Author Topic: Bicycle Shaped Objects  (Read 549 times)

Bicycle Shaped Objects
« on: June 14, 2020, 06:59:25 pm »
Have we had a BSO thread in a while? I was cycling along the Thames in south London yesterday. Two lads were on the pavement, looking at one of their bikes. I stopped to offer a hand and one lad asked if I had some tools. I asked what he needed and he said his brakes were jammed on.
If we could not get them freed he would have it carry the bike home.

What happened? He braked sharply when a woman stepped out in front of him. The black metal brake calipers bent to the degree that the brake blocks were jammed into the wheel. All I could do was unfasten the brake blocks and let him ride home.
Two points:
a) Mr. cheap bike seller - this boy could have bashed in his front teeth. Or worse.
b) this boy might never cycle again. The bike is likely to be put in the shed and forgotten. It is going to be difficult to unbend those calipers even if he tries.

Selling a bike where the brakes bend is just outrageous. That bike is not fit for purpose.

Re: Bicycle Shaped Objects
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2020, 07:48:04 pm »
I've seen plastic V brakes (normally at least one has the noodle disconnected on a working BSO).  They have BS6102/1 stickers but I doubt this is rigidly enforced.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: Bicycle Shaped Objects
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2020, 11:52:33 pm »
The cantilever arms on my BSO folder are some sort of plastic. The hard, glass filled kind, but plastic. Bought from Argos, so reasonably legit.

Braking has always been terrible, but that's mostly because the geometry doesn't allow the brake blocks to be both properly aligned and clear the tyre.

It also didn't help that the original levers were made of plasticine sheet metal (aka cheese slices) so the cable end slots opened up over time with each application.

Mr Larrington

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Re: Bicycle Shaped Objects
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2020, 02:55:46 pm »
I've seen plastic V brakes (normally at least one has the noodle disconnected on a working BSO).  They have BS6102/1 stickers but I doubt this is rigidly enforced.

I expect the stickers may be cheaply obtained from everyone's favourite online tat market too.
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Re: Bicycle Shaped Objects
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2020, 03:04:24 pm »
Cheap V brakes are also known for an entertaining form of brake failure where the noodle pushes right through the hole in the stirrup.
And Darkness and Decay and the Coronavirus held illimitable dominion over all.

Re: Bicycle Shaped Objects
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2020, 05:01:03 pm »
A couple of weeks ago I spent my sunday morning trying to improve a secondhand BSO for the coordinator of a local charity for whom I am going to be sorting a few donated bikes for cheap transport. Greased front wheel, adjusted gears (as much as one could). Before her husband took it away we rode it briefly up the road. Horrible squealing, no stopping (and on the stand the brakes looked fine). Closer inspection revealed that the pressed steel brake arms had an alarming amount of play. I promised to look out the V-brakes that I took off when I converted to discs.
Cue yesterday morning. A late start due to Sofiane forgetting to warn me he was coming. He turned up with the cheap chinese bike and a cheap Decathlon vtt that he had bought secondhand for me to look at. The vtt also had lots of squealing and not much braking (the neightbours will think I spend sunday mornings killing pigs). A lot of time was spent trying to clean and degrease brakes (although I didn't bother going as far as taking the pads out) without a lot of success, just slight improvement. Holding the front brake on I could see the leg of the suspension fork vibrating.
I then turned to Marie's bike. A slight bother with one brake arm screw seized but otherwise success. Secondhand V-brakes fitted (had to clean a bit of paint off one pivot), new pads fitted, didn't bother to change cables, they were fine. Try it out,now that's stopping power! Front brake squeals a bit just before stopping but there is movement in the fork pivot (rigid fork). I look at trying to grease and readjust the headset but there is a bit of gubbins to shift with her front basket mount. Even just tightened slightly improved things so now I will have to have it back to do properly when I have a bit of time.
Moral of the story: there's no "discs are better than V-brakes" in the BSO market. There's just good brakes and crap brakes. And manufacturers will give you a transmission that works fine, even wheels that are (nearly) round but they all cut corners on the brakes! Why??
For information the vtt was a Rockrider 520, entry level bike but with pretentions. The previous owner had bought it new and the realised that he had made a mistake and that cycling wasn't for him and had left it in the shed for a year. The brakes are Hayes cable discs (which might be Avid clones but don't look the same as my Avid clones, for which reason I wasn't getting too involved in seeing if my spare pads were the same). Normally Sofiane should have gone for new pads today, which I think might improve things a bit.

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Bicycle Shaped Objects
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2020, 05:19:10 pm »
I've seen plastic V brakes (normally at least one has the noodle disconnected on a working BSO).  They have BS6102/1 stickers but I doubt this is rigidly enforced.
Boom tish!
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Re: Bicycle Shaped Objects
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2020, 05:40:54 pm »
I just tidied up my daughter's old bike which was a hand me down from one of her cousins.

20" wheeled Apollo Spektor weighing in at an impressive 12.15kg which makes it the heaviest bike in the house, heavier (just) than my wife's Trek city bike.

(An equivalent Islabike (Beinn 20) is only 7.4kg although you can't find them for love nor money at the moment.)
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Bicycle Shaped Objects
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2020, 11:05:06 am »
I just sold a Beinn 20 - there are some on the secondhand market though they are moving very quickly.

Last week stood outside the park saying bye to someone I'd met there, a family cycled past me.  The lead boy (maybe 10) was on an MTB shaped object with the front V brake arms flapping in the breeze! As his mum came past I said "no brakes?", to which she replied "he's got back brakes".  WTF? Who knowingly puts their kid on a bike with just a back brake (but makes sure he's wearing a helmet and Hi-Viz)?

Re: Bicycle Shaped Objects
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2020, 11:23:54 am »
Strangely wild bikes the go outdoors kids bikes seem to be unobtanium at the moment. Couldn't even see on website but if googled then they appear and show no stock

Kim

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Re: Bicycle Shaped Objects
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2020, 01:16:28 pm »
Last week stood outside the park saying bye to someone I'd met there, a family cycled past me.  The lead boy (maybe 10) was on an MTB shaped object with the front V brake arms flapping in the breeze! As his mum came past I said "no brakes?", to which she replied "he's got back brakes".  WTF? Who knowingly puts their kid on a bike with just a back brake (but makes sure he's wearing a helmet and Hi-Viz)?

Someone who only uses the back brake, because they know the front brake is the fly-over-the-handlebars button.  That's certainly what my parents taught me as a child, and I don't think it's uncommon.

Helmet and hi-vis are protection against being thought of as a Bad Parent, of course.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...