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Old 07-10-08, 09:05 AM   #1
nooooob
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generic "cheap" bikes

if one were to buy a cheap bike from a sports store, like schwinn or something.... what should they expect? sure its not a top of the line model or anything, but is it a piece of crap? is it along the lines of what a honda is for cars? cheap but reliable and effective as a mode of transportation? or are they more like yugos?
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Old 07-10-08, 09:08 AM   #2
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Certainly more like a Yugo.
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Old 07-10-08, 09:12 AM   #3
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how so? will it cease to function in the middle of a ride?
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Old 07-10-08, 09:21 AM   #4
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Nah.. they're great bikes. There's really not much difference between a $200 dept. store bike and a $2000 bike. Like most things, you don't get what you pay for.
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Old 07-10-08, 10:29 AM   #5
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Last year, when I was just starting riding again, I had an old Ross 10-speed road bike that I pulled out of the barn and patched up. At the time I was only going for about a 5 or 6 mile loop around the neighborhood.

One evening as I was starting out for a ride, Bruce, my neighbor across the road, asked if I wanted some company. He said that he had bought two WalMart mountain bikes a couple of years ago for him and his wife when they were going on a camping trip, and they ended up never using them.

So, he digs this mountain bike out of the garage, pumps up the tires, and we start out.

The first hill we go up, I'm really struggling because my old 10-speed doesn't have much in the way of a low gear, but I make it. I look back to see where Bruce is, figuring all along that he'd be right behind me with his mountain bike gearing, and I see him pushing the bike up the hill. When he gets to the top, I see the chain came off the front chainrings.

We put the chain back, test out the shifting, and it seems OK, so we start out again. I keep looking back, and any time we are on a hill I see that Bruce (who is much younger and lighter than me) is having a hard time keeping up. It turns out that every time he tries to shift the chain doesn't make it to the next gear, so he keeps shifting back to a gear that works and just guts it out in way too high of a gear.

When we finally get back home, Bruce put his bike away and has NEVER gotten on one since.

Buy a WalMart bike - it's a sure cure for the cycling bug.
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Old 07-10-08, 10:33 AM   #6
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is it along the lines of what a honda is for cars?
Expect more along the lines of the Kia of bikes - - a somewhat disposable means of getting from point A to point B until such time as things break or wear out.
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Old 07-10-08, 10:37 AM   #7
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if you plan on putting more than 100 miles on the bike, then i'd say save up and get a non-department store bike. that's about the life of those bikes, before major stuff starts breaking, and requires a significant amount of investment to get back going.

the other thing is, a lot of those bikes are made so cheaply, that their parts aren't standardized, so putting replacement parts--mostly having to do with the shifting and/or brake systems--are super specialized and designed for that bike and that bike only. as a result, they're not available as standalone brake levers/derailluers, etc, so replacing them gets to be a hassle not worth the time.

for inexpensive bikes, you should check out bikecollectives.org, which has a directory of non-profit bike shops around the country. if you have one near you, i'd get in touch with them. i work at one in boulder, colorado, and we have a no-dept-store policy for all of our donated bikes, (100% of our bikes are donated) because we aim to get people on bikes, and encourage them to have fun, not frustrate them and make them not want to ride.

as usual, ymmv.
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Old 07-10-08, 10:40 AM   #8
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is it along the lines of what a honda is for cars?
This kind of honda maybe:

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Old 07-10-08, 10:51 AM   #9
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LOL! Thanks, Gastro, thats the funniest feckin' thing I've seen all morning.
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Old 07-10-08, 11:05 AM   #10
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i work on a lot of dept store bikes at my co-op and even the brand new dept store bikes are in need of a good tune up. they are adequate transportation, but it is the equivalent of driving a 10 year old geo. shifters are stiff, cables stick, brake levers are sub-par, but if you pedal you will get somewhere. the newish ones that we get we sell for $40 tops, most go for around $25.

last week i had to talk a girl into a gary fisher over a pacific. once she rode both about 10 feet she noticed the difference. its not hard to tell the difference in quality if you have ever ridden a properly tuned bike
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Old 07-10-08, 11:25 AM   #11
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Nah.. they're great bikes. There's really not much difference between a $200 dept. store bike and a $2000 bike. Like most things, you don't get what you pay for.
This is false and actually really bad advice. The fact is that I've had nothing but great experiences with $200 bikes, but the $2000 bike is very finicky. In my opinion, stay away from the expensive bike. It is a money pit.
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Old 07-10-08, 11:38 AM   #12
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If you ride on the road and don't shift often they MAY last a while. They are not designed to accumulate miles though. Spend a few dollars more and get the cheapest bike at a bike shop.
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Old 07-10-08, 11:47 AM   #13
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This kind of honda maybe:

Funny, but that side air scoop is obviously for cooling the rear drum brakes.
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Old 07-10-08, 11:49 AM   #14
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The fact is that I've had nothing but great experiences with $200 bikes, but the $2000 bike is very finicky.
I disagree, $200 bikes are fine, and $2000 bikes are a waste of money.
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Old 07-10-08, 12:11 PM   #15
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This kind of honda maybe:

Perfection my friend
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Old 07-10-08, 03:10 PM   #16
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If it breaks, buy another one...you can buy 10 dept. store bikes for what one $2000 costs.
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Old 07-10-08, 03:21 PM   #17
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Look at how many people break their CF frame or fork compared those with the hi-ten bikes.

Seriously, the best bike for the money is probably a $200 five year old bike that cost $600 new.
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Old 07-10-08, 03:27 PM   #18
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Look at how many people break their CF frame or fork compared those with the hi-ten bikes.

Seriously, the best bike for the money is probably a $200 five year old bike that cost $600 new.
I wouldn't pay $200 for a 5 year old bike that originally only cost $600. That's ridiculous.
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Old 07-10-08, 06:24 PM   #19
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Funny, but that side air scoop is obviously for cooling the rear drum brakes.
If they had painted the drums yellow they would be instantly cooler.
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