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Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 27 2017 10:44pm
by slacker
Chalo said My point is that starting folks on unfixable bikes helps train them to be insensitive to malfunctioning machines for the rest of their lives. You won't learn to seek "proper operating condition" if there's no such thing with the stuff you own. I suspect that's where slacker is coming from. Please tell me what is proper operating condition ?

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 28 2017 1:56am
by Chalo
slacker wrote:
Dec 27 2017 10:44pm
Please tell me what is proper operating condition ?
Shifts promptly when you click the shift lever, stops hard and quietly when you pull the brakes hard, doesn't rattle or bind or have side play or consume its own bearings. Wheels run true and round and stay that way. Brakes don't rub, cables don't stick, and bearings don't drag. Seatpost, handlebars, and stem stay put in correct alignment.

In short, all the things that BSOs can't do as furnished, and can't do for very long even if you fix them.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 28 2017 3:53am
by MadRhino
One of the kids working for me is commuting with a rattling crap bike. It’s been years and I still have a smile when I see (and hear) him going. He does fix it himself when it does fail, always have a problem or another, never fixed properly. Of course, he doesn’t ride fast and says it is OK for his need. Yet I can see him going down the hill from our work place, most of the time without any safe braking nor handling. I always think he might not make it to the next day of work. He did have a few accidents and missed some work for bike failure. Last time he broke a clavicle when his front wheel tacoed in a pothole. Some never learn.

I gave him a good bike last year, that he doesn’t ride yet because he finds it too complicated to rebuild the DH racing suspension. He said he could buy a whole new bike cheaper than the 350$ that bikes shops are asking to rebuild its fork and shock. I said yes, one could buy a whole new car for the cost of rebuilding the brakes on a Ferrari, but he’d still feel like he has no brakes.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 28 2017 8:51am
by slacker
Shifts promptly when you click the shift lever, stops hard and quietly when you pull the brakes hard, doesn't rattle or bind or have side play or consume its own bearings. Wheels run true and round and stay that way. Brakes don't rub, cables don't stick, and bearings don't drag. Seatpost, handlebars, and stem stay put in correct alignment. as quoted by chalo. funny but these are all the things my 150.00$ bike has been doing since i bought it 4 years ago. and yes it gets ridden daily. guess i got lucky.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 28 2017 10:33pm
by Chalo
I suspect you accommodated to your childhood BSO, and that's as well as you think things need to run.

I work on these things almost every day, sometimes several times in a day. You can't fool me about how well they work. Or, more precisely, don't work.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 29 2017 12:04am
by DAND214
I would be more concerned with the mid-drive. It being a Sondors brand or a name brand. As long as the buyer doesn't expect beat the hell out of it, it might just work.

Biggest concern as I said would be the drive and the battery. Will there be spare parts available?

Chalo has many good points and Slacker has his. I too have a few low cost bikes but they are old Mongoose. 20-25 years old and they are doing fine. Wife has a Raleigh with a BMC V-1. It has performed fine for at least10 years. My Goose are doing fine with more power and ridden almost daily in the nice weather. No component failure. I did snap the Aluminum swing arm 5 years ago. Built one out of 4130 Chromoly. So you can buy good stuff or not, it's your choice.

Slacker if you want to quote a post, click the right box on the top of the post. It does the work for you.

Dan

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 29 2017 10:07am
by slacker
DAND214 wrote:
Dec 29 2017 12:04am
I would be more concerned with the mid-drive. It being a Sondors brand or a name brand. As long as the buyer doesn't expect beat the hell out of it, it might just work.

Biggest concern as I said would be the drive and the battery. Will there be spare parts available?

Chalo has many good points and Slacker has his. I too have a few low cost bikes but they are old Mongoose. 20-25 years old and they are doing fine. Wife has a Raleigh with a BMC V-1. It has performed fine for at least10 years. My Goose are doing fine with more power and ridden almost daily in the nice weather. No component failure. I did snap the Aluminum swing arm 5 years ago. Built one out of 4130 Chromoly. So you can buy good stuff or not, it's your choice.

Slacker if you want to quote a post, click the right box on the top of the post. It does the work for you.

Dan
thanks dan, as pertaining to chalo as i also ride a catrike expedition and brompton i know how expensive bikes work. I am thru reasoning with you. you have your opinion and i have mine. Just because you work in a bike shop does not mean you are right. I have fixed many of you so-called bike mechanics so called repairs and/or adjustments. Good day.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 29 2017 11:42am
by MadRhino
Different people, different point of view. Different rides, different requirements.

Some do relate price of things to quality. While it is a common scale, it is very subjective. First, price has different meanings for different users, and second: So many things are way overpriced in this world. Much more common that they are overpriced than underpriced of course.

Bikes are made to a wide selection of specs and performance requirements, with each of them matching someone’s needs.

One may find a Brompton a fair priced bike that matches all of his requirements. Another will see it as overpriced for a little folder that has only average components. Then another will find it too cheap to even look at the list of components.

Each of them is right, according to where they ride, their riding style and the budget that they have. Some can’t afford quality. Some don’t know better. Some can't afford to be cheap.

Back to topic: A FS bike with disc brakes can’t be made sound for 1000$, let alone motorized. It is simple logic, for even a sub-spec frame built with entry level components at manufacturer’s cost, would make it twice as much before assembly and profit. Those who believe it is possible... go buy it, you won’t be alone.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 29 2017 9:24pm
by wturber
Chalo wrote:
Dec 28 2017 1:56am
slacker wrote:
Dec 27 2017 10:44pm
Please tell me what is proper operating condition ?
Shifts promptly when you click the shift lever, stops hard and quietly when you pull the brakes hard, doesn't rattle or bind or have side play or consume its own bearings. Wheels run true and round and stay that way. Brakes don't rub, cables don't stick, and bearings don't drag. Seatpost, handlebars, and stem stay put in correct alignment.

In short, all the things that BSOs can't do as furnished, and can't do for very long even if you fix them.
Click the shift lever? Does that mean that all bikes before index shifting were BSOs?

While I guess its possible for a cheap bike to train a rider to have low expectations, my personal experience was that my cheap 1972 or so Sears Free Spirit 10 speed had the opposite effect. Why? Because it was superior to my Schwinn Typhoon when riding more than a few miles from home. That overweight department store bike played a large part in laying the foundation for my love of cycling and eventually led me to my (non-index shifting) Trek 1400 that I still ride today (and may electrify). For all its flaws and shortcomings, it was not a bicycle shaped object. It was real bicycle that I rode for thousands of miles.

[Note: Mine was the least expensive one of the three bikes pictured. I drilled out one side of the pedals and installed metal toe clips with leather straps.]
Image

Chalo makes good points about the positive aspects of encouraging people to look for higher quality components - something I generally encourage people to do when buying a bike. But in the end, he just goes too far with his exaggerations. While there are certainly times when that cheap department store bike is a bad purchase, there are also times when it is not.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 29 2017 9:30pm
by markz

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 30 2017 12:52pm
by wturber
markz wrote:
Dec 29 2017 9:30pm
Is that 1979?
http://www.in2013dollars.com/1979-dolla ... amount=100

wturber wrote:
Dec 29 2017 9:24pm
Image
I'm pretty sure the ad is from a 1973 catalog. I think I got my Free Spirit bike for my birthday at the end of 7th grade which would have been about 1972 I think (this, unfortunately was also the same time period when the "Free Spirit" bra was being widely advertised on TV). It was actually too large for me, but I did grow into fitting it better fairly soon. The only thing I see different in the ad from my bike is that the reflectors seem to be mounted differently. Otherwise, it appears identical to what I had - namely, a mild steel welded frame, one piece ashtabula crank, Dia-Compe center pull brakes, I think it had a Suntour derailer in the rear and steel 27" rims. I think every metal part was steel on the bike except the brakes and brake levers. This bike was meant to compete against the very popular Schwinn Varsity 10 speed that was ubiquitous in our neighborhood at the time. While not really cheap at the time (equivalent $400 or more in today's dollars), it was nonetheless an assemblage of mediocre parts by today's standards. I just looked up the specs on a cheap "road bike" available at Walmart. They have a 22.5" GMC Denali (by Kent) for $170. It still weighs in at a rather heavy 29 or so pounds for a "true" road bike. The components are certainly cheap. But it looks superior to my old Free Spirit in just about every way. Aluminum frame, alloy wheels and hubs, cheap Shimano (21 speed) index gears. I'm pretty sure that this is what Chalo would call a BSO, but it is surely an overall better bike than my Free Spirit ever was.

Trivia note: Sears supplied the bicycles for some of the '70 Superstars Competions that pitted athletes from various disciplines against each other in a multi-sport competition.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 30 2017 1:23pm
by LewTwo
You have good memory. I think I got my first 'full size' bike around 1963 . It was a used 3 speed 'English Racer' that I found in the B'ham Post want adds for $15 (from mowing lawns). About all I can remember is that none of the wrenches (except for the crescent wrench) in my father's tool box fit any of the fasteners.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 30 2017 3:19pm
by markz
Never been a fan of road bicycles myself, nor hybrids.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 30 2017 3:28pm
by DAND214
markz wrote:
Dec 30 2017 3:19pm
Never been a fan of road bicycles myself, nor hybrids.
Those skinny tires scare me, with the rotten roads we have here.

Dan

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 30 2017 3:50pm
by markz
With the fresh pow we got today, riding is hard on the road the front tire slides out and mine is studded. This is the only time when a fat bike is required.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 31 2017 12:28am
by PRW
wturber wrote:
Dec 30 2017 12:52pm
(this, unfortunately was also the same time period when the "Free Spirit" bra was being widely advertised on TV). It was actually too large for me, but I did grow into fitting it better fairly soon
Got to be careful what you write... 😀

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 31 2017 2:18am
by Chalo
wturber wrote:
Dec 29 2017 9:24pm
Chalo makes good points about the positive aspects of encouraging people to look for higher quality components - something I generally encourage people to do when buying a bike. But in the end, he just goes too far with his exaggerations.
In my shop, I have the reputation of using cheap parts that none of the other mechanics will touch for their own bikes. I like cheap stuff, but it has to work. That's where BSOs fail.

I've serviced far more Free Spirits that I can recall, and while they are undoubtedly BSOs, they have the virtues of their time period. They're made of decent steel, and were originally assembled by people who sort of cared if they worked. That's why they are still around. When carefully serviced, they still don't shift worth a damn and definitely don't brake work a damn. They weigh too much and they're shaky. The wheels are lumpy and can't really be made true and round. But they roll freely and last a long time.

By comparison, today's Wally World type BSOs use soft steel for bearings, drilled holes for bushings, stamped sheet metal and plastic instead of forged steel, and are assembled by slaves who are more concerned about their rations than about whether the bike works (as they should be). By the time the bikes come into the bike shop with a show-stopping problem, there usually isn't enough left of them to bother fixing everything that needs to be fixed. I deal with the show stopper and caution the owner not to spend real money repairing the bike, because to do it right would cost more than the bike is worth.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 31 2017 2:23am
by Chalo
markz wrote:
Dec 30 2017 3:50pm
With the fresh pow we got today, riding is hard on the road the front tire slides out and mine is studded. This is the only time when a fat bike is required.
My former coworker who moved to Anchorage says that fatbikes work in a narrow range of snow conditions. Deep powder has them bogging down like any other bike, but hard packed snow and icy surfaces make them slide around. They work best on lightly packed snow trails, like those established by snowmobiles.

I can't corroborate what he says, because I'll go to great lengths to avoid conditions like that.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 31 2017 5:39am
by DRMousseau
Many BSO's were at one time a good value for one's dollar. Wasn't long when I found it necessary to fully dissemble later BSO's to ensure a tad better quality in assembly, where costs were being first cut. Today,..... most BSO's are "disposable", and barely outlast the cheap tires they're originally equipped with!!! Unless I replace most of the bearings, cables, tires and other components, they likely won't last long even with close attention. The "big box" finds better profits in quantity sales over time than a quality sale, for which you might not return for some time. Kinda tough to find a good value BSO anymore. I feel the "big box" has ruined many a quality name, by insisting on a cheaper product they can sell "for less", after all, no wants to spend too much on a bike that won't last a year or two. UGH!

If a thousand dollar e-bike can last the life of it's batteries, maybe a couple years or so with little attention or maintenance, then most of today's "disposable" generation would feel it to be a "good value".

Recently noticed Sondors entry into the auto(?) market,.... I think? A $10,000 3-wheel 2-door 3-passenger E-model that offers a cheap and affordable alternative to currently offered full-size electric vehicles. No doubt hoping for the same success Volkswagen had enjoyed in the 60's.

https://www.sondorselectriccar.com/

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 31 2017 6:47am
by LewTwo
DRMousseau wrote:
Dec 31 2017 5:39am
Recently noticed Sondors entry into the auto(?) market,.... I think? A $10,000 3-wheel 2-door 3-passenger E-model that offers a cheap and affordable alternative to currently offered full-size electric vehicles. No doubt hoping for the same success Volkswagen had enjoyed in the 60's.
The People's Car did not have to accomodate a multitude of safety, liability and reliability standards. I am not saying those are bad things but they ain't free either.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 31 2017 7:54am
by docw009
wturber wrote:
Dec 29 2017 9:24pm
Image

Thanks for the ad. I forgot what they cost. In 1973, I bought a Free Spirit at Sears so I could ask my new GF to go bike riding. The sub was scrapped right after the pic was taken. I had the bike for three years. The gal is still with me.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 31 2017 1:37pm
by wturber
PRW wrote:
Dec 31 2017 12:28am
wturber wrote:
Dec 30 2017 12:52pm
(this, unfortunately was also the same time period when the "Free Spirit" bra was being widely advertised on TV). It was actually too large for me, but I did grow into fitting it better fairly soon
Got to be careful what you write... 😀
Funny. :^)

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 31 2017 1:43pm
by wturber
LewTwo wrote:
Dec 30 2017 1:23pm
You have good memory. I think I got my first 'full size' bike around 1963 . It was a used 3 speed 'English Racer' that I found in the B'ham Post want adds for $15 (from mowing lawns). About all I can remember is that none of the wrenches (except for the crescent wrench) in my father's tool box fit any of the fasteners.
I have an average memory. It was just that getting a 10-speed was really important to me at the time.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 31 2017 2:42pm
by wturber
Chalo wrote:
Dec 31 2017 2:18am
wturber wrote:
Dec 29 2017 9:24pm
Chalo makes good points about the positive aspects of encouraging people to look for higher quality components - something I generally encourage people to do when buying a bike. But in the end, he just goes too far with his exaggerations.
In my shop, I have the reputation of using cheap parts that none of the other mechanics will touch for their own bikes. I like cheap stuff, but it has to work. That's where BSOs fail.
Yep. Me too. Though sometimes it is hard to find a clear line between value and false economy.
Chalo wrote:
Dec 31 2017 2:18am

I've serviced far more Free Spirits that I can recall, and while they are undoubtedly BSOs, they have the virtues of their time period.
<snip>
I don't think anybody bought department store 10-speeds with longevity in mind. The goal was to get through 2-4 years of grade school and high school. You typically got one in late grade school, and maybe rode it until you were 16 and got a driver's license. I was the exception, riding mine until it was stolen when I was nearly 18. By then, I'd replaced the real wheel that was stolen and had repainted the bike frame because the paint had chipped horribly.

I'll take your word that today's department store bikes don't last as long as the Free Spirit does. But so what? Today's bikes cost half as much in real dollars, do more, and will probably last long enough (2-4 years) to serve their intended purposes. If not, buy another and you are still break even with the cost of a Free Spirit ... and you'll probably have better sizing if the bike is for a kid. My Free Spirit was too large when I was 13 and a tad too small when I was 17.

At the time, I was well aware of the differences between my Free Spirit and a "real" bike. I lusted after the Motobecan Jubilee that I saw at the local bike shop. But the Free Spirit didn't lower my expectations. It just taught me that I should buy something better for my next bike.

Re: a storm is brewing on the mountain

Posted: Dec 31 2017 8:25pm
by wturber
docw009 wrote:
Dec 31 2017 7:54am


Thanks for the ad. I forgot what they cost. In 1973, I bought a Free Spirit at Sears so I could ask my new GF to go bike riding. The sub was scrapped right after the pic was taken. I had the bike for three years. The gal is still with me.
:) My gal is no bike fan and we met long after my Free Spirit had been spirited away, but before I bought my Trek 1400 around 1990.