Big Box Bike That bad?

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Big Box Bike That bad?

Postby damian015 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:48 am

I havent been on a bike since I was 22. Im 37 and I want to get back to riding. Now, I dont want to spend too much money since Im just starting off and to be honest $700 for something I might stick or not stick with is a high price to pay. So I was thinking of getting a Genesis GS29 or Mongoose 29" bike to start off and see if this is something I really want to do but I posted this on other forums and got eaten alive. Many saying to never buy from Walmart no matter what and so forth. They recommend bikes from Trek but what I really just needed to know is.....are the bikes from walmart really that bad? Could I use one of those to start off maybe for like a year until I know for sure Im game and then upgrade if need to? I will not be doing hardcore MT, just mild trails and regular park trails. Just want for now to get more active since I work behind a pc all day long.

Also....hi!!! , New to the forums
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Re: Big Box Bike That bad?

Postby WebFootFreak » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:00 am

The biggest issue I've seen from the bikes from Walmart is not the quality of the bike, but the assembly. If you buy one, go over it from stem to stern making sure nothing is loose.
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Re: Big Box Bike That bad?

Postby cole.robinson.543 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:26 am

You'll need a few basic tools, wrenches, sockets, and allen keys. Then take to youtube and learn how to adjust your front and rear deraileurs as well as brakes. You may need two special tools or you can subsitute some creativity, but you need to disassemble the bottom bracket to clean (its common to have machining filings in the bearings) and make sure its all full of grease. Then its only checking that all the bolts and nuts are tight. is an amazing resource for bike repair information. Go there to learn what all the parts and peices are and what they do. Ask away on this forum for clarification of any and all of your questions. There is a list I of bike mechanics, auto mechanics and diy enthusiasts that have build and tuned more bikes this week than chad at your lbs has done all year. To sum up. You sure can buy and ride a bike from Wal-Mart without it falling apart and killing you and this is the forum that helps you do that. There are threads on this forum for every bike you mentioned. Search them out and see what people think.
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Re: Big Box Bike That bad?

Postby Dan_J » Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:16 am

I've had two recent experiences with Wal Mart bikes. The first was a Hyper Havoc FS and the other is a Schwinn Network 3.0. These experiences were as different as the bikes. The Havoc was a bottom end suspension bike and everything went wrong with it that could. The derailleurs never worked right, the rear axle bent, the bottom bracket would never keep bearing preloads, and the suspension was bouncy and ineffective. The Schwinn on the other hand is taught, smooth, only required minor adjustments and has been a pleasure to ride. I found this site after I bought the Havoc and put 100 miles on it. You're doing good by coming here first. If you read reviews and cross shop the bikes you can find some good bikes at Wal Mart. One key thing to look at are the components and features of the bikes.
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Re: Big Box Bike That bad?

Postby Falkon45 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 12:06 pm

Dan j is the best example of the difference in ranges of big box bikes. If you stay away from the 89-120 range bikes, you'll have very little work to do,and they will last longer and be upgradable.
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Re: Big Box Bike That bad?

Postby wa_desert_rat » Wed Jun 17, 2015 5:21 pm

Yes, in general avoid the cheap bikes (and especially avoid the cheap full-suspension bikes) at big box stores. Bikes that are priced at about $200 and above are all much better than the cheaper versions.

Things to watch are lubrication on the bearings. The bottom-bracket (where the pedal cranks go through the frame) is a good first upgrade (to a sealed unit) and costs less than $50 for an LBS to do the work (usually - you can buy a BB for $13 and do it yourself). Pedals can be plastic and more likely to break. OEM saddles tend to be uncomfortable.

The rest of the issues would be derailleur alignment, wheel true, and fasteners not as tight as they should be.

However, they're still a good deal. Most of us look at them as bikes that we can upgrade as we ride. I've been riding my Mongoose Deception 29er since December of 2011 and have about $400 into it (new BB, cranks and pedals by the LBS here in town, plus new saddle, bar ends, and a new fork). I have only stopped riding it while I had it apart for upgrades. I have several other bikes but find myself going to the Deception most often.
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Re: Big Box Bike That bad?

Postby 6sharky9 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:26 pm

I would recommend a hardtail..less components and frankly the dual suspensions dont work all that great and its costly to make one "sort of" work with expensive upgrades...And even then not all (rear suspensions) are a good design to begin with and still suck after upgrades despite "feeling better"...Even some high end bikes have a crappy its not just big box bikes...The only 2 i would accept to upgrade rear suspension wise are the newer 2014 Mongoose XR200 or the Mongoose XR pro 29er..Good luck finding either one in walmart anymore.

Go with any hardtail 29er pretty much in the 200 and up range..You wont get top of the line parts but in general they are better than the bottom of the line no name parts you get on the 120 to 150 dollar range...The more expensive ones actually get name brand shimano or sram entry level components as you can find on more expensive local bike shop bikes costing alot more....Anything with a 1-1/8 stem and at minimum mechanical disc brakes is a good place to start...Both the genesis 29er and mongoose hardtail 29ers are acceptable bikes to grow with as you see fit...Whats most important is you are comfortable on the bike..Its generally a one size fits all adult size but SOME adjustments can be made with different stems and seat posts for longer or shorter reaches.

I agree with everyone about giving it a once over more for your safety than anything..No they dont just fall apart on you driving it out the door..Assemblers are paid x amount per bike and if they spent the time to make sure each bike is perfect they wouldnt make any money nor would they have a job very long for not finishing what they were supposed to get done...A small investment in some tools and some know how will take you along way down a happy successful biking experience, regardless of price.

Let us know what you decide before purchasing..Welcome to the forum and enjoy...Seems you found a typical snobby site before coming here..Welcome to the club.
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Re: Big Box Bike That bad?

Postby damian015 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:57 pm

Thanks for all the info. Very useful information. I think so far this feels like a home(forums). I will stick around and let you all know what I end up getting. Should be getting one on my day off (this coming monday or tuesday)
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Re: Big Box Bike That bad?

Postby Renaldow » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:57 am

Let us know what you end up getting!

A lot of good info and advice on this forum. Like the others have said, the #1 issue with BBB is poor assembly. You can get around that by assembling it yourself. Some basic tools are all that's needed, maybe a bottom bracket tool too. Some cheap marine grease from walmart for bearings and a little bit of time. Keep the bike simple, full suspension is just silly at these price points. I bought a walmart fixie for $85 on sale, redid the wheel bearings, assembled it all myself, and the only thing I've had to replace is the bottom bracket.
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Re: Big Box Bike That bad?

Postby Dan_J » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:04 am

I was just poking around my local Target and the bikes they had there looked better than anything our Wal Marts have on the rack. It looked like all they had were Schwinn and Mongoose. The prices were higher than Wally World but the quality looked better.
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