seriously, don't buy a Halfords bike

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by MartinM, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    David Martin wrote:

    > MartinM wrote:
    > > Bill wrote:
    > >
    > > I appreciate that on this group anything that doesn't burn a hole
    > > > in a years salary is automatically classed as crap,

    > >
    > > I'm not going to dip too deeply into this but I certainly don't hold
    > > that view; there are as you say plenty of cheap bikes out there that do
    > > the job they were purchased for perfectly. My ethos with buying bits is
    > > to get the best quality for the money without going into silly
    > > territory (ie Dura-Ace etc land).

    >
    > I have found that the price point for best value for money seems to be
    > around the Deore - XT level (105-Ultegra). Cheaper components seem to
    > degrade rather too rapidly. More expensive ones are too expensive for
    > the performance (by which I mean the year in, year out continuous
    > working without grief type rather than speed).
    >
    > I do have dura-ace bits on my road bike, to wit the cable stops on the
    > DT bosses. I also have some cheap bits.


    I suppose for racing where £100 = 1s or thereabouts there is a point
    in paying silly money; otherwise it seems to be pose value. I've had
    the choice of groupset imposed on me by price (RSX/Sora on the audax
    bike and RX100 on the nice one) as that's what was fitted to the bikes.


    going back to the OP, Halfords do seem to pull the punters in with
    flashy sounding components on their bikes (often mismatched) but if
    they can't match the qulaity throughout the bike it's a false economy.
    The last road bike I bought from them (many years ago) shed everything
    except the frame and shifters over the years; I would in hindsight have
    been better off buying from a proper bike builder.
     


  2. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:
    > David Martin wrote:
    >
    > > Just wondering how long other people keep their bikes

    >
    > My first "proper" bike was a Raleigh Olympus which was eventually
    > half-inched while I was a student at Edinburgh after I'd had it about
    > 7-8 years. That was replaced on the insurance by an EBC Country in '89,
    > which was my only bike until '97 when an EBC Contour 400 MTB joined it.
    > I gave away the Country a couple of years ago, still got the Countour
    > 400 and use it on my occasional MTB forays. I've had the Streetmachine
    > and Brompton about 5 years and have no intention of replacing either
    > until they show signs of wearing out, which they're not doing...


    And you didn't even mention the 8Freight ;-)

    > > There does seem to be a tendency to get new bikes
    > > fairly frequently, or maybe just to talk about it if you have got a new
    > > one (I'm sure WTG would tellus if he had bought a new brompton)..

    >
    > Supplementing and replacing are two different things though. I've
    > bought all the bikes since the Country to do things my existing bikes
    > wouldn't do nearly as well.


    I suppose my MTB comes into the 'supplement' category. The excuse was
    that I couldn't easily pull the trailer on a road race bike.. and the
    MTB was much better for the commute (16 miles each way at the time).

    Igor was definitely a supplement, though may get replaced at some
    point.
    The planned recumbent trike would be pure indulgence though.. Could
    take a while to build.

    ...d
     
  3. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    Peter B wrote:

    > Have a dig at Halrauds if you must but for valid reasons.


    I agree that they are not alone but this one part nearly cost the whole
    bike; there was no spare part available, it was designed to be fitted
    but not removed and it could not have been cut out. That's much
    different (and more dishonest) than just fitting cheap bits.
     
  4. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    David Martin wrote:
    >
    > Just wondering how long other people keep their bikes, or is it a case
    > of how well locked they are so teh at the thievingpikeychavscum don't
    > make off with it. There does seem to be a tendency to get new bikes
    > fairly frequently, or maybe just to talk about it if you have got a new
    > one (I'm sure WTG would tellus if he had bought a new brompton)..
    >


    I've still got all the bikes I've owned post childhood. The oldest is a
    Holdsworth of 30 years vintage and now doing good service as my
    fixed/singlespeed.

    --
    Tony

    "The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the
    right."
    - Lord Hailsham
     
  5. Pete Biggs wrote:

    > MartinM wrote:
    >
    >>I knew Halfrauds were not averse to fitting low spec components to
    >>their bikes in the hope that by fitting enough big name Shimano gear
    >>no-one would notice but this takes the biscuit;
    >>My nephew's MTB (Carrera Kraken SE) is about 3-4 years old and the
    >>"sealed" BB has been
    >>slowly degenarating over that time. My brother finally decided to
    >>replace it (when it started making more noise than the non-oiled
    >>chain, teenagers eh!) to discover that it's not a sealed BB but a
    >>standard bearing one with fake splined nuts either side. This is
    >>doubly bad as it means a. the BB is non-adjustable b. the fake
    >>splined drives are too thin to be able to get a tool on with any
    >>great effect. It has been back to the shop where they failed to get
    >>the RH one off. Eventually bolting the tool to the errant nut and
    >>standing on a large adjustable spanner did the job and earnt me lots
    >>of BEER. How many pence did they actually save by fitting this load
    >>of rubbish rather than the proper part?

    >
    >
    > This is not unique to Halfords. Big names like Trek have done (or still
    > do?) the same sort of thing.


    And Thorn. XT everything but a bottom of the range BB.

    http://www.sjscycles.com/thornwebsite/thornpdf/ThornClubTourSpec.pdf

    Cheap b'stards.
     
  6. Tom

    Tom Guest

  7. David Martin

    David Martin Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:
    > David Martin wrote:
    > >
    > > Just wondering how long other people keep their bikes, or is it a case
    > > of how well locked they are so teh at the thievingpikeychavscum don't
    > > make off with it. There does seem to be a tendency to get new bikes
    > > fairly frequently, or maybe just to talk about it if you have got a new
    > > one (I'm sure WTG would tellus if he had bought a new brompton)..
    > >

    >
    > I've still got all the bikes I've owned post childhood. The oldest is a
    > Holdsworth of 30 years vintage and now doing good service as my
    > fixed/singlespeed.


    I'll admit to binning one. It was a frame that had been crashed at one
    point and was used as a commuter/winter hack for my first few years in
    Norway. I had no problem with it, but loaned it to someone else who
    returned it as 'almost unrideable'..

    When I got the MTB/commuter it had all the useful bits removed, then
    went to be recycled.

    ...d
     
  8. Paul - xxx

    Paul - xxx Guest

    MartinM came up with the following;:
    > I knew Halfrauds


    Cheap dig.

    > caveat emptor


    Purrrlease ... 3 or 4 years is a good lifetime for any mountain bike bottom
    bracket, let alone one on a cheap, crap bike.

    --
    Paul ...
    (8(|) Homer Rules ..... Doh !!!
     
  9. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    Paul - xxx wrote:

    > Purrrlease ... 3 or 4 years is a good lifetime for any mountain bike bottom
    > bracket, let alone one on a cheap, crap bike.


    £299 a cheap crap bike?

    it doesn't matter how long it lasted, if it can't be removed it's
    useless; how would you remove something with about 2mm of spline?
    probably a good thing it wasn't sealed as otherwise I would not have
    been able to get a bolt through it.
     
  10. wafflycat

    wafflycat Guest

    "David Martin" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    >Just wondering how long other people keep their bikes, or is it a case
    >of how well locked they are so teh at the thievingpikeychavscum don't
    >make off with it. There does seem to be a tendency to get new bikes
    >fairly frequently, or maybe just to talk about it if you have got a new
    >one (I'm sure WTG would tellus if he had bought a new brompton)..
    >
    >..d
    >


    Well, I've still got the hybrid which was purchased when Nathan was a baby.
    I had a child seat put on the rear rack & when Nathan was wee, that was our
    normal mode of transport. The bike is still as good as new thanks to the TLC
    it gets from My Personal Bike Mechanic, also known as husband :)

    Cheers, helen s
     
  11. congokid

    congokid Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, David
    Martin <[email protected]> writes

    >Just wondering how long other people keep their bikes, or is it a case
    >of how well locked they are so teh at the thievingpikeychavscum don't
    >make off with it. There does seem to be a tendency to get new bikes
    >fairly frequently,


    My FW Evans tourer de luxe, custom built in 1986, is still going strong
    - though I've had a new seat pin and saddle after the originals were
    nicked in the mid-90s, and new wheels after the originals wore out a bit
    later, and just last year it got new mudguards after the originals wore
    out. Nearly forgot, the pedals were changed when I had SPDs fitted
    sometime in the late 90s.

    The only frame related failure was the left front fork, and I'm not sure
    but I think the entire fork was replaced rather than repaired. Other
    bits and pieces relating to gears and brakes were replaced during
    various LBS services over the years.

    It has been in regular use apart from 1989-1992, when I drove or took
    public transport, and much of 2001-2, when I bought the Brompton T3.

    I just dug out the Evans receipt - UKP 575.

    --
    congokid
    Eating out in London? Read my tips...
    http://congokid.com
     
  12. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    MartinM wrote:
    >
    > it doesn't matter how long it lasted, if it can't be removed it's
    > useless; how would you remove something with about 2mm of spline?
    > probably a good thing it wasn't sealed as otherwise I would not have
    > been able to get a bolt through it.
    >


    Holding the tool on with a bolt is pretty standard and if you had not
    touched it for 3-4 years its not surprising it was pretty solidly stuck.

    --
    Tony

    "The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the
    right."
    - Lord Hailsham
     
  13. dkahn400

    dkahn400 Guest

    Peter Clinch wrote:
    > dkahn400 wrote:
    >
    > > If it failed after 2 weeks I'd have thought that would've been a
    > > warranty job, even on a £69 bike.

    >
    > So they replace the one manufactured from reject Brie with another made
    > from reject Brie... might as well put in something that at least aspires
    > to being merely adequate.


    True. However, if the replacement is as cheesy as the original it'll
    soon break too. Eventually the shop might think it worthwhile to put a
    metal one in for you, just to stop you coming back every two weeks.
    It's the principle of the thing really.

    --
    Dave...
     
  14. Simon Brooke

    Simon Brooke Guest

    in message <[email protected]>, David
    Martin ('[email protected]') wrote:

    > Just wondering how long other people keep their bikes, or is it a case
    > of how well locked they are so teh at the thievingpikeychavscum don't
    > make off with it. There does seem to be a tendency to get new bikes
    > fairly frequently, or maybe just to talk about it if you have got a new
    > one (I'm sure WTG would tellus if he had bought a new brompton)..


    I think it depends a lot on where you live. When I lived in Lancaster I
    had four bikes stolen in four years, and it wasn't worth replacing them
    with really good ones (fortunately only one of the stolen bikes was
    really good). Since I got home fifteen years ago I've had none stolen. I
    lent my old mountain bike out when it was about fifteen years old, and
    haven't had it back yet (it may still come back, and if it does I'll use
    it as a utility bike for nipping up and down to the mooring); my old
    road bike, currently relegated to winter bike, is about fourteen years
    old; my 'new' mountain bike is two and a half years old, and won't get
    replaced any time soon (but it does regularly get new bits). My 'new'
    road bike is eighteen months old and won't be replaced for a long time,
    although it too gets pretty new parts.

    The thing I love about bikes is I can afford to ride bikes which are
    pretty close to the best in the world - pretty close to what the top
    athletes ride in the top competitions. I can afford to ride bikes which
    are very close to the best that can be made. The frame of my Dolan is a
    prototype developed for the British Olympic team (although not used by
    them); its wheels are identical to ones ridden by a lot of top riders in
    last year's Tour de France. It's like being able to drive a top-of-the-
    range Maclaren or Ferrari. OK, I was never - and never will be - a good
    enough athlete to do justice to these bikes, but I can still enjoy them.
    The aesthetic of something which is perfectly honed to its purpose is
    very appealing.

    A two and a half thousand pound road bike /is/ a very expensive bicycle;
    it isn't justified for the sort of riding I do. A five hundred pound
    road bike would do it very very nearly as well. But as a piece of
    technological perfection, it's very, very cheap. It's affordable. And
    it's gorgeous.


    --
    [email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/

    For office use only. Please do not write or type below this line.
     
  15. "dkahn400" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    Peter Clinch wrote:

    > dkahn400 wrote:
    >


    > > If it failed after 2 weeks I'd have thought that would've been a
    > > warranty job, even on a £69 bike.

    >
    > So they replace the one manufactured from reject Brie with another made
    > from reject Brie... might as well put in something that at least aspires
    > to being merely adequate.


    True. However, if the replacement is as cheesy as the original it'll
    soon break too. Eventually the shop might think it worthwhile to put a
    metal one in for you, just to stop you coming back every two weeks.
    It's the principle of the thing really.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Except they're hardly likely to give you a replacement bike
    during the time it's in their workshop. Maybe waiting for
    original parts which they need to source from the original
    supplier. Or any other form of compensation for loss of use.
    And so you may well be forking out on bus-fares or some
    alternative way of getting to work in the meantime. Which
    may well end up costing you more money than doing it
    yourself to start with.

    If the bike wasn't need for commuting and wouldn't be missed
    for a couple of weeks, or whatever, then maybe that would be
    different.


    michael adams

    ....







    --
    Dave...
     
  16. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:

    > MartinM wrote:
    > >
    > > it doesn't matter how long it lasted, if it can't be removed it's
    > > useless; how would you remove something with about 2mm of spline?
    > > probably a good thing it wasn't sealed as otherwise I would not have
    > > been able to get a bolt through it.
    > >

    >
    > Holding the tool on with a bolt is pretty standard and if you had not
    > touched it for 3-4 years its not surprising it was pretty solidly stuck.


    nobut we would have removed it sooner if we'd known it was not what it
    seemed.

    So on a sealed one you can clamp the tool onto the spline with a crank
    bolt? thanks, will try that next time. The last time I had a stiff one
    (fnaar fnaar) I rather lost it and hit the spanner with a large hammer;
    result, one splineless tool ;-(
     
  17. Ib

    Ib Guest

    David Martin wrote:
    > Just wondering how long other people keep their bikes, or is it a case
    > of how well locked they are so teh at the thievingpikeychavscum don't
    > make off with it. There does seem to be a tendency to get new bikes
    > fairly frequently, or maybe just to talk about it if you have got a new
    > one (I'm sure WTG would tellus if he had bought a new brompton)..
    >


    I have a 20 year-old racer that I bought 2nd hand from a cycle hire shop
    when my previous bike had been left in the university theft-racks. It's
    being replaced and I'm wandering what to do with it. It has spent half
    it's life outdoors so everything that can rust has. Only 3 of the 12
    gears are currently serviceable thanks to sticking gear levers and
    mechanisms. The bar tape is more duck tape where the splits have been
    taped over, and the brake levers slide up and down the handle bars. And
    there is a lock rapped around the handlebars because the padlock is
    rusted shut and I have nothing to cut it with.

    It does a job of transport, and if I required to leave a bike in a
    university bike-rack again I would certainly have a use for it. But at
    the moment I don't. An LBS run maintenance classes where you bring your
    own bike along, strip it down and rebuild. Would this be a good exercise
    to refurbish this bike? Or is it so old that I am going to learn nothing
    about current bikes from this process?

    Ib.
     
  18. Jim Price

    Jim Price Guest

    David Martin wrote:
    > My not very expensive MTB has cost me probably three times it's
    > original purchase price and is now 9 years old.
    >
    > The road bike I bought as a bare frame in 1989 and built up. The
    > current wheels were built in the early 90's.
    >
    > Just wondering how long other people keep their bikes, or is it a case
    > of how well locked they are so teh at the thievingpikeychavscum don't
    > make off with it. There does seem to be a tendency to get new bikes
    > fairly frequently, or maybe just to talk about it if you have got a new
    > one (I'm sure WTG would tellus if he had bought a new brompton)..


    My first bike was stolen after 2 years, my second sold to a friend after
    3 years to finance the third, which was stolen after 2 years (but not
    from me - from my GF at the time). The fourth was purchased after I
    crashed but before I repaired the third and gave it to the
    aforementioned GF. Number four lasted 10 years until I got number five
    concurrently. Number six arrived shortly after that and I still have
    it(6 years and no intention of selling it). Number seven was part funded
    by selling number five after 1 year (having learnt a bit more about what
    to look for on a full suspension bike - 5 years and counting). I think
    number eight was the same year, so 5 years and its still a keeper. Then
    came the nexus after which I started building my own bikes, and
    discovered eBay. This seems to have meant a bike creation about four
    times a year, usually to cover the increasingly rare remaining niches of
    bikes I don't have already. I've now run out of niches, and only have
    two frames left to build up...

    JimP

    --
    Let's think the unthinkable, let's do the undoable, let's prepare to
    grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after
    all. - DNA
     
  19. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    MartinM wrote:
    >
    > So on a sealed one you can clamp the tool onto the spline with a crank
    > bolt? thanks, will try that next time. The last time I had a stiff one
    > (fnaar fnaar) I rather lost it and hit the spanner with a large hammer;
    > result, one splineless tool ;-(
    >


    Better to mount the tool in a bench vice and use the frame for leverage,
    with someone pressing down hard on the BB shell if need be.


    --
    Tony

    "The best way I know of to win an argument is to start by being in the
    right."
    - Lord Hailsham
     
  20. MartinM

    MartinM Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:

    > MartinM wrote:
    > >
    > > So on a sealed one you can clamp the tool onto the spline with a crank
    > > bolt? thanks, will try that next time. The last time I had a stiff one
    > > (fnaar fnaar) I rather lost it and hit the spanner with a large hammer;
    > > result, one splineless tool ;-(
    > >

    >
    > Better to mount the tool in a bench vice and use the frame for leverage,
    > with someone pressing down hard on the BB shell if need be.


    tried that too; result; one broken Lidl vice ;-(
     
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