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  1. #1
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    New question here. So What is the Deal with Walmart Bikes?

    Ok.... So earlier, I posted that I have this Roadmaster Walmart bike, that both looks and rides pretty good for a Walmart bike. The entire bike cost less than a hundred bucks, and that's including the tax.

    I know that all of the components are crap. However, the shifting is relatively smooth and the braking is excellent. It rides quietly and handles the road fairly well. Just to ride it, without inspecting the components first, you would think that your riding a Trek or a Specialized bike or something.

    I know that when you buy from Walmart, there's no customer service in terms of bike repair, adjustment, sizing, upgrading, etc. I also know that quality control and warranty issues are immanent possibilities.

    However, if you're able to properly assemble a box bike independently and you're boxed bike frame is made of steel, you could still manage to keep the bike for many years to come by replacing your crappy Walmart components with quality components.

    In the end, you could manage to possess a fairly decent bike for a very long time, with only an initial investment of less than a hundred bucks.

    So just what is the deal with Walmart Bikes?

    How can they continue to sell these cheap bikes with really solid steel frames for under a hundred bucks. At first glance, it would appear that the frames alone would be worth more than just a hundred bucks!

    PS.

    You could also immediately convert one of these Walmart bikes to an electric bike
    Last edited by MoabiSlim; 05-21-2011 at 08:35 AM.
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  2. #2
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    I don't know about the specific bike you're talking about but from what I gather spending money on upgrades on a walmart is equivalent to simply buying a great bike around $1000. Department bikes tend to fall apart with a couple of uses. I bought 2 mongoose bikes from sports authority and after less than 1/2 year the chain kept falling off on both bikes and the pedals ceased to work properly. Rule of thumb is to save up if you don't have enough yet and then upgrade when something breaks.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevinsun80
    I don't know about the specific bike you're talking about but from what I gather spending money on upgrades on a walmart is equivalent to simply buying a great bike around $1000. Department bikes tend to fall apart with a couple of uses. I bought 2 mongoose bikes from sports authority and after less than 1/2 year the chain kept falling off on both bikes and the pedals ceased to work properly. Rule of thumb is to save up if you don't have enough yet and then upgrade when something breaks.
    Hey there Kev!

    Yeah, those are the many rumors and I'm certain the many truly negative experiences that most Walmart cyclists endure. This is especially applicable in terms of part misfits, poor component choices, and bad riding performance.

    Walmart's Roadmaster has been recorded to have its share of problems as well, and I have no positive expectations for the future of this bike with its current componentry.

    I suspect that you may very well have a good point about the overall expected and projected expenses to be encountered for the future. However, still the initial price of the bike is under a hundred bucks. That remains less than the purchase of a good and solid steel bicycle frame.
    Of course, we're talkin' Hi-Tensile and NOT ChroMoly 4130 steel, but prior to the 1980's, Hi-Tensile Steel was all the rage.
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  4. #4
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    They can sell them so cheap because they are an immoral corporation that buys a lot of goods overseas, where environmental regulations are non-existent, and workers make slave wages. Of course, a lot of corporations are like that, so I can't really single them out.,

    Regarding upgrades: I don't recommend that route for anyone buying any bicycle. It is addictive and excessively costly. Ride that Wallymart bike until it can't be ridden anymore, and only replace parts that absolutely, positively need to be replaced. And replace them with other cheap parts. Save up your money, and get a higher end bike. You'll save money in the long run.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikedreamer
    They can sell them so cheap because they are an immoral corporation that buys a lot of goods overseas, where environmental regulations are non-existent, and workers make slave wages. Of course, a lot of corporations are like that, so I can't really single them out.,

    Regarding upgrades: I don't recommend that route for anyone buying any bicycle. It is addictive and excessively costly. Ride that Wallymart bike until it can't be ridden anymore, and only replace parts that absolutely, positively need to be replaced. And replace them with other cheap parts. Save up your money, and get a higher end bike. You'll save money in the long run.

    Valid point, good citizen!

    Touche!
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikedreamer
    They can sell them so cheap because they are an immoral corporation that buys a lot of goods overseas, where environmental regulations are non-existent, and workers make slave wages. ....
    X 1,000,000!!!

    funny tho, I pointed this out in another thread, and they didn't like that and complained and got the thread binned...

    The only reason I will ever set foot in a Walmart is if it's 3AM and the only thing open and I need condoms 'cause I'm about to get laid by Jessica Alba -
    Honestly, you just take a deep breath and say Fuck it.

  7. #7
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    They're ****. /thread
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  8. #8
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    If you cant tell the difference between your walmart bike and something else, just ride it and enjoy. The only thing that matters in cycling is if you're having fun or not. If you're having fun, forget the rest of the crap.

    The quality of life for many chinese people has skyrocketed from the few bucks a day some of these factories pay.. theres two sides to everything. /troll

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot
    If you cant tell the difference between your walmart bike and something else, just ride it and enjoy. The only thing that matters in cycling is if you're having fun or not. If you're having fun, forget the rest of the crap.

    The quality of life for many chinese people has skyrocketed from the few bucks a day some of these factories pay.. theres two sides to everything. /troll
    OMG! What's with this troll stuff?

    I don't get it....
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  10. #10
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    I can guarantee you that I would destroy most of the parts on one of those bikes in a day or two. they are fine for putting around the neighborhood with the kiddos, but putting any sort of miles on the road or trails sounds miserable.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle
    I can guarantee you that I would destroy most of the parts on one of those bikes in a day or two. they are fine for putting around the neighborhood with the kiddos, but putting any sort of miles on the road or trails sounds miserable.

    Yeah, I suspect you're right!
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikedreamer
    They can sell them so cheap because they are an immoral corporation that buys a lot of goods overseas, where environmental regulations are non-existent, and workers make slave wages.
    .
    Luckily no "big name" bike companies make their bikes overseas......oh wait.....

    Quote Originally Posted by bikedreamer
    Of course, a lot of corporations are like that, so I can't really single them out.,.
    Actually, I think you just did.

  13. #13
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    I ride a Mongoose-Deception-29

    I have just fitted a SRAM X9 2x10 groupset to the bike.
    Thomson seat post and stem and Ritchety WCS Carbon bar.
    Chris King headset.
    I have a set of Hope hubs with Stans rims on the way.
    My FOX fork is at PUSH at the moment getting customised valving installed.

    I am racing Leadville this year on my Deception it should be a good race

    The Deception is the BEST VALUE mountain bike on the market bar none.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mitzikatzi
    I ride a Mongoose-Deception-29

    I have just fitted a SRAM X9 2x10 groupset to the bike.
    Thomson seat post and stem and Ritchety WCS Carbon bar.
    Chris King headset.
    I have a set of Hope hubs with Stans rims on the way.
    My FOX fork is at PUSH at the moment getting customised valving installed.

    I am racing Leadville this year on my Deception it should be a good race

    The Deception is the BEST VALUE mountain bike on the market bar none.

    Hey there Mitzikatzi!

    I just knew you where out there, somewhere in the universe!

    Thank you so much for your contribution!!!
    God gave birds, wings to fly .... He gave us, Jamis!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoabiSlim
    Hey there Mitzikatzi!

    I just knew you where out there, somewhere in the universe!

    Thank you so much for your contribution!!!
    I'm a member.

    Do a search. "search titles only". Try Walmart
    Last edited by mitzikatzi; 05-22-2011 at 12:38 AM.
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  16. #16
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    walmart = the savior of this country
    people that hate walmart are ignorant, liberal, ******'s that just want to complain about a successful company that has gotten rid of the plague of small companies in this country.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoabiSlim
    Of course, we're talkin' Hi-Tensile and NOT ChroMoly 4130 steel, but prior to the 1980's, Hi-Tensile Steel was all the rage.
    How old are you? Hi-Tensile Steel was NEVER the rage, maybe in like 1820 or something. Reynolds 531 was intoduced in 1935. Hi tensile steel is very weak and even in the 70s was not used on high quality bikes. . In fact modern aluminum frames are stronger than Hi-Tensile steel. If you want a bike made out of non butted plumbing pipes, then by all means buy a Walmart bike. But I think even most walmart bikes are aluminum now days.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoabiSlim
    but prior to the 1980's, Hi-Tensile Steel was all the rage.


    Uhmmmmmmmmmmmm, no, at least not with anyone that I rode with anyway's.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    Uhmmmmmmmmmmmm, no, at least not with anyone that I rode with anyway's.

    So when did ChroMoly debut?
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoabiSlim
    So when did ChroMoly debut?



    I can not say when it debuted, I do know that in 1975 I had a Torker BMX bike that was constructed from 4130 tubing, so it was far from rare at that time.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ljsmith
    How old are you? Hi-Tensile Steel was NEVER the rage, maybe in like 1820 or something. Reynolds 531 was intoduced in 1935. Hi tensile steel is very weak and even in the 70s was not used on high quality bikes. . In fact modern aluminum frames are stronger than Hi-Tensile steel. If you want a bike made out of non butted plumbing pipes, then by all means buy a Walmart bike. But I think even most walmart bikes are aluminum now days.

    Dear Sir,

    Trust me when I tell you that there was a time back in the fifties and sixties when the quality of a bike was gauged by its weight. The customer (usually a male), would customarily visually inspect the bike and then pick it up, as though to ensure its quality by its weight. There was no sophisticated understanding of steel alloys being lighter, yet having a stronger metallic property than that of regular hi-tensiled carbon steel. If the cyclist of the fifties were to observe the cyclist of today choose the lighter framed bicycle over the heavier one, he would think less of today's cyclist.

    The standard bicycle manufacturers made chromoly framed bicycles available to racers and the elite market only back in the fifties and sixties. Raleigh was beginning to expand its chromoly steel framed bikes when it suddenly took a step back as it felt overrun by Japanese and Korean imports. It then decided to join them and took on bikes made by Centurion, a Japanese bicycle manufacturer. Centurion made hi-tensile bikes for the most part until the late eighties. It then switched primarily to chromoly frames. Schwinn made the Paramount in chromoly and placed its best components on the Paramount, as well. However, it only sold the Paramount to the racer types and the elite class, as well. Schwinn's largest production of bikes were primarily made of hi-tensile steel. Even many of the so-called "English Racers" of the fifties and sixties were made of hi-tensile steel. This went on far into the seventies for quite a few bicycle companies. Remember, back then (just as today), bicycle companies wanted to spend the least amount of capital while selling the most number of bikes. Nobody was really that concerned about stiffness and flexibilty.

    Everyone wanted to buy a sleek new bike that had some weight to it!
    Last edited by MoabiSlim; 05-23-2011 at 06:18 AM.
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  22. #22
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    (Continued)

    I remember when it wasn't called Hi-Tensile steel. It was just called steel because for the most part, that's all that was being produced for the average consumer. This is especially true as it applies to bicycles. Though chromoly was available. It was produced mainly for the elite niche of the bicycle market. It was far too profitable to continue to produce the Hi-Tensile steel variety. Besides, most consumers associated weight with substance, back in the fifties and sixties.

    Also, just about any kind of steel will out perform aluminum, due to aluminum's low threshold for stress. It simply would prefer to break than bend. That's just an intensive property of aluminum, NOT steel. Therefore, steel wins the "strength" battle, on all fronts.

    Aluminum will be easily found in department stores and your LBS due to the fact that it is more profitable for bicycle manufacturers to make bikes from aluminum rather than steel. While aluminum is a great material and more applicable to racing and full suspension MTN biking, it will never take the place of steel in overall performance. Carbon stands a better chance of doing that than aluminum.

    You know, after everything is said and done, the only thing that's really wrong with Walmart bikes themselves ( not to mention Walmart service) is the componentry. When you have poor componentry along with poor component installment, you have a disaster just waiting to happen. Subsequently, you have a very dissatisfied cyclist.

    The Hi-Tensiled steel frames would last forever, if not allowed to oxidize!

    Thank you my friend!
    Last edited by MoabiSlim; 05-23-2011 at 02:02 AM.
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  23. #23
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    All that rant tells us is that consumers were, and most still are, uneducated.
    When you had inferior materials, obviously you needed to use more of them to have any decent durability. With the standard sub 100$ walllybike you get weight, crap metal, and crap assembly of that crap metal. It's why you see so many broken frames on them when you go against the user manual and take them off road.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ratmonkey
    All that rant tells us is that consumers were, and most still are, uneducated.
    When you had inferior materials, obviously you needed to use more of them to have any decent durability. With the standard sub 100$ walllybike you get weight, crap metal, and crap assembly of that crap metal. It's why you see so many broken frames on them when you go against the user manual and take them off road.
    Or you see them broken down on the side of the trail after yardsaling pieces following some spectacular noob endo off a drop.

  25. #25
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    Big Box store bikes

    Downsides

    1) Cheap components are hard to adjust and need re-adjusting freq
    2) Frames are cheap, fine on the road or light dirt trails but please do not hit a rock garden

    Above assumes you can assemble & maintain all aspects of the bike
    or I end up seeing you at the shop paying for parts & labor.

    $100 bike with a tune up and a new wheel because the wheel axle was not adjusted will end up costing you and additional $125 totaling $225. And trust me, by the middle of the season it will need another tune up, additional $50+

    For $300 i can put them on a mtn bike assmebled perfectly & completely, free tune ups for 2 yrs and a lifetime warrenty on the frame. So head out into the rock garden with safety and security.

    These bikes are fine if you are mechanical inclined and you know the bikes limitations.
    If following the kids around in the street then go for it.

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