$49 Mt Bike at K-Mart. I'm sorely tempted to waste $52.94 with tax just to play with it.

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by MotownBikeBoy, Dec 22, 2013.

  1. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    I went to the local K-mart (armpit of a store, btw) to pick up an emergency power station - didn't want to go to Sears at the mall, which is a zoo right now, but I wanted a Diehard brand model, so, it was K-mart. Five days before Christmas, and this armpit of a store was relatively deserted - I work right across the street from their former world headquarters, long since vacated, a testimony to a poorly run corporation.

    They had an enormous row of mass market bikes on sale, many half off or more. The price range was from a whopping $29 for a child's bike to around $150. In men's bikes, they had mt bikes starting at $50 sale price:

    http://www.kmart.com/pacific-evolution-26-inch-men-39-s-mountain-bike/p-080W121045110001P?prdNo=11&blockNo=11&blockType=G11

    I think it would be an interesting experience to buy one of these guys and attempt to ride it, and then treat it like a lab rat and see what I could learn about bike repair and maintenance trying to fix everything that breaks on it. If I put a couple of hundred bucks into it in the end buying the cheapest repair parts I could get and turned it into something tolerable, then I could donate it at a charity thrift shop or something.

    Or put it out at the curb on trash pickup day, where it probably belongs in the first place.
     
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  2. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    These cheap hi-ten bikes are good canditates for converting them to e-bikes.

    The frames (if the welds are not that nasty) are steel so they would cope well with cycle loads. Plus they are cheap so the total cost including motor, battery and wiring would still be lower then a new complete bike.

    Ofcourse its gonna look like the Delorean from "Back to the future" but... [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Using it for commuting might be ok too since nobody will steal that unless there is scrap yard around that buys steel with no questions asked...

    But the dual suspension ones are just plain terrible. The just front suspension ones might be ok-ish (and good for having a motor strapped on them but still very heavy for climbs etc). Some of those have some very low gearing for climbing.

    A motor (hand made by robots in China) and a battery (Jing-firehazard-chang model of high voltage) its gonna total something like another 5kg. But for something that doesnt require any effort to roll around (but not reliable in any way, these motors dont really seem like they wont burn) it might worth putting 200$ for something like a few thousand km of commuting... A downhill grade disk brake on front might be a good idea... [​IMG]

    Complete e-bikes with hidden batteries etc cost thousands... But they look much more integrated (and nicer) and they probably have much better wiring, circuits, motors, batteries, brakes etc...
     
  3. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Your idea actually sounds like a good plan to me ... and, one which many people could benefit from attempting if they do not already have an "old" bike which they can work on ...

    BUT, I would try to limit the KMART bike choice to those which have frames which have English Threaded BB shells (as will be typically be evident by a 3-piece crank).

    There are Ashtabula/("American")-to-European/(English) BB adapters ... $20-to-$30, plus shipping ...

    but, why bother if you don't need to?

    There are 110BCD BMX (i.e., shoulderless) spiders which are designed to fit on a one-piece, "American" crankset ...

    I suppose if someone were REALLY MOTIVATED then they might be able to modify a "regular" crank driveside to fit on Ashtabula crankset ...

    but, irrevocable changes are not for the faint of heart & therefore not recommended!
     
  4. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    I already have an ebike, but that would be a fun project. I have this guy:

    http://prodecotech.com/bikes/outlaw-ss/

    Unfortunately, I picked it up Good Friday, and rode it twice, two brief test rides, last year. My thought was to commute once in a while, it is about 15 miles each way. I never rode it because I never took the time to install the gel seat and other gear I bought to go with it. My bad, 2014 may work out better for me.

    The cheap bike idea, well, I don't really have time for it, but it would be a great learning experience. I'm contemplating it.
     
  5. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Actually the only interesting thing about it would probably be to learn how to built wheels from scratch as the electric motor is placed in the place of the wheels hub... Everything else is just zip-ties... [​IMG]

    But knowing how to built wheels is pretty cool indeed. [​IMG] But it needs a wheel truing stand, some meters etc...

    Info on wheel building:
    http://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html
     
  6. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    See, I wish I were mechanical. I would love to have the time and ability to take a bicycle mechanics training course. Unfortunately, I'm not very good with mechanical things in general, so I would need remedial basic shop class first. I get all of these ideas of things I would like to do, but never have the time to do them all. I need to learn to prioritize better. My big 2014 priority, in the professional arena, is that I have an interview with a graduate school intake counselor, I'm going to apply to get my masters in legal administration.
     
  7. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Funny... You like technical stuff... I like Philosophy School girls! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Btw... When enrolling in any technical course it might be a good idea to find one with lots and lots of lab classes and workshop classes. [​IMG] Theory is good but a more "physical" class gives an additional insight on the subject... [​IMG]​
     
  8. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    Well, that is just a hypothetical on the to do list right now, I have so many other things on my plate I wouldn't have the time for it anyway. My tri training starts in a couple of weeks, I have kept in touch with my former boxing trainer, I had to give that up prematurely last spring due to circumstances, but I really want to get back to that. If grad school happens it would start in September.
     
  9. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I think if you're going to be serious about cycling, you should learn about what jt takes to maintain and repair your bike. There are loads of videos on YouTube and a number of sites with tutorials that can help you learn virtually anything you need to do to a bike. Honestly, working on a bike is dead simple.
     
  10. MotownBikeBoy

    MotownBikeBoy Active Member

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    Very true, Sir. And, while I am better at it than I was initially, I am still intimidated by many aspects of simple repair and maintenance. I'm going to interpret your response as a "yes" vote -- I may actually do this thing.
     
  11. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  12. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Project based learning is very effective.
     
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