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  1. #1
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    Bike for Christmas

    I am a college student looking to replace his 6-8 year old mtb that was probably bought at wm for $100. The brakes don't work and the front gear is bent out of shape, which causes the chain to slip and get stuck between the gears. I took it to the lbs and the guy there basically told me it wouldn't be worth the money to repair it, so I am asking for a new bike for Christmas.

    Mostly I will be riding this bike around campus, and occasionally off road/on easy trails. In other words, not real mountain biking (I know this is a mountain biking forum, I just wanted advice from someone who knows more about bikes than the local wm assembler).

    I went to the lbs to see what they had to offer, and the cheapest bike was $380. I know this is very much on the low end of the mtb price range, but it is too high for my parents. I have already made the argument that it would be safer/more durable/higher performance/more economical/more fitting/all around better, but the best they will do is a $200 bike. I don't have enough spending money to buy even a $200 bike, and do not know enough about bikes to be able to buy a used one from Craigslist or eBay, so I will asking for a bike from good old wallyworld (no, seriously).

    I know that anything in life worth doing/buying will cost good money, but I don't have good money right now. I will get a job over the summer, save up some money, and hopefully have enough to buy a decent bike. For now, though, I will take what I can get.

    So it's basically down to a Next Amplifier for $100, a Schwinn Sidewinder for $130, or a Mongoose Deception for $200. Unless there is some cheap part that just has to be replaced, I will not be upgrading anything. They are all cheap wm bikes, but is the Deception that much better that I can justify asking twice the price of the Amplifier for it?
    Last edited by luke99; 12-14-2010 at 05:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke99
    I am a college student looking to replace his 6-8 year old mtb that was probably bought at wm for $100. The brakes don't work and the front gear is bent out of shape, which causes the chain to slip and get stuck between the gears. I took it to the lbs and the guy there basically told me it wouldn't be worth the money to repair it, so I am asking for a new bike for Christmas.

    Mostly I will be riding this bike around campus, and occasionally off road/on easy trails. In other words, not real mountain biking (I know this is a mountain biking forum, I just wanted advice from someone who knows more about bikes than the local wm assembler).

    I went to the lbs to see what they had to offer, and the cheapest bike was $380. I know this is very much on the low end of the mtb price range, but it is too high for my parents. I have already made the argument that it would be safer/more durable/higher performance/more economical/more fitting/all around better, but the best they will do is a $200 bike. I don't have enough spending money to buy even a $200 bike, and do not know enough about bikes to be able to buy a used one from Craigslist or eBay, so I will asking for a bike from good old wallyworld (no, seriously).

    I know that anything in life worth doing/buying will cost good money, but I don't have good money right now. I will get a job over the summer, save up some money, and hopefully have enough to buy a decent bike. For now, though, I will take what I can get.

    So it's basically down to a Next Amplifier for $100, a Schwinn Sidewinder for $130, or a Mongoose Deception for $200. Unless there is some cheap part that just has to be replaced, I will not be upgrading anything. They are all cheap wm bikes, but is the Deception that much better that I can justify asking twice the price of the Amplifier for it?
    How tall are you?

  3. #3
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    6'4"

  4. #4
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    I think being your height might be a problem. Most of the wally bikes usually come in one size. But I could be wrong. Id check that 1st. You can find a bike used on CL for 200 that would be better than anything you will buy at walmart.
    Ride

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biohazard74
    I think being your height might be a problem. Most of the wally bikes usually come in one size. But I could be wrong. Id check that 1st. You can find a bike used on CL for 200 that would be better than anything you will buy at walmart.
    This is good advice - do NOT go the Wallyride route. Just. Don't. Do. It. Seriously, wallyrides are often poorly assembled for starters. Then, as mentioned, there's the fact that it is very unlikely to fit you well. You'll end up with a miserable riding experience in the saddle.

    My advice is to save a little more coin and then find a quality used HT 29er on CL in maybe a large-to-extra large size that'll fit you properly. It'll hopefully have halfway decent mechanical/hydro disc brakes and short-travel fork, etc. That way, if you decide to explore a little moderate singletrack at some point, it'll handle it. Even if you don't, the better quality ride should last you for many years with a little regular maintenance.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
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    I'd say the mongoose out of three.Then the Schwinn.Go sit on both and see which fits you better.
    A few of the people I ride with are in the same boat as you.Pick the one that fits good.You can always change the stem,bars,seat,seat post to your liking, cheaply.
    If you go through and tighten and tune,you'll be fine.My dad and many others have 1000's of miles on their Schwinn and mongoose bikes.Just know the limits of your bike and don't push them.

  7. #7
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    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEMIjer
    This or watch Craigslist. I would watch Craigslist tho. But DON'T get a Walmart bike

  9. #9
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    Wow ! $230 and free shipping on orders over $150. You can't lose ! There now you have the perfect excuse to not get a department store bike
    Ride

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEMIjer



    This x infinity , your size is still in stock . Good luck .

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    This x infinity , your size is still in stock . Good luck .
    yep,I watch this bike

  12. #12
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    With magic of a simple promo code, only $207! Will have to talk to the parents and then see how much assembly will be at the lbs, but I think this could be the one (I hope they don't run out before tomorrow). Thanks a lot HEMIjer! I know simply not being a wm bike makes this bike better, but is there anything else I can tell the parents to convince them?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke99
    is there anything else I can tell the parents to convince them?


    Tell them about the warranty , and that it will fit properly .

  14. #14
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    Tell them that its cost of ownership will be lower over a period of about a year and a half. (And much, much lower beyond that because you won't need to replace it.)

    If that falls, through, see if there's a used bike dealer in your town. IMO, a dealer on the up-and-up should guarantee a bike for at least 30 days.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
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    Performance has Money back Guarntee any issues just take it back, not sure how far one is from you, they have always had good cutomer service, although some bash performance you cant beat them for value.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke99
    6'4"
    Is the Mongoose Deception actually in stock at your local Wal-Mart? There is still one on the display floor at my local Wal-Mart and I am your height. My cycling inseam is 35.5" and I have tried the Deception out on three separate occasions while at the store picking up other stuff. I can't get the seat high enough with the stock seatpost to get rid of excessive knee bend at the bottom of the pedal stroke, so I would assume you would find a similar situation. Buying another seatpost would take care of that, but raise your costs of the bike. Even with the stock seatpost raised to its maximum height, the handlebars are very narrow and close for we tall guys. Wider bars and a longer stem would likely be needed for a 6'4" rider to improve the comfort - again adding to the cost of the bike. The bike would work for what you mention (riding around campus) and occasional off road easy trails.

    The fork really sags when you sit on the bike (I weigh 185 at the moment). I didn't try to adjust it, but noticed that after it sags, there is minimal travel left. And both of the wheels were not true which would require a bit of work to true them up and get them to stay.

    Just wanted to point out these issues for a $199 bike that really is sized out of the box - at least framewise - for 5'8" - 6' riders. Not a total loss to be riding around on a bike too small for you considering the price and just cruising around campus, but again - just pointing it out as you make your decision. A longer seatpost, wider bars, and longer stem would dial it in for you and improve the set up.

    Other options: If you could forgo the need to having something "new" under the tree or to receive as a Christmas present, picking up something at a garage sale, or pawn shop, or bike co-op might be the better and cheaper way to go.

    BB
    Last edited by BruceBrown; 12-15-2010 at 08:41 AM.

  17. #17
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    The deception is not listed as in stock for my store, but there are two on the patio and one on the rack. Just got off the phone with the only lbs in town. The guy said it would be $60 for an assembly. Final price, $220 for the deception, $300 for aggressor. Is it worth it?

    I do not trust myself enough to buy a used bike. I just don't know enough about bikes to get a decent one. I have looked on Craigslist anyway, but everything I saw was either a wm/kid's bike, or way out of my price range. Unless something cheaper comes up, it will either be the deception or the aggressor.

  18. #18
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    Assembling a bike is not that difficult. Just don't put the fork on backwards.

    Seriously, though, take your time, read the instructions on parktool.com for anything you're unsure of, and consider a torque wrench (should be sensitive in Newton-meters or inch-pounds.)
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    Assembling a bike is not that difficult.
    Because of all the hatred towards wm and the poor job wm assemblers do, I was assuming that if I wanted my bike assembled properly, I would have to get a professional to do it. As with anything, I'm sure it's easy once you know how to do it, but I don't know anything about bikes. I will save that $60 if it's possible for me to do it myself, but I'm not sure that I can or even should try and assemble it myself.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke99
    Because of all the hatred towards wm and the poor job wm assemblers do, I was assuming that if I wanted my bike assembled properly, I would have to get a professional to do it. As with anything, I'm sure it's easy once you know how to do it, but I don't know anything about bikes. I will save that $60 if it's possible for me to do it myself, but I'm not sure that I can or even should try and assemble it myself.
    Take a look at the one they have assembled on the patio at your local WM. The one at mine is assembled fine. Keep in mind they assemble plenty of bikes all year long and they are pretty much fully assembled (all components are mounted) in the box when they arrive at the store. The one at my local WM just has the brake levers set at an odd angle which is a quick and easy adjustment with an allen wrench to get them in proper alignment for a better wrist angle.

    Best of luck with your decision. I don't think you need to fork over $60 for an assembly at an LBS. Speak with the folks at Wal-Mart to make sure it is adjusted correctly for you and there is grease in the BB for the bearings. That won't cost you a dime.

    BB

  21. #21
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    I have been looking around the internet at instructions on how to assemble bikes, and I think I could do it as long as the headset/fork and the crankshaft were already assembled (I think that terminology is correct) and the rear wheel was already on. How assembled would the aggressor be out of the box? Adjusting the real derailleur is certain to give me a massive headache, but I think it could be done. This could be a good way for me to figure out at least a little more about my bike, but I don't want to seriously mess anything up.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke99
    I have been looking around the internet at instructions on how to assemble bikes, and I think I could do it as long as the headset/fork and the crankshaft were already assembled (I think that terminology is correct) and the rear wheel was already on. How assembled would the aggressor be out of the box? Adjusting the real derailleur is certain to give me a massive headache, but I think it could be done. This could be a good way for me to figure out at least a little more about my bike, but I don't want to seriously mess anything up.
    Luke. The bike comes in a box basically all put together. Except the front wheel,maybe the rear wheel and seatpost. You don't have to touch any gears or any of that good stuff. You will be ok man. Hurry and get it because at that price I doubt they will last long.
    Ride

  23. #23
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    Mostly the above. The pedals are usually also not installed (very easy) and the handlebars are either not installed, but usually have the controls on them, or they're just turned the wrong way. At worst, you may get the bike and find you need your shop to deal with one or two things, but if you do it a la carte, for just a couple things, it should come in at well under $60.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  24. #24
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    Just talked to the parents, and they're ok with it. I'm so excited (I love a good deal)! Hopefully it'll be here before Christmas. Thanks for all the help everybody, I really appreciate it.

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    Awesome dude ! Remember to grace us with pictures when you get it muddy no clean bike pictures. We like dirty bike pictures round these parts
    Ride

  26. #26
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    so went with the agressor then? Great GT makes a good a frame, even if they arent the GT of old, have fun with it.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by luke99
    Just talked to the parents, and they're ok with it. I'm so excited (I love a good deal)! Hopefully it'll be here before Christmas. Thanks for all the help everybody, I really appreciate it.
    remember to do something special for your parents- extra stuff around the house, etc. looks like they were being flexible with how much they wanted to spend. enjoy!
    - 1995 Giant ATX 870
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Z
    remember to do something special for your parents- extra stuff around the house, etc. looks like they were being flexible with how much they wanted to spend. enjoy!
    Hope my 12 yar old sees this thread
    Ride

  29. #29
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    I've been away for a few days, so I haven't really got a chance to try my shiny new bike out, but I got some pictures today. I haven't taken it out on any real trails, but I have been having a blast just driving it around my yard and on the short path between our property and our neighbors property. The path can't be more than 1000 feet, and is fairly straightforward other than a few small roots. My yard certainly isn't very extreme either, but I have been enjoying climbing up hills that would have been impossible to climb on my old bike.

    So nothing super intense, but I have been having a great time on my new bike. It actually stops (amazing I know), shifts beautifully and fits well. I'm absolutely loving it. Thanks again for all the help guys!






  30. #30
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    Congrats dude ! Nice bike for the price.
    Ride

  31. #31
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    nice looking bike... glad it all worked out for you!
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  32. #32
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    Looks like your parents' house sits on a fair amount of property...

    See if you can get them to let you build a pump track in the woods.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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