WalMart Roadmaster bike?

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WalMart Roadmaster bike?

Postby bigmike » Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:59 am

I'm in my mid 30's and haven't been on a bicycle since I got my drivers license. I was looking to get a bike and start riding again.
I fully understand that if I get ANY bike from WalMart I will have to take it home, disassemble it, then put it back together correctly (seriously a quick trip through the bike section I found 4 handlebars upside down so I have no confidence in the guy putting these together).

I was actually looking at the Schwinn Admiral and I have found many threads here saying that as far as cheap bikes go it's actually pretty decent. Right now they are on clearance for $115 and I am afraid they will disappear before I have the money probably 2-3 weeks). I was in my prefered store the other day and they were gone but there are a couple across town.

Keep in mind the roughest thing I intended on doing is possibly riding down an old less than smooth sidewalk.

while I was there I found this bike http://www.walmart.com/ip/700c-Roadmast ... e/42248086 for $99. I have never used a Roadmaster brand bike (as a kid it was huffy and a few schwinns).

I was just curious how this bike matched up to the admiral on quality.

Both have steel frames and alloy wheels (read the admiral actually has decent wheels)
Both have cheap Schamono (probably spelled wrong) derailers .
The things I like about each.

I really like the Schwinn. It already has fenders and a rack. The 7 speeds are probably plenty for me since I have to actually try to find a hill in town worth mentioning. However I would have to replace the handlebars before I would ever ride it (seriously who thought THOSE would ever be comfortable) and the seat would probably be replaced with something narrower pretty soon afterwards.

I just don't know anything about the Roadmaster brand, but the bike has 18 speeds and a three piece crank so it would be easier to upgrade if necessary. It already has a more comfortable seat and handlebars.

I would spend pretty much equal money making either of them the bike I want. Seat/bars for the Schwinn and fenders/rack for the Roadmaster.
If the frames are actually comparable in quality and if I actually get off my butt and ride them both could be upgraded with better wheels/tires after I screw up the cheapies. Better brake pads and cables.

So other than what I've mentioned are these comparable? Which would you choose?
Last edited by bigmike on Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: WalMart Roadmaster bike?

Postby to the beach » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:07 pm

Get the Schwinn if you can for $115, the Roadmaster isn't going to disappoint if you lube and tune it properly. A $99 today is as good as some that cost $300 25 years ago.
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Re: WalMart Roadmaster bike?

Postby Renaldow » Tue Mar 10, 2015 12:59 pm

Nothing wrong with the roadmaster, but for a difference of $16 I'd get the Schwinn. If you can get one still in the box, I'd suggest that. It will make 'rebuilding' it that much easier.
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Re: WalMart Roadmaster bike?

Postby bigmike » Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:40 pm

Thanks for the reply guys. My check was better than expected this week so I think I can get one tomorrow. I was at the store across town and just today they put out a rack of clearance bikes. The admiral was on the rack for $99 it also had a Schwinn 3rd Avenue for the same price.

The avenue seemed kinda heavy but had all the features that I like about the Roadmaster with the addition of a front suspension. Think I will probably take it home if it's still there after I get off work in the morning (work nights and the money won't actually be on my card til off work).

BTW I was able to put a female version of the Admiral and the Roadmaster side by side. Other than the accessories that make the Schwinn look sexy and the gear required to make the Roadmaster have 18 speeds. The only differences I noticed were the Schwinn has a larger tube going from the handlebars to the pedals and it has larger brake pads.

Otherwise the two bikes had the exact same rear shifter (slightly different hand control because of one having 6 speeds and the other 7) the exact same brake calipers and hand levers. It almost looked like the original price difference just covered the fenders, chain guard, and luggage rack. Though the Roadmaster did have super cheap tires that said they have a max inflation pressure of 50psi.
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Re: WalMart Roadmaster bike?

Postby Falkon45 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:49 pm

Yeah, you'll do better with the Schwinn.
Roadmasters usually run pretty small frames. That, and it probably has steel wheels, and it typically a havier steel frame. The 6 speed freewheel hurts, but could be brough up to 7 pretty easily. I think the Schwinn uses Shimano Tourney derailleurs. Most roadmasters run Falcon. The few that do have shimano, are usually not even listed... this means, they're lower than the tourney level of derailleurs.

The roadmaster will require a bit more effort to be maintainable. I do suggest the Schwinn as your best bet.
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Re: WalMart Roadmaster bike?

Postby bigmike » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:01 pm

Thanks to all that replied. Fate decided that I should go with my first choice and get the Admiral. The only Roadmaster in town had a bent front fork and the Third Avenue that was on clearance had a broken seat (had some kind of fancy springer tube that self destructed when I touched it). This WalMart had a slightly different version of the Admiral. The others I've seen had a white chain guard, leather toned grips, and a traditional cruiser seat. This one has a red chain guard, black grips with white "lacing",and a hybrid seat that almost looks like someone trimmed a cruiser seat to make it narrow enough not to interfere with pedaling, but still wide enough to be comfortable while sitting upright.

After getting it home and checking it out the guy did a decent job putting it together all I had to do was tighten one nut on the rear wheel, adjust the seat, add a bit of air to the tires because I'm pretty heavy, and oil the chain. Then off for a test ride. The bike rode quite well until I went hunting a hill. With only 7 gears, "granny" just wasn't quite low enough. The uncomfortable handlebars did actually come in useful for pulling on the handlebars while standing up and powering up the hill in third (up shifted when I decided to stand). Other than that and one screw in the rear rack jarring loose the 20 minute ride was pretty uneventful and plenty enough to wear me out. After returning home it was light enough to carry upstairs to my 3rd floor apartment. I opened the bicycle starter kit" I purchased with it and mounted my water bottle, pump, lights, and wrapped the chain lock around the handlebars. I'll carry it back down stairs and find a parking spot for it outside tomorrow.

I would recommend the starter pack to others. The included lights are on the shelf beside it for $20. The kit comes with the lights plus a cable lock, water bottle, mini pump, and brackets for the pump bottle for $25. The pump has a very short throw but it worked fine for me, the water bottle may come in handy in the summer, and the lock is cheap (if someone is going to steal your locked bike they are probably going to do it no matter what lock you have) so for an additional $5 why not?
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Re: WalMart Roadmaster bike?

Postby to the beach » Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:33 pm

Sounds good and I haven't seen that kit before.
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Re: WalMart Roadmaster bike?

Postby Ruckis » Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:32 am

Congrats on the new bike! I was considering getting one for my mom since the price has dropped so low on them.

I've seen that starter pack before it's by Zefàl and right now it's only $17.67 on Walmart's websiteI might pick up a couple myself.
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