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True Cost of a Supermarket Bike



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 19th 04, 03:24 PM
Elisa Francesca Roselli
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Posts: n/a
Default True Cost of a Supermarket Bike

We had a thread a while ago about what are the real, experienced
advantages to buying an upmarket bike at an LBS as opposed to just
following the mass market and getting something cheap at the local
supermarket or mall.

I bought Myrtille, my first ever bike, in September 2002 at my local
supermarket. She's a 5-speed lady's city bike that came fully equipped
with a front basket and front and rear battery lights. She cost 143 €,
and since I was unsure I would even be able to learn to ride her, it
seemed like a big, risky expense at the time.

As soon as I started getting the drift of riding her, I realized I
wanted some kind of chain protector, having lost two favorite skirts to
spiral rips from the hem getting caught in the chain. But when I took
her to the LBS they sighed and shook their heads. Everything about this
bike was non-standard, so a standard chain-guard could not be
retrofitted.

Excruciating pains in my nether regions alerted me to the fact that the
seat on the bike was not suitable to the configuration of my arse. I
bought a new seat, more appropriate for a Fat Bottomed Girl, for about
15€.

Then the lights copped it. When the front light is jiggled in transit,
the connectors to the batteries get bent out of shape and it no longer
functions. IOW, this bicycle light only works when kept perfectly still.
So I invested in a really nice halogen light with a rechargeable
power-pack. It cost 80€, but because it was supposed to fit into the
water-bottle holes which my cheap bike did not have, I had to throw in
an extra 10€ to have it specially installed.

In June I started riding the bike over the short distance to my office.
I had the impression, admittedly somewhat dim from my inexperience, that
things weren't quite right. The bike was unstable and the brakes, well,
didn't. So I took it into the LBS for a lookover. They discovered
flabby, deflated wheels, a de-indexed derailleur and de-regulated
brakes. I spent some 25€ to have these basics put right.

Another insight I quickly gained was that the people at the supermarket
were not comptetent to make even the simplest adjustments or repairs.
For example, when I asked about raising the stem so that I could have
less weight on my wrists, they said it was not possible, but the LBS
managed to raise it by a good 2 inches. When I asked what the diameter
of the stem was so that I could order an adjustable one, they were
incapable of giving a coherent answer, or even the same answer twice
running. This obliged me to drop into my LBS every few weeks or so; but
since they hadn't sold me Myrtille, and since they considered her trash,
I had to face their irony all the time.

By the end of the summer, with only a few weeks of real total riding,
the chain was poppiing off every time I shifted over 3rd gear. I had it
re-regulated, but the problem persisted. The brakes were getting feebler
and feebler. I decided it was time to graduate to a definitive bike.

However, I had grown used to Myrtille, whose very low step-in and easy
26" wheels made her much more comfortable to mount and pedal than my
larger and heavier Dutch bike. So I decided to keep her for the
supermarket runs and other chores where I would be worried about using
an expensive, stealable nice bike.

I took her in for a quotation to get an 8-speed derailleur and change
the chain , and have some functional V-brakes installed. The LBS guy
quoted around 150€, and I accepted, even though this was already above
the original cost of the bike.

However, when I went to collect her, I found that he had been obliged to
up the cost to 200€, because the setup of the bike was so non-standard
that it took him twice as long to fit the new parts as he had
anticipated. I paid and brought my dear old beater home.

So that's a total of
143
15
90
25
200
----
473€

This would have covered a perfectly decent middle-range city or VTC bike
from Giant, which would have had standard, easily upgradeable parts and
would presumably still be running on its initial configuration. It would
also have spared me a lot of sneers at the LBS.

Moral of the story: now, when my colleagues ask me about a good place to
buy a bike, I steer them away from the supermarket.

EFR
Ile de France

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  #2  
Old January 19th 04, 07:41 PM
Gary Smiley
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default True Cost of a Supermarket Bike

I hate to say it, but your ordeal probably isn't over yet, because even
though you spent a lot of money, you still have a fundamentally cheap bike
frame, poorly-made wheels, and probably more repairs in the future.
Fortunately for you it's only a bike and not a used car!

Elisa Francesca Roselli wrote:

We had a thread a while ago about what are the real, experienced
advantages to buying an upmarket bike at an LBS as opposed to just
following the mass market and getting something cheap at the local
supermarket or mall.

I bought Myrtille, my first ever bike, in September 2002 at my local
supermarket. She's a 5-speed lady's city bike that came fully equipped
with a front basket and front and rear battery lights. She cost 143 €,
and since I was unsure I would even be able to learn to ride her, it
seemed like a big, risky expense at the time.

As soon as I started getting the drift of riding her, I realized I
wanted some kind of chain protector, having lost two favorite skirts to
spiral rips from the hem getting caught in the chain. But when I took
her to the LBS they sighed and shook their heads. Everything about this
bike was non-standard, so a standard chain-guard could not be
retrofitted.

Excruciating pains in my nether regions alerted me to the fact that the
seat on the bike was not suitable to the configuration of my arse. I
bought a new seat, more appropriate for a Fat Bottomed Girl, for about
15€.

Then the lights copped it. When the front light is jiggled in transit,
the connectors to the batteries get bent out of shape and it no longer
functions. IOW, this bicycle light only works when kept perfectly still.
So I invested in a really nice halogen light with a rechargeable
power-pack. It cost 80€, but because it was supposed to fit into the
water-bottle holes which my cheap bike did not have, I had to throw in
an extra 10€ to have it specially installed.

In June I started riding the bike over the short distance to my office.
I had the impression, admittedly somewhat dim from my inexperience, that
things weren't quite right. The bike was unstable and the brakes, well,
didn't. So I took it into the LBS for a lookover. They discovered
flabby, deflated wheels, a de-indexed derailleur and de-regulated
brakes. I spent some 25€ to have these basics put right.

Another insight I quickly gained was that the people at the supermarket
were not comptetent to make even the simplest adjustments or repairs.
For example, when I asked about raising the stem so that I could have
less weight on my wrists, they said it was not possible, but the LBS
managed to raise it by a good 2 inches. When I asked what the diameter
of the stem was so that I could order an adjustable one, they were
incapable of giving a coherent answer, or even the same answer twice
running. This obliged me to drop into my LBS every few weeks or so; but
since they hadn't sold me Myrtille, and since they considered her trash,
I had to face their irony all the time.

By the end of the summer, with only a few weeks of real total riding,
the chain was poppiing off every time I shifted over 3rd gear. I had it
re-regulated, but the problem persisted. The brakes were getting feebler
and feebler. I decided it was time to graduate to a definitive bike.

However, I had grown used to Myrtille, whose very low step-in and easy
26" wheels made her much more comfortable to mount and pedal than my
larger and heavier Dutch bike. So I decided to keep her for the
supermarket runs and other chores where I would be worried about using
an expensive, stealable nice bike.

I took her in for a quotation to get an 8-speed derailleur and change
the chain , and have some functional V-brakes installed. The LBS guy
quoted around 150€, and I accepted, even though this was already above
the original cost of the bike.

However, when I went to collect her, I found that he had been obliged to
up the cost to 200€, because the setup of the bike was so non-standard
that it took him twice as long to fit the new parts as he had
anticipated. I paid and brought my dear old beater home.

So that's a total of
143
15
90
25
200
----
473€

This would have covered a perfectly decent middle-range city or VTC bike
from Giant, which would have had standard, easily upgradeable parts and
would presumably still be running on its initial configuration. It would
also have spared me a lot of sneers at the LBS.

Moral of the story: now, when my colleagues ask me about a good place to
buy a bike, I steer them away from the supermarket.

EFR
Ile de France


  #4  
Old January 19th 04, 08:27 PM
Rick Onanian
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Naming a bike

On Mon, 19 Jan 2004 15:12:14 -0500, David Kerber
wrote:
This thread got my mind wandering in a completely different direction:
how many of you give your bikes (and/or cars) names? I've never done


My bikes haven't gotten names; they haven't begged for them. I have
had two cars that begged for names:

- A 1987 Cadillac that was really, really beat. It was called "the
hoopty", as it looked like a drug dealer's car; it was later renamed
to "The Bakery" after I used a "Bakery now open 9 to 5" sign in the
windshield to prevent the interior from getting too hot.

- A 1997 Pontiac Grand Am that, from the day I got it, caused
constant bird fatalities -- they would fly into the front bumper or
the windshield often. It was called "The Birdshot".
--
Rick Onanian
  #5  
Old January 19th 04, 09:14 PM
jacques
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default True Cost of a Supermarket Bike

On Mon, 19 Jan 2004 16:24:35 +0100, Elisa Francesca Roselli wrote:


.........
So that's a total of
143
15
90
25
200
----
473€

This would have covered a perfectly decent middle-range city or VTC bike
from Giant, which would have had standard, easily upgradeable parts and
would presumably still be running on its initial configuration. It would
also have spared me a lot of sneers at the LBS.

Moral of the story: now, when my colleagues ask me about a good place to
buy a bike, I steer them away from the supermarket.

EFR
Ile de France


Elisa,

Please forgive me for what I will say, which is useless, unkind and also
far too easy after the facts, but I can't help it:
After all the time you've spent posting and supposedly reading in this
newsgroup, why did you go to a supermarket to buy your bike ?

Please don't hate me

Jacques
  #6  
Old January 19th 04, 09:36 PM
Just zis Guy, you know?
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Naming a bike

On Mon, 19 Jan 2004 15:12:14 -0500, David Kerber
wrote:

how many of you give your bikes (and/or cars) names?


Me. My bike's called the flying banana, the car's called OvloV (my
fifth Volvo), previous cars have been called Harold the Barrel and
Lemoλn.

Guy
===
May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after posting.
http://chapmancentral.demon.co.uk
  #7  
Old January 19th 04, 10:56 PM
mark
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Naming a bike


"David Kerber" wrote
This thread got my mind wandering in a completely different direction:
how many of you give your bikes (and/or cars) names? I've never done
that, but a friend of mine back in college called her car "Wendell",
and Elisa calls her bike Myrtille.

Anybody else give their bike a name?


--
Dave Kerber


I've always thought that "Rocinante" would be a good name for a touring
bike, but I've never actually called my tourer by that name.
--
mark


  #8  
Old January 20th 04, 03:24 AM
Ryan Cousineau
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default True Cost of a Supermarket Bike

In article ,
"jacques" wrote:

On Mon, 19 Jan 2004 16:24:35 +0100, Elisa Francesca Roselli wrote:


[Elisa bought a bike from a supermarket]

Moral of the story: now, when my colleagues ask me about a good place to
buy a bike, I steer them away from the supermarket.

EFR
Ile de France


Elisa,

Please forgive me for what I will say, which is useless, unkind and also
far too easy after the facts, but I can't help it:
After all the time you've spent posting and supposedly reading in this
newsgroup, why did you go to a supermarket to buy your bike ?

Please don't hate me


No, it's a fair question. As I have shown, all the good bikes are found
at garage sales and behind bike shop dumpsters.

Bianchi garage sale bike: $10
RSX Brake calipers and decent levers: $35
My favourite orange seat: $2
Outsprinting most of the people on a local racing club ride: priceless

One person looked at the blue lunchbox on the back rack and said,
"you're proud of that thing, aren't you?"

-RjC.
--
Ryan Cousineau, http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine
President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
  #9  
Old January 20th 04, 03:51 AM
DiabloScott
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Posts: n/a
Default True Cost of a Supermarket Bike

Just Zis Guy wrote:
how many of you give your bikes (and/or cars) names?



Mike Eddy Je
J.J.Maria-Angelica (RIP


-


  #10  
Old January 20th 04, 03:51 AM
davebee
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default True Cost of a Supermarket Bike

I had something similar where, although the bike was not supermarket
bought it need repairing to the tune of £100 or so every 12 months. I
did this for 3 years running. I have had a reasonable mountain bike
(which cost c£100 second hand) for the past year and have totally
refitted it now for c£200. (mostly xt and lx components) and so it
should be ok for a good while as the headset, bb and cranks are
pretty decent.

fingers crossed eh.

Nah I don't give my bikes names!



--


 




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