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What the hell happened to "normal" bicycles?

YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
edited August 2013 in The Crudcatcher
A friend at work recently asked me about buying a bicycle. He wasn't after a mountain bike, or a road bike, nothing that specialist, just a decent bike to cycle along the coast with his wife in the evening.
That got me thinking, and having a look around.
Where the hell do you go to buy just a "normal" bicycle, at a decent price?

I mean, take for example, the bike my father currently rides. He's using my ancient Saracen hardtail, and it's still a pretty decent bicycle. It's no featherweight, but it's light enough, with an aluminium frame, it's roughly 27/28lbs, at a guess.
It was originally bought back in around 1995, for £450, and has a 9/8" headset, Shimano LX cranks, Avid V-brakes (I think, the lettering has long worn down), shimano rapidfire shifters, an 8-speed cassette on shimano hubs, with Sun rims.
Decent little bicycle.
Now, why the hell is that kind of bike, 17 years on, not available with a rigid fork at decent prices, for people who just want a "normal bicycle"?
Surely they can be manufactured and shipped for under £200, so why must newbies put up with 20Kg pieces of censored ?


(I've put this here, because the CC is obviously the right place to rant about this stuff, and has the highest intelligence posters within a 3 foot radius)
«13

Posts

  • VWsurfbumVWsurfbum Posts: 7,959
    what pikey's ride bikes?
    Kazza the Tranny
    Now for sale Fatty
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,305
    Carrera subway is the closest "budget" bike I can think of.

    Now censored off victor meldrew.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Carrera subway is the closest "budget" bike I can think of.
    But that's allegedly a £400 bike.
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,305
    Probably 'worth' closer to £300, and I assume you picked your £200 budget out of thin air.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,305
    That said, decathlon can build the triban3 road bike for £300, which shows what can be done on a budget.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • schmakoschmako Posts: 1,982
    I got the subway ltd for 200 (reduced from 300, it says it was 400 online for some reason) its a nice rigid (oo err). Can pedal it out a little easy on the road though, with some other tires i'm sure it would be fine for some light off road. Can keep up with unfit roadies no bother too. Perfect for leaving outside shops/pubs etc and not being too worried about either (locked obviously).

    But yeah a very good bike for 200!
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    I assume you picked your £200 budget out of thin air.
    Well, yeah, based on what I'd expect a bike that was £450 in 1995, would be worth now.
  • ClankClank Posts: 2,323
    What the hell happened to "normal" bicycles?

    We changed.

    .........problem was, the f****n' world changed with us!

    I'm thinking the closest now to a 'normal' bike is likely the hybrid, and how many folk around here don't 'get' them? How many times do read from someone that they can't see the point in a bike that actually does a number of things quite well.

    Here's a question - define 'normal'. 'Cos it's not a word that often applies 'round here! :lol:

    I need more caffeine.....
    How would I write my own epitaph? With a crayon - I'm not allowed anything I can sharpen to a sustainable point.

    Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are worth exactly what you paid for them.
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Clank wrote:
    I'm thinking the closest now to a 'normal' bike is likely the hybrid, and how many folk around here don't 'get' them? How many times do read from someone that they can't see the point in a bike that actually does a number of things quite well.
    like, say, (cough)Nicklouse?
    Clank wrote:
    Here's a question - define 'normal'. 'Cos it's not a word that often applies 'round here! :lol:
    Well, my mate's definition seems quite fitting. He doesn't need or want a mountain bike, and he doesn't want or need a "racer". If you take those two as extreme ends of a spectrum, then I guess "normal" would indeed be a hybrid.
  • ClankClank Posts: 2,323
    like, say, (cough)Nicklouse?

    (cough cough) couldn't possibly say (cough cough)
    How would I write my own epitaph? With a crayon - I'm not allowed anything I can sharpen to a sustainable point.

    Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein are worth exactly what you paid for them.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    I believe we call them Dutch bikes and they are quite popular in Dutchland.
    Which is quite similar to Wales without the mountains and the Welsh.
    They speak funny anyway.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Truth is they just don't sell to the masses. The manufacturers need to put useless forks, cable discs and a silly paint job to shift to the average non forumite. Back in the 90s there wasn't much choice, that's the way they were for this money.

    Best bet is Decathlon's Rockrider 5.2: sell the fork on ebay, buy a nice Kona P2, or some Exotic job.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Anyway, here is a giraffe:

    2011-04-22-giraffe1.jpg
  • AlitogataAlitogata Posts: 148
    That said, decathlon can build the triban3 road bike for £300, which shows what can be done on a budget.

    And Decathlon can build this bike ( Triban 3) with better characteristics that my Trek Lexa has, and sell it in half of Lexa's price. This shows how greedy can manufactures be and why is not easy to find normal bikes on normal prices anymore.. ( they call them budget prices now :roll: ).
    Is not that there are no normal bikes out there, it is that bikes have become over hyped and over priced.. :(
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,676
    I would say the Voodoo Marasa would be close to a normal bike, OK it has hydro disc brakes but it has
    1/ 700c/29er rims for easier rolling
    2/ Flat bars
    3/ Wider tyres for comfort and multi surface useability
    4/ Rigid forks so no heavy clunky cheap 'suspension.

    Would be a bit better as a 'normal' bike with V-brakes I guess, but they are decent brakes and give better braking for commuters/pedal across parsk with a wet rim type of riding. I know 2 very pleased owners.

    I use my old 1997 rigid MTB as a hack, 1.5" slicks and kind of fits YHMcG normal bike description very well - and is pretty similar to a Subway!
  • GazlarGazlar Posts: 8,110
    Simple answer is Wolverhampton. You can get whatever kind of bike you like from my mate Dave in the pendulum pub.

    I suppose though as the years have gone on trickle down tech and all of that groupsets have improved and bike prices have gone up so its probably just as astonishing that you can still get the scaffold tube and unnecessary spring bikes for 70 quid. I'm trying to think of all those decent brands back then too, not the great brands, the ones that people went for and trusted such as Raleigh, Dawes, Diamondback, Muddy Fox, Claude Butler and Peugeot
    Mountain biking is like sex.......more fun when someone else is getting hurt
    Amy
    Farnsworth
    Zapp
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    You know, people always have fond memories of Muddy Fox, especially people who never had one, or don't actually remember them, but have heard of them.
    But I actually remember them as heavy pieces of censored .
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    Surely they can be manufactured and shipped for under £200, so why must newbies put up with 20Kg pieces of censored ?
    £200 is cutting it fine for a new bike. Too cheap imo.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Daz555 wrote:
    Surely they can be manufactured and shipped for under £200, so why must newbies put up with 20Kg pieces of censored ?
    £200 is cutting it fine for a new bike. Too cheap imo.
    Why? All those parts on my old bike, that the old man now rides, should be readily available at that price range by now.
  • Pesky JonesPesky Jones Posts: 2,986
    I'm just gunna say it - inflation.
    :D:lol::)cooldad :shock: :? :cry:
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    What, you reckon a bike is more expensive if it's got air in the tyres?
    Well, ok then, I'd happily pay less for a good bike, if I had to pump the tyres up myself.
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    Daz555 wrote:
    Surely they can be manufactured and shipped for under £200, so why must newbies put up with 20Kg pieces of censored ?
    £200 is cutting it fine for a new bike. Too cheap imo.
    Why? All those parts on my old bike, that the old man now rides, should be readily available at that price range by now.
    Basic inflation, cost of raw materials, cost of energy. They all matter.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • Pesky JonesPesky Jones Posts: 2,986
    What, you reckon a bike is more expensive if it's got air in the tyres?
    Well, ok then, I'd happily pay less for a good bike, if I had to pump the tyres up myself.

    Well played 8)
    :D:lol::)cooldad :shock: :? :cry:
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,305
    I reckon that any decent sized bike company could make a fixed fork, 9 speed MTB HT around the 11 to 12kg mark for 300 quid.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • FishFishFishFish Posts: 2,238
    You know, people always have fond memories of Muddy Fox, especially people who never had one, or don't actually remember them, but have heard of them.
    But I actually remember them as heavy pieces of censored .


    I've still got a muddy fox adventurere - vintage 1995 g ot t. Cost £115 - which was a lot then. Not heavy, not censored , not rotted through.
    ...take your pickelf on your holibobs.... :D

    jeez :roll:
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    What other 1995 bikes are you comparing it to? Stick it next to a mid nineties Kona, you wouldn't even believe the two bikes were intended for the same purpose.
    Muddyfox was already a dead brand by 1995.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    I had a circa 1987/8 Muddy Fox, now sadly skipped, and it rode much better than my same era Rockhopper. Which is probably why it's the one that died.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    A trifle muddy and with Giant forks but I did love it. Skinwall tyres naturally.

    4452273922_933d0cbeb7_z.jpg?zz=1
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • GazlarGazlar Posts: 8,110
    You know, people always have fond memories of Muddy Fox, especially people who never had one, or don't actually remember them, but have heard of them.
    But I actually remember them as heavy pieces of censored .

    I never had one, I just remember them being one of the brands people seemed to want
    Mountain biking is like sex.......more fun when someone else is getting hurt
    Amy
    Farnsworth
    Zapp
  • stubsstubs Posts: 5,258
    Vitus Vee 27 for £359 is probably the closest your going to get to your fantasy machine. Pretty decent for less than a weeks wages.

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=81001
    Fig rolls: proof that god loves cyclists and that she wants us to do another lap
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