Department Store Commuter Bike?

I saw this bike while perusing through my local Target. It caught my attention because it has some of the essentials that bike commuters love. Items such as fenders, gears, rack, upright position and a classy look.

Here’s the listed features:

# Manufacturer Suggested Age: 18 Years and Up
# Bicycle Frame Height: 15″
# Bicycle Frame/Component Features: Adjustable Handlebars, Chain Guard
# Bicycle Frame Material: Steel
# Seat Features: Quick Release Seat, Ergonomic, Adjustable Seat Height
# Wheel Features: Pneumatic Tires
# Wheel Height: 28″
# Rim Material: Metal Alloy
# Tire Type: Inverted
# Tire Width: 1.95″
# Brake System: Linear
# Gear Speeds: 21
# Bicycle Chain Material: Aluminum
# Used For: Recreational Rider
# Includes: Rear Storage Rack, Front Fender, Kickstand
# Care and Cleaning: Wipe Clean With Soap and Water
# Dimensions: Height: 41.0 “; Length: 68.0 “; Width: 24.0 ”
# Product Weight: 42.0 Lb.

Priced @ $179.99

My initial thought when I first laid eyes on it, “Cool, Target is selling a commuter bike!” But the more I looked and thought about it. This bike is a sham! For one, the darn thing weighs 42lbs! That’s as heavy as my downhill bike! At the same time I’m thinking, Walmart/Target bikes have the worst components. If you get a chance to spin the wheels on any bikes they have on display, you’ll normally feel/hear the wheels bearings grinding. Brakes are almost never aligned and the derailleurs are never tuned. On top of all that, handlebars are usually not installed properly, the brake levers are most likely to be pointing straight up in the air.

On the other hand, there are folks who may not have the means to afford a better bike. Thus this $179 commuter bike is the next best thing. If I were to recommend this bike to anyone, perhaps I’d say it would be an OK (at its best) pick for college students who are on a tight budget or for a mom or dad that only go riding once every few months. Other than that, if you’re in the market for a commuter bike, I’d stay clear from any bicycles you might find from any big box stores.