Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Be aware -- the shitty bike season starts

Maybe you have noticed that yourself -- it's time for shitty bikes. Lately I received a lot of unwanted fliers by discounters and supermarkets that want to sell me cheap bicycles and cheap bicycle equipment (like lights, locks, pumps, helmets etc.). And I'm sure there are many people out there who decided to start cycling this year or want/need a new bike. Well, if they buy one of those, I feel sorry for them. Some people might actually really want to start commuting by bike. But if they buy one of those shitty bikes, they will lose interest soon. They would probably take it for granted that their gear shift doesn't work well, that their brakes are unsound and that their lights broke after one month. So after a while they will put their bike in a corner and leave it there for the next few weeks or years until it gets stolen. But don't worry, if you buy a lock for 1.99€ your problem will be solved soon, no matter how shitty the bike is. And then you have an excuse to not cycle or can buy another shitty bike :-).

Sorry for being so cynical today. Well, there might be some good bikes in supermarkets too. But a beginner can't tell the difference, I'm sure. And it will be worse for them if they never experienced what a decent bike is. Over here, you need to spend 700-1500€ for a good city bike that you can use for commuting all year long, absolute minimum being 500€. Of course, it is enough to buy one for 250€ if you only want to use it to cycle 20 km/year in the summer. But such a bike simply won't last long and will not please you. If you don't have enough money to buy a decent bike, I recommend to buy a good and serviced second-hand bicycle -- but never ever a crappy new bike of a discounter. And go to a good bike shop (not a sports shop) to get some advice what kind of bike suits you (type, size, equipment). Be aware anyway!

Here are a few websites that deal with bike shopping: How to buy a bicycle, How to buy a bicycle (wiki), Tips on buying a bicycle and many more (just type "how to buy a bike" into Google :-)).

By the way, a good bike will last a lifetime if it is looked after (well, if it doesn't get stolen or crashed in an accident of course) -- so it's definitely worth spending some money on it and getting it serviced regularly (at least once a year).


Anonymous said...

The bright side for you is that bikes are advertised so heavily at all where you live, especially bikes with racks, fenders, and lights! But, yeah, shitty bikes suck :)

anna said...

You are right, for me these ads with well-equipped bikes are just so normal (ok, there are also many shitty mountainbikes too, but most are city bikes). It's really good that I can see different points of view from different countries :-).

Anonymous said...

Great blog entry! :) I have received some of those "shitty bike" flyers, too.

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