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  1. #1
    Senior Member jubal117's Avatar
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    Why did I go to a box store for a bike?

    I haven't gone to a box store for a bicycle in years, I can't even remember the last time. I own 2 Treks, 2 Raleigh's and a Miyata. My wife has 2 Treks, oldest daughter has a Raleigh and a Trek, son has a Trek, 2 Diamondbacks and a Raleigh, and my youngest who still can't ride at 6 has a passed down Specialized Hotrock from her older sister. I can't find training wheels for the Hotrock, so we decided to try a cheapo bike until she gets more comfortable on a bike to try without training wheels.

    Yesterday we were in Toy R Us and my daughter sees an ICarly Huffy. It was 99.99 and 10 more for assembled. I figured well why not how bad can it be. I took the unassembled bike home as it would've been Monday night till they could put it together. I tried to put the wheel on, the first step, and I fiddled with it for an hour until I realized that you could not get the wheel on no matter what you did. The fork was bent, and bent pretty bad. It was at least an inch off. So I drove the 25 miles back up to TRU and got another one, I opened the box right there to check it and sure enough that fork was bent too, although at a different place. So I bought the floor model and took it home. This morning I went out to put the training wheels I bought on it and the threads on the rear axle stripped as I was putting the training wheels on. If I would have just went to one of the LBS' in my area I could have saved alot of time and gas. They already come assembled with the training wheels put on already or while you wait all for 50 dollars or so more.

    I guess this is just a lesson learned, but I should have known better. Oh well sorry for the long post, I just had to rant a little as I am still pretty miffed about the whole situation. I should have gone to the Trek dealer right off the bat.

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jubal117 View Post
    I can't find training wheels for the Hotrock...
    Your LBS didn't have training wheels? The shop I work at always has 2 or 3 sets in stock, in different sizes too.
    Maybe you should have tried 2 or 3 shops. Would have been a lot cheaper.
    My bikes: 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2015 Cannondale Supersix EVO carbon

    I thought of that while riding my bicycle -- Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Senior Member jubal117's Avatar
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    They all said they don't fit on the 6 speed Hotrock. Something about the axle being too low. I checked with the shop I bought it at and they said there is no way that it came with training wheels although I think it did. We ended up buying her a Trek.

  4. #4
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    I've never had any trouble with a box store bike.
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right

  5. #5
    GATC
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    Quote Originally Posted by jubal117 View Post
    They all said they don't fit on the 6 speed Hotrock. Something about the axle being too low. I checked with the shop I bought it at and they said there is no way that it came with training wheels although I think it did. We ended up buying her a Trek.
    Those hotrocks have a funny geometry for sure.

  6. #6
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    One often-effective trick with kids who are reluctant to ride on just two wheels is to bring the seat all the way down, remove the pedals, and let them get comfortable with kicking along and eventually coasting.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  7. #7
    Member
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    Yeah... this is getting off the topic of box-store bikes, but my kids just learned to ride -- notice I didn't say I taught them to ride -- by doing the glide method. Took 'em to a grassy hill with only a slight incline. A dozen trips down and the old one had it. Once they got a feel for the balance, the peddling bit came pretty easily. The second boy took two sessions of coasting, but he's racing around the neighborhood now, too. After many failed attempts the other ways, this method was heaven-sent.

  8. #8
    billyymc
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    The first bike we ever bought for our kids - when the oldest was probably 3 y.o. - was a blue something or other from TRU. It was all of $12, so we figured even if she just coasted around the driveway for a bit, the worst we've done is waste $12. Thing weren't aligned perfectly on it (did I mention it was $12), but both of our daughters learned to ride on that silly little 12" bike, and it got passed on to a neice who also learned to ride on it.

    The kids have nicer bikes now, from LBS (and one recent online purchse of an IBEX for the oldest), but that TRU $12 special got them rolling.

  9. #9
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    Get what you pay for

    Big Box store Bikes are certainly no bargain. For the kids that would not get a bike otherwise, they usually function however.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mustang1's Avatar
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    Never mind jubal, sometimes these things happen. I bought my daughter a specialized hotwalk a while back (she loves it!) for 90. I was thnking of getting her a bike from a box store but wanted her first bike to be a nice one frm an LBS. I didn't know how much she'd ride it.

    The my daughter, wife, and me went to an LBS to get her next bike. I was gonna get a cheap bike as her second one but something in the air told me I better stick with an LBS. We went there and I had pre-ordered a Speciailized Hotrock 12 but daughter decided she preferred the size of a 14, so we bought a Ridgeback honey (good british brand, maybe you haven't heard of it).

    In the store, they had the 2010 Hotwalk and my wife saw the price (it had risen to 100) and commented "Oh my god, you spent 100 on that bike?"... she was already 'weird' that we would spend 130 on a Honey when you can get a 'perfectly good bike from a box store for 50 and a top of the range one for 100!'

    I'm just sticking with LBSs because I dont have too much time to flabble about with box stores even if you build it up yourself.
    1 cx bike, commuter (light off road), 2 road bikes (sportives and fair weather commuter), 1 mtb (off road fun and antics)

  11. #11
    Randomhead
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    I got my daughter a bike at TRU back in the early '90s, and it was a really good bike. I usually would never buy from a store like that, but I was impressed by the quality of this bike. I don't know if I would do it again, it really depends on the quality of the bike, I figured it was an anomaly at the time. I need to find someone to give it to.

  12. #12
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    I keep going back and forth on this myself, want to buy a nice lbs bike for our kids first but $350 vs under $100 for a department store one and I know they are going to be rough on them, dropping them or such so I hate to scratch up a nice lbs bike. Can't seem to find any lbs bikes used anywhere either.

  13. #13
    Member
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    Craigslist (and a yardsale) worked for our family, but it depends on how active that is in your area and how good people are about getting back to you. We ended up with a used Specialized, Kona, and Trek (and a Schwinn) for $360 total for 4 bikes. The adult bikes were in the $400 range when new, so we feel we did pretty well. The Kona needed a little more work, but it's a good quality bike from what I've read. We'll see how we like family biking first and then decide whether we need/want to upgrade. It's kind of a nice feeling to put a used bike back on the road, too.

  14. #14
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    I've been watching craigslist but in the child sizes I've found nothing but box store bikes, plenty of adult bikes.

  15. #15
    Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by enine View Post
    I've been watching craigslist but in the child sizes I've found nothing but box store bikes, plenty of adult bikes.
    We got lucky. One of the LBSs had a used Trek MT60 for my 9-year-old. And we found a used Schwinn literally chained to a split rail fence that we bought for $30 for the 12-year-old. They are both first-time riders and we're not sure how "into it" they're going to be. The Trek will likely get handed down. The Schwinn will get ridden while my son decides if he even likes bike riding. For that much, it was OK to get a used department-store-quality bike in good ride-able condition. If he decides he wants to upgrade, we're not into it for very much. That was our reasoning, anyway.

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