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Advice for inspecting/adjusting preassembled Walmart bike?

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Advice for inspecting/adjusting preassembled Walmart bike?

Old 01-19-13, 12:49 AM
  #1  
BrianFl
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Advice for inspecting/adjusting preassembled Walmart bike?

I recently purchased a Schwinn Dual Sport from Walmart and shortly after that I discovered these forums and a post where someone mentioned their people have no clue/don't care to assemble a bike correctly.

I set the bike upside down and both tires spin around without coming into contact with the brake pads. There's no loose spokes. I bought some bike chain oil (White Lightning) and oiled the chain and gears. I took it for about a 15 mile ride, the gears seem to change correctly and I didn't notice any problems. I was previously using an old mountain bike so while this Schwinn is a pretty low end bike from what I can gather, it was still a big improvement.

Is there anything specific I should be looking for or would it be worth taking this to a bike shop for any kind of adjustments?
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Old 01-19-13, 12:58 AM
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Make sure the brakes are adjusted so that they come in contact with the braking surface on the wheel and not the tire when used. Check important bolts to make sure they are tight (handlebars/stem/crankshaft bolts/etc..). As a quick pre-ride inspection, every time before I ride: I check the air in the tire, and check to see that the brakes work properly (sping each wheel with wheel in the air and check to make sure the brakes hit braking surface and no excessive travel in levers).

If everything works well and you like the bike, enjoy it!
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Old 01-19-13, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by BrianFl View Post
I discovered these forums and a post where someone mentioned their people have no clue/don't care to assemble a bike correctly.
Whoever assembled the following Walmart Bike didn't put enough air in the tires: Photo 1 & Photo 2
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Old 01-19-13, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by cobba View Post
Whoever assembled the following Walmart Bike didn't put enough air in the tires: Photo 1 & Photo 2

thats hilarious. they can't possibly have given it a test ride.
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Old 01-19-13, 01:51 AM
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in the photos, what funny mistake am I looking at here? (forgive the ignorance)
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Old 01-19-13, 02:04 AM
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Rim tape: Quite often the rim tape on those bikes is improperly positioned. It would be a good idea at some point to take the tire off and inspect it to make sure it's properly covering all of the holes. The other problem with the rim tape on those particular Schwinns is that they rims are deep-V double walled rims, and if you pump the tire to high pressure, the rubbery strip will protrude all the way into the holes for the spoke heads, tear through, and you'll get a flat. If you have any problems like that with this bike, I recommend replacing the rim tape ASAP with a cloth tape like Velox.

The rimtape issue is a particularly nasty problem in conjunction with...

Replacement tubes: ...The fact that those Schwinns use long-stem 700c Schrader-valve innertubes, which can be very difficult to find. You can get a rimtape flat which can't be patched and then not even be able to find a replacement tube. Order spare innertube(s) before you have a problem, so that you don't get stuck. Make sure to order the right size; check the imprinting on the tire for the correct size. (I think it's 700x38c for that particular bike, but I could be remembering wrong.) You can find these innertubes on the net or order them from your local bike shop. Either way, it may take you about a week to receive them.

Inspecting your wheels: If you aren't smooth at taking off tires and installing and taking off the wheels on your bike, all this stuff of inspecting the rim tape etc. is important practice for when you learn to change the inevitable flat tire anyway.

Check fixtures tightness: Double-check the tightness of the fixtures that could hurt you if they failed. Stuff like the rear axle nuts, the bolt(s) that connect the handlebars to the stem, and the quick release skewers. The weird trend I've been seeing is for the quick release skewer to be installed the "wrong way" on department store bikes, with the nut on the left and the lever on the right; it's normally the other way around. Not necessarily dangerous, just weird. Make sure the skewer's lever end is facing backwards in some fashion, towards the tail of the bike, so if you accidentally bang into something at wheel height while in motion, it can't strike your quick release lever and pop your front wheel loose. The top cap bolt under the headset (at the top-front of your bike, points straight down at the ground, usually covered by a rubber cap, usually has a 5mm hexagonal Allen key head) is not supposed to be tightened as hard as you can get it; it actually sets the amount of tension on the headset bearings, which affects the tightness or looseness of the the axle that your handlebar turns, and turns the front wheel. Leave that bolt alone for now.

Grease the seatpost: Chances are, the Walmart employee slammed your post in without putting any lubricant on it. Undo the quick release on your seat post clamp and take your seat & seat post all the way out. Put a fine sheen of some type of grease on the post. This will help resist water and keep your seat post from getting rusted and stuck into position.

Reflectors: Check for proper positioning. Use a cross-headed screwdriver to adjust. They do less than most people think, and if they aren't angled perpendicular to the source of light, they will be virtually useless. They should be generally be as close to straight up and down as you can get them. See if you can position the front one such that it isn't blocked by 500 cables.

Stickers: Lose 'em! The "Made in China" one, the price tag, the "never right at night, always wear a helmet..." one, the stickers on the rims (they're just gonna peel anyway and look gross)... makes your bike look 100% sharper! Spend an hour listening to music/radio/TV while you wet those suckers with Goo Gone and scratch/pick them off.

Tools to have: Lube, you have. Rags (old sock, shirt, whatever) for cleaning & lubing the chain. A quality Y-shaped Allen wrench set. An innertube patch kit. A multi-tool to take on the road in case you need to adjust something far from home. Tire levers for taking off tires & fixing flats. A portable bike pump - the Topeak Road Morph G is popular. Edit: Get a 6-inch 15mm box wrench to take on the road in case you need to remove your rear tire to fix a flat.

Any questions, just ask.

Last edited by Here We Go; 01-19-13 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 01-19-13, 02:06 AM
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Originally Posted by berninicaco3 View Post
in the photos, what funny mistake am I looking at here? (forgive the ignorance)
Check the crank arm positioning on dat silver Mongoose...
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Old 01-19-13, 02:18 AM
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might be a Good time to get some Books on bike repair.. maybe Wally World has those too, or the Public Library.
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Old 01-19-13, 02:47 AM
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more things, double check all the cables were routed sanely, and the loops aren't too big or too tight.

triple check everything related to the brakes, like that the cable clamp is tight. remove v or cantis and grease the posts, reassemble. adjust the brake shoes, they are never more than kinda close.

make sure the tire bead is seated evenly all the way around both sides of both wheels. if its not, let most of the air out, leaving like 5-7PSI in the tire, adjust the tire sidewalls so the bead is even, then pump it back up to the proper pressure.
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Old 01-19-13, 05:17 AM
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Get some wrenches & tighten every nut & bolt on the bike.
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Old 01-19-13, 05:37 AM
  #11  
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When you remove each wheel, hold the axle in your fingers and spin it back and forth. Does it bind? That will be a cone adjustment (you can search with your browser for that fix). Or try to push/pull it side to side. Is there play? Similarly, a cone adjustment.

The crank bolts are notorious for not having tightened to spec. Get a lever bar and lean into it...

You'll be fine.
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Old 01-19-13, 06:53 AM
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1. Read the owner's manual.

1a. Always make sure that you receive the correct owner's manual when you purchase your bicycle (you can usually order an owner's manual free of charge if you are unable to get one at that time of purchase). Most manuals provide a detailed "pre-ride check list" as well as a periodic maintenance guide. Note: see step 2 below:

2. Read the free online owner's manuals, technical guides, and product updates that most manufacturers provide for their products.

3. Read one or more of the numerous free online guides that throughly explain bicycle assembly and/or maintenance and repair.

Understand that tires lose air pressure over time (whether you ride them or not) and that you will need to inflate them to their recommended pressures from time to time (this is particularly true of bicycles that have sat on a box store "show room" floor for an extended period). Note: the recommend tire pressures are noted on the sidewall of the tire (you can also usually follow the recommended tire pressures found in the owner's manual).

Here's a couple of links to some very good bicycle repair/maintenance info:

https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair-help

https://sheldonbrown.com/repair/index.html
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Old 01-19-13, 06:58 AM
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Quit complaiining.....

Assembly was free! That crank arrangement also allows you to rest both feet in a comfortable position without having to bend you knees.
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Old 01-19-13, 09:46 PM
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Thanks

Thank you, everyone, for the advice.
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Old 01-20-13, 11:55 AM
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Also check that the seatpost is tight. I have bought numerous bikes for my church and almost all of them the seatpost is too small for the bike, meaning no matter how much you tighten the quick release the seat slips. This is the only place I have used a beer can shim. Also since it's your bike, you may want to replace the QR with a seat clamp bolt making the seat harder to steal if you need to lock it outside for a short time; but never more than a short time!
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Old 01-20-13, 12:37 PM
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While I have no recient experience with a Wal Mart bike, casual observation says that they are head and shoulders above big box store bikes of several years ago. Probably their biggest handicap is weight. Most have quick release wheels and disc brakes.
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Old 01-20-13, 01:30 PM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by okane View Post
Assembly was free! That crank arrangement also allows you to rest both feet in a comfortable position without having to bend you knees.
HA did this to a friend last summer, he came back to his bike to find his crank arms parallel. Sad part was no one asked what I was doing even though I was on a busy street..
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