The latest Wal-Mart Road Bike



brad g

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Jul 22, 2006
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We had an LBS go out of business recently, I can only assume it was because they weren't making any money. It does seem like they could build a bike, say with a frame similar to the higher performance hybird (like the trek fitness hybrids or the specilaized sirrus) simply with drop handlebars and some kinda shifters that would do the job and sell it for around the price that a good hybrid goes for. That is the missing link that pushes people to these department store monstrosities, because if one store doesn't have what they're looking for, they will go to another. If the local bike shop is solely depending on cyclist's loyalty, they're missing a rather large chunk of the market. That chunk is the people saying "I would like to try this cycling thing, maybe it will be fun." But they get sticker shock at the sight of a LBS road bike. When I bought my Trek 7.2fx, it cost $419.99. The least expensive road bike they had was the Trek 1000 for $749.99. Now truthfully, even if someone has more money than sense, if they're just looking into cycling, they probably won't spend $750 on a bike. Once they're hooked, they may go and buy a $7000 bike, but not just to try it.
 

e0richt

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Jul 10, 2006
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brad g said:
We had an LBS go out of business recently, I can only assume it was because they weren't making any money. It does seem like they could build a bike, say with a frame similar to the higher performance hybird (like the trek fitness hybrids or the specilaized sirrus) simply with drop handlebars and some kinda shifters that would do the job and sell it for around the price that a good hybrid goes for. That is the missing link that pushes people to these department store monstrosities, because if one store doesn't have what they're looking for, they will go to another. If the local bike shop is solely depending on cyclist's loyalty, they're missing a rather large chunk of the market. That chunk is the people saying "I would like to try this cycling thing, maybe it will be fun." But they get sticker shock at the sight of a LBS road bike. When I bought my Trek 7.2fx, it cost $419.99. The least expensive road bike they had was the Trek 1000 for $749.99. Now truthfully, even if someone has more money than sense, if they're just looking into cycling, they probably won't spend $750 on a bike. Once they're hooked, they may go and buy a $7000 bike, but not just to try it.
I agree, and you got my point... it seems that the LBS should really be listening to prospective buyers and try to focus on trends so that they can fill a need better than depending on "wal-mart" (ugh).

in order to do that they have to wise up and not be snobbish about repairing
these dept store bikes and if there seems to be a significant % of people buying these dept store bike "maybe" there is a possibility of a real opportunity that needs to be filled. I mean nobody really WANTS to buy a bike
from wal-mart but because there doesnt' seem to be any LBS (or builder I guess...) that wants to fill that niche, thats the only place left get it...
 

unicos

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Jul 27, 2004
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mikesbytes said:
Why would the medium frame be more expensive than the small and the large?
Because thats the one that fits the majority of people. They are in business to make money not save you money.
 

tcar5

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Apr 11, 2006
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I must agree with everything my friend e0richt has said. I really do not see any hybrid taking over a road bike in performance, even this new walmart one. However I must say that they certainly have this one looking good. That is my favorite color scheme. This may be another fun project purchase.
My LBS 2 cents is that the LBS is trying to save face and survive for the VERY small % of serious riders and really as front doors of the industry, they should be offering all types of bikes to all types of people. I am not saying the $56 Roadmaster bikes (there has to be a limit) but something in the low $100 range up to the upper range. Get the community involved with events, tune up days, free inspections, auctions and stuff just like other retailers do. My local LBS is snob heaven and the reason they survive is the few high end riders that buy from them and mainly due to the serious money they pull out of RAGBRAI. They are located on the western side of IOWA where the race starts. There are 10,000 riders yearly showing up for this and the LBS will handle sometimes 800 bikes that are shipped there from all over the world, assembled and when the race is over, they disassemble and ship them back. Clients pay a hefty fee for this, but as we know there are people who do have tons of money to do this.
I did a project earlier when I got started with a Schwinn Varsity bike. I took it in for servicing (didn't need any, I already did it) and they gave me the run around and told me that it would be three days before they could get to it. Well I took the bike with me and told them never mind. The next day I went in (different time of day, different staff) and brought my all carbon fiber Vincolo. They gingerly greeted me and told me that I could wait it would just be a minute. Point proven, at least at my local shop......
Anyway, I think this new Wally bike looks cool and I just might have to pick one up and see how it rolls.......I'll update.......
 

e0richt

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Jul 10, 2006
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tcar5 said:
My LBS 2 cents is that the LBS is trying to save face and survive for the VERY small % of serious riders and really as front doors of the industry, they should be offering all types of bikes to all types of people. I am not saying the $56 Roadmaster bikes (there has to be a limit) but something in the low $100 range up to the upper range. Get the community involved with events, tune up days, free inspections, auctions and stuff just like other retailers do. My local LBS is snob heaven and the reason they survive is the few high end riders that buy from them and mainly due to the serious money they pull out of RAGBRAI.
hmmm thats something I hadn't thought of... wonder if they were to sell cheaper "road bikes" that maybe they would lose some status with the
"upper crust" roadies?

oh and I went on an 30 mile run this last saturday on my Dawes Lightning Sport. No problems, with anything, I was able to keep pace (recreational group, C level riders) with no problem. I am truly really starting to think of this
bike as less than just a bike but a "trusted steed" or a "good friend"... (kind of
weird, I know... I suspect that this is very true of people that have bought the upper class versions as well... ). I now have 125 miles on it ( I have had it for just under a month...) nothing special about that for others but for me that is INCREDIBLE...

I was noting that one of the reasons, I started cycling rather than running is that 1) I am a heavy dude (so far I have lost 32 lbs...) and with running it takes a bit to get to the "magic mile"-stone. with a bike you can do 1 mile the first day. Add in the fact that with a little bit of effort you can easily travel what would be a "marathon" distance (25-26 miles I think...). And to me its
kind of "sexy" to be able to click off the miles...

oh, and tcar, I had my eye on that bike before I bought this one (I tried out the denali version which was HEAVY and felt clumsy...) so I am interested if you do purchase that one (I agree that the colors look cool...) how that works out...
 

tcar5

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Apr 11, 2006
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e0richt said:
hmmm thats something I hadn't thought of... wonder if they were to sell cheaper "road bikes" that maybe they would lose some status with the
"upper crust" roadies?
QUOTE]
Sure they would lose some repect with the upper crust, but where else are they gonna go? Granted Ferrari doesn't sell Dawoo, but we are not talking about the difference of $400,000 either. I wish I owned a bike shop so I could test the water so to speak.
I have not seen this new Walmart Road bike and the Walmart site says "Online only" I won't buy one unless I can actually see one first. Too much hassle even if you could return it. But I'm keeping my eyes on the look out. I am seeing a ton of road bikes piled up around garages and so on and am thinking of asking folks to let me take a look and see if I can piece something together....never know what you'll find. Also Police auctions for stolen bikes that are never claimed. could be a few diamonds on the ruff there.....
 

IEatRice4Dinner

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Jul 19, 2004
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most shops dont even make money on 200$ bikes if there properly adjusted...its' a business there has to be a line somewhere... look at that danali bike, sub 300$ road bike with STI that bike with the same parts at a shop would cost 500$. bike shops cant compete with dpt stores, and when they do they cut build time and adjustments, then your gettin the same bike thats missadjusted, so theres no point. that's why most shops seem to stock higher end bikes. wall-mart plans to do a bike dep similar to dicks sporting goods with semi-trained staff, bikes in the 3-400$ range... it's scary if you work in the industry. It all has to do with demographics but according to Industry news (not marketed to general public)reports more and more shops going under every year. believe it or not but dpt stores and mail order is what kills shops....
 

e0richt

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Jul 10, 2006
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tcar5 said:
Sure they would lose some repect with the upper crust, but where else are they gonna go? Granted Ferrari doesn't sell Dawoo, but we are not talking about the difference of $400,000 either. I wish I owned a bike shop so I could test the water so to speak.
I have not seen this new Walmart Road bike and the Walmart site says "Online only" I won't buy one unless I can actually see one first. Too much hassle even if you could return it. But I'm keeping my eyes on the look out. I am seeing a ton of road bikes piled up around garages and so on and am thinking of asking folks to let me take a look and see if I can piece something together....never know what you'll find. Also Police auctions for stolen bikes that are never claimed. could be a few diamonds on the ruff there.....
I understand what you are saying but just so's you know, at least here in NJ,
I went to the local walmart with a "printout" of the online offer. I was able to
talk to someone in customer service and found out that if I ordered the bike and didn't like what I saw, that I could return it to the walmart and get a
refund (minus the shipping of $20.00). I didnt' think that 20.00 was that much to risk in a bike. especially, if you are able to specify a frame size that would
generally fit you...

The only thing I wasn't sure of was whether you could get the bike with 700c wheels or just the 26'' like the rest of the bikes at target and walmart...

however, if you want to check out reviews for the product, walmart isnt the only one that sells it... you could check out Amazon.com... they have the bike there. I checked it out and based on the reviews there was planning to order from walmart so that if for some reason I could still return it without the hassle of packing it back up in the box and shipping it back (as I said walmart would have taken the bike back after I had put it together...)

Dicks sporting goods also had it "online". unfortunately, they wouldn't allow you to return it to the store if it wasn't what you wanted.
 

e0richt

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Jul 10, 2006
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IEatRice4Dinner said:
most shops dont even make money on 200$ bikes if there properly adjusted...its' a business there has to be a line somewhere... look at that danali bike, sub 300$ road bike with STI that bike with the same parts at a shop would cost 500$. bike shops cant compete with dpt stores, and when they do they cut build time and adjustments, then your gettin the same bike thats missadjusted, so theres no point. that's why most shops seem to stock higher end bikes. wall-mart plans to do a bike dep similar to dicks sporting goods with semi-trained staff, bikes in the 3-400$ range... it's scary if you work in the industry. It all has to do with demographics but according to Industry news (not marketed to general public)reports more and more shops going under every year. believe it or not but dpt stores and mail order is what kills shops....
Actually, the Denali doesn't have STI it has the "revo-twist" which I found somewhat repulsive. The bike was HEAVY and CLUMSY to use. Now, the version that has the STI is in the 300-400 range for a bike.

I have an LBS nearby that is selling the Trek 7100 for around 300.00. I can't believe that they cant build a "road bike" with similar components for 300.00.
If they could, I would have purchased from them rather than buy the bike from ebay (which has turned out ok for me at least so far....).

what components: road bike handlebars, road brakes with hoods,
indexed or friction shifters (not bar ends or sti. could be down tube or stem
shifters for all I care), 7 speeds in the back and 2-3 chain rings up front.
low tech, but quality (meant to last) components.

heck, on my group ride on saturday, I met a guy that was riding an italian "Torpado" bike that was either a 10-12 speed that was obviously high end at
one time (I would say 20+ years ago...). I can't believe that we can't have a similar bike manufactured today for about the same price as one of the "hybrid" bikes that are being sold in LBS's. so if an LBS could sell a hybrid and make money
off of it, why couldn't they sell what I want and make a profit... seems that
there should be levels of product "high" to "low" (but above wal-mart...)
and if they don't want to "carry" the product at the show room, at least have it so that it can be mail-ordered by the shop itself. The whole Idea of a professional type of bike is that things can be swapped in and out easily because of standard parts, and because of that should be easy to configure
for the buyer. Thats one thing that walmart can't do for you and why one would go to an LBS instead.
 

cheapie

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Aug 16, 2004
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how ironic is it that they would name a bike after one's of the planet's worst gas guzzlers? :p
 

tcar5

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Apr 11, 2006
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e0richt said:
Actually, the Denali .....
Hey I got to actually lay my hands on the new Yellow/Black Denali. Not too shabby for the most part. The price is a heafty $359. Of course in the standard walmart build errors existed such as the cork tape was wrapped backwards and the end plugs were gone. The STI shifters seemed to do the job and worked well, the brakes were not adjusted so they were actually clamping the tire when squeezed. Over all a decent looking bike. I am not ready to buy it, I will wait until late in the winter and see if I can pick it up on clearance. I figure that if I can point out all the poor construction details and by then it should have a scratch or two on it, I can get it for the price of the Varsity or even cheaper. I will be shocked if that bike is actually sold as is. I'll keep ya posted......
 

e0richt

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Jul 10, 2006
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tcar5 said:
Hey I got to actually lay my hands on the new Yellow/Black Denali. Not too shabby for the most part. The price is a heafty $359. Of course in the standard walmart build errors existed such as the cork tape was wrapped backwards and the end plugs were gone. The STI shifters seemed to do the job and worked well, the brakes were not adjusted so they were actually clamping the tire when squeezed. Over all a decent looking bike. I am not ready to buy it, I will wait until late in the winter and see if I can pick it up on clearance. I figure that if I can point out all the poor construction details and by then it should have a scratch or two on it, I can get it for the price of the Varsity or even cheaper. I will be shocked if that bike is actually sold as is. I'll keep ya posted......
yup, please do... I also noticed a bunch of other road bikes from schwinn that you are able to order from Amazon.com... the Katana and the Tomasso...
wonder if they are different from the varsity...

oh by the way did the varsity come wth 700c wheels?
 

tcar5

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Apr 11, 2006
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e0richt said:
yup, please do... I also noticed a bunch of other road bikes from schwinn that you are able to order from Amazon.com... the Katana and the Tomasso...
wonder if they are different from the varsity...

oh by the way did the varsity come wth 700c wheels?
I am pretty sure they are. I guess I really didn't pay really close attention but I will check again. The tires are nothing too hot. They have black center tread and yellow bands on each side. It does appear that the paint job is decent though. It almost appears that the decals are painted on. I could not feel any bumps like there would be with decals. But it could be thicker top coat also. I will check it out again many times I'm sure....Gotta keep my eye on the price...!
 

tcar5

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Apr 11, 2006
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e0richt said:
yup, please do... I also noticed a bunch of other road bikes from schwinn that you are able to order from Amazon.com... the Katana and the Tomasso...
wonder if they are different from the varsity...

oh by the way did the varsity come wth 700c wheels?
Yap 90 PSI 700C wheels.
 

tcar5

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Apr 11, 2006
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freehub. Threaded bolt on this one, no skewer (back wheel). No brand name on it so I am not all that sure which model, which would make it easier to decipher the type. Do you know of any sure fire way to tell?
 
Jun 6, 2006
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tcar5 said:
freehub. Threaded bolt on this one, no skewer (back wheel). No brand name on it so I am not all that sure which model, which would make it easier to decipher the type. Do you know of any sure fire way to tell?
(I posted then pulled a question to tcar5 about whether it had a freewheel or a freehub.)

tcar5, Are you sure we're talking about the Denali? It goes for $147 on Amazon while the Yukon goes for $339 or something. Thanks for the help, though.

It's not important anymore; the question has become largely a matter of simple curiosity to me because I have opted to fix up a nearly new Schwinn World Sport from about 1984. It looks like it just came out of the shop, the brake surfaces aren't even scratched.

All it needed, in fact, was a freehub rear wheel and Nashbar came through for me by offering one in 27X1-1/4 for $60. Should be here today or tomorrow.

I could have gotten 700C I guess, since the brakes had enough adjustment to account for the 4mm extra reach they would need.

BTW this thing was yet another example of why freewheel multispeeds are ****. It looked brand new but the rear axle was already bent and the cones looked like the previous owner had sanded them already.
 

tcar5

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Apr 11, 2006
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BimmsAndBices said:
It's a piece of **** named after another piece of **** assembled by people who make $0.18 and really don't know how to build a bike.
Well actually they are assembled in the USA (bike) by guys that make more then .18 cents yet that still doesn't mean that they are qualified. Anyway, we all already know that Walmart is not necessarily the best place to buy your bike but we are discussing the in's and out's of this. Basically 'piece of ****' has the review weight of a 2 year olds opinion on economics. Put some meat in your post and lets continue the good discussions.:)
 

e0richt

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Jul 10, 2006
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tcar5 said:
Well actually they are assembled in the USA (bike) by guys that make more then .18 cents yet that still doesn't mean that they are qualified. Anyway, we all already know that Walmart is not necessarily the best place to buy your bike but we are discussing the in's and out's of this. Basically 'piece of ****' has the review weight of a 2 year olds opinion on economics. Put some meat in your post and lets continue the good discussions.:)
hey tcar, I can agree on that.... but I have a question for you about the "varsity", did you ever put the upgrade components on it?

and Im sure you probably have mentioned this but did it come with free wheel or free hub? (not the yukon, the varsity...)