BBC Watchdog to feature bicycle shaped objects

November 3, 2009 at 1:06 pm 1 comment

This Thursday 5th November, 8pm – 9pm, the BBC 1 consumer affairs programme will broadcast a feature on flat-pack bikes in boxes. Otherwise known on this blog as Bicycle Shaped Objects.bbcwatchdog

Five “average cyclists” were asked to build bikes from:

  • Asda
  • Argos
  • Halfords
  • Toys R Us
  • Tesco

The feature is hosted by Radio 4’s John Humphries with expert opinion from John Stevenson of Future Publishing and Paul Topham from Brighton based bike maintenance company Southcoast Bikes.

Yours truly was contacted by BBC researchers but they felt that in my role as Director of the Association of Cycle Traders I represented a vested interest which could be seen as bias against those companies featured. Essentially the programme makers feared I would say flat pack bikes are rubbish and local bike shops are the best place to go. Not far from the truth I guess.

I have asked the BBC if it is possible to get a link from the Watchdog website to this blog but they are still concerned over this “vested interest” issue so are seeking advice. The Watchdog website gets tens of thousands of visits after each show so its a great opportunity to offer a little advice and education to viewers.

Tune in on Thursday and let me know what you think.


UPDATE – 4th November – John Stevenson has just published his thoughts over at the BikeRadar website. John’s article includes a video of Watchdog’s last feature on bicycle shaped objects, from back in the early 1990’s. Take a look here (Love the ponytail John!)


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

The Hall of Shame Watchdog: Flat-pack bikes

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Mark  |  July 25, 2010 at 9:25 am

    “Vested interest” – hang on, is this Watchdog we’re talking about! Thanks I’m off to


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