Wally World Huffy Vs Schwinn

Discussion in 'Motorized Cruiser Bicycles' started by scottmanesis, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. scottmanesis

    scottmanesis New Member

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    I never have owned a cruiser bicycle and figured that is the easiest route to go for building budget kits and possibly selling them. So, today while at Walmart I decided to go look at the cruisers they have that seem to be popular for builds on this forum.

    Let me tell you that neither of these bikes had me thinking they were even "good" never mind great.

    In a comparison of both the Del Mar and the Cranbrook I can say this much, the Huffy feels like a much more solid bike. The stays seem thicker and the frame itself looks a bit more stout in the rear end. Who would have thought that Huffy would be better than a Schwinn. When I was a kid the Schwinn was an awesome bicycle.

    My unprofessional opinion is that given those two options, the Huffy is 10 bucks less and seems to be a better bike. Personally, I still wouldn't want either for my personal ride. Now I need to go find some Greenline bikes and see how those compare frame wise. I know it too is going to have crap components on it, but I have to see if it's worth twice the price as the Huffy.

    Any thoughts?dnut

    Also if anyone could do a Micargi VS Greenline VS Huffy that would be of great help or maybe they all 3 are pretty much the same other than the style and prices?
     
    #1 scottmanesis, Jan 13, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2011
  2. retromike3

    retromike3 New Member

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    If you can find a old "real" bike at a garage sale or off Crags List you are in for a lot less grief. The quality for a "wally world" bike or a Kmart special along with the added vibration and power of even these little motors seem to add up to a disaster waiting to happen.

    I spent more money on my rear wheel than you might for a Cheep bike. Granted you can wind up spending more than you need to for the basic bike but there has to be a limit. The less that you have to worry about from the start of the project the better.

    Mike Frye
     
  3. Hammond Egger

    Hammond Egger New Member

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    I have a motorized Huffy Cranbrook and a Schwinn Landmark, I'm not disapointed in either one but I would probably prefer the Cranbrook over the Delmar. I think Greenline is probably a step above Huffy but the difference between a Micargi and a $150.00 Schwinn like a landmark or a Jaguar is about like the difference between six and a half a dozen.
     
  4. scottmanesis

    scottmanesis New Member

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    Mike,

    These things I am well aware of and the back wheel on my NON motorized bike is worth more than these bikes. I am looking at it from a business standpoint to build bikes for people who might be interested in checking it out, then take my recommends from there.

    I need an entry level
    A Mid Point
    and Fully Custom version

    I like the Felts and the Worksman but that leaves the entry level buyers out of the market. I am looking for something that is under 200 that is worth upgrading.
     
  5. retromike3

    retromike3 New Member

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    Problem is that if you start a such a low price point the quality level is not sufficient to make full the potential of the ride.

    My old Giant mountain bike is set up with a good set of derailleurs(I take the front off when the motor goes on) good brakes conformable saddle, good wheels Etc. The bike needs to be fun to ride before you put the motor on it. These bikes are motor assisted bicycles not just motorcycles with pedals.

    mike frye
     
  6. matthurd

    matthurd New Member

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    if you're making them with those bikes idk if it's such a good idea to sell it. too much of a liability imo.

    i'm considering doing something similar but i'd be using worksman frames+wheels on all my builds since its much more likely to stand up to the abuse. will cost more but i could sell it in good conscience knowing a weld isn't going to snap all of a sudden n potentially hurt or kill them.
     
  7. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    Good luck with the business venture! You'll probably want to look into getting incorporated and properly insured. Also, check with your state because in some places, putting together MBs for sale constitutes "motor vehicle manufacturing" and a whole new batch of regulations/licensing comes to bear.
     
    #7 fishguts, Jan 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  8. Dr.8820

    Dr.8820 New Member

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    good luck, but you'll be an on-call mechanic...anything that goes wrong and you're not there, they'll say you sold a bad bike (even if they put just gas in it :D!).
     
  9. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    my opinion towards huffys, new schwinns, and every other cheaply made china bike is well known, so i'll give you my opinion on your "business venture."

    the problem as i see in making "entry level" bikes, is in order to compete with everyone else doing it, you end up making the same piece of junk as everyone else, with all the same crappy parts that cause all the problems, and in the long run, you'll do more harm than good for the future of motorized bikes.

    essentially, you're building a toy that someone can beat on and then dump it off to the next sucker on craigslist. it'll just be another fad to most of those people, like gopeds, pocketbikes, etc.

    you're also not gonna make much money doing it. i figure your target price would be around $400 for an entry level china doll on a huffy, right? leaving it bone stock and adding a motor kit puts your cost around $250, and a day of labor. sounds good at first, but add in the extra time and hassle when chain tensioners fail, coaster brakes break, fenders fall off, gas tanks leak, etc, etc, etc.

    you're turning that entry level customer into a one time, dissatisfied buyer, who'll never move onto the next level.

    then in your mid-level bikes, if you're still using a cheap bike but upgrading the parts, all you have is a cheap bike with a heavy duty wheelset.

    my biggest gripe about trying to make this a business, is never before have bicycles been sold so cheap, and made even cheaper. and the alternatives are few, and much more expensive.

    20 years ago if you walked into a bike shop and asked for a 69 dollar complete beach cruiser, they woulda laughed you out the door. that's what a set of tires and tubes woulda cost. the first bike my mommy bought me in the 70's was a schwinn mag scrambler. if i remember correctly it was 200 bucks. and it was a low-end bmx bike back then. nowadays, for that same 200 bucks, you could buy at least 3 low end bikes from walmart, and they'd never last as long as my old scrambler.

    sorry, ranted a bit there...

    in a nutshell, what i'm trying to say, is everyone i've run into that bought a complete bike from a so-called "company" that was based on a cheap bike, either doesn't ride it anymore, has it up for sale, or wants me to fix it.

    in my book, that's not good business.

    my final advice, if you're serious, is to set yourself apart from the guys selling cheap toys. build something you're proud of, and something that's safe, functional and fun, instead of just another junky bike with a kit slapped onto it.
     
  10. scottmanesis

    scottmanesis New Member

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    Thanks for the heads up fishguts! I will definitely be looking into setting it up right. I think the main issue with the business idea so far has been lack of good marketing and PR. That is really my specialty, I just like to turn wrenches!
     
  11. scottmanesis

    scottmanesis New Member

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    I don't think your ranting at all and I respect your opinion. I don't want to sell "junk" bikes and I have seen the same issues that you have. I see motor bikes that are 69 dollar specials with 100 engines slapped on them being sold in the area all the time for 5-600 dollars.

    I wouldn't care if I just broke even on the entry level builds and my thoughts are my "entry level" bikes will be better than anybody else in the area is putting out and have my full support and service and not even be much more expensive. I see the value of a customer over a lifetime not on a single sale.

    The city of Austin has it's own rather "unique" problems with the speed of growth. There is NO PLACE to park a car, the traffic is horrible and unless you are in really good shape the hills in the city make riding a bicycle only for the athletes.

    I personally believe a little attention to detail, some better quality motorbikes along with some good marketing and PR that the city of Austin could actually become more MB than cars, it makes sense in a city like this but people are just no aware that these things even exist.



    I think the city would actually support the venture if someone took the reigns and worked with them to ensure safety, epa mandates etc. Parking and traffic are HUGE problems in our city. The price of gas is about to skyrocket and I really in my heart just believe it is the right time at the right place.

    I could be wrong but I would never know if I didn't try! Oh and we also have pretty darn mild weather making the bike practical 11 months of the year.
     
  12. Hammond Egger

    Hammond Egger New Member

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    Sell em without a spark plug and with a disclaimer that says if you put a spark plug in it your on your own.
     
  13. scottmanesis

    scottmanesis New Member

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    Well that is one way to go but not the direction I personally am looking at. I want you to use it, I want you to have it SERVICED and I want you to buy parts. I want to have a cool shop to hang out in with others who are into your hobby. I want you to upgrade. I want you to want whatever the latest and greatest is that rolls out from the service area to the sales floor.

    I want the city to embrace the MB not be scared of it. I want them to make special places for us to park because it is easier to do than it is to build a parking garage for cars. There are millions of people who use things globally, why not urban commuters here in the good ole USA? Why not I say! Why the **** not?

    Why couldn't a few great minds come together and PRODUCE a QUALITY MB engine that does not cost much more than the china kit? There are some pretty knowledgeable folks around here.

    Perhaps I am wrong but i believe the MB could take the place or at least do as well as the Harley market for urban commuters if done properly and taken seriously. Sure I can slap together a kit and stick it on Craigslist, that is NOT what I am talking about.

    Like Bairdco has eloquently pointed out, these crap builds are what gives the entire MBer population grief. It is why they pass laws to outlaw us. It is why most people think of these things as toys instead of a viable transportation alternative.

    I think a few people can do some big things and change things and even profit at the same time. It is up to US to increase the demand and improve the supply.

    You wouldn't be the first one to call me a dreamer. Nothing ventured, Nothing gained. There is no failure only experience to be learned from. It has to start somewhere and why not here and with me?
     
    #13 scottmanesis, Jan 14, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2011
  14. matthurd

    matthurd New Member

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    heres the way i see it, the higher your sale price is, the higher your profit margin is usually. if i were to start building these things on a regular basis to make a profit. i'd sell it with a grubee engine and a worksman frame and wheels. i'd then take that $600 investment+ labor and sell it for $900. make a decent profit while building a quality product i feel comfortable with selling.

    also if we wanted to make these things more popular then cars for urban transportation i think we would have to move away from 2 strokes and towards 4 strokes. with that many on the road i think the small amount of unburnt oil in our exhaust would add up and cause noticeable oil slicks.

    lastly why can't we build a quality motor in america for a similar price to china girls? because in order to do that we'd either need to automate the process with very expensive machinery (meaning very few jobs would be created and a profit would not be seen for quite a while until that machinery was paid for), or people would have to work well before federal minimum wage standards. 25 cents in china buys you a small bag of rice, 25 cents in america doesn't buy you a 5 pack of gum anymore.
     
  15. scottmanesis

    scottmanesis New Member

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    Matt maybe they would be more expensive than china kits, but why not 500 or even 600, if it is superior then so be it! The reason why the auto makers are getting killed by the Asian markets has mostly to do with the auto workers union. Some dude gets paid 30 bucks an hour to put on one lug nutt per vehicle and we wonder why we cannot compete?
     
  16. matthurd

    matthurd New Member

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    while some elitist may pay more for a quality motor, most consumers see a sweet spot between performance vs price. yours may be better but is that much better?


    if the average consumer wanted a super mega awesome motor, don't you think more morinis would be sold?


    mind you we're talking about getting these into the hands of the general public not people interested in MBs as a hobby or sport.
     
  17. scottmanesis

    scottmanesis New Member

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    Do you know how many morinis have been sold? I know Yamaha puts them in their Yamaha Zuma 50cc scooters. They took it off the market for two years and the consumer demand FORCED them to bring back the zuma because they were not happy with the new 4 stroke offering and sales dropped. *shrug*
     
  18. matthurd

    matthurd New Member

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    clearly you do not understand my point. people buying morinis are looking for performance an average person doesn't care enough about the performance gain once they see the cost difference the unneeded performance boost is not worth the extra money to most people who want a cheap way to get around town.
     
  19. scottmanesis

    scottmanesis New Member

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    Well I agree that the average person does not care as much about "performance" they do expect reliability if they are going to commute on the bike, so for sure a 4 stroke might be the better option for the "average" consumer.

    While doing some more poking around I see that Ridley made some motorized bikes for awhile with china kits and felt bikes and it seems they no longer do. I imagine it had to do with overcharging the customer. I know I would be pretty upset if I purchased an engine from them at 600 bucks and got a grubee skyhawk.....lol.
     
  20. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    after reading your replies, it sounds like you have a good plan. i'm working on something similar, too.

    i've been to austin. i worked there for 6 months a coupla years ago climbing towers and doing the digital tv upgrade. you're right about the parking. every building we worked in downtown was a nightmare to park around, especially with 2 F550's and a van.

    it would be awesome to roll up to bike night at Bikini's with a supercool motorized bike, though.:)
     

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