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Are Big Box Stores Promoting a Throwaway Bike Culture?

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Are Big Box Stores Promoting a Throwaway Bike Culture?

Old 03-27-20, 11:57 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
Eh, I'm not so sure. I have inexpensive "running style" shoes that I would not run in. When I did run I had to get my shoes at a running store to find shoes with the right amount of support for my pronation issues. I also played soccer in high school and there's a notable difference in shoe quality there as well that contribute to both comfort and performance. With anything, the further one gets into a hobby, the more one starts to notice the differences in quality between entry level and higher end.
it seems for the second time in one thread I have not managed to make my point clearly.

What i said was that nobody compares K-Mart shoes to real athletic shoes.

Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
People who play sports aren't going around scoffing at sneakers, saying how they would never stand up to the stress of pro sports, or competitive cross-country running, or whatever .... because sneakers are not serious athletic shoes. They are fashion items, or more so (as with K-mart models (which I wear) ) simply cheap and effective footwear.
(Emphases added.)

Sorry but my ability to speak English seems to be shrinking.
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Old 03-27-20, 02:27 PM
  #52  
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Big box store bikes have always been throw away bikes. They don't even have to promote it that way.
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Old 03-27-20, 06:33 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
Sorry for quoting your post twice, but I have a separate point to make here.

When my son was little, I thought this through and avoided big box store bikes. When he was in middle school, I signed him up for a local mountain biking club, and eventually team. (started as a club, became a team) I knew enough about bikes to talk to folks from the league and the team and ask. What is the minimum level of quality he needs to safely ride single track? The answer was, he needs a real mountain bike.
Not surprisingly, a lot of kids showed up the first week on either really old mountain bikes or big box mountain style bikes. The ones riding old mountain bikes were fine. The kids riding big box store bikes either quit within a couple of weeks, or went and bought real mountain bikes. And, I saw more than one kid walking out of the woods dragging his broken big box mountain bike behind him.

So no, I don't think folks realize how bad big box store bikes really are.

As far as the cost factor goes, I understand that but think it isn't an issue for most families. A decent kids bike can be passed down to a younger brother or sister. And you can always look for a decent used bike, if the cost of a new bike is cost prohibitive.
In the mid-1980s I worked at Canadian Tire a large Canadian department store that sold a what was supposed to be mountain bike. It actually had cantilever brakes on it at a time when most department store mountain bikes had really long reach highly flexible side-pull brake calipers. We used to get a lot of those mountain bikes in for a front fork replacement when the rider tried to either ride off a big rock or other obstacle and the front fork folded frontward when the bike landed. At that time the bikes and fork had a lifetime warranty.

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Old 03-27-20, 06:38 PM
  #54  
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I don't go to a big box store but I need a big box. Have to send a reel to reel deck.
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Old 03-27-20, 06:59 PM
  #55  
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I would say absolutely. Not just the big Box stores but some of the smaller chains as well. I called up to ask the guy at my LBS about swapping out my drive train for something better he said well if you're going to do all that it might not be worth it just come on in we have some bikes with the drive train you want already on them for about 1000 bucksÖ that is also the guy who told me absolutely nobody uses campagnolo anymore....even with road racers, it's old style.
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Old 03-27-20, 07:04 PM
  #56  
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Actually Big Box stores are upping their game

https://reviews.mtbr.com/schwinn-axu...e-weight-specs
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Old 03-27-20, 07:10 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
Actually Big Box stores are upping their game

https://reviews.mtbr.com/schwinn-axu...e-weight-specs
I saw Schwinn at Sea Otter last year and I was bewildered. They actually have some decent midrange stuff... but it really does look like they just went to china, bought some ready-made frames and threw some half decent components on them. Thatís still better than big box stores, though.

Amazon link



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Old 03-27-20, 08:39 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
Actually Big Box stores are upping their game

https://reviews.mtbr.com/schwinn-axu...e-weight-specs
I have not owned one of these, but it seems like a good bike. Most casual riders don't need anything more expensive than this.
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Old 03-27-20, 09:10 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by Rajflyboy View Post
Actually Big Box stores are upping their game

https://reviews.mtbr.com/schwinn-axu...e-weight-specs
The first thing you should notice is that that isnít a $100 bike. Itís a better bike than most of the $100 offerings but itís still got lots of warts. Corners were cut to make it that cheap and that may show up down the road but I would hope that it is at least a bit better quality than the very cheapest HelMart bikes. At about $400, itís about the cost of a 40 year old HelMart bike if you adjust for inflation.
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Old 03-28-20, 03:59 AM
  #60  
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It's a difficult question. My first Huffy when I was a kid was a throwaway bike, but it awakened my interesting in cycling, and when my mom figured out that I was serious about cycling, she got me a "real" bike for my 13th birthday.

On the other hand, my cheap, Pep Boys Huffy bicycle was a much better bike than many of the bikes sold in department stores today. A few years ago I bought a brand new Schwinn Deluxe Cruiser, which set me back about $400. I was happy with the overall appearance of the bike, it looked much like the Schwinns of my childhood. But it turned out to be a pile of crap. The first problem was that the cheap aluminum used in the wheels was quickly galled by the brake pads. Bits of aluminum from the wheels embedded in the brake pads, and caused horrendous grinding when stopping. I was often filing down the brake pads to get the aluminum debris out. Next, the finish on the bike began to go bad. The straps around the pedals, the chain ring, and crank arms began rusting less than a month after I got the bike home. The paint on the fenders, which looked good when I bought the bike, began to suffer from orange peel. The spring on seat popped though the carrier, so the seat became lopsided (and I am not overweight). I couldn't believe how badly this bike was made.
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Old 03-28-20, 10:23 AM
  #61  
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I don't completely disagree big box bikes are crap. I partially disagree. Every so often, if you're in the right big box store at the right time you may be lucky enough to find a halfway decent bike. Unfortunately for me, I haven't seen a decent bike in my neighborhood Wallyworld store in about 5 years. Tar-jay seems to be a little better. But, not much. The big box stores that specialize in sporting goods seem to sell a few decent bikes.
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Old 03-28-20, 05:10 PM
  #62  
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"Are big box stores promoting a throwaway bike culture?"

Maybe not everywhere, but where I live, the answer is a definite yes.

Each year we have 30,000, plus or minus a few college students from mid-August to mid-May each year. Many of those that ride bikes buy at Dick's and Walmart, and they abandon those bikes at the end of the school year. A small percentage end up being sold at the police auction, but most of the abandoned bikes are retrieved by several individuals who refurb them and then donate them to children and teens who otherwise would not be able to own a bike.

But yes, there is a throwaway culture in progress.
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Old 03-28-20, 11:48 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Big box store bikes usually have a rather heavy strong frame. Just up grade the components.
That's what I do if the bike is worth it. Contrary to popular belief; some, a scant few can be made nice. Still... a single speed cruiser is going to be the best thing to just ride. I really want the Columbia Rambler to hit ky.
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Old 03-29-20, 06:25 AM
  #64  
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Oftentimes itís all folks can afford and they and or their kids ride the piss put them. They have their place. Growing up I had two bikes, both my dad snagged from the police departmentís lost and found - I didnít know this until I got older. Loved and rode the hell out those bikes. Iíd sit in school and daydream about tinkering with them when I got home. A boyís bike was his castle!

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Old 03-29-20, 07:03 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by BookFinder View Post
"Are big box stores promoting a throwaway bike culture?"

Maybe not everywhere, but where I live, the answer is a definite yes.

Each year we have 30,000, plus or minus a few college students from mid-August to mid-May each year. Many of those that ride bikes buy at Dick's and Walmart, and they abandon those bikes at the end of the school year. A small percentage end up being sold at the police auction, but most of the abandoned bikes are retrieved by several individuals who refurb them and then donate them to children and teens who otherwise would not be able to own a bike.

But yes, there is a throwaway culture in progress.
So many things made today (and for many decades in the past) are designed to be thrown away rather than repaired. Heck, some things like certain jeans are designed and sold pre-ripped to the point when I was younger they'ed have been thrown away or torn up to be used as cleaning rags.

Cheers
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Old 03-29-20, 08:24 AM
  #66  
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Correct, not every family can afford a $1500 mountain bike for their kids. Chances are that is what the family car costs.
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Old 03-29-20, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Correct, not every family can afford a $1500 mountain bike for their kids. Chances are that is what the family car costs.
No one has said that kids have to have $1500 mountain.
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Old 03-29-20, 09:17 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by Chad991 View Post
I would say absolutely. Not just the big Box stores but some of the smaller chains as well. I called up to ask the guy at my LBS about swapping out my drive train for something better he said well if you're going to do all that it might not be worth it just come on in we have some bikes with the drive train you want already on them for about 1000 bucksÖ that is also the guy who told me absolutely nobody uses campagnolo anymore....even with road racers, it's old style.
I think that is a whole other kettle of fish.
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Old 03-29-20, 09:30 AM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Correct, not every family can afford a $1500 mountain bike for their kids. Chances are that is what the family car costs.
Most kids don't need a $1,500 mountain bike unless they are seriously into single track, in which case they might. One reason why mountain biking isn't really a poor person's sport.
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Old 03-29-20, 09:43 AM
  #70  
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If you picked up a thow away bike and bought new parts to fix it, it may not be worthwhile. If you pick up several throw away bikes, and swap parts, so you have a good bike or two, it is worth it.
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Old 03-29-20, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
I think that is a whole other kettle of fish.
I think you are right,lol...
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Old 03-29-20, 11:34 AM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
If you picked up a thow away bike and bought new parts to fix it, it may not be worthwhile. If you pick up several throw away bikes, and swap parts, so you have a good bike or two, it is worth it.
i commuted for a long while doing this. it takes a lot of time and energy scavenging, and also one has to live in a community where a lot of bikes are discarded.
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Old 03-29-20, 12:28 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
it takes a lot of time and energy scavenging, and also one has to live in a community where a lot of bikes are discarded.
You can't decide, today I will go and find a bike. One day you are out and about, and happen to see one. You cant plan when that will be.
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Old 03-29-20, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
i commuted for a long while doing this. it takes a lot of time and energy scavenging, and also one has to live in a community where a lot of bikes are discarded.
Originally Posted by alo View Post
You can't decide, today I will go and find a bike. One day you are out and about, and happen to see one. You cant plan when that will be.
if you ride a bike past a discarded bike ... it depends if you are heading somewhere else, or back form somewhere else.

If I rode by a bike on the way to work, I couldn't grab it. If I was coming home from doing laundry and grocery shopping, I might be loaded down .... because if you are on a bike, transporting another bike home can be a challenge. And if that other bike is not functional (say, everything on the bike is good but the wheels) then how do you get the thing home? i guess if you have a trailer .... but if i could have bought a trailer i could have bought a cheap bike.

And what do you do if there are Two good but beat-up bikes at the end of a driveway several miles from home? it would be an hour walk to get one, but a very short bike ride, and time is always limited ... plus someone else could nab them. But if I ride out there, now I have to somehow transport two bikes on a third bike.

Yeah, scavenging bikes takes a lot of energy. I did it for a couple years .... try it or take my word for it.
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Old 03-29-20, 01:02 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
I saw Schwinn at Sea Otter last year and I was bewildered. They actually have some decent midrange stuff... but it really does look like they just went to china, bought some ready-made frames and threw some half decent components on them. Thatís still better than big box stores, though.
Since I live in the town where Pacific Cycle is located, I met one person who designs bikes for them, and have other "friend of a friend" folks who work there. They are definitely passionate about bikes and cycling. I also work in a different industry that uses components sourced from China.

The distinction between a ready-made frame and one that is custom made, is academic, once you get into quantities of more than a few thousand. A maker probably wants to "own" a design, so it can be moved from one supplier to another if needed.
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