Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Post by Neil Brook » Sun, 21 May 2006 05:48:41


A little shameless copyright infringement here.  Whether or not you
like their stance on skid-lids ... we have to applaud this, no?
====
Cheap bikes are not bargains

Wal-Mart and Toys R Us sell plenty of bikes from brands such as
Huffy, Mongoose, Roadmaster, and Schwinn for $100 to $200. They seem
like good deals, so why would we advise you to spend $300 or more for
a bike in the Ratings?

Because you get what you pay for. Mass-market bikes have cheaper
construction than higher-priced bikes and can weigh 7 or 8 pounds
more. They come in only one size, so you're not likely to get a great
fit. And mass merchants can't match bike shops for quality of
assembly, expert advice, and service.

***s should consider cheaper bikes from a department store only for
the most casual use, and stick with a front-suspension model, which is
likely to be better than a cheap full-suspension bike. You may want a
mass-market bike for kids who will outgrow a bike quickly or toss it
about.

Still, if your budget allows, we'd recommend that you buy one of the
$300 comfort bikes in the Ratings. You'll get a lot more bike for the
buck.

 
 
 

Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Post by Neil Brook » Sun, 21 May 2006 05:58:16



Quote:
>A little shameless copyright infringement here.  Whether or not you
>like their stance on skid-lids ... we have to applaud this, no?
>====
>Cheap bikes are not bargains

By the way, I would never stoop so low as to publish, without
permission, CR's top three ROAD bike picks, but ... suffice to say ...
most of us would at least say, "Yeah ... I could see that...."

Interesting anecdotes, though:

1) I read an article, by Joe KLEIN, about a trip that he took to New
Zealand, to tour the factory of a clothing firm called REVE.  Joe
liked the tour so much that, as he was leaving, he gave the founder of
the company a high FIVE;

2) Did anybody see the movie, My GIANT?  I think it had Billy Crystal
in it.  He had a billboard made that said, roughly, "OH, SEE OUR
giant," or something like that.  The film was a COMPOSITE of THREE
other films about giants.

3) Another box-office GIANT was a smaller version of the same
COMPOSITE film.  From memory, it won ONE academy award of its own.

 
 
 

Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Post by Tom Kea » Sun, 21 May 2006 09:24:21



(Apparently from a Consumer Reports article?)

Quote:
> Cheap bikes are not bargains

Forsooth, this is truth.
...

Quote:
> ***s should consider cheaper bikes from a department store only for
> the most casual use, and stick with a front-suspension model, which is
> likely to be better than a cheap full-suspension bike.

Actually, no suspension at all (rigid fork) would be preferable --
/if/ such a department store bike can be found.  I've seen a few
advertised.  Very few.

Apart from cheesy suspensions, my main criticism of cheap department
store bikes isn't their weight, or their questionable assembly, or
their size, or the branding of their componentry.  It's the use of
low-grade steel in certain critical parts, such as brake arms, stems,
handlebars and cranks.  Parts of which the mfgrs are so embarassed,
they have to paint them black, even to the extent of painting-over
huge gobs of pin-holed welding bead, like at the stem/handlebar
interface.

I think these bikes are meant to become rusty.

Nylon bushings instead of decent ball bearings?  Nisht gefloygen.

AFAIC, the only thing commendable about cheap department store bikes is
the durability of their hi-tens frames.  Maybe they can eventually be
recycled into railroad rails, cheap can openers or surgical instruments.

cheers,
        Tom

--
--   Nothing is safe from me.
Above address is just a spam midden.
I'm really at: tkeats [curlicue] vcn [point] bc [point] ca

 
 
 

Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Post by Ryan Cousinea » Sun, 21 May 2006 12:56:32



Quote:


> (Apparently from a Consumer Reports article?)

> > Cheap bikes are not bargains

> Forsooth, this is truth.
> ...

> > ***s should consider cheaper bikes from a department store only for
> > the most casual use, and stick with a front-suspension model, which is
> > likely to be better than a cheap full-suspension bike.

> Actually, no suspension at all (rigid fork) would be preferable --
> /if/ such a department store bike can be found.  I've seen a few
> advertised.  Very few.

> Apart from cheesy suspensions, my main criticism of cheap department
> store bikes isn't their weight, or their questionable assembly, or
> their size, or the branding of their componentry.  It's the use of
> low-grade steel in certain critical parts, such as brake arms, stems,
> handlebars and cranks.  Parts of which the mfgrs are so embarassed,
> they have to paint them black, even to the extent of painting-over
> huge gobs of pin-holed welding bead, like at the stem/handlebar
> interface.

Tragically, you are describing the second-worst type of components.
There exist cranks where the body is covered in a thick, structural
layer of plastic, probably because the core of the crank is a not-very
large piece of steel, maybe a stamped plate.

This style of construction is also used in brake levers.

Quote:
> I think these bikes are meant to become rusty.

> Nylon bushings instead of decent ball bearings?  Nisht gefloygen.

> AFAIC, the only thing commendable about cheap department store bikes is
> the durability of their hi-tens frames.  Maybe they can eventually be
> recycled into railroad rails, cheap can openers or surgical instruments.

A wonderful trend which is not given enough regard is the extent to
which these bikes now use aluminum wheels and reasonably workable
V-brakes. It's not universal yet, but I see many more aluminum rims than
steel ones on these bikes.

These two features mean that the brakes on these bikes have a shot at
working, unlike a stamped single-pivot brake pushing against a steel rim.

--

"I don't want kids who are thinking about going into mathematics
to think that they have to take *** to succeed." -Paul Erdos

 
 
 

Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Post by Velois » Sun, 21 May 2006 23:41:04

Can we add this to the FAQ?

Quote:
> Cheap bikes are not bargains

....

--Karen D.

 
 
 

Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Post by Luigi de Guzma » Mon, 22 May 2006 00:29:33

Quote:

> Can we add this to the FAQ?

>> Cheap bikes are not bargains
> ....

Seconded.

-Luigi

 
 
 

Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Post by Bill Bak » Mon, 22 May 2006 07:10:40

Quote:


>> Can we add this to the FAQ?

>>> Cheap bikes are not bargains
>> ....

> Seconded.

> -Luigi

Aw, and I got most of my mileage on my Huffy that lasted for almost ten
years. $85.00/ten years = $8.50/year.
Bill Baka
Oh yeah, add about $50.00 of parts and tires.
 
 
 

Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Post by Gooseride » Mon, 22 May 2006 09:11:17


Quote:


>>> Can we add this to the FAQ?

>>>> Cheap bikes are not bargains
>>> ....

>> Seconded.

>> -Luigi

> Aw, and I got most of my mileage on my Huffy that lasted for almost ten
> years. $85.00/ten years = $8.50/year.
> Bill Baka
> Oh yeah, add about $50.00 of parts and tires.

There are always exceptions. I know people who run in Chuck Taylors, but
most people prefer to run in a shoe designed for running. I would prefer to
ride a bicycle which was designed to be ridden over a bicycle which was
designed to look cool.
 
 
 

Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Post by Miki » Mon, 22 May 2006 23:07:19

Quote:





> >>> Can we add this to the FAQ?

> >>>> Cheap bikes are not bargains
> >>> ....

> >> Seconded.

> >> -Luigi

> > Aw, and I got most of my mileage on my Huffy that lasted for almost ten
> > years. $85.00/ten years = $8.50/year.
> > Bill Baka
> > Oh yeah, add about $50.00 of parts and tires.

> There are always exceptions. I know people who run in Chuck Taylors, but
> most people prefer to run in a shoe designed for running. I would prefer to
> ride a bicycle which was designed to be ridden over a bicycle which was
> designed to look cool.
>>Come on guys, you're all biased!  We know that they are not, in theory, bargains. That's not such a profound statement.  But what matters is the USER and how he cares for the bike! I have a Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike, $149.99 free shipping, Amazon.Com.  Bargain, schmargain! Who cares? At the end of a ride I bring it in to a warm dust free place, I clean and dust here and there, oil and grease here and there, check my tire pressure, and off I go th next day for a trouble free ride and I know it will outlive me...I'm 79! So why all the baloney.....to see your post in large type?  Pshaw!

 
 
 

Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Post by ko57 » Wed, 24 May 2006 15:04:42

I agree with Mikie, that is baloney.
 
 
 

Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Post by Sorn » Wed, 24 May 2006 15:28:36

Quote:

> I agree with Mikie, that is baloney.

Who?  What?  HUH?!?
 
 
 

Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Post by bookie » Wed, 24 May 2006 20:20:26

Quote:

> A little shameless copyright infringement here.  Whether or not you
> like their stance on skid-lids ... we have to applaud this, no?
> ====
> Cheap bikes are not bargains

<snip>

> Still, if your budget allows, we'd recommend that you buy one of the
> $300 comfort bikes in the Ratings. You'll get a lot more bike for the
> buck.

Link recently posted on uk.rec.bicycles.
A more wordy version of the same sentiments, from the view of an LBS
who ends up trying to fix up the d**m things:

http://www.southcoastbikes.co.uk/Articles.asp?article=NO_BSO

Regards,

bookieb.

 
 
 

Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Post by luigi12.. » Wed, 24 May 2006 23:59:33

are you posting/reading from google?

Google parses quoted usenet text very well.  Unfortunately, the parser
is not as smart as some posters are careless, who neglect to separate
their comments from the quoted text properly.  Thus, on Google's
archive, you see a lot of "blank" posts--which are really posts with
quoted portions ( lines starting with ">") hidden.

-Luigi

 
 
 

Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Post by Sorn » Thu, 25 May 2006 00:53:05

Quote:

> are you posting/reading from google?

Who?

Quote:
> Google parses quoted usenet text very well.  Unfortunately, the parser
> is not as smart as some posters are careless, who neglect to separate
> their comments from the quoted text properly.  Thus, on Google's
> archive, you see a lot of "blank" posts--which are really posts with
> quoted portions ( lines starting with ">") hidden.

POTD.
 
 
 

Consumers': Cheap bikes are not bargains

Post by Werehatrac » Thu, 25 May 2006 00:58:04

On Sun, 21 May 2006 00:11:17 GMT, "Gooserider"

Quote:

>... I would prefer to
>ride a bicycle which was designed to be ridden over a bicycle which was
>designed to look cool.

Third category:  A bike that was designed to be sold for $45 at
Wal-Mart.  It doesn't look cool, it has a seat that makes ShelBroCo's
Real Man Saddle look positively inviting, and the rumors of its being
equipped with brakes are greatly exaggerated.  I have seen these
things a lot lately, primarily under people on their way to and from
low-paying jobs and labor pool pickup sites.  It's not uncommon to see
the day-labor pickup vans loaded with equal volumes of bike and worker
when they pull away.  Is such a bike fun to ride?  Not to me.  Is it
better than walking?  Apparently yes, to those people who are using
them.  And having looked at the tires on a few, it's apparent that
they are getting a lot more use than might be suspected.

I keep wondering when I'll see the first one that has hydraulics and a
subwoofer-equipped stereo.
--
Typoes are a feature, not a bug.
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