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Biria Bikes?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
A dear friend of mine (older lady, sedentary but in good health and shape)
just bought a Biria bike from an unknown-to-me shop in our beach area. A
quick net search indicates she got an EZ Boarding Top 3 (Nexus 3-speed):
http://www.biria.com:80/bicycles/ez/eb_top_3.jsp.

I stopped by to see it and it's very cool, but the front fender (a bit
off-center) has a small dent and the white paint has an unsightly blem on
the down tube. (Looks like grease but doesn't come off.) Also, the springs
on the front brake looked rusty to me -- not terribly so, but not brand new
either. (The handlebar has a small scuff that looks like a bell or
something was installed on it.) The bike was represented as new to her.

She's having buyer's remorse somewhat, so I told her I'd research a little.
She paid $270.00 out the door for it, but the guy didn't give her an owner's
manual or paperwork until she went back and then it was just a tag and the
Shimano Nexus Hub technical instructions. I doubt they were for that
particular bike. No registration material, either.

Still, the bike seems solid and well made. The prices I "quick saw" on the
net were a good deal higher ($350 +), so maybe she did OK?

I seriously doubt she'll ride the bike much, but the design is ideal ("easy
boarding" is quite apt) AND it fits in the back of her car without removing
anything. Other than a folder, I can't imagine anything better suited to
her needs.

What do you folks think? I wrote her a "preliminary" reassuring e-mail just
now, but also said I'd ask around for more opinions.

Thanks for any input,

Bill "well, the hub is pretty cool" S.
post #2 of 8

Re: Biria Bikes?

Bill Sornson wrote:
> A dear friend of mine (older lady, sedentary but in good health and shape)
> just bought a Biria bike from an unknown-to-me shop in our beach area. A
> quick net search indicates she got an EZ Boarding Top 3 (Nexus 3-speed):
> http://www.biria.com:80/bicycles/ez/eb_top_3.jsp.
>
> I stopped by to see it and it's very cool, but the front fender (a bit
> off-center) has a small dent and the white paint has an unsightly blem on
> the down tube. (Looks like grease but doesn't come off.) Also, the springs
> on the front brake looked rusty to me -- not terribly so, but not brand new
> either. (The handlebar has a small scuff that looks like a bell or
> something was installed on it.) The bike was represented as new to her.
>
> She's having buyer's remorse somewhat, so I told her I'd research a little.
> She paid $270.00 out the door for it, but the guy didn't give her an owner's
> manual or paperwork until she went back and then it was just a tag and the
> Shimano Nexus Hub technical instructions. I doubt they were for that
> particular bike. No registration material, either.
>
> Still, the bike seems solid and well made. The prices I "quick saw" on the
> net were a good deal higher ($350 +), so maybe she did OK?
>
> I seriously doubt she'll ride the bike much, but the design is ideal ("easy
> boarding" is quite apt) AND it fits in the back of her car without removing
> anything. Other than a folder, I can't imagine anything better suited to
> her needs.
>
> What do you folks think? I wrote her a "preliminary" reassuring e-mail just
> now, but also said I'd ask around for more opinions.
>
> Thanks for any input,
>
> Bill "well, the hub is pretty cool" S.
>
>

My answer would be that if she can ride it at all then she should. Any
kind of ride is better than a couch and a soap opera. You didn't say how
old she was, so I will assume that means older than you, which probably
means younger than me. If she paid $270 for it and it gives her an extra
year or two of healthy life then it is a no brainer that it was worth it.
Bill Baka
post #3 of 8

Re: Biria Bikes?

In article <45bd311c$0$28170$4c368faf@roadrunner.com>,
"Bill Sornson" <askme@ask.me> wrote:

> A dear friend of mine (older lady, sedentary but in good health and shape)
> just bought a Biria bike from an unknown-to-me shop in our beach area. A
> quick net search indicates she got an EZ Boarding Top 3 (Nexus 3-speed):
> http://www.biria.com:80/bicycles/ez/eb_top_3.jsp.
>
> I stopped by to see it and it's very cool, but the front fender (a bit
> off-center) has a small dent and the white paint has an unsightly blem on
> the down tube. (Looks like grease but doesn't come off.) Also, the springs
> on the front brake looked rusty to me -- not terribly so, but not brand new
> either. (The handlebar has a small scuff that looks like a bell or
> something was installed on it.) The bike was represented as new to her.
>
> She's having buyer's remorse somewhat, so I told her I'd research a little.
> She paid $270.00 out the door for it, but the guy didn't give her an owner's
> manual or paperwork until she went back and then it was just a tag and the
> Shimano Nexus Hub technical instructions. I doubt they were for that
> particular bike. No registration material, either.


The manual and paperwork are probably routinely witheld from the
customer, not out of malice, but because most don't even want to know
the gory details.

> Still, the bike seems solid and well made. The prices I "quick saw" on the
> net were a good deal higher ($350 +), so maybe she did OK?


Less than $300 for a bike with a Nexus-3 hub sounds quite reasonable.
It's a specialty bike, so there's not a lot to compare it to, but if the
aluminum frame is built well enough, that sounds pretty good.

> I seriously doubt she'll ride the bike much, but the design is ideal ("easy
> boarding" is quite apt) AND it fits in the back of her car without removing
> anything. Other than a folder, I can't imagine anything better suited to
> her needs.


The only thing I'd be worried about is whether someone who would want a
low-stepover bike would be strong enough to lift a 31-pound bicycle into
a car. For that matter, what does she drive, a PT Cruiser? I'm seriously
interested.

> What do you folks think? I wrote her a "preliminary" reassuring e-mail just
> now, but also said I'd ask around for more opinions.


Seems to be that if the blems were the reason for the low price, she has
no complaint. Otherwise, I might mention it to the shop.

--
Ryan Cousineau rcousine@sfu.ca http://www.wiredcola.com/
"I don't want kids who are thinking about going into mathematics
to think that they have to take drugs to succeed." -Paul Erdos
post #4 of 8

Re: Biria Bikes?

On Mon, 29 Jan 2007 04:02:32 +0000, Ryan Cousineau wrote:

>> http://www.biria.com:80/bicycles/ez/eb_top_3.jsp.
>>
>> I stopped by to see it and it's very cool, but the front fender (a bit
>> off-center) has a small dent and the white paint has an unsightly blem on
>> the down tube. (Looks like grease but doesn't come off.) Also, the springs
>> on the front brake looked rusty to me -- not terribly so, but not brand new
>> either. (The handlebar has a small scuff that looks like a bell or
>> something was installed on it.) The bike was represented as new to
>> her.


Well, the bell could have come with the bike from the factory, but was
removed (why? -- but it doesn't matter, a bell is cheap). The rust was
probably since the bike had been sitting in the shop for a long time,
which would explain the price, especially with the blemishes.

> The manual and paperwork are probably routinely witheld from the
> customer, not out of malice, but because most don't even want to know
> the gory details.


This seems odd to me. Usually, the shops give too much, rather than too
little or none at all, as a CYA. At least she should be taught how to use
any features (quick releases, shifting, etc.), and should have manuals that
explain these things.

> Less than $300 for a bike with a Nexus-3 hub sounds quite reasonable.
> It's a specialty bike, so there's not a lot to compare it to, but if the
> aluminum frame is built well enough, that sounds pretty good.
>

I'd agree. Looks pretty cool. Not for a "serious" rider, but for someone
just out to ride to a friend's house or do some light shopping, it looks
great, and the price can't be beat.

> Seems to be that if the blems were the reason for the low price, she has
> no complaint. Otherwise, I might mention it to the shop.
>

Agree. If the shop was routinely selling these bikes at that price, then
this one should be swapped for one without blemishes. But if it was
marked down because of them, your friend probably got a good deal.

--

David L. Johnson

It is probable that television drama of high caliber and produced by
first-rate artists will materially raise the level of dramatic taste
in the nation. -- David Sarnoff, 1939
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Re: Biria Bikes?

Ryan Cousineau wrote:
> In article <45bd311c$0$28170$4c368faf@roadrunner.com>,
> "Bill Sornson" <askme@ask.me> wrote:
>
>> A dear friend of mine (older lady, sedentary but in good health and
>> shape) just bought a Biria bike from an unknown-to-me shop in our
>> beach area. A quick net search indicates she got an EZ Boarding Top
>> 3 (Nexus 3-speed): http://www.biria.com:80/bicycles/ez/eb_top_3.jsp.
>>
>> I stopped by to see it and it's very cool, but the front fender (a
>> bit off-center) has a small dent and the white paint has an
>> unsightly blem on the down tube. (Looks like grease but doesn't
>> come off.) Also, the springs on the front brake looked rusty to me
>> -- not terribly so, but not brand new either. (The handlebar has a
>> small scuff that looks like a bell or something was installed on
>> it.) The bike was represented as new to her.
>>
>> She's having buyer's remorse somewhat, so I told her I'd research a
>> little. She paid $270.00 out the door for it, but the guy didn't
>> give her an owner's manual or paperwork until she went back and then
>> it was just a tag and the Shimano Nexus Hub technical instructions.
>> I doubt they were for that particular bike. No registration
>> material, either.

>
> The manual and paperwork are probably routinely witheld from the
> customer, not out of malice, but because most don't even want to know
> the gory details.


I'm used to seeing bikes with those plastic bags full of material
rubber-banded to the handlebar.

>> Still, the bike seems solid and well made. The prices I "quick saw"
>> on the net were a good deal higher ($350 +), so maybe she did OK?


> Less than $300 for a bike with a Nexus-3 hub sounds quite reasonable.
> It's a specialty bike, so there's not a lot to compare it to, but if
> the aluminum frame is built well enough, that sounds pretty good.


>> I seriously doubt she'll ride the bike much, but the design is ideal
>> ("easy boarding" is quite apt) AND it fits in the back of her car
>> without removing anything. Other than a folder, I can't imagine
>> anything better suited to her needs.


> The only thing I'd be worried about is whether someone who would want
> a low-stepover bike would be strong enough to lift a 31-pound bicycle
> into a car. For that matter, what does she drive, a PT Cruiser? I'm
> seriously interested.


She just bought a Prius, so the back is pretty big and open. She seems
pretty confident that she can get it in there OK, despite a bad shoulder
(more sugery than *I've* had on my wing).

>> What do you folks think? I wrote her a "preliminary" reassuring
>> e-mail just now, but also said I'd ask around for more opinions.


> Seems to be that if the blems were the reason for the low price, she
> has no complaint. Otherwise, I might mention it to the shop.


That's pretty much what I thought, too. The dent in the fender /could/ be
her doing, I suppose (or at least the shop guy can claim so); the rest is
not as clear-cut (or maybe clear coat? ...

Sure sounds like the guy sold it "as new" but really should have said "as
is".

I'll suggest she consider saying something just to get it off her mind;
otherwise, forget it and enjoy the bike.

Thanks for the reply.

B
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Re: Biria Bikes?

David L. Johnson wrote:
> On Mon, 29 Jan 2007 04:02:32 +0000, Ryan Cousineau wrote:
>
>>> http://www.biria.com:80/bicycles/ez/eb_top_3.jsp.
>>>
>>> I stopped by to see it and it's very cool, but the front fender (a
>>> bit off-center) has a small dent and the white paint has an
>>> unsightly blem on the down tube. (Looks like grease but doesn't
>>> come off.) Also, the springs on the front brake looked rusty to me
>>> -- not terribly so, but not brand new either. (The handlebar has a
>>> small scuff that looks like a bell or something was installed on
>>> it.) The bike was represented as new to
>>> her.

>
> Well, the bell could have come with the bike from the factory, but was
> removed (why? -- but it doesn't matter, a bell is cheap). The rust
> was probably since the bike had been sitting in the shop for a long
> time, which would explain the price, especially with the blemishes.


Beach area, especially. (The paint blem is strange -- more like a "stain"
/in/ the finish than a flaw on it.)

>> The manual and paperwork are probably routinely witheld from the
>> customer, not out of malice, but because most don't even want to know
>> the gory details.


> This seems odd to me. Usually, the shops give too much, rather than
> too little or none at all, as a CYA. At least she should be taught
> how to use any features (quick releases, shifting, etc.), and should
> have manuals that explain these things.


Agree.

>> Less than $300 for a bike with a Nexus-3 hub sounds quite reasonable.
>> It's a specialty bike, so there's not a lot to compare it to, but if
>> the aluminum frame is built well enough, that sounds pretty good.


> I'd agree. Looks pretty cool. Not for a "serious" rider, but for
> someone just out to ride to a friend's house or do some light
> shopping, it looks great, and the price can't be beat.


The most she's planning is to drive to a place like Coronado and ride around
a bit. Otherwise, around her Cul-de-sac is likely it.

>> Seems to be that if the blems were the reason for the low price, she
>> has no complaint. Otherwise, I might mention it to the shop.


> Agree. If the shop was routinely selling these bikes at that price,
> then this one should be swapped for one without blemishes. But if it
> was marked down because of them, your friend probably got a good deal.


Maybe he sort of "implied" it and she just missed it? Anyway, I agree she
did pretty well. Thanks to you and RC for the feedback.

B
post #7 of 8

Re: Biria Bikes?

On Mon, 29 Jan 2007 04:02:32 GMT, Ryan Cousineau <rcousine@sfu.ca>
wrote:

>The manual and paperwork are probably routinely witheld from the
>customer, not out of malice, but because most don't even want to know
>the gory details.


If shops are withholding the manual and paperwork, they are probably
breaking the law. There are some mandatory disclosures included in
most of them. I can't see a reputable manufacturer that would want the
mandatory - and negative - dosclosures to be given as stand alones,
when they can be included with a lot of company prepared feel good
literature. So I'm guessing that most shops that withheld the little
packet wrapped in shrink wrap would irritate their suppliers to the
point of not having any in a short period of time.

Sounds to me like the shop is operating in a grey market, possibly
selling second hand machinery as new.

Curtis L. Russell
Odenton, MD (USA)
Just someone on two wheels...
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Re: Biria Bikes?

Werehatrack wrote:
> On Sun, 28 Jan 2007 15:26:15 -0800, "Bill Sornson" <askme@ask.me> may
> have said:
>
>> What do you folks think? I wrote her a "preliminary" reassuring
>> e-mail just now, but also said I'd ask around for more opinions.

>
> As for the bike, the frame looks...odd. If it's not going to get
> ridden much, as you say, there's little cause for concern...but with a
> frame as perculiar as that one, I'd suggest that she use the online
> registration form to log the fact of her possession of the bike with
> the maker. Should the bike have already been registered to someone
> else, she can then use the manufacurer as leverage to get the dealer
> to own up to having sold a used bike as new. If that dealer is like
> several in this area, though, the lack of docs and the rust and other
> marks may just be signs of it having been on the sales floor (and
> perhaps outside on the rack to catch the attention of drivers) for
> more than a week or two.
>
> As long as the warranty can be confirmed, I wouldn't worry about this
> one at all.


Good ideas, thanks. I'll suggest she at least write or call 'em to register
the bike (w/serial number).

/b
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