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Old 03-09-12, 01:48 AM   #1
bobotech
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Will my son die on a Schwinn Tourist hybrid?

LOL for the overly dramatic title but I am curious what people think.

I know the mantra, do not buy xmart bikes. However I was prowling Criagslist and saw an ad for a 50 dollar Schwinn Tourist hybrid (a hybrid sold at Target for 250 dollars I guess). I figured if anything, the parts should be worth that much for use on other things.

So I meet the guy and check out the bike. The frame is solid. Paint is decent enough. The fork is solid and no play in the bearings.

However then the fun begins. The bottom bracket is really worn, lots of play. The rear wheel has a tiny bit of play in the bearings. The brake pads are worn out. The tires are okay. The rear wheel needs to be trued. The bike is dirty.

I tell the guy about all the problems and give him 20 bux. I got the bike last night.

Today I stopped at kmart (blech) just to see if they had brake pads, they have schwinn pads for 5 dollars per pair. Bought 2 sets. Brought the bike to my bike coop.

I then tore into the bottom bracket. Totally gone. The drive side caged bearing is still sort of there. The non-drive side cage is half gone. The balls are all gritty nasty. Threw it away. I happened to grab my spare cartridge bottom bracket leftover from an upgrade I did on my LBS hybird. I was thrilled when it was the same sizes (68mm and same spindle width). Threw that in and solved that problem. Cranks are nice and tight!

Loosened the cone and locknut on the rear axle and tightened it up some. Nice and smooth now.

Replaced all 4 brake pads and replaced one of the cables. Adjusted them. they work great now.

Bent the slightly bent rear derailleur hanger back into spec. Replaced the rear derailleur cable and the rear loop housing. Adjusted the low and high screws. Shifts great in the rear.

Adjusted the low and high screws in the front. Front now shifts great.

So at this point I now have a fully adjusted and lubed and ready to go bike for a cost of 20 dollars for the bike, 10 for the brake pads and 5 dollars for the hour of shop time. (i did the brakes and derailleur adjustments at home).

Oh yeah, I also replaced the steel handlebar with a spare slight riser alumium bar that I had.

My 22 year old sone saw it and wanted to know what I was going to do with it. I told him that I was thinking of flipping it ( 100 bux? ) or selling it to our friend for what I had it in . He said no and claimed it. LOL

SO I'm wondering, will this bike really end up being a garbage bike or willl it be okay? The frame seemed reasonably decent for what it was.
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Old 03-09-12, 02:38 AM   #2
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The three main reasons why to avoid buying from the Xmarts is that a) the lack of frame sizes, b) the quality of components, and c) the quality of the build. That being said, if you think the frame is decent and it fits your son, just keep an eye on the stuff you haven't changed out and you should be good.
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Old 03-09-12, 04:24 AM   #3
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That ole Walgoose will now outlast half of all the bikes you currently see on the road!
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Old 03-09-12, 04:54 AM   #4
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Crappy bikes are like prostrate cancer. Most people die with them rather than of them. I'm sure he will live to a ripe old age with his Schwinn*

(*Medical advice from the internet and horoscopes should be treated with caution)
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Old 03-09-12, 05:08 AM   #5
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My son had one also, it is a decent bike... : )
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Old 03-09-12, 05:42 AM   #6
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My son had one also, it is a decent bike... : )

WOW! You have all the cool videos, man!
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Old 03-09-12, 07:01 AM   #7
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I've eyeballed the Tourist at my local TBS (Target Bike Shelf). The biggest issue seems to be a lack of knowledge in assembly and adjustment, and you have taken care of all of that. Other than that, the rims are low on the spoke count, so check them from time to time to make sure they are true. Otherwise, you may have spokes break on you. I would also recommend keeping a spare tube or two on hand, as I believe these rims require the extra long 48mm Schrader valve tubes, and those tubes are not always easy to find.

Looks like a fun bike for your son to claim! My son has a Target Schwinn as well, as he is growing too quickly to justify buying him a bike from the LBS.
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Old 03-09-12, 07:49 AM   #8
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bought this bike twice last year, once in early may right from target, but i wasn't happy with it and i took it back, then in late july i found it on craigslist for 70 bucks, thing had been beat up, the rear cassette was shot and the tires were almost gone, got a new cassette and some tires and sold the beast for a 50 dollar profit, i vowed to be done with that bike after that...lol
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Old 03-09-12, 08:19 AM   #9
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im sure the point has already been made but instead of getting a $200 new xmart bike, put that $200 and maybe a tiny bit more and get a used trek off of craigslist. you get great components and a great frame that will last a long time as opposed to some xmart crap that is going to be destroyed after riding one season.

fwiw.
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Old 03-09-12, 09:17 AM   #10
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Perfect for college or commute workhorse, where a good bike might get stolen or trashed. Not so good if he decides to test it on the ridges, cheap bikes do not hold up well on those rad downhills.
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Old 03-09-12, 10:53 AM   #11
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It depends more on the amount of traffic and crazy blind people driving around than it does on the quality of a bike.
I've seen cheap bigstore mountainbikes literally snap in half while doing some offroading, but I've never seen anyone die because his bike failed in normal riding situations.
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Old 03-09-12, 11:06 AM   #12
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Off roading? why would anyone go off roading on a bike like this? Its a hybrid. I look at hybrids as basically mountain bike geometry (comfy) with road bike style wheels/tires and gearing. Road biking for people like me and my son who aren't into speed or eeking the last bit of performance out of the bike and would rather sacrifice a bit of performance for comfort..

I just don't get someone who would want to take a cheap non-mountain bike like this down a "rad downhill".
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Old 03-09-12, 02:46 PM   #13
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Your bike shop charges $5/hr for service?

You've basically fixed everything that was wrong with it so it's perfectly safe for your son to ride. I remember when the Tourist was popular a couple years back. I don't think it's a bad value but it only came in one size (18" frame). I'd personally buy a used Trek FX or other similar performance hybrid if I had $250 to spend. I've seen people asking $150-250 on Craigslist for used Schwinn Tourists.

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Old 03-09-12, 03:45 PM   #14
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Your bike shop charges $5/hr for service?
I think he was talking about a bike co-op where you pay a low hourly rate to use their tools to work on your own bike.
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Old 03-09-12, 03:47 PM   #15
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I think he was talking about a bike co-op where you pay a low hourly rate to use their tools to work on your own bike.
Yes this, I do all my own work on bikes. I don't have money to spend on labor so I learned how to do it all myself with help from the guys at the bike coop.
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Old 03-10-12, 07:53 PM   #16
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Off roading? why would anyone go off roading on a bike like this? Its a hybrid. I look at hybrids as basically mountain bike geometry (comfy) with road bike style wheels/tires and gearing. Road biking for people like me and my son who aren't into speed or eeking the last bit of performance out of the bike and would rather sacrifice a bit of performance for comfort..

I just don't get someone who would want to take a cheap non-mountain bike like this down a "rad downhill".
Ah, and you have sons? You would be shocked at the crazy stuff they do when you're not looking...

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Old 03-11-12, 10:00 AM   #17
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im sure the point has already been made but instead of getting a $200 new xmart bike, put that $200 and maybe a tiny bit more and get a used trek off of craigslist. you get great components and a great frame that will last a long time as opposed to some xmart crap that is going to be destroyed after riding one season.

fwiw.
200 dollars? Where did you get that number? Did you see that I bought the bike for 20? If I was going to spend 200 on a bike, it sure as heck wouldn't be a wally world bike. I bought the bike for 20 dollars and put almost another 20 into it. I now have a serviceable bike with a much upgraded bottom bracket and new brakes and repacked bearings and new cables where needed for under 40 dollars. I was going to spend 200, I would have bought a much better used bike off of CL and then probably spent another 20-40 into repairing that bike.


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Ah, and you have sons? You would be shocked at the crazy stuff they do when you're not looking...
My son is 22 and uses his bike for commuting and exercise. He is not into riding downhills or off roading. If he really wants to do something like that, he can take his great old rigid Giant mountain bike through the hills. He is not stupid or abusive to his possessions, he knows which is the proper tool for the situation.
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Old 10-26-12, 12:00 PM   #18
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I purchased a used Schwinn Tourist for $60 about a year ago. It was a nice grey color and looked like it had never been ridden. It had a tire that would not hold air. Here is what I found:

The heavy wire bead tires were not as tall most 23mm tires and seated poorly on the rims. I replaced them with Hutchinson fold up tires and presta tubes with rim grommets.
It uses a rear freewheel and instead a cassette, not a problem yet, but my first experience with an 8 speed freewheel.
The frame is aluminum but the fork is steel and very heavy. I replaced it with a carbon fork I had lying around and the ride feels less harsh.
It had a steel handle bar which I replaced with an aluminum one.
I replaced the plastic pedals with egg beaters.
I put on a Fizik saddle and two bolt seatpost.
I also swapped out brake/shift levers, for ones that could change the pivot point allowing proper use of dual pivot brakes up front to work with the new fork.

The bike rides much better and is a few pounds lighter now. All of the parts were spares I already owned. I don't worry about it getting stolen.
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Old 10-26-12, 01:09 PM   #19
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im sure the point has already been made but instead of getting a $200 new xmart bike, put that $200 and maybe a tiny bit more and get a used trek off of craigslist. you get great components and a great frame that will last a long time as opposed to some xmart crap that is going to be destroyed after riding one season.

fwiw.
I spent $300 recently on a "xmart" or rather a target schwinn like that one but instead the hybrid had a front suspension. I use it on a college campus where theft isnt a great problem but I'd rather not chance it. I ride somewhere around 200 or so km a month (120ish miles) so for me it does what it needs to do perfectly and so far it hasn't been "destroyed" and if I take care of it like it should be, it won't be destroyed for a long time.

Are you saying that I really would have been better off buying a bike on craigslist for $300 that's probably a lot flashier and more likely to get stolen that will still spend nights outside and rot at the same rate as the bike I bought new instead. Except with that, I'd be letting good quality components rot outside every night instead of the ones I can go out and again buy new at target anytime I wanted. I apologize for the little bit of hostility there might have been when typing that. I'm just a firm believer that there is a time and reason for everything and I get kind of disgusted when people are very one sided on an issue like this.

and I should also add I'm familiar with what you can get on craigslist for a good price. I do own a Marin aluminum bike with carbon forks, Alex rims, and very nice components. New it must have been $1000+ but I picked it up for a measly $400 on craigslist 2 years and 200 miles used. Craigslist is a wonderful place but again, there is a time where a new target bike might be preferred to a nicer one from craigslist.
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Old 10-26-12, 01:13 PM   #20
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^^^ Sounds cool, any pics of that upgraded Tourist?
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Old 10-26-12, 03:11 PM   #21
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Are you saying that I really would have been better off buying a bike on craigslist for $300 that's probably a lot flashier and more likely to get stolen that will still spend nights outside and rot at the same rate as the bike I bought new instead.
For your type of situation I'd recommend Bikes Direct to get good quality components at a reasonable price. They have plenty of low key options to choose from if theft is a concern. The problem with Walmart bikes, as the first post points out, is that the components are bargain basement and will wear out fairly quickly. How many people want to spend $200 in maintenance expenses fixing a $300 bike they purchased 1-2 years prior?

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Old 10-26-12, 05:37 PM   #22
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only buy a bike off bikesdirect.com if you really know what you're doing,... you need to know how to get the right size for yourself, what all the components are, and know how to assemble and adjust it properly. and even then, the sizing is something of a crap shoot.

I've gotten some great deals on nearly new bikes off of fleabay, hah! just watch the shipping charges.
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Old 05-27-13, 07:35 PM   #23
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I know this thread is old, but my Schwinn Tourist I bought brandy new from Target has performed phenomenally well for three years now (Bought in 2011). It is my commuter, and weekend ride bike.

It has developed a clunk in the bottom bracket. Well, not sure if it's the bottom bracket, or the left pedal. Still hunting down the source of noise.

So far, maintenance-wise, it has required: Air in the tires twice, chain cleaned and re-greased several times (rainy rides) and it is aiming for new brake pads shortly.

It's used on MUPS and on the rickety roads of Buffalo, where possibly a mountain bike would be better suited. No car accidents, so maybe it'll snap in half from an accident, but thus far has served pretty well as a 200+ mile per month during the cycling months.
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Old 05-27-13, 08:17 PM   #24
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I know this thread is old, but my Schwinn Tourist I bought brandy new from Target has performed phenomenally well for three years now (Bought in 2011). It is my commuter, and weekend ride bike.

It has developed a clunk in the bottom bracket. Well, not sure if it's the bottom bracket, or the left pedal. Still hunting down the source of noise.

So far, maintenance-wise, it has required: Air in the tires twice, chain cleaned and re-greased several times (rainy rides) and it is aiming for new brake pads shortly.

It's used on MUPS and on the rickety roads of Buffalo, where possibly a mountain bike would be better suited. No car accidents, so maybe it'll snap in half from an accident, but thus far has served pretty well as a 200+ mile per month during the cycling months.
Nice follow up post on it. Thanks
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Old 05-28-13, 06:55 AM   #25
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You ride 200 miles a month and have only aired up your tires twice in 3 years? consider yourself lucky.
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