Author Topic: Getting parents to understand  (Read 14468 times)

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Getting parents to understand
« on: May 31, 2008, 10:51:21 pm »
I have now done a few cycle trainings and bike checks, and I'm very shocked. I wonder how a parent can just let their kid ride around on these piles of junk.

I understand that it is their money and often they are not willing to spend a lot on something that the kid probably is going to grow out of if they do not break it before.

The service I had to do on these BSOs that weigh more than the kid, with little or no brakes, flat tyres, loose headsets, dented wheels with loose hub cones, and you are lucky if you can change the gears.

I wonder how I and others can tell the parents that a second hand bicycle would be so much better than the < £50 BSOs you can get on the high street. And teach them some simple maintenance so that the kid is not riding around on (dare I say it) a death trap.
#bollockstobrexit

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2008, 02:15:21 pm »
It does not have to be children on UN maintained BSO's.

I have had a few adults arrive for training on bits of metal that do not qualify to be even BSO's.  Only 1 brake working, flat, split tyres etc. 

Then there are the teenagers who insist on having their knees around their ears as they pedal,  and then want a rest after 20 mins as their legs are tired. 

Never mind if we all keep trying then things have to get better.

Geoff
Only those that dare to go too far, know how far they can go.   T S Elliot

jellied

  • skip to the end
    • Ealing Bike Hub
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2008, 02:35:10 pm »
Afraid to say that a lot think that a £50 spent at Argos means it's a top end bike.

I guess we are all guilty in the same respect when buying things we don't fully understand, but when you see kids arrive at Doctor Bikes with these awful machines and normally to top it all a badly fitted helmet I do weep.
A shitter and a giggler.

Gattopardo

  • Lord of the sith
  • Overseaing the building of the death star
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2008, 05:03:29 pm »
Better education of parents?

Or don't people fix things anymore so don't know how it should be when its working well?

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2008, 06:28:25 pm »
Badly fitted helmet are not just newbies I have seen a few roadies with theirs on backwards.  And even saw one today and  I wonder how it stayed on his head.

Don't get me wrong but I don't think we should educate parents as I see as it common sense to check up on your equipment. You are using something and therefore you should periodically check if it works. Especially when you are talking about something that could cause you serious harm if not working probably. But then again we should educate people how dangerous it is when the bicycle is not road worthy.

But unfortunately people can't be arsed and therefore just let it run into the ground and get a new one when the old is broken.
#bollockstobrexit

Wowbagger

  • Dez's butler
    • Musings of a Gentleman Cyclist
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2008, 06:35:27 pm »
When I used to instruct and examine the National Cycling Proficiency scheme in the early 1980s, it was no different.

I remember one child turning up on a "Universal" cycle, which in those days were manufactured just outside Southend (Southend United still has a Universal Cycles stand. I've never seen a bike in it though). It was a folding bike and had been put together so carefully that the wheels didn't revolve in the same plane!
Oh, Bach without any doubt. Bach every time for me.

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2008, 12:30:47 pm »
It's not just old BSOs that are worn out that are the problem.

A friend of mine just bought a new one from Halfrauds, but was having some problems so was thinking of taking it back for a service.   I saved him the effort by giving it a full going over in 5 minutes.

The brakes were lethal (levers touched the bars before they fully bit), gears were badly adjusted, etc.

It was in a state that a new bike should never have been in - a new bike that had then had approx 1,000 miles on the clock maybe, but not a bike that was almost straight out of the shop >:(

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2008, 12:47:17 pm »
It's a bit like people turning up at my lessons with £10 Argos plastic skates, and then wondering why the other people with decent skates do one push and roll for 10 meters.  Decent recreational skates cost between £80-£250, my top shelf custom carbon speedskates cost quite a bit more!!!
Your Royal Charles are belong to us.

agagisgroovy

  • Formely yellow-ceitidh
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2008, 02:30:40 pm »
It's very often kids turn up at Go-Ride with parts that need adjusting or a simple fix but the instructor is not allowed to fix it because if they then break and are injured they can sue him.

The other day some kid was riding on the road with nothing but a bare rim on his back wheel, no tyre. I have also seen a bike painted with wall paint and BMXs with no brakes.  And when I rode into school the other day some girl said "I like cycling, I've got a really good bike, it was £69 from Tescos and it has 18 gears".

My Dad lent my cousins two of our bikes: he had picked them up cheap at a boot sale and given them both good Dia Compe brakes and adjusted them up for us, then when we grew out of them they wanted them. After six months we visited and took the bikes to the park. All the tyres were practically flat, everything had rusted, the brakes had seized up and the gears wouldn't work, all because it had been left out. They didn't have helmets either.  :(

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2008, 02:57:42 pm »
One problem may be that people don't necessarily want to give or receive a secondhand birthday or Christmas present - which is what most kids' bikes are.  Same goes for any perceived "cheap" product.

So you get (if you're lucky) £100 of landfill* bike instead of a quite reasonable £100 secondhand machine that was £400 new and still works just as well as it did then.


*they may recycle the frame these days, if anyone can be bothered to take the bits off it, but I expect they just get crushed and buried.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2008, 06:52:34 pm »
I've had similar experiences. Best was a brand new bike from Halfrauds that was clearly too small for the child. On being so informed, the mother demanded to know what WE were going to about it for her!

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2008, 11:16:30 pm »
My nephews birthday tomorrow so I had the great pleasure of building one of these tonight.  ::-)

How can something so small be so heavy?

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2008, 05:14:42 pm »
A couple of months ago my mum hit a teenager who came flying out of a give way at night on a bike with brakes that didn't work and no lights. He was ok apart from a sore elbow (she insisted on driving him to A&E to be checked over), actually the metal they make Fiat Puntos from is so soft that the car was more damaged with a dented wing and a broken hubcap. She was really upset by it even though he apologised and said it was his fault, it's still not nice to hit someone and she felt bad for a while.

My very first little bike was a shiny and new Raleigh from Father Christmas, but when I grew out of it the rest were secondhand and I was fine with this, the fact that they were 'boy's bikes' didn't faze me. My grandad was the car boot sale king and they often came from there.

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2008, 05:34:06 pm »
A few years ago that happened to me too, lucky we were both moving at slow speed. I was stuck on the A305 (south circular in London) and he just wanted to cross the road on his BSO, right out between standing pedestrians waiting for little green man. Even though he pretty much landed on his feet (he must be a skater or ride bmx on track/ramp) as he did some fancy falling/landing :) It took me some time before I was over the shock of hitting someone else.
#bollockstobrexit

Shen

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2008, 08:23:18 am »
There is a major issue here of total non comprehension.

To you guys and gals a bike is a highly important and complex machine. One to be treated with care and dare I say it at times love.

To the rest of the world it's "a bike" an item that usually has problems, is to be thrown to the floor for parking and discarded like a used tissue.

And you really expect people to care?


Shen

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2008, 09:54:39 am »
I agree with you on most of these points, it's a toy, kids will trow it around, forget it etc. Though still it is something that they take out on the roads.

Growing up as a kid *) if I was somewhere and someone saw that my brakes etc were broken they would let me know, then they either tried to fix it or found someone who could. My folks and others made it very clear that I could not ride a bike that was in bad shape.

I don't know if it is because of foolhardiness or the "throw away" society we are living in now that is the reason and therefore we don't care for ourselves and others anymore.

*) yes I had an interest in mechanics and liked to mend my bike and therefore took a bit more care in fixing my bike.
#bollockstobrexit

rae

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2008, 10:04:23 am »
Quote
There is a major issue here of total non comprehension.

To you guys and gals a bike is a highly important and complex machine. One to be treated with care and dare I say it at times love. 

Exactly.  If I set you all off on a quest to buy a chainsaw, I bet I'd laugh at what you bought.  You'd be standing there rather puzzled with your £80 prize wondering what I was laughing about.   A Mcculloch, ha ha, with a 20" bar ....on that engine...ha ha, cheap oil too...ha ha won't last long...good for cutting tissue paper.

If you sent me off to buy something that you understood really well and I didn't, then I would probably make the same mistake.   I might not, because I do research any non-trivial purchase pretty carefully, but I'm a bit anal like that.

fruitcake

  • some kind of fruitcake
    • Bailey
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2008, 09:45:45 am »
Quote
I'd laugh at what you bought...

We trust shopkeepers to tell us what we should buy, esepcially if it's something we don't understand.  Shopkeepers are friendly - and they ask us how much we want to spend.  Enthusiasts come over all enthusiastic and tell us we need to spend loads of money.  They're a bit *too* into their hobby.  They're just not rational.

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2008, 11:50:52 am »
Most people wouldn't understand the benefits of a SON hub which costs more than the average bike, and then needs to be built into a wheel, making the total cost about twice that of the average bike.
Never tell me the odds.

vince

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2008, 12:12:08 pm »
I think the difference in Roger's example is that a SON hub, built into the wheel of the rider's choice is a specialist bit of kit for the enthusiast. A shimano hub on a higher priced commuter that comes with the hub and lights already installed is a more realistic option for those who are not that interested in cycling, but want a decent commuter. LED lights are more like the sort of thing most people would buy. And frankly for most, they would be crazy to spend over ten times the price of an adequate set of LED lights.

People don't understand bikes. Few people understand the difference between the bits on a £70 supermarket special and £200 for a reasonable cheap hybrid. They just think that the £70 bike is a bargain.

If you were to translate it into car terms and describe them as a BMW, Mondeo and whatever is the equivalent of a Yugo these days, then people would understand what they are paying for.

There is an old guy around here who cycles round on a straight barred Eddison that has some very well worn Carradice luggage. I would bet that people think that it is a cheap old thing rather than the custom built Rolls Royce of a machine that it probably is.

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2008, 12:49:29 am »
Quote
There is a major issue here of total non comprehension.

To you guys and gals a bike is a highly important and complex machine. One to be treated with care and dare I say it at times love. 

Exactly.  If I set you all off on a quest to buy a chainsaw, I bet I'd laugh at what you bought.  You'd be standing there rather puzzled with your £80 prize wondering what I was laughing about.   A Mcculloch, ha ha, with a 20" bar ....on that engine...ha ha, cheap oil too...ha ha won't last long...good for cutting tissue paper.

If you sent me off to buy something that you understood really well and I didn't, then I would probably make the same mistake.   I might not, because I do research any non-trivial purchase pretty carefully, but I'm a bit anal like that.

that depends on the spec you give. If you say 'a chainsaw' then you have no right to laugh as an 80 quid B&Q special fulfills that spec. If you want a durable one with certain capacity etc. then you could laugh if the obtained solution doesn't meet the spec.

'I want a bike to ride to work on'. A BSO is fine if it is flat and not far. A ten mile round trip and it would be inappropriate.

Just like chainsaws. A B&Q special would do 99% of what I need. Just like my McCulloch (or is it Pro wotsit) hedge trimmer. It seems a bit tired now - after three or four years of ownership and 20-30 hours use max it is probably time to service it. (It was starting to cut out after the last trim.) The only maintenance it has had is some bog standard engine oil on the blades and refuelling.

..d

"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2008, 03:35:18 pm »
yup

and my mcculloch only has to work for about 20 mins at a time - enough to cut some logs into round bits to stack and dry.  My back, combined with my workspace and regard for the neighbours won't allow any greater length of time.  Still  though, I remember being inordinately proud of my first 'real' bike bought second/third hand, and it simply inspired me to want to do more and do it better (still waiting for that bit....)

But bikes seem like 'stuff' to lots of kids these days and 'stuff' oozes out of every pore of their life.  Harks back to the living simply/getting rid of possessions thread somewhere.  A bike requires imagination and ambition to turn into the mysterious creature of wotsit that it is to (probably) most of us here.

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2008, 03:53:03 pm »
£100 bikes have five problems I can think of:

1) Heavy
2) Gears rarely index properly, because they don't use a proper freewheel with the ramps and cutouts
3) Brakes are usually very weak and hard to set up (plastic V-brakes, anybody?)
4) Hubs and other bearings don't stand up to water or mud because of non-existent seals and poor greasing
5) All the components rust quickly, due to the use of cheap pressed steel rather than aluminium alloy.

Thankfully chromed steel rims - which should come with a "do not use this bicycle in the wet" warning-  have died out on all but the worst landfill fodder.

For flattish use in the summer, £100 bikes are probably OK, but for year-round cycling with any hills, you need to think about something better - or secondhand.
Never tell me the odds.

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2008, 09:01:01 pm »
Todays session :

BSO #1
Brake pads gone, flat tyres, brake leavers and saddle in the wrong position, gears working just fine (shocking)

Fixed it all, set the saddle to fit trainee and made the BSO road worthy.

BSO #2
Back brake cable not looking good but brake worked, missing front brake (broken off), flat tyres, tyres well worn down, needs replacing very soon back derailleur not working as it was broken of along with the front brake.
 
Told trainee that a trip to LBS would be a very good idea if trainee wanted to come back next week to start the course. As I could not have accept the trainee on the course today.

BSO #3
Bottom bracket very loose, brakes just about working, flat tyres, saddle way too high (a first), back wheel very out of tune, most gears working, head set loose.

Fixed breaks, lowered the saddle as it was over max, pumped tyres, managed to tune the back wheel in road worth shape. Told trainee to start dropping hints for a birthday pressie in Sept. as the BSO was way too small for trainee. The BSO make road worthy.

BSO #4
Brand new BSO, break just about working, gears working, bottom bracket loose.

Adjusted brakes, tighten the bottom bracket  and made the BSO road worthy.

BSO #5
Brakes levers in the wrong position, seat too low, back brakes not working, head set loose.

Head set could not be fixed, told trainee to bring the BSO to the LBS to get it fixed and that the trainee couldn't join us on todays course.

Out of 5 BSO's I managed to make 3 road worthy, but only ended up with 2 trainees as one decided that cycle training was not something the trainee wanted to do.

And that is just a typical day in the office, must of these things could be fixed by a parent or a quick trip to the LBS or just some simple TLC, oh well.
#bollockstobrexit

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2008, 09:09:02 pm »
I wonder how many non-enthusiast parents understand how to take a bike apart?  I practised on a succession of nasty cheap bikes, but I made a lot of mistakes; diving down a steep hill with really loose front hub cones gives interesting cornering.

I still haven't figured out how to remove the wheels on Mrs Z's bike; the front has a QR for the axle and the roller brake cable, but the rear has those and a torque arm.
Never tell me the odds.