March 25, 2010

"Fixed Speed" bicycle at Walmart

This has been tearing up the blogosphere tonight:


The new 700C Mongoose Cachet Bike offers the ultimate experience in simplicity and style. Single-speed gearing makes for easy and intuitive riding. Caliper brakes and high-profile colored rims add urban style.
700C Men's Mongoose Cachet Fixed-Speed Bike:
Aluminum frame with rigid fork
Lightweight and responsive ride
Single speed
Front and rear caliper brakes ensure precise stops
High-profile colored rims add urban style
Assembly required

Since I'm sure you're all just dying to hear my thoughts on the subject here they are:

This is awesome. There will always be folks who buy their bicycles at Walmart. Of course I wish they could/would purchase their bikes from a local bicycle shop, but the reality is that not all people have the financial means necessary to do so.

For this segment of the bicycle buying public, this bike (in my opinion) represents the first step in a long time toward sensibility. Rather than wasting money on terrible non functioning dual suspension and derailleurs, I'm guessing (hoping) that the money instead went towards an improved frameset and components.

At the pricepoint that Walmart sells bikes at a singlespeed should be all they sell. Sticking money into terrible components (crappy suspension and gears) means that less of the budget is devoted to the frameset, wheels, brakes, etc. This bike will hopefully prove much more reliable for the many hardworking folks who rely on department store bicycles for transportation and daily life.

Now only if bike shop hybrid buyers would also wise up and stop buying bicycles with stupid heavy and crappily functioning front suspension forks on them (no one needs that shit).....

What do you think?

via Prolly


Anonymous said...

working in a bike shop has taught me a good portion of the american public views the bicycle as something that should come complete at under $200. I spend many hours every week explaining to people why the freewheel on their Next, Ozone, Mongoose or Huffy has broken and will cost $15 parts and $20 labor to fix. These bikes will no doubt suck too, but at least i wont have to dismantle the shifters on it.

rayumnd said...

i totally agree with you, in Los Angeles you'll see more people on piece of shit mountain bikes with features that aren't even practical for city riding. At the end of the day the "purist" will probably be mad but i'm sure this fixed-speed wasn't made with them in mind.

David said...

The Good:
Less junk. As already stated the less junk on these things the better. At our bike coop space we have buckets of busted shit that gets pulled off of these things because they are not built to last.

Better experience. People who get on a bike for the first time after a long time won't be stuck buying a granny bike or a shitty mountain bike. Having a bad expereince on a bike turns people off so much. At least with this maybe more people will be having fun on their bikes the first time they get on instead of bouncing around on dual shock bullshit hating their lives.

Thats about all the good I can see coming from this. It's just another fun fad. Remember when all of those roadbikes getting rode as conversions hit the market? I feel like the bike market is just going through its Road Bike Fever V.2 These bikes are going to be made shitty and sold for more than they are worth by a crummy giant coporation marketing crummy products to a expanding market.
At the end of the day it's not about bikes at Walmart, its about money.

Little Tiny Fish said...

You describe heavy hybrid bikes, but this "lightweight, responsive ride" clocks in at 40 lbs. For being streamlined that's still pretty damn heavy. What do their geared bikes weigh in comparison?

Anonymous said...

I live in Thailand and most bikes here are heavy chinese toys that get no maintenance, not even a drop of oil, until they fall apart in about 5 years. There is a rash of new f/r suspension mtn bikes that look great, but are made entirely of steel and weigh 75 pounds. They can't believe my bike is 25 years old or how fast it goes with little effort.

Like the people here, walmart shoppers don't know there is such a thing as a good bike. When they find out, they want one. Walmart doesn't stock anything they can't sell a million of, and I hope they do. A million happy riders will inspire a million more.

Anonymous said...

BTW, why 48 spokes? The rear wheel should be symetrical, and have low risk of broken spokes.

K SPARROW said...

dont all Walmart bikes become SS after a month of use anyway?

Tom Robinson said...

I can't see the harm. Everyone I know started riding on cheap, crappy BMX and mountain bikes that came from Kmart and Shop-Ko. Lots of kids on Huffys and Murrays in my neckof the woods. I imagine that most of us eventually moved on to better bikes.

And it's not like this is your local shop pushing this crap on you. Wal-mart is hardly a paragon of quality. Besides shitty bikes, they carry shitty skateboards, shitty golf clubs, shitty stereos, shitty shoes, jeans, tents, etc.

Anonymous said...

...what can you buy the cheapest of and have last the longest...?

rose said...

Some city's bike markets are inflated by a shortage of quality used bikes and lack of bike knowledge. People don't know better and pay 200 bucks for a "vintage" 1980s huffy 10 speed with original "vintage" components. This lack of knowledge results from the fact that there just isn't a very large biking population.

I would argue that affordable, simple, single speed bikes lead to more people on bikes, which leads to more people interested in bikes and ultimately leads to more people knowing more about bikes. Which leads to people buying better bikes, city populations being forced to become more educated on bike rights and more accustomed to living with bikers.

I see it as a good thing, and something that will benefit local bike shops (good ones, cuz some cities lack those as well) the same way target skateboards get kids into skateboarding and eventually into the culture and the skateshops -- looking for better boards.

@ Little Tiny Fish:

40 pounds is the shipping weight, the actual bike itself weighs considerably less (it has an aluminum frame). I've read by taking off some of the unnecessary pieces you can get the bike down to a little over 20 pounds.

Unknown said...

Im not an elitist. My bike is not a fashion statement. It is cheap transportation. All the hipsters with their judgey attitudes confuse me. I thought you were supposed to be more open minded, not less. Guess your fancy bike is like a sorority girls Coach purse. Just an expensive accsessory.

Anonymous said...

just ride and stfu

Anonymous said...

I got my mountain bike for $50...awesome, my road bike for free, sweet my vintage BMX for free,1978...awesome, why would I drop $500 on a get approval from the hipsters, f that I love inexpensive bikes!