Hall of Shame

On this page we will publish details of badly assembled bicycles. If you would like to make a submission to the Hall of Shame leave a comment at the bottom of this page or make contact here

Tesco Vertigo Mountain Bike

Thanks to Dan for submitting these photos after visiting his local Tesco store. The first photo shows that the front wheel has been fitted incorrectly, with the disc brake rotor on the wrong side to the brake caliper meaning the front brake will not work. The second photo shows that the handlebars have been fitted incorrectly and as a result the brake levers are at a dangerous angle and will make stopping very difficult. You definitely won’t want to be riding anywhere downhill on this bike!

Tesco mountain bike with front wheel fitted incorrectly

Front wheel fitted incorrectly meaning front brake will not work

Handlebars on this Tesco bike fitted incorrectly with brake levers in the wrong place to use properly

Handlebars set-up incorrectly meaning the brake levers are at the wrong angle to use properly

Argos Christmas 2011 TV advert

Argos decided to make the classic mistake of fitting the front forks the wrong way on prime time TV. A costly ovesight. At least its on £5.95 for delivery so you can use the cash you’ve saved to get a proper mechanic to set-up the bike.

Argos bike with front forks fitted incorrectly (courtesy of BikeBiz)

Doh!

My brakes don’t work properly

This isn’t strictly a Bicycle Shaped Object image but its definitely shameful. More on a stupidity level than anything else. The bike below was brought into a bike shop by a customer who said the brakes were not working properly and could the mechanic take a look to see what the problem might be…

My brakes don't work...

The mind is a dangerous place

Toys R Us – Breeze Mountain Bike

Paul sent us this one, which he actually saw published in an advert in The Sun newspaper. Fortunately Toys R Us have also been helpful enough to display it on their website.  Its called the Breeze but riding it will be far from a breeze with those front forks facing the wrong way.

Toys R Us - Breeze MTB

Its called the Breeze but I bet it won't be one riding it

Sports Direct, Milton Keynes – Dunlop “Cold Fusion” Ladies MTB

Thanks to Ian Harper for this one.  Forks on backwards but its ok because this is a “mega deal” at £89.99! Great example of a strong brand licensing its name to any product without really considering the end result.

SportsDirect_frontforkbackwards_MiltonKeynes

Another one from Asda!

Thanks to William Parsons who submitted the photo below, taken at an Asda store in Manchester on Saturday 15th August. Forks on backwards again!

After the embarrassment of pulling a national TV advert because the front forks of the bike shown were facing backwards Asda should (could) have made sure every store was checked to ensure no other bikes had been incorrectly set-up.

The notice on the bike reads: “Please do not touch display”. It should be added with: “…because this bike is dangerous.”

Photo of Asda ladies MTB with forks facing backwards at Manchester store Aug 09

Photo of Asda ladies MTB with forks facing backwards at Manchester store Aug 09

Montana Mohawk MTB

This is a brilliant example of simple poor quality and set-up, and not a backwards facing fork in sight!

Jamie from Revel Outdoors has been in touch to tell us about this bike which was recently brought into his shop.  We don’t know where the bike was purchased but a quick Google search showed it is on sales for between £110 – £125.  The cost to properly set-up the bike and replace parts was £80.

The forks are facing the right way but don't let that fool you...

The forks are facing the right way but don't let that fool you...

As a pleasant change this bike does in fact have its front forks facing the right way, however it’s not totally without its problems as Jamie discovered:

Handlebars and controls:

The controls were all over the place, mainly because they were all loose. These controls should have been tightened up before the bike was sent to the customer – it’s possible they were, but the quality of the fasteners was so poor that they may have become loose in transit.  Twisting the right hand grip shifter resulted in the whole unit twisting, rather than any change in gears.

Front wheel:

The front wheel was not aligned correctly, causing the brake arm to contact with the edge of the tyre. The forks had holes above the axle and an alignment washer, which clearly the customer had not understood. Whether the alignment washer is actually to align the wheel or act as a safety mechanism to keep the wheel in should the nut come loose, is unclear. The fact that the customer cannot simply put the wheel straight into the forks and have it line up straight is a clear indication of the poor quality of the fork dropouts. 

Front brake:

The front brake was lent over to the side. When applying the brakes, the brake arm came into contact with the tyre. Even with the brakes set up correctly, this was still a concern, particularly as the customer may fit wider tyres later on. Notice also how small the gap is between the calliper and end of the cable housing – too small to accommodate the rubber cover!

Brake lever:

Even with the brakes set up as close to the wheel as possible, it was still easy to pull the brake lever against the handlebar, because of the poor quality of the plastic levers.

Gears:

The front derailleur was far too high above the chainset – the gears wouldn’t change at all. Again, this should have been set up before the bike was sent to the customer. The left hand shifter turned freely anyway, without having any effect on the gears. Once the derailleur was lowered to the correct position, it was clear that it still wasn’t going to work as it was badly bent and didn’t line up with the chainset. The bracket holding it on was too bent to fix so it had to be replaced.

Even after replacing the derailleur, the gears still wouldn’t shift for two reasons:

  1. The outer cables used for the gears were actually brake cables which do not work for indexing
  2. The poor quality of the shifters and awful cable routing meant that too much force was required to change gears

Boardman MTB from Halfords

Paul from Ellis Briggs Cycles in Shipley, West Yorkshire sent me the photo below of a Boardman brand mountain bike purchased from Halfords.  In case you’ve missed it under all that mud the front forks are facing backwards.

Photo of Boardman mountain bike with forks facing backwards

Photo of Boardman mountain bike with forks facing backwards

What is scary to me about this is the fact that this bicycle has clearly seen quite a bit of riding and much of it off-road.  I guess the rider was lucky to get it to a professional cycle mechanic before an accident occured.

Here’s what Paul had to say:

“The customer said it was Halfords that had built it like that.  People are so blasé about it.  When you tell them their bike is dangerous and they should send it back or complain, they are just not bothered.  “Its just a bike” they say and don’t beleive that its dangerous.  Even when they can pull their brake levers right back to the bars they still don’t bother.  I find it really incredible.  To be honest it makes you think that somebody would need to get killed before people realised anything was wrong.

And people’s perception about our skills is low really.  They certainly don’t think that a bicycle takes any skill to work on.  Afterall its “just a bike”.  I think we’ve sold ourselves short for too many years.”

“Star Wars Clones” 16inch child’s bike from Argos

One sharp eyed reader sent us the photo below from the Argos website, which shows a child’s bike with forks facing backwards. You can see the photo here as well

Argos_kidsbike_forksbackwards

Another bike from Argos

Steve from Cycling On sent us the following:

For your collection Mark…. Had a wheel in of an Argos bike, at least that is where I was told it came from. A local Autistic school had bought a number of them and a teacher took one for a ride around the car park whereupon the front wheel all but folded.

Silverfox MTB

This photo of a Silverfox MTB was submitted by Jamie from Revel Outdoors cycle shop.

Jamie also noted: “There was something bizarrely wrong with the front wheel – even though the disc was bolted on firmly, it rotated freely on the hub, like the hub had sheared in the middle and was in two parts – so no front brake at all.”

Silverfox(forksbackwards)revel

Dunlop Bikes

A bike shop owner sent us the following:

I have just been preparing three “Dunlop” bikes which were bought by a family who didn’t know how to set them up. They admit they were cheap bikes, but a bigger load of rubbish you’ve never seen. A photograph doesn’t show the true scale of the problem.

The repair list is as follows.

  • Straighten front wheel (x3)
  • Front forks wrong way round (1)
  • Handlebars too high – about 1″ above limit mark (1)
  • Front gear mechanism too high (1)
  • Rear wheel cones loose (1)
  • Brake levers incorrectly positioned (2)
  • Straighten rear wheel (1)
  • Reposition Front reflector (3)
  • Repostion Rear reflector (3)
  • Repositon Bell (3)
  • Adjust F & R brakes (2)
  • Wheel nuts fitted wrong way round (1)
  • Tighten headset – forks loose (2)
  • Tighten pedals (3)
  • Straighten rear frame dropout (1)
  • Adjust rear gears (3) (one impossible to get to work even after 90 mins)

Asda MTB

Through the wonders of Twitter I found the image below.

In case you haven’t spotted it the front forks are facing backwards, making the bike dangerous because the brakes and steering will not work correctly. In case you cannot see the image below you can view it here

Another bike with forks backwards

Another bike with forks backwards

45 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Helen Wood  |  August 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    If I was buying a new car, whether it was a cheap one or an expensive one I would expect it to be safe to drive away from the garage. The same should apply to bikes. Whether you choose one that wears out quickly or one that weathers a little better is your own choice depending on your circumstances BUT leaving a shop they should always be safe. My inlaws bought my son a bike from Toys r Us for Christmas (without us knowing) and the front brake didn’t engage at all. We’re buying him a proper bike this year from a proper bike shop!

    Reply
  • 2. Bici Love  |  April 8, 2013 at 2:02 am

    I saw a bike in a store in Canada on the westcoast. My husband laughed at how it was assembled. No picture but will remember for next time

    Reply
  • 3. deKay  |  March 26, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    I’ve said this a lot in a lot of places – don’t buy an Apollo Highway. A guy I know who used to work in Halfords assembling them said they come in at £35 and sell for £200-£250. Really cheap. Mine didn’t even last a year before it needed new chain, brakes and hub.

    I still have it as a bad weather bike, but it’s a horrible, nasty thing.

    Have a nice Giant Rapid now as my main bike.

    Reply
  • 4. steelmechsofwar  |  March 16, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    I own a silverfox primate had it for a while there are some areas of concern! For a major issue for this bike is the rear wheel which is a common issue I myself and my brother Inlaw have encountered it where the bolts which hold in the bearings come lose very often and in my case very quick and sudden resulting in the inner hub well (where the bearings are housed) grounded and wore away but another things is the first tapered bolt holding the washer which holds the bearings either fail an in my case expanded and wore away, I mean I’m furious over it

    Reply
  • 5. laura  |  January 15, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I am training as a cycle mechanic at a bike shop in east london and as part of my training i’m required to assemble bso’s out of the box. Most of these i’ve worked on have come damaged in transit with crushed seattubes bent dropouts and the like. A bmx-styled bso i once worked on had a hole in the frame where the headtube and toptube are welded, the fork stanchions were welded at different heights to the steerer tube and it had cheap plastic wheels with rims that flexed outwards when i pumped the tyres. It was brought in by a ustomer who bought it for their son out of a catalogue for £80

    Reply
  • 6. Steve Robson  |  October 15, 2012 at 1:02 am

    I noted many departent store bikes assembled poorly. I saw one at the local hareware store his year with backwards forks. I asked if I could fix this problem. It just bothered me that much. The store is in a very small town. The bike still needed a number of fine tuned items like gears and brakes to make it safe. I asked about doing work tuning bikes up but they do not do this. The shame is that the when bought will see very little use before being parked to rust.

    I bought a “cheap” bike from Zellers in 2009 but having worked on many bikes including building recumbents from recycled bikes. I simply took the road bike my girlfriend bought me for my birthday apart into the trunk of the car to transport it house safely. I then tuned it up when I got home after putting it back together. Too bad most people can not do this to get the best out of there bike shaped things.

    The link shows most of the bikes I owned over time including my homhand bikes.

    Reply
  • 7. Oldmann55  |  September 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    As an (almost) senior citizen I have to say that I am horrified, on an almost daily basis, at the poor standards some people are willing to accept in some areas, while going OTT in others! If you bought a car, and the brakes were incorrectly fitted you would, quite rightly, expect the dealership to put it right, and many would look for compensation. The number of people willing to accept unsafe bikes, with the comment “it’s only a bike” scares the bejeebas out of me! I was a serious competitive cyclist back in the 1970′s and 80′s and worked for several bike manufacturers in the 90′s while living and coaching in Germany. One factory I worked at produced both high end and budget bikes, under 2 different brand names. Often the budget bikes were overproduction from the high end bikes, simply re-badged. In the late ’80′s there was a huge outcry as tchibo, one of the big coffee brands in Germany started to sell BSO’s in their coffee shops for silly prices. These were sold “flat packed” for home assembly, and many people were then going to proper bike shops to get them assembled. This led to legislation requiring the shop selling a BSO, or anything else technical, to provide adequate service back up. Now I am no longer able to work, partly due to the results of too many high speed bike crashes, but I take great pleasure in collecting older bikes and restoring them, the upshot of this is I get as many as 3 or 4 visitors a day asking for help with BSO’s. Yes a very few are of poor quality, most are simply poorly assembled by untrained shop staff. I have to say though our local Halfords (Bognor Regis) seem to have a very well trained, informed and motivated staff, though in other branches I have watched 3 staff struggling with to read the instructions that came with a BSO before assembly!
    In short it does depend on location but sometimes, just sometimes, they are not that bad! The idea that getting a £60 bike from X, Y or Z shop is cheaper than getting a £150 from is on the whole a myth, My sons both were given quality bikes at Birthdays or Christmas and these lasted until they were outgrown, at which time they were sold in very good, well maintained condition. Our neighbors, with sons the same ages as mine, always seemed to be buying new twice a year, and then taking them to the scrap after 6 months! I wonder who had the better deal?

    Reply
  • 8. jon sims  |  August 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    My biggest worry is that people might buy bso’s for their intended purpose, when I first got into mountain biking I almost purchased an apollo full suspension bike, if I had ridden it off road I might not be here now! if something is sold as a mountain bike t needs to have passed some proper functional testing.

    Reply
  • 9. peepants  |  June 9, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    tesco just get people to put bikes together who don’t know how to do it, that’s why they don’t sell the display bikes :)

    Reply
  • 10. Paul W  |  April 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Every year I take my bike to France and whilst the wife takes in the suns rays I go off exploring. Because of the gears on my road bike I was struggling with the hills, so 2 years ago my wife bought me a Scott Scale 60 from a specialist mountain bike shop in Hull. Never having suspension and disc brakes before it looked, rode, and stopped fine to me. With a pair of narrow tyres on, off I went up Mount Ventoux, Galibier, Alpe d’Huez, etc. Last year I did the same. Took the bike out of the garage to check it for this years holiday and whilst looking at it from a distance I thought the forks looked odd. They were the wrong way round. Thinking someone might be playing a trick on me I went to look through my old photos. There it is posing on top of all the Cols and mountains with back to front forks.How embarrassing. I guess its not just Halfords and Asda that build bikes badly.

    Reply
  • 11. Aaron  |  January 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I have only just noticed my front forks are backwards, how do I remove and refit them the right way? Would this be why I have been having brake problems? my front brake has lost 3 pads in it’s life, they just fall out for no reason.

    I bought my bike 1 year ago from Halfords, I expected everything to fine when I bought it, but I noticed My feet sometimes touched the wheel when i steered, and my friend pointed out the problem and I feel stupid for not noticing it before.

    What do I do?

    Reply
    • 12. markb25  |  January 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      Hi Aaron,

      My advice would be to get your bike to the nearest specialist cycle shop asap. List of local specialist cycle shops here

      Reply
  • 13. alan timms  |  December 30, 2011 at 11:44 am

    We buy our kids the 80 quid halfords versions, as they are left outside and generally scuffed crashed etc. Our neighbour bought their kid an expensive racing bike, which they sold a year later as it was too fragile for kids use.
    So as an entry bike for kids they are affordable and good for the money.
    I agree that badly built up bikes are a hazard and should be highlighted and this site is great is doing so.
    I have just spent christmas rebuilding my tandem and its a 80′s model that feels so crude compared to modern bikes, funny I just feel so unstable on skinny tyres. Down a fast hill you get the feeling a small stone will chuck you off. The cantilever brakes are shocking compared to V brakes, so yes you have to be a fan to keep one.

    Reply
  • 14. Rob  |  December 28, 2011 at 11:29 am

    BSOs need to be got rid of, it’s very simple, they are dangerous. Yes a BSO got me into riding, but it could also have easily seriously injured me, the chain snapped after only 11 kilometres, the rear hub collapsed completely after about 60-70k, the gears never indexed properly (so if i ever stood up on the pedals the chain could slip causing me to lose my balance), the brakes were seriously deficient, the ‘suspension’ barely moved even when new and locked up completely after only a couple of months. The bike as a whole was a complete write off within 6 months.

    Those saying that BSOs are ok because they are cheap transport need to really think about what they are saying, it’s like saying that food laced with poison is ok if it’s cheap and people can afford it.

    Oh and this was in Australia too, nasty dangerous BSOs are a global problem.

    Reply
  • 15. Dale Hughes  |  December 18, 2011 at 10:32 am

    I bought a Dunlop. Signature series realm 26 inch full suspension mountain bike from sports direct for £119.99 which was reduced from £249.99 do I thought it was going to be of good quality at least to get me to and from work, until………
    The wheel on the back wobbled from side to side so I took it back to sports direct and they said it was my fault because I assembled it but the back came with the wheel on.
    My next problem was the brakes, as I thought disc brakes are powerful but boy was a wrong, and the chain slapped on the metalwork it dented it . Never I repeat NEVER buy a bike from sports direct

    Reply
    • 16. mat  |  August 10, 2013 at 10:52 am

      had problems with the same bike from the same shop. Bent suspension forks, loose rear bearing, and the pedals snapped when riding. really bad buy.

      Reply
  • 17. LJ  |  November 24, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    I don’t even trust the bike shops. Built my own. The only problem I had was the suspension forks could loosen the loading if there was too much pressure on them while riding, decent brand just poor quality. So I’m building another with more traditional suspension forks. Setting up gears is a pain – maybe I’ll go for Sturmey Archer gears in future, they always worked well when I was a kid. What we need are better designs so you can’t get it wrong.

    Reply
  • 18. Sean Lally  |  November 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    One for the collection http://yfrog.com/ntwbxrdj !! Spotted in Kings Cross, London

    Reply
  • 19. stu  |  November 23, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    New Xmas 11 advert for Argos Raleigh bike shows the forks facing backwards. You would have thought they would have learnt!

    Reply
  • 20. lalahsghost  |  June 25, 2011 at 12:26 am

    This is a list of all the BSO companies in North America. If you ever find a decrepit product of theirs… do not hesitate to contact them and let them know it is ass.

    http://i53.tinypic.com/25qyp2t.jpg

    Reply
  • 21. Neil McDonald  |  November 15, 2010 at 11:35 am

    The new Tesco in Maryhill Glasgow has several bikes on display, and five of them have the forks on backwards for 2 weeks.

    Reply
  • 22. Richard  |  July 20, 2010 at 11:11 pm

    I wish I could find a link, but tonight’s Evening Standard had a photo of Joe Cole, riding a BSO.

    A hundred grand a week and he buys a hundred quid bike. What can you say?

    Reply
  • 23. Richard  |  April 25, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    A much more expensive bike this time – a Specialized Tricross. Here Specialized have tried to combine drop handlebar shifter/brake levers and v-brakes. The v-brake arms are shorter to reduce the travel, but with the lack of micro-adjusters on the model I have keeping the brakes set up correctly was a nightmare! As the pads wear down I have to adjust at the cable clamp.

    I’ve replaced the rear brakes with cantilever which have a shorter travel. The frame was designed for cantilever and has the right “noodle” if that’s the right word. The rear mini-V brakes suffered the problem the most, I think because of the longer cable run so more scope for stretch. I don’t think the stopping power is as good as the Vs when set up correctly, though the brake pads are also smaller which may not be helping.

    Another advantage of the cantilevers is that the mechanism clears the mudguard properly now which also helps.

    I note that this year’s model has cantilever brakes and also micro-adjusters so seems better thought out. I’d be tempted to upgrade mine over time.

    Reply
  • 25. Alecw35  |  November 27, 2009 at 12:50 am

    I worked at Halfords for a couple of years. I wasnt a supervisor tho. Ive been repairing bikes for 20 years so know how to set bikes up ok.
    Some of the youngsters that worked there were ok. I tried to be helpfull and show them how to set up bikes well. But some didnt take it in. I didnt nag at them.
    Sometimes people would bring in Asda and Tescos bikes. One said he got one in a damaged box for £20. I got it working ok. Though microshift gears are a bit vague

    Reply
  • 26. Anth  |  November 14, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Here’s one for you from Edinburgh

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/blackpuddinonnabike/4103684512/in/photostream/

    Reply
  • 27. markb25  |  November 7, 2009 at 8:57 am

    William,

    I have no problem accepting that these bikes can and do work for their owners, and as such can be a low cost entry to cycling. The problem is that standards, quality and safety vary massively.

    If we put aside the more subjective point about “quality”, there is hard evidence as shown in the Hall of Shame that these bikes are regularly being assembled incorrectly and as a result can be dangerous.

    We have hard evidence on this blog that this is the case and that is part of the reason I created it.

    Such evidence can also be found in the comments over on the Watchdog website

    Of course I would prefer everyone to ride a better quality bike because it does offer a nicer experience and better value for money over the longer term. But in the first instance I would like to ensure that no matter what people ride they are safe.

    These is nothing elitist about that.

    Reply
  • 28. William  |  November 6, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    Seriously, ever looked at the average bike in an Amsterdam bike garage and seen how shockingly poor MANY bikes are maintained? And that is in a country that people say is the best in the world for cycling.
    While I fully accept and agree with comments regarding poorly assembled bikes, this witch hunt smacks of the elitism that drives people away from cycling!

    The way I see it, if a so-called BSO gets somebody off their rear-end and into cycling, then it isn’t exactly the worst thing ever, now is it?

    I purchased what you refer to as a BSO some 3 years ago. Between now and then I’ve replaced the bottom bracket, as I’ve worn it out, as well as a set of tyres and two brake pads. Not bad considering I average around 8 000 miles per year on it. I use it for my daily commute of just about 10 miles, and I do a fair bit of off-road riding on Dartmoor.

    While not exactly the best bike in the world, it has served me well. Not bad for a “BSO”, is it? And yes, I commute with off-road tyres, despite knowing all about the extra rolling resistance, etc.

    All you bike experts forget something incredibly crucial: riding a bike is about enjoyment, and NOT about having the latest & greatest kit.
    Cycling is NOT a commodity, despite all the expert opinions. Cycling isn’t even necessarily a sport.

    What is so hard about accepting this?

    Reply
    • 29. sarah  |  May 20, 2010 at 3:20 am

      @ William

      I’m not a bike expert, I’m just an occasional rider. But the difference between a BSO and a real bike is frequently the difference between pain and pleasure. I think you’ve been very lucky (or determined!) with your bike, but not everyone has such a positive experience.

      I honestly think that shops selling BSOs are ripping off their customers by selling bikes that aren’t actually fit for purpose. In my view the purpose involved is enjoyment of cycling, and poor quality bikes are uncomfortable and dangerous.

      If an ideal world, people who wanted to buy something a bit cheaper would be buying quality bikes second hand from proper bike shops. Unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world…

      Reply
  • 30. xcracer  |  November 4, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    If I happen to be wandering through a store that sells bicycle shaped objects, one of my favourite things to do, as a professional bike mechanic, is to wander through the big box stores that sell bicycle shaped objects, and see how badly assembled they are. Here’s my usual strategy.
    1. Squeeze brake lever as hard as possible.
    Several things could happen. Most likely, it will bottom out on the handlebar. Sometimes, the lever will crack in half, or the cable will slip, or for rear brakes, you can crack a cable stop off the frame. Great reassurance for panic stops…..
    2. Take front wheel between knees, grab bar, and spin!
    More often than not, the quill stem is not tight enough, allowing you to spin it quite easily.
    I usually get bored at this point and quit, but I’ve found them with forks on backwards, with loose axle nuts, loose pedals, etc, etc.
    In Canada, you aren’t allowed to sell an unassembled bicycle. So, instead, they give 12 year old children wrenches, and tell them they’ll get paid $9 / bike. So, more often than not, they’re worse than if the end user were to build it, because they’re not only uneducated, but also rushing.
    Just my observations of bicycle shaped objects.

    Reply
  • 31. Paul  |  October 28, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Toy R Us:

    http://www.toysrus.co.uk/Toys-R-Us/Bikes-and-Rideons/Bikes/Ladies/26-Breeze-Twin-Disc-Y-Frame-Bike%280017844%29

    A (very) small image of this is showing in todays Sun.

    Reply
  • 32. Graham Ohara  |  October 13, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    What a whitch hunt of a website, ridiculous comments, all bikes with 1 exception (the boardman bike) are display bikes and have not been set up or used by anyone ,so yes it does happen that people have forks back to front and yes the displaying of product incorrectly is wrong, but this should just make IBS’s look better, whats with the ‘unrideable’,dosnt ork, useless … etc comments ,the bikes in general are cheap and serve a purpose for people either living in inner cities where bike theft is a problem so whats the point buying an expensive machince or families with very limited budgets.

    Reply
    • 33. DaveP  |  October 19, 2009 at 11:46 am

      Alas, not everyone has the ability/willingness to convert the manual that comes in the box into a ‘properly’ built bike and go off what they’ve seen in the store.

      On the idea of getting more people riding, have a read of my Tesco £45 bike review:

      http://likeherdingchickens.blogspot.com/2009/08/28-days-later.html

      You get what you pay for…

      Reply
      • 34. ben  |  October 19, 2009 at 12:29 pm

        Graham – which store do you work for? As a display bike it should be absolutely perfect. Other products go in the reduced section for less! If not perfect it should atleast look correctly assembled, there is no excuse for obvious things like backwards forks!

        Dave P – An interesting and unbiased read. A fair summary that backs up ‘you get what you pay for’ that customers STILL don’t seem to understand.

    • 35. Jamie  |  October 19, 2009 at 9:26 pm

      “all bikes with 1 exception (the boardman bike) are display bikes and have not been set up or used by anyone ”

      Both bikes I submitted to this blog (the Montana and Silverfox) were not on display but bikes that were in use by customers, and brought into our shop because they were unrideable (in the customer’s opinion).

      Reply
    • 36. Ian Galloway t/a On Yer' Bike! M'bro  |  November 3, 2009 at 1:28 pm

      Sounds very much to me like you are a employee of one of said stores involved?????? If you get the jist of what IBD’s like myself are trying to point out is that someone WILL get seriously hurt/injured by purchasing and using one of these poor quality “bikes”! Do you realise also that a lot of these shops will sell you their ex-display model if they’ve got no boxed stock left. So looking at it on display “assembled”, are you not to know whether it is safe or not to ride? Is the buyer knowledgeable to see that said bike isn’t correctly assembled, ready to ride, so to speak? I think not! Yes! I know people on a tight budget just want a “bike” that will get them from A-B & back to A cheaply. And if it gets nicked, it didn’t cost an arm n a leg in the 1st place! But safety n quality is the key issue in this blog!

      Reply
  • 37. Mark Sinclair  |  September 3, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    On the box it says “Handle with care” your not kidding. There should be a vote for the worst bike listed here on the Hall of Shame, my vote would be the Boardman as it was probably a lot of money even though Halfwits can’t actualy sell them !

    Reply
  • 38. DaveP  |  August 18, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    I get so very annoyed by this kind of thing.. Once I challenged an ASDA employee about the forks being backwards on a display bike, the reply was that ” On a bike with disc brakes it doesn’t matter ..”. :-(

    Here’s one from Tesco today, at least the forks are pointing the rightway:

    http://www.tweetphoto.com/b6c964

    Reply
  • 39. Phil Tinning  |  August 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    Yep this is really good stuff. The exposure of poor practises that is. I have had many instances of ski bindings and boots being badly / dangerously fitted so the bike trade is not alone.
    A word of caution though. Specialist retailers like bike, mountain and ski shops are low down on the priority when folk are coming into the sport. They see the prices and buy cheap elsewhere. They also see the expertise that we have and feel out of their depth. We can’t afford to give the impression when these guys finally make contact that they are foolish or ignorant so a really good touch is required and you’ll have a customer for life or they will take their repair hit and grumble all the way home.
    Maybe a copy of the repair invoice should go to the offending supplier and another one to Trading Standards!
    Keep at it!

    Reply
  • 40. Ben  |  August 18, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    This kind of thing is such a pet hate for me!

    Having worked at halfords (or halfrauds as they are known by many) as a cycle department manager, I can tell you for a fact that many of the staff havent got a clue how to correctly sell, fit, or assemble a bike having been given little or no training. The only ones who know what they are doing knew before they started. If you insist on getting work done at halfords get to know who the good staff are, otherwise go to a cycle specialist, they are as cheap (especially in the long run) as halfords.

    As with most things, you get what you pay for. For example, a full suspension bike with disk brakes for less than £200 is going to do little more than look good and perform as well as a shopping trolley.

    Reply
  • 41. Laura Pringle  |  August 18, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Nothing as drastic as the things mentioned already but one of my cusotmers presented a bike with Magura HS11 brakes for adjusting/bleeding. I saw that the shop he bought it from had fitted two right-hand levers instead of a pair. They had just turned one upside down. It wasn’t a cheap bike either – they must have had a job lot of r/h levers left over. He had never noticed and the bike was a few years old so no recourse to the shop concerned.

    Reply
  • 42. Matt Goodrich  |  August 17, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I’ve been following this blog with interest over the last few weeks and there have been examples of bikes that are in a dangerous condition, whether set up incorrectly by the retailer or “adjusted” by the customer.
    I think most of the bike trade will agree that some of these bikes will not take the kind of abuse that their intended/ marketed use has been described as but how many of this style of bike will be used like that?
    But are we missing out on an opportunity here?
    Are there any examples of a good bike for a similar price?
    Where would the smart £100 be best spent?
    Is there a gap in the market?
    Perhaps ASDA are making a well intentioned gesture to get more people involved in cycling out of genuine altruism?
    Just a though so please don’t shoot me down!
    I certainly spent no more than £20 when putting my “pub bike” together.

    Reply
    • 43. Ben  |  August 18, 2009 at 2:43 pm

      The bikes that are making companies the most money are the cheap bikes. They look good and are cheap, which is all consumers seem to be interested in. If used in the manner that their style depicts they would not last long at all. The sad fact is these will either end up in a shed after 2 weeks, or, with kids bikes especially, they will get dropped and not looked after.

      For £100 I’d buy a second hand bike with no susspension, maybe gears, but probably single speed. No gimmicks, just something simple. Less is more.

      Reply
  • 44. Bazza  |  August 11, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Watford Asda:
    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2525/3795769733_85b3df5ba9_b.jpg
    http://www.twitpic.com/cyxr2

    NB: Though, to their credit, they have since seen the error of their ways, and put the forks on the right way round.

    Reply

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