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Murray Missile 04-04-21 07:58 AM

Caveat Emptor
 
I had a former classmate of my sister's stop by yesterday because she heard I work on bikes. She had purchased a bike off Amazon that required assembly and her friend had tried to put it together but gave up. My gut feeling told me to decline but I said sure bring it over. Yeah, should have listened to my gut..... Aside from all the mistakes her friend made this thing was a study in how NOT to build a bicycle. Right off the bat I observed that the brake lever housings were cheap plastic, not resin or composite just plain old plastic. I started by trying to set the front brake but the front wheel had an 1/8" of hop and was 1/4" out of true!. Once I got that down to "only" 1/32" in both directions I began the battle of the brakes, the brake arms had burrs and sharp edges all over them which made it fun. The rear wheel has a single speed BMX freewheel and a drum brake made of mostly thin sheet metal, I could see the extension arm with the cable clamp and return spring flex with every pull of the rear brake lever. I could go on but you get the idea. This doesn't even qualify for a BSO designation. If you know of anyone considering buying one of these, stop them, tie them to a chair, break their keyboard, cut up their credit cards but stop them. If it lasts the summer without breaking I will be surprised. For what this thing costs I would recommend buying a WalMart bike in the same price range if that's all your budget allows and you want a new bike, as much as I hate them they are 10 times better than this thing. When people ask me about buying a bike I always steer them toward a good used name brand bike if they have a price limit that won't get them on a new bike shop quality bike but some people just don't understand that even a used high quality bike that is several years old is a better bargain than a cheap box store bike. I've worked on hundreds of bikes over the years, this thing is the biggest pile of poo I have ever put a wrench to.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ref_=pd_gw_unk

https://cimg0.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...39d5b238bb.jpg

Wanderer 04-04-21 08:49 AM

Tell her to send it back to Amazon for a refund!

Murray Missile 04-04-21 10:29 AM


Originally Posted by Wanderer (Post 21999622)
Tell her to send it back to Amazon for a refund!

I almost did but it wouldn't have done any good, she was convinced she'd made a good buy and is happy with it for now, as they say, ignorance is bliss. Had they brought it to me still in the box I would have done just that as soon as I pulled it out of the box. They were already so "invested" in it time and money wise I didn't have the heart to tell her she'd made a bad buy but when her friend came to pick it up I told him and he said he had thought the same thing but said there was no use telling her that. They had also brought an old Huffy "Panama Jack" girls bike to have a new tube put in it and the handlebars aligned. I never had much respect for those but after seeing one parked next to that Amazon abomination I've revisited my opinion of them which has now gone up several points LOL.

Wildwood 04-04-21 10:56 AM

Most people who buy the cheapest bike possible, don't ride it often or for any distance.
Sometimes they try cycling just to appease another.
Who knows?



My girlfriend used to go winter skiing, once she became 'wife' = no skiing. :foo:

aplcr0331 04-04-21 11:04 AM

Gonna see a lot of this nowadays.

No bikes anywhere. I placed an order for a Trek Emonda for my wife in Sep 2020. Itís not arriving until 2022 now.

We just decided on a decent used Liv Avail.

And most people donít know (and it wonít matter as theyíll ride it twice and park it).

LarrySellerz 04-04-21 11:17 AM

How much does one of those badboys run you? Bikes are so ******g expensive these days, I just bought a Giant Escape yesterday which is IMO pretty much the cheapest good bike with gears that you can buy, and it still ran me $460.

chaadster 04-04-21 12:08 PM


Originally Posted by LarrySellerz (Post 21999814)
How much does one of those badboys run you? Bikes are so ******g expensive these days, I just bought a Giant Escape yesterday which is IMO pretty much the cheapest good bike with gears that you can buy, and it still ran me $460.

That really doesnít seem bad to me, because I remember buying a new Bridgestone CB-3 in 1988, a bike very much period-equivalent to the Escape, for either $306 or $406Ė Iím unsure at this distance. Either way, at the cumulative rate of inflation over the past +30 years, even the low $306 price, thatíd be a $680 bike today. Iíd say you paid a fine price for a good bike!

downtube42 04-04-21 12:19 PM

Buyer beware at wally-world, as well.

I was working on one of their MTBs at the co-op a few years ago, and came across a nice cost-saving measure. The entire grip-shift assembly was a solid piece of molded plastic, made to look like it had a barrel adjuster. Clever, very clever. BSO indeed.

Rick 04-04-21 12:41 PM

I worked part time in a bicycle shop while going to school. We had a sign up that stated the assembly price for the department store bikes. If the customer had attempted to assemble the bicycle it would be two to three times the normal price.

Murray Missile 04-04-21 03:33 PM


Originally Posted by downtube42 (Post 21999863)
Buyer beware at wally-world, as well.

Oh for sure and the wally worlds around here are totally sold out of any kind of adult bike so there will be a glut of them needing repairs. I had just replaced the FD on a Huffy MTB from WalMart the same morning that a friend bought. I gave him hell for buying a WM bike after I had told him not to. He said it had shifting problems and I replied, "Of course it does, that's why I told you not to buy one." I verified the FD was FUBAR as I suspected from our phone conversation and told him he should take it back but they'd probably just give him another bike with the same cheap FD. He said he got the last one, probably one somebody else brought back. I told him there was no making his FD work and I had used my last bottom pull triple on another WM bike with the same issue last Fall but I could get an inexpensive Shimano for it so we did that. I also had to replace the cable because they had overtightened the hold down at the derailleur and broke about half the strands. I also told him he will be putting new shifters on it at some point, both shifters had an 1/8" of slop in them before they even started pulling the cables. But even that poor excuse of a BSO was far better than that thing off Amazon, it was THAT bad!

indyfabz 04-04-21 03:49 PM


Originally Posted by Rick (Post 21999884)
I worked part time in a bicycle shop while going to school. We had a sign up that stated the assembly price for the department store bikes. If the customer had attempted to assemble the bicycle it would be two to three times the normal price.

At one point a friend of mine who owns a LBS refused to work on them because they would soon malfunction again and many people would bring them back claiming he had made shoddy repairs. Donít know if thatís still his policy.

Rick 04-04-21 07:29 PM

The owner of the bicycle shop I worked in made a deal with a department store so his mechanics assembled their bikes. This was short lived because somebody made another deal at the cooperate level for their trained minions to assemble the bicycles at all of their stores. Shortly after this happened we were flooded with department store bikes in need of tune-ups and repairs. At a store managers request I observed A couple of trained assemblers doing their thing. They averaged around 10-15 minutes per bicycle. I would have been fired for that level of incompetence. Department store bicycles are very poor quality and come out of adjustment with very little use.

Murray Missile 04-10-21 06:27 AM


Originally Posted by indyfabz (Post 22000040)
At one point a friend of mine who owns a LBS refused to work on them because they would soon malfunction again and many people would bring them back claiming he had made shoddy repairs. Donít know if thatís still his policy.

I always tell people that bring me cheap box store bikes to work on up front what I think of them and that I can make it work for "awhile" but unless they replace certain items it WILL fail again. I also tell them it would be cheaper in the long run to dump the thing and buy a nice 2nd hand Trek, Giant, whatever. Most just tell me it's good enough for no more than they'll ride it and they're probably right. A few have come back and asked about bikes they've seen for sale and if it would be a good one. etc. and if they buy it can I tune it up for them.

unterhausen 04-10-21 08:43 AM


Originally Posted by indyfabz (Post 22000040)
At one point a friend of mine who owns a LBS refused to work on them because they would soon malfunction again and many people would bring them back claiming he had made shoddy repairs. Don’t know if that’s still his policy.

The LBS I work at sometimes just accurately prices out what it would take to make every bike work properly and doesn't cut the owners any slack because they are cheap. That always works, although the owners might not be happy they couldn't get their bike fixed for the amount of money they wanted to spend. When I worked as a bike mechanic BITD, we made the mistake of fixed price tuneups and overhauls, which gives a big discount to a person that bought a bike that is never going to work well. That was a major source of unhappiness for me. Anyone that has ever overhauled an AMF for 3 hours labor knows what I'm talking about. And even after all that work, it's never going to be anything but a BSO that barely works.

GamblerGORD53 04-10-21 10:13 AM

LOL. That is the same as a Vietnam bike. On a 3 week trip there in 2007, I bought one of them in both Hanoi and Saigon, for about $80. Mine had a full double tube and came with a frame lock. I added a basket, threw in the tools, water and rain cape and wobbled off.
I rode the Saigon one about 400 miles. I did take my dozen tools with me of course, knowing I would use them all and did. LOL.
The biggest problem is the old fashioned way they attach 3 or 4 things to the axles. Fender, basket, kickstand and footpegs. Impossible to keep from loosening with cheap nuts, with those round wire ends. IF it was thinner flat metal ends, it would actually help solidify the nut from turning. That is how my 1973 CCM was made.
Plus I was riding a 3 size too small one and raised the stem past the limit and didn't notice until I saw the photo. So it came loose a few times. Yah the rims are crooked steel, but still better than the Chinese ones I bought on a new rod brake bike in 2009.
So they are crap to ride on anything but flat ground. The band brake is not worse than rod brakes for sure, they both suck.
I do see the pedals and levers are likely worse on this Walmart version, or maybe everything.
Just make sure she carries a crescent wrench that can also fit the headset. And knows how to use it. LOL.
Moving the fender stays to a p-clamp would be better of course.

PS. My new Toronto designed Simcoe roadster was MSRP $1,400Cdn. It came with cheap rattle fenders and cheap pressed steel levers that I wouldn't put on a Walmart bike. They look like finger choppers waiting to happen, in a crash. The bare Alu stem and gooseneck seatpost aren't great either. All these things will be gone as soon as possible. I also had to drill the seat tube for a water bottle. WTF is that omission for???

nomadmax 04-10-21 10:18 AM

All bikes perform the same hanging upside down in the garage; which is exactly where most "bikes" like that end up in pretty short order. It's the chicken or the egg thing, do they wind up unused because they're crap or because for the most part, people like the "idea" of riding a bike more than actually doing it.

Troul 04-10-21 05:02 PM

could you imagine if houses & automobiles were built to the same quality as that Amazon thing? ...
.
.
.

downtube42 04-11-21 11:57 AM


Originally Posted by Troul (Post 22009131)
could you imagine if houses & automobiles were built to the same quality as that Amazon thing? ...
.
.
.

That would be mobile homes and the Renault Le Car I had bitd.

Murray Missile 05-13-21 04:08 PM

Update, she had it listed for sale last week, "didn't fit". It apparently sold but the sad thing is some other poor soul is now stuck with it.

VegasTriker 05-14-21 08:05 AM

Current price is $232-$240 depending on the color. One size fits all? Not in my world. Single speed. Hope she is a flatlander. This shows you what bike sellers can get away with due to the shortage of bicycles. Anyone who has ever worked in a bike shop can tell you how frustrating it is to work on a POS. The other source of frustration was the owner who had just bought a used bike at the local police auction. They got a bargain or thought they did. It often took more money to repair the bike than it did for them to get it at the auction. Then they were mad at you for "price gouging".

bikecrate 05-14-21 09:17 AM

OP's first post would make a great Amazon review.

Murray Missile 05-14-21 06:22 PM


Originally Posted by bikecrate (Post 22059117)
OP's first post would make a great Amazon review.

I submitted the condensed version on Amazon, made a few changes to make it fit but the jist of it is the same and they published it. :thumb:

https://cimg3.ibsrv.net/gimg/bikefor...aec9bf00c5.jpg

SurferRosa 05-15-21 12:57 PM


Originally Posted by Murray Missile (Post 21999557)
When people ask me about buying a bike I always steer them toward a good used name brand bike if they have a price limit that won't get them on a new bike.

I recommend vintage mid-level regardless.

Troul 05-15-21 03:52 PM

it usually goes like...

"hey, would this xyz bso be good for me?"
~"idk, what is it going to be used for mainly?"
"umm, riding around"
~"if it fits you comfortably, it might be the one for you, potentially"
"idk if it'll fit comfortably... ???"
~"the lbs could help you with identifying what might fit you comfortably. They fit folks up often, so it should be pretty simple & quick for them to fit you up"
"oh, good call, I'll check the lbs out"
Chances are, that never happens. If it does, they tend to come out of the lbs with a suggested bicycle.

bargainguy 05-17-21 05:06 PM

About a decade ago, a neighbor approaches me and says, hey, would you mind assembling a bike for me?

Radar goes up instantly. What kind of bike?

Amazon. I thought you could assemble it for me and I could ride it.

He shows me a pic on his phone. I tell him: Should have checked with me first, as I would have told you not to waste your time or money. Cheap balloon tire bike that will be no fun to assemble or maintain.

Here's what I'll do: You assemble the bike best you can, and I'll check it over and help you bring it up to spec.

He wasn't too happy with that idea, having envisioned doing no work whatsoever, but that's how it played out. He learned first-hand how difficult it is to bring up to spec, as I wasn't the one doing the work.


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