"Why Cheap Bikes are a Bad Idea."

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SirMike1983

Riding a '38 Autocycle Deluxe
I mostly agree, but many buyers who come away from a big box store will say "I didn't buy a cheap bike". It's not that they are willingly buying a "cheap" bike, it's that they honestly think that $100 is what it should cost. You need to somehow reach the consumer who says that the $100 Wal-Mart bike is the normal thing, and how it is supposed to be (and that implicitly the $300 bike shop bike is overpriced).

The Bikemanforu channel summed it up, New York style, I think, on a couple of occasions. One of the best ways to educate people is to side-by-side a $400 bike shop bike that is of decent quality, and a $100 bottom-of-the-barrel big box bike. You get people just walk into the big box store, and say "hey that one looks cool" and they buy it. You've got to educate them and convince them that for $300, you're getting a big difference.



 

5782341b77vl

Look Ma, No Hands!
If you want Wal-Mart stuff, get it from Wal-Mart! If you want a bike not built by the door greeter, go to the pros, at a bike shop! Wal-Mart has driven so many small, local shops out!

I think we only have one cycle shop left in my town... then there's Wal-Mart! Sadly, it's almost a ghost town over there now. I'm not sure how long they'll be there. I hate Wal-Mart and those "disposable" bikes they sell!

When you go get a bike, support your shops and buy locally (not big corporate store)!

Remember, just because you buy one from Wal-Mart, doesn't mean that they'll fix it for you!
 

phantom

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I don't mind Wal Mart at all. Open 24 hours, usually have whatever I want, hardware/plumbing/garden/ammunition a few frozen items and there is one about every three miles in any direction. Wouldn't buy a bike there though just as I wouldn't buy a new one from a local bike shop either. I likes em used.
 

Oilit

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
I don't mind Wal Mart at all. Open 24 hours, usually have whatever I want, hardware/plumbing/garden/ammunition a few frozen items and there is one about every three miles in any direction. Wouldn't buy a bike there though just as I wouldn't buy a new one from a local bike shop either. I likes em used.
Agreed. There are new bikes as nice as anything ever built, but they aren't cheap. There are nice looking bikes at Wal-Mart that are cheap, but the quality is realistic for the price, in other words not much. If you're a cheap skate like me, then old bikes are the only way to go. I picked up a 2000-something KHS Wedgewood last week, Nexus seven speed hub, a thumb shift slick as the old Sturmey-Archers, and cantilever brakes front and back, $120.00. I was pedaling it around the parking lot and not thinking, I grabbed the front brake like I would on my old Traveler. It nearly pitched me over the bars.
 

Superman1984

Cruisin' on my Bluebird
Agreed. There are new bikes as nice as anything ever built, but they aren't cheap. There are nice looking bikes at Wal-Mart that are cheap, but the quality is realistic for the price, in other words not much. If you're a cheap skate like me, then old bikes are the only way to go. I picked up a 2000-something KHS Wedgewood last week, Nexus seven speed hub, a thumb shift slick as the old Sturmey-Archers, and cantilever brakes front and back, $120.00. I was pedaling it around the parking lot and not thinking, I grabbed the front brake like I would on my old Traveler. It nearly pitched me over the bars.
Bought a girl's Schwinn cruiser 7 for $75 just because of the Shimano Nexus 7 is worth that. The rest could be parts if I decide to hodge podge another frame. I have walmart bikes bought used for $60-less because the rims, tires, tubes, chains, generic sprockets, and other parts make for useable parts to make riders out of cheap vintage $100 or less klunkers. I enjoy making a rider out of anything vintage .... I guess. At least the frame is quality regardless of parts & I know enough to properly grease etc
 

Jimmy V

Finally riding a big boys bike
I enjoyed the bike man videos. I agree with @Sir Mike 1983 about people just thinking that a bike should only cost $100 or whatever, and thinking that they are getting a NICE new bike, what could be so bad? They don't really know. I drive around neighborhoods for a living, and I see them littering the front yards in all the time, tossed on the ground by an uncaring kid or left out to rust by its owner. And these are not knowledgeable enthusiasts. They just want something to ride or to make their kid happy with a new bike.
Of course I would rather see them support their local bike shop, but they don't know better.

I refurbish vintage Schwinn Middleweights or Lightweights and sell them at my wife's antique mall space or at the local swap meet for about what these cheap bikes cost, often less. I go through them and grease everything, make sure the tubes and tires are good or replace if needed, and they are getting a good bike that will last many years. I tell people that these old bikes are a great alternative to the Chinese store bought bikes. And vintage American made is way better.
If I count my time, I'm not making much but I enjoy putting them back on the road, and I hope they will be enjoyed for many years.
 
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