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Bike accessories at Walmart: some may be worth buying.

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Bike accessories at Walmart: some may be worth buying.

Old 06-15-06, 12:49 PM
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Phantoj
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Bike accessories at Walmart: some may be worth buying.

I was at Wal-Mart yesterday, and I checked out the bike display. I noticed that there were a few bike-related items for sale there. So I thought I'd mention and discuss them. Generic anti-Walmart rants should be posted to alt.walmart.die-die-die or somewhere more appropriate.

1. Bell cyclocomputer (~$10). How can you beat a $10 speedometer? Seemed to have all the functions of the typical $20-30 Nashbar cheapie. One version was even available in a number of colors.

2. Bell multi-tool (~$13) Gigantic multitool. Two-piece design like a Topeak Alien. Not bad price, but I'm not sure how reassuring having a Wal-mart multitool would be in an emergency situation.

3. MTB slicks. ~$10. Probably the equal of a $10 Nashbar MTB slick, but at least you don't have to pay shipping.

4. Locks. They had a lot of locks. Some were probably competent, but I was eyeing a $3 (!) combo-lock chain. Seemed like it would be handy to leave on the bike for those "just in for a minute" gas station stops.

5. Don't remember the prices on the other stuff. Patch kits, horns, helmets. Probably passable quality with OK prices. No good mirrors that I saw.

6. Oh! Brake AND derailleur cables, with housings, for $4 or so for the whole kit. Much cheaper than the LBS, but they didn't look teflon-coated... Probably appropriate for that junk store beater you really don't want to ride anyway.
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Old 06-15-06, 12:54 PM
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I love walmart. Too bad all the walmarts in LA suck. I would buy some things there... They didn't have a computer with cadence did they? I might have to go check it out...
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Old 06-15-06, 12:59 PM
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No, nothing with cadence.

I think I had some "Bell" cycling gloves from Walmart. They stunk. Really lousy cycling gloves. They weren't even that cheap, considering you can get a pair for $10 if you watch for catalog closeouts.
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Old 06-15-06, 01:02 PM
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they're opening up a walmart in my hometown. there goes the neighborhood.
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Old 06-15-06, 01:02 PM
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I've purchased a couple things from Target (they have bike racks, Wal Mart doesn't) like a cheap cycling computer for my commuter/winter bike. $10 and it does everything my CatEye does except cadence. The really nice thing about it is that it will cycle through all your stats automatically which is great while I'm on the trainer watching TV or something, I can look down and see how long I've been riding, how far, etc without having to push any buttons.

I also found a Polar HR monitor on sale for $29. Again, it's basic, but it's cheaper than anyone else had it.

Az
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Old 06-15-06, 01:15 PM
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Anything that Walmart Kmart or Target has that seems reasonable in quality, I use if I need it.

I have tires, tubes, cables, master links and other odds and ends. Usually for my beater(s) but sometimes... Oh, never mind! all of my bikes are beaters!

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Old 06-15-06, 01:26 PM
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I bought the Bell multitool and it was a piece of junk. Fell apart after a few months and was very awkward to use.
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Old 06-15-06, 01:26 PM
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Only thing I get is C02. Box of 12 for like $8.
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Old 06-15-06, 01:54 PM
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Thanks for the tip; will skip the Bell tool. The CO2 was probably from the sporting goods dept.?
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Old 06-15-06, 01:56 PM
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uh, folks, friends don't let friends shop at wal-mart.

Just say "no"
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Old 06-15-06, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantoj
Thanks for the tip; will skip the Bell tool. The CO2 was probably from the sporting goods dept.?
Yep, for pellet guns and such.
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Old 06-15-06, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Jet-man
uh, folks, friends don't let friends shop at wal-mart.

Just say "no"
+1, for the pennies of savings, the damage this company has done to US industry is irreversible and considerable. The Walton family are total greedy a-holes who contribute the least to charity of any billionare families in the world.
Low quality, cheap, second rate crap.
 
Old 06-15-06, 03:17 PM
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CO2 is near the paintball equipment
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Old 06-15-06, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DocRay
+1, for the pennies of savings, the damage this company has done to US industry is irreversible and considerable. The Walton family are total greedy a-holes who contribute the least to charity of any billionare families in the world.
Low quality, cheap, second rate crap.
+1

Wal-mart sucks.
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Old 06-15-06, 03:33 PM
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"Wal-mart sucks."

There's an articulate critique. Can anyone tell me why it sucks? Don't get me wrong -- I am not a huge fan of Wal-mart. I just think that we need to state some legitimate reasons rather than that they're "too big" or "too cheap."
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Old 06-15-06, 03:33 PM
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Let's respect the OP's wishes and not hijack his thread. Take the anti-wal*mart sentiments elsewhere.

Back on topic: I've used the $10 Schwinn computer from Wal Mart and it's actually quite decent. I've seen the exact same one in Performance catalogs, rebadged and marked up to $29.

I also got some MTB slicks there, and am quite happy with them.

I use the Schwinn water bottles from Wal-Mart because they have the little cap to keep the mud off the spout. I haven't looked real hard, but I've never seen any bottle like that at the LBS.
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Old 06-15-06, 03:36 PM
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I have a Wal-Mart bike rack on my '93 Geo. Which, when I have my Mountain bike, TT bike and road bike loaded up caused the LBS owner to say, "$1,000 car, $30 bike rack, $7,000 worth of bikes. I wish I had more customers like you."
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Old 06-15-06, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Coyote2
"Wal-mart sucks."

There's an articulate critique. Can anyone tell me why it sucks? Don't get me wrong -- I am not a huge fan of Wal-mart. I just think that we need to state some legitimate reasons rather than that they're "too big" or "too cheap."
1. They source most items in China, and have put US industry out of business.
2. They are famous for not paying manufacturers in some latin-american countries.
3. They are strictly anti-union, and will fire anyone who tries to even hold a meeting.
4. They open in a local market, and undersell to put other stores out of business, then jack up prices once they are the monopoly.
5. They are being sued by over 40 states for failing to pay overtime and wages to their workers.
6. They expect workers to go on welfare for medical coverage, they do not provide medical coverage for their workers, which means taxpayers subsidize Walmart.
7. They have huge, unsupervised parking lots that are now known to be the #1 common site of violent crime in the US, yet they refuse to security patrol.
8. They have been successfully sued for discrimination, as they do not have a single african american manager, yet african-americans make up a large proportion of their workers.
9. Despite the poverty wages, Walmart employees donated $260,000 to Katrina victims, ..the Walton family? $6500.
You can get all the facts, and many more here:

http://www.walmartmovie.com/
 
Old 06-15-06, 03:57 PM
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MOst of Walmarts accessories are heavier and more cheaply made than similar products found in bike shops or online stores. Whether or not that bothers you, is up to you. Personally I've tried a cheap pair of their gloves, tubes, bottle cages, and mini pumps. I'm still using the minipumps on my mtbs. Funny that i mentioned it because they have been on there for 3 yrs and i don't even use them. I normally use C02.

My experience is the money saved by buying this walmart stuff isn't worth it. Most of these things are still affordable elsewhere and of much better quality, and lighter.
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Old 06-15-06, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Coyote2
"Wal-mart sucks."

There's an articulate critique. Can anyone tell me why it sucks? Don't get me wrong -- I am not a huge fan of Wal-mart. I just think that we need to state some legitimate reasons rather than that they're "too big" or "too cheap."
I don't think Wal Mart sucks so much as I think what it says about our country sucks. People will buy a $25 coffeee maker that will break in 18-24 months and go in the trash to be replaced by another $25 coffee maker which will... The alternative, paying $50 for a decent coffeee maker which will last for ten years, is losing out.

(OK, truth be told I think Wal Mart really sucks, too.)

Do a google search... This has been hashed and rehashed too many times for me to do it here five minutes before I put on my bibs and head home. Look for Frontline they did a great expose. Or I think Atlantic Monthly about a year ago. They talked about how Walmart is taking advantage of small towns around the country on tax incentives.
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Old 06-15-06, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by DocRay
9. Despite the poverty wages, Walmart employees donated $260,000 to Katrina victims, ..the Walton family? $6500.
Walmart as a corporation donated over $20 million dollars to the Katrina relief effort.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...090501598.html

But (as the OP requested) this is not germaine to the discussion at hand. I've bought bike accessories at Walmart in the past, but have discontinued doing so. The tires I bought in the past seemed uneven in quality, and several were WAY to hard to mount on standard "vintage" 27" 10 speed rims. The LBS is a better source in general for small bits like cable housings and such IMO, although the cheapo Walmart stuff seems adequate enough for the average "bike-boom" bike of the 70's and 80's.

While I can't say I'll NEVER shop at Walmart again, the truth is I don't really like going there. Not for political reasons, but rather it is my perception that most items there are fairly poor quality. The fact is I have better sources for more durable items closer at hand.
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Old 06-15-06, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DocRay
+1, for the pennies of savings, the damage this company has done to US industry is irreversible and considerable. The Walton family are total greedy a-holes who contribute the least to charity of any billionare families in the world.
Low quality, cheap, second rate crap.
And look at what they do contribute to...
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Old 06-15-06, 04:01 PM
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I have never seen anything in a Wal-Mart that did not look and feel like cheaply made crap. Leaving aside the social and economic critique of the mart, small amounts of savings for very inferior quality is no bargain. Wal-Mart just banks on the fact that people buy the idea that they have good prices and not really do any comparisons with other business' prices.

Brake and shift cables are not the place I would choose to try and save a dollar. They are not expensive items even at bike shop prices. Buy the lock if you want to get your bike stolen.
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Old 06-15-06, 04:01 PM
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Why don't we stick to "Walmart accessories" and leave the commentary about the company for elsewhere?
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Old 06-15-06, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Phantoj

1. Bell cyclocomputer (~$10). How can you beat a $10 speedometer? Seemed to have all the functions of the typical $20-30 Nashbar cheapie. One version was even available in a number of colors.

Here's a fact for ya. That cyclocomputer sucks. I had it; it was my first bike speedometer. I came in from my very first road ride, pust a little pressure upon the main unit as I was taking it out at the stop point, thought everything was fine. On the way back, the computer registered me at 0.0 mph the whole way, and nothing I did could fix it. Magnet calibration, rewiring, nothing. Finally, I realized at home that by pressing down on the computer that one time I had gotten one of the metal data transfer plates wedged under the cheap plastic which made it so the data transfer points couldn't make contact. I pried the plate back out with some tools and it worked, but gave out a few weeks later yet again. By then I was tired of it and the one-button design and went for a $25 Cateye, which has just been so much better. I'm not even kidding.
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