I'm considering the Schwinn OR2 sold by Target stores or a Trek. The Schwinn has Schimano gear shifters and is very comfortable (perhaps even more than the trek). I know everyone says don't buy from department stores. Can you explain why?
I've seen other threads extolling the virtues of the FX 7.1 v. the 7100. I like the gear shifter, style and lightness of the 7.1, so it really boils down to how important is the adjustable handlebar and the shocks for someone who will be mostly in the city but very occasionally (once or twice a year) on hard pack trails.
I have no experience, but I've spent days and days perusing this and other forums, so I will pass on what I've read. (I, too, am in the market to purchase a bike, in my case after decades of not riding.) According to "everyone," all big box and department stores, even those such as LLBean, sell bikes that have components far inferior to the bikes sold in bike shops. They are much heavier, not built to last, and you will die if you spend more than 15 minutes in their vicinity. OK, I made the last one up. Supposedly, Schwinn is Schwinn in name only; some dude bought up the old brand names and now they are just cheap BSO's (bike-shaped objects). Not the Schwinns of our youth at all. Or so "they" all say, quite convincingly I might add.
I have read this repeatedly and am now looking to buy a low-end "bike shop" bike (Giant Cypress or Sedona), although there is no bike shop where I live. So I have been convinced. I do have acquantainces who quite happily ride Walmart and Target bikes, but I'm sure their bikes will disintegrate into dust at any moment. I don't know the specifications or specific reasons you mustn't buy these bikes, but you mustn't. So there!
Good luck with your purchase! I'm still perusing forums and driving everyone here crazy asking questions.
rockhopper, delta V, cannondale H300, Marin Mill Valley
Same high grade components!? Hardly. "Metal Alloy" rims and "steel" chains are found on very nice bikes but also on the very worst bikes. This spec sheet does not suggest any of the component are high end. If there were any quality parts on this bike, they would be mentioned in the spec sheet. Instead they say stuff like Fame: Aluminum...
Bicycle Frame Material: Aluminum
Seat Features: Quick Release Seat, Adjustable
Wheel Height: 28"
Rim Material: Metal Alloy
Tire Type: 700c
Tire Width: 2"
Brake System: Linear
Gear Speeds: 21
Bicycle Chain Material: Steel
Used For: Bikes
Includes: Shimano Derailleur, Kickstand
Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With Soap and Water
Dimensions: Height: 28.2 "; Length: 53.4 "; Width: 43.0 "
Product Weight: 43.0 Lb.
Warranty Description: 1 Year Manufacturer Warranty
Go with a Trek - i have a 7.3fx and love it. Department store bikes are assembled by store employees who have just the basics to get them built and on the sales floor. I used to work for Wal Mart and our bikes had alot of issues and returns for quaility and workmanship. Buy from a bike shop and you have much better service after the sale.