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Old 07-28-19, 02:17 AM
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Vintage Schwinn
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Lucille, you are correct. Perhaps, I was not clear but I did mean to say that "for those people that do not have the skills/knowledge/time/patience to research and learn"........meaning the desire or interest in learning.......
I do agree that there are many that do wish to know where and how one can obtain a suitable, inexpensive or reasonably priced bicycle.
A bicycle does not have to be complex, although it can be. There are plenty of inexpensive new bicycles that are more than adequate if assembled and adjusted properly.
A good friend and riding buddy of mine won the Clemson Triathlon in her age division today on Saturday July 27th, 2019, riding a GMC Denali 700C 21 speed road bike from Wal-Mart that she bought new in about 2015 for $179. She won, not just placing while riding a 29 pound Wal-Mart bike with the exact original equipment except for an improved seat. The 700C tires are newer than 2015 and the brake pads too but that is just because she wore out the original tires.

Yes, bike shops can be like car dealerships, but there are some that do care.
I ride ancient electro-forged Vintage Schwinns. My city has three major bike shops that all do a huge amount of business. Two go back to the 1970's and the youngest one originated in 1991. Only one had snooty/elite attitude of oh, we don't work on that, take it elsewhere and that was the staff of store. The store's namesake, founder-owner and former rock band drummer died in the past two years. He was as nice a person as they come and was helpful and willing to assist on any common equipment but his staff were not at all like him as they didn't like to even change a tube on common machinery, or heaven forbid, a Schwinn......Did you ever see that episode of COLUMBO where Detective Columbo drives his battered old gray Peugeot up to the showroom of the Beverly Hills Rolls-Royce Dealership and they come out and demand that he move that awful monstrosity off the property........yes, that bike shop is very much like that.
The other two bike shops have better attitudes toward common machinery even though they are located in more affluent areas, and one has a large building that is super-nice on the inside, like a luxury car dealership. I do know the owners of both of those. They are just as helpful with replacing a tube on a Murray or selling replacement brake pads for an ancient seventies Columbia/Huffy/Ross, or the #64 crank bearings for an ancient Schwinn, or installing a new chain for $16 total on something old that somebody just wants to get back on the road and ride. These guys all sell $10,000 bikes too. This area has a huge medical community and a segment of very very wealthy retirees. There are also thousands of folks that just want to ride whatever. Walmart, Target and the internet sell a ton of bicycles too.
The bike shops that do it right, treat everyone with respect whether they are replacing a tube or adjusting a shimano derailleur on a walmart bicycle or installing tires on a 1972 Varsity. That customer that they treat well may become more affluent at some point in the future, such that they might like to splurge on a fancier bicycle.
Read fifteen or twenty reviews written by actual customers and those who shopped there to get a feeling about how they are.
If you find that you are treated like you are first by any establishment, then my opinion is that those establishment(s) do not deserve to earn your hard earned money.
You can always find some other dealer or shop or bicycle source or supplier that wishes to earn your business.
You need not spend very much to obtain a decent bicycle. Those decent new bicycles need not be sourced from bicycle shops.
In some respects bicycles haven't changed too much in 75 years, and in some respects bicycles have indeed changed a whole heck of a lot in the past thirty years.
It depends upon what type of bicycle that you might be shopping for. Certain WALMART/Target bicycles are no worse than bicycles that bike shops carry for more than three times the cost. If you can determine that they are not lacking in quality control, or defective and the bike has been assembled properly and adjusted, even something modest from Walmart/Target will be an adequate basic bicycle that should provide years of enjoyment if you make certain that the crank bearings have adequate grease...headset bearings too...and wheel bearings. If you wish to learn more about how basic bicycles go together and function, and everything you'd wish to know related to road bicycles up through the 1970's and any other types of bicycles prior to the eighties, you should go on to ebay and find a $4 copy of the (c) 1973 book called "GLENN'S COMPLETE BICYCLE MANUAL by Clarence W. Coles and Harold T. Glenn........it is 338 pages softbound 8.5" x 11" and there were probably a half million copies sold over ten printings during the seventies............................those huge used book sellers on the bay often have ex-library book copies for $4 with free shipping. It is worth obtaining a copy, I'm certain you can find copies all day long for less than $7 with free shipping if you really search the bay. It is the best ever book written on Maintenance, Repair, and Selection as it relates to 1970's era bicycles......it was written in 1973.
It is very much like an automobile shop manual/repair manual. It still remains to this day, as the best book ever done on bicycle repair. If you want to know about bicycles and you want to do it yourself, you must own the GLENN'S COMPLETE BICYCLE MANUAL as there is no substitute.
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