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

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Yes, well. At the same time if I'm hacking up crud from when I was sick last fall? The ups are a sad necessity. Also. Only three miles?

Bah. I need to do better.
 
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Oh it was a blast (I don't get out much) except for that freaking hill. Just hoping i can clear this crud from wherever in my lungs it's coming from.
 

Tallbikeman

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You are doing great. Hills are a mind game. After all you could get off and stroll up the hill at a very leisurely pace pushing your bike. Or you could run up the hill pushing your bike. Of course peddling presents the same options. First gear? Second gear? And so on. So many options. As Matti says some may come with pain baggage. Please don't injure yourself with too hard of pushing on the pedals. That said 5 miles comes after 4, keep up the good work.
 
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While I frankly want to get a deore and go full gonzo? I have just enough money to grab a tourney and whatever shemano hasp ut out to replace the megarange. That at least will give me a better climbing gear as i spend most of my time in third or fourth gear anyway.
 

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I started riding again at 53 after 20 years. I pushed my bikes up most of the steep hills around town. Being asthmatic doesn't help my case either but my legs were just weak. I now ride 3 to 4 times a week and can ride longer than I did 20 years ago. As Tallbikeman said take it easy on the pedals. Make sure you make use of those gears and have your seat at the correct level to protect your knees. Only this week I raised the seat on one of my bikes 30mm as I was getting pain in the front of my knees. I did 20 miles on that bike yesterday and the pain in my knees didn't return. All the best on your recovery.
 
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RustyGold

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Welcome to RRB!

Without Walmart and other Big Box Store bikes...this site would have way less content!

Always on the lookout for LaJollas, Mongoose Hexes, and the ever elusive Schwinn Point Beach Wally world bikes.

Jason
 
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I work for a big nationwide assembly company and trust me that we the assemblers did not lube anything. We did not adjust anything but the brakes and gears.

That being said, I assembled a few of those bikes and always thought they should have come with an internally geared hub. They are pretty cool if a little heavy.
 
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I work for a big nationwide assembly company and trust me that we the assemblers did not lube anything. We did not adjust anything but the brakes and gears.

That being said, I assembled a few of those bikes and always thought they should have come with an internally geared hub. They are pretty cool if a little heavy.
thank you for the confirmation on me having done a fairly extensive teardown and lube being a good idea.

Right now put on a tourney and a megarange (or rather the thing that replaced the megarange in the product lineup.) Shifts a heck of a lot nicer than the bottom end flat face (even if toruney is like, a single step up I sill noticed far less CHUNK CHUNK sounds when shifting.)

Granted right now I'm stick in a single gear because after a couple minutes of shifting the cable slips. That is purely my fault and I should be able to account for the error when replacing the shifter.

I do agree with you that an interna lgear hub wouldp robably make more sense for a beginner since it's all protected and the end user doesnt' really have to do anything for a LONG time, but I can also understand why not since the hubs i've seen cost more than the bike plus upgrades i've added/plan on adding all combined.

Right now enjoying the nice weather here.Yes i plan on basically eventually cycling EVERY part out for better (full metal housing brakes, aluminum post, bars, etc, better quality brakes, etc.) However that's more 'because i can' than anything once I get the gearing settled as i needed a better climbing gear.

I love the frame. It's heavy, but it's a comforting sort of heavy.

Biggest thing I'm annoyed at is the trouble finding replacement wheels. I suppose at some point I will want an internal hub (that i would then ahve installed by a professional to make sure it's done correctly) but that's a longer term goal.
 

JA331

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The cheapest source for a wheel set with an internal hub is to buy a girl’s bike from craig’s list or fb marketplace.

I have bought them for anywhere between $20-$100. Taiwanese Electras are the ones to buy as many of the other parts are decent.

I just bought this Electra with a shimano nexus 3 wheel set for $30. The bike was left outside and all the chrome parts rusted so the owner spray bombed them white. I only wanted the wheels so didn’t care. Looking at the wheels the bike was barely used. You can also find bikes with Nexus 7 hubs but they are harder to find. The wheels should fit your dropouts fine.
0B4131A9-2A6F-45FE-8AAC-BBCA0E9C8323.jpeg
 

Tallbikeman

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Until Covid I never had trouble buying either used or new bicycle parts. Now is a different story. I notice lots of bicycle parts are just not available new. That leaves the used market. I like the advice of looking for step through bicycles because they are less desireable and thus cheaper. Good advice JA331. I learn something new every day. I'm having issues buying Schwalbe tires at this time. Just not available anywhere new in the size I want. I haven't looked lately but the Suntour derailleurs of the 70's and 80's could be had for cheap, cheap and they work really well. They made them in steel and aluminum. I have several front and rear steel Suntour derailleurs from that era and they shift better than a lot of the newer derailleurs. Suntours of that era are all friction shifting that I've run into. I like center pull brakes by Dia-Comp or Weinmann. They have been cheap also to buy in the near past. I haven't checked lately, they probably got more expensive too.
 

JA331

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The bike sales boom during Covid caused a shortage of bikes and parts and some suppliers are still struggling to catch up. I find Schwalbe tyres almost impossible to find downunder. It also seems the supply of many of the other high quality 26” tyres I have used in my builds is erratic and prices have increased in some cases by 80%.

I like the dia-compe mtb brake levers from the 80’s and 90’s and snap them up if they are in decent condition.

Many of the owners of the cheap Electra's I have bought commented they found it difficult to climb hills probably due to the weight of the bike, the limited number of gears and Electra's flat foot technology. I think I have bought 8 step through bikes for a total of AUD $680 which is about USD$500. Only 2 of them looked like they had done any work and all the IGH's worked fine.

One of the bikes, an Electra blue Hawaii (pre flat foot tech) we are using at work and the others were stripped for parts.

The wheel sets have featured the following internally geared hubs.
1. Nexus 4
2. Nexus 3
3. Nexus 3
4. Sturmey Archer 3 speed
5. Nexus 3, vintage Electra rims with raised curved centres and front Shimano roller brake.
2EDACFEE-B720-4D1C-98B6-3AAEE8A06411.jpeg

The Electra Blue Hawaii above I picked up for USD$80. It was built early 2000’s, never ridden and had a smooth shifting rare Japanese made Nexus 4 hub. I used that wheel set on a couple of bikes but the hub is soon to be fitted to a custom set of wheels for my SE Big style.

The three other bikes were single speed and 7 speed with a derailleur. I've used some parts in my own builds and for a bike I built for a friend. There's boxes of parts I will never use and I am intend to donate them to the local bike cooperative.

I find the best bargains on FB marketplace. Ebay is a waste of time and we don’t have CraigsL downunder. Happy hunting!
 
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Folks are insisting i/they 'got a bum bike' (I picked it out based on avalible options in the price range.) Yeeeaaaa kinda no kinda yea? When it had been bought it was listed for $150. NOW it's not for sale on walmart. Through Huffy themselves it's listed for like $220. So like... Kinda not a great bike, but i like the upright nature of the frame/fork which I hadn't seen a lot of 'upright/comfort encouraging material in more expensive offerings.

My biggest complaint right now are the back brakes. They are... ALL kinds of lopsided even after fiddling with them (I have no idea what i'm doing.) Yet at the same time they stop better than they ever have (even fresh from the store.) Before even with adjustments there was always a bit of mush feeling. Now? Two finger squeeze. Yet the pivots are lopsided. Right side is far closer t othe frame than the left side I have no idea what's going on. Eh, so long as it stops good and rolls right.

I am PERTURBED at not being able to get shifting dialed in, and it's literally all because of cable slip. Til the cable slips out of line (consistently it happens when I try dialing down first gear. Everything else dials in. Then I get to working on setting up first gere. SPRONG all tension goes out. And yet before line goes slack? there is a buttery smoothness to gear shift that wasn't there before I swapped deraileurs out. Yes i know it's just going from a 'it's listed on the toruny page' to an actual tourny and both are claw types but still. Before the swap over there was always this CHUNK when shifting. Now (til it doesn't) its a calm slide from one to the other.

I'm THIS close to having it dialed in and solid. And given the parts shortage i better be happy with it there. Mostly jsut want to swap shifters out, get better grips (hard rubber does not feel good o nthe hands) and a megarange for a climber gear.

All that said I have entertained notions of doing something really silly as an 'over time' sort of thing. Replace the stem (quill) Bars, seat post, etc with lighter components. Swap the brake levers with all metal ones 9the current ones have plastic housings) and try sourcing a nice looking head tube badge.

Huffy branded this thing as 'special edition.' Why not go whole hog?

Y'know other tha nthe fact i'm not made out of money and if I had that kinda money I'd just take it to the shop so someone who can both properly see and knows what theyr'e doing do the fiddle work I'm stumbling on. That and see if the tubes at the cockpit need to be shortened up. I wonder if I could do that myself. Pull the ferrul out, take a couple inches off, because there isj ust a TON of... .slop there.

Ast that? Seen some nice tanwalls on amazon for like $40 per tire that would look freaking amazing and.... I dunno would getting diff tires make a huge diffrence even at the low end?


Like.... would those even work? I've got a 27.5x1.75 set of tires on. they're road tires with channel groves in them so... Would those even fit? if so would they offer up any performance gains?
 

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I've never seen or ran American Classic before. Read some reviews, sounds like they are worth trying...tubeless ready and flat protection in the mid $30s is pretty good.

I think your focussing on the mechanicals is the best bang for the buck. You're learning tons and accomplishing much ... sounds fun!
 
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Well. My attempts at fixing the existing shifter cable are a dead end. The cable just kinda... Exploded. So

yes it's only like... fifteen bucks at worst? fifty for frankly what all I want in total (new shifter, new gearset, new grips but like..... Stil disappointing.

Edit: I had a really dumb idea, but 'eh the cable's roached anyway. Pull what's left out of the shifter. Use like, that five or six inches of cable and the shifter nubbin to tension the deraileur so the chain's in thirdo r fourth gear. Deraileur is going to act as a chain tensioner. Run it as a single speed til the problem is solved.

Best part about bikes really. They're honestly hard to break to the point of not being able to use it unless you REALLY mess up bad.
 
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That is what I'm currently doing and ive got it in fifth gear. I can just about get to fourth gear but it makes all kidns of clatter so that little bit of line allows tensioning and fine adjustment I can't do purely with the limit screws.

That was my immediate response when this all started.

And yes i know it's like a fifteen dolalr part but.... money be money.
 

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