Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Help me figure out what to do with and what can be done to this Big Box bike

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Help me figure out what to do with and what can be done to this Big Box bike

Old 12-18-20, 04:05 PM
Clark W. Griswold
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ,location, location
Posts: 9,714

Bikes: Foundry Chilkoot Ti W/Ultegra Di2, Salsa Timberjack Ti, Cinelli Mash Work RandoCross Fun Time Machine, 1x9 XT Parts Hybrid, Co-Motion Cascadia, Specialized Langster, Phil Wood Apple VeloXS Frame (w/DA 7400), R+M Supercharger2 Rohloff, Habanero Ti 26

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2793 Post(s)
Liked 1,954 Times in 1,293 Posts
You won't like what has been said but it is the truth. Ride the bike, enjoy the bike, save your money and you are all set. I get you I am all for upgrades like I have said and will continue to say however you have to upgrade the right thing. When my old mechanic told me hey your Trek isn't worth upgrading or getting fixed it is on its last legs, I listened to him. I recognized his many years doing this and also said hey cool good to know and he got me set up on a bike that worked out well and really got me more passionate about bikes. Was glad for that advice and wish I had that advice before I had put a new chain and cassette on it months earlier. If I had poured more money into it, it would be a losing battle and not money well spent and wasn't the right bike for my riding anyway.
veganbikes is offline  
Old 12-18-20, 04:15 PM
Senior Member
70sSanO's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Mission Viejo
Posts: 4,729

Bikes: 1986 Cannondale SR400 (Flat bar commuter), 1988 Cannondale Criterium XTR, 1992 Serotta T-Max, 1995 Trek 970

Mentioned: 17 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1530 Post(s)
Liked 1,482 Times in 934 Posts
It has been years since I've owned a box (Sears) bike. I've worked on a few of the neighbor's cheap bikes, with disintegrated ball bearings.

I have wondered what would happen if someone took that bike and went through the bike with new grease and proper adjustments, true wheels, rebuild the hubs with new ball bearings and grease, re-greased bottom bracket (loose bearings???), headset, added koolstop pads. Not really upgrading it. But If I were going to ride it, I'd probably add an M310 trigger and an Acera RD just to make it more enjoyable.

It would never be a good bike, but for tooling around, I wonder how bad it would be.

Like many others, I've had my what can I do to upgrade moment years ago with my Sears Free Spirit. The shop owner looked at me and said... the best thing I could do was to get rid of it... lol.

70sSanO is offline  
Old 12-18-20, 05:23 PM
Senior Member
Maelochs's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 13,580

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2017 Workswell 093, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 143 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6588 Post(s)
Liked 1,750 Times in 952 Posts
I had a pair of Firenze (Sears) rigid MTBs that I used for commuting. Beat the snot out of them. But for just riding around, after doing the maintenance you mention, they would probably have lasted for years. I got some decent mileage out of them---compared to some of the budget bikes I rode.
Maelochs is offline  
Old 12-18-20, 06:05 PM
Senior Member
zen_'s Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: 'merica
Posts: 216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 89 Post(s)
Liked 86 Times in 54 Posts
I'll try to give you some advice that's a bit more on point w/o being condescending, or digressing too much...

Parts worth "upgrading"

Saddle - Unless you really love the stock one, start the process of finding your go-to saddle.
Pedals - Assuming you can get them off w/o stripping out the threads.
Brake pads - The whole brake system on these bikes is usually pretty bad, but at least with better pads it will stop a little better.
Derailleur - Shimano Tourney cost like $7, and is way better than those flat Shimano branded mechs that are total junk with the indexing and adjustment.
Bottom Bracket - Another $10 part to upgrade from a unit that is guaranteed to fall apart, to a sealed unit that will last much longer than bike.
Tool kit - The $60 Bike Hand kit will go a long ways to start.

The saddle and pedals can go on a future bike if you start to ride more, so you'd only be spending like $25 on part that will stay on the bike, plus the invaluable knowledge of how to maintain a bike.

Get rid of the chain guard, as it's probably just going to rattle around, and the reflectors / kickstand (if there is one) because.

Give the whole bike a look over, and start to learn how to adjust and lubricate things. The setup on these Wal-Mart bikes is usually anywhere from bad to dangerous.
zen_ is offline  
Likes For zen_:
Old 12-19-20, 02:26 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2020
Posts: 34
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
As a forewarning: I am writing this in notepad, because either user error, or spagetti code makes the multi-quote system here act kinda wonky, so simpler for me to copy/paste. Apologies in advance.

Originally Posted by Charliekeet
(concerning manual specificity)
OK, yeah, they're not going to provide a lot of that, so why don't you check and note that here? How many teeth do you count? Next person who buys this bike will Google it and find your info here, which will be helpful.

Off the bat Charle, why the constant bold/itallicing? Are you trying to give me more readable text? If so that is considerate of you and appreciated, however I have browser magnification turned up fairly high and fonts selected to do the job nicely. Still, assuming that's your aim, appreciated.

It is rather annoying manuals don't provide that sort of specifics. They can have lines going for all manner of wierd one offs and 'change two things call it a new bike' design, yet the ycan't be bothered to make a manual and spec sheet for THAT bike? Baffling.

I do need to do tooth counts. Waiting on material to show up for ongoing project now that weather and people are agreeable on the same day, so it will have to hold off for another day or two. Will probably make a specific thread 'Huffy Parkview Men's 27.5 Stock Specifications' or similar for the sake of the google bot finding it.

You need to make sure you have metric hex wrenches, from 2.5mm to 10mm, and it would be good to have a degreaser (citrus stuff, WD40, etc) and a light oil, and a grease like marine grease or lithium grease. Good to have sockets with metric like 6-17mm. You should get a pedal wrench- Park Tool makes a good, inexpensive one (there's also more pricey ones, but even the entry-level Park is good to have).
Amusingly, other than the bike specific tools? I already have access to all of that. So, seems to be a case of 'get bike specific tools for the sake of mantinancing.' Good to know. Was afraid of some oddball general tool that I wasn't aware would be useful. That makes the 'parts I am missing' pile managable.

Not sure exactly what you mean here, but a bike stand is nice, though not a necessity.
i have seen complete teardown videos of walmart bikes and even though iknow little of bikes I have helped family with enough cars to go 'OK that probably ain't enough lube and grease on those parts.'

Why are you worrying so much re: your derailleur? Yes to all of your questions, but so what? That's not something that is going to prevent you from riding this bike how/where you want to.
I have it as a point of concrn because 'bike in advertisement and even hanger tag lists it for easy casual riding on paved grounds and I'm taking it into rutted up fields. Plus I am not the most in shape sort of person (strength seems reasonable. Cardio, not so much.) I worry as 'oh hey will the new part that I have been told gives a lower gearing which would make those hills easier work with what I have?'

If your goal is to make the bike more robust for trail riding, ok, there are little things you could do, but some of the things you're asking about are beyond that scope and you don't seem to know why you want to change them. You keep missing that people are not saying anything to reassure themselves about their bike ownership - they are telling you things to help you know that while you CAN upgrade stuff, it may not be the smart thing to do, and especially not just cause you feel like you have to change things.
Here is the real meat of things and why I feel on the back foot. I know breathtakingly little beyond surface level and don't trust my own research skills to have given me useful to go with information. So when I come here asking. I am going to ask about everythingI can think of. Admittedly a soup to nuts 'over the course of two or three years everything but the frame got replaced' parts list is more than a bit silly for a walmart bike that has even less promise than the aluminum comp, but it is a thing I have questions about so in the pile of words it goes.

As for 'you kep missing' No... I have gotten it rather clear people don't want me here. I have gotten a couple private messages that are helpful, yours included. However between one of the site admins making parting shots remarks after the thread I originally started got closed, the general out the gate dismissive derisive and hostiel tone, and people's willingness to make excuses for that out the gate hostility? Don't besurprised at people treating that as a sign people don't want to help and thus are unwilling to look any deeper at the potential knowledge pool behind the bile.

As for 'smart vs throw money at the problem.' See above. I don't know which is good and which is not and i have seen conflicting points of view on 'this is essential even for a walmart bike.'

Why? I don't believe the thumb shifter will do any more for you than the twist grip on it... unless you don't like the way it feels or it doesn't work well! They're very simple, so that's good and if it moves freely and you can tell when you click into the next gear, you're good as far as the shifter goes.
Mostly it comes down to I don't like constantly having to reposition my right hand, and the fact I literally can't see the little number behind the highly reflective plastic on this specific twistie. It shifts well otherwise. it's not a BAD shifter. Just a matter of prefrence and visibility issues.

Re: fork, you mean SunTour, or SR SunTour. I would not buy a suspension fork - unless a pricey one on an actual mountain bike designed to have one, they add weight and complexity and cost. You have nice 27.5 x 1.75 width tires on this - if you want more trailworthiness, look at some WTB or Maxxis, or Kenda tires with a fatter diameter and maybe some chunkier tread - not so knobby that it'll slow you down a lot on smoother parts, but wider with a bit more bite in loose surfaces. That's a difference worth spending $ on.
OK so prioritize:Spair tubes, lube, tools for adjustments, Seat (maybe,) Grips (these feel pretty bleh right where thumb and rest of hand meet probably would be fine for road use but rattle rattle shake shake right into my hand. UGH,) Tires.

Originally Posted by herzios
If I wanted to improve the riding experience and had $150 to spend, I'd probably spend it on decent clothing (shoes, padded shorts and jacket) or accessories (like a track pump).
I have decent gloves and jackes of varying thicknesses (freaking winter man... OOOF.) Have to wear a hat otherwise sun gets in my face or just too much light from around keeps me from clearly making out what's ahead. Got an eye appointment next mont (assuming no new lockdown.) Hoping whatever's going on is either correctable or compensatable, because being able to see what I'm doing is kinda the big thing i need to worry about. Floor pump sounds like a decent idea since i'm pretty afraid using an air compressor will lead to blown tubes.

Originally Posted by cubewheels
Something you can buy at the cost of $1000 (brand new price) will have quite decent quality already and far better than your current bike.

And just where do you think this money is supposed to come from? What i make tends to get sunk back into living expenses. What i have is what i have, and the local WTS scene is pretty much 'old big box bikes.' Or 'it got left out in a field and is half rusted and missing parts.' I get what you're saying. 'Get a better starting point and thigns go a lot smoother.' I really do, but it's looking more and more as a hobby 'this demands a lot of money or nobody will bother giving advice without a triple helping of snark and shade.' I'm going to be lucky to save up to have a couple hundred bucks come summer. I can ask relatives for help here and there. Maybe run grab a few spare tubes, here this is the sort of grease i need, can I use your shop, etc... but there is a line between 'favor for favor' and 'take people around me for a ride.' Sure i could weedle and borow and hussle til I get your to me mythic thousand dollar starting point, but at that point I have burnt every ounce of good will around me. Then there is the fact I may be looking at eye surgery in a couple months if what's going on is what i think is going on (cateracts on top of my already horrifically bad vision which would be an upgrade at this point and would still leave me unable to drive,) and insurance covers an insultingly little part of eye care of any sort (my glasses cost close to a thousand bucks, and I have to swap those out every two years plus eye appointments, any assistive technology I need, and so forth piles up in a hurry. Eyesight or bike. PICK ONE.)

Originally Posted by phil_gretz
There is nothing wrong with the bicycle that you have. Keep the tires aired up. Lubricate the chain and wipe it occasionally. It looks to me like this bike will be fine for the riding that you've described. Simply ride it and enjoy the out of doors.
See. i like that you're taking a to me realisitc 'well that's what you have and what you're describing doens't sound beyond the bike's means.' I'd come in wondering 'yea but is there anything that could make it any better?' Because everything can be made better than it is. It's just a matter of 'is it worth any associated costs?'

Originally Posted by mack+turtle
no one is telling you things you don't want to hear because we are snobs or for some personal reason. it's because-
The rest is irrelevant. You lot chose to intially come at me tooth and claw. Your mods chose to come in after the last thread locked to take parting shots at me specifically in spite of the welcome i got resembling gettign shoved into a quissinart face first. Your folksy story of 'oh we've seen this play out' Does not excuse being a pile of jerks to the new guy going 'this is what i have. this is what I want to use it for.'

I will freely admit walmart bikes are... well... I'm not sam pilgrim. I'm not insane enough to take a walmart bike to whistler and I'm sure as heck not skilled enough to survive such a hypothetical trip. Had I come in 'Yeeaaa braaah ready to do sick whales and jumps with this thang!' then yea, a bit of snark is appropriate.

For everyone whining about 'my' poor attitude: You had every chance to keep your hand in the cheeto bag and not respond, yet you decided to open your mouth. You and the snot nose who literally went +1 behind you.

Originally Posted by rustystrings61
lots of reasonable advice
You. i like you.

There were more and a lot in the tail end actually had some solid advice.

I honestly do wonder what 'complete teardown and rebuild' could do, but I view that as something to tackle after everything else locally has been taken care of, and maybe someone with better eyes than mine to help with fiddly parts and bearings. I do have hopes to at least get in better condition so if I end up in a financial spot to buy better, I will be enough person for the bike. Or I could be blind in five years and have zero useful vision for navigation. either could happen.

Till then. Ride on I guess.


Back freewheel is a 14 - 28 tooth.
Deraileur is a Shemano Rd-tz 31
BlindGuyRides is offline  
Old 12-19-20, 02:57 PM
Senior Member
indyfabz's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 33,751
Mentioned: 202 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15323 Post(s)
Liked 9,088 Times in 4,491 Posts
“+1” is a perfectly acceptable way for someone to agree with a post. Don’t like an opinion? You can ignore it. Calling names not an appropriate response.

Time to update the iggy list.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 12-19-20, 03:03 PM
Senior Member
badger1's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Southwestern Ontario
Posts: 4,609
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1264 Post(s)
Liked 552 Times in 310 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
“+1” is a perfectly acceptable way for someone to agree with a post. Don’t like an opinion? You can ignore it. Calling names not an appropriate response.

Time to update the iggy list.
badger1 is offline  
Old 12-19-20, 03:05 PM
Senior Member
Maelochs's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 13,580

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2017 Workswell 093, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 143 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6588 Post(s)
Liked 1,750 Times in 952 Posts
Dude .... the amount of self-pity and passive aggression ....


No one said anything bad about you.

A lot of people have said ---and this particularly matters since you don't have any money, as you keep reminding us----DON'T SPEND MONEY ON THS BIKE.

As I said in the other thread .... you can Not spend on anything but consumables---tires, eventually cables, maybe brake shoes (could be a Long time to wear out a set of brake shoes) and otherwise just ride the snot out of your bike.

You don't need a new derailleur (which by the way, has nothing to do with your gearing. it is just a chain-mover---your gearing is a matter of how many teeth on the cogs and the chain rings.) You don't need a new bottom bracket. You don't need a new headset. You need to ride your bike.

You did say you wanted to do stuff to your bike because your buddies modify their trucks, which indicates some discretionary income ... . but when people advise you to Save, not Spend that discretionary income to invest in a better bike, you get outraged.

You know, pretty much everyone who has responded has been friendly and tried their best to be helpful ... and you post these 22-paragraph rants complaining about it all. Not a winning strategy.

And when I started, I started with bikes from the trash .... so don't call me a snob.

Simply stated even though I and a huge number of people have already said it--- your best course of action is to Ride the bike, not to add stuff to it,. You have never built a bike from scratch---plenty of us have. Plenty of us know how much parts cost, and how costs add up quickly. And a lot of us know what makes for wise investments, whether you have ten dollars of ten thousand to invest.

Maintain your Huffy. Ride it as much as you can. Don't buy anything which doesn't wear out.

After you fully lube everything, keep everything tight which needs to be tight. pay particular attention to the spokes---cheap wheel can fail for seemingly no reason, loosen up and start popping spokes out of nowhere. But a new set of decent wheels would cost as much or more than your whole bike----see why nobody is suggesting an upgrade?

You can ride that bike for years if you don't abuse it and do maintain it. or, the bike might just fail for no apparent reason---I have had bad luck with Huffy quality (others have had good luck.) Either way---you need to ride it if it is going to make sense to own it.

I suggest eventually going to BikesDirect---I don't work there ort know anyone who does, but it is the best place I have found to get low-budget bikes which are reliable and reasonably well-built. (https://www.bikesdirect.com/) I'd suggest something without suspension.

I am sure you are checking out YouTube videos. After a while you will know enough to be able to safely shop for used bikes---maybe it will be a year from now, but seriously----people often sell late '80s to early 2000s rigid MTBs for next to mothing and those tend to be indestructible.

Listen up---I Have been There. I rode from early childhood to late teens, then for various reasons stopped for a couple years. When I started again I was broke, had little or shaky income, and needed to go further than I could walk in an hour to get jobs. i started with a borrowed bike, and then started picking trash. I have ridden Every cheap bike, or parts of several of them combined. I don't look down at people's bikes because I Know that if the bike takes you from where you are to where you want to be it is a great bike.

However, I have also broke down and had to walk long distances carrying heavy loads and then had to get another bike in shape to ride back to work the next day. I have been hit with every kind of failure---and I learned that beyond a certain price point, every part of the bike is just a little better---better enough that the bikes Don't break down just because you ride them a lot with full saddlebags every day.

Others have learned the same.

if you shout at people who are trying to help you, pretty soon people will stop. And if you assume that everyone who tells you something you don't want to hear is an enemy, pretty soon you will be all alone in a fantasy world with an unfixable bike and a lot of useless new parts.

No one is saying you have to learn from the mistakes of others. By all means, make those same silly mistakes. Waste your precious money. Do without a bike because you spent all your hard-earned savings on a new wheel, and the chain stay cracked. Or the headset loosened up an ovalized the crappy head tube in a single ride. Or the BB seized, and when you pulled it half the threads ripped out of the crappy bottom-bracket shell. Those are all terminal damages ... and things which happen with really cheap bikes. But---they Might not happen to you. You might ride your bike for the rest of your life. I hope so. Still ... this is stuff which ahs happened to me and others.

No one here hates you or wants you to leave. We want you to enjoy riding for as long as You want to. But id you Ask for Advice, and then pee on the people who try to advise you .... man, it is a rough row you are going to need to hoe.

Ride that bike and like it .... if you want. or whatever you want. get upset by other posters, if you want. Whatever.

I hold no ill will toward you.

By the way .... Shimano.... Tourney-class rear derailleur. https://bike.shimano.com/en-US/produ...TZ31-A-GS.html Nothing wrong with it. Might need to be adjusted more frequently than a more expensive model, but otherwise not a thing wrong with it.
Maelochs is offline  
Likes For Maelochs:
Old 12-19-20, 03:42 PM
Siu Blue Wind
Siu Blue Wind's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 13,404
Mentioned: 55 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2269 Post(s)
Liked 1,024 Times in 657 Posts
Okay you guys go ride your bikes.

Too much to clean up here. Please follow the guidelines and rules for this forum.

Thread closed.
Originally Posted by making View Post
Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
Siu Blue Wind is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.