debunking myths about walmart bikes

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

  1. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

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    But - keep this in mind when you're going from review to review.

    Take for example you're comparing two reviews - one a cheap walmart bike reviewed by a walmart customer, and the other a thousand dollar downhill mountain bike reviewed by an avid downhiller. Who's review is going to hold more weight?

    Whether it's positive or negative - I'll take a review by someone who knows bikes well enough to be able to form an educated opinion before I listen to a review from someone who got their bike amidst a couponing spree (not referring to anyone in the forum, but rather the majority of people who would write up an online review of a walmart bike).
     
  2. motorbiker

    motorbiker New Member

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    Notice that many of the reviews say a bolt or two was missing and they did not get instructions on how to put it together.

    That is what the bike shop will do. Make sure all the bolts are tight for you and make sure the wheels are right.

    I had to do that to my trike.

    I bought it on craigslist for $100.

    They bent a wheel and the bike shop wanted too much to fix it so they put the " walmart junk bike " on craigslist.

    The bent wheel was an easy fix for me. :)

    To be clear, the Schwinn trike is for collecting cans and to the store.

    My Gary Fisher Tass with disc brakes is my downhill fast bike. :) (Tampa Bay hills :) )

    Changed out the seat, handlebars, stem, seatpost, etc. :)

    I no longer own a car. I would rather ride a Walmart Roadmaster ! :)

    Some people that ride a lot to get around like the Walmart bikes better because they don't have to feel so bad when they are stolen !
     
    #82 motorbiker, May 30, 2011
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
  3. motorbiker

    motorbiker New Member

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    Look for one with good welds. Some do have better welds than others.

    After 16 hours on the job your welds might be looking rough too !

    Clean out and regrease everything.

    Look for one with straight wheels. If you can't find one ask for a discount.

    Adjust the spokes.

    Adjust the brakes.

    Make sure all bolts are tight.

    Replace the tubes or carry spares.
     
  4. Goat Herder

    Goat Herder Gutter Rider

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    How are the Chinese children doing. I remember the picture you posted with you hunched down next to them and the paper Dragon theme. Was that in front of a store in China or here in the States? I love kids!;)

    I road on every cheep thing there was growing up. I can say over the years that I got to find out how much better nice hubs will make a bike truly glide.

    I cracked the head tube off of a Department store Huffy when I was a kid I was lucky! Later on another little BMX bike a rear trailing arm at the kick stand it was a Murrey My uncle re-welded both of those bikes for me.. Years later in my early teens I saw another head tube crack off of a Huffy mountain bike I used to get across town. got lucky again! I welded that one up and it was sweet after that..

    I recently got a old Huffy for free in cherry condition just like this old one was thought I might trick it out welding wise and slap a motor on it.

    Then I got a Trek mountain bike used I had to replace the rear wheel was never taken care of right. That bike was just weird never did feel right. It did not seem to be Asymmetrical peddling wise. I cracked a trailing arm on it. I came to realize these bikes were swaying to much under my peddling force.


    I had one of the first full suspension Diamond Back V Links when they came out. I went 500 miles on it always strictly peddling no sill stunts bike had custom touring gears and never saw the mountains. One of the rear trailing arms cracked. I got it warrantied then managed about 7,000 miles it cracked again I replaced it again. ''I really liked how dialed in I was and how fast and comfy I had gotten this bike and I was very fast!!'' I welded it back together again later on in a very hocky way and got a total of 18,000 miles out of that bike plain ol peddling! I think pretty sure that bike frame came out of China.



    My new full sus D.B. is Taiwan its a next generation way better design by now. The D.B. company completely redesigned it. I don't think I will not break this one knocks on wood lol.
    http://motorbicycling.com/attachments/f11/28871d1283972071-goats-head-001.jpg

    I know this analogy very well . lol. Fortunately I have never had a bike stolen but I have lost other things. Take that back just remembered had a Cycle Pro trick BMX bike stolen when I was a kid still makes me mad. That bike was absolutely indestructible.


    Maintenance and being able to fix our own stuff is the most important thing to learn in this life style!
     
  5. Goat Herder

    Goat Herder Gutter Rider

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    At no point in time have I ever let a bike shop fix anything of mine or needed help. Pride and money gets in the way both. The only thing I have ever done was get a rear wheel relaced lately price was right it was going on a high power motor and I new the tech he has laced so many wheels he cold set it right. I followed up on the spokes later my self re-tightening and that wheel is cherry:)
     
  6. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    another thing about reading reviews, is look at the dates. the cranbrook, for example, most of the glowing reviews were all done immediately after purchase, without riding it for awhile.

    besides that, here's a real mythbuster for ya...

    the biggest attraction to a department store bike is price. at an average of 100-150 bucks you can get a complete, ready-to-roll bike.

    most people agree that some upgrades are in order, whether its personalizing/customizing it, or for better quality parts.

    so, HD wheels and new tires, can go on the low side for $100, or all out for worksman wheels and good tires for $300.

    then, cosmetically, there's seats and seatposts, handlebars, spraypaint, grips, and lights, and you have a mildly customized "cheap" bike in the $500-600 range.

    you can leave it bone stock for 3-400 bucks, but eventually you'll probably have to upgrade at least the rear wheel.

    and everyone likes the personal touch, and i know even the people who rail against me have upgraded and/or customized their bikes with new forks, etc...

    so, can we agree that the average guy who's built a walmart bike has over $500 invested?

    remember you've got shipping charges you paid.

    not to mention the things you bought that didn't work out, didn't fit, or changed your mind, but never returned so now it's sitting in a box somewhere mocking you, but you look at it and say "i can use you on another bike" but probably never will and you should just post it up in the swap and shop section and take what you can get for it....

    let's not count those parts in the final tally, and let's let the labor slide, too. since you enjoyed building it, it doesn't matter how long it took, unless you lied and called in sick to build your bike, then you need to add your hourly wage in.

    anyways, what i'm getting back to is overall average cost of your "cheap" walmart bike, compared to the average cost of a much better used bike.

    the major disadvantage of building a bike based on a used bike, is the convenience of buying everything assembled in one place disappears. now, you've gotta go searching for parts.

    these parts here where 48 bucks on ebay, and the guy was local and dropped them off at my house for free:

    [​IMG]

    i had to buy wheels, spokes, tires, manic sprocket adapter, spraypaint, copper for the tank, etc..., and it was a lot more work but it was all done using common hand tools.

    total cost? between $5-600.

    now i have a one-of-a-kind, completely custom, mostly american-made (if that matters to you) 1952 Firestone Cruiser that rides like a dream, that cost me the same as the average upgraded Huffy Cranbrook.

    [​IMG]

    and this isn't an isolated case where all the parts were free and fell into my lap. i can find deals on parts all day long, without skimping on the quality. and the skills required, be they lacing a wheel or building a tank, can all be learned with average intelligence and patience.

    hopefully, this post will be my closing argument on this subject.
     
    #86 bairdco, May 30, 2011
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
  7. motorbiker

    motorbiker New Member

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    Nice bike ! :)

    I bought a run over Trek from the 80's for $5 dollars at the sheriff's auction.

    Put the cranks and bottom bracket on a ezip electric bike from Walmart.

    Traded it for the Gary Fisher.

    Still had to change a lot out. I always do.

    Getting skills at spotting bike goodies at yardsales, the auction and on craigslist and e bay is the way to go ! usflg

    I like Walmart Schwinn frames ok.

    Most all bikes come from China.

    Walmart sells made in the USA bikes too.

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Port-O-Tr...ult-Folding-Tricycle/2189247?findingMethod=rr

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Trifecta-Single-Adult-Folding-Tricycle/882975

    They get good reviews too.
     
    #87 motorbiker, May 30, 2011
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
  8. happyvalley

    happyvalley New Member

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    Not quite. Note the article linked states:
    [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]
    The big picture is pretty clear: around 95% of the bikes sold in the U.S. are made in China or Taiwan by a handful of manufacturers......

    [/FONT]
    [FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]There is a difference. Upthread I wrote:
    [/FONT][FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]
    [/FONT]
    The Taiwanese bike makers have been and still are simply much better welders.

    I think this is a bit misleading and not quite so. There are differences in QC standards and limited by price point on where the frames are made and who they are made for. For work that is offshored the higher end work is directed to the Taiwanese facilities and price points are met by the facilities in mainland China.
     
  9. sketchman

    sketchman New Member

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    I work at Wal-Mart and so I shop there a lot. Not because I work there, interestingly, but because they are the only place to shop in my area. I'm not kidding a bit. We are 3rd world here in Logan, WV. I here you guys talk about "Bike Shops", and "Mower Shops" and such. We don't have a "Tractor Supply" type place or HF for a 1 hour radius. From where I live, a 2 hour radius. We have ZERO bike shops. ZERO.

    So, I order everything, or I shop at Wal-Mart. Ya do what ya gotta. Point being, I have only ever had Wal-Mart bikes, since I was little. Roadmaster mtb mostly.

    My opinion, there worth what you pay for them. They do the job(most of the time) and do it cheaply.
     
  10. ferball

    ferball New Member

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    Most of my bikes I get for free from craigslist and freecycle, 90% of them are trashed Walmart Bikes. I have never seen a frame I was afraid to build with, because they are not high performance bikes the frames are not some light weight special alloy, just cheap steel. Heavy cheap steel is fine, I don't intend to peddle longer than it takes to start my engine. Usually one piece cranks, it is hard to screw that up, bearing usually need a little grease, and occasional a warped chain ring, but this has more to do with the bike being a freebie than shoddy manufacturing. The components are hit and miss the derailers usually work fine after some lube and adjustments, but the controls(hand brakes and shift levers) are usually shot, brakes themselves usually decent enough, but the pads are useless. The one thing I never use off these bikes is the wheels. Nothing about them inspires confidence, usually by the time I get them they are warped and the spokes are light weight, hubs never spin free even after repacking the bearing. So my conclusion is that the compenants and frame of a walmart bike work just fine for our hobby, but the wheels are less than inspiring.
     
  11. moonshiner

    moonshiner New Member

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    you know fellows , this thread has been on the verge of throwing punches since about the 7Th post , its apples and oranges , life is good , you can buy a $149 china girl and a $ 99 china made walmart bike and be motoring at 35 mph for less than 300 bucks with a little work and some fix it yourself....and when its stolen you can replace it easy ...

    xct2

    i love seeing the great custom builds you all do with the the antique USA bikes , resurrecting these classics from the scrap metal bin reminds me of the good ole days and makes me feel fuzzy and warm inside....i am 175 % USA MADE usflg

    bairdco..... dude you have outdone yourself , i just love the Tennessee orange 1952 Firestone build , it really stands out from the Herd , very nice ....

    i love American made , we could always build it better than everyone else ,
    the world insisted on buying American made as well , you have never heard the term ; those cheap crappy American made products and you never will ,
    unfortunately hardly anything is made here anymore , and if it is , its thousands of dollars beyond reach , for me anyway ...i love the essence of American made , over built frame , too large of a motor = way too fast and really crappy gas mileage .....laff

    God i miss the good ole days ....
     
  12. Allen_Wrench

    Allen_Wrench Resident Mad Scientist

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    I didn't want to bring up my Walmart days, because this'll surely show my age, but since some parts of this thread seem to be talking about "American made" vs "Cheap Chinese" I just thought I'd mention how - with Walmart - it didn't always used to be that way.

    I remember when Sam Walton was still alive. I remember being in a store shopping when suddenly word went out that Sam was here, he was walking up toward the doors. And the employees couldn't be happier about it. I didn't linger to see him, I should have. I really should have. He tried to make his stores a haven for all things American Made. The Stars and Stripes were everywhere, in Walmarts & Sam's Clubs both, hanging up and painted on and printed on the signs.

    I was a green employee, and I was standing right there to watch this event unfold: our store general manager, Dean, looked over a box from a shipment of American flags and, when he saw the words "Made in China" on those flags, he said to the manager of Receiving "Send them back" because he explained that it felt wrong to sell American flags that were made in China.

    After Sam died, just a few years later, those Chinese flags and others of different sizes, were all up and down our shelves. Where could you get American made ones? At that time in Cleveland, I hadn't a clue. What happened to the haven of American made goods? Sam died. That's what happened. What did Walmart employees look forward to, after he was gone. From what this former employee could tell, not very much. When the Walmart I got hired into stopped being the Walmart I felt good about working for, I left. After ol' Sam died, a lot of his personal business ethics and methods died with him, and a degree of Walmart's integrity too. I feel bad about sometimes shopping there nowadays, but lately it's been the only game in town for what I need.

    But I'll never forget the REAL Walmart. The one Sam made.
     
    #92 Allen_Wrench, May 31, 2011
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  13. sketchman

    sketchman New Member

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    You'd shoot yourself if you worked there now. I do, and it's to the point that if you're young and starting out(like me unfortunately) I'd say go anywhere else you can stand to work. ANYWHERE. There's a sign hanging over the back hallway where the time clock is that quotes Sam saying, "....we will be the best place to work." I laugh every time I read it. The ONLY thing left that makes it just a teeny bit better than my old job at McDonalds is the quarterly bonuses, and when you add in the free food that I used to get, there really isn't anything that Wal-Mart has to offer.
     
  14. The_Aleman

    The_Aleman New Member

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    A friend of mine, a die-hard bicyclist like I used to be (before I started cheating lol), works at a Walmart warehouse. He often tells me about all the Chinese boxes that come in and the poor quality of most of it. Yesterday I asked him what he thought of the bicycles Walmart sells and he said he'd rather walk than ride any of those piles. He hates walking. Go figure.
     
  15. DuctTapedGoat

    DuctTapedGoat Active Member

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    I'm sure anyone who's spent any time at the dirt tracks has heard, "I'd rather push my bike than ride a Huffy."
     
  16. kerf

    kerf New Member

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    So quit already!
     
  17. motorbiker

    motorbiker New Member

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    #97 motorbiker, May 31, 2011
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  18. motorbiker

    motorbiker New Member

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  19. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Don't you guys find it interesting that the OP of this thread hasn't posted since the first page? Hmmmm?
    Tom
     
  20. motorbiker

    motorbiker New Member

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    He said in first post.

    Anyone else care to share positive experiences with walmart bikes?

    Second post.

    So far, all I have heard is half and half, crap talk, or off-topic.


    They are Walmart bikes. What do you want ? :)

    Hey, learn how to adjust spokes ! :)
     
    #100 motorbiker, May 31, 2011
    Last edited: May 31, 2011

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