In late-February I bought a really pretty light purple Schwinn Ranger mountain bike. It was perfect for me. The $200 price tag was a little steep but I loved it. Problem was that the gears didn’t work right. Out of 18 speeds I could really only make the bike go into 3 or 4. I couldn’t really decide what to do–return it, ignore it or take it to a bike shop to get it fixed.
Then one day I was in Walmart perusing the bikes for Katie (she needed an 18″ bike after nearly killing herself on the too-big 20″ she chose for her birthday) and I found a nearly identical bike by Roadmaster (which is rumored to be manufactured by the same people as Schwinn) for $88.
Same Shimano gears, same brakes, same seat, same color, same frame…just slightly different graphics. So I toted the Schwinn to Target and explained the issue with the gears. They wanted to repair it rather than refund even thought I was within the 90 day return period. I didn’t feel confident that they could repair it (since they assembled and set it up and didn’t notice the issue) and I didn’t want to be without a bike during the 2-3 week turn-around time they quoted me, so I forced the issue.
I haven’t gone back to Walmart to pick up the new bike, since my Target debit transaction has not cleared back into our bank account yet. (That’s annoying…it’s been four days and I’m still not seeing the credit!) Walmart had three and it’s out of stock on their website, so I’m hoping I don’t end up bike-less! But if I do manage to snag one before they’re sold old, I’ll have the same bike essentially for about $100 less. Since I don’t ride *that* often, I think it’s worth the potential downgrade.