Well, I made the leap and bought the Walmart $50 Mountain Bike.
A thing of beauty, yes? Do the gears work? No. They stubbornly return to the 1st gear. $50. It’s small enough that my knee hits the gear shifter. $50. Eh, anyway, I made it to work. Mission accomplished. The beauty of it is, as these problems happen, I don’t care. There is no pain of “I just spent several hundred dollars on this bike and it doesn’t even work.” I expected it not to work. It doesn’t seem to matter how much you spend on anything anyway. Everything manufactured now is junk and doesn’t last more than a few months.