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Old 09-14-2017, 12:12 PM   #1
jan
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Walmart Mt. Bike

Does anyone have any experience with the under $120 mt. bikes at Walmart? Lately I've been riding some on old dirt roads, snowmobile trails and unpaved rail trails. My current bike is a hybrid with no suspension so the ride can be pretty jarring on these old bones. I don't have a lot of money to spend on a mt. bike and wondered if the Walmart bikes would hold up for the occasional unpaved jaunt I'd be taking. No slamming down mountainsides or anything like that. I'd just like to cushion the ride a bit when I'm off road. Obviously, I don't want to waste money on a piece of junk that will fall apart under me, so I was hoping some of you might have some experience with these bikes.
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Jan
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:22 PM   #2
montcalm
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Save your money. Most of those suspension bikes don't even really provide much suspension and the components are absolute garbage.

Best bet might be to look for a used fat bike. A bit overkill perhaps for what you are riding but the big squishy tires will take some sting out of the bumps.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:01 PM   #3
Terasec
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cant speak for walmart mt bike
but have had Kmart bike in the past, and it was fine for the average user, it lasted me 10 years without a problem, and i would be still using it if it wasnt stolen
regardless of bike you should get it properly tuned, which includes adjusting derailer and straightening wheels
local guy by me charges $20 to tune a bike,
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:39 PM   #4
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1A6bKUCcDW0

A little more than what you are asking, but still...
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:47 PM   #5
Justin
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What's the make of the bike?
I have a Diamondback mountain bike that I bought at Dick's Sporting Goods for $200 about 20 years ago which is still going strong. Granted, it's been through several modifications & updates over the years including new handlebars, rims, tires, brakes, gears, cables, saddle, crank shaft, rear sprocket, chain, several sets of brake pads, contless tune-ups, etc...all of which probably totals up to what I'd pay for a nice fancy new Cannondale. Come to think of it, I think the only things that are original on the bike are the frame & pedals lol. In any event, it's been a good bike. I'd say go for it. For $120 and you get a few good years out of it then it's certainly worth it imho.
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Old 09-14-2017, 01:57 PM   #6
montcalm
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Originally Posted by Justin View Post
I have a Diamondback mountain bike that I bought at Dick's Sporting Goods for $200 about 20 years ago
$200 went a lot further 20 years ago. My Mtn bike from 20 years ago was just over $400 new and still had the original chain, cassette, chainrings, etc on it when I gave it away a few years ago. The only thing I ever replaced were cables, a shifter, brake pads and tires. I rode it a lot too, and on real trails. I bet it's still being ridden actually.

Most $200 bikes today are garbage, let alone a $120 bike... to get that level you'd have to spend $400+.
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Old 09-14-2017, 02:10 PM   #7
Justin
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Originally Posted by montcalm View Post
Most $200 bikes today are garbage, let alone a $120 bike... to get that level you'd have to spend $400+.
Agreed. I was just more or less trying to point out that for occasional casual use a cheap bike is not necessarily a bad thing, and you can always make modifications & upgrades if & when necessary.
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:01 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies. Montcalm - I loved that video! I'm definitely not riding anything like that. I was impressed that the one guys Walmart bike made it to the bottom without any broken parts. I rode a Trek 820 on the Hiawatha trail in Idaho and loved it, but that's a lot more money.
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:07 PM   #9
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Jan,
I bought a broken Walmart mt bike from a Schenectady junkee (or Craigslist bum) for $40.
It needed a rear derailuer and some TLC.
That bike easily did the entire Gulf Brook Rd to Boreas Ponds and back.
Truly, the bike is crap, but it does get me to places that my titanium frame road bike with pizza slicer tires never could.
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Old 09-14-2017, 04:29 PM   #10
montcalm
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9JGxBJ5hw8

Here's another. That bike might actually be OK. Seth seems to like it.

Problem with those cheap Walmart bikes is you can't even upgrade them if you want. They don't use standard MTB components most of the time and use super cheap, specialized crap that is proprietary to them. At least an entry level MTB, used or new, will have the option to upgrade. Diamondbacks are not bad for cheap bikes. But they'll probably be 200-300.
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Old 09-15-2017, 06:57 PM   #11
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. For now, I think I'll stick with my hybrid, but keep an eye out for a good sale or used model.
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