I have spent a lot of hours reading about Department Store Bikes. Most everyone says they suck! I just bought a Schwinn Ranger at Target about 3 weeks ago. I paid $149 for it. I was immediately impressed when I got on it. The ride was nice and it was great compared to the 10 speed I had 20 years ago.
I am 34 years old and decided to get physically active last Spring. I used to run and decided I would rather bike because I love gadgets. (NOth everyone has remote control lights and cameras throughout their house)
So in the last 3 weeks I have been riding this bike HARD, 10+ miles per day every day. (in 30 minutes or around that depends on wind) Over 7 of these miles are on loose gravel on a large dike. I am fine with the bike but since I work on things for a living I know that this thing ain't gonna hold up forever. My instincts tell me that the derailleur/chain is going to let me down.
When I shift everything is pretty cool but it is rough. Lots of catching and grabbing but everything works like it should. So my question is.........Should I upgrade to a bike with a better Shimano group? THis thing obviously has the SS or whatever POS deraillers. How can I convince my wife that it is worth the extra?
I have looked at some of the Gary Fisher's and Treks at local Bike Store. What will I HONESTLY get with a $500 one of these that I don't already have. Again, I don't want to RAMP, JUMP, or any of that stuff. I just want to ride and have nice shifts. I will never go up a mountain and probably the worst thing I will ever be on is rough gravel. (not hard to find here in KS)
I know I can fix this Schwinn thing if I need to but I hate the way it shifts. And I know that I have a tensile steel frame. What will a better frame do for a guy like me that rides 10 miles per day on moderate terrain?