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  1. #1
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    Inexpensive bikes and brands questions

    I was looking at bike's at Walmart when I noticed they carried Schwinns, and saw a model that might be practical for my son for occassional use and noticed a very similar roadmaster bike for about a third of the price. When I was looking into Schwinn on the internet I saw that they had been purchased by another company and now that company makes schwinn, roadmaster, and mongoose. Sooo, my question is, is there really in difference in the bikes other than sticker name and price?

  2. #2
    Recreational/Utility bjjoondo's Avatar
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    Yes and No, the Roadmaster's are the very bottom of the line, ie: the heaviest and usually the "least time spend getting set up properly! Due to a financial meltdown in 2008, I picked up a Roadmaster Mnt. Sport SX, the FIRST thing I did was take it to a "Bicycle shop" and have them do a full "Tune Up". Yes, it cost all most as much as the bicycle but the Roadmaster was so poorly set up by the hamm-fisted assembler at Wally-Mart that I considered it to dangerous to RIDE till the shop went over it.

    The Schwinn's seem to be Pacific Cycles top of the line so the bikes might have a bit better componets overall, maybe a bit better frame material too. Still IF you purchase ANY Department Store Bicycle PLEASE do you and your child a HUGE favor and have it tuned up at a Bicycle Shop BEFORE it's ridden, for your piece of mind!!!!! The Roadmaster sudo-MTB I bought has done it's duty quite well since the tune up, although I'm working up cash for a Bicycle Shop Bicycle ASAP!!

    IF there's anyway you can afford it, it would be better to get a "bottom line" Bicycle Shop Bicycle than a "top of the line" Dept. Store Bicycle, JMHO, YMMV. Good Luck!
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
    B.J. Ondo
    2011 Jamis Allegro 1

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    It would probably be cheaper to but a Schwinn at a dealer. It will be assembled properly here is the dealer locator
    Is locator even a real word? Either way you can find a dealer near you with a real mechanic to put it together and fit it for you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member deraltekluge's Avatar
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    There also seems to be a difference between the Wal-Mart, Target, etc., Schwinns and the Schwinns you might find on the Schwinn website and in bicycle shops.

  5. #5
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    OK, i'd wondered about that, if it was really the same bike or not. And thanks to all, I had never considered that Walmart people were putting them together at the store...scary.

  6. #6
    Senior Member adaminlc's Avatar
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    components, components, components. Look at them all, and not just the derailers. Look at the hubs, the hoops, the headset, etc. Geometry is also important. Set on the bike and see if it feels good. The biggest difference is how long the stuff is going to last. If you aren't sure if you want to get into cycling, anything will do. But if you really want to start riding, start with something you can enjoy until you can afford something that is worth it.
    I like fat tires and I cannot lie...

  7. #7
    Recreational/Utility bjjoondo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kolo View Post
    OK, i'd wondered about that, if it was really the same bike or not. And thanks to all, I had never considered that Walmart people were putting them together at the store...scary.
    It's usually not Wal-Mart employees that build up bikes, it's a service company that puts together bikes, lawnmowers, swingset's ect. They get paid by "unit's built" so they are always in a hurry! I know this because at one time, I worked for a just starting up Wal-Mart, when they found out I had worked in a bicycle shop in my youth, they wanted me to put together several display bicycles.

    I brought in my actual bicycle tools and a portable wheel truing stand. I took my time, set up and adjusted and properly "greased and tighten" and adjusted and trued the wheels. The service guy who came in to set up the majority, used 3 tools, "pliars, cresent wrench, screwdriver", he had no idea what a 3rd hand brake tool or a wheel truing stand was or how it worked. They NEVER grease the hubs, head, bottom bracket, so if the factory didn't (happens a LOT), the bikes have no grease and the dust/grit tears up the bearings quickly! FYI, YMMV.

    I took my Roadmaster apart and regreased all the bearings, then took it to a LBS and had a "Full Tune Up" done to it and it's held up well for several months now, that includes pulling a cargo trailer for getting food/larger items. I constantly clean and re-lube the bike which will give ANY bike more life. So I doubt your child will be willing to do that so a bottom line bike from a Local Bicycle Shop, will usually do the adjustments needed and keep the bicycle running, sometimes giving free adjustments for the life of the bike. In the long run you'd do much better with a LBS, JMHO.
    Last edited by bjjoondo; 02-04-09 at 08:15 AM.
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
    B.J. Ondo
    2011 Jamis Allegro 1

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