Just want an inexpensive bike for short trips

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by [email protected], Apr 16, 2006.

  1. I'm not looking at really biking for heavy exercise just yet. I want to
    buy a bike that I can use comfortably. I do not want a suspension (to
    much to worry about) since I am doing city riding. I would like about 3
    speeds so I can deal with slight differences in road grade.

    I have been reading on here a lot about what bikes are good and not
    good. I can see that most of the problems are with bikes that have more
    things that can go wrong, so simple is better in my case.

    I found (don't laugh) a wal-mart bike that I think fits my needs at
    this time. It is the Next Monterey.

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=3596787

    My question is, how hard is the gear system to take care of in this
    case? it is 3 speed internal gear system. My parents had a similar
    system on their ancient 3 speed bikes and they never seemed to have a
    problem with it.

    what do you all think? good buy for my needs? Will I have a problem
    getting fenders and a stand on it?

    Thanks all.

    Jeremy

    P.S. If I do get into biking for exercise sake, I will definitely use a
    LBS... Hopefully I can convince my wife to let me spend a 400 or so on
    a OK bike.
     
    Tags:


  2. catzz66

    catzz66 Guest

    If I were in your position, I would look for a used mountain bike (no
    suspension) or road bike. I have not seen anything at WalMart that
    would get me excited. If you don't make a mistake, you might be able to
    always get your money out of it. This may not be what you want to hear,
    but you asked for advice. This what I did and worked for me. You
    should buy a bike that is road worthy enough to last you a while if you
    decide you want to get serious about riding. There are a lot of good
    used bikes out there if you start looking.
     
  3. Art Harris

    Art Harris Guest

    Jeremy wrote:

    > I have been reading on here a lot about what bikes are good and not
    > good. I can see that most of the problems are with bikes that have more
    > things that can go wrong, so simple is better in my case.


    Not necessarily. The Walmart bikes are the absolute lowest quality, and
    more importantly, are seldom assembled and adjusted properly. I'd be
    concerned about the durability of the wheels, and how well the brakes
    other important components were adjusted. If you know how to work on
    bikes, you may be able to get reasonable performance if you're willing
    to spend a few hours tweaking it. But don't expect it to be road worthy
    when you leave Walmart.

    Yes, you'd have to pay at least twice as much for a bike at an LBS, but
    I think that would be a better value. See the links below for bikes
    that mght fit your requirements:

    http://brandscycle.com/itemdetails.cfm?catalogId=39&id=5154

    http://brandscycle.com/itemdetails.cfm?catalogId=39&id=5028

    Art Harris
     
  4. <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I'm not looking at really biking for heavy exercise just yet. I want to
    > buy a bike that I can use comfortably. I do not want a suspension (to
    > much to worry about) since I am doing city riding. I would like about 3
    > speeds so I can deal with slight differences in road grade.
    >


    I bought a cheap bike on EBAY, it was about a 4 year old Hybrid (flat bar
    700c wheels etc). It was not ridden much and has served me well so far. From
    what I can see of the bike you are interested in it "might" serve you well
    for a while but I am less enthusiastic when you talk of adding fenders ,
    although I call them mudguards here in Australia. If you actually want to
    protect yourself from road gunk etc then you are not talking about cheap and
    nasty decorative snap-on bits of plastic. Also if you are interested in
    fenders then you don't sound like a fair weather rider.

    So I recommend buying someone elses exercise ambitions gone south or at
    least go to your LBS and see what is at the bottom end of their stock.You'll
    could get a much better bike for your money and you will at least get the
    extras fitted properly for you, and maybe at some discount.Personally i
    wouldn't bother with a stand but I would get a lock. Get a good one so at
    least if you do get the Walmart bike noone will steal your lock.

    Department store bikes are usually heavier and have the cheapest components
    like pedals and cranks, hubs, brakes and tyres. These are the things that
    wear out. You don't get quick release hubs which means extra tools. Better
    bikes use allen key bolts, the tools for which can be light and easily
    carried.

    The internal geared hub is usually very low maintenance but deraileur gears
    are more suited to slight differences in road grade, 3 speeds are too widely
    spaced for anything but coarsly adapting pedaling effort to the terrain.


    Regards Wilfred
     
  5. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > I'm not looking at really biking for heavy exercise just yet. I want to
    > buy a bike that I can use comfortably. I do not want a suspension (to
    > much to worry about) since I am doing city riding. I would like about 3
    > speeds so I can deal with slight differences in road grade.
    >
    > I have been reading on here a lot about what bikes are good and not
    > good. I can see that most of the problems are with bikes that have more
    > things that can go wrong, so simple is better in my case.
    >
    > I found (don't laugh) a wal-mart bike that I think fits my needs at
    > this time. It is the Next Monterey.
    >
    > http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=3596787
    >
    > My question is, how hard is the gear system to take care of in this
    > case? it is 3 speed internal gear system. My parents had a similar
    > system on their ancient 3 speed bikes and they never seemed to have a
    > problem with it.
    >
    > what do you all think? good buy for my needs? Will I have a problem
    > getting fenders and a stand on it?
    >
    > Thanks all.
    >
    > Jeremy
    >
    > P.S. If I do get into biking for exercise sake, I will definitely use a
    > LBS... Hopefully I can convince my wife to let me spend a 400 or so on
    > a OK bike.
    >


    I say go for it and report back in a month or two. $100 is a trivial
    amount to risk -- a lot of people here spend that much on tires.
     
  6. <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I'm not looking at really biking for heavy exercise just yet. I want to
    > buy a bike that I can use comfortably. I do not want a suspension (to
    > much to worry about) since I am doing city riding. I would like about 3
    > speeds so I can deal with slight differences in road grade.
    >
    > I have been reading on here a lot about what bikes are good and not
    > good. I can see that most of the problems are with bikes that have more
    > things that can go wrong, so simple is better in my case.
    >
    > I found (don't laugh) a wal-mart bike that I think fits my needs at
    > this time. It is the Next Monterey.
    >
    > http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=3596787
    >
    > My question is, how hard is the gear system to take care of in this
    > case? it is 3 speed internal gear system. My parents had a similar
    > system on their ancient 3 speed bikes and they never seemed to have a
    > problem with it.
    >
    > what do you all think? good buy for my needs? Will I have a problem
    > getting fenders and a stand on it?
    >
    > Thanks all.
    >
    > Jeremy
    >
    > P.S. If I do get into biking for exercise sake, I will definitely use a
    > LBS... Hopefully I can convince my wife to let me spend a 400 or so on
    > a OK bike.
    >


    There isn't anything really wrong with the bike. It should work OK for what
    you want to do, based on what you said.
    It appears to have mounting points for fenders and a rack.
    Do check it over carefully to ensure everything is properly tightened and
    working OK though. I wouldn't trust the store personel too much on this.
    The bike is cheap, not exactly high quality, so one shouldn't expect
    thoroughbred performance out of it.
    It does work Ok though.
    The internal 3-speed is pretty much the same thing your parents used way
    back when. So that should not be a problem.
    I usually suggest that people to get an Electra Townie myself, but they cost
    a little bit more.
    http://www.electrabike.com
     
  7. richard

    richard Guest

    Check garage sales, rummage sales, etc for an old Raleigh, Herculese,
    Schwinn, etc for anything with a Sturmy-Archer hub. There are lots of
    them around, and I doubt that you'll pay anywhere close to $100. Any
    good bike shop will work on those (they will NOT work on a Wal-Mart bike
    around here!), and they're pretty bomb-proof.

    One thing about old Schwinns, though - it's may be a royal pain to find
    and mount tires on those.

    [email protected] wrote:
    > I'm not looking at really biking for heavy exercise just yet. I want to
    > buy a bike that I can use comfortably. I do not want a suspension (to
    > much to worry about) since I am doing city riding. I would like about 3
    > speeds so I can deal with slight differences in road grade.
    >
    > I have been reading on here a lot about what bikes are good and not
    > good. I can see that most of the problems are with bikes that have more
    > things that can go wrong, so simple is better in my case.
    >
    > I found (don't laugh) a wal-mart bike that I think fits my needs at
    > this time. It is the Next Monterey.
    >
    > http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=3596787
    >
    > My question is, how hard is the gear system to take care of in this
    > case? it is 3 speed internal gear system. My parents had a similar
    > system on their ancient 3 speed bikes and they never seemed to have a
    > problem with it.
    >
    > what do you all think? good buy for my needs? Will I have a problem
    > getting fenders and a stand on it?
    >
    > Thanks all.
    >
    > Jeremy
    >
    > P.S. If I do get into biking for exercise sake, I will definitely use a
    > LBS... Hopefully I can convince my wife to let me spend a 400 or so on
    > a OK bike.
    >
     
  8. Mike

    Mike Guest

    richard wrote:
    > Check garage sales, rummage sales, etc for an old Raleigh, Herculese,
    > Schwinn, etc for anything with a Sturmy-Archer hub. There are lots of
    > them around, and I doubt that you'll pay anywhere close to $100. Any
    > good bike shop will work on those (they will NOT work on a Wal-Mart bike
    > around here!), and they're pretty bomb-proof.
    >
    > One thing about old Schwinns, though - it's may be a royal pain to find
    > and mount tires on those.
    >
    > [email protected] wrote:
    > > I'm not looking at really biking for heavy exercise just yet. I want to
    > > buy a bike that I can use comfortably. I do not want a suspension (to
    > > much to worry about) since I am doing city riding. I would like about 3
    > > speeds so I can deal with slight differences in road grade.
    > >
    > > I have been reading on here a lot about what bikes are good and not
    > > good. I can see that most of the problems are with bikes that have more
    > > things that can go wrong, so simple is better in my case.
    > >
    > > I found (don't laugh) a wal-mart bike that I think fits my needs at
    > > this time. It is the Next Monterey.
    > >
    > > http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=3596787
    > >
    > > My question is, how hard is the gear system to take care of in this
    > > case? it is 3 speed internal gear system. My parents had a similar
    > > system on their ancient 3 speed bikes and they never seemed to have a
    > > problem with it.
    > >
    > > what do you all think? good buy for my needs? Will I have a problem
    > > getting fenders and a stand on it?
    > >
    > > Thanks all.
    > >
    > > Jeremy
    > >
    > > P.S. If I do get into biking for exercise sake, I will definitely use a
    > > LBS... Hopefully I can convince my wife to let me spend a 400 or so on
    > > a OK bike.
    > >

    >YOU'LL BE SORRY!!!! A Walmart, Kmart or Target bike is fine for a few months, and then the bicycle bug will bite you in the butt! Then you 'll be sorry that you didn't start off right to begin with and you'd be stuck with an inexpensive used bike that you'd practically have to give away. You can get a decent mountain bike at an LBS for $200-300. Don't use the shifting if you don't care to. Just enjoy it. Buy a litle seat bag, a few critical tools, and when the bug bites, the first thing you'll want to do is learn all about bikes, how to use them properly, how to tune them, fix them, care for them. If you're anything like me, the bug will become an obsession and your bike will beome more imortant than your wife.....well almost! Venture out....buy a good one! You never know how long you'll be on this earth so make the best of it now! Mike G
     
  9. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    Wilfred Kazoks wrote:

    > I am less enthusiastic when you talk of adding fenders ,
    > although I call them mudguards here in Australia. If you actually want to
    > protect yourself from road gunk etc then you are not talking about cheap and
    > nasty decorative snap-on bits of plastic. Also if you are interested in
    > fenders then you don't sound like a fair weather rider.


    What's wrong with plastic fenders? I have a few bikes equipped with ~$15
    plastic fenders, they work fine. Most fenders need to be extended with
    mudflaps -- again, "cheap" plastic works fine, I use pieces cut from
    plastic jugs.
     
  10. You've come the wrong place to ask about getting a dept.
    store bike. Too many bike snobs here @ r.b.t.

    The bike in question looks nice visually, but in my experience
    cheap department store bike are seldom assembled properly
    and they just don't last. A bike takes a lot of abuse 'JRA' (just
    riding along) and you *do* get what you pay for.

    I would recommend the used bike route (pardon bad pun). I've
    owned many used bikes and they've all been good. Lots of
    people will purchase decent bicycles, never use them, and then
    sell them - cheap. Get a good bike from a reputable manufacturer.
    I would either check out Ebay, or ideally a local bike shop that
    sells used. You can also gets lots of free advice and repair help
    from a LBS that you'll never get from walmart.

    The Walmart bike does look nice, but I still wouldn't get it.

    Eric
     
  11. [email protected] wrote:
    > I'm not looking at really biking for heavy exercise just yet. I want to
    > buy a bike that I can use comfortably. I do not want a suspension (to
    > much to worry about) since I am doing city riding. I would like about 3
    > speeds so I can deal with slight differences in road grade.
    >
    > I have been reading on here a lot about what bikes are good and not
    > good. I can see that most of the problems are with bikes that have more
    > things that can go wrong, so simple is better in my case.
    >
    > I found (don't laugh) a wal-mart bike that I think fits my needs at
    > this time. It is the Next Monterey.
    >
    > http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=3596787
    >
    > My question is, how hard is the gear system to take care of in this
    > case? it is 3 speed internal gear system. My parents had a similar
    > system on their ancient 3 speed bikes and they never seemed to have a
    > problem with it.
    >
    > what do you all think? good buy for my needs? Will I have a problem
    > getting fenders and a stand on it?
    >
    > Thanks all.
    >
    > Jeremy
    >
    > P.S. If I do get into biking for exercise sake, I will definitely use a
    > LBS... Hopefully I can convince my wife to let me spend a 400 or so on
    > a OK bike.
    >

    The bike you are considering has a Sturmey Archer 3 speed hub with
    coaster brake. I believe that it is the same S-A hub you will get from
    your LBS. It is the most problematic part of the bike. That said, it is
    a S-A which is a good serviceable component. I believe it will be
    problem free for the most part.

    All considered, if you can make the initial adjustments necessary for
    proper operation, I'd say get the Wal Mart bike.

    If you don't know how to do the initial tune-up, then I suggest you get
    a good book on the subject and learn how to do it. Even if you owned the
    most expensive bike on the planet you will need to tune it up
    eventually. The earlier you learn how, the better. Is is far from rocket
    science, and most anybody, even the mechanically challenged can do it.

    HTH,
    EJ in NJ
     
  12. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On 16 Apr 2006 01:21:51 -0700, [email protected] wrote:

    >I'm not looking at really biking for heavy exercise just yet. I want to
    >buy a bike that I can use comfortably. I do not want a suspension (to
    >much to worry about) since I am doing city riding. I would like about 3
    >speeds so I can deal with slight differences in road grade.
    >
    >I have been reading on here a lot about what bikes are good and not
    >good. I can see that most of the problems are with bikes that have more
    >things that can go wrong, so simple is better in my case.
    >
    >I found (don't laugh) a wal-mart bike that I think fits my needs at
    >this time. It is the Next Monterey.
    >
    >http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=3596787
    >
    >My question is, how hard is the gear system to take care of in this
    >case? it is 3 speed internal gear system. My parents had a similar
    >system on their ancient 3 speed bikes and they never seemed to have a
    >problem with it.


    The major things that have changed in that setup are the shifter and
    the location of the plant that makes the hub. Sturmey-Archer hubs are
    no longer made in Asia (hence the low price; the hub alone would fetch
    the price of that bike if it were still made in England), and the new
    manufacturer has succumbed to the twist-grip mania. I doubt that the
    trist-grip shifter could possibly be as durable as the old SA triggers
    were (I have one outside that's easily 30 years old, and still works
    just fine), but you'll probably get good service from it anyway.
    Maintenance on the hubs is merely a matter of oiling the works once in
    a while. You'll need to master adjusting the cable, as the shifter
    must be disconnected when you dismount the rear wheel to fix a flat,
    but that's not exactly rocket science.

    >what do you all think? good buy for my needs? Will I have a problem
    >getting fenders and a stand on it?


    It's got a kickstand. 26" fenders from Nashbar (or wherever) would be
    easily added.
    --
    Typoes are a feature, not a bug.
    Some gardening required to reply via email.
    Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
     
  13. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    Additional issues:

    Low-end Wal-Mart bikes of my experience tend to have lousy seats;
    don't be surprised if you find that the seat on this one either
    refuses to stay securely clamped (tilting when you hit a bump) or just
    can't be ridden comfortably.

    The lack of a hand brake for the front means that you're going to have
    a much longer stopping distance than you would if a front brake was
    present.

    Before you ride the bike, look closely at the position of the valve
    stems in the wheels. If the stem is angled or seems jammed to one
    side of the hole in the rim, deflate the tire, reposition the tire and
    tube as needed to get the stem centered and straight, and reinflate.

    Remember, tires lose air slowly no matter what you do; get a tire pump
    unless you have a source of compressed air very close by. Never ride
    on a flat unless you have a fondness for replacing things that could
    have been reused.

    --
    Typoes are a feature, not a bug.
    Some gardening required to reply via email.
    Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
     
  14. Werehatrack

    Werehatrack Guest

    On Sun, 16 Apr 2006 12:25:48 GMT, richard <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >One thing about old Schwinns, though - it's may be a royal pain to find
    >and mount tires on those.


    No joke! Beware of 26" Schwinn three-speeds (and 26" Schwinn
    derailleur bikes, for that matter) that have tires which are not
    obviously of the now-common "mountain bike" size range. Schwinn made
    a bunch of bikes with rims that look like they take the common 26 x 1
    3/8" tires, but they're just a trifle bigger, and the common tires
    will not fit. (Actually, it's sort of possible to force a 26 x 1 3/8"
    tire on to these, but you'll be sorry you tried.) Getting two tires
    of the correct size for one of those Schwinn bikes can set you back as
    much as the price of a whole WallyWorld bike.
    --
    Typoes are a feature, not a bug.
    Some gardening required to reply via email.
    Words processed in a facility that contains nuts.
     
  15. Well... I looked on craigslist for my area and found a Raleigh Sprite
    for 25 bucks. the picture does not show any obvious blemishes or rust,
    and the guy told me that it shifts fine.

    I think if I can close the deal with this fellow I will purchase it. it
    is a 10 speed, so no hub. There is another fellow selling a Raleigh
    cruiser, probably from the last 8 years or so give the twist shifter.
    it is a 7 speed hub but he wants 150 for it. The wife will not spring
    for that at this time... though I think I will start softening her up
    for a breezer so I can buy one in a few years.
     
  16. Lou Holtman

    Lou Holtman Guest

    [email protected] wrote:
    > Well... I looked on craigslist for my area and found a Raleigh Sprite
    > for 25 bucks. the picture does not show any obvious blemishes or rust,
    > and the guy told me that it shifts fine.
    >
    > I think if I can close the deal with this fellow I will purchase it. it
    > is a 10 speed, so no hub. There is another fellow selling a Raleigh
    > cruiser, probably from the last 8 years or so give the twist shifter.
    > it is a 7 speed hub but he wants 150 for it. The wife will not spring
    > for that at this time... though I think I will start softening her up
    > for a breezer so I can buy one in a few years.
    >


    Does your wife have to pay for your bike?

    Lou
    --
    Posted by news://news.nb.nu
     
  17. We discuss these decisions. She is really not a spender at all, and I
    have a hard enough time trying to convince her to pay more for quality
    electronics and such (you have no idea how hard it was for me to
    explain to her why I had to buy a CD-ROM for my computer) so I am not
    getting the short end of the money stick in any way.

    Our relationship is built around cooperation, so, unless we both agree
    on something, we don't get it. (besides, she thinks I will not use it
    and until I show her that I will, I cannot justify the price of a
    higher cost bike... I already told her that I will be buying a nice
    breezer in a few years (I will be teaching then).
     
  18. On Sun, 16 Apr 2006 16:50:56 GMT, Werehatrack <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >I doubt that the
    >trist-grip shifter could possibly be as durable as the old SA triggers
    >were (I have one outside that's easily 30 years old, and still works
    >just fine), but you'll probably get good service from it anyway.


    Besides, a brandnew trigger only costs $10-20 bucks as a replacement part.
    But I agree, for something with only three gears, the S-A trigger used
    from the 50s through the 90s is ergonomically the Best Design Ever, and
    extremely durable (the plastic bit on the front eventually falls off and
    that will impinge on the pinchbolts ability to hold it firmly to the bars
    and to hold the entire thing firmly together -- that's about the only
    failure mode).

    Jasper
     
  19. On 16 Apr 2006 11:09:35 -0700, [email protected] wrote:

    >Well... I looked on craigslist for my area and found a Raleigh Sprite
    >for 25 bucks. the picture does not show any obvious blemishes or rust,
    >and the guy told me that it shifts fine.


    At that price, it's hard to lose much money on it even if it's a
    rustbucket. Check that the teeth on the 5sp freewheel in rear and the
    double cranks in front look like they're not *too* worn. Best way to try
    that one actually is to ride it, put it in a really high gear and really
    stand on the pedals -- if it skips and you lose teeth when you fall to the
    ground you shouldn't buy it.

    Jasper
     
  20. >> P.S. If I do get into biking for exercise sake, I will definitely use a
    >> LBS... Hopefully I can convince my wife to let me spend a 400 or so on
    >> a OK bike.
    >>

    >
    > I say go for it and report back in a month or two. $100 is a trivial
    > amount to risk -- a lot of people here spend that much on tires.


    Except that you're still $100 further away from getting something built to
    actually be a bike, rather than what has become known as a BSO (bike shaped
    object). There is no incentive whatsoever for a WalMart bike to be built
    with any degree of durability in mind; price is everything. The customer at
    a WalMart store isn't the sort of person who would understand that one bike
    was actually sturdier/better built than another, without having someone
    there to explain it to him/her... and since there isn't such a person
    available, there's simply no point to even trying to sell quality. Better to
    sell price, which their customers *do* understand.

    For $100, you can probably find a pretty nice used bike. It's amazing what
    people buy sometimes and end up discarding for whatever reason.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReactionBicycles.com


    "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >> I'm not looking at really biking for heavy exercise just yet. I want to
    >> buy a bike that I can use comfortably. I do not want a suspension (to
    >> much to worry about) since I am doing city riding. I would like about 3
    >> speeds so I can deal with slight differences in road grade.
    >>
    >> I have been reading on here a lot about what bikes are good and not
    >> good. I can see that most of the problems are with bikes that have more
    >> things that can go wrong, so simple is better in my case.
    >>
    >> I found (don't laugh) a wal-mart bike that I think fits my needs at
    >> this time. It is the Next Monterey.
    >>
    >> http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=3596787
    >>
    >> My question is, how hard is the gear system to take care of in this
    >> case? it is 3 speed internal gear system. My parents had a similar
    >> system on their ancient 3 speed bikes and they never seemed to have a
    >> problem with it.
    >>
    >> what do you all think? good buy for my needs? Will I have a problem
    >> getting fenders and a stand on it?
    >>
    >> Thanks all.
    >>
    >> Jeremy
    >>
    >> P.S. If I do get into biking for exercise sake, I will definitely use a
    >> LBS... Hopefully I can convince my wife to let me spend a 400 or so on
    >> a OK bike.
    >>

    >
    > I say go for it and report back in a month or two. $100 is a trivial
    > amount to risk -- a lot of people here spend that much on tires.
     
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