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Maybe bike shops should sell inexpensive bikes

Old 04-14-08, 08:17 PM
  #151  
gpsblake
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Originally Posted by akatsuki View Post
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.
Exactly, and by far the biggest bike riding country in the world is China and I doubt if 1 out of 100,000 bicycles over there is a LBS brand bicycle.

Originally Posted by wahoonc
True they do repairs, and what is wrong with making a living?
Nothing at all.

But all the LBS trolls in here keep on insisting that Walmart bikes are breaking down everyday while LBS never break down. The LBS repair shops show otherwise, the higher priced bikes break down and require maintenance all the time and there quite often is a waiting list in order to get the higher priced bike repaired at a good LBS.

Look, I have nothing against LBS, but I do despite the downright hatred that LBS supremacist have against Walmart bike riders. I've ridden my Walmart bike 500 miles over the past 31 days, all without problem except for a flat. I've maybe spent a half an hour in maintenance work on it.

An LBS does serve a purpose, if you want a speedy road bike, a recumbent or can't do simple adjustments, then you should patronize a LBS. One day, I'm going to splurge on a bent and it will probably be bought at an LBS. Maybe my 2009 bike will be a bent, we'll see.

There is one other thing I have noticed, when I use a bike path, I've noticed the more expensive the bicycle, the more supremacist the attitude of the rider. The department store bikes on the path (families for example) seem to be happy without a worry in the world while the ultra-light roadies dressed like Armstrong wannabes don't even wave or take their eyes off their cyclometers.

Originally Posted by Elkhard
IMHO, your typical X-Mart bike isn't really a bicycle, it is a bicycle-shaped piece of scrap metal.
Like I said, typical LBS supremacist attitude. And yes, I use the word supremacist. It's these supremacist that do more to turn more people off to bicycling for fun than anything else out there.
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Old 04-14-08, 08:44 PM
  #152  
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Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
But all the LBS trolls in here keep on insisting that Walmart bikes are breaking down everyday while LBS never break down. The LBS repair shops show otherwise, the higher priced bikes break down and require maintenance all the time and there quite often is a waiting list in order to get the higher priced bike repaired at a good LBS.

That's unfair and inaccurate comment. It's not what people in this thread are saying at all!


Sure, there are some quite offensive comments at times, which are rudely scathing in their nature, but those should be ignored in the same way rude comments are ignored by decent people no matter what the topic of discussion. But the bulk of comment in this thread has suggest that 'Walmart' bikes are more likely to break down, and that LBS bikes are more likely to be taken in for the service they deserve and need. Those comments and suggestions are quite true.

Chain store 'generic' type bicycles are built to less exacting standards than 'brand name' bicycles. the parts used are of lower standard, and the attention to detail in quality of assembly is not as high. They also don't come accompanied by a 'free after sales service' policy the way LBS bikes do. Even those 'Walmart' purchasers who have the necessary skills and dedication to service their own bikes will be likely to find wheels buckling, bearings failing and gears functioning incorrectly long before LBS purchasers do.

You are wrong to suggest that LBS proponents in this thread are 'trolling' with comments about 'Walmart bikes' breaking down on a daily basis. That's not what they're saying at all, and your own comments are little better than trollage.


I know lots and lots of people who ride 'Walmart' type bikes, and do so quite happily, commuting to work or whatever. I also know lots and lots of people who've purchased them and tried doing a bit of taxing riding only to find them inadequate or broken down afterwards. A young couple I know, for example, a couple of weeks ago purchased new bikes in order to go riding with their children. They purchased the 'more expensive' bike on offer at KMart, thinkiing they'd get acceptable quality. After their first ride along rail trails the rear wheels were buckled so badly that the bikes were no longer ridable! There are heaps and heaps of instances of this type of experience to be found, if a person bothers to look for them. Better 'brand name' quality bikes DO NOT suffer so badly!
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Old 04-14-08, 09:28 PM
  #153  
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Originally Posted by Catweazle View Post
A young couple I know, for example, a couple of weeks ago purchased new bikes in order to go riding with their children. They purchased the 'more expensive' bike on offer at KMart, thinkiing they'd get acceptable quality. After their first ride along rail trails the rear wheels were buckled so badly that the bikes were no longer ridable! There are heaps and heaps of instances of this type of experience to be found, if a person bothers to look for them. Better 'brand name' quality bikes DO NOT suffer so badly!
This comment, and TheKingFiphten's above, multiplied by a few thousand give one a very poor impression of discount store/department store bikes. If the stores even had service departments, as Sears and Wards did once upon a time it would be something.

My handyman bought a Mongoose from K-Mart a couple of years ago, and within six months it was unrideable. I took it to the LBS, telling him that he could work off the bill, but they could do almost nothing with it--there was just nothing to work with but the frame, and even that was bent and cracked. Just good for scrap metal.

As I said before, the problem with cycling in this area is that there is nothing in between the LBS's that cater to a relatively high-end market and the bicycle-shaped hunks of scrap metal one gets at K-Mart, WalMart, and the like. Now, in other places, I understand, there are middle-grade shops, or LBS's that are large enough to offer a wider range of product (our LBS is just physically too small to stock a wide range.)
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Old 04-14-08, 09:47 PM
  #154  
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Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
My handyman bought a Mongoose from K-Mart a couple of years ago, and within six months it was unrideable. I took it to the LBS, telling him that he could work off the bill, but they could do almost nothing with it--there was just nothing to work with but the frame, and even that was bent and cracked. Just good for scrap metal.
I believe that if even the frame ends up cracked and bent then the bike has been mistreated. Yes, even if it's a chain store 'cheapie'! By and large, I believe that it's predominately wheels and gears that are the main concern with chain store cheapies. I don't subscribe to the "Rah, rah, rah, suspension forks! You need LBS solid!" line of thinking. The stuff included on 'got the lot' chain store cheapies is adequate enough for the folk who simply want to trundle along and enjoy themselves. They carry "not for offroad use" stickers and that's fair enough warning, but people should at least be able to expect that the wheels won't buckle at the first bump, and that the gears will change reliably after the cables have settled in and been adjusted.

LBS isn't the answer to everything. People shop at 'X-Mart' because that's where people shop. It wouldn't cost much extra to have better wheels and gears included on those things, and campaigning for that rather than condemning the purchasers is where people's attention should be directed, IMO.


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Old 04-14-08, 10:15 PM
  #155  
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What really killed me was when I was in welding school, and people would bring in K-Mart bikes that had cracked frames for us to attempt to fix. It's hard enough to weld good quality flat stock aluminum, but that Chinese crap metal just melts or gets holes blown through when you attempt anything with it. People would huff and puff when we couldn't do anything, but shoot, it was free, and if you were paying a welder it would probably cost more than the bike itself. I'm fairly amazed by the cognitive dissonance that goes into people's decision to buy goods of extrememly low quality. I'm not advocating everyone get a Rolex, but $5 watches that only last a month before turning green and/or breaking are just foolish to buy.
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Old 04-14-08, 11:09 PM
  #156  
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Did, though, the experience of seeing some K-Mart bikes with cracked frames somehow convince you that it is inevitable that K-Mart bikes will end up with cracked frames? That'd be a rather strange exercise in logic, surely?

There's a cheapest of cheap 'Roadstar' bike sitting out in back of my shed, that saw many years of use without the slightest sign of such problems. Wheels are buckled and the gears aren't even worth TRYING to repair, but the frame ain't broken! It never got abused.
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Old 04-14-08, 11:23 PM
  #157  
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Originally Posted by Catweazle View Post
Did, though, the experience of seeing some K-Mart bikes with cracked frames somehow convince you that it is inevitable that K-Mart bikes will end up with cracked frames? That'd be a rather strange exercise in logic, surely?
No, not at all, but it reinforced what I already knew from riding for many years, that they were of the lowest tier of quality, were certainly more likely to break, from less use, and even if they didn't they would still be boat anchors. Also, if a person actually expected anything to have dual suspension and 27 gears for $100, they must also learn to expect to have nothing but problems with it.

Another problem is that it leads to the general buying public finding the price of a decent, non-disposable bike as inordinately expensive, which it's not. This is unfortunate.
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Old 04-15-08, 12:24 AM
  #158  
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Those considerations I definitely endorse, with the exception of the 'boat anchor' comment. Quite a lot will end up having that status, but definitely not all and probably not even 'most'.

I've only really persisted in this topic to confront the rather ridiculous claims that somehow 'WalMart' bikes don't experience problems that LBS bikes do. The chainstore bikes are most definitely of lesser quality.
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Old 04-15-08, 12:28 AM
  #159  
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Well, my LHT might be considered a "boat anchor" to some on this message board that ride carbon fiber and such, but I can still hang quality parts on it without feeling ashamed.
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Old 04-15-08, 12:35 AM
  #160  
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This would be a moot point if the big-box stores were still selling the quality they had 7 years ago! Talk about falling off the quality cliff!
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Old 04-15-08, 12:40 AM
  #161  
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My $400 Avanti hybrid would be considered one too, by some, but it cost way less than theirs, lifts its leg at any chain store special ever sold, carts me all over the countryside, and I couldn't give a **** what anybody thinks of it!

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Old 04-15-08, 06:35 AM
  #162  
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Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
Exactly, and by far the biggest bike riding country in the world is China and I doubt if 1 out of 100,000 bicycles over there is a LBS brand bicycle.
Yes, they are riding 50 pound (if it's an ounce) Flying Pigeons that probably stop better if you dragged your feet rather than using the brakes. No one gets anywhere quickly on those things. If you want confirmation, see a Bicycling article from about 2 years ago...

But all the LBS trolls in here keep on insisting that Walmart bikes are breaking down everyday while LBS never break down. The LBS repair shops show otherwise, the higher priced bikes break down and require maintenance all the time and there quite often is a waiting list in order to get the higher priced bike repaired at a good LBS.

Look, I have nothing against LBS, but I do despite the downright hatred that LBS supremacist have against Walmart bike riders. I've ridden my Walmart bike 500 miles over the past 31 days, all without problem except for a flat. I've maybe spent a half an hour in maintenance work on it.

An LBS does serve a purpose, if you want a speedy road bike, a recumbent or can't do simple adjustments, then you should patronize a LBS. One day, I'm going to splurge on a bent and it will probably be bought at an LBS. Maybe my 2009 bike will be a bent, we'll see.

There is one other thing I have noticed, when I use a bike path, I've noticed the more expensive the bicycle, the more supremacist the attitude of the rider. The department store bikes on the path (families for example) seem to be happy without a worry in the world while the ultra-light roadies dressed like Armstrong wannabes don't even wave or take their eyes off their cyclometers.

Like I said, typical LBS supremacist attitude. And yes, I use the word supremacist. It's these supremacist that do more to turn more people off to bicycling for fun than anything else out there.
Get back to us after you've ridden for 31 months. Also tell us if you would routinely go downhill at 50 mph on your bike. And you know, sometimes people don't wave because they're too busy trying not to hit your slow butt...
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Old 04-15-08, 07:16 AM
  #163  
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Originally Posted by flatlander_48 View Post
Get back to us after you've ridden for 31 months. Also tell us if you would routinely go downhill at 50 mph on your bike. And you know, sometimes people don't wave because they're too busy trying not to hit your slow butt...
He can't...he gets a new bike every year...because he can

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Old 04-15-08, 07:45 AM
  #164  
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Originally Posted by flatlander_48 View Post
Get back to us after you've ridden for 31 months. Also tell us if you would routinely go downhill at 50 mph on your bike. And you know, sometimes people don't wave because they're too busy trying not to hit your slow butt...
Anything significant about 31 months? Is that the length of time since your bicycling epiphany, or what?

I wouldn't go 50mph on a bicycle downhill, or uphill . But then I also never have gotten "too busy" trying to be so serious about the superiority of my bicycle/bicycling over others'.
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Old 04-15-08, 09:11 AM
  #165  
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I don't see anything wrong with cheap bikes if they work. The old huffy I mentioned in my previous post sucked, but no where near as much as the new bikes pouring out of wallmart. It had crap components, but it was a rigid steel frame. Way heavier than a higher quality frame, but it wasn't going to break on me. With new wheels and breaks, and strip it down to a single speed, that frame would have made a great commuter and lasted for a lot of miles. It would have been a cheap conversion, too, if you put in the time to find decent used parts. People are marketed at to see fancy, dual suspension bikes as what they should buy. There are a lot of cheap steel rigid frames out there that are perfectly adequate for single speed or geared hub commuter bikes, and that's all most people need, anyways. That's all most people would be willing to maintain, too. I just wish there were more bike co-ops, and they were more widely known. They are such a good resource.
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Old 04-15-08, 09:15 AM
  #166  
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Originally Posted by TheKingFiphtin View Post
I just wish there were more bike co-ops, and they were more widely known. They are such a good resource.
From what I have heard, yes. (We haven't one here, yet.)
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Old 04-18-08, 05:07 PM
  #167  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Anything significant about 31 months?
No, completely arbitrary. However, I'm thinking that your riding experience is not likely to be the same after an extended period. Maybe, but I doubt it.

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
I wouldn't go 50mph on a bicycle downhill, or uphill. But then I also never have gotten "too busy" trying to be so serious about the superiority of my bicycle/bicycling over others'.
You're missing one important point. It is highly likely that the people who don't speak to you on the bike paths probably wouldn't talk to you in the grocery store or at the mall either. You're generalizing about bike riders, but I don't think it has much to do with that. If you were a self-absorbed, insensitive SOB before you started riding, bicycling won't make it worse. Could make it better, however...

Let me explain something to you. 50mph downhill on city streets has NOTHING to do with being serious. Actually, it is just the opposite. It's the combination of excitement and terror. Being serious is just not in the picture.
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Old 04-18-08, 06:29 PM
  #168  
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I haven't read the whole thread, so apologies if this has been said.

The amount of spanner work or how long things last aside, when it comes to quality versus low quality all I can say is you need to ride an example of both, they are poles apart. Higher quality bikes ride soooo much better.
If after that you can't tell a difference just carry on riding your bargain bike, that's OK, nothing wrong with that, but some of us can tell a difference, no point in trying to explain you won't understand.

Quality isn't necessarily expensive when time is taken into account, nice bikes last so much longer.

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Old 04-18-08, 06:47 PM
  #169  
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Originally Posted by Freewheeler View Post
Quality isn't necessarily expensive when time is taken into account, nice bikes last so much longer.
Exactly. Between a $500.00 bike that lasts 10 years and a $50.00 bike that lasts six months, which is the better bargain?

Part of the problem, though, is that one must cough up the $500.00 upfront; unlike cars, one can seldom finance a bicycle purchase.
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Old 04-18-08, 07:24 PM
  #170  
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Originally Posted by Elkhound View Post
Part of the problem, though, is that one must cough up the $500.00 upfront; unlike cars, one can seldom finance a bicycle purchase.
you would be surprised. Most shops can offer financing. We offer several plans from ninetydaysameascash up to twelvemonthsnopaymentnointerest. The problm is this is fairly new for the bikeshop and we suck at offering financing(Meaning, letting the customer know that the financing is there and we can easily set it up). I know our shop is not to good at it.
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Old 04-18-08, 08:07 PM
  #171  
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Another major issue IMHO with big box store bikes is the sizing. Yes they will fit a large percentage of the general public but if you need anything other than a Medium you are most likely SOL.

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Old 04-18-08, 08:22 PM
  #172  
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck View Post
you would be surprised. Most shops can offer financing. We offer several plans from ninetydaysameascash up to twelvemonthsnopaymentnointerest. The problm is this is fairly new for the bikeshop and we suck at offering financing(Meaning, letting the customer know that the financing is there and we can easily set it up). I know our shop is not to good at it.
GE Fitness financing? We just started that too. All four applicants have been declined. My guess is a beacon score over 780.
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Old 04-18-08, 08:31 PM
  #173  
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Originally Posted by Rev.Chuck View Post
you would be surprised. Most shops can offer financing. We offer several plans from ninetydaysameascash up to twelvemonthsnopaymentnointerest. The problm is this is fairly new for the bikeshop and we suck at offering financing(Meaning, letting the customer know that the financing is there and we can easily set it up). I know our shop is not to good at it.

I did a layaway on a 500 dollar Trek many years ago, when I couldn't pay for it up front. So far, that's the only time that I did that; I could wait for it since I already had a good commuter at the time, but it was getting time for a better bike.

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Old 04-18-08, 08:47 PM
  #174  
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Originally Posted by flatlander_48 View Post
Let me explain something to you. 50mph downhill on city streets has NOTHING to do with being serious. Actually, it is just the opposite. It's the combination of excitement and terror. Being serious is just not in the picture.
Are you joshin'? "The combination of excitement and terror" is what quality bicycling is all about? Thanks for that explanation. You are a Serious Cyclist, ain't ya?
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Old 04-18-08, 08:50 PM
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Rev.Chuck
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Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
GE Fitness financing? We just started that too. All four applicants have been declined. My guess is a beacon score over 780.
We have two companies we finance thru. They are both decent(and smart) they will not approve someone unless the credit shows they can pay. Pity they were not the same guys that have been writing mortgages for the last five years.

We also do layaway, ninety days(sixty for sale bikes)
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