Thursday, July 31, 2014

Mountain Bike

So I invested in a mountain bike to get some exercise in and to ride around with my kids.  I didn't have a bunch to invest so was looking at retail stores.  I did research and read reviews on a few bikes.  I ended up liking a Hyper Havoc bike from Wal-Mart. Here's a picture of the bike.


Green is my favorite color but they have black and blue for colors as well.  The green color wasn't available anywhere near my local area.  Plus it showed out of stock online.  The blue was out of stock as well.  Black is like the only color you can get.  Finally found a green one an hour drive from my house and that's when all the fun begins.

The bike was ordered at 7 am online to be picked up.  Order went through fine and it showed the bike would be ready at 11:40 am that day.  I should get a text and email that it's ready.  So 4 pm rolls around and I haven't gotten anything.  I called the Wal-Mart up and the employee tells me the bike is still in the box, it hasn't been built, and the person who puts them together has already gone for the day.  That didn't sit well with me so I asked to talk to the manager.  Told him the situation and he said the online store shouldn't put that information on the order.  He said I would also never get another email or text on the bike from them either.  He said he would send up a report to them in hopes of getting it corrected so it's not confusing for customers.  At this point I had 2 options: 1. I could go get the bike in the box and put it together myself.  2. I wait until tomorrow and pick it up put together.  Told him I would wait since they will put it together, plus I've never put one together before so it works in my favor.

I called the next day around lunch time and the bike is ready.  Drive up and get the bike with no problems.  Now is the part where reading the reviews online matter.  I knew from what I read that they never put the bikes together properly and I needed to check a few things. 

First thing I checked was the tires.  Every tire shows what psi you put in them right there on the tire.  It's not hard to figure out.  The front tire was at 25 psi and the back tire was at 20 psi.  The tire shows 50 psi on it so I had to pump them up.  The manager praised his bike person but now the doubts rise quickly.  I adjust the seat for my height which is just a clamp to hold it, so no problem doing that.  I get my kids and we go for a short ride.  While riding the bike keeps making a rubbing noise, the grips where sliding off the handle, you can hear the gears grinding and the gears are slipping.  I see the brakes are rubbing on the tire as it goes around.  Head back to the  house and I work on adjusting the brakes.  I can't get it right for anything so I spin the tire around and sure enough the tire is not straight.  You can see it going in and out hitting the brakes.  Read online this happens so I got a small wrench to try to adjust the spokes as I don't have the spoke wrench tool.  They make 3 sizes of those spoke wrench tools and the manual does not tell you what size you need.  (On a side note the manual doesn't tell you how to change the gears on the bike either.  You would think that would be something it should have?)  They run about $7 a piece so you would need to buy all 3 to make sure you get the right one if you try to fix it yourself.  Saw you could use a wrench but don't use any with the grips or you can mess up the spokes.  I own a small wrench but it slips even though it looks like it's turning.  So I ended up warping the tire more as some did turn but others didn't.  So now the bike is messed up to the point where I can't ride it.

I'm pretty frustrated so the next day I called the only bike shop in town and they charge $70 for a full tune up on the bike.  I'm not trying to spend more money on a bike that wasn't right to begin with so I call my local Wal-Mart, twice, as the lady answering the phone didn't have a clue.  Asked for the manager and she was more than helpful.  She told me to bring the bike in and her bike employee would look at the bike to fix it.  So I took off a couple hours from work to get the bike and take it to him.  Walked into the back with him and he is trying to adjust the brakes to make it work even when I told him the tire is not straight.  I had asked him earlier if he had spoke wrenches, which he said yes but I didn't see any around.  He never tried to adjust the spokes at all.  He finally said the tire was just bad.  He went and pulled a tire off another bike which was better but it still isn't quite straight.  It is better than the one I had though. 

While he was away I was checking out the gears in the back to see if they lined up properly.  While looking I saw that the chain was always touching this metal part that the chain went through.  Asked him if it should do that and he said no, it should touch at all.  He adjusted it some to to keep it off.  The other thing I noticed while he was gone was the gears on the back tired.  When you spin the tire, there is a wobble to the gears.  He said he had never seen that and knows it shouldn't be like that.  I was out of time and had to get back to work.  So I left the bike with him while he worked on fixing it.

I came back later that day and he had it ready.  Said he grabbed and replaced out the back tired but it did the same thing.  So the wobble is still there.  I called up the company since I can't find this green color anywhere else and I'm trying to keep the bike, not return it for a refund.  They initiated my 1 year warranty and are sending me a whole new back tire with gears.  I'm also getting new grips to replace the ones I have now.  They shipped it UPS ground so it's going to be a week before I even get the parts to see if this is going to fix it.  Good thing I get 90 days to return the bike back.

So while I'm waiting, I'm going to ride this bike to see if it's worth keeping.  I've rode it three times now.  Twice with my kids and once by myself.  After the first ride I realized the guy never pumped the front tire up to 50 psi and it was at 25.  So stupidly aggravating when I told him about it, yet he still did the same thing the other guy did.  So pumped the tire up like it should be.  He adjusted the front brake so good that if have to stop immediately, it literally stops the front wheel.  The back tire goes up and I literally almost went over the handle bars.  Yet the back brakes do stop me but are loose.  I can tell they are not right as the brakes almost touch the handle bar when I pull on them.  If they touch, they are not adjusted right.  So I'm going to have to adjust the back brakes to make them tighter.  I hope the tire isn't warped any where because if it's going in and out. I'll never get it adjusted right.  At least it'll be good practice before the replacement part comes in and I'll have to do it anyway.  I still think the front tire is not quite straight but it's pretty close, so I'm not messing with it.

After riding for 30+ minutes on the bike, the seat is definitely too hard.  My butt was starting to hurt and I was ready to get off the bike.  So if I keep the bike, I'll be looking at getting a new seat.

Another thing I already bought was a pair of gloves with my fingers exposed.  The grips on this bike dig into my hand and they were hurting the entire afternoon after I got done riding.  Having the gloves gives me padding and helps my hands out a bunch.  So yet another investment.

I'll post an update or I'll update this post once I get the new parts in and test out the bike with them.  If it's not worth keeping the bike as it's still bad, I'll be looking for a new bike.  If anyone has any suggestions on a good cheap bike, please let me know.