upgrading a walmart bike

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  • 06-18-2008
    bucksaw87
    upgrading a walmart bike
    well, i got a spare walmart bike hanging around here. i'm wondering if it's worth putting time and effort into upgrading the thing to make a decent commuter...the only big problems with the bike are the front fork, and the brakes. the biggest thing i'd probably have to do would be upgrade the fork, because let's face it, the stock one sucks (bobs up and down while i'm pedalling). somehow, while taking the brakes apart, i lost 2 of the springs, so i'd have to replace those too. ultimately, i'd probably wind up keeping just the frame, cranks, and rims and replacing the rest. but, is it worth it, or should i just put all my money into a brand-new setup?
  • 06-18-2008
    Buck268
    Guess that depends... Do you do all your own work? If so, the brakes a almost a non-issue. UNder $30 a piece of new Avid Single digit v-brakes. Maybe they aren't the absolute top of the line, but they aint bad.

    As for the fork... well that can get expensive. Are you going with a suspension or rigid fork? A decent suspension fork will cost easily $200...
  • 06-19-2008
    rodar y rodar
    In my opinion, time and effort is worth putting in. More money than a nice dinner for two not worth it. Like the last guy said, a pair of V-brakes can be had for cheap- might even be able to find a used set for $5 or so at your local bike shop- sometimes they have stuff laying around on their benches. A fork will probably get into some real money.
  • 06-19-2008
    PaintPeelinPbody
    I'd buy a cheap used frame off ebay and a cheap rigid fork.

    Really, for a commuter, you can buy a better bike at thrift store or in the paper. People throw out classics from the 80's that make modern Wal-Mart bikes look like crap in turns of quality.
  • 06-19-2008
    rodar y rodar
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PaintPeelinPbody
    Really, for a commuter, you can buy a better bike at thrift store or in the paper. People throw out classics from the 80's that make modern Wal-Mart bikes look like crap in turns of quality.

    I USED TO see nice bikes frequently at thrift shops. For the last few years, not so much. Just taking a guess, I think they probably still show up but get sold right away due to the current fixie/SS craze. If that`s the case, the availability of nice bikes at the thrift shops in any given town probably depends on the old bikes : hipsters ratio :D I still see what look to be good buys on Craigs List but I can`t figure out how to reply except when prople put their e-mail or phone number in the add.
  • 06-19-2008
    bucksaw87
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Buck268
    Guess that depends... Do you do all your own work? If so, the brakes a almost a non-issue. UNder $30 a piece of new Avid Single digit v-brakes. Maybe they aren't the absolute top of the line, but they aint bad.

    As for the fork... well that can get expensive. Are you going with a suspension or rigid fork? A decent suspension fork will cost easily $200...

    do you know where i could find a decent, inexpensive rigid fork?

    and brakes are brakes (to me...i'm not experienced enough to feel a difference), unless they have that slippery factory finish stuff on the pads ;)


    oh, and as far as painting the frame...good idea? i know we have some rustoleum primer around here. just peel off the stickers, sand the finish off, prime and paint?
  • 06-19-2008
    J. Fragera
    Look around a bit, I ended up finding a Trek 3700 frame laying around that had been stripped down to just frame, fork, handlebars. Got it for $20, then went to my LBS, and asked about used parts. They basically told me that they had a 3700 that had gotten the frame run over, but the components are still good. Long story short, getting the used gear cheap, and my son gets a good starter mtb.

    I know there was some luck involved in my case, but I am sure something would turn up that would turn into a nice commuter for you. That and you wouldn't have to put a fork on a bike that cost as much as the original bike did.
  • 06-19-2008
    Hand/of/Midas
    find out who your local mtn bike groups are, and youll find peopole with good used parts they dont need in their garage anymore,for cheap. better yet find their wives when the guys arnt home, they'll give it all to you for free!

    but yes i agree to get a old used bike.