Newbie questions

These are bikes that work well on the road for recreational riding or trips to the store and also work for paved or well groomed bike trails, rails-to-trails and around the block.
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Newbie questions

Postby dow » Tue May 10, 2016 9:23 am

Hello,

I'm 53 and my wife is 50. Our son is six, and we just got him his first bike (haven't given it to him yet, waiting for the weekend). Anyway, we'd like to start riding again and are looking for inexpensive bicycles (even more inexpensive, since we had a hailstorm a week ago, and we now need to replace our roof). I saw this bike at walmart, and would like some opinions of it. I realize that it's on the lower end of what the mart has for sale, but the budget is what it is.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/700c-Roadmast ... _limit=10&

The terrain here is pretty hilly, so we'll probably be hauling the bikes into town to ride, especially at the beginning.

I read the reviews on walmart.com, and the bad ones say things like, "junk. it fell apart," and stuff like that. The good reviews say things like "make sure it's set up correctly and it'll be fine." and similar.

What do you say?

Thanks in advance,
Dow
Dow Mathis ∴
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Re: Newbie questions

Postby Tomcat65 » Tue May 10, 2016 4:50 pm

It's a bike. It's not a stunt bike, not a lifetime purchase. But if you take care of it, and don't blame a bad seat design, or tires that leak, or bad shifting adjustment, and write it off as a horrible bike, it's an ok bike.
I see this exact bike on the road often, and if you're willing to do the maintenance and upgrades as you go, it will last, as long as you ride reasonably. It's loaded down with cheap components, as per the price, but those cheap components can get you on the road, get you hooked, and can be replaced with better parts as you go.

Several threads on this bike
http://www.bigboxbikes.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=3827
http://www.bigboxbikes.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2060&hilit=roadmaster+700c
Just a couple, It's a very basic bike. It should be very straight forward to maintain
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Re: Newbie questions

Postby dow » Wed May 11, 2016 6:59 am

Thanks for the info, Tomcat65. I suspected as much, but the only other forum that I found seemed to disregard all things big box. It's good to fins a place where it's not all about who can have the bestest, fastest, newest, most expensifeist bike,:) If you were in my shoes, would you choose this bike? If not, then could you make a recommendation in the same general price range that might be a better option?
Dow Mathis ∴
Boerne, TX
Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently motivated fool.
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Re: Newbie questions

Postby wa_desert_rat » Wed May 11, 2016 8:36 am

I think I'd look at something around $200 which seems to be the entry point for upgrade-able bicycles. Lots of Schwinn 700c bikes out there. My daughter and her husband moved and before their moving van arrived at their new home they discovered that there were a lot of nice bike trails (Richland, WA). So they went to the nearest WallMart and bought two Schwinn 700c bikes for about $200 each and have been riding them ever since.

The week spots will be pedals, cranks and bottom bracket. The bottom bracket (bb) is an easy switch to a sealed unit at your LBS. Pedals on the $99 bikes tend to be plastic and may break easily but WTB (a popular brand) pedals are available replacements for $40 or so. I think even WalMart sells decent replacement pedals.

Saddles (seats) are universally considered to be terrible on any store-bought bike of whatever price; probably because it's such a personal item. I like seats with a longer nose that allow me to move back and forth to change my body position in the "cockpit". I also find that longer, slender saddles don't chafe my thighs like wide ones do.

Tires and tubes, because they rotate, will change the way a bicycle feels on the road more than any other upgrade. Lighter is better (again, because they rotate). Wheels are a big upgrade in terms of price; tires and tubes not so much. Thick tubes are great for puncture resistance but terrible for adding effort to your cycling day.

On the other hand, there is a certain thinking that to get the best exercise from a bike you should pedal the heaviest bike with the rustiest chain you can find. This will give you the same workout in ten blocks as a $7,000 carbon fiber 14lb bike will in 50 miles. :lol:

I've been riding a $199 Mongoose Deception I bought from Walmart in December of 2011. So those guys who hate big box bikes are full of it. On the other hand, you can't expect much from a $99 bike.

Your six year old is the best gym membership you will ever find. I had an 8 year old living across the street who kept me active for 5 years 'til she moved to a new city far, far away. She'd be 15 now, though, and would probably not be caught dead cycling with an old guy so perhaps it was for the best. My advice: wait five years and get another six year old. LOL

Good luck!
WDR
http://www.bigboxbikes.com
"No one has ever had to evacuate a city because the solar ;panels broke!"
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Re: Newbie questions

Postby Tomcat65 » Wed May 11, 2016 3:10 pm

I agree with WDR, but if that price range is just about all you can bear right now...
The next best bet would be a discontinue or clearance bike, or maybe a Genesis GS29 or something similar. A GS29 will get you an aluminum frame, bigger, more rugged tires, but very similar components otherwise. Very upgrade friendly, which makes it a much better choice for long term at $149
http://www.walmart.com/ip/29-Genesis-Men-s-GS29-Bike/34116311
Image

OR

If you like the road bike style, this lil guy is hard to beat at $129
http://www.walmart.com/ip/700c-Men-s-Genesis-RoadTech-Road-Bike-Green-Black/42732935
Image
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Re: Newbie questions

Postby dow » Thu May 12, 2016 10:48 am

Thanks for all of the suggestions, WDR, but my wife says that you're nuts about the "wait five years, and get another six year old." :lol:

Yep, $200 would be a good place to start on a bike, but we're looking at that amount for two bikes, not just one, and SWMBO has declared that that's the budget. In the interest of continued marital bliss, I'll be better off sticking pretty close to that amount. I realize that, with the lower initial outlay, we'll be buying a lower quality product, and that things will wear out faster. Now, I might be able to bend that budget a little bit, but it'd have to be an amount that's easily justifiable, and for a very good reason (read, something that she'll approve).

Hmm... another look at walmart.com shows this one. 26" NEXT Avalon Men's Comfort Bike with Full Suspension. Is this better, worse, similar, or completely different form the one I was looking at? What difference, if any, would the 26" vs. 700c wheels make?

Thoughts?
Dow Mathis ∴
Boerne, TX
Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently motivated fool.
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Re: Newbie questions

Postby dow » Thu May 12, 2016 1:38 pm

Still looking around Walmart, and saw this one that my wife might like. Do you guys know anything about it?
700C Hyper SpinFit Women's Fitness Bike
Dow Mathis ∴
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Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently motivated fool.
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Re: Newbie questions

Postby Tomcat65 » Thu May 12, 2016 1:59 pm

Whole new ball game, That Avalon has a few proprietary parts that make it a short life bike. Mainly, the rear shock and suspension parts.. It's sharp, I've seen several around, but it's a small bike, and the 26" wheels are significantly smaller than a 700c. If you're in the 5'6" and under crowd, this bike might be perfect, but for the 6' guys, it's going to feel really small.

The 700c Hyper Spin Fit has good reviews. The quality of the Hyper brand is usually about the same as other bikes in this price range
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Re: Newbie questions

Postby dow » Thu May 12, 2016 2:15 pm

Thanks! The avalon is definitely out, then. Beth and I are both around 5-9 or so. Can the hyper spinfit be upgraded as things wear out or break (shifters, derailers, bb, etc.) without having to get replacements from Hyper (or spinfit, or whoever makes them)?
Dow Mathis ∴
Boerne, TX
Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently motivated fool.
dow
 
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 8:15 am

Re: Newbie questions

Postby Tomcat65 » Thu May 12, 2016 5:46 pm

Yep. It's another very basic bike.

But just so you know, in this price range, you might have a lot of breakage under normal conditions. WDR was dead on in his post, but these low cost bikes will get you out there. Just don't get completely discouraged when it breaks.
I like messing with bikes, it's a cool hobby, challenging at times, but low tech lol.. If you like tinkering, you're probably going to get to do a lot of tinkering with the bikes in this price range
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