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Old 09-21-06, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Portis
Find them at your nearest Schwinn dealer.

Mr. Smalls, if you like your bike, that is great. But a great bike it is NOT! Great $200 full suspension bikes don't exist. (maybe you meant that it has seatpost suspension?) Either way, you would probably do better at a LBS.

There are HUGE differences between a top of the line Walmart bike and a $400 lbs bike. If you don't want to acknowledge that, ok, but it makes it no less true.
I respect what you say, but unfortunately, I don't quite see it that way. Yes, there *is* a huge difference between $200 and $400, just in the cash alone. If you can't afford a $400 bike and want to get into cycling, and $200 is all you can afford... well there probably are bike shops that can offer something new at $200. But I have seen some pretty ordinary bicycles in bike shops that rival what Wal-Mart stocks, and badly assembled at that (most likely by the summer junior wrench who knew diddly about it).

After that cash difference, for most people who are new to cycling, and Mr Smalls may be one of them, there is absolutely no other discerning difference between a Wal-Mart bicycle that cost $200 and a Trek Madone that cost $4,000. They all look the same -- have two wheels, a frame, a seat, pedal, chain, handlebars, the same size... that price difference, though, sure makes the buying decision a lot easier.

I have seen many people riding Wal-Mart bikes just about everywhere I go except Europe. The people use them for transport. They don't take particular care of them, and probably neither need to nor want to, because the bikes continue to do what they want. I know someone who has a full-suspension Mongoose MTB from Wal-Mart that has provided years of reliable service (and it was bought when people were poo-pooing Mongoose and Wal-Mart). If the elite around here dropped their noses out of the air a bit and looked hard, they would see there is a whole army out there successfully riding Wal-Mart bikes.

And please don't come back at me with the bikeshop warranty stuff... Wal-Mart has its policies, too, and from what I have read on these forums, there is probably a better chance of getting warranty success with Wal-Mart than quite a few bike shops.

Disclaimer: I am part of the cycling elite (but with a level nose). I have never owned a Wal-Mart or other big-box store bike. I have owned numerous "bike shop" bicycles. I have worked a lot on *and with* bikes similar to those stocked by Wal-Mart including kids' bikes, along with bike-shop bikes. They all worked to some degree or other, and in some cases, the bike-shop bikes did not work as well even after so-called expert servicing by said bike shops.

Last edited by Rowan; 09-21-06 at 11:18 AM.
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