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  1. #1
    Senior Member Cubey's Avatar
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    Cheapy Schwinn Wayfarer hybrid

    (First of all, yes it's a "cheap" box store bike, yes it's not high quality. Not everyone wants a high end bike, not everyone needs a high end bike, nor can everyone afford a high end bike. Please avoid posting if all you know how to do is diss low end bikes. Thank you.)

    I found a Schwinn Wayfarer 700c hybrid at my local Kmart for $135 on 'price drop' today, minus an extra $10 on $100+ with a "Shop Your Way" coupon. It's listed at $180 + $60 shipping online. I put it on layaway for $144.xx with tax and the $5 layaway fee. Not a bad deal.

    I am wanting it for urban use around downtown Seattle on the sidewalks. (Yep, it's legal if you are mindful of pedestrians). I'm sick of walking so much when I get there after riding the bus for over an hour from Tacoma. I opted for this bike since it's 7 speed. At least I'll be able to ride up minor hills. Even with a 18 or 21 speed, I'm not in good enough shape to rid up the extreme hills... nor will I likely ever be with my casual use.

    I was (still am?) considering just throwing fenders on my old early 80's Schwinn Le Tour, but it has the curled "bent over" posture road bike handlebars which aren't so great for riding casually on the sidewalk to save walking, or to coast down hills. it's a ladies' frame and it's really too small fr me, I have the seat post out further past the "limit" line for proper riding posture appropriate to the handlebars.. I'd have to change our the handlebars to something else ($$) in addition to buying fenders ($30-60). I'd still be stuck with the old "wedge" style brake pads and smooth chrome rims that are complete crap when wet, which makes it a very poor choice of bike for urban use in the Pacific Northwest. I'd end up investing $100+ in an otherwise decent bike but it still still have major drawbacks (27" size, frame is too small, chrome wheels, poor braking in the rain).

    All of things things combined, I decided I may be better off with a new cheapy bike instead. I will only be using it about 8 to 10 times a month. It's a bike that has to live outdoors on an apartment balcony, so I don't want to invest big bucks in something either. I am handy enough to do my own repairs, so I don't need to rely on a shop to major work on it (ie: greasing bearings).

    I already have BIG pannier bags I have used on both the LeTour and a cheap no-name mountain bike, so I made sure to get a bike with a rack.

    The rims don't look to be painted, but perhaps they are? They look to be bare metal (since I saw it in person) and they are slightly rough, not perfectly smooth like the ol' Le Tour's chromed rims. Modern style brake pads are wider and give more gripping surface as well. Since it has 700c tires, I have good options for tire upgrades later on if I dislike the pretty skinny tires it came with. I think for my casual needs, this will be good bike for me. No big loss if it gets stolen either. Since I have a car as my primary transportation around Tacoma, I only want this as a secondary form of transportation to aid me when I take the bus to Seattle... rather than paying $20+ a day in parking up there.

    Here is a link to it on Kmart's site: Kmart.com

  2. #2
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Biggest issue with that Schwinn will be the assembly. LBS's 'finish' the bikes they get from manufacturers by properly adjusting everything and ensuring the wheels are properly tensioned. If you have the wrenching skills,you can take care of this yourself,otherwise it would be money well spent to have a shop or co-op take a look at it.

    Speaking of co-ops,are there any in your area? That would be the best place to get an inexpensive,but well maintained,used bike.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cubey's Avatar
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    There is something that may or may not be a real "coop" and I was actually going to go there today but they are closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

    Pawn shops were another thought, but a bike might not be the best thing to buy there in the off chance it's stolen.

    I can always cancel the layaway if I change my mind in the next 60 days or so, but since I need a beater bike that will live outside, ride on the front of express buses and be ridden in rain, I think maybe buying new and cheap might be the best option. I'd feel bad about buying a "good used" bike and beating it into the ground.

    Kmart offered 2 years replacement coverage for $30 but I declined it. I'm not THAT rough on my stuff.

    I can adjust any mistake the store made in assembly/adjusting.

    The previous bike I got from a dept store was in 2004, a mountain bike from Wal-Mart. It was actually a good (but heavy!) bike and if not for a mishap burning leaves too close to a storage pile, one day, I'd stil have it. The tires got melted as did the grips some so I gave it to a friend who likes to tinker with bikes.

    I just want something low priced with fenders (for use in the rainy climate) and a rack (for my bags) that can be ridden a few times a month that isn't worth a lot of money if it gets stolen or damaged. I think the biggest issue with dept store bikes is people buy them and don't maintain them. Same with cars. A cheap car will last as well as a more expensive car if you treat them equally well with maintenance. If you don't do the work yourself, sending a cheap bike to a shop isn't "worth it" because of the price to buy another. But if you do the work yourself, they are ok.

    Much like cheap Chinese gasoline scooters. You have to pretty much tear them down and totally rebuild them due to poor assembly. If you do that, including the engine, they tend to be reliable. If you don't do it yourself, you're better off buying a Honda or Yamaha.
    Last edited by Cubey; 03-24-15 at 09:23 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cubey's Avatar
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    On the subject of modding what I have, here is a 1987 Le Tour men's frame one where someone added fenders and changed the handlebar.

    http://oldtenspeedgallery.com/blog/w...le-tour-04.jpg

    It's mostly about cost effectiveness for me. A pair of fenders are about $40 new. A handlebar with grips and all would be about $50-60. Plus I'd have to change the braking and gearing adjustors as well... another $30 to $40 probably?

    By the time I spend all that, I can just about have the new bike from Kmart. And I'd still have a too-small frame with the Le Tour. Although, I wouldn't be in the 'road bike' riding posture so maybe it wouldn't matter as much? Anyone an expert on that subject?

    The only advantage I see is that it has far more gears which is good for hills. However, the one I put on layaway has 7 so that's still 7x better than a 1 speed/fixie.

    However the chain likes to come out from a retainer on the gear changer if the pedals get turned backwards (or it's rolled backwards) on occasion. You have to remove one screw to move the piece to put the chain back on. While it's not that big of a deal labor wise, you end up with completely gross greasy dirty fingers from doing it. If I carry work gloves with me I guess it's not such a big deal. It's annoying as heck to have to stop and waste several minutes putting the chain back on again though. I suppose that can happen on any bike, though.

    Perhaps I could save some scratch and rip some parts from the cheap no-brand mnt bike I have for the handlebars and such but it's SUPER cheap junk on that thing...

    I don't need super speed or big hill climbing ability.. or even long distance commuting. I just want something to ride around on the mostly level areas north/south'ish around downtown Seattle. I'll catch a bus if I need to go far up a steep hill and ride/coast back down. Maybe 3-5 miles at most is all I need to do a day, 8 to 10 times a month at the most. It's just something to aid in making bus riding better.

    If I had the balance and didn't mind the high risk of braking a few ribs or worse, I'd just do skateboarding. *LOL*
    Last edited by Cubey; 03-25-15 at 12:01 AM.

  5. #5
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Actually, that's not a bad bike for the money, if you make sure everything is properly trued, greased, oiled, and adjusted. With all of the citified add ons, it's ready to go for what you want.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  6. #6
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    congrats, when do you think you'll pay it off and take delivery?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  7. #7
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    Not to be rude or anything, but was there a question in there somewhere? I mean, you talk about your cycling needs but then mention you've already made a decision and bought a bike.

    If it's a "check out my new bike" thread then that's cool, your posts just seem like they're leading up to a question that never comes.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cubey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey. View Post
    Not to be rude or anything, but was there a question in there somewhere? I mean, you talk about your cycling needs but then mention you've already made a decision and bought a bike.

    If it's a "check out my new bike" thread then that's cool, your posts just seem like they're leading up to a question that never comes.
    It's half bought. It's in layaway so I can change my mind, but I'm not sure I want to.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cubey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    congrats, when do you think you'll pay it off and take delivery?
    Either late April or early May. The final date is May 19 but I'll hopefully out of town on a road trip by then. I put down $20 to start with despite their "no money down" offer.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cubey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Actually, that's not a bad bike for the money, if you make sure everything is properly trued, greased, oiled, and adjusted. With all of the citified add ons, it's ready to go for what you want.
    That's what I thought too.

  11. #11
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    That's actually one of the better choices in a department store bike. I'd ride it.

    Like others have said, just go through the entire bike and then enjoy.

    Keep us updated with how it goes.
    Last edited by AlmostTrick; 03-25-15 at 09:33 AM. Reason: speeling :)
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  12. #12
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    It's not my style of a bike so take that into account. I think if you think you'll enjoy biking and want to do more of it, you'll want a little bit different bike. I think the handlebars will be uncomfortable for more than 5 miles. It looks like a heavy bike to me so hauling it around and up stairs looks like a problem. Check out craislist. Good luck.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Cubey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by practical View Post
    It's not my style of a bike so take that into account. I think if you think you'll enjoy biking and want to do more of it, you'll want a little bit different bike. I think the handlebars will be uncomfortable for more than 5 miles. It looks like a heavy bike to me so hauling it around and up stairs looks like a problem. Check out craislist. Good luck.
    Who said anything about stairs? There is a large elevator in this apt building. And no, it's not heavy. Not compared to cruisers and such anyway.

    The handlebars do look funky but AGAIN I won't be riding at high speeds for very long diistances. It's a city runabout of short distances. The way the lights go, I'll probably be stopping at every (long) block. But this will be a huge time and energy saver. What used to take 20 minutes to walk between will take 5-8 minutes depending.

    I will keep the Le Tour for times I might want to actually ride longer distances when it's dry out. But in stop and go traffic? Why bother having a bike designed for long distance higher speeds?

    I'm starting to think a few respondents haven't really read the thread based on their replies. They looked at the link in the first post then jumped to reply. Especially when one person stated "take that $180.." despite the first post pointing out the real price I put it on layaway for.
    Last edited by Cubey; 03-25-15 at 09:30 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cubey View Post
    Why bother having a bike designed for long distance higher speeds?
    ...Why not? The layaway Schwinn offers nothing substantial that your current bike dosen't already have, if anything you're losing a gear on the crankset, you're going from a 2x7 to a 1x7.

    I mean, buy whatever you want, but you've said more than one that ...."I could buy a whole new bike once I buy all the parts for this one" as if to imply that because it's newer, it's better. It's not. Your Schwinn Le Tour has better consutruction, better components and a wider gear range which I think would be more useful for city riding than a 1x7. One of the reviews on that KMart page says that it broke down after a "year of moderate use", your Le Tour has been around since 1987.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Cubey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey. View Post
    ...Why not? The layaway Schwinn offers nothing substantial that your current bike dosen't already have, if anything you're losing a gear on the crankset, you're going from a 2x7 to a 1x7.

    I mean, buy whatever you want, but you've said more than one that ...."I could buy a whole new bike once I buy all the parts for this one" as if to imply that because it's newer, it's better. It's not. Your Schwinn Le Tour has better consutruction, better components and a wider gear range which I think would be more useful for city riding than a 1x7. One of the reviews on that KMart page says that it broke down after a "year of moderate use", your Le Tour has been around since 1987.
    You are totally ignoring what I said (several times) about how the frame is really too small for me on the Le Tour. I also posed the question about if it matters that the frame is too small if used in a sitting upright position since the seat and handlebars would be adjusted differently for that sitting posture. So far, no one wants to address that question. I guess fussing at me about the new one is more fun?

    I bought it before I even knew there was such a thing as multiple frame sizes beyond mens vs womens frames, and even then, I didn't know there was a difference beyond the top bar.
    Last edited by Cubey; 03-25-15 at 10:05 AM.

  16. #16
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    FYI, you get more flies with honey, than you do with vinegar.................. being constantly combative, never helps.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  17. #17
    Senior Member Cubey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    FYI, you get more flies with honey, than you do with vinegar.................. being constantly combative, never helps.
    Its gets so very tiring when people chime in without even knowing what they are replying about from laziness in not reading even just the entire first post. It's not as if I haven't made things entirely clear from the start. *sigh*

    Then I went so far to as to ask a question in a followup post, taking advice into account, but I get no response to it. Not much else I can do I suppose than to just forget about this thread.

    Half the replies were from people telling me the Le Tour is "better" without even noticing i said several times that the bike is a ladies bike/too small frame wise. How can I take advice seriously from people who don't know what they are talking about in regards to the bike I have? I have to keep pointing them back to what I already said so they can even understand what I am talking about.

    ...and that's a problem with me, how? The flies seem to be asking for vinegar.

    YES the Le Tour, from a technical and quality standpoint is "BETTER", but from an end user stand point who is a bit too tall for a LADIES FRAME Le Tour, is it REALLY worth dumping more money into a too-small bike? NO, I don't think so. However, I tried asking this and got little to no (appropriate) response.

    Can't say I didn't try!
    Last edited by Cubey; 03-25-15 at 10:20 AM.

  18. #18
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grey. View Post
    Take it to a real bike shop and use that 180$ to get it overhauled, tuned, fitted with new tires and fenders and enjoy what you already have. That's probably what I would do.
    But he'd still have to deal with these issues:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cubey View Post
    smooth chrome rims that are complete crap when wet, which makes it a very poor choice of bike for urban use in the Pacific Northwest. I'd end up investing $100+ in an otherwise decent bike but it still still have major drawbacks (27" size, frame is too small, chrome wheels, poor braking in the rain).
    I wouldn't own a bike with steel rims here in DC,def wouldn't want one in PNW as an only bike. And the too-small frame and limited tire choice don't make things any better.

    For the OP,yeah,co-ops aren't bike shops,they're rarely big enough to be open 7 days. Since you're not totally committed to the Schwinn,I'd still recommend checking the co-op. Decent chance of finding something that'll fit your needs and your budget. You might also want to consider taking your old bike along,they might take it in partial trade.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    But he'd still have to deal with these issues
    Won't he still have to deal with that issue on the new one?

    Either way, what he buys is of no consequence to me I was simply trying to help. Since my comments are so unhelpful i've deleted a few of them. My mistake.
    Last edited by Grey.; 03-25-15 at 05:32 PM.

  20. #20
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Looked up the specs,the Schwinn is 700c and the rims are alloy. Put on a set of Koolstop salmons and you'd be worlds ahead of any steel-rimmed bike.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  21. #21
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    FYI, you get more flies with honey, than you do with vinegar.................. being constantly combative, never helps.
    Agreed.

    OP: Even if posters are, in your opinion, answering incorrectly, writing paragraph after paragraph telling them so is not helping you get constructive feedback. It turns people away.

    Better to just ask and answer specific questions.

    It seems like you're convinced that the new Schwinn will work for you. I think it may too. Go ahead and get it and tell us all about it. Maybe another member will benefit from your review.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

  22. #22
    Senior Member Steve Urquell's Avatar
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    My wife has the women's version of that bike. It has steel handlebars, kickstand, frame, seatpost, stem. I just went out and weighed it--37lbs. Sitting out in the weather would rust it up badly. Her bike is great for the 2X a year she rides it on a perfect sunny day but would be hell trying to use as a commuter. Cheap derailleur, shifters etc. It looks great but it's not a quality bike.

    I started out with a box store bike and got to the point where I was putting more money into it than it would ever be worth. Ended up being patient leaving it alone and waiting until I found a better bike on CL. I'm much happier on it. People ask me what is a good starter bike to buy and I always tell them to find a good bike shop that offers free tuneups on their bikes, save up and buy one. Way better off in the long run.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Cubey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Urquell View Post
    My wife has the women's version of that bike. It has steel handlebars, kickstand, frame, seatpost, stem. I just went out and weighed it--37lbs. Sitting out in the weather would rust it up badly. Her bike is great for the 2X a year she rides it on a perfect sunny day but would be hell trying to use as a commuter. Cheap derailleur, shifters etc. It looks great but it's not a quality bike.

    I started out with a box store bike and got to the point where I was putting more money into it than it would ever be worth. Ended up being patient leaving it alone and waiting until I found a better bike on CL. I'm much happier on it. People ask me what is a good starter bike to buy and I always tell them to find a good bike shop that offers free tuneups on their bikes, save up and buy one. Way better off in the long run.
    I think most bikes under $500 will be mostly steel. Rust is honestly the least of my concerns. I have a covered balcony. Wind/light spray is what it would be exposed to, besides humidity. High rust risk cars generally don't rust out up here simply due to the rain. Salted roads are what rusts the heck out of things. Or if I left it sitting out in the Puget Sound for a month maybe.

    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    But he'd still have to deal with these issues:



    I wouldn't own a bike with steel rims here in DC,def wouldn't want one in PNW as an only bike. And the too-small frame and limited tire choice don't make things any better.

    For the OP,yeah,co-ops aren't bike shops,they're rarely big enough to be open 7 days. Since you're not totally committed to the Schwinn,I'd still recommend checking the co-op. Decent chance of finding something that'll fit your needs and your budget. You might also want to consider taking your old bike along,they might take it in partial trade.
    Thanks for the suggestion. It might not be a bad idea to take the old one in as a partial trade. It has good newer tires and rides good. There's really nothing WRONG with it. It's just not what I want or need now. I need to clean it up a bit and put the better looking of the two seats I have on it, so I may not take it to them until this weekend, but I plan to go by their place tomorrow to at least check them out.

    This is them here: http://www.2ndcycle.org
    Last edited by Cubey; 03-25-15 at 08:28 PM.

  24. #24
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    As forums go, this forum is one of the most helpful, friendly, informative ones around (well, maybe with the exception of the 41).

    If anyone needs information, help, advice, opinions, they will get many points of view.

    But, like all forums, things evolve - and everyone doesn't always stay on point - occasionally just trying to espouse their position.

    However, it continues to feed the masses more info than they ever thought they would get - just be nice, and continue to ask, until you get what you need.

    Most of us really want to help and advise, to help others avoid common pitfalls - all within their posted constraints.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  25. #25
    Senior Member Cubey's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
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    Tacoma, WA
    My Bikes
    Schwinn Le Tour (vintage)
    Posts
    103
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    Well the "2nd cycle" shop doesn't take trades, much less the Le Tour. They had an identical blue Le Tour ladies' frame bike out there for sale for $150 with alloy wheels and other newer parts.

    I told the guy what I was looking for and what I wanted it for and my price range and he pointed out a "Giant" brand bike and it looked... rather rough. Considering they wanted $200 for it and the tires were cracked/dry rotted and the bike had rust in places.

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