Author Topic: Getting parents to understand  (Read 14469 times)

vince

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2008, 09:12:12 pm »
I haven't a clue, if certain members of this forum aren't available it is off to the LBS. I guess I do know enough to know when it's wrong though.

Keep at it Mr W, you'll have your reward in heaven  :)

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2008, 09:24:51 pm »
It can be quite amazing how difficult people seem to find what seems fairly basic mechanics on bikes.  I work with people who are generally qualified to at least Degree level in Physics (or something very similar), many of them are Drs, and it's amazing how difficult some of them find it to do something simple like adjust brakes.  I don't mean get out the tools necessarily, on one bike I could make the brakes work adequately using the cable adjusters, which aren't exactly rocket science (<cough> ;D).
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

rae

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2008, 11:31:46 pm »
Quote
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.   

The whole point is that for most people, the only specification of "bike" is "a bike".   Most of the shops they see sell rubbish bikes, but for them that is "a bike".  Remember that this bike will be left outside, they know it will be stolen, and maintenance will be minimal.  Why should it be anything else? 

Indeed, your pro-wotsit illustrates the example perfectly.   You went out and bought something that you didn't know that much about and probably didn't care about that much because all you wanted to do was cut the hedge.   So you went to a shop and bought the thing based on price (they are cheap....).   Now to someone familiar with these things, you made an awful mistake: it is heavier than it needs to be, vibrates more than it has to and uses more fuel than necessary.  To cap it all, it is starting to perform badly after 3 years - my favourite saw was bought in 1997, has cut down and blocked up literally hundreds of trees with a similar maintenance programme to yours.   However, it works for you, and that is all that matters.

It is just familarity.  We are familiar with bikes, and know about options that most people wouldn't even begin to comprehend.  I'd be just the same in er, a fashion shop or going to buy a musical instrument.

 

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2008, 11:18:13 am »
Now this pains me greatly to say this, but ...
maybe the fixie crowd have a point.

Actually, single-speeds make more sense. But my point is that a mid-quality, very simple bike will work better than a cheap 21-speed full-susser. Especially after a careless "user" has left it out in the rain and crashed it a few times. A wiser writer than me once observed something like "ALL kids bikes end up as single-speed clunkers".
Mr W could fix a lot of ineligible bikes by shortening the chain and chucking the gear paraphernalia (a loose bottom bracket can become ridable if you don't have a front changer).

The Royal Mail don't choose their bikes at random.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2008, 11:44:06 am »
My next-door-neighbour-but-one is 'something in the City'.  He drives a beautiful aston martin, earns several squillion quids a day and is a very nice chap.  He asked me to help him set up his sons birthday bike last autumn - it was a 60 quid full suspension Apollo job from Halfords.

I helped him set it up, then showed him it weighed quite a lot more than my mtb, pointed out that I'm about 3 feet taller & ten stone heavier than his son and suggested looking at islabikes...

his son loved the halfords bike but I havent seen him riding it in about 3 months :(

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #30 on: June 17, 2008, 12:27:59 pm »
Quote
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.   

The whole point is that for most people, the only specification of "bike" is "a bike".   Most of the shops they see sell rubbish bikes, but for them that is "a bike".  Remember that this bike will be left outside, they know it will be stolen, and maintenance will be minimal.  Why should it be anything else? 

Indeed, your pro-wotsit illustrates the example perfectly.   You went out and bought something that you didn't know that much about and probably didn't care about that much because all you wanted to do was cut the hedge.   So you went to a shop and bought the thing based on price (they are cheap....).   Now to someone familiar with these things, you made an awful mistake: it is heavier than it needs to be, vibrates more than it has to and uses more fuel than necessary.  To cap it all, it is starting to perform badly after 3 years - my favourite saw was bought in 1997, has cut down and blocked up literally hundreds of trees with a similar maintenance programme to yours.   However, it works for you, and that is all that matters.

It is just familarity.  We are familiar with bikes, and know about options that most people wouldn't even begin to comprehend.  I'd be just the same in er, a fashion shop or going to buy a musical instrument.

 

The alternative in this situation is to hire. I would not buy a decent hedge trimmer because it would be cheaper to pay someone to do the work. I paid about 100GBP, overall it is probably equivalent to the hire of a decent one, and that is what I will do when this one dies. Though I may do something smart like check the plug to see what it looks like.

And yes, it is heavy, it doesn't vibrate too much, but it is starting to feel a bit loose in places. Good upper body workout (25m of hedge later).

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

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2008, 10:53:58 am »
Well I tried told the parent not to get a full suss BSO, and what did he get junior. Something that is heavier than jr and bound to fall apart soon.
#bollockstobrexit

Gandalf

  • Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #32 on: December 24, 2008, 12:33:25 pm »
I think I may have just encountered someone like this.  I've just been on a little sortie into Wimbledon to get a couple of last minute bits.  As I was locking up my bike a middle aged lady on a Trek Hybrid tugged me about her rear brake.  The cable was detached from the cable stop on the downtube and flapping like a spinnaker.  She was convinced I was winding her up when I referred to the noodle. 

Anyway, I sorted it out for her and she said 'perhaps I'd better take it into a bike shop'.  I asked her when she last had it serviced and the answer was never, as she'd only had the bike for four years.  No rush then love.  ::-)

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #33 on: December 25, 2008, 10:24:41 am »
Just saw a bike box in the recycling in our block of flats.  69.99 disc brakes and full suspension girls 8-10 y/o bike.   :sick:
Your Royal Charles are belong to us.

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2009, 05:29:09 pm »
I get this with my brother too.
Every time I visit him, which isn't that often, just a few times a year, I am asked to fix his bike. Every time he has "another bike." He cycles about 10 miles a day to work and back on a BSO. Every time I visit him, his wheel bearings and BB bearings nd cones are serverely worn. I stripped a wheel down once and showed him all the sparkly stuff in the bearings. "Thats metal that is," I told him. I showed him where it was coming from and told him that it also accelerates the wear rate of his bearings. I told him that the bike I used to get myself to his house, about 100 miles away, cost me £250 second hand, has done at least 50,000 miles, was over 10 years old, has had about £300 worth of replacement parts, some of which are still going strong, is still working very well and will last for much longer. Then I ask him how many "cheap" bikes he's bought in the last few years and ask him how much they all cost. I then ask him if he want me to build him  bike that will last for about 10 years and need hardly any maintenance and have as low a running cost as possible (he'll never bang the miles out like I do so that wouldn't be too difficult)

He's just unwilling to spend the money on what I assume he thinks is,"just a bike." I know that he has the money but he just won't spend it on a bike, which he needs to get to work. ???
I refuse to help him now. He asked for my help and I've tol him what to do. It's up to him to help himself now. I'll help him pick a bike, but I won't bother repairing his worn out tat. Or I might just treat him to a decent bike if I see a good bargain.

I've nothing against BSOs. If I never had a stock of old bike bits that are close to their end, I would have one myself for popping to the shops and leaving out of sight. But I have a knackered old fixer for that, which gives a much better ride than a BSO.

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2009, 08:19:19 pm »
Excellent post above, TG.
 I think you would make a fine columnist  :)

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2009, 07:46:00 pm »
Its weird. When I was a kid with a paper round in the late 70s I was saving up for a Raleigh 10 speed racer. Not a fancy Team Raleigh one just a basic Raleigh. It was £110 pounds I remember as I had the picture and price on the wall. If a basic mas manufactured 10 speed bike cost £110 in 1979 then considering that a pint cost 30p back then and cost £2.50 now there is no way you scan make one for £80 now. I know we have CNC lathes and all sort of automation now but still that's a ridiculous decrease in price in real terms for something that is still essentially welded up from steel or alloy by human hands. It amazes me that you can get a decent bike for £250 which you can.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2009, 08:08:04 pm »
Had a trainee last week, 10 years old, with a bike which front was heavier than mine, he could not do the signalling because he could not control/lift his bike. And they live in Dollis Hill, that give you an idea how stupid that is.
#bollockstobrexit

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2009, 11:23:45 pm »
Its weird. When I was a kid with a paper round in the late 70s I was saving up for a Raleigh 10 speed racer. Not a fancy Team Raleigh one just a basic Raleigh. It was £110 pounds I remember as I had the picture and price on the wall. If a basic mas manufactured 10 speed bike cost £110 in 1979 then considering that a pint cost 30p back then and cost £2.50 now there is no way you scan make one for £80 now. I know we have CNC lathes and all sort of automation now but still that's a ridiculous decrease in price in real terms for something that is still essentially welded up from steel or alloy by human hands. It amazes me that you can get a decent bike for £250 which you can.

Raleigh bikes were probably made in England in those days. Or at least the components were European and well made. They were probably well made bikes, allthough not top notch.
Nowadays the BSOs are mass produced in China and made much more cheaply.
A Raleigh Road Ace was about £300 in 1983.
The equivelent now, Dawes Super Galaxy is about £1000, so in theory a cheap £110 Raleigh of 1983 would cost about £330 in today's money. Which would buy you a bike which is about the same quality as a 1983 cheap Raleigh.

chris

  • (aka chris)
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2009, 09:45:23 pm »
Its weird. When I was a kid with a paper round in the late 70s I was saving up for a Raleigh 10 speed racer. Not a fancy Team Raleigh one just a basic Raleigh. It was £110 pounds I remember as I had the picture and price on the wall. If a basic mas manufactured 10 speed bike cost £110 in 1979 then considering that a pint cost 30p back then and cost £2.50 now there is no way you scan make one for £80 now. I know we have CNC lathes and all sort of automation now but still that's a ridiculous decrease in price in real terms for something that is still essentially welded up from steel or alloy by human hands. It amazes me that you can get a decent bike for £250 which you can.

Raleigh bikes were probably made in England in those days. Or at least the components were European and well made. They were probably well made bikes, allthough not top notch.
Nowadays the BSOs are mass produced in China and made much more cheaply.
A Raleigh Road Ace was about £300 in 1983.
The equivelent now, Dawes Super Galaxy is about £1000, so in theory a cheap £110 Raleigh of 1983 would cost about £330 in today's money. Which would buy you a bike which is about the same quality as a 1983 cheap Raleigh.

I'll go for the £1.00 pint of quality beer  ;)

ed_o_brain

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2009, 12:02:38 pm »
I was stood outside Maffie's place of work with the tandem when an old gent approached me and explained how he used to cycle a lot.

We had a really nice conversation and one of his remarks was, how much cheaper bikes are these days.

This thread reminded me of that discussion. I think he changed his mind a little when I talked about my experience with cheap bikes.

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2009, 06:03:24 pm »
I guess one of the problems is that most kids bikes are bought as presents for Christmas or Birthdays, and have to fit into the 'present' price bracket, especially if the bike is perceived as something to have fun on occasionally - a toy, rather than a form of transport.

If you've bought a £75 quid bike, a £25 service is going to look very expensive. Most toys don't require servicing!

Cudzoziemiec

  • Waking up now, put the kettle on!
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #42 on: March 21, 2009, 07:37:10 am »
Now this pains me greatly to say this, but ...
maybe the fixie crowd have a point.

Actually, single-speeds make more sense. But my point is that a mid-quality, very simple bike will work better than a cheap 21-speed full-susser.
I agree, but let me tell you about a single-speed of my acquaintance.

On the ground floor of my house is a small tailor's shop. The tailor's assistant (so an adult!) used to cycle to work. Then one day he dumped his MTB in the stairwell. It had no left pedal - just the pedal axle - no front brake lever, a disconnected rear brake cable, and two flat tyres. He left it there for several months, then one day said he was going to repair it and ride it again. Sure enough, it now goes home every evening and reappears in the morning. But his sole repair was to inflate the tyres! So he's still riding round perfectly happily with no brakes and only one pedal.

In fact this isn't so uncommon here - the old-fashioned rod-brake roadsters sseem indestructible (apart from the left pedals...) but they weigh a ton and their brakes never work that well in the first place - and so the other point is that, translating this to Woolly's pupils' parents, this is what they see expected around them. It's simply the way bikes are, the price they cost, and the place they come from - people who aren't particularly interested aren't going to think beyond Tesco or Argos (unless they go to Safeway or e-bay, I suppose!)
I do not ride a great big Mercian, gangster tanwalls, fixed cog in the back.

rower40

  • Not my boat. Now sold.
Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #43 on: March 24, 2009, 07:17:15 pm »
Then I ask him how many "cheap" bikes he's bought in the last few years and ask him how much they all cost.

Reminded me of this bit of Terry Pratchett's wit and wisdom (cut-n-pasted from Wikipedia)
Early in his career, while he is still a nearly-impoverished Watchman, Vimes reflects that he can only afford ten-dollar boots with thin soles which don't keep out the damp and wear out in a season or two. A pair of good boots, which cost fifty dollars, would last for years and years - which means that over the long run, the man with cheap boots has spent much more money and still has wet feet. This thought leads to the general realization that one of the reasons rich people remain rich is because they don't actually have to spend as much money as poor people; in many situations, they buy high-quality items (such as clothing, housing, and other necessities like bikes) which are made to last

Sorry for the delay in replying.
Be Naughty; save Santa a trip

Re: Getting parents to understand
« Reply #44 on: March 25, 2009, 08:04:00 am »
Ah yes! The "Boot" theory of of socioeconomic unfairness. One of my favourites!  :thumbsup:

For anyone who's interested, the full quote is:

Quote
The reason the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in the city on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
Life is too important to be taken seriously.