BETTER BIKE BARGAIN
I've covered this before, somewhat. And a loyal minion expanded on it in the comments section. But why not put it all together, shall we? Then after that is done we'll have some fun with more conspiratorial ramblings. I used to be of the "use it up and replace it" school of thought on crap from China. It used to be that a bicycle from China-Mart cost $60 ( for this article and for all my writings when I say bike I mean a single speed pedal brake, just like the Schwinn you had as a kid- to my mind geared bikes are overly complex and unnecessary unless you earn money from them ) and to replace the rear wheel it cost $50. It made little sense to take the bike to the shop, just replace the whole thing. Now, a rear wheel cost $70 but a new bike is $95. It no longer makes as much sense to treat it as disposable.
Why do I like single speed bikes? You have essentially only three things to replace. The rear wheel, the chain and the tubes. No pads, no shifter, no cables. Actually, you could call tubes and a chain the same on either type, so it's fair to say there are only one third as many items to break on a coaster type bike. So you go and buy an aluminum frame bike from Wal-Mart for $95. As the loyal minion remarked, the big mark up on a bike shop bike is from the frame, so why not just get it at Wal-Mart? Don't wait too long to replace its worst parts, the chain and the rear wheel. I've owned countless Wal-Mart bikes over the last fifteen years, so I can speak with a bit of experience here.
Almost immediately, your bike will start making nasty noises. A metal on metal sharp crack. This is the cheap pot metal parts inside the rear wheel breaking. I've had them start as soon as the first week with very few miles. My last wheel had four hundred miles on it before I replaced it. I don't recommend waiting that long, as they can seize up whenever. The rear wheel is about $60 to buy, about $70 if the bike shop does the labor. I can do it myself, but I pay the labor. We have only one bike shop in town and I need to help keep them in business and acting friendly towards me. I might be cheap but I know ( usually ) when there is a need to spend money ( for instance, I now know to spend the extra ten friggin cents a gallon for gas without ethanol after a few times the old truck didn't want to start ).
Your chain is another item you need to replace. Very cheap metal. Mine started snapping links after about two hundred miles. Like a dumbass, I kept replacing links instead of realizing that the whole thing was made of poor quality metal. $15, $20 installed. Next, don't wait at all to replace the rear inner tube. The front tire takes almost no weight from the rider, whereas the rear wheel absorbs almost all of it. A goat's head in your rear will get you a flat 100% of the time, but only about 20% in the front. Spend $10 and buy a 5x tire ( five times the thickness of regular tubes ) inner tube. They come with the green goo already inside. A regular tube is about three bucks and will only last a few weeks, if that. If you add $3 in green goo, you've spent $6 instead of $10 and have an inferior product. Buy the thick tube. It only costs a bit more and is really worth it for an almost completely care free tire. It is much cheaper than the foam type tires, is not a pain to install and is familiar to all of us.
A $95 bike, a $70 wheel, a $20 chain and a $10 rear tube is a hopping total of $195. You can't come close to that picking from the bike store stock. Yes, eventually the bearings in the pedal area will need to be replaced. Another thirty bucks or so. But not right away. And don't forget a good lock. The low price of gas won't stay long. More bikes will start to be used, and bike thefts will spike upwards. Be prepared.
END OF THIS ARTICLE, CONTINUE BELOW
The Obammy camp has rumored that Hillary might be the Secretary Of State. I think she would make a better Attorney General since she has experience burning babies, but no one asked me my opinion. But think about it. If she was appointed that position, she would be #4 in the line of succession. If a "lone gunman" of Southern Cracker persuasion killed the First Muslim then you have the VP, then Speaker Of The House, then President Pro Temp of the Senate, then Hillary. I would resign if I was any of those guys above Clinton, in fear of my life. I wouldn't put it past her to manipulate a terrorist group into nuking those above her so she could take over as Supreme Ruler For Life. But now, the twist. Suppose Clinton thought she was being all smart and clever, scheming to wipe out the opposition. But who is next in line if the Secretary Of State is dead? Secretary of Treasury!! The same guy who begged for $700 billion and as soon as he got it decided to spend it any way he wanted. There's a closet Napoleon if I ever saw one. He could be helping out Hillary to steal the Presidency, but secretly plan on killing her too. Then he takes power and becomes the new Hitler Of America. He'll control tens of trillions, not just billions. Watch out, Hillary!