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I have come to realize that my current need is to just get a bike, I don't have the time to go to the trails. I will be mostly riding with my kids in the neighborhood on paved roads. cheap bike is better than no bike at all.

So can someone recommend a big box store bike that I can ride around the paved surface and if I get a chance this season go to the trail maybe just once.
 

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Walmart is releasing a "high end" line of bikes, "Viathon". They are not exactly cheap, though. Other than that, I would look at Bikes Direct or Bike Island. Typical box store bikes are usually not a great investment.
 

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Get something without suspension and possibly without front derailleur. That stuff is all crap and heavy and better to have kess to break. Also make sure wheels have regular lacing pattern. I saw some target bike with one of those proprietary spoke pattern where each side uses 8 different spoke lengths. That is probably an effort to mimic expensive unrepairable wheels.

Get the right size. Most of them are one size only.
 

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A used bike of bike shop quality would be a much better choice. Department store bikes can cost you more in the long run as they are so poorly assembled and have crappy components. In fact, you might find a terrific 1990s rigid 26" bike for $100-150 when a crappy department store bike will cost more like $200.
 

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Walmart is releasing a "high end" line of bikes, "Viathon". They are not exactly cheap, though. Other than that, I would look at Bikes Direct or Bike Island. Typical box store bikes are usually not a great investment.
+1

BD and their bike island bikes are great value. At least you have sizes to chose from.
 

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A used bike of bike shop quality would be a much better choice. Department store bikes can cost you more in the long run as they are so poorly assembled and have crappy components. In fact, you might find a terrific 1990s rigid 26" bike for $100-150 when a crappy department store bike will cost more like $200.
This is what I'd do. There's some good old steel bikes from the 90's that will last you the rest of your life. Do you have any mountain bike friends/coworkers near you that could help you evaluate local craigslist ads?
 

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A used bike of bike shop quality would be a much better choice. Department store bikes can cost you more in the long run as they are so poorly assembled and have crappy components. In fact, you might find a terrific 1990s rigid 26" bike for $100-150 when a crappy department store bike will cost more like $200.
This. The only thing I'd add is that if you're just cruising the hood with the kids I'd look for a rigid single speed. That way there isn't much to worry about condition-wise, as long as it runs it's good to go.
 

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Depending how long you're riding with your kids, but my favorite bike for screwing around with my son is a Mongoose Legion L100 bmx. it's a good quality BMX bike for under 300 dollars and makes for a lot of fun when we're more or less just riding around a parking lot. Plus it builds up useful mountain bike skills.

I would happily ride it on an easy trail (though if I'd do it often, I'd get trail tires). What it isn't good for is long rides on bike paths and the like.
 

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This. The only thing I'd add is that if you're just cruising the hood with the kids I'd look for a rigid single speed. That way there isn't much to worry about condition-wise, as long as it runs it's good to go.
An old ( British) 3 speed is the ticket. Look for a Sturmy Archer hub ... the definition of bombproof.
 

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Don't know if there's a DICK's Sporting Goods around you, even if you're in the US or what your budget might be, but when I started looking for a bike, Their GT Aggressor Pro was on the top of my list based on a friend's recommendation. It was on sale for $299 and the parts were similar to bikes that were selling for $450-$500 at the LBS.

Good Luck!
 

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Don't know if there's a DICK's Sporting Goods around you, even if you're in the US or what your budget might be, but when I started looking for a bike, Their GT Aggressor Pro was on the top of my list based on a friend's recommendation. It was on sale for $299 and the parts were similar to bikes that were selling for $450-$500 at the LBS.

Good Luck!
Wow! A pro bike for only $300!
 

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Wow! A pro bike for only $300!
What's wrong with the GT? The OP said he's basically going to ride on the street.

I remember a time when they were really good bikes in the BMX realm. And a bike with similar parts to what the local bike shops were carrying for $400-$500, it's a pretty good deal.. unless there's something wrong with the frame.
 
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