debunking myths about walmart bikes

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by bigbutterbean, May 28, 2011.

  1. bigbutterbean

    bigbutterbean New Member

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    I have seen a few posts on here advising people against the use of walmart bikes in MB projects. I am here to dispel the negativity. I have a Huffy Cranbrook that was purchased at walmart approximately a year ago. I had a spare ignition magnet laying on the floor of my garage, and I took it to my bike. The frame and the rims are all made out of steel. The welds are pretty strong, too. I have not had any issues with my frame or rims in the year that I have been using this bike as an MB. Anyone else care to share positive experiences with walmart bikes?
     
  2. gobigkahuna

    gobigkahuna New Member

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    I've bought 4 bikes from Walmart (and returned 2) over the past month or so. First time I've bought a bike that was under $500. Here's my opinion on the subject:

    Pros:
    Big selection of under $200 bikes
    Many bikes made by big name manufacturers (Huffy / Schwinn / Mongoose)
    90 day return policy
    Some bikes are actually fairly well made

    Cons:
    Bikes are often damaged while left on the floor (here in NC, they often leave bicycles outside for weeks and many will have signs of rust and UV fading).
    Some manufacturers offer "empty promisses" instead of actual warrantees (Kent / Genesis)
    Many bikes have inferior components
    Walmart doesn't repair bicycles nor do they carry most parts needed to repair your bike

    I've invested about $150 into my bike so far and the closest bike shop bicycle equivalent I've found costs well over $500. That bike has better rims, spokes and hubs, but I'm not sure those are worth the $350 difference.
     
  3. 42blue15

    42blue15 New Member

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    A lot of the name-brand stuff sold at Wal-mart is a sub-standard quality than what you would get through other channels.

    Wal-Mart competes on price alone and they like to have brand-names, but more than that they want the lowest-priced product that looks acceptable--no matter how poor the quality really is.

    It's common to associate a name-brand with an expected level of quality, but that doesn't work at big box stores, and especially at Wal-Mart. Many manufacturers agree to produce very low quality-and-price products just for Wal-Mart to sell.
     
    #3 42blue15, May 28, 2011
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  4. gphil

    gphil Member

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    Are there any bikes not made in China? Except some of those european things that the wheels cost thousands. My Cranbrook seems just fine and yup steel and heaver spokes than my expensive pedal forward bike, made in China by the way.
     
  5. spad4me

    spad4me New Member

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    I use some wallmart bikes.
    The surviving local bike shop sells used trash or brand new shiny gold.
    No one wants used, the new is priced like gold.
    Used bicycles of excelent quality used to be had for a song, now there are none to be had.
    Bush really did kill the economy.
    I have bought wheels that failed within a week from the bike shop.
    Amazon or ebay for wheels spokes rims as long as the shipping is not too bad.
    As long as you re-grease both front and rear Wallmart wheels crank bearings and stem bearing. As soon as you buy it. You should be ok.
     
  6. gobigkahuna

    gobigkahuna New Member

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    True, to a point. At least with companies like Schwinn or Huffy, you are more likely to get some level of after sale support, ie. they stand behind their warranty. Companies like Kent, claim they offer a warranty, when in fact all they give is lip service.

    Another gripe I have with my Kent / Genesis bike is that the "cruiser" seat doesn't have any springs! The seat has what looks like a plastic baffle, which I assumed covered the springs, but in fact is a solid piece of plastic. Just got back from an hour ride and it felt like I was riding a cinder block. :( Oh, well, add another $30 to the build costs for a better seat.
     
  7. gphil

    gphil Member

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    I have purchased seven bikes of different types from Goodwill really cheap. Got a stingray for thirty five bucks looked new. The others were used for parts two of which are so new I hate to chop them. Then I can remember the time when all things came from either Japan or Taiwan.
     
  8. bigbutterbean

    bigbutterbean New Member

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    What do goodwill and walmart have to do with each other? I started this thread for people to share POSITIVE EXPERIENCES about bikes PURCHASED at WALMART. So far, all I have heard is half and half, crap talk, or off-topic.
     
  9. gobigkahuna

    gobigkahuna New Member

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    That's probably because when you buy a bike (or anything else a Walmart) it's a crapshoot. Like many small towns in the US, Walmart is the biggest store in town. Not only is it the biggest bike store in town, but also the biggest grocery store, drug store, clothing store, etc. etc. The best thing about buying things at Walmart is their 90 day return policy. Take it home, go through it thoroughly, give it a spin and then decide if you want to keep it or not. When I buy something at Walmart I know that I'm not getting the best product out there. But the best I can hope for is a reasonably serviceable product that will serve the purpose and last a reasonably long time.

    BTW - I suspect that the product reviews on Walmart.com are rigged. On three separate occasions I've tried to post a less than perfect review of my bike and on all three occasions my review was rejected.
     
    #9 gobigkahuna, May 28, 2011
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  10. Mike B

    Mike B New Member

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    The OP Roller is a good bike. I have had no problems with the bike. Aluminum frame with good welds. People have complained about the seat, but it feels OK to me and its got springs too - :)
     
  11. joabthebugman

    joabthebugman New Member

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    That same line has been given for years about Walmart, especially their guns. The same stories were told about the department store guns of the 60's and 70's.
    To be short it simply is not true and is even a little ridiculous when you think about it for just a second

    What name brand is going to risk their reputation by putting that name on substandard products?
     
  12. happyvalley

    happyvalley New Member

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    Most of the old brands were bought up: Schwinn, Mongoose, Roadmaster by Pacific Cycle; Huffy by Russel Corp, etc, and the manufacturing shipped offshore to Taiwan and China. There is a difference between the Taiwanese made bikes and those fabbed in China though, the Taiwanese are much better welders and many might be surprised that the three main bike job shops in Taiwan make a lot of bikes for higher end American badges as well, not just the discount store trade.

    Let's face it, people defend what they own because they voted with their wallet. Nobody likes being told how much money to spend. Not trying to hurt anyone's feelings, it is what it is. Much depends on the use that people put the bike through. From what I've seen, most MBers don't put a lot of hard miles on their bikes. I know there are exceptions and some will probably want to jump in on that but by and large this is a hobby where a guy with a hundred dollar bike and a hundred fifty kit get to putt around the neighborhood and have some fun when the weather is nice. Hopefully that does not involve any catastrophic failure of structural parts.

    However it is certain that the more miles you ride, the more you depend on a bike, the more use you put it through, the more you are going to come to know that either you repair and fix all the time or upgrade to better quality form the outset. All depends on use. There is a reason, and a good one outside of some ego motive that seasoned, long distance cyclists ride good bikes. Go touring for a 3000 mile ride and you'd probably come to that conclusion too.
     
    #12 happyvalley, May 28, 2011
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  13. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    my hatred for cheap walmart bikes is well documented on this forum, as well as horror stories from lots of other people with their actual experiences motorizing these things.

    i've realized that it's a losing battle to keep arguing about how poorly made they are, and for the first time builder, the guy on the cheap, and the weekend cruiser, it's a good way to go. it's also a good bike to buy if you're a fad oriented type of person who just wants the latest toy, and plan on dumping it on craigslist in 6 months. or the guy hoping to make a quick buck by buying cheap and selling high.

    for long term usage, reliability to and from work or school everyday, or a performance minded person, it's the worst choice possible.

    i refer to them as disposable, or throw-away bikes, 'cause a lot of the weekly, summer renters at the beaches here will buy them, use them for the two weeks they're here, then abandon them or try to get 25-30 bucks for 'em on craigslist. my buddy lives on the beach in Newport, and the weekly's who just left gave him 3 almost brand new bikes, for nothing. and they ain't getting motors on them. they'll be pub cruisers at best.

    i don't wanna open up the same can of worms with my post, but the title, "debunking myths..." kinda strikes a nerve. i could break down a walmart bike piece by piece and give you factual, technical, as well as anecdotal information about the "quality" of it.

    but, if it works for you, who cares what other people say, right?
     
  14. joabthebugman

    joabthebugman New Member

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    The problem with all these "experts" on the cheapness of the Walmart bike is that they conveniently ignore the posts by people who actually buy build and ride on these bikes with no problem.
    They dismiss these claims as just being lucky in a crapshoot
    Most are simply drunk on the smell of their own cork and I firmly believe that this hatred of all things Chinese stems from a strong case of Chinese penis envy as much as an inability to accept the fact that America simply does not produce the quality goods she used to
     
    #14 joabthebugman, May 28, 2011
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  15. Goat Herder

    Goat Herder Gutter Rider

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    In these links are fellers the crap shoot went badly..

    http://motorbicycling.com/f3/cranbrook-owners-warning-19244.html

    http://motorbicycling.com/f3/huffy-cranbrook-vs-its-schwinn-twin-23449.html

    http://motorbicycling.com/f41/my-first-build-cranbrook-20060.html

    http://motorbicycling.com/f3/cranbrook-frame-weakness-pried-wide-wheel-24415.html

    http://motorbicycling.com/f3/one-time-i-impulse-buy-chinese-23958-3.html

    http://motorbicycling.com/f3/pulled-string-16332.html

    When I first tried my very first H.T. I went with a KMart Special. I am familiar with cheap junk what is good and that was not a good bike for me. While it lasted well enough to learn about the motor and all the quirks. I prefer High End stuff like real hubs, spokes ,rims, brakes for one.

    The flanges on some of these lower end hubs for one are known for breaking spokes because they are too thin.

    Here in post Number one. http://motorbicycling.com/f53/rear-wheel-your-mb-strong-enough-23371.html

    Not all of these bike frames come with thick walled tubing ether. Just because the metal says alloy is not enough. The cranny has thinner walled tubing. Something to consider here I think.

    Some fellows don't know the limitations of their parts. I think this should have real clarity.
     
  16. joabthebugman

    joabthebugman New Member

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    Not sure I get the point of your links
    I went through them and only found two that referenced cracked frames and they were both about the same bike

    the rest were tech questions about which was better the Schwinn or Huffy, with the usual irrelevant smart assed remarks by our resident chinaphobe, or how to take grips off.
    One was a testimonial about how crappy the China Girls kits were in general. I guess we should all take that one to heart and stop building these things all together

    I did notice a conspicuous lack of mention of any of your approved brands with cracked frame, like say a vintage Rollfast

    OK, now this where you launch into your obligatory personal attack and tell me how worthless I am to the forum
     
  17. happyvalley

    happyvalley New Member

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    You're joking right, 'cause that's one of the funniest sentences I've seen written here.
     
  18. Goat Herder

    Goat Herder Gutter Rider

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    I have and absolutely never have launched any such attack ever and never will. Way to silly to me..

    You take way to much personnel . My post was a neutral post. I am taking no sides and never have or meant too. I am pickier about what I consider refined more than your buddy. I suppose I said too much aye?


    The idea on my part was to simply share. You make it sound like I should be ashamed about my self or something? Whats up with that?


    http://motorbicycling.com/f41/2nd-broken-frame-21775.html

    http://motorbicycling.com/f3/my-frame-broke-8717.html


    http://motorbicycling.com/f35/march-27th-los-angeles-ride-15948-2.html

    cracked frame - Google Search
     
  19. DaveC

    DaveC Member

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    The stock 28" tires on my Mongoose Paver blew off the rims when I put air in them. The replacement tires sent to me by Mongoose blew off the rims when inflated. The Duro Easy Ride tires I put on to replace the Mongoose tires are still on the rims. The frame was contorted in a effort to shorten the frame so my toes hit the front wheel when I turn. The seat post is nearly upright, a bad ergonomic position. My knees hurt when I pedal. When motoring top speed is limited by headshake(the front end vibrates). This starts to happen above 25 mph.

    Other than that it's...ok.
     
  20. DaveC

    DaveC Member

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    Your right, neither the Chinese nor the Americans are producing quality small motors.

    That's why I'm getting a Morini :)
     

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