Questions That Occurred to Me While Looking at a Bike Display in Walmart

09.24.2010 | 7:21 am

I’d like to kick this weekend off by posing a couple of questions. These questions are real philosophical humdingers. These are questions that are going to make you tug at your beard (whether you have one or not) and gaze — unfocused — into the sky.

These are questions that — with any luck — will compel you to write clever responses in the comments section.

In order for you to understand and answer these questions, you must first look at this photograph (click to see a larger version):

My Photo_31.jpg

Now, before I get to my questions, I’d like to point out some important facts you’ll need:

  1. These bikes are new.
  2. These bikes are at Walmart.
  3. These bikes cost $75, each.
  4. That’s The Runner at the far right side of the picture, wondering why I’m taking a photograph of these bikes.

The Big Questions

So now, armed with the knowledge you need, I would like you to now consider and then respond to the following questions:

  1. As with anything, the law of diminishing returns applies to bicycle purchases; a $30,000 bike is (probably?) not going to be three times as awesome as a $10,000 bike. But does that law apply in the opposite direction? Which is to say, is a $75 bike only going to be 1% as fun to ride as a $7500 bike? Explain your answer.
  2. Which would give you more trouble-free hours on a bike: buying one $7500 bike, or buying a hundred $75 bikes (i.e., when one $75 bike breaks you walk away from it and get out the next one)? I’m genuinely interested in your answer on this one.)
  3. Which would be the more awesome spectacle: one person riding a $7500 bike down the road, or a procession of a hundred people riding identical $75 bikes down the road? This question is mostly rhetorical.
  4. If we take for granted that a $75 bike is not suitable for most traditional cycling purposes (e.g., going somewhere), what are suitable purposes for $75 bikes? Be creative.

I anticipate your answers with great anticipation.


  1. Comment by Greg | 09.24.2010 | 7:46 am

    In answer to question 4 I say RING OF FIRE!!!!!!

  2. Comment by GenghisKhan | 09.24.2010 | 7:54 am

    A $75 bike is suitable for riding around WalMart and doing your shopping, providing you have very, very large cargo pockets or very, very small pockets.

  3. Comment by GenghisKhan | 09.24.2010 | 7:55 am

    Er, or a very, very small shopping list–doh!

  4. Comment by Richard | 09.24.2010 | 7:55 am

    1. Riding a bike should always be fun. A bike that fits the rider and fits the rider’s needs is going to be the most fun, and the cost of the bike really isn’t the deciding factor there. Not to say that quality components that work well and don’t break down aren’t inherently more fun. So while $ is a factor, I don’t believe its a simple formula.
    2. Somewhere in the middle. The $7500 bike is likely carbon fiber, titanium, etc. Risks are greater if you crash etc to doing damage that renders the bike unridable or at least a very costly repair. On the same token, Riding a $75 bike that likely doesn’t shift or brake well, needs constant adjustment and is more likely to fail isn’t the right answer either.
    3. If $75 bikes get lots of people STARTED riding, so that they then enjoy it, want to do it, and then see the advantage of moving up to a better bike, then I’d rather see the 100 people.
    4. The $75 bike is suitable for the infrequent ride around the neighborhood, for kids who will tear them up anyhow, and for someone testing the waters of cycling.


  5. Comment by VigilanteCyclist | 09.24.2010 | 7:57 am

    1. No, you answer this yourself in the question. Its the same thing as saying a $7500 bike is 100 times better than a $75 bike (not true due to diminishing returns).
    2. The environmental impact of abandoning 100 bikes would give would cause me many troubled hours. So I would go for the $7500 bike.
    4. Use in pointless art “installations”.

  6. Comment by RANTWICK | 09.24.2010 | 7:58 am

    Hmmm. 100 people on bikes sounds awesome. 100 people on $75 bikes sounds like a lot of impossible repairs and frustration.

  7. Comment by Matt | 09.24.2010 | 7:59 am

    1. Yes. This would not be true, except that “pulling the handlebars and stem out on your first ride and bashing all of your teeth in because the guy who builds the grills at Wal-Mart also builds the bikes” tends to widen the gap between a $75 and a $7500 bike.

    2. Barring any really weird stuff (rubber bushings where there should be bearings, etc), I’m guessing that the $75 bike, with an investment of a tube of grease and two hours, could be ridden trouble-free for many, many hours. Plus, you’re likely to go slower, which means fewer miles of wear for every hour of riding.

    3. Hundred people on the cheap bike. Although it would be nice to see some of those $7500 bikes get ridden once in awhile.

    4. People on Cape Cod would buy these just to put on the lawn with flowers in a wicker handlebar basket.

  8. Comment by Wes | 09.24.2010 | 8:00 am

    The answer is 42.

  9. Comment by Eric | 09.24.2010 | 8:00 am

    1. At 6′2″ none of Walmart’s bikes are suitable for me to ride comfortably. However, I’ve picked up bikes for $75 on Craigslist that were immensely enjoyable.

    2. Picking up 100 $75 bikes requires lots of logistics that would not make it worth the time. Ask my wife about our 3 1/2 car garage full of bikes (and no cars) from Craigslist. :) Picking up 2-3 and keeping them around as spares is a practical idea however. Makes it easier to get them fixed at your leisure.

    3. Of course a parade is more impressive.

    4. Put it on a stand and use it for pedal powered devices, such as knife sharpeners, blenders, table saws, etc. Instructables and MakeZine have a whole bunch of projects created out of bikes. Given that it is a single speed and fairly simple, it’d be perfect to buy 100 of them and donate them to charities such as those that provide bikes to Africa.

  10. Comment by Bridget in Minnesota | 09.24.2010 | 8:04 am

    Good answer, Wes!

  11. Comment by Doug | 09.24.2010 | 8:08 am

    1. IS a $75 bike only going to be 1% as fun to ride as a $7500 bike? Explain your answer.

    No. Having been a bicycle mechanic in a past life, there is no way these bikes from Walmart have been properly tuned, even assuming they’re made from quality parts. The same guy/gal that sets up the detergent display probably assembled the bikes and had as much training for both! I doubt they have 100 in stock.

    2. Which would give you more trouble-free hours on a bike: buying one $7500 bike, or buying a hundred $75 bikes (i.e., when one $75 bike breaks you walk away from it and get out the next one)?

    See previous answer. (The $7500 bike)

    3. A procession of a hundred people riding identical $75 bikes down the road.

    4. What are suitable purposes for $75 bikes? Be creative. Send them to World Bicycle Relief! They will make awesome use of them! (no joke here).

  12. Comment by Mr | 09.24.2010 | 8:14 am

    This appears to be the Wal*Mart in Cedar Hills. I can tell by the soccer balls behind The Runner.

  13. Comment by Joe | 09.24.2010 | 8:16 am

    For the sake of giving a more complete answer, I should approach this from various perspectives. Namely two, me and my mom. So here goes:

    1. My mom would be much happier with the $75 bike. no scary tiny seat, a “girls” geometry (low top bar), and real pedals. As for myself, I can only imagine if a $30,000, $10,000 or $7500 bike would be more fun. Of course I would be willing to give it a try.

    2. While again my mom would just as soon walk away from one $75 bike to another one (cursing the whole time about why she spent “that much money” on a cheap bike). I think I would miss some of the fun of the tinker, adjust, throw everything completely out of whack and then take it to my LBS making up some excuse like I shouldn’t have let my mom try riding my bike.

    3. I think I would rather see me riding down the road on a $7500 bike than 100 mom clones on $75 bikes. Mainly because she is one of a kind…Love you mom.

    4. Strip it down to the frame, paint it pink, build it up with stuff laying around the garage and see how big a drops you can do on it. Mom does not like this idea and reminded me to wear a helmet.

  14. Comment by mikE | 09.24.2010 | 8:30 am

    I’d like to try and jump 100 $75 bikes with one $7500 bike. Evil-knievil style.

  15. Comment by roan | 09.24.2010 | 8:30 am

    Clicked on pic…Whoa, not a Walmark salesperson, I’ve seen her somewhere, hummmm ??? what a babe ;)! she worth way more than all the $75 bikes ever made.
    Then I start reading, yep, thought so.
    She is wondering all right…Fatty’s looking for a ss, since he put gears on FattyFly.
    Now about the questions. 100 people on $75 bikes for 2 reasons. They are safer in a group, one cyclist on a $7500 more likely to get nailed while someone in telecommunicating.
    Walmart sells $75 bike, buyer takes bike to LBS to fix problems and test rides a ‘real’ bike. Wants to trade-in the $75 bike. LBS takes off the only thing of value(fenders)and recycles the rest. Scrape metal is sent to China and they produce another $15 bike sold here for $75 at Walmart. Chance of person upgrading less than 5% but that is 5 people becoming ‘cyclists’.

  16. Comment by Paul Guyot | 09.24.2010 | 8:33 am

    1. Which is to say, is a $75 bike only going to be 1% as fun to ride as a $7500 bike? Explain your answer.

    My answer is no, not for me. I’ll explain… thanks to Hova (my brother) and you and your silly blog, I am addicted to cycling. Not bike riding, cycling. I want to go fast and far and up hills and down descents and suffer and smash personal records and do century rides and double centuries and cure f*#%ing cancer.

    If I ever feel the urge to simply want to cruise along, I can do that on my $7500 bike as well.

    2. Which would give you more trouble-free hours on a bike: buying one $7500 bike, or buying a hundred $75 bikes

    One $7500 bike, because it would be a colossal pain in the tuckus to have to continue returning to Wal-Mart, smiling at the old war veteran in the blue vest – the with the odd eye that always seems like it’s looking someone two feet to your left – and go to the “sporting goods” section and say to the 20something, entitled slacker who’s only working there because his dad threatened to kick him out of the house unless he got a job, and he needs to stay in the house because he runs his pot-dealing business out of his mom’s vegetable garden, “Hey, it’s me again. I need another one of those bikes.”

    Then taking it out of the store and struggling to get the leviathan to fit onto my Saris rack, then driving home, unloading it, and trying to continue my ride that I had to abandon three miles in that morning because bike #34’s chain broke – it didn’t slip, didn’t come off, it broke. As in pieces.

    3. Yes, rhetorical.

    4. what are suitable purposes for $75 bikes? Be creative.

    Art. I’m not kidding. Those are cool looking bikes. I would hang one on a wall. That would be worth $75 and I would get more enjoyment out of it for a much longer period of time than if I tried to actually ride the thing.

  17. Comment by a chris | 09.24.2010 | 8:35 am

    I see a lot of $75 (or actually £75) bikes on the streets in Cambridge (UK). Cycling is a staple for local transport, and a lot of people buy cheap bikes just for getting around town during (short) undergraduate terms. Bike theft is rife, distances are small, and quite a few people aren’t really interested in cycling but don’t quite want to walk that far (even if some are happy to cycle at walking speed). Lots of bikes limp along far out of the tolerances you’d think necessary to earn the classification “rideable.” I’m talking about chains made entirely of rust (sometimes decades old), wheels with macroscopic wobble, derailleurs jammed in granny or top gear, and/or no brakes to speak of. My husband volunteered fixing bikes when he was a student and knows only too well that the £75 bike cannot be fixed once it breaks.

    In North America, I guess a bike like this would get a kid around the suburban cul-de-sac or to the 7-11?

    Uh, what was the question? I’ll answer #4. It’s so Wal-Mart can make a profit flogging crap to parents who don’t quite understand how disappointed their kid is going to be to see this wrapped in a bow on their birthday.

  18. Comment by Matt | 09.24.2010 | 8:35 am

    Since these bikes DON’T have:
    - multiple gears
    - hand brakes (or – horrors – “disk breaks”)
    - “shocks”

    I’m assuming they might actually function well once a reasonably competent mechanic has looked them over.

    1 – I’d say this probably gives about 25-50% the enjoyment of a $7500 bike – more if you’re a worrywart about your expensive bike and would therefore never ever leave it anywhere except in your custom bike safe.
    2 – $7500 one, since you’d have to spend at least 20 mins. making sure each $75 one wasn’t a death trap.
    3 – rhetorical = not answering. Hah! :P
    4 – I’d say they’re actually useful for going somewhere if it’s not far away and you’re not in a hurry. But otherwise… huffy toss fundraiser?

  19. Comment by Dr. Brett | 09.24.2010 | 8:37 am

    My wife has a single speed beach cruiser similar to the ones shown and weighs roughly 450lbs. This makes it difficult for her to ride around the “false flat” of our neighborhood circle.

    These bikes are good for leisurely riding around town. I think they are not meant for more than easy 1x/week pedaling and would probably implode when you drop the hammer.

    I think once you creep over the $1000 mark and get quality shifty bits, brakes, and a decent wheelset, the following formula applies: Every additional $100 spent will increase your speed and ability by about 0.1sec/mile. However, enjoyment seems to increase by 100 joules (if happiness is measured in power) for every $100 spent. Therein lies the rub.

  20. Comment by Tommy F | 09.24.2010 | 8:37 am

    1. A $75 bike could be immensly fun, depending upon the situation…as in the “Hold my beer, watch this” kind of scenario as long as you are the spectator and not the performer.

    2. A $7,500 bike will likely need a new chain in about 1,500 miles, so each $75 bike in a set of 100 would only need to perform for 15 miles before it can be thrown away. Problem is, where are you on this bike when the 15 miles is up?

    3. Put 100 Wal-Mart customers – especially Georgia Wal-Mart customers – on ANY bike in the same place and that would be a spectacle.

    4. Since it is not feasible to service a $75 bike, there can only be a few useful purposes: A manufacturing job for a few people in China, transportation in a third world country, landfill material.

    P.S. The crankarm appears to be the same diameter as the pedal spindle!

  21. Comment by Paul Guyot | 09.24.2010 | 8:40 am

    My first answer should have been yes. Not no.

    I’s write fer a living.

  22. Comment by Heber Chad | 09.24.2010 | 8:42 am

    Isn’t that the bike you rode with Lance? Except with a Basket?

    I’d like to see a “Ride”/parade of Team Fatty all on their $75 bikes, then donate them to a charity.

    1) fun is fun $75 or $7500.
    2) I’d go with the $7500 bike.
    3) Parade
    4) I would stack a couple plastic milk crates up against the curb and put a flimsy piece of plywood on it, and make a sweet jump. Well that is what I did when i had a $75 bike when I was a kid.

  23. Comment by Mark | 09.24.2010 | 8:42 am

    These are “bikes” in the same sense that Ab Blaster and Thigh Master are “exercise” machines. They play on peoples’ guilt (the Wal*Mart types – What were YOU doing there?! :) ) The creative use becomes garage spider web canvases. Wal*Mart profits, everyone and everything else that comes in contact with them takes a loss. Except the spiders; they don’t care.

  24. Comment by Flyin' Ute | 09.24.2010 | 8:45 am

    Just think of how much bike you are getting for the money. It must weigh at least 50 lbs.

    That is 3 times more bike than the $7500 gets you!

    Did you happen to see the fence in Leadville made out of old skiis? I think you could build a bike fence with these. And it would be sturdy.

  25. Comment by Fifth Column | 09.24.2010 | 8:47 am

    A $75 bike is perfect for jumping off the $10 ramp you build in your back yard after consuming your $15 of cheap alcohol. The natural corollary is that it will STILL cost $7500 once you factor in medical bills incurred after said stunt.

  26. Comment by BigRhinoDog | 09.24.2010 | 8:48 am

    Jalopnik asks a question similar to number one on their blog. Their question is: is it more fun to drive a slow car fast or a fast car slow?

    I’ve ridden nice bikes (though not as nice as your Orca by any stretch) and I’ve ridden crappy bikes – for a fun day of blasting around without a care I’ll take the cheap bike every time. You don’t worry about theft, you can get parts at walmart – or just get a new bike at walmart, and you can hoon the f*ck out of it with utter abandon!

    I’ve never met a bike I didn’t like, and rather than more or less fun, I’d say that the 75 dollar back offers different fun than the 7500 rig.

  27. Comment by Jenni | 09.24.2010 | 8:48 am

    1. IS a $75 bike only going to be 1% as fun to ride as a $7500 bike? Explain your answer.

    Define “fun”. My idea of fun might be to ride the Walmart bike off a pier into the lake, what I would never do on a $7500, so WIN! More fun.

    Fun might also be riding that bike to peg naughty high schoolers on gate night, in which case I wouldn’t 1. care that my new bike got covered in egg upon their retaliation, 2. be recognizable by my bike because 100 other people have the same bike.

    2. Which would give you more trouble-free hours on a bike: buying one $7500 bike, or buying a hundred $75 bikes (i.e., when one $75 bike breaks you walk away from it and get out the next one)?

    My middle name is trouble and nothing’s ever free. Imagine if you will what my own personal determination of trouble is- maybe it’s a squeak, maybe it’s a rattle, maybe it’s a whim. Each time I have “trouble”, I give the bike to someone because clearly their definition of trouble is different than my artificially high standards.
    They are so grateful for what they now perceive to be a free trouble-free bike, and it creates an air of gratitude and goodness. They are overwhelmed at my gift and in turn do good things for people around them. I have taken my “trouble” and turned it into 100-fold benevolence.

    3. A hundred people riding the same bike, but in 15 minute intervals past the same hot dog vendor, all while saying “Groundhog Day” at exactly the same moment as they pass him.

    4. What are suitable purposes for $75 bikes?
    1. Messing with hotdog vendors
    2. Attacking back at Gatenight (for those of you who don’t know, it’s what we call the mischief filled night before Halloween where kids toilet paper and egg houses for “fun”)
    3. 100-fold benevolence
    4. cut the frame at the top tube, and down tube, leaving only the seat tube, chain stay and seat stay and you have a wonderful stool. I have done it and have photographic proof. How do I post it here?
    5. laundry holder

    This concludes my presentation.

  28. Comment by Jim | 09.24.2010 | 8:52 am

    1. Any bike is going to be as much fun as you make it. The important thing is to ride and have fun. I sense that Fatty has enormous fun riding a couple different free bikes. So how much you pay for a bike is an independent variable w/r/t fun.

    2. Depends on the bike. A hundred 20 year old Canondales you pick up for $75 at a yardsale would be several lifetimes of hard riding fun. A hundred Magna dual suspension MTBs bought at K-Mart would be so-so, okay for mild utility use, no fun at all for sessioning some logs and rocks. For a recent immigrant, a single cheap bike that enables him to make enough money to buy a car to get to a better job and move the family into a nicer apartment, is more fun than a $7500 bike in a wealthy rider’s stable of $7500 bikes. That cheap bike buys a whole new pleasant lifestyle, whereas the wealthy guy’s bike just buys him envious looks in Masters crits where he gets dropped.

    3. This is pretty obvious and the answer is a corrolary to #1: It’s more important that more people ride.

    4. I totally reject the notion that these $75 bikes are not suitable for “most traditional cycling purposes” e.g. getting around. I’m looking at those and seeing stout framed single speed cruisers. Granted, the nuts & bolts will be made of pot metal and this will be a problem later. But the basic frame and cheap heavy wheels and fat tires look to me like great around-town utility bike staples. *Thank goodness* Huffy (or Pacific or whoever owns them) are selling a practical cruiser. This looks like it would make a decent Townie bike, perfect for going out for a six pack and a couple burritos, or a cruise out to the bar, or a mile or two from one’s urban apartment to one’s workplace. I’d like to pat the brand manager on the back who had the idea to try to market a relatively stout looking practical urban bike at such a low pricepoint. (And a hundred thousand bike mechanics with skinned knuckles just cried in unison, “and damn the bastard for cutting corners with soft metal nuts and bolts.”

    To hell with the snobbery. What matters is not that people want to ride like me, but that they actually ride on whatever bike they have at hand.

  29. Comment by Brian | 09.24.2010 | 8:55 am

    Those bikes on display are all girls bikes. As a male, I feel that I am excluded from having to answer (yay!) due to equipment availability.

    But to answer #4 – it would be cool to get them up to speed then jump off just before they fly off the edge of a 100 ft deep dolomite pit. Not that I’ve ever disposed of a bike that way. As an adult.

  30. Comment by Jo | 09.24.2010 | 8:57 am

    1. I bought my Diamond Back used from the friend who went for the $7,500 bike. Paid €500 (or $673.0381). This bike is AWESOME and certainly more than 8.9738 times as much fun as the $75 bike. AND 2 times as much fun as my friend’s $7,500 carbon rocket since he crashed it on our tour through the alps.

    2. The $75 bike, at least 2 terrific trips all over the world (where I’d prefer to rent bikes) and still at least $ 1,000 left to pay someone for the maintenance of the Walmart bike – much better deal than the $7,500 bike.

    3. I’d like to see 100 people on $75 bikes, all lined up on Slickrock Trail.

    4. This one’s easy: spend at least $500 on ’street credible’ parts, convert it and show it off on fixed gear gallery (no offense…).

    Greetings from across the pond, Jo

  31. Comment by Anonymous | 09.24.2010 | 9:01 am

    1. My dad bought a $150 walmart bike several years ago, he wanted to know what I thought of it. I couldn’t come up with a reason why he should spend more. I also didn’t have the heart to tell him that my pedals cost more than his entire bike. He is a mechanic so I wasn’t too worried about the bike not being maintained, and he only wanted to ride from his home to the beach.

    2. Buying one $7500 bike does the trick for me, I only have so much garage space after all. Plus there are HILLS here, and I need a few gears to get up them.

    3. An awesome specatacle are all of those who use Denver’s bike share program, as they wouldn’t normally be riding, but are out there getting excercise, much like 100 people on $75 bikes.

    4. A $75 bike is perfect for people like my dad, a non cyclist, who wants to get out once or twice a month and get a litle bit of excercise. He doesn’t care whatt he’s riding as long as he can put air in the tires and go.

  32. Comment by Sean L. | 09.24.2010 | 9:01 am

    That exact bike model happens to be the bike model that served as the backdrop to my wedding. I rode it around the venue and found the steering to be comically slow, but that pushing on the pedals never failed to cause forward motion. And, it has pretty colors, which is what mattered.

    1. I don’t think the math is linear, but logarithmic. Riding that bike, I was smiling, as does mostly happen whenever I’m riding any bike. Since this bike is strictly in the “cruiser” category, I think it’s unfair of me to compare it to a $7500 mountain or road bike, but instead to $7500 cruisers exclusively. My reasoning for this is that I would be frustrated on any cruiser if riding through offroad stuff or trying to win a sprint. That’s just not the design goal. In the cruiser category, I have no idea what this $75 bike doesn’t do that a bike 100x the price would. If, however, we compare the $100 roadbike that’s likely sitting next door to this cruiser to a $10000 bike, I’d say that the more responsive shifting, stiffer sprint response, and longevity and toughness of the wheels and bearings are worth some additional cost. However, most of that quality can be found in a $2000 bike, hence my supposition that the quality to cost relation is logarithmic.

    2. I think the second question is mostly a question of ride support or distance. If you are going 6 blocks and the bike irreparably turns into a scooter/sled, you’re in for a hopefully pleasant walk. If you’re out for a 60 mile bout with the countryside, you’re phoning up a friend/cab if you want to be back before sunset. However, if you’re doing the 6 blocks on a (more expensive) more reliable bike, when you get to your destination (should you want to stop) you’ll have more hullabaloo getting the nice bike locked up and safe. So, short rides/utility, go cheap. Long rides/excursions, go reliable.

    3. Maybe it depends on setting? One person riding a $7500 bike in counter direction to an oncoming stampede of irritated bison or 100 people riding down the Great Wall of China?

    4. Provided a good paint job, the backdrop to a wedding/flower holder/landscaping accent. Tried and tested, and it works great so far!

  33. Comment by Erin | 09.24.2010 | 9:01 am

    Here’s my husband’s answer to #2…

    The $7500 bike is more trouble free because my ass not hurting means trouble free…and my ball sack not burning means it’s trouble free.

    Apparently that’s an issue for him ;)

  34. Comment by Mary | 09.24.2010 | 9:02 am

    I began this “cycling journey” on a $75 Target mountain bike. It barely shifted, was VERY heavy, and was painful to every part of my being after about 30 miles. I ended up putting it by my curb, where it stayed for about an hour until someone came and took it. I hope whoever has it loves it. However, on days when I’m very sore and complaining about my carbon road bike, I wish I had the old one back so that I could force myself to ride it and remember how blessed I am to have been able to upgrade (though not quite to the $7500 kind).

  35. Comment by JKC | 09.24.2010 | 9:05 am

    1) No
    2) 1
    3) 100 naked people on any bike
    4) Bike share program at a town/company/university campus/etc level.

    I anticipate your next question with great anticipation!

  36. Comment by Sue | 09.24.2010 | 9:06 am

    I think it looks like a fun errand bike. And you don’t have to pump up the tires – how cool is that? You can also use it for weight lifting – or to work on building up massive quads like yours!

  37. Comment by Roger Whitney | 09.24.2010 | 9:10 am

    I like the Runner’s Mellow Johnny’s Shirt.

    That is my favorite shirt.

    In terms of the test, my answer to 1, 2, 3 & 4 is Present

  38. Comment by kenny | 09.24.2010 | 9:19 am

    I would never spend $7500 on a bike, however, your bike should always be worth more than the car you drive. So, if you did buy the bike for $75 dollars, what kind of peace of crap car would you have to drive?

  39. Comment by Brandi | 09.24.2010 | 9:21 am

    I am such a green horn when it comes to cycling. Only been doing it for about 3 months now after being out of the saddle for 20+ years. So let me give it from a newbies’ perspective who knows very little.

    1. I didn’t even realize bikes could cost $7,500 let alone $10,000 or $30,000. Whoa. Mine is a Specialized commuter bike which I got for a little over $500. So I would say you would (and should) get 100% of the fun no matter the price.
    2. Surprisingly this is a tough one. One expensive bike should give you hours of enjoyment. But do expensive bikes require expensive repairs? With the 100 $75 bikes, you still spend the same, but have something to go to when the other breaks. I lean towards going green and get just one. Tossing a bike seems like a huge waste.
    3. Definitely, a procession of 100 identical bikes! Everyone loves a parade.
    4. A Chili’s parking lot full of $75 bikes would make a great statement. Monday, September 27, Chili’s is donating 100% of their profits to St. Jude’s Children Hospital. If you have a Chili’s in your area, be sure to stop by: or

    Ride on!

  40. Comment by Greg | 09.24.2010 | 9:21 am

    #2: what counts as trouble-free? I would personally enjoy one hour on a $7,500 bike so much more than one hour on a $75 bike due to the awesome performance, light weight, and sheer bling factor of the $7.5k bike. Because I would simply enjoy the experience so much more, I would be willing to put up with some interruptions for repairs.

    #3: Probably 100 people all riding their bicycles in a line anywhere for no specific reason would be just cool.

    #4:Apparently, commuting around a college campus because 90% of the bikes I see around campus aren’t worth more than 75 bucks.

  41. Comment by evil3 | 09.24.2010 | 9:25 am

    I might think about these a little farther then I need to but I will go with that……..

    …….or will I?

    Anyways my go to bike is a bike that I got on my B-day years ago and I know it was $80 new at walmart (I need to put a new chain on it though). Sure it doesn’t have the best components on it, it is very heavy, but if I go on 10-20 miles rides it is fun bike to ride on. -note I don’t take it on long rides as I prefer my road bike for the long rides (on a side note, that bike has a bent wheel, so right now I haven’t rode it anywhere (it is a steel wheel so I know it can be bent back into shape, but if it needs replaced it might hard as it is 650B wheel)), but both bike are just as fun to ride.

    Well no, that $75 bike could be the funnest bike that you will ever ride in your life time, but at the same time I know it can get better when you ride any bike on that epic ride (witch is like every day/weekend). However I would say that the law does slightly apply in this case because when you get into a discussion about bikes that person who has the $75 bike might feel intimidated and think their bike isn’t up to par on other peoples $7,500 bike.

    Well in this case, I think having all of the bikes on hand would be better, as when one breaks down you can get out and ride in a manner of seconds, instead of having to work on or have some work on your bike to get riding again. Really I think that the fleet of 100 bikes wins out, only because you can have more trouble free hours riding, as less face it both bike can break down in the frist 500 of riding or never give you an issue for 1000’s of miles.

    Well both would be sweet to see, but that person on the $7500 bike is a common sight for me (ok not every one rides a bike that high end, but there is always bike on my road so I will say it is common). However with the 100 bike that are all the same, that is a sight that I don’t think one has every truly seen. Sure in the Tour every one rides a road bike, but only 10 of them are the same color and every thing. So I think if there were 100 bikes that are exactly the same would be the coolest thing to ever happen, and just imagine if they were in the same riding gear as well. Really nothing else can compare to the fact that, that would be the most epic thing to ever take place.

    Well in my case, I own one of the cheep bikes, and I will admit that it isn’t going to work for off-road riding (well in can, but not very good), and it isn’t very the best use on the road. But I do a lot of road riding with it (BTW it is a 12 speed bike), and because it is more based off of a mountain bike (most low end bikes are), it has wide tires that if I want to ride in the dirt, on a road that is just gravel, or even if I drift off of the road when I’m not focused then I can. Ok so it is really heavy, but that just means it make you a better climber on the longer up hills. So I think it makes a great training bike because of the fact that it take more effort to keep it going at speed due to the fact that it is a little heavier then a nice bike.

  42. Comment by Bill | 09.24.2010 | 9:27 am

    I’d rather see 100 people on bikes than 100 people in cars. If they are on $75 bikes, so be it.

    The only problem I see with the $75 bike is if someone buys/rides one,has nothing but problems and is turned off of cycling forever.

    Personally (and this addresses #4), I’ve been looking for a $75 bike. I’d use it for running quick errands around town.

  43. Comment by Jenn | 09.24.2010 | 9:47 am

    “Allow myself to introduce…myself.”

  44. Comment by JB | 09.24.2010 | 9:50 am

    I think the picture of the little girl in the display just has to be a childhood picture of the Runner….looks just like her!

  45. Comment by MattC | 09.24.2010 | 9:51 am

    I think that it’s easy to let our ‘bike snobbery’ get in the way here cuz most of us have decent bikes (road and mt). Whenever people come to me w/ questions on what kind of bike to buy, is it worth it, how much should I spend, is it too heavy, etc…I give them this advice. It all depends on WHAT you are going to do with it. How often you THINK you will ride and how often.

    #1: If your idea of a big ride is to take it down to a coffe shop and maybe cruise the boardwalk w/ your flat pedals and flip-flops, then get a bike suitable for that. This is that type of bike. Sure they were built by Billy-Bob, and would need a THOROUGH going-over…but once that is done, these would be a quite suitable boardwalk bike (I lived in Virginia Beach for a number of years..and have been down to Santa Monica area many times now that I live in CA)…these are IDEAL for that. It weighs a ton already, so the 20lb lock/chain you carry won’t make a huge diff (carry THAT on your $7500 bike…you’ll be worried about it chipping your paint, and it weighs more than your entire bike). It has a SUPER low cost for WHEN it eventually gets run over (or stolen… even w/ your mega-chain in place). The real bonus is that it gets you from point A to B in a much faster and more fun way than hoofing it. Ride a beach boardwalk during summer on this baby…sunny, warm, babes in bikini’s everywhere (or ripped guys playing beach vb for the ladies)…that’s what these bikes were made for. $75 for THAT? PRICELESS! You’d look like (and BE) a complete dork in the $7500 bike in this environment.

    #2: If you can/do maintain your own bikes, then you have the skills to keep a bike like this working (in it’s intended environment) for decades. No tweaking derailleurs, changing bar tape, cables, cassettes, tires…you will get oodles of cruising time w/ very little aintenance on this cheap hunk of iron. It’s a no frills bike, so there’s just not that much that will go wrong. And honestly, it wouldn’t really need THAT much tinkering to get it functioning right. And maybe the skills a kid picks up tinkering on such a bike will end up being what makes him the future mechanic on Team Radio Shack or something.

    #3: I see LOTS of $7500 (or more bikes) anytime I got to any organized event here in Calif. One of the guys I ride with has a 1 year old Time RXR, w/full Dura Ace 7900 & the new Dura Ace C24 wheels…it retails around 11 grand as built. It’s truly an AMAZING bike. So what. It’s NOT always about the bike. It’s about the ride. You buy a bike for your own purposes. He could afford such a bike, most of us can’t. Does he have more fun on it that I do on mine? Maybe just a little (it IS really nice). More fun than a kid on a cheap heavy beach cruiser tearing around town in the summer? Probably not. So I’d like to see 100 people (especially kids) on cheap cruisers tearing around and just having a blast. That’s 100 people who might just end up riding bikes the rest of their lives, and getting involved in things like trail advocacy, or ending up in politics where they can help w/ the anti-bike establishment that is continually making ridicilous laws for bikes, and day by day making more trails illegal for bikes (but horses are ok, cuz they don’t damage the trails, only bikes). Help making cities more bike friendly, more bike lanes, EDUCATION for the motorists that they need to SHARE the road and are responsible for their actions. If nothing else, it’s 100 kids who AREN’T sitting at the computer or playing video games, who are outside pedaling around 45 burly lbs of steel and having a blast doing it.

    #4: Beach cruising is the Flat out hands down best use for a bike like this. I love my nice bikes, but this bike has an intended audience and purpose. This bike is no less suitable for trails or roads than any other cheap bike costing 5 times more. It’s not made for that. You bring a $500 mt bike on my rides and you’ll be carrying it out. Take your $500 road bike out on a 80 mile 8000′ ride and we won’t ever see you again. See how that $500 road bike feels at 50mph, or if you die when you try to stop it fast from that speed. It’s not made for it. It’s apples and oranges. They are quite diff, but both are good in their own way.

  46. Comment by chtrich | 09.24.2010 | 9:59 am

    1) I think a $75 bike would be 100% as fun to ride as a $7500 bike. As others have said, the ride on the two bikes would be for different reasons.
    2) 100 $75 bikes. No maintenance at all. 100 new bikes are bound to out last the first tune up on the $7500 bike
    3) 100 bikes for sure. There are a lot of overpriced high end bikes out there and most people wouldn’t even know the difference between a $7500 bike and a $2000 bike.
    4) Riding up and down the block with your kids 8 and under. They just want to ride. No need to hop on your fancy $$$ bike. Just cruise along side of them and have fun.

    I think those cruisers look like a lot of fun and at $75, why not!

    BTW, isn’t that a great Wal-Mart. Usually not busy at all, and nice as far as Wal-Marts go.

    Oh, and your contest for Monday looks good…..thanks RSS

  47. Comment by Matt | 09.24.2010 | 10:00 am

    I think we need a Fat Cyclist fundraiser/contest involving using the $75 bike for the worst possible application.

    Fat Cyclist $75 bike 100 Miles of Nowhere?
    Fat Cyclist $75 bike freeride championship?
    Fat Cyclist $75 bike pump track?
    Fat Cyclist $75 bike Mt. Washington Hillclimb?

  48. Comment by Scott | 09.24.2010 | 10:05 am

    1. It wasn’t exactly $75, but a few years ago I got a very nice used mountain bike for $100. It gave me many thousands of miles of both pavement and sand/rocks, until I got hit by a car. Even after that it took a year for the cracked frame to finally break in two. He’s now a source of spare parts. A cheap bike can still be rugged and reliable. That bike was a lot of fun.

    2. A cheaper yet dependable bike will give you less financial trouble, and minimize the pain if it gets stolen (which will happen eventually if you live in Tucson and leave it outside alone for more than 5 minutes at a time).

    3. Option 2 is the bigger spectacle.

    4. My $100 used mountain bike was very nice. It got me up Mt Lemmon (by the paved highway you took and the rocky forest road from the north). Lots of water, extra sandwiches, and bananas also deserve partial credit.

  49. Comment by Cannonball | 09.24.2010 | 10:22 am

    1. A 50-pound, $75 bike will indeed be 1% as fun to ride as a 17-pound $7,500 road (or mountain) bike as soon as you hit the first hill. Maybe less than 1%…

    2. My definition of trouble-free includes not having to push a bicycle up a hill, therefore the question is irrelevant.

    3. Just the act of getting 100 people together to ride a Walmart would be improbable, so this rhetorical question will remain just that–rhetorical.

    4. There used to be an event called the Huffy Toss. This could be reintroduced. A $7500 bike could also be used to hold your garage door open; used as an effective boat anchor. Better yet, if you want to submerge a $75 bicycle (probably an overwhelming feeling if you ever actually tried riding one), then take the 100 Wal*Mart specials and throw them all into the same spot in 15 feet of water in the Caribbean as a jump-start for a new coral reef (if it is not already too late for coral animals to survive in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico)…

    If you have any other questions, Fatty, just ask. It appears that your readers (myself included) all have ready and witty opinions on a wide variety of subjects.

  50. Comment by Beth | 09.24.2010 | 10:24 am

    If we take for granted that a $75 bike is not suitable for most traditional cycling purposes (e.g., going somewhere), >>

    Spoken like a true bike snob. Not everyone wants to go 50 miles each time they hop on the trusty bike. The fact that they are getting on a bike to go anywhere and the subsequent heart benefits account for some value.
    You are looking at the Walmart bikes from a highend mentality. $75 might be all that someone has that wants a bike and isn’t savvy enough to bottomfeed on Craigslist for a “better” brand etc…..

  51. Comment by larry | 09.24.2010 | 10:38 am

    Question #5: Why are you shopping at WalMart?

    Not being snide.

    If you answer the question honestly, it answers the previous 4 questions. Maybe not the witty answers your are looking for, but still.

  52. Comment by Randy | 09.24.2010 | 10:41 am

    I like ‘em … Nice colors and they kinda remind me of the old Columbia I used to ride around when I visited my Grandmom

    Look at the seat at the second one from the left … “Yeah, that’s pretty straight”

    1. You get from a ride, what you put into it; not what you put yourself onto. Just make sure you’re being reasonably appropriate [like MattC said in his #4]

    2. Being a natural tinkerer, when a part failed I’d replace it with the better one, evenually building it into a $75 bike with a TON of upgrades; but it would be ALL MINE [this from the dude with Lego valve caps and cork-finished beer bottle cages for bar-end caps]

    3. Everyone loves a parade

    4. Circling back to #2, a cheapie bike is a good “test-bed” when teaching kids the basics of bike maintenance & repair. It would be fun to race the kids around the block on one, too; kinda like a built-in handicap

  53. Comment by centurion | 09.24.2010 | 10:45 am

    1. The $75 is much more fun to ride than the $7500 bike. If I was riding a $7500 bike, all I would be thinking about is wrecking, or chipping the paint, or some other calamity that would turn my $7500 bike into a $75 pile of junk in a heart beat.
    2. More trouble free hours of riding fun? Are you kidding, $75 bike hands down. The $75 bike get little or no maintenance, as there is no expectation of it working any better than it does at any particular point in time, there is no point in trying to get it to work better. The $7550 would require cleaning, adjusting, and just lookiing after to keep it riding like a $7500 bike. All that time in the shop is less riding time.
    3. The more of us, the better it is for us
    4. Rent a house at the beach for a week or two, get up early in the morning and go for a ride along the shore line, on the boardwalk if there is one. See how fast you would want to go. And thos places always have a donut shop where you can get fresh, warm donuts. Try and carry a dozen on your $7500 bike. It just don’t work.
    5. Post more pictures of The Runner. wow. Bikes optional.

  54. Comment by Bob Jones, Esq | 09.24.2010 | 10:49 am

    Oh man, Matt has the greatest idea! $75 100 miles to nowhere, etc would be great! Especially if everyone filmed it & submitted a montage of the praise/shame/curses the heap on the bike!

    On to the questions, though:
    1. The $75 bike will have as much of a percentage of fun as you want it to have. My wife has a $75 Academy cruiser. She loves cruising with it. She does want an Electra cruiser, though. But she isn’t cursing her bike for it.
    2. It depends on how you take care of the bike. (“This is why we can’t have anything nice…) I rode a hand me down hand me down Wal Mart Mongoose as a commuter bike for a year & a half. It worked great & I kept it working. I finally upgraded bikes & it is now a hand me down hand me down hand me down commuter for my brother in law. It works great for him.
    3. 100 people riding $75 dollar bikes. It would show non-bike friendly people (i.e. the people who run you off the road, honk, scream, argue that you aren’t allowed on the road, etc.) that people do ride bikes.
    4. A $75 dollar bike is great for going places. It’s also great for really anything you involve it in. I rode a garage sale kid’s huffy bmx up & down the street until it bucked me off. I also rode another garage sale full suspension wal mart bike down some stairs & around the yard. Until it bucked me, too. Really messed up my hand. So…they are good for whatever you are too scared to do with your good bikes…

  55. Comment by Austin | 09.24.2010 | 10:57 am

    1. Of course a $7,500 bike is 100 times more awesome than a $75 bike, I’m sure at one time or another Gerard Vroomen has explained this to us in some rant about carbon fiber thicknesses and seat stay shapes.
    2. I’m going to be practical about this one. When I was in college I bought a Wal-Mart bike and for about every 20 minutes of riding across campus I spend about 30 minutes adjusting shifting cables and about every other moving piece of equipment on it. While the $7,500 bike will most likely be equipped with SRAM Red, Shimano Dura Ace, or Campy Record, all reliable groups in deed.
    3. Of course 100 people on $75 bikes would be the greater spectacle because how could you ever have 100 $75 bikes all fully functioning at once. This would of course take every bike mechanic from every team and every neutral support car from every Paris-Roubaix for past 10 years combined. Not only would you have 100 bicycles but an autobus of at least 1.5564 miles long behind it. But, 100 $7,500 bikes that would be a site to behold, oh wait, they already have that, it’s called a professional bicycle race.
    4. This is a easy one. $75 bikes can be used by only the neutral support cars designated to follow Team Radio Shack in every pro tour race in France for when their carbon steerer tubes will inevitably break on their $7,500 bikes.

  56. Comment by Luke | 09.24.2010 | 11:15 am

    The only suitable purpose for $75 Wal Mart bikes is to ride around campus when you’re drunk.

    Trust me. My college has a fleet of these bikes that live, unlocked, in the bike racks, in various stages of disrepair, awaiting some fortunate drunkard who will ride them to their next destination, and more than likely leave them hanging 15 feet up a tree.

    And a procession of 100 people on these bikes through any town (I’m imagining said procession leaving the Wal-Mart in Waterville, ME where I just returned from) with a Wal-Mart would be glorious.

  57. Comment by velodrone | 09.24.2010 | 11:34 am

    When I bought my last bike, a De Rosa King, I vowed to average the cost down to 10 cents a mile before considering buying a new bike. I am almost there. I think I would have trouble doing the same on a $75 dollar bike…

  58. Comment by Gary | 09.24.2010 | 11:36 am

    As a proud owner of a $125 3 speed beach cruiser as well as a quiver of 8 other exponentially costlier mountain,road,CX bikes I feel qualified to take this survey.

    1. It depends, but typically I have more fun when riding the $75 bike is more fun to ride. The main reason being it is the bike I ride to restaurants and bars in my town, along the beach. Burritos, Beers and Bikes. Sometimes all at the same time. What could be more fun?

    2. It depends. I bought the beach cruiser to have a bike I wasn’t concerned about getting stolen or having to maintain, but as with all my other bikes I have fallen into the trap of upgrades. I’ve added a basket, a beer/cup holder, lights, a more hill appropriate sprocket and a laid back seatpost(after a custom bike fitting in the store). Other than chain lube and pumping up the tires after a year of riding I have had no mechanicals. I wish I could say the same of my higher price bikes with top end componetry.

    3. defiantly rhetorical – imagine a beach cruiser gran fondo…

    4. Add a basket and a lock and the $75 bike is perfect for all your around the town cruising. Such as some of rides I’ve done –
    Going to your local Mexican restaurant or Brew Pub.

    Picking up a 6 pack of Fat Tire ale.

    Heading down to the local bike shop to buy a part to fix your $7500 bike.

    Loading up with wine, cheese, and crackers and heading out with your significant other to pretty spot for merriment and mayhem.

    Taking the cat to the vet. (Safety restraints required)

    racing in the Coaster Brake Challenge Race series -


    stinging up with colorful Christmas tree lights and doing a parade during the holidays.

    bar crawls

    to get around to various spots on a bicycle race course while bringing your own refreshments

    to take to your local club ride when you’re not feeling up to battling it out in the front. The perfect excuse for being DFL.

    I though I was buying a disposable, easily replaceable bike but instead I find that this bike would be the one I would miss most if I had to eliminate one bike in my quiver. Hmmmm do I need a backup beach cruiser… hmmmm maybe with an 8 speed nexus and a gates belt drive…

  59. Comment by Clydesteve | 09.24.2010 | 11:54 am

    1. Riding a $75 bike with the seat at a 14.5 degree angle to the left will not be fun AT ALL, according to “the boys”.

    2. As with many things in life, difficult logistics remove enjoyment. The logistics of staging all 100 $75 bike properly so you can grab the next one at the breakdown of the last will suck the joy out of this otherwise awesome reverse-snobbery exercise.

    3. 100 people riding down the street on $75 bike in the Fremont Solstice Parade (google it, I am not supplying a link to this in Fatty’s column!) would be more of an event. (But you might not want to watch.)

    4. Ghost bikes.


  60. Comment by Jen | 09.24.2010 | 12:03 pm

    1. I’ve never riden or even been in the same vicinity of a $7500 bike, so I can’t say with certainty, but would hope that if I paid that much for a bike it would be fun. However, $75 can get a new-to-the-sport 16 year old a really nice, older road bike from Craigslist that he has had a lot of fun on and is now motivated to move up to an even better bike, which is fun for me to see :) Now if you are talking about those exact $75, they would be very fun to ride in a historical parade wearing a really big hat and having a poodle in the basket. (this probably answers the last question as well I guess)

    2. I hope the $7500 would be more trouble free ’cause after paying that much for it, I wouldn’t have any money left in the budget for repairs.

    3. Add daisies to the handle bars for all 100, an it is the obviousl choice for an awesome spectacle.

    4. Parades of daisy clad ladies in a Founder’s Day Parade.

  61. Comment by Garmon | 09.24.2010 | 12:34 pm

    Hey the Runner’s wearing the EXACT SAME SHIRT I’m wearing right now…. Jinx!

  62. Comment by chickenbocks | 09.24.2010 | 12:38 pm

    A $75 bike might still be locked to the rack outside my downtown office building at the end of the day. A $7500 bike would not even be locked to the rack by the time I got to my desk in the morning.

  63. Comment by Chris | 09.24.2010 | 12:47 pm

    1. It depends. For a casual ride on the road (doing errands, tooling around the neighborhood) you could get a relatively high fun quotient (20% – 50%) out of a $75 bike. For the kind of riding you (and most of your readers do) I think that could go down to 0% pretty quickly. I could not take a $75 bike on many of the trails I ride. If I tried to take it on a training ride I’d be off the back in a heartbeat, lonesome, frustrated and embarassed.

    2. One $7500 bike. Again, consider the circumstance. For any rigorous endevors the $75 bike would quickly show it’s flaws, starting with the poor build quality one would expect from Wal-Mart. I would expect NONE of the $75 bikes to hold up to any of my normal rides.

    Which would be the more awesome spectacle: one person riding a $7500 bike down the road, or a procession of a hundred people riding identical $75 bikes down the road? This question is mostly rhetorical.

    3. The latter. The one exception would be if I were the person on the $7500 bike. That would be an awsome spectacle. For me.

    4. Doing errands close to home. Family bike rides with small children, “beach bike”, various “Mythbusters” finales involving explosives, bike toss, getting 100 people to participate in a “Wal-Mart 100m bike dash eliminations” contest, leaving it on your car rack everywhere you go to see how fast it would be stolen, various rust/weather experiments, a “flaming tire downhill” ride in your neighborhood.

  64. Comment by Eborman | 09.24.2010 | 12:50 pm

    Over here in the UK we have a shop called Asda (owned by Wal-Mart and sells similar stuff) who produced an advert once with a picture of their £75 bikes with the front forks on backwards……..

    I’ll take a $7,500 every time.

  65. Comment by Dave | 09.24.2010 | 1:14 pm

    4. I currently exclusively own a $75 mountain bike from Target that I use almost exclusively on paved trails or roads. I haven’t had one problem with the bike even after putting a couple hundred miles on it, but of course I have been scouring craigslist for the diamond in the rough to upgrade my bike. So for me the $75 bike was a way for me to find out if I like riding before I make the plunge.

  66. Comment by Paul Guyot | 09.24.2010 | 1:17 pm

    Um, Fatty…

    Someone stole your Orbea contest post.

  67. Comment by Nahh | 09.24.2010 | 1:20 pm

    I once took a walmart mountain bike on a 10 mile ride just to tear it up…I had fun.

    I’d rather see the $7500 bike myself. I can see 100 people on walmart bikes whenever I want (college kid). bring on the SRAM Red and Carbon fiber.

    Walmart bikes are fun to tear up, but not really worth it since a quality bike can be had for less used on craigslist or through a bike co-op. I have $20 into the bike I ride right now.

    I’m not sure which of those questions I answered, but there ya go!

  68. Comment by MattC | 09.24.2010 | 1:22 pm

    I think everybody that is dissing these bikes as ‘maintenance hogs’ needs to take another look at the picture (big size)…there ARE no cables…it’s a coaster brake. What’s gonna happen, a pedal fall off? C’mon…this is bike simplicity at it’s finest! As to saying it would suck on trails and such, well hey, you are right! So go ahead and take that $7500 road bike on a trail! This bike would KILL the whiz-bang carbon road bike in the dirt (IF you were foolish enough to try it)! Big fat tires…mongo steel frame..think back to Repack up in Marin….these bikes are a close relative to what they used at the dawn of Mt biking!

    Sure it would suck going UP any hills…but nobody ever intended this bike for that. This bike is made to have a ga-zillion of them out there getting people riding on the SUPER cheap. Running errands, being GREEN…leave the car in the garage. Put a basket or rack on it. Maintenance? Replace the big ol’ honkin tires once a decade or so when they crack too bad…put some WD40 on the chain once or twice a year, and you are in bike cruiser ZERO maintenance heaven for town cruising!

  69. Comment by VaLene Hulme | 09.24.2010 | 1:29 pm

    I think you need to compare apples to apples. Ya know, cruisers to cruisers, rather than cruisers to performance bikes.

    Brent read somewhere years ago that a typical Walmart bike gets ridden an average of 60 miles. Total. He can’t remember the source on that neat little statistic.

    I have 2 answers to your final question, suitable purposes for a $75 bike:

    1) Neighborhood strolls to the park, down the street, or a leisurely ride along a paved path.
    2) It vindicates the buyer who won’t spend more than $100 on a bike. You see, they use it a few times at first. Then it gets left out in the weather, or ignored in the garage for several seasons. Then every time they go to get it out, it’s got a flat, or the cables are rusted, or it won’t shift well, etc. So it gets neglected more and more. And then the buyer is so glad they didn’t spend more than $75 on a bike because they never use it anyway.

  70. Comment by Josh | 09.24.2010 | 1:31 pm

    How far can you go??

    Let’s presume the $75 bike gets flats at the same rate as the $7500 bike. Considering my bike which falls in the middle of that range netted me 10465kms since Jan 1. I had to change flat tyres 16 times giving me an average distance of 654kms between flats. With 100 bikes you’d presume then that you could go about 65400 kms before your bike supply is exhausted. That’s about 5 years of riding for me.

    At that point let’s say that I spent $7500 for the bike and 100x$5 for the tubes on the new bike meaning I’ve sunk $8000 into riding the other bike… meaning I could have bought another 6 or 7 $75 bikes.

    At that point we cross the threshold where replacing the $75 bike starts to cost you $70 more dollars per flat tyre than the $7500 bike.

    (I have to replace a chain on the $7500 bike for a price of $75 each 2000 miles. To compare then we have to presume here then that about three times per year I get on a $75 bike and it’s going to break down before it gets a flat tyre. This sounds reasonably accurate.)

    5 Years Fatty, that’s your answer.

    Will you love your bike for 5 years?

  71. Comment by Mike | 09.24.2010 | 1:47 pm

    I was immediately distracted by the hot chick in the background. Then I clicked to see the bigger version and realized the hot chick was wearing a Mellow Johnny’s shirt!! I was compelled to immediately uncover the location of this particular Wal Mart – Seriously, have you EVER (and I mean EVER) seen a hot chick wearing a Mellow Johnny’s shirt by the bike display in ANY Wal Mart??? This is a one-in-ten-billion occurrence. Then you spoiled the whole wonderful dream for me. Ah crap, back to work…Thanks Fatty.

  72. Comment by Drew | 09.24.2010 | 1:54 pm

    I think the real question is, why is someone who rides an Orbea Orca with electronic shifting browing the bike ailse in Walmart? That is like Bill Gates shopping for new computers at Best Buy :-/

    #1- The law of diminishing returns is somewhat flawed. At some point the curve sharpens dramatically. I think there is a greater difference between $75-$7500 than $7500-$30k. Perhaps that $75 bike 100 times more sucky.

    #2 I have not had more than 3 consecutive trouble free hours on any big box bike I have ever owned, so I would say the $7500 bike wins again.

    #3 It is more awesome when I pass the guy with the $7500 bike whilst riding my 5 year old $750 bike. The bums on their Walmart specials are just annoying.

    #4 Lead poisoning, grind the paint chips off into your enemies coffee…

  73. Comment by MaineMTB | 09.24.2010 | 1:59 pm

    Fun is in the eye of the beholder.

    A $75 bike charity ride is a great idea. Sponsored at a buck per mile until the bike dies? Epic.

  74. Comment by ChrisMPLS | 09.24.2010 | 2:04 pm

    #4) How is it these bikes do not serve the purpose of going somewhere? There are millions of bikes in much much worse condition than this new out of the box $75 Walmart beauty, and those bikes can effectively be used to go somewhere by their rider. Sure, they may not be racing, or doing interval training on it, but who cares? They’re on the bike riding and that’s all that matters. I’m actually pretty impressed that these bikes are $75. Honestly. And I work for a large bicycle retailer…

  75. Comment by Dr Bryce | 09.24.2010 | 2:14 pm

    You pose a series of questions that can be answered in many different ways.

    A comparison of a New bike from Walmart to your Craigslist find for only $100 is not a fair comparison. The only fair comparison I see is a new $75 bike vs. any other New Bike shop bike. Quality is never the same.

    Having previously worked in a shop and seeing the dissappointment in a customer’s face as they bring in a very neglected “Walmart” bike and want to know the costs to replace the broken plastic pedals. Which will require a complete crankset to enable the use of bike shop quality pedals, the costs to repair are more than the original cost of said bicycle. Same goes for wheels: replacement wheel is usually the equivalent of said bicycle retail cost. Hubs are not really adjustable due to the use of poor quality materials, rims usually don’t stay true for a bike that actually gets ridden off of a curb. Headset is always loose, hubs are always loose and true, it was built by “mr. Walmart” and can’t be trusted without a thorough once-over by someone with decent mechanical knowledge.

    Now, I see several good uses for these bikes: #1:World Bicycle relief, enuf said! #2: purchase for your neighborhood fun and cruises with the pre-purchase awarenss that once broken, it’ll make a great yard ornament or bar-stool as mentioned previously. #3: first time bike buyer knowing that it’ll need replacing with any kind of actual mileage or use. #4: great bike for a snot-nosed, spoiled rotten kid that’ll leave anything in the rain whether it be $75 or $7500.

    That was more than my 2-cents worth. Thanks Fatty!

  76. Comment by rokrider | 09.24.2010 | 2:25 pm

    OH MAN, I HATE POP QUIZZES!… Especially on a Friday.

    Oh and my dog really did eat my homework.

  77. Comment by Bacongal | 09.24.2010 | 2:27 pm

    A $75 bike from Walmart isn’t going to be high quality. But if it gets somebody up off their hiney and out riding I am all for it.

    My comment is to the question of which would be a more awesome spectacle….

    I live near Portland, Oregon, and while I have never participated, I have witnessed the zoo bombers. Which are a group of cyclist that come screaming down the hill from the Oregon zoo, into downtown, in the dead of night…NAKED.

    I think it would be an awesome spectacle to have 100 people on matching $75 walmart bikes naked, and the person on the $7500 could lead the way with the horn. Are you in fatty?

  78. Comment by Weaky6 | 09.24.2010 | 2:30 pm

    I think these bikes would be good for doing RAGBRAI and then you could toss it in the river when your done.

  79. Comment by mateo | 09.24.2010 | 2:41 pm

    What the Hell has gotten into you and Dug today with the philosophical questions? Full moon over Utah tweaking your “take” on the world? Let’s get back to soft serve and just LTFU (lighten the f**k up).

  80. Comment by axel in texas | 09.24.2010 | 2:46 pm

    1. I did my ironman on a 100 Euro bike (ebay) and finished (…faster than Fatty on his $7500 bike). These bikes can be just as much fun as a $7500 bike. Just imagine yourself cruising through venice beach!

    2. $7500 bikes aren’t made to last, they are made to be lightweight. The $7500 bike is just as wrong as the $75 bike.
    Many simple $525 bikes are made to last (redline monocog 29er!). They will outlast 7 walmart bikes and 1 fancy superlightweight bike.

    3. an infinite number of people on free bikes

    4. with seats like those, barstool in a biker bar.

  81. Comment by Travis | 09.24.2010 | 3:06 pm

    1. Yes, one of thosetbikes pictured looks 1% as fun as my Cervelo P3 with Zipps.

    2. Having to move my GPS, my saddle bag, my water bottle cages, my LCD TV, etc. from one bike to another would just be a huge hassle after a while. I’m still taking my Cervelo.

    3. We all know the answer, which is why your question was rhetorical…I’m guessing.

    4. That Walmart display and children under the age of 5.

  82. Comment by ochsride | 09.24.2010 | 3:24 pm

    There were bikes in that photo? I was looking at your HAWT wife.

  83. Comment by Edie | 09.24.2010 | 3:25 pm

    A Fun Quiz!

    Here’s my answers:

    1) The $7500 ride is going to be 1000 times better than the $75 ride going up a steep hill. The $75 ride would be a huge adrenaline rush going down a steep hill towards any red light when I realize it’s too heavy to stop it safely and I close my eyes in traffic, scream my brains out and brace for impact.

    2) The $7500 would be better until I drop it while on a beer tour (organized or not).
    The price of replacing parts is going to be 1000 times more devastating than donating the $75 bike’s parts to my local bikes-for-kids charity. Yeah, I love World Bicycle Relief, too, but it’s obvious these bikes aren’t up to spec for those conditions.

    3) 100 people riding the same $75 bike. There is no spectacle of one person riding a $7500 bike because in all likelihood, they would go by too fast for anyone to notice the bike in the first place. Most people just notice the lycra.

    4) For non-traditional use, I’m thinking that with a couple of modifications and a trainer, it would make an interesting ice cream maker. Does Ben & Jerry’s have a Tube Slime flavor?

    @Matt – Fat Cyclist $75 bike Mt. Washington Hillclimb – OH, MERCY!! I wonder if anyone could finish under the time limit. It wouldn’t be me.

    I hope everyone gets in some safe and happy rides this weekend :)

  84. Comment by Philly Jen | 09.24.2010 | 3:27 pm

    100 identical $75 bikes? I smell an OK Go video…

  85. Comment by Geo | 09.24.2010 | 3:49 pm

    I think I know the answers to all your questions but thought I’d just say this about the Wal-Mart bike.

    My wife wants a bike so she can ride with my son and me around the neighborhood. She asks “Can’t we get a bike for $100 at Wal-Mart?” I reply “Yes we can, BUT we’re going to a real bike shop and getting you one that you will actually enjoy riding.”

  86. Comment by Geo | 09.24.2010 | 3:50 pm

    @Philly Jen.

    Awesome idea!!

  87. Comment by L'Hippo | 09.24.2010 | 3:55 pm

    My goodness sakes alive, look at the saddle on that thing! My bum is two axe-handles wide and I’m not sure much would lop over the sides with that seat. You’d have to buy DZ Nuts in the gallon size; at least Sam’s is probably next to the WalMart.

    1. Federal Reserve style answer: Not in the short run. However, in the long run the Marginal Propensity to Repair (MPR) of the $75 bike would shift rightward. The Happiness Factor (HF) is the equilibrium between the MPR and Time-to-Ride Supply Curve (TTRSC)and that would go down, eventually reaching zero.

    2. The $7500 bike. There would be no trouble-free hours on the $75 bike. Unless your standards for trouble-free are remarkably low.

    3. I think it would be spectacular to see 100 identically prepared $75 cruiser bikes set up and assigned to Continental Pro Racers. Like the old IROC series, we’re really find out who can ride then.

    4. They came from China, I’d hate to see what’s actually in the paint on those things. I think with an ingenuis modification of the front fork and the rear wheel hanger, you could remove the front wheels and connect like a long articulated snake you get at a $1 store. Then you can sell them to the Portland Transit Authority as “bike-busses”. Or some public art installation in Utrecht or Amsterdam.

  88. Comment by Kamil | 09.24.2010 | 4:07 pm

    2. I say stick with buying one $7500 bike. You would get more trouble free hours. In the end, you’re spending the same amount of money, so you either buy 100 crappy bikes, and you’re never having fun, or you buy one good bike, and enjoy riding. Plus, wouldn’t it suck if your bike broke down, and there wasn’t a walmart around to buy your ride back? grr.

    4. A $75 dollar bike should be purchased only for wall art. If you’re all trendy, it would make for a nice piece of art. When you’re sick of, you can bring it to a metal recycling centre, where you’d get about $50 back. You have nice art, and then get most of your money back cause that bike is probably made of steel and weights like 100lbs.

  89. Comment by ComedyTragedy | 09.24.2010 | 4:40 pm

    As to number 4, boat anchor is all I can come up with.

  90. Comment by Spiff | 09.24.2010 | 5:04 pm

    A $75 bicycle is perfectly suited for placing by the curb to be taken to the landfill site because it would cost more to repair than replace even though you bought it less than a year ago.

  91. Comment by Alison Wonderland | 09.24.2010 | 5:42 pm

    Hey now, I ride a $75 bike from Walmart. (Ok it was $90 and I bought it at Fred Meyer.) It’s a piece of crap as far as components etc. go but honestly, I’ve had it for 6 years and I’ve never had a problem with it. I don’t ride a ton, about once a week lately, and I generally don’t ride very far (20ish miles max) but it’s been a great, take me anywhere I want to go, bike. And other than the occasional tire change (and the one time someone stole the 2 nuts attaching the wheel to the forks) I haven’t had to fix or replace anything.

    Despite what all you bike snobs think, my Magna’s been a really great bike. (It’s also possible that I just don’t know any better.)

  92. Comment by NYCCarlos | 09.24.2010 | 5:55 pm

    1) A $75 bike is not 1% as fun as a $7500 bike if you use the $75 bike right and the $7500 bike wrong! That Orbea you ride would get CRUSHED on some mild trails, but a $75 wal*mart mountain bike would survive thus, the $75 bike is 1000% as fun as the $7500 bike! It’s all in how you use it!

    2) If you read BSNYC-RTMS’s post about the wal*mart fixie he got a few months ago, I think you’d agree that one $7500 bike is less hassle. The bike came poorly assembled (dangerously so even!) and required him to reassmble it and even make some jury-rigged fixes to make it work.

    3) 100 people on any bike is a spectacular thing.

    4) I like the answer “give it to World Bike Relief”, but in order to be slightly original I present the following options:
    1) Ornamental Lawn Art
    2) Clothes Drying rack (although my $2000 bike currently doubles as a drying rack…)
    3) Scrap Metal

  93. Comment by Janine | 09.24.2010 | 6:07 pm

    The $75 bike would be nice to ride to the corner store so your good one wouldn’t get stolen. The $75 bike would be a good one to loan to people that want to ride your bike. The $75 bike would be a nice one to ride when you have a hemroid cuz the seat looks so comfy.

  94. Comment by stuckinmypedals | 09.24.2010 | 6:09 pm

    I’d like to see 100 identical bikes in a ride across the country. The bike that makes it the farthest without needing a repair wins.

  95. Comment by Spiff | 09.24.2010 | 8:51 pm

    #2) The $7500 bike would give you more hours of trouble free riding because a $75 bike would not be ridden for hours. The expensive bike could be ridden for hours on any one particular day.

  96. Comment by Trevor | 09.24.2010 | 10:43 pm

    I purchased my wife a similar bike from target a few years ago for Christmas. It looked like a nice bike in the store. It was a five speed cruiser. The derailleur never worked the wheels went out of true almost immediately, ans the brakes were the worst ever. I spent $125 which was a waste of money. I recently purchased an older 50 vintage cruiser at a garage sale for $20 and put some loving into it, and it works like a charm. I would say that the older bikes are like puppies at the pound, there are tones of them and they are just waiting for a good owner to take them home ans show them some love, and in return they will be the best bikes ever.

  97. Comment by SimplySara | 09.24.2010 | 10:58 pm

    I am not a cyclist so I don’t feel qualified to answer questions 1 and 2 as I have no basis for comparison.

    # 3 I’m not sure if people would notice that 100 bikes are the same but they would notice 100 people dressed identically on identical bikes.

    # 4 I actually have the model of bike pictured above and I’ll tell you what I use it for. First, it is actually attractive and people compliment it a lot. Second, I bought this bike, attached a big plastic basket to it with zip ties, loaded it up on the bike rack and drove out to the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. That bike was my main source of transportation for a week at Burning Man. I rode it 10+ miles a day, in small increments of 2 or so miles at a time. It got me where I needed to go. It was a bit tough to ride through the few soft sand spots but it got me through the week and saved my knee (I tore my meniscus last year) from the inflammation that goes with lots of walking.

    Because of that bike I got to see beautiful sculptures and art installations, sit in an amazing temple, dance to Crystal Method and carry an extra gallon of water to ward off dehydration in the high desert. Will this beach cruiser get you through a race on anything but even ground? Nope, but it can transport you to where you need to go. I had another cheap cruiser when I was a kid. I didn’t care what it cost, as long as it got me to my friend’s house in time for freeze tag and back home again before dark.

    For the people who buy the $75 WalMart bike, there is more fun at the destination than the journey in getting there. That’s what a $75 bike is good for.

    (and honestly having seen thousands of naked people riding bikes in a parade, you mostly spend the whole spectacle hoping peoples’ parts are going to make it through okay)

  98. Comment by Dan O | 09.24.2010 | 11:28 pm

    The awesome spectacle would be to witness someone on the $75 bike kicks someone’s ass riding the $7500 bike.

    With the right folks participating – you know that’s possible….

  99. Comment by Sean O | 09.25.2010 | 5:16 am

    All I know is one of the local riders has a NeXT moutain bike and he routinely destroys us on our gravel rides. Then he makes fun of us for spending so much on our bikes.

  100. Comment by Carl | 09.25.2010 | 11:11 am

    The Runner is hot! Forget about the Huffy bikes!

  101. Comment by Fiona | 09.25.2010 | 4:41 pm

    Still trying to wrap my head round the idea of spending $7,500 on ONE BIKE!! Think I might stop letting my husband go to the bike shop to browse on his own – who knows what could happen!

  102. Comment by Han Aiwen | 09.26.2010 | 6:41 am

    My $15 bike in Chengdu goes places. Not very far. Not very fast. Not very well. Never far from a repair shop. But it is kind of fun to weave through traffic at speeds the bike is not meant for. It’s a little like a bad cat 5 race going very slowly.

  103. Comment by EC | 09.26.2010 | 12:19 pm

    There is nothing wrong with a $75 bike if you’re not a competitive biker. Geez.

    This post makes me not like you very much.

  104. Comment by blinddrew | 09.26.2010 | 1:10 pm

    My questions is much simpler. Where the hell are the brakes?

  105. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 09.26.2010 | 1:30 pm

    The $7,500 bike would provide more trouble free riding hours because (A) It’s made so well and (B) If I have dough like that to drop on a bike then I’m employing a bike mechanic to keep it tuned.

  106. Comment by Steve | 09.26.2010 | 4:26 pm

    I know I really ought to be taking these questions seriously, but I just can’t get over the fact that there are 7 right-hand grips and only 3 left-hand grips in the picture. That, and the horribly off-kilter saddle orientation of the bike right in front of you…

  107. Comment by Steve | 09.26.2010 | 4:29 pm

    … and how come the people in the picture in the background advertising these bike get loads of extras on theirs (like a bell…. and brakes, for chrissakes)??

  108. Comment by Joel Stevenson | 09.26.2010 | 5:34 pm

    I’d like to take a stab at number three.
    Which would be the more awesome spectacle: one person riding a $7500 bike down the road, or a procession of a hundred people riding identical $75 bikes down the road?
    Back in 1988, fresh out of college, several friends(one of whom I later married) and I took a backpacking/train trip through the People’s Republic of China. One day we were in Beijing walking down an avenue and I stopped to take in a surreal scene. On this boulevard there were thousands of locals commuting home at the end of their rewarding day in the salt mines. A hundred people riding by on bikes all at once is impressive, but thirty or fourty thousand all within sight was breathtaking. They were all conformed into the same slow pace(no one was in a hurry)and as I looked several miles down the road it looked like a flowing sea of black undulating up and down. I’m pretty sure that none of the bikes I saw cost $75 in 1988.
    I’m glad I got to experience this because my wife and daughter and I went back to Beijing in 1997 and the bikes were gone. Cars and noise and hustle and bustle had replaced them. Even though ten years had separated my experiences, the contrast was immediatly felt.

  109. Comment by Jason | 09.26.2010 | 6:21 pm

    I really like my ~$750 bike. If you like your $7500 bike and think it’s top of the line, do you think spending $75,000 would be too much? If that’s the right amount, is 7500 too little? What is too little to spend on a bike? A $75 bike may not have top of the line stuff like a $7,500 one but it should have enough for a person willing to spend $75 on one. Just go ride you freaks.

  110. Comment by Albatross | 09.26.2010 | 7:53 pm

    1. No. I like jumping curbs in department store bikes. It makes me feel like a movie star paid to make the bike look good.
    2. I know some people out there who would not spend any hours on a bike if there wasn’t one for less than 90 bucks. I’m gonna tell them to go buy one of these. Thanks fatty!
    3. Let’s keep it rhetorical till we see a Vimeo of it happening.
    4. I’m gonna ride one of these from Surf City Huntington Beach to La Jolla, CA and tell you what I think then.

    Now I’m gonna see if BSNYC bought one to go with his now impractical “fixed speed Walmart bike.” With one of these, he could put one of those baby seats on the front.

  111. Comment by ChefJT | 09.26.2010 | 8:13 pm

    I’m sorry, I was looking at the Runner. You say there were bikes in the picture?

  112. Comment by Roses | 09.27.2010 | 9:50 am

    I’m about to get my Fan of Fatty membership revoked.

    1. My son bought his BMX bike for $1 at a garage sale. It was probably orginally a $75 bike. I’m pretty sure when he is as old as you and buys his $7500 bike that he’ll look back on the $1 bike as one of the best he has ever had. It’s the one that painted blue, his favorite color. He learned how to make skids with it. He learned how to ride standing up and one handed. It’s the bike he rode in 2010 for over 25 miles during the 100 miles of Nowhere with his mom. A feat that he is very proud of.

    (your about to revoke my membership now)
    2. My mountain bike is a 21 speed that I bought for $300 fifteen years ago. I haven’t had it tuned, cared for, or even lubed the chain in all of those years. I can only get it to switch between two speeds now. But I ride it. I even ride it in Fatty events. My maintenance costs and time = 0. My fun time is too great to measure. My kids and I biked all around town this weekend on our Walmart quality bikes, Friday, into town for dinner and Saturday, to the soccer game. My kids taste freedom when they are on those bikes. You can keep your $7500 bikes.

  113. Comment by Phil | 09.27.2010 | 4:41 pm

    I actually considered one of these super cheap walmart bikes for my son. I’ve been riding a ~25 yo Schwinn beach cruiser on bike trails all summer.

    (It’s pink – all the little girls exclaim “Mommy, his bike is pink!”)

    50-75 miles a week. After looking at these things at Walmart, I decided to get him an entry level Specialized for $350. I think that bike is a more realistic comparison than a $7500 bike. I’d never, ever spend that much money on one bike.

  114. Comment by Marty | 09.27.2010 | 6:52 pm

    $75 seems awfully expensive for a disposable bike.

  115. Comment by M | 09.27.2010 | 8:13 pm

    I have riden a cheap bike to and from work for the past 7 years…it is truly worth it’s weight in gold x 10! It sports baskets and carries tons of school supplies to work and back each day. Now for real riding…I have a road bike that I paid a heck of a lot more for…and it costs me a lot more to keep up than the cheap one! Never knock a cheap bike…especially when it’s all you can afford :)

  116. Comment by Mikeo | 09.27.2010 | 9:02 pm

    I would like to play with the $7500 bike, just like I would like to play with a Ferrari. . .but I dont think it is a good idea for me to own. I have 14 bikes in the garage (only 5 are mine) and one that makes me smile the most is a $10 1970 Columbia sports 3. I wish the frame was bigger (or I could find a longer seat post) it is fun. nothing to think about, well 3 gears and brakes but that is it.

    I think that you can have as much fun on a $75 bike as a $7500 bike. Once you get it set up right, good luck breaking it.

    I am sure that the $7500 bike will need more adjusting because there is nothing to adjust on the cheap one. It may never break. I pull bikes out of the trash just to see if I can fix them, then I give them away…

    I would like to see a parade of people on cheap bikes. . Maybe even naked, well who wouldn’t want to see that??

    The best use for a $75 bike is to make a smile (or hundreds of them) the next best use is a start for one of these – I have built a recumbent from a Wal-Mart bike from these plans. It works pretty well too!

  117. Comment by M | 09.27.2010 | 9:08 pm

    I have ridden my cheap bike to work for the past 7 years…it sports huge baskets to carry all my teaching supplies…it has a bell and no one would consider stealing it. It is worth it’s weight in gold X 10! And when you’re poor a bike is a bike!

    My road bike is for riding and costs a lot to maintain…it wasn’t nearly $7500 but is a nice ride. It’s been around Tahoe several centuries and just turned 2000K on the odometer…but I think the old cheap work bike will keep on ticking far longer :)

  118. Comment by Anonymous | 09.28.2010 | 11:23 am

    1. Absolutely not. You can have fun on either bike. Depends on your state of mind. In fact, you might actually have more fun on the $75 bike. With a $7,500 bike you pretty much feel obligated to do more that just take a casual ride. With the Walmart special you can cruise around town, guilt free. Go bar hopping, leave on someones front step with a note, “Thanks for everything”…..leave them wondering.
    2. Storage is an issue with 100 bikes. Otherwise, see answer above. You could slowly circulate them in your town and watch the numbers grow.Then one day you can sit in a cafe, with you last bike parked and watch to see how many people stop and say, hey, where did you get that bike? And you can say, I found it on my door step one morning with a note…More care free hours? Sure!
    3. Nothing spectacular about one person riding anything
    4. Start a new endurance sport. 100 bikes in 100 days. ride each bike to a lucky new owner, leave it, run/walk home, and do it for 100 consecutive days building to the last day being 100 miles round trip. In the end, see how many miles you can cover. Maybe the next fatty fundriser?

  119. Comment by Celeste | 09.28.2010 | 4:52 pm

    100 people on a $75 bike would probably be better, based on the following assumptions:

    (a) Of those 100 people, at least 20 will actually ride their bikes more than a few times;

    (b) Of those 20, only 15 will give up in frustration because their bike breaks so often.

    Therefore: 5 people will become consistent cyclists. And 5 > 1, no matter WHAT bike they are on.

    Oh, and the bikes can be used to drum up business for small repairs at LBS’s; or else spray-painted white for ghost bikes; or to inspire an internet discussion on the value of bicycles. :)

  120. Comment by phil Nolan | 09.28.2010 | 8:47 pm

    Well…. Has anyone ridden one of them? Can’t really comment ’til ya do. All else is speculation.

  121. Comment by John Driessen | 09.28.2010 | 9:22 pm

    There’s nothing like a bike you build yourself. I just finished my Americorp term helping to run a place here in Missoula, Montana called Free Cycles We literally had piles upon piles of “Walmart Bikes.” They are cheap and when they break the owners just dump them and buy another. To the person off the street who actually took the time to refurbish one of these bikes for themselves or for someone else they no longer were el cheapo bikes, they were bikes someone cared about and were invested in. Having refurbished at least 20 of these myself for a group of foreign exchange students and cruised around town on local trails, I’d much rather see 100 people on a Walmart bike.

  122. Comment by Lorraine | 09.28.2010 | 11:09 pm

    I shall now take this post as an invitation to completely ignore the 4 questions you asked and go into one of my favorite rants.

    There is nothing wrong with a $75 bike or a $20 bike or a free bike. It is conceivable that all of the above are perfectly fun and functional. I have issue with Walmart setting up cheap bikes in unsafe ways and springing them on the unsuspecting public who really don’t know better. I especially hate when they send their kids out on bikes that could get them maimed due to faulty parts or incorrect assembly.

    I tend to collect bikes, so I have some cheap bike stories. I had a Panasonic road bike back in the day as did my brother. When I got a new bike, I gave my Panasonic to a strange who had recently had her bike stolen. She got a free bike. It was used, but used well and maintained correctly, so she did all right.

    When I moved to the city, I needed a beater to get to the station, so I found an old (like first generation) Hardrock for $100 and again – had a fine time on it because I got it from someone who knew and loved bikes. I then sold that one for $75 to another friend who needed it more than I did. Again – perfectly serviceable $75 bike. Right now I have 2 bikes that see almost equal use – my road bike and my commuter. My commuter has around 1500 miles on it so far this year (actually a bit more than my very shiny expensive carbon road bike) and I bought it new on sale at Performance for $200. The brakes squeak a bit, it’s kind of heavy, but its got a rack and fenders and lights and I can ride it in a skirt to work. It is perfect for its function and the nice young men at Performance made sure everything was tuned right for me. The rear derailer was completely screwed up when I drove it off the lot – so I brought it back and they readjusted it and fixed it for me. That is the difference. That is why a $200 bike from a LBS (even if it is Performance) is infinitely more satisfying than a $75 bike from Walmart. It comes with people who love bikes to back it up. Walmart bikes do not come with the love built in. I’m not saying it’s impossible to put the love into a Walmart bike, but it’s much harder to do it that way. If I had my way, no store without at least 2 bike mechanics on staff would ever be allowed to sell bikes at all.

    Now I”m going to stop trolling the Fatty blog, send a donation your way and get some sleep.

    ps I love all my bikes no matter where they came from

  123. Comment by mike | 09.29.2010 | 9:28 am

    Why the hell you were shopping at walmart is the only question I can’t get out of my mind…

  124. Comment by Corey | 09.29.2010 | 11:02 am

    I have to take a different tact. Well, it just so happens I repair community bikes that are donated and given away to inner city residents for transportation. In other words… I’ve fixed that 1983 Huffy 10 speed you had when you were 8 (as was the case for me!) with used donated parts and had it checked out (for safety) and given away to someone in need. We do it every day (2000 bikes so far this year)

    So I guess if you want to really know… a bike built for K-Mart in 1983 can still be fixed up and ridden now 27 years later for the most part. And almost all of them are from the 75 dollar bin ((or 35 dollar bin!)) from some department store at some distant past moment in time. I know I’m not technically answering your questions Fatty. Just had to chime in. Its hard to see the deprivation these people go through and TAKE THE DISCUSSION OF 7500 DOLLAR BIKES SERIOUSLY. But I love the feeling of giving away these ancient cheapies to someone who will really use it and who really needs it! Something to think about.

  125. Comment by Matt | 09.29.2010 | 12:12 pm

    Heavy bikes need love too.

  126. Comment by TheChief | 09.29.2010 | 4:11 pm

    I jsut spent more than $100 to have my cables replaced. Looking at these bikes I now see why my wife thinks I am a silly money waster.

  127. Comment by dan | 09.29.2010 | 7:28 pm

    This model of Walmart bike was very popular with the I need a disposable bike for 1 week at Burning Man this year.

  128. Comment by mzadvntr | 10.3.2010 | 9:23 pm

    Apparently you haven’t frequented the rarer than air New England beaches lately. More expenseive and well made versions of these beach cruisers propel the wives of the CEOs from their multimillion dollar “cottages” to their open to residents only beaches during the summer. Most cottages probably have 2 or 3 of these stashed outside the garage for guests to use. After all, it really does look tacky if you drive your Mercedes 600 yards to the beach EVERY day.

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