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-   -   New BSO long-term test! (http://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/916937-new-bso-long-term-test.html)

neil 10-09-13 03:43 PM

As others have said, £300 with some assembly required and no gears had better be a decent quality bike. If it's only a BSO, you got ripped off.

I-Like-To-Bike 10-09-13 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by unterhausen (Post 16142307)
I hope your bike shaped object is pretty good, because in the U.S., that's more money than the cheapest LBS bikes. We have derailleur BSO's that cost $80

And also for less than $100, decent one speed cruisers with full fenders, chainguard, and all weather coaster brakes; useful for college campus, bike paths and other local recreational riding, and reasonably flat terrain commuting.

acidfast7 10-09-13 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by neil (Post 16147046)
As others have said, £300 with some assembly required and no gears had better be a decent quality bike. If it's only a BSO, you got ripped off.

I challenge you to find me a better* FGSS in the UK for under £300.

I double dog dare you.

*note that a standard black/grey/blue TREK/Giant doesn't count as I wouldn't be caught dead on one. Meaning there would need to at least a few colour options.

acidfast7 10-09-13 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 16147060)
And also for less than $100, decent one speed cruisers with full fenders, chainguard, and all weather coaster brakes; useful for college campus, bike paths and other local recreational riding, and reasonably flat terrain commuting.

To be fair, I did get fenders with the bikes, but I still think they're in beta test mode. Let's see how the company responds.

Likewise, I'd love to see one of these shipped to my door in the UK for 100 USD.

Give it your best!

I-Like-To-Bike 10-09-13 04:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RaleighSport (Post 16146540)
Okay now that does sound like a BSO after all ;)

Only not priced like a cheap bike. Seems aimed for a different type of customer; someone willing to pay more money for an upscale POS.

acidfast7 10-09-13 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 16147097)
Only not priced like a cheap bike. Seems aimed for a different type of customer; someone willing to pay more money for an upscale POS.

Style is always and has always been that way. People pay extra for a product that may cost less to make because it's desirable in the consumers eyes.

My only question is are the BSO bikes really that bad compared to £1000 TREK Cross-Rip for commuting duty?

I actually have a spectrum of colleagues ... some that ride £200 BSO road bikes w/12 speeds, me (that rides this bike), the TREK guy and a guy that rides full carbon.

I argue that for commuting duty that the TREK at £1000 and the full carbon at £3000 is a little overkill. I want to show them that I can do the same commute for a fraction of the cost and have a nice pint of beer at £2 every day for a year with the savings.

We'll see if my BSO handles a 11mi RT commute for a year.

I've been forcing them to buy the pint as well everyday as now most of us live within 3 mins of 10 proper pubs.

acidfast7 10-09-13 04:23 PM

another sad point ... transportation costs seem quite high in the UK.

bus = £4.70 for a round-trip
taxi = £16 for a round-trip
walking = one hour each way
driving = 20km so with my older Audi is 1.5L of fuel (£1.80) ... which doesn't consider other ownership costs
cycling = £500 up front with bike+lights(£50)+lock+bikeshed key+clothing+backpack

There is a cycle to work scheme where we can finance and say roughly 33% of all bike costs up to £1000 per calendar year

Just wondering if I'll break even (if I didn't get the beer even).

I-Like-To-Bike 10-09-13 04:34 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by acidfast7 (Post 16147114)
My only question is are the BSO bikes really that bad compared to £1000 TREK Cross-Rip for commuting duty?

The short and quick answer is NO! Inexpensive bikes sold at big box stores are bad mouthed incessantly as "BSO" by bicycling cognoscenti as well as by people who are tied financially or emotionally to the product sold by LBS, bicycle outlets whose lunch is being eaten by the product offered by the big box stores as well as on-line providers.

My commuter and daily get around town bike (a Ragazzi w/7speed IGH) was bought at a big box store (Real) in Germany in 2000 for 268 DM (approx $130). The only modification of consequence was changing out the saddle for a Brooks B66. I have approximately 50,000 miles on it and it still has the original fenders, though the chainguard broke a couple of years ago. If a useful inexpensive commuting/city bike is not available in the UK, it may be worth your while to take a quick trip back to Germany and get something of value at the lower price range.

acidfast7 10-09-13 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 16147190)
The short and quick answer is NO! Inexpensive bikes sold at big box stores are bad mouthed incessantly as "BSO" by bicycling cognoscenti as well as by people who are tied financially or emotionally to the product sold by LBS, bicycle outlets whose lunch is being eaten by the product offered by the big box stores as well as on-line providers.

My commuter and daily get around town bike (a Ragazzi w/7speed IGH) was bought at a big box store (Real) in Germany in 2000 for 268 DM (approx $130). The only modification of consequence was changing out the saddle for a Brooks B66. I have approximately 50,000 miles on it and it still has the original fenders, though the chainguard broke a couple of years ago. If a useful inexpensive commuting/city bike is not available in the UK, it may be worth your while to take a quick trip back to Germany and get something of value at the lower price range.

Personally, I think the best commuter value in bikes in the EU, including Germany and the UK, are from Decathlon.

http://www.decathlon.co.uk/C-376961-...ommuting-bikes

Real, LIDL, ALDI, Netto, Penny, Metro, REWE and a few others have good bikes on sale but nothing constant like Decathlon.

I mean, this could be a great bike for the money

http://www.decathlon.co.uk/mens-newo...d_8222609.html

or if one must have drops, this seems quite good value for money

http://www.decathlon.co.uk/triban-5-...d_8239801.html

... but everyone here would complain ... that it's 365.53237495926142638394 dollars ... what a rip-off.

Personally, I think my experiment will be interesting.

I finally adjusted the rear brake ... so let's see how it rides tomorrow.

I'm off to Germany (Allgäu) Friday through Monday, but it's quite late in the season for bike deals ... now is the time for XC skis!

I-Like-To-Bike 10-09-13 04:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acidfast7 (Post 16147155)
another sad point ... transportation costs seem quite high in the UK.

bus = £4.70 for a round-trip
taxi = £16 for a round-trip
walking = one hour each way
driving = 20km so with my older Audi is 1.5L of fuel (£1.80) ... which doesn't consider other ownership costs
cycling = £500 up front with bike+lights(£50)+lock+bikeshed key+clothing+backpack

There is a cycle to work scheme where we can finance and say roughly 33% of all bike costs up to £1000 per calendar year

Just wondering if I'll break even (if I didn't get the beer even).

When you do your cost comparison, you shouldn't consider your other car ownership costs, unless your bicycle will allow you to get rid of the automobile. You will have those car ownership costs regardless of your bicycle use.

How long will it take you to bicycle to work and will the type of bike make much difference in the commute?

acidfast7 10-09-13 04:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 16147209)
When you do your cost comparison, you shouldn't consider your other car ownership costs, unless your bicycle will allow you to get rid of the automobile. You will have those car ownership costs regardless of your bicycle use.

How long will it take you to bicycle to work and will the type of bike make much difference in the commute?

Interesting ... the car is really extra and will sit roughly 1 month between uses.

Car w/traffic is roughly 20mins
Bus + walking from stop is roughly 30 mins
Directly walking (roughly 5.5 miles) is roughly 70 mins.
Bike is roughly 20-25 mins ... still optimising but should be around 20 mins.

I-Like-To-Bike 10-09-13 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acidfast7 (Post 16147208)
Real, LIDL, ALDI, Netto, Penny, Metro, REWE and a few others have good bikes on sale but nothing constant like Decathlon.[SNIP]
I'm off to Germany (Allgäu) Friday through Monday, but it's quite late in the season for bike deals ... now is the time for XC skis!

I'd recommend that while back in Germany, you take a peek into one of those big box stores for a suitable inexpensive bike. My info is dated but at least near Heidelberg the Hockenheim Real used to have a whole aisle (approximately 100 bikes) devoted year round to inexpensive city bikes. All the useful commuting accessories as well as tires, tubes etc. were priced right as well as being stocked at all times

I-Like-To-Bike 10-09-13 05:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acidfast7 (Post 16147219)
Interesting ... the car is really extra and will sit roughly 1 month between uses.

Car w/traffic is roughly 20mins
Bus + walking from stop is roughly 30 mins
Directly walking (roughly 5.5 miles) is roughly 70 mins.
Bike is roughly 20-25 mins ... still optimising but should be around 20 mins.

Biking is obviously the way to go if you are up to it. The type of bike should be immaterial unless the commute includes outrageous hills. Get what you like and who cares if your local bike (or Bike Forum) snobs turn up their collective noses, eh?

Whether your car sits or is driven the significant car ownership costs (depreciation, insurance, taxes, registration, licenses) remain the same. If money is an issue and you want to save real money, ride the bike and get rid of the car, if you can.

acidfast7 10-09-13 05:10 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 16147277)
Biking is obviously the way to go if you are up to it. The type of bike should be immaterial unless the commute includes outrageous hills. Get what you like and who cares if your local bike (or A&S) snobs turn up their collective noses, eh?

Whether your car sits or is driven the significant car ownership costs (depreciation, insurance, taxes, registration, licenses) remain the same. If money is an issue and you want to save real money, ride the bike and get rid of the car, if you can.

The car is a 1994 Audi A4 with less the 100k miles. Costs are zero, including maintenance.

I did get my butt kicked today ... 44x16 is not so easy on a 1km long hill to start the commute ... plus it requires a lot of turnover at speeds of 30kph+ the rest of the way ... so I like it very much for getting in shape.

6 mile ride with a nice little hill to get me going in the morning :D

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=345154

I-Like-To-Bike 10-09-13 09:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acidfast7 (Post 16147155)
another sad point ...
driving = 20km so with my older Audi is 1.5L of fuel (£1.80) ... which doesn't consider other ownership costs


Quote:

Originally Posted by acidfast7 (Post 16147292)
The car is a 1994 Audi A4 with less the 100k miles. Costs are zero, including maintenance.

I did get my butt kicked today ... 44x16 is not so easy on a 1km long hill to start the commute ... plus it requires a lot of turnover at speeds of 30kph+ the rest of the way ... so I like it very much for getting in shape.

6 mile ride with a nice little hill to get me going in the morning :D

1. What are the other car ownership costs that don't cost anything?

2. If you are looking for a workout on a bike with one speed any inexpensive cruiser should be just right, the heavier the better. Any Walmart or equivalent near you? Lots of garish colors too!

http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/2168/lmof.jpg

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

http://img690.imageshack.us/img690/9284/orvz.jpg

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

deeth82 10-10-13 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike (Post 16147190)
The short and quick answer is NO! Inexpensive bikes sold at big box stores are bad mouthed incessantly as "BSO" by bicycling cognoscenti as well as by people who are tied financially or emotionally to the product sold by LBS, bicycle outlets whose lunch is being eaten by the product offered by the big box stores as well as on-line providers.

My commuter and daily get around town bike (a Ragazzi w/7speed IGH) was bought at a big box store (Real) in Germany in 2000 for 268 DM (approx $130). The only modification of consequence was changing out the saddle for a Brooks B66. I have approximately 50,000 miles on it and it still has the original fenders, though the chainguard broke a couple of years ago. If a useful inexpensive commuting/city bike is not available in the UK, it may be worth your while to take a quick trip back to Germany and get something of value at the lower price range.


That's a perfectly beautiful (and perfectly functional) commuter! I say if they get you where you need to go with minimal headaches (and if you wrench on them regularly enough, you can reduce the headaches down to minor trifling things), then the bike is perfect for you. I've got a Takara Kabuto (yes, one of those) that I've modified over the past few years to look like a more upright dutch-style bike...it rides comfortably enough and gets me from point A to point B with minimal cost (and I'm shocked at how long the wheels have gone without giving me fits). I'm positive it doesn't ride as smoothly as my Marlin SS, but it's a great bike in terms of its cost:utility ratio. Keep riding the heck out of that Ragazzi!

acidfast7 10-10-13 01:12 PM

1 Attachment(s)
had the first ride in the rain ... not wiping it down and leaving for Germany for 4 days ...

brake pads are leaving a huge trail of black slime on the braking surface and all over the tire as seen in the photo

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=345323

will be interesting to see how this develops

acidfast7 10-10-13 01:27 PM

i gave in and wiped it down :)

acidfast7 10-10-13 02:38 PM

was trying to get my head around the bike commuting angle of FGSS and there's a whole crapload of horrible movies out there.

i found this one with a really nice mix of languages, cinematography and score.


acidfast7 10-10-13 04:21 PM

1 Attachment(s)
see you dudes later after the weekend ... will sneak some riding in but no commuting:

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=345359

neil 10-10-13 08:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by acidfast7 (Post 16147062)
I challenge you to find me a better* FGSS in the UK for under £300.

Yeah, that was kind of my point. I probably can't. You've bought a bike, not a BSO.

I suppose, technically, all bikes are bike shaped objects, but the moniker is normally reserved for objects whose quality is so low that referring to it as a "bike" isn't exactly accurate.

acidfast7 10-10-13 08:54 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by neil (Post 16150962)
Yeah, that was kind of my point. I probably can't. You've bought a bike, not a BSO.

I suppose, technically, all bikes are bike shaped objects, but the moniker is normally reserved for objects whose quality is so low that referring to it as a "bike" isn't exactly accurate.

I think people on BF are shocked by the prices, but it's pretty much at lowest price point here for a bike. I would say it's like a 200 USD bike in US. We don't really get the cheap end of stuff here even for the same products ... you have a very hard time getting a bike out the door at a LBS for £300.

this example usually helps non-UK people understand the price difference for the same object and why £300 would really be a UK BSO. it also shows that stuff is really cheap in the US.

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=345420

http://bikeforums.net/attachment.php...hmentid=345421

That's retail pricing for the same Levi's 501 jeans and the reason I stock up on denim when in the US. Even 64USD to 70 GBP demonstrates that they're almost 70% more here ... same with bikes.

But, we can debate the BSO issue all day long, but £300 is on the really cheap end of bikes (really, really cheap) ... don't even get me started on house prices.

http://www.statisticbrain.com/home-sales-average-price/ vs. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/h...tml/houses.stm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Househo..._United_States vs. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_...United_Kingdom

so, 300GBP is in the range of a UK BSO.

Rhodabike 10-10-13 09:16 PM

300 GBP converts to almost $500 Canadian - I think you can get a reasonably adequate entry level hybrid from a bike shop for that money here. A truly bottom of the barrel BSO from a big box store would actually be a lot less.
Anyway, as has often been pointed out, much of the risk from a box store bike lies in who puts it together. A friend of my husband was nearly killed some years ago when the brakes on his brand new Zeller's* bike seized up solid the first time he ever really tried to stop hard at the bottom of a hill. They'd been improperly installed in the store.
(*A Canadian el-cheapo chain, since bought out by Target)

Slaninar 10-10-13 10:17 PM

In Europe taxes are a lot different so things often cost a lot more (like that jeans example). Some 15 years ago you could get a good bike for 300 punds, but today, looking at that price range... naaah. Cheap parts, often poor quality.


@OP: the black marks on wheels are normal brake pad wear+road dirt. That's why I prefer black tyres... and pants. :)

I admire that you're riding a bike without fenders in the UK! :)

acidfast7 10-11-13 01:31 AM

[QUOTE=Slaninar;16151227
I admire that you're riding a bike without fenders in the UK! :)[/QUOTE]

they didn't have fenders in yellow, green or orange.

also, it's hardly rained in the month i've been here. it's said that the northeast of England is the most day part, so let's see.


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