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  1. #1
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    Do you own a Walmart (or other box store) bike?

    Box-store bikes seem to get universal disdain in bike forums - I've seen them referred to as "bicycle-shaped objects". Curious if anyone reading this has one?

    I don't, I have a Giant Cypress DX, just curious.

  2. #2
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    I have a Diamondback I got from a sporting goods store. It was inexpensive, has proven to be reliable, and is easy to ride and comfortable. I found it a good choice for someone who hadn't ridden in two decades. I recently got a Trek FX, which is a fine bike and better suited for the longer-distance, faster rides I now am able to do. But I'm certainly keeping the DB, as it's great for bopping around town, running to the library or coffee shop, things like that.

  3. #3
    t x
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    I own a Schwinn Trailway which is a "comfort hybrid" sold at Target (there's actually a thread about it here: Cheap Hybrid Brag: Schwinn), I believe it's also sold at Walmart under a different name. I bought it the day after my old mountain bike was stolen to "bridge the gap" so to speak. Honestly though, it's was a great buy. I really enjoy the bike, I've ridden the hell out of it and plan to continue to do so (it's currently pressed into service as a grocery-getter.) Despite many warnings about the big box store employees, it was assembled reasonably well. I think I had to adjust the brake cables and that's it. It's got around 800 miles on it so far without any major issues. In terms of value per dollar spent I think it would stand up well against anything.

  4. #4
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I used to own a Walmart bicycle ... and I miss it. It was surprisingly good. I put a huge amount of kilometres on it in all sorts of weather, with very little in the way of repairs.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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    I bought a Schwinn Mesa a couple of years ago, to set up for use as a winter bike. It has a decent frame and the wheels have held up. Fork, stem, seatpost, brakes, all that has been OK. But the entire drivetrain: chain, cassette, crankset, bottom bracket, both derailleurs, were practically junk and only lasted a few hundred miles. That's the problem with those bikes, some things can be inexpensive and still be functional, others need to be of better quality or you'll have nothing but problems. They put the cheapest components on those box store bikes that exist, and by the time you change it all out for decent stuff, you could almost have bought a better brand of bike. Of course, if you don't really plan to ride very much, the box store bikes are fine and dandy.

  6. #6
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    Here's a "bicycle shaped object" I found online recently. I believe they sell retail a lot cheaper than what this guy wants.

    Men's Bike | Bicycles | Gumtree Australia Port Adelaide Area - Largs Bay | 1040124399

  7. #7
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Bought this below from Walmart for $99 in 2005 when my daughter got her first bike to ride with her on the bike trails. It sat around in the garage getting very little use. She got bigger, got a bigger bike, but didn't ride much. She's very tall and when she hit 12, she wanted to try to ride my bike. She rode it around in the yard, it was left out in the rain, left out in the snow over winter, and was in very bad shape with frayed cables, didn't shift, and last spring she wanted to ride around the yard and the chain was completely frozen with rust. I soaked the chain with PB Blaster and got it loose to where she could ride it around the yard.

    In late summer, I was looking for something that was sustainable with exercise. A few coworkers ride so I decided to disassemble everything, clean, and adjust everything the best I could with limited knowledge. I ended up riding this $99 Walmart bike with frayed cables, stretched rusty chain, and worn out sprockets for 580 miles an hour at a time daily from August through the beginning of November. If I would continue to ride, I was going to buy a "good" bike in the spring and I bought my Giant Escape.

    It still sits in the garage and the only thing I've done with it aside from adjusting everything was put 2 new tubes in it. My daughter rode 12 miles on the trail with me in April on it.

    I don't like the term "bike shaped object". This is a bike. If I replaced the 8 year old frayed cables, rear sprockets (I probably can't do that), and chain, it would work just fine. As was mentioned in another post above, by the time you replace everything that is worn out, you could buy a decent bike. Or, if you figure a Walmart bike could last a few years, you could just keep purchasing the same bike when it's worn out. I figure maybe 3 years of more use than I gave mine, which would put me at 18 years of replacing the entire bike for the price I paid for my Giant.

    Last edited by mrodgers; 05-14-14 at 06:02 AM.
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Deal4Fuji's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t x View Post
    I own a Schwinn Trailway which is a "comfort hybrid" sold at Target (there's actually a thread about it here: Cheap Hybrid Brag: Schwinn), I believe it's also sold at Walmart under a different name. I bought it the day after my old mountain bike was stolen to "bridge the gap" so to speak. Honestly though, it's was a great buy. I really enjoy the bike, I've ridden the hell out of it and plan to continue to do so (it's currently pressed into service as a grocery-getter.) Despite many warnings about the big box store employees, it was assembled reasonably well. I think I had to adjust the brake cables and that's it. It's got around 800 miles on it so far without any major issues. In terms of value per dollar spent I think it would stand up well against anything.
    I'm pleased to report my Target Trailway is holding up well since my 1st post in March. It's my exercise bike I ride hard for a little over an hour almost every night, and while I do have some creaks and pops, I see posts from riders with $500+ bikes saying the same things. I don't worry about it too much knowing my total investment was $165 & about $7 for a Schwinn bell. As an aside, you know what I like about cheap bells that have a "cha-ching" sound?....they have personality ! I'm just assuming those smaller more expensive bells with the striker outside the bell just do a single chime. With my cha-ching bell I can hit it soft where you get a soft ring, or harder to get the full screaming cha-ching. Also the cha-ching is a sound everyone knows is a bike chime without having to turn around.

    I now have my '82 Fuji on the road and am working up to group rides with the local bikers, but so far I'm very pleased with my B.S.O.

    Schwinn Traiway.jpg

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    Bought this below from Walmart for $99 in 2005 when my daughter got her first bike to ride with her on the bike trails. It sat around in the garage getting very little use. She got bigger, got a bigger bike, but didn't ride much. She's very tall and when she hit 12, she wanted to try to ride my bike. She rode it around in the yard, it was left out in the rain, left out in the snow over winter, and was in very bad shape with frayed cables, didn't shift, and last spring she wanted to ride around the yard and the chain was completely frozen with rust. I soaked the chain with PB Blaster and got it loose to where she could ride it around the yard.

    In late summer, I was looking for something that was sustainable with exercise. A few coworkers ride so I decided to disassemble everything, clean, and adjust everything the best I could with limited knowledge. I ended up riding this $99 Walmart bike with frayed cables, stretched rusty chain, and worn out sprockets for 580 miles an hour at a time daily from August through the beginning of November. If I would continue to ride, I was going to buy a "good" bike in the spring and I bought my Giant Escape.
    Man, if you were riding that thing at 580 miles per hour, everyday, from August thru November, then I just wanna know what you ate for breakfast!
    Last edited by WestPablo; 05-14-14 at 06:24 AM.

  10. #10
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    My husband's bike is a Walmart BSO, the very cheapest of mountain bikes, a Roadmaster Granite Peak with gears but without shocks. It was assembled well and tightly and he added bar end handlebars. He rides it maybe 20 miles a week most weeks and we live in a very low humidity, very high dust area. Its first mechanical problem has only come up now after 18 months, a crank arm coming loose. It was good enough to get him back into riding. But then, he is tall enough to ride a general size Walmart frame.

    My not-Walmart but not bike-branded bike does not have an expensive bell, but it does have an outside striker and it does make a single 'ding!' sound.

  11. #11
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    Does anyone have any experience with the Costco bikes? They look like they might be better than the Walmart bikes. My son will be able to ride his first bike soon, and my wife is thinking of joining us on bike rides - but she insists on a cheap bike because she doesn't see herself cycling otherwise. I've started looking at craigslist and will start hitting garage sales soon, but if I don't find anything reasonable I will have to consider a big box store bike.
    http://treadrightly.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    My wife has a Schwinn cruiser style bike that collects dust since we got her a much nicer bikes direct bike. I had an old Huffy on my deck for a few years. I was waiting to see how long it would take to rust through, but we ended up getting rid of it to make room for a table and chairs. I had replaced the Huffy with a Schwinn hybrid "road" bike (with flatbars) that I rode for a year, it wasn't too bad.

  13. #13
    Senior Member mrodgers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
    Man, if you were riding that thing at 580 miles per hour, everyday, from August thru November, then I just wanna know what you ate for breakfast!
    Cheerios! 2 servings of Cheerios every morning
    Ride no faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!

  14. #14
    Senior Member LuckySailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrodgers View Post
    Cheerios! 2 servings of Cheerios every morning
    Reminds me of the importance of proper punctuation and capitalization.

    Can you help Jack, off the horse. OR Can you help jack off the horse? hahahahaha

  15. #15
    Senior Member LuckySailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by treadtread View Post
    Does anyone have any experience with the Costco bikes? They look like they might be better than the Walmart bikes. My son will be able to ride his first bike soon, and my wife is thinking of joining us on bike rides - but she insists on a cheap bike because she doesn't see herself cycling otherwise. I've started looking at craigslist and will start hitting garage sales soon, but if I don't find anything reasonable I will have to consider a big box store bike.
    We have 3 Costco bikes. OMG are they heavy! I will have to weigh, but I'll bet one weighs nearly as much as our tandem! OTOH, my touring bike weighs in at 36 pounds unloaded. Not a weight weenie for sure!

    The Costco bikes we have had for at least 4 years now, probably 5. No issues. They get used every summer at the cottage. They are kept inside during the winter, probably never left out in the rain. I have never had to do any maintenance on them, except pump up 1 or 2 tires. Aside from the scrapes from transporting once or twice on that stupid bike rack I had before I got a real bike rack, they're pretty well flawless.

  16. #16
    DBA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    I used to own a Walmart bicycle ... and I miss it. It was surprisingly good. I put a huge amount of kilometres on it in all sorts of weather, with very little in the way of repairs.
    Same here....It was a schwinn sidewinder I think...anyway, it was a chrome schwinn 26" mtb....I commuted on it for a couple years and even did some pretty serious mtb trails on it.
    The only work I ever did to it was having the bb replaced with a sealed cartridge type unit. I figured that would be much lower maintenance than the type it came with.

  17. #17
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Sure, I rode a 21 mile commute daily on a GMC Denali for a couple of years and I still have it for bad weather. There's nothing wrong with the bike. I have seen department store cruisers and mountain bikes self destruct after a few hundred miles however.

  18. #18
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    When I was truly broke I had enough Canadian Tire points to buy one of their bike on sale.
    This is the bike:
    Supercycle Tempo 700C Road Bike | Canadian Tire
    They call it a road bike,but it had a triple and straight bars like a hybrid. Worked well enough.

    My son is now riding it and coming from a mountain bike he is very very happy.

    I did have to take it to the LBS at one point, the bottom braket had seized up. They knew right away, apparently not an uncommon occurance.

    Otherwise, it has been fine.

    But I did long for a drop bar and a steel frame. It was a little stiff for really long rides.

  19. #19
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    My fiancÚe has a Thruster branded 'fixie' (really, it is a flip-flop hub) single speed bike. It's the black one. He loves it. He rides it far further and more often than he did his entry level road bike.

    I'm no expert, but it seems well made. The frame is nicely put together and it is very stable. He can ride quite a ways no hands. The frame has 'track ends' and sadly, no attachments for any sort of cup holder or rack. The thing is lighter than my bikes direct Windsor and my old 80s Schwinn. The wheels came true, too. The frame stickers were literally stickers and I peeled them off because I could.

    The components are a little odd and somewhat chintzy, but again, they seem sturdy enough. I figure we'll just replace them if and when they break.

    We bought it off the interweb so I can't speak for assembly other than the front wheel was screwed together way too tightly.
    Just one of those dirty pinko commies some people worry about.

  20. #20
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    @LuckySailor: Thanks!

    This seems to be a good thread to ask the question: Is anyone aware of a cheap single speed (step through frame) with regular brakes? BD has this:
    Town Bikes | Classic, Stylish City Bikes | Urban Bikes | Commuter Road Bikes | Windsor Essex from bikesdirect.com
    but it has a coaster brake - a no-go from my wife's point of view.
    http://treadrightly.blogspot.com/

  21. #21
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    I rode my Trailway until the BB wore out (had issues from the start, really) and the shifting stopped responding well. And then for some time after. I still have it, as the SO was using it to commute after her Trailway turned to total crap, but now that she has her own Fuji, it is likely going to find a new home here soon.

    M.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by meversbergii View Post
    i rode my trailway until the bb wore out
    bb?

  23. #23
    Over forty victim of Fate Cougrrcj's Avatar
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    BB = Bottom Bracket

    Yes, I have a garbage-picked discount store Huffy MTB. Not for any serious riding, but just quick trips to the corner store, etc. Total investment is $25 for tires/tubes. I could probably replace the brake cables because they're frayed on the ends. I haven't even bothered to detail-strip it to the bare frame because I have other bikes that are 'in process'...
    '75 Fuji S-10S bought new, 45k+ miles and still going!
    '84 Univega Viva Sport
    '90 Schwinn Woodlands
    Huffy MTB - for trips to corner store
    MTB of questionable lineage aka 'Mutt Trail Bike'

  24. #24
    Senior Member MEversbergII's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert P View Post
    bb?
    Yep, bottom bracket. Both the SO and I had issues with ours breaking down and getting loose.

    M.

  25. #25
    Senior Member loneviking61's Avatar
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    I have a Trailway. Mine has never had any bb issues. Shimano 105 drivetrain, front shocks, solid aluminum frame. Put a solid seatpost and trekking bars on it along with lights, fenders, back rack and Walky dog attachment. I ride it almost daily, both street and also singletrack. No muss, no fuss, no problems. I'm keeping mine!

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