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Upgrading a big-box store bike?

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Upgrading a big-box store bike?

Old 04-26-19, 05:50 PM
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Jusplainjesse
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Upgrading a big-box store bike?

Before I really got into cycling, I bought a schwinn OR2 hybrid bike from Target. It became my daily commuter bike until I converted my fixed gear. The Schwinn has honestly treated me well, and I'm wondering what you guys think about upgrading components to make it more "high end". The bike is mainly used for bad weather commuting or leisurely rides on the bike path, but as expected, the stock components are starting to wear. Would it be worth it to upgrade components (BB, cranks, chaining, etc.), or am I completely wasting my time on a dud?
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Old 04-26-19, 07:18 PM
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Welcome! What is starting to wear out? I don't see anything wrong with replacing the components with better ones if you're replacing them anyway. There's not much price difference between a $15 Tourney derailleur and a $20 Acera derailleur, and the Acera one will work a lot better. But I probably wouldn't upgrade it for the sake of upgrading it. There are a lot of things on the bike that would need changing to make the whole system nicer, and you'd quickly overrun the value of the bike doing it that way.

If you can get parts for free off donor bikes or other sources, then you're only out your time, so sure... But if you have to buy parts, I'd probably not do it. In fact, even to repair broken parts, some stuff bought new may be a debatable value (like a BB/crank combo -- could be $60-80 bucks, which is more than you could sell the bike for).
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Old 04-26-19, 07:25 PM
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If the cost to upgrade and restore exceeds the price you would pay for a replacement bike in similar (after restoration) condition, the expenditures are based on sentiment rather than practicalities.

On a low end bike you may be throwing away money that could be applied to a used but higher end bike in decent condition. There are good values out there on used hybrids, available to patient and persistent seekers.
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Old 04-26-19, 08:50 PM
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You both make really good points. As far as resale value goes, I'm not really too worried about that. I like working on bikes, and I get a lot of enjoyment out of spending a bit on one component and installing it on the bike. As it stands right now, the bottom bracket is starting to be....clunky (if that makes any sense) and I've noticed a few missing teeth on the middle chanring, so I was thinking a new BB, new crank with a single chainring, removing the front derailleur, and replacing the fork with a non-suspension fork, because that's a whole lot of weight and wasted energy since I never really ride off road. Basically, I'm mostly curious about whether I could eventually end up with a decent bike built around that frameset (and maybe a culmination of eventually replacing the frameset, therefore having a completely new bike)
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Old 04-26-19, 09:51 PM
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Well, there is absolytely nothing wrong with replacing worn components. A good percentage of bikes never get used enough to get to that point. I'd say you are getting your moneys worth as it is. It only seems right to do right by the faithful steed.

A thing here, a thing there. Soon you'll have a new bike. The bike of Theseus we call it here on Bike Forums.

For the forks especially, but for other stuff too, search out your local bike co-op. You will be doing them a favor helping their mission, & in return they can supply you with tons of knowledge, know-how & experience, inexpensive but perfectly servicable components.
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Old 04-27-19, 11:01 PM
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I say go for it. To use a term to describe a house, as long as the "bones" are good then why not. You obviously like the bike, and it treated you well so why not show it some love. Just give yourself a cutoff, say $100 for example, and try to stay within that. eBay is a great place to source used parts for cheap.

I like your idea of converting it to a one by too. Makes it simpler and saves a bit of weight.

You've probably seen this mentioned somewhere on this forum, but check out KevCentral on YouTube. He has upgraded a couple WalMart bikes with good results.

There's also another forum dedicated to department store bikes called bigboxbikes.com that you can check out. A lot of members there are into upgrading department store bikes.

Post some before/after pics!
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Old 04-28-19, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Jusplainjesse View Post
and I've noticed a few missing teeth on the middle chanring
Hi. These are probably cutaways to aid shifting. If your bike has steel chainrings, they will likely last forever.
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Old 04-28-19, 07:45 AM
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Chevk out kevcentral on youtube. He tests and upgrades big box bikes.

Uprades to contact points are an investment, not a cost. Those you can reuse on a newer or better bike.

As far as other hardware, replace as needed. Maybe make a list of all upgrades to see what the total is. We all made the slippery slope of one upgrade, then another, then one more... and in the end a new bike would have been cheaper.

Also chose parts wisely to either reuse on a better bike or leave with that bike. Keep the takeoffs so you can sell that big box bike later on and transfer the good parts to a new bike.
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