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Bike Assembly: Walmart or your Dad?

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View Poll Results: Who would you want to assemble your bike?
Walmart
6
12.24%
Your Dad
43
87.76%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

Bike Assembly: Walmart or your Dad?

Old 05-21-06, 01:53 PM
  #1  
unkchunk
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Bike Assembly: Walmart or your Dad?

Well, I'm seeing yet another crappy Walmart bikes thread. In the old days dads would assemble bikes the night before their kid's birthday. Now departments stores have taken up the role. So here's the question: You are 6 years old and it's your birthday. Who would you want to assmeble your bike, Walmart or your Dad?

For me, definitely Walmart. The only tool I ever saw my Dad use (apart from a bottle opener) was a screwdriver to pry weeds out of the lawn. Also, there would be at lest two crushed beer cans stuffed in some corner of the bike. One in the spokes and the other under the seat or wedged between a cable. My Mom could have handled it, but the fragile male ego wouldn't have let her touched it, even though it could have been construed as delegating authority.

For those of you who think that spending $500 at a LBS for a bike a kid is going to grow out of in two years is a realistic option, please click this link. https://disney.go.com/home/html/index.html
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Old 05-21-06, 01:57 PM
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There are other options you know. I wouldn't want a person that has no idea about what they are doing assembling my kids bike PERIOD
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Old 05-21-06, 02:00 PM
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I would have let my dad so it, he knows a lot about bikes and other tools, a heck of a lot more than some kid who works at Wal Mart.
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Old 05-21-06, 02:13 PM
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What if your dad works at Walmart?
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Old 05-21-06, 02:17 PM
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Seriously, the poll is a bit vague. I think that "dad" should come with a qualifier that the man has a reasonable amount of general mechanical aptitude, though not necessarily experienced in bicycle assembly. If that's the case, I'd say yes.
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Old 05-21-06, 02:33 PM
  #6  
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I had the LBS put together my sons 3rd bike, but I did the first two... then again I wrench my bikes for the most part (don't happen to have headset reamers or facers or a press).

I think in my case my son would prefer me over Wally World.

My first bike was a used Schwinn, no telling who put that together... and I know my father did not have the tools nor the mechanical ability. Every bike I have owned since has come from an LBS... but I have made changes and done the maintence over the years. Heck today I go into LBSs looking for parts and they tell me they don't even have tools for "bikes that old."

Sigh.

In fact, one of the local Perfomrance shops didn't even have 10 or 12mm hex wrenches... I know, the mech asked if I did?
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Old 05-21-06, 02:54 PM
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What if your dad works at Walmart?
Just because someone works at Walmart doesn't necessarily mean that they assemble the bikes at Walmart. If you mean "What if your dad assembles the bikes at Walmart?" then it still is irrelevant in that it doesn't strike me as a particularly good pick up line. But then you never know. I'll give it a try and see how well it works. After the weekend I'll get back to you on this one.

Seriously, the poll is a bit vague. I think that "dad" should come with a qualifier that the man has a reasonable amount of general mechanical aptitude, though not necessarily experienced in bicycle assembly.
Nah. Your Dad means your dad's skill level and no one elses. It is specific enough. However it is vague in terms of those whom are adopted, in vitro fertilization and such. But then under those circumstances the probably that your Dad will come after me is so remote I can only laugh at any threats of retribution. So there. I'm just so sick and tired of parapalegics calling me insensitive.
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Old 05-21-06, 03:35 PM
  #8  
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What you have failed to take into account is while your poll is directed to all others, you lump all "Dads" into a single category of mechanically challenged individuals.

You fail to take into account that many fathers are professional gearheads, or mechanics.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to put together a bike, and I dare say that someone with reasonable mechanical competence would be able to assemble a bicycle better then the majority of minimum-wage Wal-Mart/Target/Toys "R" Us bicycle assemblymen.

I've made it a point to examine the assembly quality of the local outlets of these three chains, and have found that out of the five or so stores I examined, only Toys "R" Us had assembled their machines in a halfway decent fashion. All Wal-Marts were shoddy, and there wasn't one Target that did NOT have a cheap Huffy with loose handlebars and saddle.

-Kurt
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Old 05-21-06, 03:40 PM
  #9  
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My dad is the most mechanically inclined skilled craftsmen ive ever met. He could build my bike........from scratch
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Old 05-21-06, 04:07 PM
  #10  
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I would pick my dad. I mean, anyone who takes into account the stress an old campy skewer puts on the bearings when adjusting them and then can set it up so he can put it on the bike, spin it, and come back 45 min later and it is still moving gets my vote. Took him 20 years to wear out his first cone on his old machine (rebuild after every caught in the rain and twice a year need it or not will do that.... remember, pre rubber seals, just a dust cap). ;p. He would be insulted if I chose walmart!
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Old 05-21-06, 04:51 PM
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My dad.

Walmart didn't exist when I was 6. And as far as I know, after my first bike (which I got on my 4th birthday), all my next bikes were pre-assembled and purchased at the LBS. Maybe even that first one, too. I don't know.
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Old 05-21-06, 04:58 PM
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My father as long as I was not around. As usual, there would have been plenty of cursing but with his skills it would have come out fine.
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Old 05-21-06, 05:03 PM
  #13  
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I vote Wal-Mart.

In the event of a massive mechanical failure, I could sue Wally World for a whole lot more money than my dad.
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Old 05-21-06, 05:27 PM
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^Or choose your dad and prevent the massive mechanical failure in the first place.
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Old 05-21-06, 06:13 PM
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My first bikes -- until the age of 13 -- were all used: garbage finds, or yard sale rejects, and thus came pre-assembled. Perhaps not very well assembled, but pre-assembled. I believe if any work needed to be done, my dad gave it a little tweaking. When I was thirteen I finally got a brand new bike, and got it from my LBS, so they put it together. Never had a WalMart/Target (would've been Caldor or Bradlees or Ames anyhow) bike, but I did eye them when I was a kid as they were just plain nicer-looking.

As for putting it together I would probably trust him to assemble a bike if need be.
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Old 05-21-06, 07:46 PM
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When I was 6 my dad was actively working as an airplane mechanic. The way I saw it, he could have made a bicycle fly if he'd wanted to.

Edit: And yes, I think spending $500 on a bike for a kid that will outgrow it in 2 years is rational. My kids ride nice road bikes, although they are older. However, you'd be hard pressed to find a kid's bike to spend $500 on. Most kid's bikes at a bike shop easily fall well under $200. Let's not exaggerate.
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Old 05-21-06, 07:51 PM
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TRUE STORY


I was in wallyworld returning a DOA hard drive...

and some redneck was returning a bicycle, dirty and looked a little
ridden, but fairly new.

anyhow, he was returning it because the handlebars were a little
loose at the stem. just a little bit.

all anyone had to do was tighten the bolt. but nooooooo...

the Return Dept. gave him his money back no questions, no hassle. nada
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Old 05-21-06, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by unkchunk
Who would you want to assmeble your bike, Walmart or your Dad?
While my dad might not be the most mechanically inclined person in the world, I'd still pick him over some untrained pimply-faced teenager at WalMart. And even if they both have the same skills at turning a wrench, I'm more confident that my father would be more concerned with the details in the directions because he'll care more about my safety rather than worrying about how many bikes can be rolled out onto the department store floor.

Most bikes these days (and this was even true more than 20 years ago when I had my fair share of Wally-World bikes) come pretty much pre-assembled. There's some final prep-work such as attaching the handlebars and pedals with some minor adjustment of the components. All this is spelled out in directions. When I was 10 years old, my parents bought me an X-Mart "10-speed" Roadmaster roadbike. It was brought home in a box and I assembled it myself. There wasn't a lot to it.


Originally Posted by unkchunk
For those of you who think that spending $500 at a LBS for a bike a kid is going to grow out of in two years is a realistic option, please click this link. https://disney.go.com/home/html/index.html
There are other options. When this topic comes up, I always first suggest a used bike from the LBS. These bikes which at one time only a year or two ago retailed for around $500 can be found for the same price or lower than the cheap low-grade stuff from WalMart. And likely they'll have been checked over, prepped and refurbished to a much higher standard. By the same token, spending that $500 now and then selling it for $200 on eBay or to a LBS to recoup the cost once the kid outgrows it is not such a bad thing either.

Also keep in mind that many people replace and retire even more expensive bikes every couple of years or so. What's the difference? This is especially true in the MTB world where the pace of technology often compels people to do so and the hardships of offroad riding that the bikes have been put through means that a frame and components may only last three years.
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Old 05-21-06, 09:03 PM
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My dad as well- he is pretty good in the garage. The most complex bike I own is are 3 and 10 speeds. He could fix them up without a problem.
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Old 05-21-06, 09:27 PM
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Dad - was millwright, excellent car mechanic, could fix just about anything. When he was alive, absolutely.

Stepdad - is retired electrician, skilled welder, amateur coppersmith, skilled car & motorcycle mechanic, former hardcore cyclist & takes care of his own bikes & my mom's. When we aren't 2000 miles apart, I can't think of anyone I'd trust more to take care of my bike.
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Old 05-21-06, 09:48 PM
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I hope my son would vote for me over Walmart
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Old 05-21-06, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by edzo
TRUE STORY


I was in wallyworld returning a DOA hard drive...

and some redneck was returning a bicycle, dirty and looked a little
ridden, but fairly new.

anyhow, he was returning it because the handlebars were a little
loose at the stem. just a little bit.

all anyone had to do was tighten the bolt. but nooooooo...

the Return Dept. gave him his money back no questions, no hassle. nada

I wanna say "that's sad" on so many levels, but perhaps it was the best ending after all.
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Old 05-21-06, 10:18 PM
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I would vote for Dad. Dads care about the welfare of their kids, so they recognise their technical limitations and if necessary most have friends who can help if necessary. I have helped several friends assemble bikes for their kids.
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Old 05-21-06, 10:40 PM
  #24  
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My Dad is a mechanic not a penciil pusher! has more tools than walmart has to buy.

Definitly not a bike expert tho, but should be rather easy for him to figure out.
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Old 05-21-06, 10:42 PM
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i knew a pro shop mechanic who wrenched at Walmart and other box stores for extra money. My dad rode a bike once in his life as a child, crashed it, and never rode again. He did teach me the basic secret of the Universe. Read the ******* manual and follow the directions for assemble. Stop and get the right tool if you do not have it.
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