Most will probably want pictures of it to see what's going on. There might be more troubles than the tires, too. Check the brakes to see if they work, check the shifters/derailleurs to see whether the bike shifts. If some of the parts are rusty that might keep it from working. Turn it upside down or whatever and try to turn the pedals and see if you can do that successfully. As for your post:
(Jul 30, 2012 03:42 PM)xxHappyxx Wrote: Also, I've heard people saying changing wheels or tubes is easy, and right now, that's all that seems to be stopping it from going.
I wouldn't spend any money on the bike until you tested out what I wrote above and all of it works out (unless you want the experience of working on bikes, that's a different story - if you just want a rider, you really have to watch how much money you put into a bike). The tires might be deflated so simply inflating them to the proper pressure might take care of it. It might not too. Look at the appearance of the tires and see whether the rubber is dry/cracked, and whether the tread is worn or not. Basically you use the same tests on bike tires that you use on car tires for general fitness. If the tire itself looks like a mess, replace the tube as well.
(Jul 30, 2012 03:42 PM)xxHappyxx Wrote: Are walmart wheels or tubes worth getting? Or should they be from a proper bike store?
Depends on what you're looking for and whether they carry what you would need. I'm running OEM tires on one bike and walmart on my other, but running walmart tubes in both without trouble. Just don't expect Walmart to carry anything too exotic.
(Jul 30, 2012 03:42 PM)xxHappyxx Wrote: And how can I know if I actually need to change just the inner tubing, the outer tire or the whole wheel itself?
As I mentioned, try to inflate the tire and see if it will hold air. If that won't work, inspect the tire as I mentioned. If the tire is good yet it won't hold air then you want to inspect the tubes and see what is going on. You might be able to patch the tube or not, or it might be crap and you need to replace it.
(Jul 30, 2012 03:42 PM)xxHappyxx Wrote: And how on earth do I go about measuring the wheel size so I can buy tubing of the right size?=X
Tires and tubes are both sold by width and height of the wheel (you said 19" didn't you?), and this should be marked plainly on the tire, along with the recommended pressure. You will need to match these (within certain variances) when replacing them. For example, my heat-related tube problems
were on 26x1.75" tubes and that's what I got to replace them.
(Jul 30, 2012 03:42 PM)xxHappyxx Wrote: Also, are there any tests I should carry out to make sure it's safe to ride?
I mentioned all of what you need to check. Also, be sure the frame and seat post are not too rusted out so they can support a rider's weight. If your parts aren't functional as I mentioned above, then it's not safe to ride.
(Jul 30, 2012 03:42 PM)xxHappyxx Wrote: And once (or if) I do get it in working order, what basics do I need to keep it running? (Like lube, oil, pump, tube repair kits, etc...)
I wouldn't bother with this until you figure out what the problems are with the bike and whether you want to put the kind of money into it necessary to get it working.