The sadness of the unreviewable bike.
One of my goals for this site is to so that when people go to big box stores they won’t be totally clueless. Long time readers may have noticed that I haven’t reviewed a bike in quite some time. Turns out that many cheap bikes are unreviewable.
It has been several months since I’ve come across a bike at a big box store that I would recommend anyone ride. Many of them made me want to go to the local TV consumer reporter to warn people not to buy these bikes.
One big problem, especially on disc brake bikes, are the tiny brake levers. Apparently the idea is that disc brakes need less effort so you only need a couple fingers rather than your whole hand. This might be true on a precision machine but not on these bikes.
The shifters use way too much plastic and the metal they use is easier to bend than it is to pull the brake lever. The seats are uncomfortable and in several cases just a hunk of plastic stapled, yes stapled, to thin metal rails.
Of course it’s not always the manufacturer’s fault. The quality of the assembly has taken a major dive lately. Disc brakes are perhaps the biggest offenders. I don’t know why the concept of putting the disc between the calipers and not up against them is so difficult to grasp.
All is not lost though. There are several new cheap bike models that should be appearing in the stores before Christmas. Also, some of the better cheap brands are showing up in discount sporting good stores. I’ll be checking those out shortly.