Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Buffalo, NY
Bikes: Schwinn Tourist (2010), Trek 6000 (1999)
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I just picked up at Schwinn Tourist from Target. Nice smooth ride, as I have about 30 miles on it so far. It's a higher-end box store bike, and the components seem like good mid-range components. The only thing I have some hesitation on are the wheels, they are paired-spokes, 18 of them I think, instead of 32.
Will it get me on my 15 mile per day commute? I think so. Will the drive train need replacement in a year or so? Probably. But, then again, my LBS told me the Trek 2.1 he recommended would need the same.
It's $250 at Target. But, if you can't tune your bike, add another $40 to take it to a LBS to get a tune up on it. My front derailleur needed adjustment.
I think as long as you shop right, you can get a decent bike at a box store (Not Wally World though). You just need to be careful, and realize that most likely, you'll need to take it to a LBS to get tuned up.
Many LBS's sell used bikes too, with the same care a new one gets (ie 1 year of basic maintenance, and a tune up off the floor).