dick's and also at Sports Authority. I was especially taken with the Edgewood by Diamondback.

From examining it in the store, it seems to be solidly build. It shifted well through all gears, the wheels were true and the brakes seemed like they'd stop the bike pretty quickly. Also, nothing looks like it was put on backwards like I've heard about concerning some discount store bikes.

So, would something like this be a step up from the discount store bikes but still a step below an LBS bike?

Thanks in advance for any comments / suggestions / tips.

I don't know a lot about Sports authority but I do see bikes from Dick's on line now and then. But I might second the opinion of MRT2 that a good servicing with new chain, and any worn parts on the Giant might be better than most bikes from a Box Store. You more than likely can get a better deal on a name brand bike like Giant, Trek, Specialized, Jamis, Haro that has a better reputation than what you can get from a box store. There are two grades of Diamondback, one for box stores and one for a LBS. The better grade Diamondback tends to be a bit more than the $300.00 bike you posted. The company site will even tell you as much. Schwinn has lost its reputation years ago and only ones not sold at a box stores have even started to make an attempt at quality. But you should be able to get another Sedona at a LBS for $400.00 and they wioll toss in some free service and set up. The Sedona ST is less than $400.00. You can even get a Cypress from Giant for under $400.00. If you want a Steel bike the Cypress comes in a St as does the Sedona St for about $50.00 less. That way you have a LBS to deal with and a bike with a better reputation. Believe me having a bike a LBS "wants" to service is worth it. But then there are Schwinns and Diamondbacks sold at an LBS as well and they would be my first choice because I would know they were put together correctly at least to start with. Just my opinion however.

Last edited by Mobile 155; 05-11-12 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 05-12-12, 05:45 AM   #5
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What is wrong with your Giant Sedona?

My newest bike is a 2006. I have a couple of Giant bikes from the 1990's that I am still riding. My most ridden bike is a 1972 Raleigh Sports Standard, it has way past 30,000 miles on it and is still being ridden. I seldom buy brand new stuff, when the old stuff works just fine for my needs and purposes.

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Old 05-12-12, 08:17 AM   #6
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What is wrong with your Giant Sedona?

My newest bike is a 2006. I have a couple of Giant bikes from the 1990's that I am still riding. My most ridden bike is a 1972 Raleigh Sports Standard, it has way past 30,000 miles on it and is still being ridden. I seldom buy brand new stuff, when the old stuff works just fine for my needs and purposes.

Aaron
No kidding.....I ride my '85 Trek and '89 PRE like they came off the showroom floor last week.

IndianaRecRider, you dont need a new bike. You may need another bike but you dont need a new one. :mrgreen:
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Old 05-12-12, 08:22 AM   #7
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Drop the Giant off at a Bikeshop and have their mechanics
.. give it a safety check at least.
might have old chain and cassette replaced, brake pads ,
maybe cables , tires .. stuff that wears with use.

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Old 05-12-12, 09:10 AM   #8
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To answer your question. I do think that they stock better bikes than Walmart etc, but the quality also depends on the bikes components. As long as you get one with good components IMO you should be alright. For Dick's I recommend these bikes as they have much better components etc.

Diamondback Menona Hybrid Bike 2012
Diamondback Insight 2
Diamondback Trace Comp Dual Sport
Diamondback Trace Pro Dual Sport

For Sports Authority the Diamondback Insight 2.

I'm not a big fan of 7 speeds.

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Old 05-12-12, 09:23 AM   #9
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Diamondback has the same owners as Raleigh.
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Old 05-12-12, 09:27 AM   #10
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I dunno, new components with an old aluminum frame, purchased already used, back in 2006.

I think that this just might be a good time to cut your losses...

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Old 05-12-12, 11:33 AM   #11
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Yeah it's most probably time for a new bike. However, get the Diamondback Insight from REI, not the Edgewood from a department store. You'll get a better bike, have much greater customer service, and an unbeatable 100% customer satisfaction guarantee and warranty.

The Diamondback Insight ~ $400
www.rei.com/product/832975/diamondback-insight-hybrid-bike-2012-special-buy

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Old 05-12-12, 12:02 PM   #12
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So, would something like this be a step up from the discount store bikes but still a step below an LBS bike?
I would not expect the sporting goods store bike to be an improvement. It's still a big box store type bike. There will be exceptions, naturally.
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Old 05-13-12, 04:30 PM   #13
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Don't really have an answer, but rather a question. What, exactly, is wrong with the Giant? Anything that couldn't be addressed with a basic tuneup or, maybe, replace tires or inner tubes? While I admit that I could be wrong, I would be surprised if you could find something of better quality in an entry level bike from a sporting goods big box store.
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What is wrong with your Giant Sedona?

Aaron
Basically it needs a complete overhaul. The bearings in the crank are beginning to grind. The wheels need to be trued. Cables need replacing. Brakes need a good adjustment; basically it's falling apart due to neglect on my part. The only good thing(s) on the bike are the tires and tubes.


I think for now I'm going to hold off on purchasing a new bike. Save up a few more dollars and then decide if I'll have my Sedona fixed up or purchase a new bike from a LBS.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in with their comments. I appreciate them, and they definitely gave me much to think about.

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Old 05-13-12, 04:44 PM   #14
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The Super Walmart by me and Sports Authority and Dicks have some overlapping models as far as quality is concerned, so not guaranteed to be better @ sporting goods joints but most of their offerings are a half step above most X-mart bikes.

The not-so-super Walmart by me has about 1/5 the quantity of bikes as the Super Walmart and no bikes in the upper-trash level bikes, only low-range trash and mid-range trash.
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Old 05-13-12, 05:37 PM   #15
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Diamondback has the same owners as Raleigh.
Doesnt mean much for quality. A Cannondale is nothing like a Roadmaster. One is good, the other is junk. Same company owns them.
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Old 05-13-12, 05:52 PM   #16
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Doesnt mean much for quality. A Cannondale is nothing like a Roadmaster. One is good, the other is junk. Same company owns them.
Diamondback still makes plenty of nice bikes, though. And Raleigh has made junk bikes before, dunno if they currently are.
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Old 05-13-12, 06:13 PM   #17
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Basically it needs a complete overhaul. The bearings in the crank are beginning to grind. The wheels need to be trued. Cables need replacing. Brakes need a good adjustment; basically it's falling apart due to neglect on my part. The only good thing(s) on the bike are the tires and tubes.


I think for now I'm going to hold off on purchasing a new bike. Save up a few more dollars and then decide if I'll have my Sedona fixed up or purchase a new bike from a LBS.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in with their comments. I appreciate them, and they definitely gave me much to think about.

Get a repair estimate from you LBS and see what you are looking at. IMO, if you replace something old, you should shoot for something that is a clear upgrade over what you already have. Will a $300 special from Dick's get the job done? Maybe, but you might find yourself wanting something shiny and new in another year or two.

I have been browsing my LBSs the last week or so, and the sweet spot seems to be between $500 and $600. For that price, you can get some (but not all) of the following: better components, carbon fork, disc brakes. In that price range, one LBS had a Kona Dew Plus, another had a Cannondale Quick 4, and a third, a Trek F.X 7.2. I am sure if I looked around, I could find equivalent quality from Giant, Jamis, and Specialized.
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Old 05-13-12, 09:36 PM   #18
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The Dick's Sporting goods here in Columbia has a dedicated bike specialist who can even true a wheel in shop. She'll even tune the bike up for you once after you buy it & ride it & is capable of repairing them also. I don't know if all Dick's work like this. They don't sell many roadbikes but if you are looking for a hybrid or a thick tire bike, Dick's is pretty good. Plus Dick's tends to carry a variety of sizes including large sizes, something that Walmart doesn't do on a regular basis.
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Old 05-13-12, 09:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Basically it needs a complete overhaul. The bearings in the crank are beginning to grind. The wheels need to be trued. Cables need replacing. Brakes need a good adjustment; basically it's falling apart due to neglect on my part. The only good thing(s) on the bike are the tires and tubes.


I think for now I'm going to hold off on purchasing a new bike. Save up a few more dollars and then decide if I'll have my Sedona fixed up or purchase a new bike from a LBS.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in with their comments. I appreciate them, and they definitely gave me much to think about.

Good choice. If your bike is indeed worn out a new ride might be in order. And spending a little more for a bike with a better reputation will save you a lot of discomfort in the long run. Keep us posted on what you decide when you do get in the market.
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Old 05-14-12, 05:36 AM   #20
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Basically it needs a complete overhaul. The bearings in the crank are beginning to grind. The wheels need to be trued. Cables need replacing. Brakes need a good adjustment; basically it's falling apart due to neglect on my part. The only good thing(s) on the bike are the tires and tubes.


I think for now I'm going to hold off on purchasing a new bike. Save up a few more dollars and then decide if I'll have my Sedona fixed up or purchase a new bike from a LBS.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in with their comments. I appreciate them, and they definitely gave me much to think about.

Are there any bike co-ops or bike kitchens in your area? They will help you do the repairs as well as teach you proper bike maintenance for future reference, plus have used parts at a deep discount. I don't see the point in spending money on a new bike if your old one failed due to lack of basic maintenance, the new one will suffer the same fate. A well maintained bike should last for many years. One reason I primarily ride IGH is to get away from the constant expense of replacing drive train components on a derailleur geared bike. On my derailleur bikes I get a solid year's worth of riding (~5,000 miles)out of a chain, with other drive train components needing to be replaced every 2-3 years depending on wear, caused by mileage and riding conditions.

Aaron
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Old 05-14-12, 07:36 AM   #21
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Your options for an improved bike I would say are rebuild what you have, look for something used (I have had great luck with CL and garage sales), something like a Wal-Mart bike (not even a choice in my mind unless you look on line and I think they may have a couple there better quality), on line new (I have a bikes direct bike I’m quite happy with), sporting goods store bike (step above Dept store bike IMO) and lastly a bike shop.

So much of the choice has to do with your abilities. If you want to have any extensive amount of work done by a shop you will be ahead to buy new. I have found many high quality bikes used that needed nothing or minimal work to get them back to new condition. But you have to know what you are looking for and at. If your service skills are not the best and you are looking on line see if you can get a bike shop to work with you before you order. Sporting goods stores as well as bike shops may or may not overlap both in quality of bikes and skill of employees. In general an owner operator bike shop that sells a high end bike even if what you are buying is mid-range will have quality people to help.

The only cost savings with something on line over a shop bike is the prep work the shop does and the cost of the shop to carry the inventory. The plus is with a shop you can actually get fitted and ride the bike before you buy it. For many that’s worth the $100 or so you might be looking at and being able to take it back for checkups.
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Old 05-14-12, 08:44 AM   #22
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Are there any bike co-ops or bike kitchens in your area? They will help you do the repairs as well as teach you proper bike maintenance for future reference, plus have used parts at a deep discount. I don't see the point in spending money on a new bike if your old one failed due to lack of basic maintenance, the new one will suffer the same fate. A well maintained bike should last for many years.
Aaron
Aaron's right. I would suggest that you save your money for tools and begin to address the drivetrain and braking issues one at a time yourself. There are good books on bicycle maintenance, as well as videos on YouTube. Begin with the brakes.... This will involve truing the wheels, too. You can do it. Anyone can. Plus, you'll have a greater sense of satisfaction.

You'll also be better attuned to the recurring maintenance needs of your bike as you ride more.

There's no reason to spend money on a new bike, IMO. Older bikes are great.

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Old 05-14-12, 02:53 PM   #23
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Another good resource for working on bikes is YouTube and the Park Tool site, as well as Bike Forums, if you come here with a question and pictures someone would be glad to walk you through it. I know I don't mind.

Aaron
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Old 05-14-12, 03:04 PM   #24
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So many options...So little time....
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Old 05-14-12, 05:14 PM   #25
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At a department store the person who will help you find a bike (if they help at all) will be the same person who would help you find patio furniture or a barbeque; and the person who assembled the bike is probably the same person who assembled the displayed furniture and barbeques.
At a small sporting goods store the situation may not be much different.
At a large sporting goods store, in an area where the sell a lot of bikes, there are likely to be employees who's only job is assembling and selling the bikes; and those employees are more likely to be active and enthusiastic cyclists than the department store employees.
Even if they carry many of the same models I would consider that a step up.
When I was living in the Inland Empire in southern California I had better luck finding helpful knowledgeable bicycle mechanics at sporting goods stores then a bike shops. The Inland Empire is littered with bike shops, most of which are crappy operations that hire the cheapest labor with little regard for ability. There are probably some good ones, but given how many crappy ones I encountered good would have to be the exception.



As to good sporting goods stores, I would count r.e.i., which carries excellent bikes (to the degree that some people may consider it unfair to even put them in this category) and generally has helpful employees, and Bass Pro Shop, some of which don't carry bikes at all, and some of which carry a large quality selection, but most of which have helpful employees.
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