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Walmart Road Bike for school

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Walmart Road Bike for school

Old 08-09-12, 09:58 AM
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surfer777
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Walmart Road Bike for school

I just saw a post about buying a road bike for school and there was a link to some walmart road bike, a GMC denali or something like that. I'm thinking about buying a cheap bike I don't have to worry about at school that will be decent enough to take on 20 mile rides. Right now I'm riding a Felt Z85, definitely not taking that up to school. I have a vintage schwinn up there, weighs about 40 pounds. Doesn't have quick release on the tires so I'm sketched to do any lengthy ride with it cuz if I flat there's nothing I can do. I'm not about to carry wrenches in my pockets on my rides. So is that walmart bike decent enough to ride or should I look elsewhere? Thanks!
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Old 08-09-12, 10:01 AM
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No quick release means it's harder to steal the wheels. I'd ride the Schwinn. I've heard nothing good about the Denali's in terms of durability. A lot of tales about one thing or another going bad shortly after purchase.
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Old 08-09-12, 10:05 AM
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I've seen some Wallyworld road bikes that have Shimano 2300 and priced at around $300. You may have to re-check the assembly, but if you want a throw around bike, just check out your local craigslist for cheaper beaters for school.
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Old 08-09-12, 10:05 AM
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If you're gonna carry a patch kit it ain't much more trouble to bring a 15mm. Portland Design Works has a 3wrencho which is a box end 15mm wrench on one end and tire lever on the other.

+1 on ride the Schwinn.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 08-09-12 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 08-09-12, 10:22 AM
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If you don't have any hills to climb, just get a Mongoose Sinsure single speed. I personally would not take anything of value on a college campus, except for my person, and I'm kinda skeptical about that!

Mongoose Sinsure ~ $150

No worries!

PS.

Just have everything inspected prior to your actually riding anything...

Last edited by SlimRider; 08-09-12 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 08-09-12, 10:31 AM
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How about a cheap but good used bike? Plenty of good choices for less than what that Denali would cost. Choose something good, but not flashy and park it next to a shiny new Next. My daughter is taking her road bike to school with her. I have less than $200 in the bike and she says the campus area bike thieves ignore road bikes. I guess mountain bikes and hybrids are easier for them to turn.
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Old 08-09-12, 11:03 AM
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I rode an old schwinn up till this year, it's no big deal to carry a small crescent wrench or box end wrench along with a tube. Or you could just buy some cheap wheels from the shop (cost under a hundo at my LBS) that have quick release and save the rest of the money you'd spend on a new bike on your books. I'd go with carrying a wrench though.
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Old 08-09-12, 11:25 AM
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Another vote to carry the wrench. I did that for years and it's no big deal. If you just get the one you need, it will be small.

Also, the Schwinn is better than the WalMart bike. If you want to buy another bike, get a used one.
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Old 08-09-12, 12:14 PM
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Awesome thanks for the replies guys. Didn't know the GMC was that bad...should have expected it though since its from Walmart.

I suppose keeping the Schwinn is an option, however, hills are a potential problem. I'll be in Utah and there are some awesome mountain rides but I don't know if my gearing on the vintage Schwinn combined with the weight of the bike will let me climb these mountains. Thoughts? I'm thinking I can sell the Schwinn and pick up a used bike with better gearing for the mountains...
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Old 08-09-12, 12:25 PM
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Another vote for just carrying a wrench. My bike has track nuts on the front wheel, and I often need to remove the wheel to put the bike in my trunk. I've gotten fast enough that that I can put the wheel on and take it off as quickly as a bike with a quick-release.

As for the mountains: What kind of gearing do you have now? 3-speed? Single-speed? Might be able to change the gearing to something lower for hills...

PS: Craftsman has a stubby 15mm wrench that's only about $6.50. I carry one, and it's just a little bigger than my tire lever.
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Old 08-09-12, 01:24 PM
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Its an old 5-speed, gearing is ok for little hills but for the rides with a view I'm gonna need some more gearing. Or just stick to flatter rides, which is a possibility. Through the canyons it can be pretty doable on a vintage beast. I think my wheels are 27", would it be OK to put 700c wheels on it?
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Old 08-09-12, 02:25 PM
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You already have a nice road bike in the Felt. All you need now is an inexpensive bike that can climb the hills of Utah. IMHO you have the following giant choices:

1) The Giant Sedona.ST ~ $350
www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/sedona.st/9025/48885/

2) The Giant Boulder ~ $360
www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/models/boulder/9025/48922/


* The chromoly frames aren't going anywhere. All you have to do is to stay on top of the maintenance.

These bikes should be more than enough to keep you in wheels for the duration of your college experience.

Personally, I'd prefer the Sedona!

Last edited by SlimRider; 08-09-12 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 08-09-12, 04:21 PM
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+1 on a trusty used bike.
Why not just buy a set of QR's for your Schwinn?
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Old 08-09-12, 06:12 PM
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Ghost Rider...never thought about getting a couple quick releases for the schwinn...anyone have experience with this? I've never heard of converting to a quick release, that could be an awesome option.
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Old 08-09-12, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by surfer777 View Post
Ghost Rider...never thought about getting a couple quick releases for the schwinn...anyone have experience with this? I've never heard of converting to a quick release, that could be an awesome option.
It's as easy as pie!
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Old 08-09-12, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by surfer777 View Post
Ghost Rider...never thought about getting a couple quick releases for the schwinn...anyone have experience with this? I've never heard of converting to a quick release, that could be an awesome option.
Head over to your Local "bike kitchen", & find the parts used.
You can buy them new, but its not needed, new QR skewers would look strange on an older bike.
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Old 08-09-12, 09:05 PM
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Doesn't have quick release on the tires so I'm sketched to do any lengthy ride with it cuz if I flat there's nothing I can do.
Where do you keep your tire lever, patch kit/spare tube, inflator? If you have an underseat bag or something similar just stuff a stubby combo wrench in there. If you don't carry any of that stuff, you can't do anything about a flat anyway. As mentioned, quick releases just make wheels and seats easier to steal when you are talking about a college beater.
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