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Thread: Cheap Bikes

  1. #1
    Bambo Natophelia's Avatar
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    Cheap Bikes

    I have some friends who say they'd like to ride with me, but they have really cheap dual suspension bikes from Target. I had one for about two weeks and on some paper that came with it, it said something like 'not for actual use on mountains/trails'. I don't want to offend them and ask them if their 'cheap' bikes can really go on trails, but I'd like to invite them and I want them to be safe! You think these bikes would be safe? It's a pretty rough trail- huge gnarly tree roots, sudden turns with trees in the middle of the trail, steep hills WITH gnarly tree roots, etc.
    Nat

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    Goes both ways - MTB/RB LegalIce's Avatar
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    IMHO, it depends... Do these folks know what they are getting into? If so, then why not let them go...if not, then probably not a good idea.

    On the otherhand, when I started MTB about 5 years ago I started with a Murray. It became quickly apparent that I needed a 'real' MTB if I were going to keep doing this so I went to the LBS. It turns out I bought the least expensive (cheap) Trek they had. It does just fine for the simple trails in this area, and in Minnesota where I originally purchased the bike. However, if I were doing serious, hard core, riding, I would rather have a better bike...

    ...but I did several miles on the Murray before I decided to get that lowest end Trek...so leave it up to your friends as long as they know the score...
    bi·cy·cle Pronunciation Key (bskl, -s-kl, -skl) n.
    A vehicle consisting of a light frame mounted on two wire-spoked wheels one behind the other and having a seat, handlebars for steering, brakes, and two pedals...
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    BFSSFG old timer riderx's Avatar
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    Here's what I've done in these situations: explain the trail conditions and what the ride will be like (long/short, fast/slow - you get the idea). Give them a few pointers (shift BEFORE the climb, show them proper seat height) and then explain that if they like riding and want to start doing it on a regular basis, they will probably want to get a more trail worthy bike. Insist they wear a helmet. Then leave the decision in their hands.

    These bikes can usually handle at least a few off road excursions before something blows up, but keep in mind the assembly job on them is usually sub-par. Also bring all of your tools along, because someone will probably need them.
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    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    What RiderX said!

    Those bikes will hold up to some actual trail riding, and it's a good way for someone to determine whether they enjoy this sport or not. They will quickly learn the difference between a good bike and a P.O.S. Another way to convince them is to let them "try" your bike through a rough section or steep climb after they've tried it with their bike so they can compare the two. Nothing like taking a lightweight FS bike through a root section vs. a heavy 45 lbs. tensile steel cheap suspension bike.

    Another tip. Remove their kickstands (sidestands) before hitting any trails.

    L8R
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    Why should you remove your kickstand before going on a mountain trail? sorry i'm new

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    you dont want a kickstand becuase its one, more wieght and two, it can get caught on alot of ****.
    ''Pain is weakness leaving the body''
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    I had one of those supposed mountain bikes that had a sticker on the bike that said not for use off-road. I did take it off-road and it held up for a little while, but they can't take the abuse for long and start falling apart. For example my seat would not stay tight and every bump you hit even if you where standing and barely hit it it would come up to a very uncomfortable position. On those cheap bikes the shocks and drivetrain are P.O.S and do not stand up to off road. However they can be used to figure out if you really want to get into the sport and then when you buy a good bike you realize what a P.O.S. that bike from Target really was.

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    Originally posted by norelec
    Why should you remove your kickstand before going on a mountain trail? sorry i'm new
    Another reason to take the kickstand off is if you hit a big bump the kickstand can pop down and when you land with your kickstand out it's not a pretty sight. I've seen it happen to one of my friends. Needless to say he no longer rides with a kickstand.

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    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Before heading off-road with those, please also take a careful look at the brake pads to make sure they're hitting the rim properly and weren't left finger-tight. Pull firmly on the brake levers to ensure that the cables won't slip through the clamp bolts.

    I'd also recommend checking all the other critical nuts and bolts, such as the axle nuts (if so equipped), the wheel quick-releases (if so equipped), stem, handlebar clamp and bar-end clamp bolts, and perhaps the pedals and the crank bolts.

    The type of bikes you describe have a lot of functional and mechanical weaknesses, and if your pals do get into off-roading, the bikes will probably prove the point better than any amount of persuasion from "experts." Maybe you can do one ride, then let them try YOUR bike on the next ride, so they have a feel for the differences.

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    Originally posted by Bsktball55

    Another reason to take the kickstand off is if you hit a big bump the kickstand can pop down and when you land with your kickstand out it's not a pretty sight. I've seen it happen to one of my friends. Needless to say he no longer rides with a kickstand.
    I think I'm going to remove my kickstand before hitting the trails tomorrow
    Thanks for the info all

  11. #11
    Bambo Natophelia's Avatar
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    haaaahahaaaa I just realized what POS means! I was thinking 'point of sale??' You know, like the cheap crap at the checkout lanes in big stores that's placed there in hopes you'll get bored and buy more stuff while waiting in line. Okay, well it was funny in MY head....
    Thanks for the feedback, everyone.
    Nat

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    Senior Member transient's Avatar
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    I'm guessing this is mostly downhill? Maybe you should start out on a flat/uphill trail for their first ride. It's more strenuous, but generally safer, and the bikes will hold up better.

    When I first started doing trail riding, I was on a huffy (funny thought huh?) It actually held up pretty well surprisingly. The one thing is, I never really took any downhills with it, and that's probably what saved me (and the bike).
    learn everything you can, while you still have the chance.

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    I post a thread titled WALMART BIKES when i start riding (about 4 or 5 months ago) on this forum.

    What i can tell you its: let your friends try with those cheap bikes. They will notice in few days that those bikes are not good.

    I start with one murray and when my friends was climbing a hill i was walking 10 meters back, because of my 18 speed and because of my heavy weight ¨tank¨.

    then i bought a brand new mgx 21speed in walmart for the price of 100 bucks, but in 2 weeks every component was noisy.

    i find a good used giant boulder i buy it for 180 dollars and its very good. its lighter, and 24 speed.

    one friend are already on cheap bike but have broke 2 wheels, one fork, and have a lot of pains in his body he buy it 3 months ago but now its very good for yunk.

    one day other friend ask me to use my old murray and he broke the frame in 2 parts, and its a miracle his live.

    let them try for one ride.

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    I agree with letting them take their bikes out there. Let them see the difference between your bike and theirs and I think they will get the point.

  15. #15
    Bambo Natophelia's Avatar
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    Oh boy..I might take them somewhere a little safer first. There are some pretty bone-rattling downhills, and the uphills that are in the woods are steep and sudden.

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    I saw the funniest thing today. This guy in Mountain View, CA where I live was biking on the street on one of those K-mart bikes and he still had that huge round paper insert that they put on the front wheel for whatever flashy advertising reason. The guy looked pretty ridiculous.

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    Member d1304life's Avatar
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    id say let em go and dont worry about it chances are the bikes are going to be junk after wards but yeah id try somthing a lil more tame before going out there set some stuff up in your yard or somthing like logs or obstacles of some sort beofre you let em go on the trails thats how i started out and ive been riding for about 3 years now and i started out on a huffy so ya know...????

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    Originally posted by d1304life
    id say let em go and dont worry about it chances are the bikes are going to be junk after wards but yeah id try somthing a lil more tame before going out there set some stuff up in your yard or somthing like logs or obstacles of some sort beofre you let em go on the trails thats how i started out and ive been riding for about 3 years now and i started out on a huffy so ya know...????
    Holy run on sentence.




  19. #19
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Originally posted by supertool
    .....he still had that huge round paper insert that they put on the front wheel for whatever flashy advertising reason. The guy looked pretty ridiculous.
    Don't you know that's the getto-fabulous aero disc? It also lets the crackheads know you JUST (depending on the condition of the insert) bought the bike and it will get them a couple extra bucks for rock.

    Cynical? No way not me!

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