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  1. #1
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    Need a bargain! Almost about to buy a dept. store bike...

    Greetings all.

    I go on rides somewhat frequently in the summer, and they are semi-mountainous. Nothing to extreme. I have had a Schwinn s-25 (dept. store buy, $200) that has lasted me years, more than I expected from the price and where I got it. I have had no problems for a full 4 years. I am about to buy it again, for lack of anything equal or better in value. I haven't ever replaced parts, and I have no assembling skills. Can anyone actually disprove this bike for me?

    http://www.expotv.com/Mens-26-Schwinn-S-25-Bike/2K-o1p

    Now, I know this bike is a piece of junk compared to most Bike Shop quality material, but my question to you seasoned people is this: I have an old S-25 frame, which is a good frame and still nice. Should I rip off the parts and put better parts on that frame? Most importantly, is there an affordable full-suspension bike that I can get within my very limited price range?

  2. #2
    Old School Rad mtnbiker66's Avatar
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    Why the "need" for full suspension?
    Like a circus monkey on a stolen Harley......

  3. #3
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    It's more a 'want' for full suspension. Ever since my last full-susp., cheap though it was, I have always preferred it. I get less headaches, that's the honest truth. I will say, though, that I am willing to try a hardtail if it's a smooth ride. I am no expert there.

  4. #4
    Senior Member victim's Avatar
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    Nice video!!!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Duce97's Avatar
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    Keep in mind thats not a high quality schwinn , its a pacific bike with schwinn stickers. If you dont plan on doing any serious trail riding it will be fine. If you dont know how to work on bikes yourself take it to a bike shop and ask them to make sure everything was put together on it right and have them make any adjusments needed.

    Remeber the bike is not meant for off road use and it will say so in the owners mannual.

  6. #6
    1GEAR pOrk's Avatar
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    It features an adjustable seat! NICE!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member mzeffex's Avatar
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    Cut them some slack. Not everyone has the money, or wants to spend $1000 or more on a bike. If it makes them happy, then its a good bike.

  8. #8
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    So what's your budget, and what kind of riding will you be doing (distances, grades, surfaces, road/trail/dirt/bushwhacking)?

  9. #9
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    It's true, I don't have the $1000 and I am happy with the features on the crappy bikes. My budget is more like 3 or 400. My challenge for you all was to actually disprove this bike, which is still low-budget, but of a surprising value. I would like to take other suggestions though.

    The kind of rides I go on are mostly distance, and some mountainous. I don't drive anywhere, so I go places that are a distance away on a long river trail and I make stops at trails. my average ride is about 40 or 50 miles. I'd say only 10 of that is rough terrain. And I will be going on a 140 mile pretty soon. Mostly road, lots of dirt, some trail. Soft hills the whole way. Some steep grades.

    And thanks for the good idea Duce97, I would feel more comfortable if a bike shop looked at it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member victim's Avatar
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    Good luck riding a 40 lb bike that bounces like a pogo stick on a 140 mile ride. Not saying it can be done, just saying it would be alot easier on a different bike. 3-400 dollars put you in range for a decent bike from your LBS. It won't be full susp, but for the type of long rides your describing I wouldn't want full squish anyway.

    I think alot of dudes come on here and their minds are already made up about buying a particular bike and are looking for validation from the masses here. You aint going to get it from me. That bike is junk, whether it costs 4 hundy or 4 thundy. Good luck and enjoy no matter what. It's about THE ride, not your ride anyways.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Duce97's Avatar
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  12. #12
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mzeffex View Post
    Cut them some slack. Not everyone has the money, or wants to spend $1000 or more on a bike. If it makes them happy, then its a good bike.
    No one said to spend $1000. What everyone is saying is to not put $300-400 into a piece of crap but rather into a functional hardtail.
    First Class Jerk

  13. #13
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    Like the description
    It has twin brakes(twice)
    It has an adjustable seat
    The front brake will stop the front wheel!
    WOW.

    Looks, good for the money, but if you end up buying a new bike every 3-4 years its a false economy over a quality bike.

  14. #14
    weirdo
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    I will jump in a vote that you not go with full suspension in this price range. The suspension adds cost and has a low level of functionality, You are better to put that value in nicer parts than jumping into FS at this point.

  15. #15
    Senior Member mzeffex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by santiago View Post
    No one said to spend $1000. What everyone is saying is to not put $300-400 into a piece of crap but rather into a functional hardtail.
    But it is stated that a full suspension under a thousand is no good. Maybe true, but if he wants a full suspension and obviously knows the quality of it, then it is fine.

  16. #16
    =microburst= n00bL35's Avatar
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    I have a Cannondale F300 I bought lightly used for $380. It's an awesome hardtail that I have no problems taking on singletrack and going off some little jumps and drops. And I guarantee that it is more comfortable and outperforms your Schwinn. If you're riding long distances, you'd be crazy to want a crappy FS bike over a quality hardtail. I've ridden a buddy's Target Schwinn on a trail, and I dropped the chain about 6 times in about 1 mile. The shifters had tons of dead play, the brakes were awful and I felt like I was going to taco the wheels at any moment. The crankset was flimsy and flexy, and I managed to throw the chain into the SPOKES more than once.
    None of those things happen on my low-end Cannondale...
    '08 Giant OCR3

  17. #17
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    Look for a used HT. It sounds like you are riding any terrain that really merits a FS. I picked up a 2 year old Rockhopper for $260 on CL. I see stuff like that ~$300 on CL all of the time.
    '09 Salsa El Mariachi

  18. #18
    Senior Member nachomc's Avatar
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    I love how people will "challenge" us to prove that a dept. store bike isn't good for them. If it works for you, it works for you. Go buy one.
    cleanspokes

    29 inches to freedom.

  19. #19
    sarcasm meter: jerk mode santiago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachomc View Post
    I love how people will "challenge" us to prove that a dept. store bike isn't good for them. If it works for you, it works for you. Go buy one.
    This is a mountain biking forum. It isn't the "Ride around campus" forum otherwise I'd agree with you. Those "bikes" are not meant for mountain biking.
    First Class Jerk

  20. #20
    Senior Member nachomc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by santiago View Post
    This is a mountain biking forum. It isn't the "Ride around campus" forum otherwise I'd agree with you. Those "bikes" are not meant for mountain biking.
    Not trying to be a snob or put the OP down, but it doesn't sound like he's doing what I think a lot of us would consider 'real' mountain biking. He's already said most of his riding is done on road or on dirt roads, he's not riding some rock strewn DH trail, or deep in to the forest on singletrack. For him, a dept store bike has been working for four years, and will probably continue to work. If he said he was going to do a 30 mile singletrack ride out in to the woods, or was going to do some jumping, obviously a dept. store bike would be a poor choice.
    cleanspokes

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  21. #21
    Senior Member victim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachomc View Post
    Not trying to be a snob or put the OP down, but it doesn't sound like he's doing what I think a lot of us would consider 'real' mountain biking. He's already said most of his riding is done on road or on dirt roads, he's not riding some rock strewn DH trail, or deep in to the forest on singletrack. For him, a dept store bike has been working for four years, and will probably continue to work. If he said he was going to do a 30 mile singletrack ride out in to the woods, or was going to do some jumping, obviously a dept. store bike would be a poor choice.
    It's true, I don't have the $1000 and I am happy with the features on the crappy bikes. My budget is more like 3 or 400. My challenge for you all was to actually disprove this bike, which is still low-budget, but of a surprising value. I would like to take other suggestions though.

    "The kind of rides I go on are mostly distance, and some mountainous. I don't drive anywhere, so I go places that are a distance away on a long river trail and I make stops at trails. my average ride is about 40 or 50 miles. I'd say only 10 of that is rough terrain. And I will be going on a 140 mile pretty soon. Mostly road, lots of dirt, some trail. Soft hills the whole way. Some steep grades."

    Ummm???? You think a 40 lb bike is the right tool for the job. He should be looking at a "comfort bike". But, none of the cool kids ride them...

  22. #22
    Senior Member nachomc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victim View Post
    It's true, I don't have the $1000 and I am happy with the features on the crappy bikes. My budget is more like 3 or 400. My challenge for you all was to actually disprove this bike, which is still low-budget, but of a surprising value. I would like to take other suggestions though.

    "The kind of rides I go on are mostly distance, and some mountainous. I don't drive anywhere, so I go places that are a distance away on a long river trail and I make stops at trails. my average ride is about 40 or 50 miles. I'd say only 10 of that is rough terrain. And I will be going on a 140 mile pretty soon. Mostly road, lots of dirt, some trail. Soft hills the whole way. Some steep grades."

    Ummm???? You think a 40 lb bike is the right tool for the job. He should be looking at a "comfort bike". But, none of the cool kids ride them...
    I never said I thought it was the right tool for the job. I said if it worked for him, then he should go get it again.
    cleanspokes

    29 inches to freedom.

  23. #23
    Senior Member victim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachomc View Post
    I never said I thought it was the right tool for the job. I said if it worked for him, then he should go get it again.
    So you think it's the wrong bike for his needs, yet you recommend he buys it anyways??? Way to help a brotha out.

  24. #24
    Senior Member nachomc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by victim View Post
    So you think it's the wrong bike for his needs, yet you recommend he buys it anyways??? Way to help a brotha out.
    How is it the wrong bike for his needs? Did you miss the part where he said he's been using the same bike for his riding for four years and was happy?
    cleanspokes

    29 inches to freedom.

  25. #25
    Senior Member jjbod1's Avatar
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    Seriously, how many of these posts, on this topic do we get a week now? Why don't we just start a new frigging section on the main site for "dept store bikes" Then all the people who buy and own them can chat away about how great of a deal they got at Wally World, but cant understand how they Brooke there arm or collier bone when the bike snapped in 3 pieces going down the local trail. Plus it would give the rest of us a place to lurk, when we need a good laugh.

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