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Buying Walmart bikes

Old 07-29-09, 08:57 PM
  #1  
imcrazy
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Buying Walmart bikes

for those of you wondering about if im a troll or not im just a 12 year old kid who has some money and wants a bike. I know you guys love to bash on these bikes but im just a noob who needs help. I hope everyone belives me because im telling the truth that im 12.
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Old 07-29-09, 09:09 PM
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No, you definitely sound like you're 12.

You didn't actually ask a question, but to answer it anyway, don't bother wasting money at Walmart. Check craigslist or garage sales for a used bike instead. You're going to grow out of anything you get now very soon anyway, so you wouldn't want to spend a lot of money on something you can only use for a little while.
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Old 07-29-09, 09:15 PM
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Get a simple, easy-to-fix bike. Stay away from dual suspension and other complicated stuff on inexpensive bikes. Look at some of the Schwinns. The Mongoose Commuter at Walmart for $132, if the frame size is not too large, is also a bike that you could ride for a few years. Don't jump curbs, run through potholes if you can avoid them, leave the bike out in the rain, throw the bike down on the ground (use the kickstand or lean it against something like a tree or bench), and don't leave it unlocked and unattended for any long period of time. Keep the bike clean by rinsing off the dirt every now and then, drying it off with a towel and use some car wax on it every now and then. If you are going to work on it, find out how to do so first by researching the bike repairs you want to do. Put oil on the moving parts every now and then, especially the chain. If you put too much on, blot some up with a paper towel or rag. Which ever bike you choose, it will last longer if you take care of it.
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Old 07-29-09, 10:33 PM
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If you are tied to the Walmart bike, here is the $132 one https://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=8399245 that was mentioned above.

I have looked at it and it is not bad. Decent for the money, BUT I'd look hard for a high quality used bike first.
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Old 07-29-09, 11:07 PM
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Save around $50 on top of the cost of the bicycle. The $50 will buy you a good helmet. Assuming you want to see 13, this is a prerequisite for cycling. Especially near automobiles & idiots. They're everywhere.

Craigslist and such can have real bargains, but unless you're a old hand at knowing what's what - I'd avoid that approach. If you have the money to spend more than WalMart offers (I hope), go to a few real bike-shops and look at what is offered. The advantages to a bicycle bought from a local shop are several. If anything goes wrong with a WalMart bike (oh and it will!), you're stuck. They can't fix 'em - they can only slap 'em together and shove 'em onto the sales-floor. A real shop will give you a warranty so you can bring it in if aythig goes wrong. And, most likely, give you a free tune-up within 6 months. You will also build a relationship with the shop. They'll know you buy name. And will answer your questions.

Good luck on your quest. And I hope you save your money until you can afford something real from a real shop.
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Old 07-29-09, 11:11 PM
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A few years ago, I offered to buy my sister a bike. She found one she wanted at Walmart (she liked the color and thought the full suspension would be more comfortable).

She couldn't ride it up even a small hill, and the assembly work was incredibly shoddy. She walked it to the yard and said she didn't like it, so I asked her if I could return it and pick one for her. I got the $180 back from Walmart, and took it to a LBS.
Used Schwinn Frontier, $140, in like new condition. My sister rode it, didn't have any trouble getting up the same hill, and liked it a whole lot better. Unfortunately, she wasn't really serious about riding, so I recently rescued the now rusty and faded bike from her yard. I'll massage it a bit, and maybe use it to introduce someone else to cycling.
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Old 07-29-09, 11:44 PM
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It is possible, though, to be happy with a bike from The Beast of Bentonville (wal-mart).

A certain number (a bit too many, really) are going to be defective in one way or another. You'll have to inspect it and fix whatever is wrong or exchange if fixing is not possible. A good way to do this is to re-adjust brakes, derrailleurs, wheel and crank bearings. Once you've done this, you've inspected the bike. If that sounds like too much trouble, the just keep in mind that no matter what bike you get if you're going to ride it, then you're going to spend time fixing, adjusting and general tinkering. Less so with the more expensive bikes, it's true. But with any bike a serious rider must also be a mechanic. The good news is that it's not hard at all and you'll have much more confidence in your ride.

One advantage to big box store bikes is that when you need to replace it the cost won't depress you.

I'm in agreement with the poster who said to avoid cheap full suspension bikes. They're about as heavy as a Hummer.
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Old 07-30-09, 12:08 AM
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imcrazy;

Another possibility, depending on where you live, is to find out if there is a bike coop or a Kiwanis bike program in your area. Reno has both and from either you can pick up a decent used bike for the same price as a Walmart bike, or less, but of considerably better quality. They can also provide instruction in bike maintenance usually.

Establish a relationship with such an outfit and may be able to swap bikes at lower cost as you grow both in size and riding skill.
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Old 07-30-09, 01:02 AM
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Craigs List is cool, but have your parents be the one inquiring about the stuff on it.

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Old 07-30-09, 05:54 AM
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One of the biggest problems I have seen with WalMart bikes, is their terrible assembly. I don't know about other areas, but Target Stores seem to have someone who KNOWS how to assemble a bike SAFELY. Their Schwinns, in the $150+ range are very decent bikes.
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Old 07-30-09, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by tatfiend View Post
imcrazy;

Another possibility, depending on where you live, is to find out if there is a bike coop or a Kiwanis bike program in your area. Reno has both and from either you can pick up a decent used bike for the same price as a Walmart bike, or less, but of considerably better quality. They can also provide instruction in bike maintenance usually.

Establish a relationship with such an outfit and may be able to swap bikes at lower cost as you grow both in size and riding skill.
There's a really cool class conducted by Halcyon Bike Shop in Nashville that teaches kids how to wrench on their bikes for free! From what I understand, Halcyon helps them build up the entire bike, step by step. By the end of the class, they've got a whole lot of knowledge and a bike they can be proud of

So definitely check your co-ops (if you're lucky enough to have one), they're always a wonderful resource. Good luck!
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Old 07-30-09, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Esteban32696 View Post
One of the biggest problems I have seen with WalMart bikes, is their terrible assembly. I don't know about other areas, but Target Stores seem to have someone who KNOWS how to assemble a bike SAFELY. Their Schwinns, in the $150+ range are very decent bikes.
I'm glad you posted this. I thought it was just me. In the nearby city, there is a Target and a Walmart across the highway from each other. Many of the Schwinns at Target look to me to be decent value for the dollar. They are simple and reasonable bikes for riding around the neighborhood, running errands, that sort of thing. But somehow my local Walmart seems to generally stock a lower quality of bike than does my local Target. Not sure why that is, but it seems to me to be the case.
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Old 07-30-09, 10:16 AM
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I think Target caters to a slightly higher quality products than walmart.
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Old 07-30-09, 12:03 PM
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Find one in the trash, or if you a man enough, steal one. Worst case buy one on craigslist or garage sale.

Sort of a joke but there are lots of posts on both walmart and repairing used bikes.
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Old 07-30-09, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by arej00dazed View Post
I think Target caters to a slightly higher quality products than walmart.

Yes, and also a higher quality clientele. I often shop at Walmart as well as Target. Is it me or does Walmart just have a huge number of obese people who ride around in the electric carts compared to Target?
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Old 07-30-09, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by arej00dazed View Post
I think Target caters to a slightly higher quality products than walmart.
I concur. I have been shopping around for about a month now for a entry level full suspension bike WITH decent components. My 90's GT All Terra Timberline just in the last two months wore out a lot of parts. I'll rebuild it later. LBS bikes are all out of my budget at this time and I decided I did not want to get into a used bike at this time. (I would rebuild my GT if I wanted to stick with used.)

I found that Target generally had a better assembly quality. I compared Wally and Target store from eight different locations around Akron Canton Cleveland, OH. I finally settled on a Schwinn S-25 from Target.

The Schwinn's were decidedly better build and assembly quality than the Mongoose, Next, and Triax brands. Keep in mind that all four are now Pacific Cycles brands (GT is now as well.). Pacific is well established as JUNK bikes.

The Schwinn S-25 I decided on is all aluminum frame, steel Suntour front forks, and, most important to me, ALL Shimano components and trigger shifters. The S-25 from earlier this year had SRAM trigger shifters and derailleurs. This revision of the S-25 just appeared this month at Target. Cost out the door was $267.

I checked it over briefly in store and rode it in the aisles. It appeared to be assembled almost completely correctly (they almost never are in a big box store). Brought it home checked and adjusted the shifters and lubricated EVERYTHING. Bike rides great. Shifters are smooth. Front derailleur needs a bit more tuning. Feels like it may last a while if the crank bearings and sprockets and chain hold up.

Feel free to bash this big box bike as much as you like. I will promptly ignore such trolling. :> and continue to enjoy the ride. I will say that I make no suggestion that this bike can even compare to my old GT or Trek or Giant brand bikes, but for my budget and needs, this looks like money well spent.
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Old 07-30-09, 01:35 PM
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if one has a choice in the matter (tough for 12s...), avoid/boycott MAO*MART
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Old 07-30-09, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by DarthSensate View Post
I concur. I have been shopping around for about a month now for a entry level full suspension bike WITH decent components. My 90's GT All Terra Timberline just in the last two months wore out a lot of parts. I'll rebuild it later. LBS bikes are all out of my budget at this time and I decided I did not want to get into a used bike at this time. (I would rebuild my GT if I wanted to stick with used.)

I found that Target generally had a better assembly quality. I compared Wally and Target store from eight different locations around Akron Canton Cleveland, OH. I finally settled on a Schwinn S-25 from Target.

The Schwinn's were decidedly better build and assembly quality than the Mongoose, Next, and Triax brands. Keep in mind that all four are now Pacific Cycles brands (GT is now as well.). Pacific is well established as JUNK bikes.

The Schwinn S-25 I decided on is all aluminum frame, steel Suntour front forks, and, most important to me, ALL Shimano components and trigger shifters. The S-25 from earlier this year had SRAM trigger shifters and derailleurs. This revision of the S-25 just appeared this month at Target. Cost out the door was $267.

I checked it over briefly in store and rode it in the aisles. It appeared to be assembled almost completely correctly (they almost never are in a big box store). Brought it home checked and adjusted the shifters and lubricated EVERYTHING. Bike rides great. Shifters are smooth. Front derailleur needs a bit more tuning. Feels like it may last a while if the crank bearings and sprockets and chain hold up.

Feel free to bash this big box bike as much as you like. I will promptly ignore such trolling. :> and continue to enjoy the ride. I will say that I make no suggestion that this bike can even compare to my old GT or Trek or Giant brand bikes, but for my budget and needs, this looks like money well spent.
Disagreement. OP, go simple. Rigid fork. I don't know anyone who would suggest you get a full suspension bike at that price point, with the above notable exception.
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Old 07-31-09, 05:05 AM
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my mom works at Target.......and also assembles the bikes. So I know for sure those bikes will be put together right, just may not be setup right. She don't half ass things like the typ pimple faced teenager most places employs.
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Old 07-31-09, 04:31 PM
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I was told by a former bike assembler at WallyWorld, that he HAD to put together 4 bikes PER HOUR to keep his job. That should tell you about the assembly.
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Old 07-31-09, 05:28 PM
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I don't get it. The bikes are already assembled anyway. It is not the same in US? In any case, just bring the bike to a trusted LBS and have it set-up again. No biggie imho.
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Old 07-31-09, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by wunderkind View Post
I don't get it. The bikes are already assembled anyway. It is not the same in US? In any case, just bring the bike to a trusted LBS and have it set-up again. No biggie imho.
And pay 50% of the purchase price?

Most wallyworld bikes can't be set up properly, the parts are too flimsy to get in tune and keep in tune. I know I have tried...

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Old 07-31-09, 07:58 PM
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Try "Play It Again Sports"
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Old 07-31-09, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Esteban32696 View Post
One of the biggest problems I have seen with WalMart bikes, is their terrible assembly. I don't know about other areas, but Target Stores seem to have someone who KNOWS how to assemble a bike SAFELY. Their Schwinns, in the $150+ range are very decent bikes.
Ah, how often I've hard this refrain, and how often it IS true...just not at my location.

I build for Wally, and my co-worker and I are both good enough to work in the LBS. He doesn't like them, calls them stuck-up roadie pukes, and we both get paid WAY better than the LBS can afford.

We sweat and labor over those BSO's (bike-shaped objects) just to make them rideable -- good is a distant glow on the horizon, and a memory from several years ago. If it doesn't say Schwinn, it's a boat anchor, and if it does say Schwinn, it's marginal. Ignaz Schwinn would be shooting people in the street if he was around today....

I shake my head at the daily dose of prima donnas who "won't spend MY money on a bike unless..." , mainly because they expect a cheap piece of tinfoil to survive a boat trip from China, half a dozen loads/unloads from trucks, being thrown around by warehousers, having TVs and barbells stacked atop them, without so much as a scratch or a tire bead wobble of 1mm. One last week complained about a dab of grease visible on the kickstand. OK, you want Lance's bike for $60? How's that workin' out for ya?

People will buy these bikes, return them for a cracked reflector, or keep them for however long -- leaving them out in the rain/snow, never lubing the chain or a cable, then try to sue WM for faulty product WHEN the thing falls apart under them.

I'll continue to suck it up, though, cuz I have a mortgage and a family.

Edit: Most Targets have outside contractors build for them; it's a crapshoot there, too. Some are very good, some are fly-by-night.
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Old 08-01-09, 04:36 AM
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Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
Ah, how often I've hard this refrain, and how often it IS true...just not at my location.

I build for Wally, and my co-worker and I are both good enough to work in the LBS. He doesn't like them, calls them stuck-up roadie pukes, and we both get paid WAY better than the LBS can afford.

We sweat and labor over those BSO's (bike-shaped objects) just to make them rideable -- good is a distant glow on the horizon, and a memory from several years ago. If it doesn't say Schwinn, it's a boat anchor, and if it does say Schwinn, it's marginal. Ignaz Schwinn would be shooting people in the street if he was around today....

I shake my head at the daily dose of prima donnas who "won't spend MY money on a bike unless..." , mainly because they expect a cheap piece of tinfoil to survive a boat trip from China, half a dozen loads/unloads from trucks, being thrown around by warehousers, having TVs and barbells stacked atop them, without so much as a scratch or a tire bead wobble of 1mm. One last week complained about a dab of grease visible on the kickstand. OK, you want Lance's bike for $60? How's that workin' out for ya?

People will buy these bikes, return them for a cracked reflector, or keep them for however long -- leaving them out in the rain/snow, never lubing the chain or a cable, then try to sue WM for faulty product WHEN the thing falls apart under them.

I'll continue to suck it up, though, cuz I have a mortgage and a family.

Edit: Most Targets have outside contractors build for them; it's a crapshoot there, too. Some are very good, some are fly-by-night.
OK so we have ONE WM store that has "professional" assemblers...that works out to the probability that .02% of the bikes you buy from WM are assembled correctly. I don't like them odds

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