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So I've been researching bikes, trying to decide what I want and need. This morning my wife and stepson were going to go for a ride on their bikes and I really wanted to go along, but couldn't because I don't have a bike yet.

Keep in mind that on Monday I test rode several bikes at a LBS. Specialized and Treks.

So I borrowed my brother-in-law's bike today, he got it at a box store a few months ago, we're the same height too, right at 6'. My knees were nearly hitting my elbows, I felt like an unfolded lawn chair. The rear tire started rubbing against the frame halfway through the ride and 1 of the pedals actually fell off! Luckily I was close to home and stopped by to slap it back on. The gears did not shift smoothly at all.

I'd say he's probably been on that bike between 50 and 100 hours or so, just casual neighborhood riding. Needless to say, I was immediately aware of the difference in quality between a LBS bike and a box store bike.

I'm shaking my head now for even considering a box store bike last week.
 

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Have Cake and beat it 2
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couple of stories. last year for the canberra 24 enduro 2 brave teams came to a decision. they would only use store bought come in the box bikes. one from k-mart one from toys r suss. they were not allowed to pre assemble them before the race and could only use wd 40 and what ever parts they could scavenge to repair the bikes.
needless to say the bikes fell apart. both teams noting when things started going wrong for a write up. the person telling me the story reckoned it was pretty hysterical to watch.
 

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Have Cake and beat it 2
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other story regards a magazine that did write ups on vaious consumer goods. tested a bike from good bike store and one from k-mart. the mtbr reading the story was shocked when the k-mart bike one. in he words of the review. the brand name bike lost because thle pedals were to small to get a comfortable ride out of it. like duh doesn't the dude know about clip in shoes....... needless to my respect of said mag was shattered.
 

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You do get what you pay for when it comes to bikes.

Oh and it's called a "big box" store, not "box" store. The reason being is that they are soooo large and pretty much sell the same items no matter what the name or location. Oh and they are shaped like a big box. There is no nickname "box" store. *shrug* Just thought you might want to know. No smartass here. :)
 

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We bought my wife a "Target" bike a year ago for about $60. It's a Magna brand 15-Speed, with an 18-Inch frame. She didn't want anything fancy, as she just wanted to join me riding around in town once in a while, so I said what the heck.
Riding that thing is absolutely dreadful. Right off the bat, the brakes were squealing, the tires were wobbling and shifting is a nightmare.
It's not a quick-shift or a grip-shift, it just uses the "dial" style thumb levers. If you shift it too fast, the chain falls off.

It was hilarious after we bought it. She couldn't get it to shift (she didn't test-ride it beforehand, it just looked "pretty")... The bike actually made her CRY because it didn't work right.

Since then, she's learned how to shift it, but still doesn't seem very happy with it... Can't say I didn't warn her. =/
 
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