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Are Big Box Stores Promoting a Throwaway Bike Culture?

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Are Big Box Stores Promoting a Throwaway Bike Culture?

Old 03-25-20, 10:31 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Big box store bikes usually have a rather heavy strong frame. Just up grade the components.
No, they aren't particularly "strong". They are just heavy. Upgrading the components on a HelMart bike is just throwing good money after bad.

Originally Posted by hillyman View Post
Well my bikes as a kid were Huffys and Western Flyers and I've been around awhile. Cheap stores sell cheap stuff. We're the ones who buy it so who's to blame?
Those bikes weren't the same as the bikes with the same (or similar) names today. A Huffy cost about $100 forty years ago. They still cost about $100. Based on inflation, they should cost around $300. Something had to give in the middle. What "gave" was the value. You can go down your local bike shop, you can buy an entry level bike for $300 to $500. That bike is going to be a pretty good value and will likely ride well without service for quite a while. Even when it needs service, it is unlikely to wear out the parts in a few hundred miles. HelMart bikes won't last that long because everything about them is made as cheaply as possible. The steel used for axles, bearings, and cones are hardly iron, much less steel. I've seen numerous bearing sets on new HelMart bikes that have been ground to hemispheres rather than balls in just a few hundred miles. I've see bottom bracket cups that pull apart in the frame rather than unscrew. This crank spindle

Untitled by Stuart Black, on FlickrUntitled by Stuart Black, on Flickr

isn't even the worst I've seen in terms of twisting apart. I've seen one where the center twisted into something that looks like a fence finial.

By the way, for a bike to sell for $100 in 2020, it would have sold for $40 in 1980.

Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
You have obviously never tried to repair a Walmart bike.

Most of the parts are proprietary and ultra-flimsy---hard plastic or stamped pot-metal levers, stamped chain rings, cheap and flimsy stamped brakes .... you cannot buy replacement parts so you have to go to a real bike retailer and pay----almost always half or more of the total worth of the bike---to get real parts.

Now you have a $120 bike with $60 brakes and the rest is still crap. When the next bit fails .... spend another $60?

As far as recycling goes, when is the last time you actually took a bike to a recycler? How much of it gets reused?

The plastic might ... but probably none of it is recyclable. The metal might ... but how much does the recycler pay to have workers disassemble the bike for $1.22 worth of aluminum?

And where I live, a lot of "recyclable" material is Not accepted for recycling any more because there is no profit---the market is flooded with cheap crap. A lot of it cannot be reused due to contamination, and a lot of the plastic is already partially recycled and all it is good for is blown-in insulation for houses ... and there are only so many houses.

I know it is probably regional, but I question how much of any "recycling: is actually done---as opposed to companies shipping everything to landfills in India so they can meet their federal requirements for waste-stream recycling by percentage.

I thought they were easy to repair? Hmmmmm .....

Also ... High-end bikes Don't get thrown away. Most of them are used by their owners and then relegated to back-up or rain bike when they get replaced by a new model. A lot are sold. And even the expensive bikes which don't get ridden get sold---garage queens? ever heard the term?---and then ridden by someone else who really appreciates a good bike.

High-end bikes Can be repaired, and generally get good maintenance, because not a lot of people spend a lot of money on expensive stuff and trash it. And even if they don't get maintained, they still get sold ... and people replace the worn bits and ride them for years longer. It is worth doing if the basic bike is of good quality.

Walmart bikes ... break them, toss them, because almost any repair will cost more than a new bike.
I completely agree. Unfortunately, I often have to help keep the damned things running because that's all someone has.
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Old 03-25-20, 10:35 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
I bet there are a lot of bikes in the Milwaukee river...
We like to call that "fish structure"
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Old 03-25-20, 12:17 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by 100bikes View Post
The basic nature of big box store products. It is pretty easy to change color, slap any of wide array of decals
on one of these and call it a bicycle. Low end components. poorly manufactured and speed assembly put on
branded name plate = BSO's(Bicycle shaped objects).

No precision, really not repairable and as stated above, virtually no value in resale.
A true indicator of the throw away mentality.

As an industry, bicycles are a bit of an inconstancy.
The humble bicycle is a lifeline of mobility for many around the world.
They are very simple, functional and actually, very fun to ride.
They are virtually free to operate, save for cost to maintain and replace wear parts.

There are very few protections from the consumer receiving poorly manufactured, poorly assembled and
non precision units.( Note the posts and photos of big box units with the fork on backwards).
Assembly on the big box level is "pieces per hour".
Assembly at the LBS level is more of "hours per piece".

I would venture a guess there are more regulations for a pair of electronic ear buds than for a bicycle.
Compare a fork failing to the worst that could happen to many consumer product failures.


It is interesting to note that the cost of a LBS bicycle tune up or a professional assembly can rival or exceed
the initial cost or that of replacing a big box model with a new one.

The "return it because it broke" mentality fostered by amazon has people believing that this is their right.
Ebay's orientation is that the vendor/seller is always wrong and needs eat the costs for user error or abuse.
The "customer is always right" mentality of yesteryear has evolved into "Solve my stupidity or do what t I want or I'll sue or more
and its current iteration - "I'll blast you on social media" because you are not willing to roll over".
"I put the product through things it was never engineered to do, now it doesn't work or I bought the wrong thing
and I demand my money back" has become the consumer mantra.

​​​​​​Free service, free parts and immediate satisfaction. Free shipping to be included!

rusty
Back in the mid-1980s I worked at the main Canadian Tire store in Toronto Canada. At that time they had a lifetime warranty of frames and forks. We got a LOT of returns of MTBs because people tried to use them like a real MTB and the front fork would fold frontwards when the bike landed after going over a small drop off. Those bikes were mostly SIERRAs. I don't know who actually made them but the forks were quite flimsy for an MTB. Ditto for the adult 24" x 2.0" wheeled BMX bikes = flimsy forks.

WHen I volinteered at a bicycle co-op most of the bikes brought in for repairs were department store bikes and the most usual repair requested was to get the shifting to work. Index shifting but with spiral wound housing = many problems especially if the front shifter was for a indexed triple.

Cheers
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Old 03-25-20, 06:27 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
As far as recycling goes, when is the last time you actually took a bike to a recycler? How much of it gets reused?
The plastic might ... but probably none of it is recyclable. The metal might ... but how much does the recycler pay to have workers disassemble the bike for $1.22 worth of aluminum?.
You don't have to take a bike to a recycler. Leave it on the street and someone will grab it to recycle it.

No one pays workers to disassemble a bike in the scrap business. Small time street pickers will do some of this to maximize their profit as "clean" and sorted pays higher prices. I've seen guys at the scrap yard who have cut spokes to get an AL rim, removed axles from AL hubs, pulled seats and grips etc, just to have "clean" scrap that pays higher than "breakage" which is AL with other things attached.

In the real world of scrap, stuff gets crushed into small pieces and gets sorted magnetically for steel and by eddy current for other metals. This happens when it moves through the recycling supply chain to bigger volume proccessors.Do you think when a car gets recycled someone pulls out things like seats, hoses, etc.? It all goes through the shredder and the remainder (20% +/-) becomes "Auto Shredder Residue (ASR) and gets landfilled.
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Old 03-25-20, 07:30 PM
  #30  
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Snip
Originally Posted by BicycleBicycle View Post
Absolutely. That's one main reason I dislike hi-ten bikes. Has nothing to do with being snobby or anything.
/snip

You DO realize that most of the bikes before 1970 were hi-ten (not CrMo), right? I STILL ride my '75 Fuji S-10S that has a high-ten frame... I bought it new back then, and at 26 pounds was considered quite light in the day when a full Campy-equipped Schwinn Paramount on tubulars was doing good to weigh under 22 pounds!!! Your basic Electro-forged Schwinn Varsity was close to 40 pounds!!! https://bikehistory.org/catalogs/1975.html
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Old 03-25-20, 09:22 PM
  #31  
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Had the Schwinn Suburban .... 46 pounds. never has the slightest rust problem, and it would probably be an artifact in a museum 1,000 years from now if it hadn't gotten hit by a car.
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Old 03-25-20, 09:34 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
You don't have to take a bike to a recycler. Leave it on the street and someone will grab it to recycle it.

No one pays workers to disassemble a bike in the scrap business. Small time street pickers will do some of this to maximize their profit as "clean" and sorted pays higher prices. I've seen guys at the scrap yard who have cut spokes to get an AL rim, removed axles from AL hubs, pulled seats and grips etc, just to have "clean" scrap that pays higher than "breakage" which is AL with other things attached.
Except homeless people can only haul scrap in urban areas---I know a guy who did that, back hen I lived in an urban area. no one does that where I live now.

Where I live it is a couple hours drive to a recycling plant. Pretty sure no homeless guy is carrying a set of bike rims 100 miles on foot for what, $2.50 a pound? Also, thankfully .... hardly any homeless around here. No day-labor jobs, no Salvation Army free-meal-for-a-sermon set-ups, no free day-old bread give-aways. Maybe in any of the cities in the area .... which are all too far for people to walk to.

Where I live, bikes left at the end of driveways are trash. Maybe Milwaukee is different.

Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
In the real world of scrap, stuff gets crushed into small pieces and gets sorted magnetically for steel and by eddy current for other metals. This happens when it moves through the recycling supply chain to bigger volume proccessors. Do you think when a car gets recycled someone pulls out things like seats, hoses, etc.? It all goes through the shredder and the remainder (20% +/-) becomes "Auto Shredder Residue (ASR) and gets landfilled.
Yeah, except people don't bother shredding bikes and separating out the steel (of which there isn't much.) Again, maybe in a really big city there are enough bikes collected to be worth shredding and separating ... but again it is a matter of economics. Cars get shredded and separated because they are mostly STEEL, which is highly recyclable and really easy to separate with an electro-magnet. Bikes .... not so much. Aluminum is recyclable (though it takes a lot of electricity, I hear) But the cost of running the machinery has to be amply offset by the sale value of the recovered metal---which is pretty tough if you don't have a lot of bike frames.

As I said, where I live most stuff--even milk jugs and stuff---are not accepted for recycling because there simply isn't enough profit in collecting enough to truck them somewhere for processing and there isn't that great a demand for high-density polyethylene compared to the available quantities in stock.

Recycling is a business and when it is not a profitable business, people simply don't do it.

But hey .... I am not telling anyone how to live. if you want to buy a steady stream of Walmart bikes so you can feed the local recycling industry, be my guest.
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Old 03-25-20, 11:15 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post

Recycling is a business and when it is not a profitable business, people simply don't do it.

But hey .... I am not telling anyone how to live. if you want to buy a steady stream of Walmart bikes so you can feed the local recycling industry, be my guest.
This is the crux of the issue. Itís not profitable to make ecologically responsible products or services. A car that lasts 500,000 miles with no part replacements would drive a company broke. Oil is cheap to burn, but itís real expensive to neutralize its carbon footprint.

We canít expect to buy things for life. Nobody is in that business anymore. Itís either we keep buying a steady stream of stuff (this includes high end bikes) or we pay a steady stream of money for a single item.
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Old 03-26-20, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Virus stay at home orders are the new winter.
As my sister says, "We are in the Time of Woe."
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Old 03-26-20, 06:31 AM
  #35  
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I think you'll find most people won't buy a big box store bike if they are serious about riding-most know that they will not be quality and will not last. But for kids who are going to ride them for a season or so before outgrowing them, who abuse the heck out of them, they serve their purpose. And maybe for the parent who might ride very seldom with their child. Maybe I'm giving people too much credit for knowing big box bikes aren't top quality, I hope not.
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Old 03-26-20, 08:11 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
I think you'll find most people won't buy a big box store bike if they are serious about riding-most know that they will not be quality and will not last. But for kids who are going to ride them for a season or so before outgrowing them, who abuse the heck out of them, they serve their purpose. And maybe for the parent who might ride very seldom with their child. Maybe I'm giving people too much credit for knowing big box bikes aren't top quality, I hope not.
A lot of people also choose Department Store bikes if those people are low on finances, or is they are buying bikes for more than one family member at the same time. Other people who need/want a bike right away and don't have enough for a bike shop bike, might also choose to get a cheap Department Store bike for the time being. Or people will buy a cheap Department Store bike to see if they like bicycling or perhaps a certain type of bicycling before splurging on a relatively to them expensive bike. In other words, Department Store bikes do fill a niche.

Cheers
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Old 03-26-20, 08:23 AM
  #37  
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On what basis do you say "not particuarlly strong". If they are up graded with serviceable components, they may be a little heavy, but very serviceable over all. In many cases buying a "name" is a huge waste of money. Remember unlike the quality lugged frame bikes before 1990, almost all are computer welded frames from China. Only the name painted on the frame is different.

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Old 03-26-20, 08:38 AM
  #38  
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I think one should buy a bike because they like it, not because of some future resale value or because of it's perceived value by others. Frankly, that's a fools game as:

1. Almost all bikes will depreciate considerably over time
2. The purpose of a bike is to be ridden and enjoyed.

I have a couple of middle of the road nice bikes and some (what would be considered) clunkers. For various reasons, I enjoy them all. If you have an eye you can pick up some very decent thrift store bikes and replacement parts are fairly cheap for the < 8speed genre. Obviously a modern low end department store bike comes with some quality issues but that doesn't equate to all HiTen or inexpensive avenues.

One of the nicer bikes I have is a 92 Trek Mutitrack. HiTen but surprisingly light and responsive, well made, triple crank, canti lever, gravel tire capable, fender and rack mounts... An excellent all roads bike. The one negative (because I worry about frame strength) is that it is a step thru design. The only bike I currently scan CL for is a similar model in a diamond frame. When I see it I'll buy it and turn it into a gravel bike and invest in putting braised cage mounts where I want them.





Here's a guy who only works in HiTen. His bikes have a somewhat cult following:


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Old 03-26-20, 08:55 AM
  #39  
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Hmmm,
Pondering Hillymanís comment ...
So, we are holding big box stores responsible for our buying choices?
HMMM,
JD
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Old 03-26-20, 11:04 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
I think you'll find most people won't buy a big box store bike if they are serious about riding-most know that they will not be quality and will not last. But for kids who are going to ride them for a season or so before outgrowing them, who abuse the heck out of them, they serve their purpose. And maybe for the parent who might ride very seldom with their child. Maybe I'm giving people too much credit for knowing big box bikes aren't top quality, I hope not.
111.13 miles on my 2018 Roubaix Expert this morning and 100 miles of my birthday 140 miles last July in some heavy rain on my $100.00 - 2002 TARGET MAGNA 7SP 35+lb hybrid. BTW, minimal maintenance on the MAGNA and 8,000+ miles.
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Old 03-26-20, 12:54 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
I think you'll find most people won't buy a big box store bike if they are serious about riding-most know that they will not be quality and will not last. But for kids who are going to ride them for a season or so before outgrowing them, who abuse the heck out of them, they serve their purpose. And maybe for the parent who might ride very seldom with their child. Maybe I'm giving people too much credit for knowing big box bikes aren't top quality, I hope not.
I think you are. Unless you take the time to do your research, or you are just the type of person who looks to buy premium quality everything, most folks figure if it is sold at my local Wal Mart or Target, it must be good enough. And that is true for a lot of things. Coffee makers, laptops, plates, underwear. All perfectly serviceable stuff. But bikes are different. Even for kids.

I think a lot of folks don't appreciate just how bad department store bikes are.

So, my view is, even for kids, it is worth spending a few bucks more and going to a bike shop, or to buy a decent bike, if only for the assembly quality and service. If, that is, you actually want your kids to enjoy riding. When my son was little, we bought him a single speed purchased from a local bike shop, then when he outgrew that, a 6 speed Raleigh, also, from a local bike shop. Finally, after he outgrew that bike, I went to a local bike shop and gave them this challenge. Since at this point, when my son was about 10, he was ready for an adult bike,So I gave the owner of the shop a challenge. Build my son a bike in a small adult size for half the retail price of a comparable adult bike, since I already knew that at his growth rate, he would only fit the bike for 2, maybe 3 years. Anyway, the owner met the challenge, and built a bike around a used Trek 820 frame and fork for under $200. And my son rode the hell out of that bike, riding with me on rides of as long as 30 miles. When we sold the bike, it was still in tip top shape. If there were someone in my family who could have ridden the bike, I would have kept it.
BTW, my son always loved cycling and still does. After the Trek, he rode one of my bikes for a couple of years until he outgrew that bike. Then he got a used Mountain bike when he got into single track, then eventually upgrading to a better one. And when he needed a road bike, I bought him a used early 80s Gitane that someone had upgraded with modern components at some point.

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Old 03-26-20, 01:20 PM
  #42  
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Have to admit years ago when I was looking to buy a bicycle I didn't know if I be interested so wanted something cheap so I didn't wast much money. Anyway, I went to the local big box stores, quickly learned about bike sizing and quickly learned that big box stores don't make bikes big enough for me so turned to LBS brands.
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Old 03-26-20, 02:40 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
111.13 miles on my 2018 Roubaix Expert this morning and 100 miles of my birthday 140 miles last July in some heavy rain on my $100.00 - 2002 TARGET MAGNA 7SP 35+lb hybrid. BTW, minimal maintenance on the MAGNA and 8,000+ miles.
I really doubt that you would get the same mileage on a 2020 Target Magna without major problems. As bad as the 2002 version was, the 2020 version is far worse. That spindle I posted above isnít from a 2002 HelMart bike. The problems I...and others...have been seeing are with old HelMart bikes. They are often nearly new with only a few hundred miles on them.
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Old 03-26-20, 02:54 PM
  #44  
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It would be helpful if you would quote the people you are responding to so that we don’t have to guess.

Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
On what basis do you say "not particuarlly strong". If they are up graded with serviceable components, they may be a little heavy, but very serviceable over all. In many cases buying a "name" is a huge waste of money. Remember unlike the quality lugged frame bikes before 1990, almost all are computer welded frames from China. Only the name painted on the frame is different.
What I mean by being “not particularly strong” is that the frames are poorly welded and poorly fitted. Welds are barely adequate to hold the frame together. Threads on the bottom bracket are inconsistent. They are often too tight because the dies used to cut the threads are worn out and don’t cut the threads deeply enough. If the bottom bracket comes out of the shell, putting a new one back in will often need the threads to be recut so that the new bottom bracket can be threaded in. The frames are often misaligned. The forks are often misaligned. The derailers used are flimsy and won’t keep the bike in gear and are also very easily bent out of alignment...like bumping in a bike rack flimsy.

Yes, many bikes are welded in China. Most of the bike store bikes are welded in the better factories to specific specifications. The point of a bike store bike...even a cheap one...is to provide a quality product that will last, provide enjoyment, and, perhaps, get the customer to come back and buy something better.

The point of a HelMart bike is to provide an object that looks like a bicycle and will roll long enough to get it home where it will be ridden for a few miles at best and then hung on a peg where it will hang until someone decides to throw it away. HelMart’s model is not about getting people to ride bike but to come in to buy a bike and maybe pick up a bunch of other cheap stuff at the same time. The only thing that makes HelMart bikes safe is that they are so poorly built that they will stop working before they can collapse and cause the rider injury.
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Old 03-26-20, 06:50 PM
  #45  
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Both pro and con statements are a bit exaggerated but i think we All know what's up.

The fact that so many bike frames are made in China is irrelevant. That is like saying any person in the U.S. can do a job as well anyone else in the U.S. I am not a plumber or an electrician, not a cabinet-maker nor a car mechanic. So ... just because I live in the same country as people who do those things .... we are all equal? And every mechanic or electrician or plumber is as good as any other, because they are all in the same country. Prima facie absurd.

We have all seen great bikes and cheap knock-offs manufactured in China. In fact Almost All bike frames nowadays are manufactured in China ... so a new Cervelo R-series is exactly the same as a 2019 Magna "mountain" bike?

We have had this discussion countless times. Walmart (and other big box) bikes are Cheap. They are often poorly assembled, and never manufactured to very close tolerances (I have ridden enough--to destruction---to know this.) Yet, they serve numerous purposes very well.

Many are bought by people who never intend to ride far or hard, and who enjoy the bikes very much because they never test them to capacity. Many are bought by people who need transportation and cannot or need not spend several times more to just get around. Many are bought to please kids who think the bikes look cool, and who would beat the snot out of any bike .... and will outgrow it in a season anyway.

For a huge segment of the population (I think something like 75% of all bikes sold are from big-box stores, but anyone who cares more can refute or support that) a big-box bike gets the job done. And for many people, the cost of replacing the bike every season or two is still a better deal than paying a lot more money for a better bike.

And why should we even care?

People who play sports aren't going around scoffing at sneakers, saying how they would never stand up to the stress of pro sports, or competitive cross-country running, or whatever .... because sneakers are not serious athletic shoes. They are fashion items, or more so (as with K-mart models (which I wear) ) simply cheap and effective footwear.

Big-box bikes cannot be compared fairly with even cheap enthusiast bikes because they were designed and built to do different jobs.

Making false equivalencies and then pointing out how those falsely equivalent objects aren't equal .... seems a bit silly to me.

Last edited by Maelochs; 03-26-20 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 03-27-20, 06:02 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Both pro and con statements are a bit exaggerated but i think we All know what's up.................

.................Big-box bikes cannot be compared fairly with even cheap enthusiast bikes because they were designed and built to do different jobs.

Making false equivalencies and then pointing out how those falsely equivalent objects aren't equal .... seems a bit silly to me.
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Old 03-27-20, 09:26 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
We have had this discussion countless times. Walmart (and other big box) bikes are Cheap. They are often poorly assembled, and never manufactured to very close tolerances (I have ridden enough--to destruction---to know this.) Yet, they serve numerous purposes very well.

Many are bought by people who never intend to ride far or hard, and who enjoy the bikes very much because they never test them to capacity. Many are bought by people who need transportation and cannot or need not spend several times more to just get around. Many are bought to please kids who think the bikes look cool, and who would beat the snot out of any bike .... and will outgrow it in a season anyway.
As I said to OldTryGuy, their quality has gotten much worse in just the last few years. Their quality wasn’t all that good before but they weren’t prone to failures that could result in injury. The spindle picture I posted isn’t the first broken crank spindle I’ve seen on a relatively new HelMart bike. They have reached a point where they are so poorly made that they can’t serve the purposes for which they are intended safely.


For a huge segment of the population (I think something like 75% of all bikes sold are from big-box stores, but anyone who cares more can refute or support that) a big-box bike gets the job done. And for many people, the cost of replacing the bike every season or two is still a better deal than paying a lot more money for a better bike.

And why should we even care?
We should care for many reasons. Most of us here are enthusiasts in the true meaning of the word. We want to share our enthusiasm about an activity that brings us joy. I don’t want to see people trick into buying something that will spoil them on the idea of bicycling. If a bike doesn’t work properly, people never get the chance to enjoy the activity. If the bike breaks and causes injury, it may cause someone to actively get others not to ride bikes.

People who play sports aren't going around scoffing at sneakers, saying how they would never stand up to the stress of pro sports, or competitive cross-country running, or whatever .... because sneakers are not serious athletic shoes. They are fashion items, or more so (as with K-mart models (which I wear) ) simply cheap and effective footwear.
A sneaker from HelMart isn’t going to fail and possibly cause injury. The broken spindles I’ve seen can. A broken frame or broken fork could cause even more serious injury.

Big-box bikes cannot be compared fairly with even cheap enthusiast bikes because they were designed and built to do different jobs.

Making false equivalencies and then pointing out how those falsely equivalent objects aren't equal .... seems a bit silly to me.
I understand the need for a less expensive bike. I volunteer many hours per year at my local co-op to work on the worst bikes on the planet. Co-ops are the places where people take the HelMart bikes that don’t work because bike shops can’t work on them. I have no love for HelMart bikes nor am I under any illusion that they are diamonds in the rough.
I keep them running as well as possible but they also tend to be the bikes with the most problems and need the most care. I don’t tell people that their bikes are crap even though I know that their bikes are crap and are going to be coming back to us often. I won’t, however, tell someone to go out and buy a HelMart bike of any kind for any reason. They are just wasting their money.
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Old 03-27-20, 10:14 AM
  #48  
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Same old thread, different title.

Seriously, there is nothing new to say on this topic that hasn't been covered in literally dozens of threads.

There's a certain banned cat that must be shaking his fists like crazy right now, however. Heh heh.
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Old 03-27-20, 10:29 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Both pro and con statements are a bit exaggerated but i think we All know what's up.

The fact that so many bike frames are made in China is irrelevant. That is like saying any person in the U.S. can do a job as well anyone else in the U.S. I am not a plumber or an electrician, not a cabinet-maker nor a car mechanic. So ... just because I live in the same country as people who do those things .... we are all equal? And every mechanic or electrician or plumber is as good as any other, because they are all in the same country. Prima facie absurd.

We have all seen great bikes and cheap knock-offs manufactured in China. In fact Almost All bike frames nowadays are manufactured in China ... so a new Cervelo R-series is exactly the same as a 2019 Magna "mountain" bike?

We have had this discussion countless times. Walmart (and other big box) bikes are Cheap. They are often poorly assembled, and never manufactured to very close tolerances (I have ridden enough--to destruction---to know this.) Yet, they serve numerous purposes very well.

Many are bought by people who never intend to ride far or hard, and who enjoy the bikes very much because they never test them to capacity. Many are bought by people who need transportation and cannot or need not spend several times more to just get around. Many are bought to please kids who think the bikes look cool, and who would beat the snot out of any bike .... and will outgrow it in a season anyway.

For a huge segment of the population (I think something like 75% of all bikes sold are from big-box stores, but anyone who cares more can refute or support that) a big-box bike gets the job done. And for many people, the cost of replacing the bike every season or two is still a better deal than paying a lot more money for a better bike.

And why should we even care?

People who play sports aren't going around scoffing at sneakers, saying how they would never stand up to the stress of pro sports, or competitive cross-country running, or whatever .... because sneakers are not serious athletic shoes. They are fashion items, or more so (as with K-mart models (which I wear) ) simply cheap and effective footwear.

Big-box bikes cannot be compared fairly with even cheap enthusiast bikes because they were designed and built to do different jobs.

Making false equivalencies and then pointing out how those falsely equivalent objects aren't equal .... seems a bit silly to me.
A better analogy of big box bikes would be to cheaply made big box dress shoes. And as a member of an online dress shoe community, that is the comparison. Often people don't understand the difference between $50 shoes sold at big box retailers, and Good year welted or Blake stiched shoes that sell for $400 or $500 retail. Like quality bikes, a quality shoe will look great, get better with age, and when the sole wears out, you can take it to a cobbler to be rebuilt. A cheap shoe looks OK in the store but is made of cheap leather that will look ****ty after a few wears, won't be all that comfortable, and when it wears out, needs to be tossed in the garbage.
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Old 03-27-20, 10:34 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post

People who play sports aren't going around scoffing at sneakers, saying how they would never stand up to the stress of pro sports, or competitive cross-country running, or whatever .... because sneakers are not serious athletic shoes. They are fashion items, or more so (as with K-mart models (which I wear) ) simply cheap and effective footwear.
Eh, I'm not so sure. I have inexpensive "running style" shoes that I would not run in. When I did run I had to get my shoes at a running store to find shoes with the right amount of support for my pronation issues. I also played soccer in high school and there's a notable difference in shoe quality there as well that contribute to both comfort and performance. With anything, the further one gets into a hobby, the more one starts to notice the differences in quality between entry level and higher end.
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