New Guy with a (Don't Laugh) Walmart Bike

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Bike Model: Huffy Parkside Men's 27.5 SE

That was taken with my phone. So apologies for lack in quality. By that point I'd put a new crank on (that fit the existing square taper) and shortly after that photo I'd de-stickered it because 'really my guy? You're going to call this 'special edition' and all you did was have a different paint color, same lowest end parts ands stickers? Not even a proper headtube badge? Literally component for component there are no differences between this and the regular one.'

I am.... well aware of just how little biking communities think of big box bikes (bike shaped objects, dumpster bait, tacos in the making, etc etc.) I am also under no illusions of what i can and cannot do with this specific bike. No disc brake mounts (I'm unsure if the holes above the derailleur are for a rack, or brakes but given the front fork has no mounts I assume it's for a rack,) cheapest derailleur, etc. Welds are shockingly nice according to my brother (who has welded in past jobs so I trust his opinion over my own,) and the guy they pulled for assembly on it actually did a pretty reasonable job. Wheels probably aren't dead on true, but there's not an obvious wobble to them or anything.

Some Background: I have had lifelong vision issues preventing me from driving, and I am effectively live in help to care for my special needs siblings that both require full time care. The bike is a way for me to get some cardio in, and to just kinda mentally declutter for a bit while buzzing through the fields near my house (No shoulder back roads with a steep lip between it and the ground, no real nearby destinations of worth, and I honestly don't trust the drivers around here to not intentionally aim at me for points.)

Use Case: Buzz around nearby fields and essentially footpath trails (is there a trail grade that's less difficult than green? That most likely.) Most 'difficult' feature is the hilly nature of the terrain and the fact the rider is grossly out of shape. Have taken it on a few green space park paths but they're all dead level paved.... the actual use case advertised for.

Mostly just trying to get in better shape so I can go for longer rides, and not feel like my everything is going to fall out at the end of it.

That and I like to tinker. The bike was a gift. Make it the best version of itself that it can be.

Work Done: Installed an 'Action' crank as advised by Kev Central to take it down from 44t to 32t to accommodate for the grass and hills I'm riding on vs what (to huffy and walmart's credit) all the marketing points this bike at being intended for (smooth paths and roads.) Adjusted the derailleur and tightened the cables.

Needs doing: Frankly, I should pull the whole thing apart and grease the everloving schlitz out of everything since I genuinely don't trust the assemblers to have bothered doing more than a thin film and I've got a giant tub of lithium grease, but given the fiddly tiny nature of bearings I hadn't wanted to risk it even though I am like... 90% certain it's all caged bearings so less of a hassle for me to find if dropped (unless the bearings pop out of the cage.)

The derailleur needs replacing, but considering i've been on the fence on moving up to an 8 or 9 speed, staying at a 7 speed, and the fact the megarange freewheel seems to be about as easy to find as hen's teeth and if i change gearing i'd need to convert to a freewheel/cassette system which means either buy a hub and rebuild the rear wheel or buy a new wheel? I've been holding off on that.

Front fork could probably do with replacing given the hilly and rutted nature of where I normally ride Biggest problem is I don't like the idea of mixed disc/rim brakes on a bike and frankly I'd rather have matched rim brakes than front disc rear rim since 'uuugh that's how walmart gets people. prominently display the front disc brakes, make sure people won't casually notice the rear rim brakes.'

In Closing: I'm mostly here for information on what other people are doing and try finding some kind of supportive community. If my situation changes for the better I do want to go ride more, try actual trails. Where i live has a lot of very beautiful countryside.
 
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Welcome, my man. Your bike looks slick!

Nuthin' wrong with Huffys and Walmart rigs. I have a pile of them, and have turned several of them into fun, simple, reliable machines which I donated to family and friends. They are still speaking to me and seem appreciative, so I guess all is good!

Nobody's gonna down you or judge you here for what you do and what kinda bikes you're wrenching on.
 
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aint nothin wrong with that bike. I hope you enjoy riding, fixing and upgrading it. Keep us posted on what you do.
 
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Welcome! There is no such thing as bicycle snobbery here. Ride what ya brung!

BTW, suspension and disc brakes are not required gear for riding in the dirt. I regularly slay the game on this cheapo (yet modded where it counts) interwebsz bike.

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The varied and vast experience here can definitely help you mod your Huffy to fit what you want to do with it.
 
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Lol the bikes I've been starting with are jealous of Walmart bikes. But I would agree with you that you should at least check out the grease situation with the bearings. If you keep a tidy work area, the balls shouldn't be a problem, just put a tray or something underneath to catch any runaways. I would leave the fork until later, upgrading that might be more cost than the original output for the bike. Sounds like fun riding, for me, the mental escape is what it's all about
 
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So told my stepdad about what i'd done to the bike. tightening, adjusting, everything needing grease. Yadda yadda.

'sounds like you got a piece of junk.'

Truthfully? Yea, I did. Cheapest parts on a heavy frame assembled by whatever poor shmuck drew short straw.

And I knew that going in when I was given effectively a price point and the local selection of stores. However I also know there's a very nice shed out back with a lot of room to work in and just about every wrench, socket, hex, screwdriver, and so on known to man. Other than a few specialty tools I have everything I need to tear the thing down to bare frame, and those tools aren't all that expensive to get if and when I need them.

Went in for the most basic bike on the rack. no bells and whistles since, to meet a price point, a feature has to take something away from somewhere else. I was looking for 'Has the basics in good quality. the rest is negotiable.' and while heavy, the frame is honestly Shockingly nice for what it is and what its limits are.
 
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So told my stepdad about what i'd done to the bike. tightening, adjusting, everything needing grease. Yadda yadda.

'sounds like you got a piece of junk.'

Truthfully? Yea, I did. Cheapest parts on a heavy frame assembled by whatever poor shmuck drew short straw.

And I knew that going in when I was given effectively a price point and the local selection of stores. However I also know there's a very nice shed out back with a lot of room to work in and just about every wrench, socket, hex, screwdriver, and so on known to man. Other than a few specialty tools I have everything I need to tear the thing down to bare frame, and those tools aren't all that expensive to get if and when I need them.

Went in for the most basic bike on the rack. no bells and whistles since, to meet a price point, a feature has to take something away from somewhere else. I was looking for 'Has the basics in good quality. the rest is negotiable.' and while heavy, the frame is honestly Shockingly nice for what it is and what its limits are.

Ya know something .. I actually like the frame style on that Bike and the fact that it’s a 27.5. Is a bonus ..,

If they sold them in Canada I’d buy one ..

As I mentioned in a previous post I built Big box bikes for a living .,,

And even the $129 Mt Bikes can be adjusted to absolutely Sing sweet !!! And they don’t come back with problems.
I actually get only about 1 percent coming back for even cable re tensions …And that is a 5 minute

Any Bike mechanic with experience can make those Bikes run fine …

When you read the reviews of those Bikes the problems are always due to poor assembly and not the quality of the product ….
Breaks and gears not working are common complaints .. Those are adjustments that should be adjusted at assembly times. And no Bike should be on a sales floor that is not running properly and setup to manufactures specifications !!’
If those standards are adhered to then Big box store Bikes will loose the bad reputation that they have.

Years ago I owned one of the largest Bike shops in Canada. An 8000 sq ft shop with an indoor test ride loop and a Bike school for teaching unemployed youth to be Bike mechanics ..
I have sold bikes from. $99 to $7500 and all have the ability to be set up properly .,
Anyways. That’s my rant on the situation

cheers
Peter
 

Tallbikeman

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My experience making Walmart bikes work has been quite varied. We bought a womens MTB for my granddaughter that was very inexpensive. I tried and tried to get the wheel bearings, brakes, and shifters to work well. No can do. However I recently rebuilt a women's Walmart Schwinn 26" wheeled ballooner and it had quality components and was a pleasure to work on. The Schwinn's command a higher price even at Walmart and it showed in the component mix on the bike. I've uploaded a picture of that bike. Behind it is a 1960 Columbia step thru I rebuilt and put a rack onto. It came out nice also. An amazing amount of work can be done on bicycles with a minimum of special tools. Let us know how it turns out with your Huffy.
 

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Ya know something .. I actually like the frame style on that Bike and the fact that it’s a 27.5. Is a bonus.
I like the frame too. It's why it was the front runner on the list i'd given my folks on what to look for. Components are negotiable, frame? That's the base everything else bolts onto.
even the $129 Mt Bikes can be adjusted to absolutely Sing sweet !!! And they don’t come back with problems.
Well ya. One of the best bikes I'd seen under $600 was the Schwinn cutback and it was $99 when it was for sale. Something that would upgrade over time to grow wit ha new rider plus having a solid base to tart with. Been out of sale for years. I like mine better purely because the frame feels more substantive, and it coming with 27.5 feels a heck of a lot nicer for me (I am not a large guy, but 26's feel... small.)

Which is entirely subjective and is influenced by the frame itself since a fraame wit ha low seat may 'want' a larger tire to get the same ride height a smaller frame with a higher ride position has.
Any Bike mechanic with experience can make those Bikes run fine …
Well considering i have no experience before now beyond changing a few flats? I'm just glad I'm not making things worse. Then again, park tools and rj the bike guy have some great tutorials.
When you read the reviews of those Bikes the problems are always due to poor assembly and not the quality of the product ….
Yes and No. On the one hand poor assembly is a large contribution. On the other up til recently Walmart has been very misleading on what these entry level bikes can do stock leaving people who are likely beginners trying to do more than their limited skill allows with budget components that it takes a more experienced rider to coax performance out of.
Breaks and gears not working are common complaints .. Those are adjustments that should be adjusted at assembly times. And no Bike should be on a sales floor that is not running properly and setup to manufactures specifications !!’
I agree with the sentiment since this is going to someone just starting out and unsure if they're comfortable putting a bunch of money in or might not have the money. Unfortunately Walmart just... doesn't care. Cheaper to take back a return and resell it than to do it right in thefirst place.

Years ago I owned one of the largest Bike shops in Canada. An 8000 sq ft shop with an indoor test ride loop and a Bike school for teaching unemployed youth to be Bike mechanics ..
I have sold bikes from. $99 to $7500 and all have the ability to be set up properly .,
That sounds likea pretty amazing store that is a gross outlayer to the experience i've had or even heard of from others.

I salute you for your desire for quality.

I'm just happy that my bike is, at its core, good. Just needs a little love.
 
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As long as you are riding that is all that matters !!!!!! , actually some of the coolest color combinations come from Walmart & I always keep an eye out for them because of the wheels and tires & other parts for my bikes , also stop & think about some of the coolest & most collectable bikes out there came from department stores, welcome and enjoy !!!!
 
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Went to take bike out for a spin. rear wheel basically is BADLY warped likely from me going through rutted fields and the fact I'd bounced on a hole probably didn't help. My little brother sooorta got it in a rolling shape but like... the redneck method of reshaping. Crowbar.

It rolls, but I ordered a spoke wrench because nothing hurt by trying to do repairs the actual correct way even though I don't have a truing stand..

Also ordered a thing to get the rear gear set in case I need to take it off and replace the wheel and looked up prices. Direct replacement part is like $55 with shipping. Given the type of brakes being used and whatnot. the cost ofa better wheel is.... a BIT more.
 

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Never a bad thing having a tool to remove your rear gearset. Your rear wheel is more than likely a freewheel hub. A freewheel removal tool is needed for their removal. One type of freewheel remover also will remove all cassette freehubs. But there are several types of freewheel removal tools. A spoke wrench can true wheels but there are wheels that have too much bend and never can be quite trued. Good luck with your repairs.
 
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The freewheel remover is listed as being for shimano. I mean... that's no gurentee but *shrug*
I know that the current wheel will never go back to true, but y'know. Make it work as long as it can and learn from it. Slamming full weight in a hole isn't good for a wheel, especially on a hard tail and ESPECIALLY for a wheel that they're selling the replacement of for, including tax and shipping, $55.

Speaking of. Anyone have any recommendations on rim brake ready wheels that arne't.... that?
 
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I would keep an eye on CL and see if a 27.5 bike or wheels show up. Then those wheels would have to be true to even consider a deal. A new set of wheels will be expensive and probably just as quality as your original ones. But if you find a decent bike on CL, then you'll have extra parts also.
 
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