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Brand new bike for $39. For cheap guys like me.
#1
If somebody wants to buy a cheap bike, this info can be useful.
About 4 years ago I bought Roadmaster from Walmart for $39 because it was returned by somebody. Regular Price then was $69, now they are $79. You can buy from Walmart website some bike for $59.
List of work I had to do:
1. Replaced pedals because original ones didn't have bearings at all, plastic was spinning around axles, they just fell off. I paid $12 for new ones in local store.
2. Freewheel was missing about 10 balls, so I ordered balls for about $5, including shipping.
3. Both gear switches (whatever you call them) on steering bar broke, bought new ones for $6 kit.
4. Both derailers were not adjusted right.
5. Both wheels need truing (spokes adjustment), yesterday I checked new ones in store, they are not adjusted well.
If you buy cheap bike I suggest to grease and adjust everything before riding.
(I don't know about expensive bikes, do they need immediate service too?)
I am pretty happy with my bike, it has fr. and rear suspension and runs good.
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#2
I am glad that you are happy with your purchase.

If you purchase a new bike from a bike shop, they tune it up before delivery, and again within 90 days when everything has settled in.

In addition, bike shop bikes generally have better (stronger) frames than Wal-mart and similar.

The bike purchaser has to decide how much the hassle and their time is worth. For the vast majority of people, having the LBS take care of everything makes economic sense, and most do not have the mechanical skills or tools to service a bike on their own.

I have the mechanical skills, and am a Design Engineer - most of the bikes that I have seen at Wal-mart are crap, especially in the key area of the frame. My current project started as a SR Sierra Sport frame (from ~ 1985) which I purchased in September. The frame is made up of Tange straight gauge Chrome-Moly tubing. I paid $40- for the frame, on ebay - it happened to be in a friend of mine's home town, so no shipping. I have purchased new and used components over the past few months, with the last ones due this week. It will be a commuter bike for me (12 miles each way, every day). This project has cost a bit of money, and more importantly given me relaxation and enjoyment of building something that is usable. It will be ridden long after the $39-/59-/79- Wal-mart's bike frame has broken. Are there bikes lighter than mine out there - yes, are there stronger bikes - very very few.
Nigel
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#3
Well can't argue with Nigel! Can say for the cash strapped, you did well. I had a pair of RMs and did the fixer-upper to both of them. Sold them both for $25.00 each, I think. Yes I know probably could have gotten more, but had too many as it was, lol.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#4
(05-02-2011, 05:01 AM)Bill Wrote:  Well can't argue with Nigel! Can say for the cash strapped, you did well. I had a pair of RMs and did the fixer-upper to both of them. Sold them both for $25.00 each, I think. Yes I know probably could have gotten more, but had too many as it was, lol.

Did you ever see broken bike frame? If you did, what happened? Where do they crack?
It is hard to believe that my Roadmaster frame can crack, I am sure it is steel, it is very heavy, which is OK, because I use my bike for exercise.
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#5
Yes I have, in my own opinion I won't service, sell, or buy any frame with defects like that . Well I would buy it to get it off the road and then strip it of all its parts, and take the frame to the junkyard. So sorry I'm not the one to asked that question. If you have a crack in it, the frame may fail with fatal results to you!!! Honestly, frames are dime a dozen! This is no sales pitch to have you go and buy a new bike or anything but rather a safety concern to warn you that cracked frames are nothing to play around with bud.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#6
(05-02-2011, 01:47 PM)car5car Wrote:  Did you ever see broken bike frame? If you did, what happened? Where do they crack?
It is hard to believe that my Roadmaster frame can crack, I am sure it is steel, it is very heavy, which is OK, because I use my bike for exercise.

yes; two so far; one was the bike my parents bought me pre-teen, and the frame cracked next to the welds for the rear drop out on the left side. Fortunately the crack was spotted before disaster occurred. The other was on the forks, again near the weld for the front drop outs. And again, I was very lucky.

No many years later, and have received both a formal education and many years of practical education; I am very careful. It is very rare for the weld to fail, almost always the joint fails in the heat effected zone next to the weld.

Heavier is not good. It takes more heat to weld thicker materials, expanding the weakened heat effected zone. The thinner lighter bike frames have to have better quality welds because a poor weld on thinner material is very difficult to hide - it looks like crap. With thicker materials, it is easy to hide a poor welding job.
Nigel
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#7
Yep! My vote goes with the majority here. There is a reason why they are sold at such a low price. I have nothing against cheap bikes but you get what you pay for. I recommend low end bikes to people that want to get started in cycling but don't have the money for LSB priced bikes or don't want to invest too much in case they find that they don't really like it.

Even at $79.00, by the time you take away the cost of the components, the cost of the frame comes out to $10.00 to $15.00. At this point you take your chance and hope for the best. Don't get me wrong, I have seen WalMart bikes that are pretty old and beat up and still going strong, but that isn't always the case.
HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe...Ride Hard...Ride Giant
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#8
An idea; one route to go is to get a low end bike from Wal-mart and an older Cro-Moly frame from CL or eBay. Put all the components on the good frame. Generally, even the components on Wal-mart bikes are quite usable.
Nigel
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#9
I had many so call cheap bicycle as a little boy. My Dad and Mom always got me a new bicycle for xmas and like most on our block all the kids got them each xmas we was always happy. I also got my grandson a so call cheap bicycle for his B-day and it has seen (hell) with him but its still going. A good set up by your self or some bike shop will help a lot. Guess I like the good old days when bicycles was cheap tho they was not cheap for my Dad and Mom to get but they made sure we had a good bicycle to ride my Dad always done the work on them never had a problem them :-)
My dad always told me a Sledge a matic can fix any thing.
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#10
Quote:Guess I like the good old days when bicycles was cheap

I'm in my 60's and I remember the "good old days" as well. The difference being that in that time period, for us, even the cheap bikes were made in the USA and the quality was 100% better than the cheap bikes made today in many of the Southeast Asian countries. Growing up, I never had a new bike because my father couldn't afford even a cheap one. Instead, I got hand-me-downs from his boss's son when he got a new bike. I remember my first Western Flyer bike that he brought home. It was black and weighed a ton (at least it felt that way). If the quality of the cheap bikes from that period was still around, I probably wouldn't have spent as much as I did on either of my two bikes from Taiwan.
HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe...Ride Hard...Ride Giant
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#11
I have a roadmaster walmart bike (granite peak) and i love it.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Roadmaster-Granite-Peak-26-Men-s-Mountain-Bike/15711164

I did adjust the brakes and the derailuers both front and back. If anything, this particular model of roadmaster i think has a very nice solid frame. all welded nice. I have ridden this on the road and some light tracks and I am happy about it. I have yet to look at the bearings and other stuff mentioned by the OP. But everything is running ok after around 10 miles on it.

I am new at this, just a week into it. I bought this bike because i want to learn from it and not worry that I am tinkering on an expensive bike. I dont want to be over reliant on my LBS for everything Big Grin

The only reason probably why i would want to change my bike is because of the "stigma" a walmart bike has. But aside from that, i will keep my bike.
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#12
Hi John;

It is a fine appearing bike. I zoomed in on the pictures on Wal-mart's site. The area that I paid particular attention to was around the rear drop outs. The frame in the picture looks good.

Based on the specifications and compenents; I bet that these have been sitting in a warehouse for many years, someone found them and was able to give Wal-mart a very good price. 6 speed freewheels have not been made in volume production for nearly a decade.

The ad says steel frame (check with a magnet); and the diameter tubing is rather large, which says Cro-Moly steel alloy, not low carbon steel; which can not be drawn thin as the the large tubes are with a bike of relatively low wieght (about 30lbs net, as shipping wieght is 39.65lbs). IMHO, Cro-Moly is the best material for a bike frame for non-racers.

I would not be surprised if these in reality turned out to be a cancelled order from Trek or Specialized; and were intended to sell for $300+ several years ago.

My recommendation - maintain it well - since you have ridden 10 miles; now is the time to re-tension, true and stress relieve the spokes, especially the rear wheel.

At 100 miles or sooner; it would be a good idea to clean and repack the wheel, bottom bracket, headset and pedal bearings (if possible). I use boat trailer wheel bearing grease - from Wal-mart. Follow the videos, by generous with the grease, and clean up carefully on the outside. You will find not much grease was used at the factory. Your re-greasing will last several thousand miles.

At the same time (or sooner); you'll need to retighten the cables - probably for the last time.

Most likely, if you ride more (say >15 miles per day) in a few months, you will tire of front suspension, and figure out how to lock it out. Later, you may upgrade to a non-suspension fork.

In the future, instead of getting a new bike, have this one repainted......
Nigel
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#13
(05-07-2011, 02:26 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  Hi John;

It is a fine appearing bike. I zoomed in on the pictures on Wal-mart's site. The area that I paid particular attention to was around the rear drop outs. The frame in the picture looks good.

So what did you find in the rear drop outs? Is that the area where the rear gears are? sorry for the lame question Big Grin


(05-07-2011, 02:26 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  Hi John;

Based on the specifications and compenents; I bet that these have been sitting in a warehouse for many years, someone found them and was able to give Wal-mart a very good price. 6 speed freewheels have not been made in volume production for nearly a decade.

Wow, this is nice to know! Yeah, i've noticed the articles here and some other sites always pointed out that the rear gears have 7... thanks for the info Big Grin


(05-07-2011, 02:26 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  The ad says steel frame (check with a magnet); and the diameter tubing is rather large, which says Cro-Moly steel alloy, not low carbon steel; which can not be drawn thin as the the large tubes are with a bike of relatively low wieght (about 30lbs net, as shipping wieght is 39.65lbs). IMHO, Cro-Moly is the best material for a bike frame for non-racers.

Did you see that from just by zooming? so does this mean my wheels are not light weight but can be more durable? maybe less maintenance?


(05-07-2011, 02:26 PM)nfmisso Wrote:  My recommendation - maintain it well - since you have ridden 10 miles; now is the time to re-tension, true and stress relieve the spokes, especially the rear wheel.

At 100 miles or sooner; it would be a good idea to clean and repack the wheel, bottom bracket, headset and pedal bearings (if possible). I use boat trailer wheel bearing grease - from Wal-mart. Follow the videos, by generous with the grease, and clean up carefully on the outside. You will find not much grease was used at the factory. Your re-greasing will last several thousand miles.

At the same time (or sooner); you'll need to retighten the cables - probably for the last time.

Most likely, if you ride more (say >15 miles per day) in a few months, you will tire of front suspension, and figure out how to lock it out. Later, you may upgrade to a non-suspension fork.

In the future, instead of getting a new bike, have this one repainted......

Thanks for the tip! I am considering removing the stickers tho just for the heck of it, not sure if i should replace them with other stickers or just leave it naked.
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#14
Hi John;

The rear dropouts are the pieces of metal that join the tubes (seat tubes) coming from near the saddle (brakes attach to them) to the tubes coming from the crank (chain stays). The way the dropouts are attached to the frame in a big indicator of quality of construction.

The blurb on the Walmart site says:

" Roadmaster Granite Peak 26" Men's Mountain Bike:
•Steel frame
•Suspension fork
•18 speeds with SRAM grip shifters
•Shimano rear derailleur
•Comfortable padded saddle
•Linear pull brakes
•26" alloy wheels
•Dimensions: 68"L x 23"W x 41"H
•Assembly required "
and then further down:
"Speeds: 18
Bike Type: Mountain Bikes
Brake Type: Linear Brake Type
Model No.: R4046WM
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 39.65
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 68.0 x 23.0 x 41.0
Assembled in Country of Origin: Imported
Origin of Components: Imported
Walmart No.: 070045390 "

So it has alloy wheels - very good - light and durable, and best for braking performance.

The large diameter tubing is an indicator of Cro-Moly or Aluminum. Cro-Moly is slightly magnetic, aluminum is not magnetic at all.
Nigel
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#15
thanks nfmisso!
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#16
I have a bit of dilemma. I will be getting a specialized hardrock (for free! I think its circa 1993) from my brother. It is an old bike that has not been used for a while. the catch is, I will have to ship it to me.

I am not sure if it is still worth the effort to have it shipped. I don't know the condition (altho I have a pic) and not sure if it is still better than this current roadmaster I have and enjoying.

Is it still better than the roadmaster? the hardock looks decent in the pic.

will see how the components are with the hardrock when I go visit my folks in july. It has not been ridden for at least 2 years, probably more. I was thinking of checking it in with me when I come back home but I read somewhere that airline fees for transporting bikes are really horrendous! So shipping it was more economical. I have yet to find out how much the exact shipping would cost me tho.

@nfmisso since you elaborated the specs of my roadmaster, Do you think transferring components from the hardrock to the roadmaster is a better idea (rather than shipping the whole bike)? Or the old hardrock's components are at par with the more current roadmaster?

IF i ever choose to ship the hardrock, i might put slick tires on it and make it a hybrid road bike. Good idea? or I might as well put slick tires on my roadmaster...
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#17
how much is shipping? Do you feel confident replacing parts? Ready to spend some money for parts?
Brand new bike from Walmart is 59.
you will pay shipping 100!
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#18
(06-02-2011, 02:59 PM)car5car Wrote:  how much is shipping? Do you feel confident replacing parts? Ready to spend some money for parts?
Brand new bike from Walmart is 59.
you will pay shipping 100!

I probably can replace parts after studying the DIY videos online.

So you think a brand new bike from walmart is better than this old specialized? Do you think my roadmaster granite peak is better than this hardrock? sorry for the multiple questions! Big Grin
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#19
Need to talk apples to apples and not apples to oranges. There is a big difference between the Specialized Hardrock and the Roadmaster, mainly in the components. The Hardrock has much better components than the Roadmaster, considering a new one is over $350.00 compared to a Walmart Roadmaster. If the Hardrock is in any kind of decent condition, then I would have it shipped or go an get it if its not too far from where you are.
HCFR Cycling Team
Ride Safe...Ride Hard...Ride Giant
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#20
I like the Specialized better because it has rigid forks.

It appears to have a lighter more expensive crank set, but that it not a issue with longevity. The one on the Roadmaster will last just as long, if not longer.

Unless you are starting to join us bike collectors, or the Specialized rides better for you, there is no reason to spend much to retrieve it. I'd like, it except the frame is too small for me. Smile
Nigel
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