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Old 07-07-12, 11:03 PM   #1
Chugosh
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Any acceptable big box store bikes?

I really like the bikes at the local bike shop, but they are just too much money at the moment.

I see lots of neat looking bikes at the big boxes, but I can also see a lot of stamped metal fittings and such. I guess I might have a short idea of what to look for and what to beware of, mostly due to other posts on this forum.

What I need is some advice other than the obvious "suck it up and spend more money for a decent bike shop bike." I would if I could, but it seems impossible. Too many other things fighting for the same windfall.

What brands of bike are better than others. I see a lot of Huffy and Schwinn, and those are brands I am familiar with from long ago.
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Old 07-08-12, 03:28 AM   #2
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Better off buying a quality bike; just make it a used/older one if price is an issue. regarding brand familiarity, huffy was never great to begin with, and schwinn is dead and the name bought by pacific bikes nowadays. dismiss any notion of quality based on that
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Old 07-08-12, 04:53 AM   #3
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There's Performance Bicycle Shop in my neighborhood (a nationwide chain) that has decent bikes by Diamondback and Schwinn that aren't too expensive. They are a cut above anything you'd get at a big box store and Performance will make sure they are put together correctly (unlike the big box stores).
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Old 07-08-12, 05:56 AM   #4
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bikesdirect.com is a possibility for a man in your situation.
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Old 07-08-12, 05:59 AM   #5
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In general, avoid bikes with a suspension.
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Old 07-08-12, 07:26 AM   #6
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Single speed beach cruisers are OK.
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Old 07-08-12, 08:43 AM   #7
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Brand names got commodified and sold, that is the money game.
and the only decent bike to wear the Huffy name was,
an expensive custom, hand built for racing, Early Le Mond career,
using Huffy Corp's sponsorship money.
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Old 07-08-12, 08:51 AM   #8
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Brand names got commodified and sold, that is the money game.
and the only decent bike to wear the Huffy name was,
an expensive custom, hand built for racing, Early Le Mond career,
using Huffy Corp's sponsorship money.
Why do you
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beat poetry?
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Old 07-08-12, 10:37 AM   #9
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Some people have good luck with the GMC Denali. The downside is weight, fragile shifters, cheap brakes and sometimes the bottom bracket. Bikes Direct has some decent bikes also. In either case it's feasible if you're willing to go over the bike and make sure everything is installed and adjusted correctly.
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Old 07-08-12, 11:11 AM   #10
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Wally world has jumped on the fixie thing.. minimal number of parts to be crap.

you can spot them on the street ..
red rim , yellow tire, yellow rim, red tire, black painted frame.



reb1916, You want long essays, buy a book.

perhaps REI qualifies as a Big-Box store.. ?

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Old 07-08-12, 12:26 PM   #11
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Avoid anything that says 'Next', 'Roadmaster', 'Magna', or basically offered through the *.mart chain stores. Better bet on a budget would be shopping at Dick's and the other sporting goods stores. They typically won't offer service after the sale, but their build quality/assembly is of a higher caliber than you generally find in the 'Marts.

The exceptions to the above about sporting good stores would be REI and Sun&Ski- both are bona fide LBS within the framework of the larger store itself. And their prices reflect it their selection as well.
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Old 07-08-12, 01:37 PM   #12
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Unless you have serious inclines to conquer, I say stick with the single speeds. They're inexpensive, low maintenance, and hip!

Try one of these:

1) The Takara Kabuto ~ $210-$220
www.amazon.com/Takara-Kabuto-Single-Speed-Road/dp/B004W8LG1S/ref=pd_sim_sbs_sg_3

2) Track Fixed Gear Bike Fixie Single Speed Road Bike ~ $200- $245
www.amazon.com/TRACK-FIXED-FIXIE-SINGLE-SPEED/dp/B004WC2QBS/ref=pd_sbs_sg_2

3) The Nashbar Hounder ~ $200 * chromoly
www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_504148_-1_202614

4) The Nashbar Argyle ~ $200
www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_537009_-1_202614

* You might also want to Google the Mongoose Sinsure ($150), located at your friendly neighborhood Big Box Store Outlet.

There ain't too much that can go wrong on a single speed!

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Old 07-08-12, 02:02 PM   #13
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I'd go with a used bike. First I'd check to see if there are any bike shops that sell used bikes near you, generally they will be tuned up and ready to ride, and fairly inexpensive. If no luck there, I'd search Craigslist for used rigid MTBs, hybrids, and road bikes. Even in an area like mine where bikes are valued quite high, it isn't hard to find a decent enough bike for $70. I'd take a friend with that knows a lot about bikes to look it over and see what it might need for repairs.
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Old 07-08-12, 06:39 PM   #14
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Thanks. A lot of good advice, guys.
I should have mentioned a couple things. I'm a big guy, at 6'6" and 330 lbs, definitely a Clydesdale, and my wife is still an Athena at just under 200 and 6'0". (Gotta brag a bit on her as she has lost over 120#.) So we need fairly sturdy bikes. I foresee getting a big box bike and then having to get stronger wheels for it eventually.
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Old 07-08-12, 07:11 PM   #15
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Thanks. A lot of good advice, guys.
I should have mentioned a couple things. I'm a big guy, at 6'6" and 330 lbs, definitely a Clydesdale, and my wife is still an Athena at just under 200 and 6'0". (Gotta brag a bit on her as she has lost over 120#.) So we need fairly sturdy bikes. I foresee getting a big box bike and then having to get stronger wheels for it eventually.
But here's the thing: A lot of the time, a good set of wheels can cost more than a wally-world bike is even worth in the first place. But if you find a used bike with a good set (consider spoke counts mentioned in earlier posts), you may end up spending less than you would for a pair of wheels to fit the big box store bike.
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Old 07-08-12, 07:30 PM   #16
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I would start watching the nearest Craigslist -- (Portland OR for you?) for a large framed rigid mountain bike or sturdy older road bike comes up. It might take some time, but I think you will end up with a better bike and a better experience.

If you were closer to Ohio I have a large framed Schwinn Continental sitting in the attic that I would give you and would be a decent stepping off point.
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Old 07-08-12, 08:52 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Chugosh View Post
Thanks. A lot of good advice, guys.
I should have mentioned a couple things. I'm a big guy, at 6'6" and 330 lbs, definitely a Clydesdale, and my wife is still an Athena at just under 200 and 6'0". (Gotta brag a bit on her as she has lost over 120#.) So we need fairly sturdy bikes. I foresee getting a big box bike and then having to get stronger wheels for it eventually.
If I were your size and weight I would definitely be looking at 29er bicycles. However, you won’t find many used 29ers. Wal-Mart does have a couple of 29ers you might want to look at, a 7 speed for $179.00 and a single speed for $149.00.

Go to walmart.com and put, 29” Genesis Astra, in the search.

If I were buying that bike for myself I would completely disassemble it and wash and grease every bearing in it before it was ever ridden. That way I would also know that it was assembled and adjusted correctly.
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Old 07-08-12, 09:11 PM   #18
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I would start watching the nearest Craigslist -- (Portland OR for you?) for a large framed rigid mountain bike or sturdy older road bike comes up. It might take some time, but I think you will end up with a better bike and a better experience.

If you were closer to Ohio I have a large framed Schwinn Continental sitting in the attic that I would give you and would be a decent stepping off point
.
I'd look for a mid-80s to early-90s non suspension cro-mo steel framed mountain bike like a GT, Diamondback or Nishiki.
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Old 07-09-12, 06:08 AM   #19
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Thanks. A lot of good advice, guys.
I should have mentioned a couple things. I'm a big guy, at 6'6" and 330 lbs, definitely a Clydesdale, and my wife is still an Athena at just under 200 and 6'0".
Getting a decent frame size is going to be something to watch for. Many big-box bikes are sized towards kids.

FWIW, some of the Iron Horse 29ers I've seen at Walmart are essentially size-large frames. I sat on one in the aisle yesterday and believe it would work for someone taller than me. Tried briefly to pedal it, but there was something wrong in the chain and/or drivetrain that prevented pedaling. A clerk was looking my way, so I decide to just leave rather than sort out the problem.
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Old 07-09-12, 06:58 AM   #20
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From what I've seen, they don't even make any big box store bikes in your size at all!

Your only hope is to advertise in your local Craigslist and fish for the correct used chromoly steel framed bikes in your size. I would even advertise for size 63cm and 64cm road bike frames or framesets, as well.

I would also try to locate a bicycle co-op in my area, so that they could lend me some assistance in my quest for such a rarity in bicycle sizes. Check with thrift stores and inform the management about your search for such a bicycle. Frequent garage and yardsales in your quest. Be patient, vigilant, and relentless!

Good Luck!

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Old 07-09-12, 09:01 AM   #21
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If I were you, I'd look at bike shops for a rigid mountain bike. Expect to pay around $300; add $40-50 if you change to slick tires to ride on the road. At your weight, I wouldn't trust a big box bike, and you'll probably have problems breathing with the posture on a road bike. (Exceptions possible for places like REI and maybe Performance bike, but their prices are likely to start around that magic $300 mark.)

Google "Bicycle Shaped Object" for a good description of why you don't want to waste your money with a bike from X-Mart.
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Old 07-09-12, 09:45 AM   #22
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An honest answer to your threads title....probably not.

Think of it as an investment in your health. Cycling is an extremely enjoyable activity and a valid mode of transportation with the added benefit of better health. I know there is a certain amount of sticker shock with bike shop bikes compared to wally world "bikes". However, those big box store bikes are called "Bike Shaped Objects" for a very good reason. The BSO's sold at *Mart are made to look like a bike and sold for ridiculously low prices. They generally do not hold up for long under even the most optimal circumstances. I've been down the WalMart road once and it wasn't long before I was spending more time making adjustments than riding.
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Old 07-09-12, 10:42 AM   #23
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If you are on that tight a budget, I'm among those who say to educate yourself on the subject and then shop for a good used bike. There are lots of great 80's & 90's bikes available in the $100-200 range and you can often find an even better deal if you are patient and know what you are looking at.
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Old 07-09-12, 12:04 PM   #24
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As tall as you are, there is no box-store bike that will fit you properly, and that is more important than weight or component quality. I opened this thread to add the comment that there are many decent box-stor bikes, as long as you get one without suspension and are willing to do regular maintenence. But most (all?) box-store bikes come in one adult size and it is to fit someone 5'6" to 5'10", give-or-take.

Your best bet will likely be an old 10-speed road bike... many of these were availalble in very lage frames (25" would be the minimum I would reccomend for you; I saw a 27" frame for sale on kijiji last night).

If you can find a mountain bike, 22" would be an absolute minimum size, but you would be better off on a 24" or so frame, although those are not common.

Edit: I am 6'5", and I have struggled time and time again to get comfortable on a too small bike, and tried swapping coponents and altering everything that could be altered... and have come to the realization that if you want to be comfortable you need a bike that is at least close to the right size.
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Old 07-09-12, 12:34 PM   #25
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Well, I went out and perused the other local bike shop, and I can really see the difference.

They had just one bike on consignment. An old Fuji 10 speed with the biggest steel frame possible and 36 spoke wheels for $150. I am really planning on going back for that one. If it won't work for me as it is, then it is an excellent candidate for conversion to a single speed or the like later on. The reason I'm thinking conversion is that the shifters are on the down tube.
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