Author Topic: what about cheap Walmart bikes?  (Read 17253 times)

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Offline bebert100

what about cheap Walmart bikes?
« on: May 10, 2010, 09:39:03 pm »
i'll do a 3000 miles trip this summer and because it costs 200$ if i want to bring my own bike from France; i decided that i'll buy it in the US.
I visited Walmart website and i've seen some bicycle which looks nice for nearly 150$.
We can have in France quite good bicycle for this price but what do you think about those of walmart?
Do you advise me to buy it in other stores? (i don't want to spend more than 200$ because i won't bring it back to home).
Thanks.

Offline whittierider

Re: what about cheap Walmart bikes?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2010, 11:16:50 pm »
Not to discourage you, but a department-store bike will be, well, discouraging.  It's like something the band director at our elementary school said.  Occasionally he sees a child come in with a brand-new Chinese flute (or other instrument), just beaming with pride of this new, shiny instrument.  His heart sinks.  How do you tell the child, or the parent standing at the door, that the quality is terrible, that the instrument will be hard to play and never sound good?  He knows that child will get frustrated and give up quickly, and then may never pick up an instrument again, and never realize that the problem was not her lack of ability, or even flutes in general, but that they got a piece of junk.  He much prefers that the parents wait until they can afford a decent instrument.

The bike equivalent we see periodically is that someone doesn't want to spend much until they have a chance to see if they're going to like cycling, so they get something that feels sluggish, doesn't handle well, is hard to maintain, and parts don't work well.  If they got it at a department store or sporting-goods store, chances are high that the bike doesn't begin to fit them properly either.  Two years later when the bike is hanging in the garage with a thick layer of dust and two flat tires, you ask them what happened with their riding.  The response comes back, "I guess cycling just wasn't for me."  I'm left thinking that almost anyone would probably come to the same conclusion if they had to start with the same equipment.

Good equipment is a pleasure to ride.  It's not just about squeezing the last little bit of speed out for a race.  You'll be surprised how much your riding pleasure (and therefore quantity) increase.  You'll have more motivation to work hard and get in better shape.  Make sure it fits you right.





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« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 11:19:16 pm by whittierider »

Offline johnsondasw

Re: what about cheap Walmart bikes?
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2010, 11:59:16 pm »
Whittierider is right.  No way would I try to do 3000 miles on a $200 bike.  It will be a clunker, and may not even stand up to the challenge. 
May the wind be at your back!

Offline Tourista829

Re: what about cheap Walmart bikes?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2010, 01:01:36 am »
I saw a bike from Walmart called the Denali. It cost around $155.54. It actually looked ok, but it is an aluminum framed road bike and as such, the geometry may not be as comfortable. However, whether it would be light enough (31 pounds), the components hold up, on a 3000+ tour, I can not say. You also might have to ad lib if you wanted to add fenders or racks. (hardware) You would have to purchase racks, fenders, or a trailer it might make more sense to take your bike from France. There are airlines that may charge less, if you broke the bike down and put it in a large regular suitcase. I would Google the above, if it worked you could sell it and probably get close to what you paid. It is ashame that, there aren't places, in the USA, that could rent you a good quality bike, like the Surly LHT, with the equipment you need. Good luck.      

Offline Galloper

Re: what about cheap Walmart bikes?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2010, 04:08:45 am »
The Walmart bikes are not as good as those you would get from Decathlon so at your price point you are unlikely to get a suitable new bike.

You could try ebay for a bike local to your arrival point.   Failing that, about $350 is about the minimum for a half decent bike, something like a Specialised Globe.

Bon Voyage

Offline bebert100

Re: what about cheap Walmart bikes?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2010, 06:53:21 am »
indeed Galloper; i was thinking about decathlon bikes which are pretty goods for 150€.
Actually i don't really care about the comfort of my bike; i already did a 3000 miles trip with a 150€ full suspended bike; or the weight; i'll have 40 pounds of luggages with me.
I just a want a strong bike easy to repear.
I understand that those of you who bought 1000$ bikes wont advise me to buy a 150$ bike but i also have good quality bike and i know the difference and i'm able to suport it.
unfortunatly; i already buy my flight therefore i won't change my plan to buy my bike in the US.
I'm agree with the idea to buy a second hand bike so if one of you is in Denver Area and want to sell a bike for about 200$, i'm ok for it.

Offline geegee

Re: what about cheap Walmart bikes?
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2010, 08:42:03 am »
Contact a local bicycle recycling/cooperative and see if they can spot a good used/reconditioned bike for you. You would be amazed at the quality of bikes that people throw out or give away. There is one in Denver called Derailer Bicycle Collective. When you are done with your trip, donate it back to them or to another cooperative if you are not returning to the Denver area.

Offline rvklassen

Re: what about cheap Walmart bikes?
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2010, 09:33:49 am »
I just a want a strong bike easy to repair.
You might get strong at Walmart - hard to guess.  Easy to repair - no.  If you haven't got anything arranged by the last couple of days you can try Craigslist.  This is mostly local sellers to local buyers - you would need to completed the transaction in person and the seller might not be willing to wait long.  Whether there is anything appropriate is a matter of chance.

Offline bebert100

Re: what about cheap Walmart bikes?
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2010, 12:15:34 pm »
Ok thanks; i'm taking a look on craiglist and i'd like to know which size of bicycle am i supposed to take; i'm 5"9.

Offline bebert100

Re: what about cheap Walmart bikes?
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2010, 12:18:08 pm »
Ok so it seems to be 19"

Offline whittierider

Re: what about cheap Walmart bikes?
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2010, 12:38:47 pm »
Quote
Easy to repair - no.
So true.  Much too often, it is impossible to make something work correctly on a cheap bike.  It may be the front derailleur, brakes, or even something as simple as a seat post clamp.  With higher-quality components, everything works correctly, consistently, and I go thousands of miles with no work on it at all, except the normal chain maintenance, fixing the rare flat, and replacing a tire when it wears out.  Even then, I have found that cheap tires get far more flats and wear out much faster than the best tires which cost $50-$60 each.

Offline mucknort

Re: what about cheap Walmart bikes?
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2010, 01:33:27 pm »
A decent used bike from craigslist or ebay will always be better than new crappola from the Evil Empire.

Offline rvklassen

Re: what about cheap Walmart bikes?
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2010, 02:51:41 pm »
Ok thanks; i'm taking a look on craiglist and i'd like to know which size of bicycle am i supposed to take; i'm 5"9.


Your best way of getting that is to measure your own bike and get geometry information from the seller.  Your height is only a rough guide as to bicycle size, as leg length determines the distance you need between the saddle and pedals, as well as the maximum height of the top tube.  But the saddle can go up and down, so that's only part of it.  Also there is forward/back, which depends on whether your arms and torso are long or short for your height. 

If it isn't confusing enough already, some manufacturers list bicycle sizes in metric, but others in inches.

Offline tonythomson

Re: what about cheap Walmart bikes?
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2010, 08:17:41 pm »
Don't even think about Walmarts, they are just flashy rubbish, I know I have 4 in the garage and are there just for visitors to ride no more than 4 or 5 miles a day around our towns lakes.Even then I have my doubts if they are going to make it.

Yes and I do have a $1000s bike and no way would I consider anything less for long distance touring as finding cycle repair stores out side any of the large towns and cities is almost impossible.

Good luck and I hope all goes well - just wonder why it is so expensive to fly with bike from France only cost me $60 from UK and that was in a box not broken down.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline John Bailey

Re: what about cheap Walmart bikes?
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2010, 07:39:10 am »
If you're looking at spending $200 on a bike in the US, why not just spend the same $200 to bring your own bike?

Anyway you end up hope you have a great trip!

John