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Old 03-08-12, 06:28 PM   #1
roccobike
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Another Wally World bike bites the dust

Due to rain, the local single track trails were closed so I opted for the one open trail, a flat, easy packed sand/gravel trail. So I'm riding along on a vintage 1988 Nishiki Ariel and I see this guy jogging with his bike. So I pull up next to him and ask if he's OK. He says yeah, he's fine then shows me the left crank and pedal that fell off of his almost new Roadmaster. I mean this guy didn't do any jumps, didn't hit a log, the worst he could have done is hit a twig and the crank comes undone at the bottom bracket. I'm immediately reminded of the two times I rode single track with freinds that had Wally World bikes and both times they broke a couple miles from the parking lot.
I gave the guy the best advice I could, I told him the cranks could be ruined, he should take it back to the store, and get his money back (he owned it less than 30 days and had the receipt). Then take the cash and go to a real bike shop and buy a quality MTB.
Anyone else have these experiences with Wally World bikes?
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Old 03-08-12, 09:49 PM   #2
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Went biking with a friend who, against my advice, bought a Next "dual shock" bike from a yard sale for $20 (the price was fine but he wanted it for mountain biking, not as a cheap campus commuter). Sure enough on the first semi-rooty downhill (not DH, but just down a small hill) the RD went all out of alignment which caused the chain to get caught on it & snapped the chain. Fortunately we were 1/2 mile from a bailout trail so I rode back to the truck & came to pick him up. He didn't go mountain biking with me again because he honestly couldn't afford a decent mountain bike at the time, & I guess lost interest over time.
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Old 03-08-12, 10:14 PM   #3
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Sad day. Important lesson learned. Buy cheap you got cheap.
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Old 03-08-12, 10:58 PM   #4
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I was riding with a guy who had a Walmart quality Mongoose that he had slowly upgraded over time when things broke. He said that as soon as the frame broke, he'd have a pretty nice bike, but had no reason to upgrade hos frame as long as the Mongoose stayed together. Other than the frame, his bike was actually really nice. Anyway, he blew a turn and went down hard. As I came up behind him, I could tell from the way he was looking at his bike and the expression on his face that something got trashed. Excuse to upgrade that crap frame? Nope, was his relatively new XTR RD.
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Old 03-08-12, 11:01 PM   #5
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^Bummer!! Funny that it was one of the nicer parts to break, though.
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Old 03-09-12, 12:35 AM   #6
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I had a Wally World Schinn MTB once. 1/4 mile from my house on a commute to work and the chain started slipping. It was intermittent but happened mostly under heavy pedaling. Put 100 miles on it total as I never trusted it. Took it to a mechanic one day cuz I wanted to sell it. 3 broken teeth on one gear on the freewheel. Last Wally World bike I'll ever buy.
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Old 03-09-12, 03:20 AM   #7
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I started out dirt jumping on a wally BMX back ~8th grade. Keeping in mind I was only probably 75lbs then and didn't hit any really big or crazy jumps at that point. I bent the handlebar back on one side a little. Was poor and kept jumping like that. Broke the chain and replaced it. Then really bent the rear axle and replaced that. Then bent a pedal axle. Replaced pedals. Then finally ended up tweaking the frame in the rear triangle, therefore finally putting that heavy beast out of it's misery. Basically even with an 80lb rider that thing wouldn't stop bending and breaking parts. And walmart sells Waaay crappier products now than they did back then. I can't imagine what the bikes are like today...
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Old 03-09-12, 04:05 AM   #8
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I had a wally world "MTB" once. Went off a jump with it, when I landed the frame sheared at the head set. And I only weigh 120lbs!!!!
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Old 03-09-12, 07:13 AM   #9
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BC has been open. Hopefully we don't get too much rain out here today.

I've worked on more broken down dept store bikes than I care to remember.
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Old 03-09-12, 10:54 AM   #10
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When I'm forced to go into my lesser-preferred LBS I always see they'll have two or three dept store bikes to every decent bike.

I started out MTBing on a 10-year-old Schwinn Frontier. The brakes were pathetic & it was heavy & cheap, but it lasted just fine for the first month or so until I got a 2001 GF Wahoo for $60. Granted I'm only 140#, but we still have the frame, fork, & components (stole the wheelset after I taco'd those on the Wahoo)
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Old 03-09-12, 10:59 AM   #11
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My young cousin folded up the "suspension" fork of a cheap department store bike while doing a modest jump off a ramp at all of 75 lbs., ripe old age of 9. Can't remember which store it came from, but it should be illegal to sell crap like that. Fortunately he got away with skinned knees and elbows, could have been much worse. His parents were well meaning, just didn't realize how bad cheap bikes can be.
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Old 03-09-12, 11:09 AM   #12
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My first mtn bike was a WallyWorld Stone Mountain by Road Master. I went on a 10 mile ride, and said "POS", and took it back. I wanted to upgrade to a REAL mtn bike, so I went to JCPenney's, and got a Connelly out of their catalogue, because it had a three piece crank. That means it has to be good, right?

The paint job on it was pretty sweet. The fork, and front 1/3 of the frame were yellow, the middle part was orange, and the rear 1/3 faded to purple, or something like that.

Rigid.

That was around 1992 or so. I got out of the air force (in Little Rock), and brought it back to Spokane to go to school. I quickly made friends with some other guys who had some mtn bikes, who also happened to work at a couple of bike shops. They laughed at my bike, because they had Yeti's and the first Trek carbon fibre (lugged), ect., but I was WAY faster than any of them downhill.

One time we were just doing some jumping in a field behind one of their shops, and I did not land very well on the down hill "transition", and I totally bent the fork forward. I turned the bike into a chopper.

We dashed back to the shop, and put a "take off" suspension fork on the bike, and I thought that bike was the shizzle.

There was a NORBA race up on Mt. Spokane at the time, and we were getting our cruise on, and my buddies were SO pissed because my tri-colored Connelly got ALL of the attention! Nobody realized it was a JCPenney catalogue bike.


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Old 03-09-12, 02:26 PM   #13
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When I'm forced to go into my lesser-preferred LBS I always see they'll have two or three dept store bikes to every decent bike.
Not too surprising...though I did see a Next in a 'local legends' shop once(the one time I've been in there). Kinda funny to see something like that next to a tricked out Fandango MTB tandem.

I worked at a shop a ways back that had plenty of dept store bikes come in - partly because of the area and partly because we were the only shop in town. Thankfully, I don't have many of those come my way anymore.
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Old 03-09-12, 04:26 PM   #14
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Not too surprising...though I did see a Next in a 'local legends' shop once(the one time I've been in there). Kinda funny to see something like that next to a tricked out Fandango MTB tandem.

I worked at a shop a ways back that had plenty of dept store bikes come in - partly because of the area and partly because we were the only shop in town. Thankfully, I don't have many of those come my way anymore.
I'd imagine working in a bike shop & fixing up dept store bikes would be kind of like working at a nutritional supplements store & having people come in looking for gimmick weight loss products & the like. I think it would drive me crazy having to decide between explaining how things work to someone who probably lacks the capacity to comprehend why the notion they came in with is wrong, & just biting my tongue & giving them what they think they want at the expense of their (probably) hard-earned money.
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Old 03-09-12, 06:54 PM   #15
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IMHO, Wally should not sell bikes to or for anyone over the age of about 14-15; I only stretch THAT far because my 14-y-o daughter is on one (upgraded, of course, for next to nothing, since I'm the wrench that builds them, lol). She will get a couple more years out of it, just because she's not hard on bikes AT ALL, and will likely get a nice one for 'sweet sixteen'.

My 17-y-o nephew picked one out, knowing I was buying it and couldn't take him to the LBS; a year now, and I've had to do some serious intensive care to that beast to keep it rolling. 9-y-o nephew is so light, he almost CAN'T hurt the one he's on, and there's one of the last decently-built older models hanging above my work area with his name on it, for his next one.

You can ALWAYS tell the "better" Wally bikes; they get discontinued after a year or two, 'cause nobody BUYS them, they'd rather have the $90 trash.
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Old 03-10-12, 01:53 PM   #16
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You can ALWAYS tell the "better" Wally bikes; they get discontinued after a year or two, 'cause nobody BUYS them, they'd rather have the $90 trash.
That's so true. Some of the top end Wally World bikes have some components that can be found on low end LBS bikes. If someone bought one and took it too the LBS to have it set up right, it might be a decent bike. However, to do that would put the price close to a low end LBS bike. Besides, anyone spending over $200 on a MTB probably knows enough that they want a better brand bike.
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Old 03-10-12, 02:15 PM   #17
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Guys, those Walmart bikes are really "toys." Read the orange warning label on the downtube. I cannot believe anybody would pay any money, to own a mountain bike replica....Jesus!!!!
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Old 03-10-12, 05:06 PM   #18
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Yup, that's why they're SOLD out of the Toy Department. Dunno about the ORANGE, never saw an orange sticker, but pretty much all of them have a sticker that says:

"Not for off-road riding or for stunting"

Why, then, are they visually evocative of BMX, or equipped with dual suspension? (I already know, it's a poser thing for the el cheapo's)

Even as I type this, I'm shaking my head at myself: when will retailers start being honest with their customers, and sell a product MEANT for the use they'll put it to? There'd be a BUNCH of hybrids, SS cruisers, coaster-brake rollers for the kids, and training-wheel starters... but no MTB fakes.

Of course, the trouble with THAT wish is, most of the hybrids they DO have are as crappy as the rest. A fair amount of the welding on these POS's makes me nervous.....
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Old 03-11-12, 03:32 AM   #19
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My Co-op has to deal with the british equivalent of Wal-Mart bikes, as word seems to have gotten round that we're the only place that will touch the damn things. I'd estimate a quarter of them have cranks that have fallen off.

Also, we had one yesterday that said "A new dawn in mountain biking" on the seatstays. Gas-pipe clunker, dual suspension, probably weighed as much as I do, but it had that written on it.
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Old 03-11-12, 03:38 AM   #20
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...Read the orange warning label on the downtube...
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...pretty much all of them have a sticker that says:

"Not for off-road riding or for stunting"...
Surprisingly, I've seen a number of $2000 mountain bikes that have stickers on the frame or expensive parts that say they're "not for off-road riding" or similar. Damn US and lawyer bs...
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Old 03-12-12, 02:35 PM   #21
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My LBS has signs up everywhere that they won't even work on department store bikes.
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Old 03-12-12, 02:50 PM   #22
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Sprawl-mart killed the MTB craze in the 90's.
I often shoo people away from the outside "bike" displays they have in front of the store.
Tell them if they want a good boat anchor then get one, take the wheels off and happy sailing.
I've seen several setup with the brake engaging the tire, sure it still works but . . .
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Old 03-12-12, 05:52 PM   #23
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Old 03-12-12, 07:49 PM   #24
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I'm about to hit 5 years on a Wal-Mart Roadmaster mountain bike that cost $50 new. And it's not the first one, for that matter.

I weigh 175-180 lbs and I commute with moderate to heavy loads over both wheels. My average speed is 12 mph. Not much, I'll grant. But it translates to 15 mph plus on levels and downhill. Yearly miles are in the 1500 range.

I've had better bikes in my lifetime, but I've also had several of about this quality. I've never broken a frame of folded a fork.

It's all a matter of how you ride it.

But I'll admit that this means they're not for everybody. But for someone who can handle them, they're virtually free transport.
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Old 03-12-12, 09:10 PM   #25
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Besides my experience with my old Walgoose that broke on perfectly flat terrain (after over 7 years of use that is though), my best friend had an even cheaper Walgoose that he bought the same summer, on his 2nd or 3rd ride we were riding on a concrete parking lot and his front wheel completely tacos and he goes over the bars. It was the craziest thing I've ever seen. He was literally just sitting on the seat cruising at around 7-10 mph and he just instantly went over the bars and by the time I got over to him he was getting up and we both looked at the bike with the most stunned look on our faces. I had never seen anything like it before and still to this day can't explain it and have never seen anything like it since.
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