Are bicycles at Walmart good enough quality for beginners?

Hi I want to start riding bicycles for exercise purposes but I am very short on money right now. I was thinking about riding at the recreational park bike trails. There seems to be really cheap bike like walmart and really expensive ones for enthusiast. Whats the real difference effect on biking ? I know expensive one are better quality but in what sense are they better ? Also what type of bicycle is the most versatile ? that can go on smooth and rough. I am hoping to spend around 100 dollars. Thanks in advance

15 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Any bike seen at a department store, such as Walmart, are not considered bikes. in the bicycle world they are considered "Bicycle Shaped Objects" and are not safe to begin with and not fully operational. no matter how much work you put into it it will never be in proper working order. you will spend more to get it working (value of a bike shop bike). this applies to all the bikes even the kids bikes.

    Sorry but this is a no go. even if you go to Walmart an adult bike is $150+

    Best advice i can give you is:

    Stick with brand names (Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, Schwinn 'pre-2009')

    $300+ bike at Local Bike Shop. these are mainly entry-level bikes.

    $150 and under is a low entry Used 'Brand Name' bike (craigslist, local bike shop-used/rented). and get it tuned up ($40).

    If you have an old bike spend about $100 to have it tuned up and basic parts replaced as needed.

    Save up until you have enough money to buy a real bike.

    Do some research on component brands.

  • Jim
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    Hey Victor,

    Well O.K. you've gotten the rant on big box bikes so I'm not going to belabor that one. I do have another suggestion for you though... Check and see if there is a bicycle "co-op" in your area or some place that can teach you how to repair a bicycle. I volunteer at one such co-op and you get what's called "digging rights" after you volunteer for a certain number of hours, this allows you to pull parts and build your own bike from donated parts. Most co-ops have experienced bike mechanics that can show you how to do anything and everything with a bike. This is definitely a win-win for you, all it takes is time and you learn how to build and fix your own bike.

    Frankly? I have nothing against big box bikes. But some words of caution here... Simpler is usually better and you're probably wise to take the thing in to a decent bike shop and have them check over the assembly, it will be money well spent If they'll do it. And sorry to say not too many reputable shops will even touch a big box bike.

    Third option is a used bike. Anything you plan on laying down your hard earned cash on should be checked out by a reputable shop BEFORE you buy it! This may cost you something but again it will be money well spent and can keep you from blowing your bucks on something that will fall apart on you a few blocks down the road.

    Bottom line? Any bike that gets you out the door and down the road is well worth it, just depends on how far you wanna go.

    Source(s): Volunteer The Bike Kitchen San Francisco, Graduate United Bicycle Institute, Avid cyclist over 40 years.
  • 9 years ago

    Yes they are good for beginners, most of my bikes were from department stores but i do have bike shop bikes too and I had have never had anything wrong with either of them that wasn't normal maintenance, I bought new & used so treat it right then you will be fine but look online for how to adjust it right or you can check out a bicycle maintenance book from your local Library and take your time on it because with great patience of making it right will allow you have great fun riding it.

    You can find a nice cheap bike that might have been at a bike shop on Craigslist if you would be worried what these others guys that haven't had a department store bikes since they were kids that most likely mistreated them wrong say.

    Bike shops are big box stores too, every bike comes from in a box so that never made any sense when people say that.

    Also a lot of the most collectible bicycles came from department stores while only a few bike shop brands have and proof is my 1960's Sears Spaceliner in my Yahoo Answers avatar that was made by Murray for Sears and many more of my my bikes.

    Edit: They are bicycles not bicycle shaped objects unless it's a diecast bicycle just like a diecast car, bicycles are not supposed to be expensive because bicycles are for everyone including the poor not just the rich, those people that make bikes sold at Walmart, Kmart & other places are hard working people that have had family making bicycles generations that deserve respect.

    This is a bicycle shaped object, a little diecast bicycle.

  • 9 years ago

    I've had my bad experiences with big box bicycles. Yes, I think they're mostly junk, but I don't dismiss them outright. Were it not for cheap department store bikes my barely making it family would never have been able to get me a bike at all when I was growing up out in the middle of the desert. I probably wouldn't have become the enthusiast I am now without having that "gateway drug". I'm going to disagree with the majority of the very good experts on here and say that department story bikes have their place, that being said I don't intend to buy another one.

    If you only have $100 to spend you really are better off buying a used but good bike off of Craig's list, or ask around, there may be someone at your company, church, social circle of any type willing to part with a good bike for that amount or even less if it's gathering dust. In the world of bicycles old does not equal bad. A bike that was a good bike 30 years ago but is well maintained is a good bike today, you may need new tires and some fresh grease.

    If a Wal-Mart bike is your only real option do not buy the fanciest bike they have. When it comes to department store bikes "better is worse". Let me explain my reasoning. Bicycles are made from many different components, to keep cost low when Wal-Mart orders a huge order of bikes manufactures have to cut corners at every opportunity to keep production cost low. If you have a fancy multi-speed bike that means you have crappy derailers, crappy brakes, crappy everything to deal with and your chances of failed components and even injury from failed components (read my first paragraph about growing up nearly poor on these types of bikes - it happened to me) increases.

    If you must get a Wal-Mart bike get a simple cruiser. Their cheap La Jolla Cruiser, while still a cheap crappy bike has very few components that can fail. It's a single speed coaster brake bike, net result you're less likely to get injured by it and it will last a little longer.

    My mother bought a multi-speed Schwinn bike from Wal-Mart. I honestly have to say it's not that bad, it's only got one derailer, a rear one, and it's Shimano. It may not be Shimano's best offering, but it's not bad overall, for the amount of riding my mother does it's good enough. I've given it a spin once or twice and it's really smooth/easy riding. If she put the type of miles on a bike I do I would very quickly ask her to consider getting an Electra, a Specialized, or even a Schwinn for an actual Schwinn bike shop, but the $170 ish she spent on it doesn't seem like a waste from my perspective, she's an occasional recreation weekend rider - the category this type of bike covers.

    Look for used first. $100 is limiting even when choosing from Wal-Mart.

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  • 9 years ago

    Dont get ANY BIKE at any box store its not worth your time even if ur jsut starting i have worked at a bike shop a long time and i c bikes come in tht are not worth repairing when they break because there chineese made and u cnt get the correct parts go to a real bike shop and see if they have used bikes for low prices the quality of box store bikes is nill compared to those of a dealer ul pay a little more but it will be better in the long run you wont have to replace anything and if u do it will be easy to find compared to some bikes made by ppl that get paid by how many bikes they make i could type a whole story about how not to get a bike from box stores but any other info e-mail me

    Source(s): Mchanic at bike shop for many years riding and lots of experience
  • 9 years ago

    Get a good hybrid from a REAL bicycle shop. $100 for a bicycle was OK - back around 1973!!! Not today. Why do you think Wally World & other discount stores list these on their websites in the "Toy Department"?

  • John M
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    You do not want a $100 department store bike. They are so poor quality that they are not much fun to ride. Check the local ebay or Craig's list for a used hybrid bike that came from a bike shop. Bikes come in different size frames so they are comfortable to ride.

  • 4 years ago

    Walmart Adult Bikes

  • droid
    Lv 5
    9 years ago

    Well, there's a nice saying in bikes that says "Cheap, light, durable, pick two" Walmart bikes are not good, they're going to break. The best bike to get that can be a good road bike and still shine in offroad would be a cyclocross bike and here is the cheapest one i found-

    Bottom line, theres no way you are going to get a quality bike for 100 dollars.

  • 9 years ago

    Are bicycles at Walmart good enough quality for beginners?

    A) No

    B) No

    C) No

    Walmart doesn't sell bicycles. They only sell 'bicycle shaped objects'. That's why they are listed in the 'Toy Dept.' on the website.

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