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Maybe bike shops should sell inexpensive bikes

Old 04-08-08, 12:39 PM
  #126  
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My friend and I (a great mechanic) had discussed opening a shop here to cater primarily to commuters and utilitarian riders as that is a market that the local shops don't really serve very well.

If you want to mountain bike or ride high end road bikes then there are plenty of shops that will take your dollar but the selection of commuter friendly / commuter specific bikes is pretty thin and many of those are quite pricey ie. Batavus when they are basically, very simple bikes.

Being able to provide a simple high quality bike at a good price was one of our main topics of conversation.
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Old 04-08-08, 01:45 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
My friend and I (a great mechanic) had discussed opening a shop here to cater primarily to commuters and utilitarian riders as that is a market that the local shops don't really serve very well.

If you want to mountain bike or ride high end road bikes then there are plenty of shops that will take your dollar but the selection of commuter friendly / commuter specific bikes is pretty thin and many of those are quite pricey ie. Batavus when they are basically, very simple bikes.

Being able to provide a simple high quality bike at a good price was one of our main topics of conversation.
Some of the new Schwinn's like the Coffee seem to be heading that way (reinventing the Raleigh 3-speed)...

I sort of wonder how Mellow Johnny's is doing down in Austin. Have they opened yet? What are they carrying?
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Old 04-11-08, 05:42 PM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by WalterMitty View Post
Don't get me wrong, I too would like Porsche to produce a car at a Cobalt price point so I could enjoy German engineering at a Chevrolet price, but I digress.
Saturn Astra
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Old 04-11-08, 05:46 PM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by coldfeet View Post
Actually, the Cobalt was a Daewoo, which was a Vauxhall/Opel, so... You are getting German engineering at at a Chevy price, the engine is domestic, but that isn't all that bad. It's way better than the Cavalier.
The Cobalt is not a Daewoo. the Cobalt is completely US designed and built
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Old 04-11-08, 06:35 PM
  #130  
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I'm glad this thread made it to 6 pages.
Regarding the profit margins- I'm hoping that the manufacturers would make bikes that are slightly less expensive so LBS margins are still OK.
A $100 XMart bike will easily last as long as a $1000 LBS bike, the $1000 bike will be more comfortable and better to ride though.
$200-$250US is really the number I'd like to see, rigid frame and fork, 7 speed gears, comfy seat
The Schwinn Sierra 7 is a good start at $250
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Old 04-11-08, 07:08 PM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by davidsky View Post
A $100 XMart bike will easily last as long as a $1000 LBS bike,
WRONG. Worked on bikes for fourteen years, ridden bikes for 30+ years, owned department store bikes and bike shop bikes. Under the same conditions, a brand bike will outlast the Xmart bike every time. There is no durability comparison.
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Old 04-11-08, 08:02 PM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by akatsuki View Post
Some of the new Schwinn's like the Coffee seem to be heading that way (reinventing the Raleigh 3-speed)...

I sort of wonder how Mellow Johnny's is doing down in Austin. Have they opened yet? What are they carrying?
I think the shop opens in May. I'll be down there in late May and then again at the end of June.

I'm very interested in how it all comes together. It sounds pretty exciting.
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Old 04-11-08, 08:39 PM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by davidsky View Post
The Cobalt is not a Daewoo. the Cobalt is completely US designed and built
Apologies, you are correct. It's the GM delta platform. ( AKA Saturn Ion ) However, control of the platform has been in the hands of GM Europe ( Opel ) since 2005, which probably explains why I was so impressed with the Cobalt I rented last year.
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Old 04-11-08, 09:47 PM
  #134  
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Maybe someone will start a bicycle manufacturing sweatshop in a bottom of the barrel third world country, so we can buy sub-20$ bicycles!
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Old 04-12-08, 10:14 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck View Post
WRONG.
Walmart bikes can last just as long.

All bicycles will require maintenance and any bicycle can really last forever if you keep replacing parts in it and it doesn't matter what brand. There isn't a part you can't replace in a bicycle, so really, **ANY** bike can last forever unless it's wrecked beyond belief like ran over by a tractor trailer.

With a few simple tools and a little bit of common sense, you can do all your own repairs & replacements real easy.

The idea is to get people to ride... regardless if you buy at LBS, Walmart, Salvation Army, or get a freebie from the dump.

And to those who think that buying an expensive will keep you riding, just go to craigslist and you'll see tons and tons of high priced bikes that people are selling off for pennies on the dollar because they no longer ride them.
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Old 04-12-08, 11:25 PM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
Walmart bikes can last just as long.
Any bicycle mechanic can tell you this is false. The components are crap.

Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
All bicycles will require maintenance and any bicycle can really last forever if you keep replacing parts in it and it doesn't matter what brand. There isn't a part you can't replace in a bicycle, so really, **ANY** bike can last forever unless it's wrecked beyond belief like ran over by a tractor trailer.
You could hang quality components on a POS boat anchor frame and it will still be a POS boat anchor frame. I hate to be the one to break this to you. An LBS bike that comes with Sora or Alivio will last longer than a Walmart bike with plastic no-name components. This is common sense.

Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
With a few simple tools and a little bit of common sense, you can do all your own repairs & replacements real easy.
Wow, that's actually true.

Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
The idea is to get people to ride... regardless if you buy at LBS, Walmart, Salvation Army, or get a freebie from the dump.
Hopefully, they'll buy something good enough initially that they won't be turned-off by the entire experience.

Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
And to those who think that buying an expensive will keep you riding, just go to craigslist and you'll see tons and tons of high priced bikes that people are selling off for pennies on the dollar because they no longer ride them.
This is yet another example of your intellectual dishonesty. There is a resale market for everything, without it being a reflection on it's quality. I go to Craigslist and find a lot more Volvos than Yugos, so what does that say as far as quality is concerned? Also, what is the resale value on a Trek or Giant as opposed to a Next or Mongoose?

--------------------
It's adorable that you've found your niche here on Bikeforums as being the guy who likes Walmart bikes, good for you. the observation that bike shops are filled with quality bikes needing things done to them as being anyway relevant to the quality of your Wally-World bike is sheer stupidity on your part, and that's as nice as I can be. It's simply not at all a logical conclusion to make. I go to good mechanics and see good cars being worked on, it doesn't make my functioning Yugo any more worthwhile.
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Old 04-12-08, 11:28 PM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
Walmart bikes can last just as long.

All bicycles will require maintenance and any bicycle can really last forever if you keep replacing parts in it and it doesn't matter what brand. There isn't a part you can't replace in a bicycle, so really, **ANY** bike can last forever unless it's wrecked beyond belief like ran over by a tractor trailer.

With a few simple tools and a little bit of common sense, you can do all your own repairs & replacements real easy.

The idea is to get people to ride... regardless if you buy at LBS, Walmart, Salvation Army, or get a freebie from the dump.

And to those who think that buying an expensive will keep you riding, just go to craigslist and you'll see tons and tons of high priced bikes that people are selling off for pennies on the dollar because they no longer ride them.
Believe me, I'm searching on craigslist all the time, here locally, it's full of big box store bikes that are practically brand new,(have to be since older big box bikes are too cheap to sell online and usually not worth the time) and when I do see a high dollar bike that'll fit me, it's gone before I can buy it. You can buy big box store bikes all you want, as I said in earlier posts, my family and I are done purchasing big box store bikes due to poor quality/fit and high pedal effort. The big box stores are cutting corners on the bikes they sell in order to keep the prices low, a great example was a 200 dollar Monoose mountain bike we purchased at a big box store, the front suspension toasted out in less than a year, and the front suspension on my LBS bike is still like new after 5 years. Sure you can fix big box bikes, but over a period of a few years, how much did you really save?
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Old 04-13-08, 08:28 PM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by LBS KrisPistofferson View Post
Any bicycle mechanic can tell you this is false. The components are crap.
Mechanics have a financial interest in non-Walmart bikes so it's not like their opinion holds a lot of weight. Sorry, LBS makes a good chunk of their money repairing their own bikes & don't lie and say otherwise.

But what I find strange is that you see many people riding Walmart bikes without a problem with put one in the hands of a LBS mechanic or LBS bike rider and everyone of them says they fall apart almost right away! Amazing! I can go down here to the chicken plant and see over 100 bicycles being used for commuting and everyone of them a Xmart bike. But yet, the experts can't ride a Xmart bike more than few miles before they "fall apart". Amazingly bad luck I guess.

Personally, if you are a bike mechanic and you can't keep a Walmart bike in good running condition, no one should trust you to fix a more expensive bike.

you can search 1000s of postings on bikeforums.net Bicycle Mechanics subforum about suspension questions and other failures of more expensive bikes. So don't give this crap that they don't break down. They do.

An LBS does serve a purpose if you need a speedy road bike or want to feel trendy and fit in with other like minded people. But if you are in the majority and simple ride a bicycle for fun and exercise, a Walmart bike will do the job well.
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Old 04-13-08, 08:43 PM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
Walmart bikes can last just as long.

All bicycles will require maintenance and any bicycle can really last forever if you keep replacing parts in it and it doesn't matter what brand. There isn't a part you can't replace in a bicycle, so really, **ANY** bike can last forever unless it's wrecked beyond belief like ran over by a tractor trailer.

With a few simple tools and a little bit of common sense, you can do all your own repairs & replacements real easy.

The idea is to get people to ride... regardless if you buy at LBS, Walmart, Salvation Army, or get a freebie from the dump.

And to those who think that buying an expensive will keep you riding, just go to craigslist and you'll see tons and tons of high priced bikes that people are selling off for pennies on the dollar because they no longer ride them.
When you spend a decade maintaining all kinds of bikes, for all kinds of people, your opinion will have some validity(Meaning perform thousands of repairs on all kinds of bikes, like I have done, to base your opinion). Xmart bikes cannot handle the miles even a cheap LBS bike can with out much more maintenance. I have owned cheap bikes and nice bikes, they do not compare. I am not talking about replacing every part as part of keeping a bike. Example: Xmart bike the suspension fork will not be working within two years(Not even that long if it ever gets wet) I still see Mag21s that work and Rockshox quit making the fork in '93)

They are also less enjoyable to ride. One of your arguements for ****ty bikes is to get people on bikes. Bicycle Retailer did a study on riding habits and it showed that Xmart buyers put less than sixty miles on their bike and then quit riding.

As for finding "new" LBS bikes on Craigslist for pennies on the dollar, pure bull****. Yes you will see older(much older) LBS bikes on Craigslist for far less than they sold for when new but they are much used and still go for decent money(More than a new similar Xmart bike). When a newer LBS bike goes up for sale on CR(and it is not stolen) they go for 50-75% of new price.
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Old 04-13-08, 09:14 PM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
Mechanics have a financial interest in non-Walmart bikes so it's not like their opinion holds a lot of weight. Sorry, LBS makes a good chunk of their money repairing their own bikes & don't lie and say otherwise.

But what I find strange is that you see many people riding Walmart bikes without a problem with put one in the hands of a LBS mechanic or LBS bike rider and everyone of them says they fall apart almost right away! Amazing! I can go down here to the chicken plant and see over 100 bicycles being used for commuting and everyone of them a Xmart bike. But yet, the experts can't ride a Xmart bike more than few miles before they "fall apart". Amazingly bad luck I guess.

Personally, if you are a bike mechanic and you can't keep a Walmart bike in good running condition, no one should trust you to fix a more expensive bike.

you can search 1000s of postings on bikeforums.net Bicycle Mechanics subforum about suspension questions and other failures of more expensive bikes. So don't give this crap that they don't break down. They do.

An LBS does serve a purpose if you need a speedy road bike or want to feel trendy and fit in with other like minded people. But if you are in the majority and simple ride a bicycle for fun and exercise, a Walmart bike will do the job well.
We get it, you're a troll. Have a nice day.
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Old 04-13-08, 10:05 PM
  #141  
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There are a ton of Xmart bikes being used by delivery people here in NYC, and they are old as hell and treated like crap. Can't really say their durability is all that bad. As for their quality and comfort, who the hell knows.
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Old 04-13-08, 10:38 PM
  #142  
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Well lets see some high mileage Xmart bikes

Here is a high mileage bike shop bike. Except for many changes in rubber(tires, tubes, brake pads), it has only had a couple of chains, two cassettes, and big/middle chain ring swap. The stem was swapped once for position change. The bike is a '94 but was set up in '95 with the parts pictured. It was raced for a couple of seasons, trained on, used as a commuter bike, was used for competition trials, raced off and on for several more years, used for urban(trials) fun riding and is now a grocery bike(hence the skinny rubber) I have no idea how many miles are on it, even at a very conservative 500 a year it would be 6500(It is likely higher, this was my main transport for about two years and it often saw 150 miles a week.)Edit: I did change the bottle cage because I bent the old one in a crash during a race)
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Old 04-13-08, 10:40 PM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck View Post
As for finding "new" LBS bikes on Craigslist for pennies on the dollar, pure bull****. Yes you will see older(much older) LBS bikes on Craigslist for far less than they sold for when new but they are much used and still go for decent money(More than a new similar Xmart bike). When a newer LBS bike goes up for sale on CR(and it is not stolen) they go for 50-75% of new price.
I agree... Before buying my new bike I tried to go that route. I think I found one like super high end Specialized that was going for major bucks. Every single other bike (and i checked for a couple months) was a Mongoose or other BS Xmart brand. And all are like "This is a high end bike!" I felt like e-mailing saying I know you got that thing at Toys R us for $200! I gave up!
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Old 04-13-08, 10:42 PM
  #144  
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That seatpost is hurting my brain.
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Old 04-14-08, 10:06 AM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
That seatpost is hurting my brain.
I agree; it looks horribly uncomfortable; You'd be riding with your a@@ in the air and your head at the level of your knees. And if you are male, something would be pinched and squeezed that ought not to be pinched or squeezed.
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Old 04-14-08, 10:57 AM
  #146  
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Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
Mechanics have a financial interest in non-Walmart bikes so it's not like their opinion holds a lot of weight. Sorry, LBS makes a good chunk of their money repairing their own bikes & don't lie and say otherwise.
True they do repairs, and what is wrong with making a living?

Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
But what I find strange is that you see many people riding Walmart bikes without a problem with put one in the hands of a LBS mechanic or LBS bike rider and everyone of them says they fall apart almost right away! Amazing! I can go down here to the chicken plant and see over 100 bicycles being used for commuting and everyone of them a Xmart bike. But yet, the experts can't ride a Xmart bike more than few miles before they "fall apart". Amazingly bad luck I guess.
And how many of those bikes have fully usable gears and brakes? And how are they ridden? Most of the ones I see are ridden on sidewalks and at low speeds, quite often they are stopped fred flinstone style. Yes I see them at the local plants too.

Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
Personally, if you are a bike mechanic and you can't keep a Walmart bike in good running condition, no one should trust you to fix a more expensive bike.
Personally I think this is a load of crap. If a component breaks or strips while I am attempting to adjust it, what am I supposed to do? Replace it with a more expensive one gratis? FWIW I have wrenched on my own bikes and others for over 30 years. The current crop of xmart stuff is pure junk. I have attempted to adjust dérailleurs where the stop screws were stripped, cable stop screws were stripped, etc. These were almost new or brand new bikes.

Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
you can search 1000s of postings on bikeforums.net Bicycle Mechanics subforum about suspension questions and other failures of more expensive bikes. So don't give this crap that they don't break down. They do
.
Yep and they have probably been ridden a lot harder and further than the typical xmart bike.

Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
An LBS does serve a purpose if you need a speedy road bike or want to feel trendy and fit in with other like minded people. But if you are in the majority and simple ride a bicycle for fun and exercise, a Walmart bike will do the job well.
I ride bikes for fun, exercise and to get places (ie;commute) if the bike breaks down and I don't get where I am going I get pissed, and probably lose money. FWIW I own a Walmart Huffy(along with quite a few LBS bikes), it was purchased for me to ride around at the industrial plant where I am currently on contract. Due to the corrosive atmosphere I chose NOT to have one of my good bikes down here. It is a POS, the rear wheel trashed after 2 weeks on site. I took the bike back...guess what? No replacement bike available, they were quite unwilling to provide me with another wheel from a different bike. All they wanted to do was refund my money, which would have left me without a bike. Fortunately the District Manager happened to be on site and asked what I wanted to be satisfied...give me a similar wheel! FWIW this bike gets ridden about 3-5 miles a day on concrete or gravel surfaces. Think I would have had this problem with an LBS bike? I think not.

For dependability and proper fit I will take an LBS bike any day of the week PERIOD! The quality of the xmart bike of today and the xmart bike of 10 years ago is a world apart...today's are worse in most cases.

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Old 04-14-08, 11:04 AM
  #147  
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[QUOTE=wahoonc;6516853

Personally I think this is a load of crap. If a component breaks or strips while I am attempting to adjust it, what am I supposed to do? Replace it with a more expensive one gratis? FWIW I have wrenched on my own bikes and others for over 30 years. The current crop of xmart stuff is pure junk. I have attempted to adjust dérailleurs where the stop screws were stripped, cable stop screws were stripped, etc. These were almost new or brand new bikes.


(snip)

For dependability and proper fit I will take an LBS bike any day of the week PERIOD! The quality of the xmart bike of today and the xmart bike of 10 years ago is a world apart...today's are worse in most cases.

Aaron[/QUOTE]

IMHO, your typical X-Mart bike isn't really a bicycle, it is a bicycle-shaped piece of scrap metal.
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Old 04-14-08, 11:07 AM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by KrisPistofferson View Post
That seatpost is hurting my brain.

It is not as bad as it looks, the camera was in macro and it "bent" the image. It is pretty comfortable, tho the seat is higher than the handlebar.
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Old 04-14-08, 01:41 PM
  #149  
Elkhound
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck View Post
It is not as bad as it looks, the camera was in macro and it "bent" the image. It is pretty comfortable, tho the seat is higher than the handlebar.
I'll take your word for it.
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Old 04-14-08, 02:17 PM
  #150  
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A couple years ago a roommate of mine was given a mongoose mtb for his birthday, and he was really excited to come biking with me and our one other roommate. He was ready to bike to work, too, because it was only a little over a mile away. His excitment turned to disappointment very quickly.

Even brand new the wheels were way out of true, and of course the brakes were terrible and loud. He stopped riding the bike after a couple months because it was slow and he never felt safe on it. We lived in a hilly town and we were all scared to death that the brakes were gonna fail on that POS. We even gave it a full tune up right away and everything went out of whack in a month. It would either throw the chain constantly or you had to adjust it so you couldn't use the smallest chainring or cog. It was so much work to keep it in good riding condition and he was pissed about it. Even my ten year old huffy loaner bike (which also sucked) was way better than that brand new bike. I couldn't believe that some place could sell a bike brand new that was that much worse than the huffy I wouldn't touch once I got my Jamis. They paid 200 for the mongoose at wallmart, and I paid 350 for the jamis at the LBS. I got free tune ups for a year and had someone I could talk to face to face. I was still pretty new to bikes and bike maintenance, and the guys at the LBS were willing to sit me down and teach me what I needed to know to keep the bike going for a long time.

LBS vs Xmart? that's a pretty silly question.
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