Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 2 Jun 2014, 9:30am

Yes - the frame on my BSO (and I continue to believe that it was one) is OK.

It's fairly heavy, but not stupidly so, and has holes for pannier/rear mudguards etc. The level of components fitted was poor, although the controls were (and still are) OK.

Original components which remain:
Frame, Seatpost, Saddle
Bars, Controls (not stem though)
Rear V brake (new pads obviously)

So basically anything that's non moving (Frame/bars/seatpost/saddle), and a brake I rarely use (since I upgraded to a disc up front). But not anything that moves (including the moving parts joining the bars to the frame). The controls (brake levers and trigger shifters) are the exception to the rule: "if it moves it's been replaced"

It *was* a BSO - but not any more, it's now a cheap(ish) bike. It would probably have been cheaper to get a better bike to start with - but I was only tootling when I got it.

I commuted ~1 mile for 8 months, then 10 for 2 years before converting to a 'bent trike.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Ayesha
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Re: Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

Postby Ayesha » 2 Jun 2014, 9:34am

As I said, the VALUE of a bicycle is not its COST. It is the money it saves compared with the same distance commute by other modes of transport.
A £100 cheapo bike that needs £100 of attention immediately could recoup that outlay in less than a year.
Do your sums. Create a balance sheet and compare the costings.
Then decide IF the bicycle is worth the outlay.

It is ever so easy to state “That bike was a waste of money.” But exactly HOW MUCH money would have been spent driving, taking the bus, taking the train or underground during the bike’s life?

Pat Dwyer
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Re: Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

Postby Pat Dwyer » 2 Jun 2014, 10:03am

I believe there must be a cut-off price point above which any extra money spent can only be for the name, the image, or the pretensions of the establishment selling it. One thing I did notice on my first visit to Formby Cycles, an imposing newish all-glass building just off the Formby bypass, once I'd recovered my equanimity after seeing a bicycle priced at £2,000, then one at £3,000, then one at £4,000, was that all these machines were the same colour - a sort of dark grey. Now I don't know about you, but I'd expect a decent paint job (and, indeed, a choice of colours) for that price. I suppose the cognoscenti will inform me that that's the colour of carbon fibre in its natural state, and a sign of the highest quality. Alors, c'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas moi, comme on dit. As for name and image, I've also slightly fallen for the notion that Italian bicycles have a certain flair and desirability. Recently, I learn that, even though the frame transfer says Made in Italy, many of these bicycles are actually built in Taiwan. Apparently, the Italian equivalent of our Trades Descriptions Act allows you to claim something was made in Italy, provided a certain amount of the actual assembly was carried out in Italy. Probably the amount required to assemble a bike shipped as parts. Don't get me wrong. I'm sure the Taiwanese produce bicycles to compare with any mass-produced ones in the world, and probably at a much more attractive price. But they're not Italian, and shouldn't be sold as such.

Bicycler
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Re: Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

Postby Bicycler » 2 Jun 2014, 10:28am

Ayesha wrote:It is ever so easy to state “That bike was a waste of money.” But exactly HOW MUCH money would have been spent driving, taking the bus, taking the train or underground during the bike’s life?

Agreed, but there's also the question of whether the total cost of the bike after paying for replacement of broken inadequate bits is more than simply buying a better bike in the first place. The cost of bikes can be compared with other bikes as well as cars or public transport

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 2 Jun 2014, 11:07am

Bicycler wrote:
Ayesha wrote:It is ever so easy to state “That bike was a waste of money.” But exactly HOW MUCH money would have been spent driving, taking the bus, taking the train or underground during the bike’s life?

Agreed, but there's also the question of whether the total cost of the bike after paying for replacement of broken inadequate bits is more than simply buying a better bike in the first place. The cost of bikes can be compared with other bikes as well as cars or public transport

[XAP]Bob wrote:... It would probably have been cheaper to get a better bike to start with - but I was only tootling when I got it.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

BE1
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Re: Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

Postby BE1 » 2 Jun 2014, 11:39am

Bicycler wrote:The only reason I brought up that thread was the suggestion that a £400 bike was a BSO. I don't believe that for a second, but I am interested to know what makes a bike a BSO



If I recall that thread correctly it generated considerably more heat than light :roll:

Bicycler
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Re: Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

Postby Bicycler » 2 Jun 2014, 12:01pm

Sorry Bob missed that, no plagiarism intended.
BE1 wrote:
Bicycler wrote:The only reason I brought up that thread was the suggestion that a £400 bike was a BSO. I don't believe that for a second, but I am interested to know what makes a bike a BSO


If I recall that thread correctly it generated considerably more heat than light :roll:

Agreed. I just thought it was an extreme example of a general trend whereby a term which originated as a description of unfit bikes has become a term used by some to criticise all cheap bikes

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 2 Jun 2014, 6:04pm

plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery ;)

It's not exactly a new idea though...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

mrjemm
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Re: Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

Postby mrjemm » 3 Jun 2014, 4:25am

Was just looking at 3 BSOs.

I don't think you could call them anything else... Been left outside on a ship as it came around from the other side of the planet. Actually, I suspect it's been a fair bit longer than that, and grips and such missing. They am in a vay bad way. :( Most of the parts beyond salvage sadly.

I must confess that I have been known to use the expression at times regarding supermarket type bikes, but realise that what we could easily sneer at here, in many parts of the world are used as daily transport quite happily. Many places I have been and seen, even rented, bikes that would've been consigned to the skip back here. No way they wouldn't be considered a bike in those places, so it's only our 'wealth' that changes that, I suppose.

Drake
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Re: Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

Postby Drake » 3 Jun 2014, 4:57am

mrjemm wrote:Was just looking at 3 BSOs.

I don't think you could call them anything else... Been left outside on a ship as it came around from the other side of the planet. Actually, I suspect it's been a fair bit longer than that, and grips and such missing. They am in a vay bad way. :( Most of the parts beyond salvage sadly.

I must confess that I have been known to use the expression at times regarding supermarket type bikes, but realise that what we could easily sneer at here, in many parts of the world are used as daily transport quite happily. Many places I have been and seen, even rented, bikes that would've been consigned to the skip back here. No way they wouldn't be considered a bike in those places, so it's only our 'wealth' that changes that, I suppose.

You couldn't have put it better. I've never liked the term BSO. Personally there are bad, good and excellent bikes out there. I can't see how a bike can be called a BSO jusr because an idiotic human has assembled it incorrectly.

Bicycler
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Re: Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

Postby Bicycler » 3 Jun 2014, 5:12am

Seems you can't give them to Africa!
http://www.re-cycle.org
The kind of bikes we don't want, thanks:
•BSO (Bicycle Shaped Objects) = very cheap bikes, with bad quality components. Eg. if it was under £150 new. We're not being snobs, just don't want to send poor quality bikes out, or dispose of them in the UK.

In my very limited experience of bikes from countries where they are daily transport for the masses they tend to favour cheap yet solidly built (heavy) with an emphasis on ruggedness. I'm not so sure how cheap such bikes would be if they were imported to the UK, but I bet quite a bit more than some of the current supermarket deals. Give me such a bike over the £79.99 full suspension jobbie with 18 gears any day.

I keep seeing a bloke round here on a cheap roadster he brought back from india. Better than a BSO

mrjemm
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Re: Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

Postby mrjemm » 3 Jun 2014, 6:13am

Perhaps 'spoiled' by being sent Kona Africabikes-

http://road.cc/content/review/4027-kona-africabike-3

http://2k13.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?cont ... bike_three

Yup, rather that myself. Perhaps the cost of shipping bikes is high, and if bikes need more money spending on them, it becomes prohibitive. I dunno.

Vorpal
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Re: Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

Postby Vorpal » 3 Jun 2014, 8:42am

Bicycler wrote:In my very limited experience of bikes from countries where they are daily transport for the masses they tend to favour cheap yet solidly built (heavy) with an emphasis on ruggedness. I'm not so sure how cheap such bikes would be if they were imported to the UK, but I bet quite a bit more than some of the current supermarket deals. Give me such a bike over the £79.99 full suspension jobbie with 18 gears any day.

I keep seeing a bloke round here on a cheap roadster he brought back from india. Better than a BSO

Bikes that I see available in Norway and Denmark for under 1000 crowns (approx. £100) tend to go for basic, rather than cheap. They will be made of lower quality and heavier tubing than a more expensive bike. They have only 3 or 5 gears with thumb levers, and centre pull caliper brakes. They will have low end Shimano hubs and inexpensive (sometimes even steel) rims. That with mudguards, rack or basket, sprung saddle and flat or north road style handle bars is enough for most people to do the shopping or ride to the station. A similar amount of money can get a hybrid/MTB bike with flat handle bars, fat tyres on low end rims and hubs, and no suspension, plus an older style basic Shimano 8 speed tansmission.

They seem to be pretty good quality, and make up about the third of the bike population on the stands at work. I also see hundreds of them turning up in the parks and beaches at the weekend in nice weather, also pulling trailers, or carrying child seats.

It is even possible to get cargo bikes and childback tandems made of this sort of construction, and people use them to take their kids to school and childcare, days out on the weekend, etc.

They aren't really suited to 70 mile rides, but they don't need to be. They are used for a few miles at a time in daily use.
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JohnW
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Re: Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

Postby JohnW » 3 Jun 2014, 11:13am

Bicycler wrote:You have to remember who is buying very cheap bikes. Often people buying them will have no experience with adjusting, fixing and replacing bits of bicycles. That may be good for Halfords who get to charge for the repair of the shoddy bike but it could quickly put new cyclists off as they find their new transport unreliable and more expensive than they anticipated
...............................that is so very, very true! :(

Ayesha
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Re: Where is the line between a BSO and a cheap proper bike?

Postby Ayesha » 4 Jun 2014, 8:02am

I’ve been back through my diaries and totted up the cost of my cheapo commute MTB.
Initial cost, £200.
Immediate retrofit parts, £139.
Spare tyres and tubes, £63
Spare brake pads, £18
Replacement chain and Cassette x 2 , £80

Four years service at a saving of £15 per working week ( 46 per annum ) = £2760

Should I have bought a £400 MTB and spent the same on the mudguards, bar ends, lamps etc? I don’t think I needed to. That would have been a £200 spend for no return.