Walmart Bikes...

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by scubaru89, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. scubaru89

    scubaru89 Member

    So I finally bought an engine from and it should be here in a few days. I had been looking however for a usable bike without much luck in the lower price range. I have been up and down craigslist and ebay and the only bike I found usable turned out to be a total nightmare of rust and bad parts.

    So I have picked up a Roadmaster Granite Peak 26" bike from Wally World.


    I've seen an engine fit on this bike on two different youtube videos and mentioned on one or two forums. However my issue is the reliability. I understand this is a Walmart bike so its obviously built with very cheap components, some of which are the bearings for the rear wheel.

    My logic is I will be using it to travel to and from school which is 2 miles each way, and to work which is 4 miles each way. I am in the city of Williamsport so speeds are 25 mph and there are plenty of stop lights to keep me doing maybe 15 tops. I feel if the bearings do wear out it shouldn't be that hard to replace them or even replace the whole back wheel.

    I figured why pay a higher price for something that I am going to be taking apart to upgrade parts on, and its a cheap commuter. So should I be worried about trouble from a cheaper bike?

  2. Skyliner70cc

    Skyliner70cc Active Member

    Only problem I've had with retail store bike was not enough grease on the wheel bearings (easy fix) and not assembly correctly. You may wish to consider upgrading your tire tubes, stock ones are too thin and don't hold air well.
  3. scubaru89

    scubaru89 Member

    I can have it greased in no time, and I'll do a once over on everything before I even get the motor on it. I did find the one brake wasn't tight enough so I'm sure there is another surprise somewhere.

    It was $88, I can't really expect anything amazing from it. I also know I'll be upgrading or changing a lot of little pieces on it.
  4. Richard H.

    Richard H. Member

    Sounds like you've already made up your mind. If that is what's in your budget, live and learn.
    You get what you pay for.
  5. scubaru89

    scubaru89 Member

    In a way I do want to find a used bike that is of better quality, but I am afraid either I'm taking the risk with a craigslist find or I'm still paying over $200 at a bike shop for a reconditioned bike. I just don't have the money. :icon_cry:


    Nothing at all wrong with a Walmart bike. The $89 Cranbrook makes a great motorized bike if like said....fresh grease, adjust everything.
    Of course I modified it a bit but all the Cranbrook parts are there!

    Attached Files:

  7. scubaru89

    scubaru89 Member

    In a way that is kinda my logic. I paid $88 for a frame, wheels and a few other pieces, a lot of it will be replaced and upgraded.

    Sure I can spend a good $300 on a better bike but I get to a point where I can't see myself ruining such a great bike by strapping a motor onto it and forever changing the bike. I'd rather destroy a cheap-o Walmart bike.
  8. grinningremlin

    grinningremlin Active Member

    Depending on your pocketbook, I can understand a wallyhell bike, because we all upgrade a couple of times.If you know you're going to stick with a certain type of bike, seriously consider researching the quality bikes of the late 80's early 90's on ebay and such.It's a pain to have a bike shipped, but there is good old "steel" to be had that's light as some of this new aluminum stuff, and most for about $100 more than you'd pay for a new bike.
    Watch those wallyhell welds.
  9. scubaru89

    scubaru89 Member

    I will say I wasn't thrilled to buy a bike from Wally world, but given the drastic change in price from cheap to quality I chose this route. I am still looking for a bike that might be a tad more and offer better quality than I have now, problem is when I look at the Trek, Schwinn, Giant, etc websites the ones in my range are there "cheaper" lines that end up at Walmart and target. Ive been all over bike sites, Amazon, eBay, etc. I've called various bike shop, I've looked about as much as I can for used or cheaper quality and not much sits below $250.
  10. geebt48cc

    geebt48cc Member

    10092.jpg Hey Scub,

    This is my 48cc Roadmaster 1995 model. Sure, not the best, but going strong at 500 miles +............ Uno, faster than my 66cc at 34.8...................
  11. scubaru89

    scubaru89 Member

    Can anyone recommend a bike or line of bike available anywhere from to a bike shop, something under $200 preferably under $150, mountain bike / hybrid and possibly front shocks??
  12. grinningremlin

    grinningremlin Active Member

    Nashbar has some good deals, the GT Windstream comfort bike has serious potential, or the nashbar AT1, but like you said about $250/300 range (after shipping costs).If you're you're not too itchy I'd just hawk out on craigslist, there are some crazy deals to be had, I got a $1500 recumbent for $360, so there has to be a decent MB for a couple $$ in your parts.
  13. scrubaru89
    I have had very good luck and very bad luck with cheap, Chinese built bikes. I tend to find bikes built by Pacific bikes to be of fair quality as far as materials and welds go. I believe they market the cheaper, license built, Schwinns sold in big box stores, Kent/Next bikes, Genesis, and perhaps other brands. Assembly quality varies widely from bike to bike, likely due to differences in training, skill, and experience of the people doing the assembly of each component. My advice; take the bike completely apart, and reassemble it after cleaning each bearing and bearing race completely and using a good quality grease made for bicycles, available from a good local bike shop. When you disasemble each component, you will find some little more than finger tight and others so over tight as to warp the bearing races. Everything should be tightened till the bearing is starting to be difficult to turn/over tight, then loosened just slightly till it turns with some slight resistance. New bearings will soon loosen as they seat-in somewhat and you will have to re-tighten everything after a few months, so very slightly overtighten them a little at first. Unless you are going with front wheel drive, the cheap original front wheel will probably last for years if not abused. The driven wheel, usually the rear wheel, should be chucked out in faver of a very good quality wheel with at least 12 gauge spokes, in my opinion. Replace tubes with good quality ones. I also put thornpruff liners, high quality spoke hole cover cloth tape, and a quality factory slimed tube in the driven wheel, as repairing a flat in the drive tire is a b***ch in most MBs. If you are using a Happy Time/China Girl kit, seriously consider replacing the poorly engineered "rag joint" with a quality sprocket flange hub machined from a solid alloy billet and lacing it to a good quality double wall alloy rim with good SS spokes right from the get-go to save yourself grief in the future. Replace the original equipment garbage brake pads with Koolstop, Rav-X or other good quality brake pads. Ask your local bike shop what they reccomend as the best. Saving a few bucks on brakes is just plain stupid.
    Great luck on your MB build. Best advice is take your time and do it right the first go-around and you will have a good time riding you MB instead of the endless tinkering some of us do.
  14. scubaru89

    scubaru89 Member

    Great post!

    I am still looking for another bike since I still have hope of finding a good quality used bike in my price range. However, I am also having higher hopes for this cheap-o bike from Wally World.

    I do plan to disassembly the entire bike and basically rebuild it from a metal frame, inspecting all the pieces and doing the install with my knowledge of how every piece fit. As for the rear wheel, I think for right now I am going to keep the rear wheel until I can get both the aluminum sprocket flange and a good built wheel. I don't want to upgrade the wheel or the sprocket flange and not the other and damage either component. I'll also visit a bike shop for better tubes, slim and grease.

    Now as for brakes, this has been my biggest concern. My logic has always been the V style brakes will do fine for a little but for real stopping power go with disk brakes. I know an engine will be pushing this bike to speeds more than the average mountain bike will see on its normal rides. I don't want the brakes to fail or to warp the rim and have me in a real pickle, but the bike I have along with most bikes like it don't have the mountain points for disk brakes. Will a standard V style brake system be sufficient with better pads as you had mentioned?

    I do plan to upgrade parts constantly on the bike and engine, I am a machinist/Manufacturing Engineer student so I have plenty of material, machines, etc at my disposal and plan to use them to my advantage.
  15. I have motorized a bike with discs front and rear, several with a disc on the front, and several with rim brakes. I replaced the brake arms with longer ones on one bike because I wanted to clear a set of polycarbonate fenders and I felt more leverage would be an improvement, and on that bike it did help to shorten the stopping distance considerably. I have 2 MBs right now, 1 with a front disc and one with 2 rim brakes. A front disc is an improvement, but cheap Chinese bikes come with cheap disc brakes, so I replaced mine with a BB-5 caliper and I automatically replace rim brake pads with better quality ones. I feel a good set of rim brakes are up to the job 98% of the time. If you go over 30MPH often, or ride down steep, long hills a lot of the time, then upgrading to a front disc is a great idea. I do most of my riding on bike, hike, and roller blade paths used by young people with ear buds in and music blasting, as well as older folk who move slowly and may not hear so well. To be polite and a good human being, I generally hold it down to 20MPH or less so I don't hurt others. Rim brakes are more than adequate at such speeds. A biker I know made a cross country tour and melted/blew out his tires overusing his brakes on a long down-mountain ride. The crash was bad and every bike he's had since has disc brakes, front and rear. How and where you ride is key to the decision as to what brakes you need. Good brakes, rim or disc, are generally good enough for most of us most of the time. Keep them clean and in good adjustment. I think you have a good head on your shoulders and I'm sure you will think everything through and not just throw a bike together, willy nilly, then go out and blast down a crowded street at 35-40 MPH, hoping luck will keep you and your neighbors in one piece.
    Enjoy the whole experience, planning the bike, amassing the parts, building a good solid safe MB, and then having fun riding that bad boy in a reasonable manner for many years, as I'm sure you will. :)
  16. scubaru89

    scubaru89 Member

    Going to work I will sure to see other people on the trail and sidewalks I'll use. Leaving work at 10:15pm on a cold october night, if I see anyone on the dark trial I'll rather be speeding past them then slowing down, god knows why they are there at that time, haha.

    I'll look into better pads and see what will work. I hope to keep speeds to less than 25 in the city and probably near max on the trail since late at one will be on it, and its paved.

    Thanks for all the help, engine should be here Tuesday so I'll be working on the whole setup this week. You've been a huge help, now to figure out how to get HIDs on it like I want, haha.
  17. Richard H.

    Richard H. Member

    I understand, budgets are a strict reminder of what you can do, but a better bike is never money misspent and holds more value for resale if you need to.

    MOTO-TREK New Member

    DSC00879.jpg My walmart bike I sold last week.. People dig it..
  19. darwin

    darwin Well-Known Member

    Check out the schwinn link at wally world for $150. Good alloy brakes, suspension seat and forks, nice seat. Its the one I bought for my honda 50 kit and i'm very pleased with it. Steel frame........just a good solid bike, has an adjustable quill too thats nice to adjust your ride posture.
  20. BchCruizer

    BchCruizer New Member

    I always upgrade my rear rim atleast to a 13gauge spoke rim. Wouldn't wanna fold a tire doing 35. They just arent built to hold the constant high speed. Make sure you keep you bearings greased!