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Dreadful bikes, awful bikes, triage and maintenance



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 21st 05, 02:49 PM
Simon Brooke
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Default Dreadful bikes, awful bikes, triage and maintenance

Earlier this week I reported on a dreadful Tescos bike which I'd done
some post delivery set-up on. The proud owner of said bike had a
Halfords Apollo - also a Y frame 'full suspension' job - which he'd
out-grown, and his mother asked me whether it was worth salvaging or
whether she should just bin it. Well, it was a lot better than the new
one (although I tactfully didn't say so) so I volunteered to bring it
home and give it an overhaul to be ready for his younger sister.

The Apollo isn't dreadful. It has a decent crankset, reasonable brakes,
and the derailleurs, though bottom of the range, are Shimano. The wheels
are reasonably good and are true.

OK, so, to overhaul it

New set gear cables £10
New set brake cables £10
1 inner tube £ 4
1 new rim tape £ 0.50p
New grips £ 6
New saddle £15 (I actually spent £30 on a good one)
Chain, PC48, with magic link £10

.... ideally it could use two new tyres, £10 each; and for cosmetic
reasons I'd like to replace the brake noodles, £2.50 each. You're
getting frighteningly close to the price a dreadful bike costs new.

Now, of course, these are retail prices. I'm sure Sandy could do that
overhaul for half the price or less. And the replacement parts are
decent quality, not the very cheapest. At the end of the day the little
sister is going to get a bike which actually is better than her
brother's new one. But it won't /look/ better. It will /look/ second
hand. And it won't be /much/ better.

Having done this I'm getting a better understanding both of why people
buy dreadful bikes, and why you see half-decent bikes in the skips at
the council dump.

--
(Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

;; no eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.
;; Jim Morrison

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  #2  
Old July 22nd 05, 02:02 PM
bugbear
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Default Dreadful bikes, awful bikes, triage and maintenance

Simon Brooke wrote:

Having done this I'm getting a better understanding both of why people
buy dreadful bikes, and why you see half-decent bikes in the skips at
the council dump.


Yep; my LBS quite often get people who've spent 20 quid on
a bike from a car boot or the (very) local auction,
and ask him for a quote to "just make it rideable".

When the quote is 40 quid or better (which is often is,
for the reasons you outline) they are shocked (or worse...)

Even a half decent looking clunker is likely to requi
* chain
* brake blocks
* bracke cables
* tyres + tubes
* wheels straightening

which adds up frigteningly.

BugBear
  #3  
Old July 25th 05, 11:56 AM
buzz_ig
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Default Dreadful bikes, awful bikes, triage and maintenance

What would you suggest to someone who wants a cheap 'utility' bike that
will only ever be ridden in fare weather and on benign terrain? Is this
what 100 bikes are good for?

  #4  
Old July 25th 05, 12:08 PM
Richard
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Default Dreadful bikes, awful bikes, triage and maintenance

buzz_ig wrote:
What would you suggest to someone who wants a cheap 'utility' bike that
will only ever be ridden in fare weather and on benign terrain?


What sort of benign terrain? One cyclist's benign terrain is another's
North face of Everest.

Is this
what 100 bikes are good for?


There is very little that 100 bikes are good for. :-)

R.


  #5  
Old July 25th 05, 12:09 PM
David Martin
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Default Dreadful bikes, awful bikes, triage and maintenance



buzz_ig wrote:
What would you suggest to someone who wants a cheap 'utility' bike that
will only ever be ridden in fare weather and on benign terrain? Is this
what 100 bikes are good for?


No. Get a more expensive one cheaper i.e. second hand.

...d

  #6  
Old July 25th 05, 01:36 PM
buzz_ig
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Default Dreadful bikes, awful bikes, triage and maintenance

What sort of benign terrain?

Country lanes

There is very little that 100 bikes are good for. :-)


To a cyclist maybe, but joe or jane public?

  #7  
Old July 25th 05, 01:45 PM
Richard
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Default Dreadful bikes, awful bikes, triage and maintenance

buzz_ig wrote:
What sort of benign terrain?



Country lanes


There is very little that 100 bikes are good for. :-)



To a cyclist maybe, but joe or jane public?


100 (new) bikes will weigh a ton, have uncomfortable rides, gears and
brakes that will quickly go out of adjustment (if they were ever in
adjustment), and generally be a PITA. Joe/Jane Public will not enjoy
the experience beyond the first few miles, and particularly if they have
not cycled much before, will probably be put off the entire experience.

For pootling around country lanes, I would suggest a hybrid with
mudguards. The exact recommendations have been bandied about on here
many times; Google is your friend (although Google Groups is, to be
honest, a work of Stan). Expect to pay about 200-300 for an entry
level new hybrid, which will be heavy (although lighter than the
aforementioned 100s), but provided that there's not too much
hill-climbing or hoisting bike onto car rack, won't be a big issue.

Alternatively, some fine second-hand bikes for 100.

R.
  #8  
Old July 25th 05, 03:47 PM
Simon Brooke
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Default Dreadful bikes, awful bikes, triage and maintenance

in message .com,
buzz_ig ') wrote:

What would you suggest to someone who wants a cheap 'utility' bike that
will only ever be ridden in fare weather and on benign terrain? Is this
what £100 bikes are good for?


It's what £200 bikes are good for. Possibly £150 bikes. Sub-£100 bikes
are mostly good only for a one-way journey to the local scrap merchant.

--
(Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

to err is human, to lisp divine
;; attributed to Kim Philby, oddly enough.

  #9  
Old July 25th 05, 03:49 PM
Simon Brooke
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Default Dreadful bikes, awful bikes, triage and maintenance

in message .com,
buzz_ig ') wrote:

What sort of benign terrain?


Country lanes

There is very little that £100 bikes are good for. :-)


To a cyclist maybe, but joe or jane public?


If you inspect the sheds and cellars in your average suburban street, you
will find several dozen sub-£100 bikes which have been bought, ridden
once, put in the shed/cellar, and never taken out again. Why aren't they
taken out? Because they're no fun to ride. A bike which isn't fun is
pointless and a waste of money, because it won't get used.

--
(Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/
,/| _.--''^``-...___.._.,;
/, \'. _-' ,--,,,--'''
{ \ `_-'' ' /
`;;' ; ; ;
._..--'' ._,,, _..' .;.'
(,_....----''' (,..--''


  #10  
Old July 25th 05, 04:14 PM
David Martin
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Default Dreadful bikes, awful bikes, triage and maintenance



Simon Brooke wrote:
in message .com,
buzz_ig ') wrote:

What would you suggest to someone who wants a cheap 'utility' bike that
will only ever be ridden in fare weather and on benign terrain? Is this
what 100 bikes are good for?


It's what 200 bikes are good for. Possibly 150 bikes. Sub-100 bikes
are mostly good only for a one-way journey to the local scrap merchant.


Or your local 'chop it up and make something more interesting with an
angle grinder and welder' merchant..

;-)

...d

 




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