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Is there a thread on why one shouldn't buy a BSO?

crakercraker Posts: 1,739
edited June 2009 in Commuting chat
Trying to persuade colleague to NOT spend £80 on a bike. Someone point me to a relevant thread / article?

Ta.

Edit - he's a 'beginner' cyclist not a commuter.
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Posts

  • There was a feature in C+ a month or two ago about cheap bikes - mostly second-hand but included a BSO from Halfords. Results were pretty damning - it barely lasted the ride. If you have a search on bikeradar, you should be able to find the article.
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Issue 221 April. Available here:

    http://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/s ... @552782861

    it won't be put on the site as far as i know.
  • crakercraker Posts: 1,739
    I have this one at home...
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    If you want to get a bike that you will ride only once and then leave to rot in the shed then the 80 quid BSO is ideal

    As so many people do this, it is simply meeting a demand. Mind you, if people just stopped and thought about it for a second they would not waste the 80 quid.

    This link rehashes all the arguments against BSO

    http://www.southcoastbikes.co.uk/articl ... cle=NO_BSO
  • There was a feature in C+ a month or two ago about cheap bikes - mostly second-hand but included a BSO from Halfords. Results were pretty damning - it barely lasted the ride. If you have a search on bikeradar, you should be able to find the article.

    Sorry - just to be fair to Halfords, I think it was actually from a supermarket (Tesco?) rather than Halfords.
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
  • crakercraker Posts: 1,739
    from my mate, I don't agree & am trying to persuade him to spend £250 or so.

    :oops:

    All in all wouldn’t argue with the points made, the point that wasn’t made was…..

    I*f you want a bike and you only have enough disposable income for a BSO, do you just go without?

    It’s all well and good saying “save up for 6 days” but when you wife or other dependants comes in at day 4 and suddenly the savings need to be spent on the washing machine (that will pull in front of the real bike riders, who can then, smugly, stop safely and wow all that have the honour to witness the power of their brakes), what do you do then?

    It comes down to proprieties, and available funds. You can spend £300 on a pair of top notch pair of walking boots that would last you 10 years, but if you only go walking twice a year what’s the point?

    Also if it’s a choice between a BSO and no bike at all, save your money and buy a BSO. When it breaks after 2 years buy another. If your BSO costs 1/5 of a proper bike that’s 10 years use, and I bet that you’ll replace your proper bike before then (whether you need to or not, gotta keep up with the new trends 8) ).

    It’s true, without doubt, that compared to a proper bike the above wastage of 4 bikes is worse for the environment, it’s probably as bad as using my car for a week, or as bad as the amount China’s emissions have gone up in the time it’s taken me to write this email 8).
  • Stone GliderStone Glider Posts: 1,227
    My first bike was a BSO (there I've said it) and it cost less than £80. I got two bikes plus helmets, lights, pedals, even locks for £100 plus £15 postage. I was fortunate that a wise friend fettled them for me, then I was off; literally. :oops:

    I could not have justified any greater expense on what was a whim to aid weight loss. As it turned out I found I loved cycling, the wife found she loathed cycling and I bought a better bike after about nine months.

    The BSO's have been passed to friends who still use them. As a Mr L A of Texas once said "It's not about the bike".
    The older I get the faster I was
  • schlepcyclingschlepcycling Posts: 1,614
    mr_si wrote:
    from my mate, I don't agree & am trying to persuade him to spend £250 or so.

    :oops:

    All in all wouldn’t argue with the points made, the point that wasn’t made was…..

    I*f you want a bike and you only have enough disposable income for a BSO, do you just go without?

    It’s all well and good saying “save up for 6 days” but when you wife or other dependants comes in at day 4 and suddenly the savings need to be spent on the washing machine (that will pull in front of the real bike riders, who can then, smugly, stop safely and wow all that have the honour to witness the power of their brakes), what do you do then?

    It comes down to proprieties, and available funds. You can spend £300 on a pair of top notch pair of walking boots that would last you 10 years, but if you only go walking twice a year what’s the point?

    Also if it’s a choice between a BSO and no bike at all, save your money and buy a BSO. When it breaks after 2 years buy another. If your BSO costs 1/5 of a proper bike that’s 10 years use, and I bet that you’ll replace your proper bike before then (whether you need to or not, gotta keep up with the new trends 8) ).

    It’s true, without doubt, that compared to a proper bike the above wastage of 4 bikes is worse for the environment, it’s probably as bad as using my car for a week, or as bad as the amount China’s emissions have gone up in the time it’s taken me to write this email 8).

    This is not going to go down well :oops: , but I can see your mate's point. It is all about priorities and available funds, the 'you only need to save up 5 days' assumes no other demands are made on that money. Most of us have mortgages/rent and loads of bills to pay so other things are squeezed into what's left and even though I would never advocate your mate buying a BSO I can understand his argument.......sorry!. :oops: :oops:
    'Hello to Jason Isaacs'
  • CiBCiB Posts: 6,098
    How about the argument that buying a BSO actively discourages their owners from moving on. People do it - they buy a BSO, rapidly arrive at the conclusion that cycling is hard work, unpleasant, involves faffing about with gears that don't work properly, brakes that don't work properly, on a bike that weighs more than a washing machine, and they give up on cycling as it's just not an enjoyable experience.
  • sarajoysarajoy Posts: 1,675
    Convince him to spend £20 extra, up to £100, make sure it's a hard-tail, has a minimum of gears, and allow for the buying of non-knobbly tyres if he wants to take it on roads.

    That will at least avoid the hard-work aspect of knobbly tyres, and suspension made of cheese.

    Or, see if there's a local bloke like Bristol's Jake who does up old bikes for a much lower price than new - here's his "sold" pages... There's not much for sale at the moment as the shop is closed for annual leave: http://www.jakesbikes.co.uk/content/104.php
    4537512329_a78cc710e6_o.gif4537512331_ec1ef42fea_o.gif
  • tardingtontardington Posts: 1,379
    Where are you Mr-Si? The edinburgh gumtree regularly has not-very-good-but-servicable bikes from 30-50 quid...

    Or serach eBay (though I don't know how to search for location there)
  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    mr_si wrote:
    When it breaks after 2 years buy another. If your BSO costs 1/5 of a proper bike that’s 10 years use, and I bet that you’ll replace your proper bike before then (whether you need to or not, gotta keep up with the new trends 8) ).quote]

    All well and good until your BSO breaks after 2 months, not 2 years.
    If it costs 1/5 of a proper bike, thats 10 months use, and no, I won't replace my proper bike before then.
    It'll also be horrible to ride, and probably put you off cycling altogether, which is a right shame, since riding a decent bike is a great pleasure.
    £400 is a set of tyres for the car
    £400 on a bike will cut your car use more than enough to save on a set of tyres for your car, lat alone petrol.
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    My first bike was a BSO (there I've said it) and it cost less than £80. I got two bikes plus helmets, lights, pedals, even locks for £100 plus £15 postage. I was fortunate that a wise friend fettled them for me, then I was off; literally. :oops:

    I could not have justified any greater expense on what was a whim to aid weight loss. As it turned out I found I loved cycling, the wife found she loathed cycling and I bought a better bike after about nine months.

    The BSO's have been passed to friends who still use them. As a Mr L A of Texas once said "It's not about the bike".

    Mr LA of Texas has clearly done pretty well with your old BSO! Though I'm not 100% sure about your choice of friends...
  • Rather than buy a BSO, tell your mate to spend his cash on a nice meal out for him and his wife. The meal will probably last longer than the BSO! :lol:

    Alternatively, as others have said, buy second-hand. Look on gumtree or ebay - £100 should get you a decent second-hand bike which cost several times that when new. Will last longer than a BSO and be nicer to ride.
    Never be tempted to race against a Barclays Cycle Hire bike. If you do, there are only two outcomes. Of these, by far the better is that you now have the scalp of a Boris Bike.
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    Get into with one of those bike recycling projects, would be better quality and cheaper if he can get one. Even ask down the local recycling centre, they might have an old one in good enough condition and at better quality than the new & censored £80 one.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    Second hand, or a BSO with no suspension at all.....
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    mr_si wrote:
    from my mate, I don't agree & am trying to persuade him to spend £250 or so.

    :oops:

    All in all wouldn’t argue with the points made, the point that wasn’t made was…..

    I*f you want a bike and you only have enough disposable income for a BSO, do you just go without?

    Go without. A BSO is a waste of money. It will break in weeks. The brakes may be not safe

    If you are really concerned about your mate not having a bike go to your nearest recycling centre and see what they have. If you go several times you will eventually get a sound frame- you may have to pay a nominal amount for this. This will need stuff replacing. I got a 80s Peugeot rigid MTB this way, for free. I fitted new saddle, grips, brake cables and road tyres cost approx 50 quid. The resultant bike is a bit rusty but I would happily ride 100 miles on it
  • I'm a sole-breadwinner father of three, and I absolutely see your mate's point of view. I'm currently commuting on a BSO; no-suspension, nobbley tyres mountain bike I bought from Aldi eight years ago for £40.

    It weighs a ton, I'll give you, but then I'm 200 lbs myself so knocking a few pounds off the weight of the bike isn't, as a percentage, a hill of beans. The only thing I have changed was that I bought a better saddle, as the one that came with it was taking all the enjoyment out of everything, not just cycling.

    Maybe I was lucky, the bike I got has Shimano gears, which shift nice and accurately every time. The gearings a bit low for my use, but I can't be bothered upgrading much on this bike. I've been commuting now about six weeks, covering 300 miles in that time, it's not actually all that bad. In the past week I have noticed that the wheels are getting a bit buckled in places, but other than that there are no problems with it.

    Now, here's the rub, for the first eight years of it's life, it probably only did about 50 miles, in the last 6 weeks, it's done 6 times that. My work are hopefully going to be starting a bike to work scheme and if they do, I will probably upgrade to a "proper bike". If they don't, will I really be able to justify £350 on the bike I fancy? Nope. Would I just carry on on my BSO? Yup. Have I got good value for money? Most definitely.
  • AllTheGearAllTheGear Posts: 248
    the wheels are getting a bit buckled in places

    You should be concerned about that, if the spokes don't remain in tension under load the wheel can collapse.
    ... and no idea ...

    FCN: 3
  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    I'm a sole-breadwinner father of three, and I absolutely see your mate's point of view. I'm currently commuting on a BSO; no-suspension, nobbley tyres mountain bike I bought from Aldi eight years ago for £40.

    It weighs a ton, I'll give you, but then I'm 200 lbs myself so knocking a few pounds off the weight of the bike isn't, as a percentage, a hill of beans. The only thing I have changed was that I bought a better saddle, as the one that came with it was taking all the enjoyment out of everything, not just cycling.

    Maybe I was lucky, the bike I got has Shimano gears, which shift nice and accurately every time. The gearings a bit low for my use, but I can't be bothered upgrading much on this bike. I've been commuting now about six weeks, covering 300 miles in that time, it's not actually all that bad. In the past week I have noticed that the wheels are getting a bit buckled in places, but other than that there are no problems with it.

    Now, here's the rub, for the first eight years of it's life, it probably only did about 50 miles, in the last 6 weeks, it's done 6 times that. My work are hopefully going to be starting a bike to work scheme and if they do, I will probably upgrade to a "proper bike". If they don't, will I really be able to justify £350 on the bike I fancy? Nope. Would I just carry on on my BSO? Yup. Have I got good value for money? Most definitely.

    Have you though?
    £40 doesn't buy as much today as it did 8 years ago, even in Aldi.
    Getting 8 years out of a £40 BSO would be great, but you haven't got 8 years out of it, you've got 6 weeks, 2 months tops so far, and already it's wheels are buckling, which is hardly great.
    I have to wonder what condition it will be in in 6 months, and you have a "good" one, with what sounds like decent Shimano gears. You won't find them so easy to find these days.

    But, none of that matters cause your out there cycling to work. I don't care what bike your on, I'm just happy to have you out there cycling.
  • That was actually my point, it's horses for courses. It was perfectly suited for occasional trips to the shops, and some slow cycles with the kids, worth £5 a year for eight years. If the OP's colleague is in the same boat, then a BSO may well be a good deal for him.

    The fact that now I'm putting it to real use means that it's not as fit for the purpose, and I will probably (work scheme allowing) upgrade to a "proper bike". £400 is a lot to be cooped up in a garage if you aren't going to do much with it, but I'm doing about 75 miles a week at the moment, and the frailty of the wheels is showing.
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    But anyone who rides a BSO which then brakes/seizes/buckles or otherwise fails to work properly (and there's a lot that could go wrong) will just stop riding. That's what we want to avoid. You are the wonderful exception to the rule, UE. Even if your avatar does look like a vagina.
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    That was actually my point, it's horses for courses. It was perfectly suited for occasional trips to the shops, and some slow cycles with the kids, worth £5 a year for eight years. If the OP's colleague is in the same boat, then a BSO may well be a good deal for him.

    The fact that now I'm putting it to real use means that it's not as fit for the purpose, and I will probably (work scheme allowing) upgrade to a "proper bike". £400 is a lot to be cooped up in a garage if you aren't going to do much with it, but I'm doing about 75 miles a week at the moment, and the frailty of the wheels is showing.

    you should beable to get some new wheels for not too much, but yes the more you do, the less a cheap bike makes sence.
  • GussioGussio Posts: 2,452
    mr_si wrote:
    Edit - he's a 'beginner' cyclist not a commuter.

    There are plenty of "commuters" out on the roads who fall firmly into the beginner category. Particularly so at this time of the year.
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    Gussio wrote:
    mr_si wrote:
    Edit - he's a 'beginner' cyclist not a commuter.

    There are plenty of "commuters" out on the roads who fall firmly into the beginner category. Particularly so at this time of the year.

    indeed, my wife pootling along to kingston and caught up with someone (on a bike) wobbling from side to side on the bike path, so she said hello or some such phrase, at which point he wobbled off, onto the grass just about staying, upright, "caught the wheel on something" he said....
  • soy_saucesoy_sauce Posts: 987
    at the end of the day, BSO still is a bike. it just same as those which cost an arm and a leg, if you don't look after it then it won't last long. my gf has her Apollo (cost around £150 when she got it) for almost 8-9 years now and its still work fine due to her dad keep it maintance. all the components are still original.
    "It is not impossible, its just improbable"

    Specialized Rockhopper Pro Disc 08
  • biondino wrote:
    But anyone who rides a BSO which then brakes/seizes/buckles or otherwise fails to work properly (and there's a lot that could go wrong) will just stop riding. That's what we want to avoid.

    But anyone who doesn't buy any bike by definition won't ride. I must concede though that I have never actually ridden a decent bike, so perhaps I just don't know what I'm missing.
    biondino wrote:
    You are the wonderful exception to the rule, UE. Even if your avatar does look like a vagina.

    You say that as though it's a bad thing ;)
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    mr_si wrote:

    All in all wouldn’t argue with the points made, the point that wasn’t made was…..

    I*f you want a bike and you only have enough disposable income for a BSO, do you just go without?

    It’s all well and good saying “save up for 6 days” but when you wife or other dependants comes in at day 4 and suddenly the savings need to be spent on the washing machine (that will pull in front of the real bike riders, who can then, smugly, stop safely and wow all that have the honour to witness the power of their brakes), what do you do then?

    It comes down to proprieties, and available funds. You can spend £300 on a pair of top notch pair of walking boots that would last you 10 years, but if you only go walking twice a year what’s the point?

    Also if it’s a choice between a BSO and no bike at all, save your money and buy a BSO. When it breaks after 2 years buy another. If your BSO costs 1/5 of a proper bike that’s 10 years use, and I bet that you’ll replace your proper bike before then (whether you need to or not, gotta keep up with the new trends 8) ).

    It’s true, without doubt, that compared to a proper bike the above wastage of 4 bikes is worse for the environment, it’s probably as bad as using my car for a week, or as bad as the amount China’s emissions have gone up in the time it’s taken me to write this email 8).

    I see his point but, personally, I feel like its no argument at all.

    In the end he is likely to be wasting his £80. Wouldn't he be better of saving for as long as it takes.

    Example:
    I want an LCD flat screen TV. My living room means that anything less than 32inches is gonna be a struggle. Do I buy a cheap unheard of make with a picture quality worse than a CRT TV and a build qulity worse than a chocolate tea pot? Surely I should take the money I have and buy a decent CRT TV or save for the LCD TV I want divided by the one I can afford.

    Fact is a decent bike costs as much as they cost and not as much as a person wants or expects to pay. If you cannot afford it find a cheaper bike but be aware that there comes a point when the money you're spending becomes so little you're actually just being mean to yourself (like £150 on a PC and expecting to download, play games and surf the net all in one go). Spending very little can all end in tears, spending too much can have the same results.

    At both ends of the bike cost spectrum (spending very little money and spending lots of money) there comes a point where you are simply wasting money when considering the bikes usuage...
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • DonDaddyDDonDaddyD Posts: 12,689
    biondino wrote:
    But anyone who rides a BSO which then brakes/seizes/buckles or otherwise fails to work properly (and there's a lot that could go wrong) will just stop riding. That's what we want to avoid.

    But anyone who doesn't buy any bike by definition won't ride. I must concede though that I have never actually ridden a decent bike, so perhaps I just don't know what I'm missing.

    Define decent.

    I have a £0 steel single speed, a £150 front suspension mountain bike, a £250 hybrid with disc brakes, a £350 road bike and a £1*** carbon fibre road bike.

    I know which one is the worst and what is the best overall. Against their usuage I think they are/were all decent...
    Food Chain number = 4

    A true scalp is not only overtaking someone but leaving them stopped at a set of lights. As you, who have clearly beaten the lights, pummels nothing but the open air ahead. ~ 'DondaddyD'. Player of the Unspoken Game
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    DonDaddyD wrote:
    biondino wrote:
    But anyone who rides a BSO which then brakes/seizes/buckles or otherwise fails to work properly (and there's a lot that could go wrong) will just stop riding. That's what we want to avoid.

    But anyone who doesn't buy any bike by definition won't ride. I must concede though that I have never actually ridden a decent bike, so perhaps I just don't know what I'm missing.

    Define decent.

    I have a £0 steel single speed, a £150 front suspension mountain bike, a £250 hybrid with disc brakes, a £350 road bike and a £1*** carbon fibre road bike.

    I know which one is the worst and what is the best overall. Against their usuage I think they are/were all decent...

    indeed decent is a moveable feast, for short distance popping to the shops, almost any bike should do, for high speed, high distance commute to work, thats another level.
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