Tossing and Tortured 'Till Dawn

I come back to you now, at the turn of the tide.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wal-Mart bikes: A PLAN!!!


I have a great idea. Or, a very bad idea. Anyway, it is some charity, and a lot of hillarity.

Wal-Mart has recently started selling road bikes. Yep, they did. They only come in one size, and the website still lists them as "26 inch" bikes, a reference to mountain bike-sized wheels. I think that's because they can't even comprehend metric-sized "700C" road bike wheels. There's even a lovely bit of cross-marketing -- one of these beauties is the GMC Denali road bike. I don't really understand this one. The Denali is like, the GMC-badged Suburban, right? It's a big, supposedly off-road capable, tank of a vehicle. If you're going to cross-market a road bike with a car, wouldn't you pick one with similar capabilities? Heck, I don't know.

But here's my plan: I am going to buy one. I want your help. I will ride it for 1,000 miles or more -- this is more than I think most of these machines will be ridden, ever, in their lifetimes. I will post reviews, detailed photos, and ride reports. You'll learn if it's a reasonable, cheap entry-level roadbike, or if it is your head a splode waiting to happen. Does it actually weigh in at 32 lbs?

If it is safe enough, I will take it to the Tuesday Night Worlds and the like. I will judge the reactions of other Cat 1/2 racers to this shiny new steed.

Then, after I've shaken it out for the 1,000 miles, if I still decide it's safe enough to ride, I will tune it up and donate it to the Cascade Bike Club, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, or another group that will hopefully pass it on gratis to someone who can make use of it.

So, what I want from you folks, is two things: first of all, tell me if I should test out the GMC DENALI, with its "Shimano Revo Megarange gripshifters," or the Schwinn Varsity, with a "Schwinn steel road forl"? A tough choice. Second, I want your hard-earned cash. Like, five or ten bucks of it. These suckers cost about $150-200, plus taxes, so if I can gather half the price or so, I'll put up the other half.

Or, tell me if this is the silliest idea evar.


  • At 12:46 PM , Blogger STOKED I AM said...

    It's not exactly the best way to train for racing on your race bike or to avoid injury.

  • At 12:53 PM , Blogger Argentius said...

    nah. but it'll be funny, won't it?

    I'm mostly going to clock commuting / recovery miles on the thing, unless somehow it impresses me...

  • At 1:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Don't do this. Buying the hunk of metal from Walmart perpetuates its place in the market and means one more bike in the landfill.

  • At 6:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think I saw you today. Were you down on Freeman road in Fife around 2:00pm in a red and blue kit?
    Don't buy a walmart bike, if you want a pile of junk there are plenty on craigslist to pick from.

  • At 7:12 PM , Blogger giantcu92 said...

    Dude do it.

    Think of how STRONG you're going to get riding a 30 pound road bike. Yes, this is the best idea since Greedo shooting first. Actually, it's the best idea since the Huffy tandem I bought in college for riding to the bars, and for bringing the women home (it freakin' worked all the time, honestly).

    Don't listen to this other naysayers. They wouldn't know fun if it bit them in the nostril.

  • At 7:22 AM , Blogger Colin R said...

    do it, for sure. where's the paypal link?

    i am genuinely curious about the quality of a $150 walmart road bike. why are you so confident that it doesn't have 26 inch wheels??

  • At 7:24 PM , Blogger Andrew said...

    This is silly as buy the Denali.


  • At 1:29 PM , Anonymous IcemanYQQ said...

    Dude, go for it. It'll be great for recovery rides, commuting, etc... and just imaging the faces at the Tues. nighters when you beat some of them on their $5K bikes

  • At 11:32 AM , Blogger Daniel said...

    Make sure you try before you buy: these things only come in one size, so it may take some dickery to get it comfy enough that it doesn't mess you up.


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