(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