Help me choose a bike shaped object....

BikeShapedObject

Formerly austin-towers
Location
Liverpool
Right, first off, can you please spare me the 'get a proper bike' comments... I can't afford one yet, that's for next year. For now, my choices are:

Vertical bike from Argos

or

Muddy Fox from Argos

I'm edging towards the Muddy Fox, the twist grips gears on the Vertical are a bit off putting. Apparently the muddy fox has EZfire shifter gears... what are EZfire shifters, are they more like the traditional shifters?

Any advice/experiences with these bikes greatly appreciated :blush:
 

Dan B

Disengaged member
First question: what are you going to use it for? If it's primarily going to be used on road (or even "light off road" usch as canal towpaths) you can probably find something far better at Decathlon
 

AndyCarolan

Do you smell fudge?
Location
Norwich
Have you considered perhaps looking for a used bike around the same price? you may find something branded and far better than those BSOs
 
OP
BikeShapedObject

BikeShapedObject

Formerly austin-towers
Location
Liverpool
coruskate said:
First question: what are you going to use it for? If it's primarily going to be used on road (or even "light off road" usch as canal towpaths) you can probably find something far better at Decathlon
Mainly on road, and yes a few canal towpaths. Nothing major.

AndyCarolan said:
Have you considered perhaps looking for a used bike around the same price? you may find something branded and far better than those BSOs
No, I don't want a used bike. I want something which will last a year, with a warranty. As I said, next year I'm splashing out on a REAL bike, but for now, just something cheap from Argos with a warranty is exactly what I want.

I should be clear, I'm getting one of the two bikes I've shown, I think it's going to be the 'Fox, just wondering if anyone can confirm to me that it's the better option of the two.....
 

AndyCarolan

Do you smell fudge?
Location
Norwich
Ah, fair enough :blush: - Given the choice, I think the Muddy Fox would be a better option but thats because I personally dislike grip shifters and have been warned off them. I guess its down to personal preference though
 

Landslide

Rare Migrant
The main question is how confident are you in your ability to assemble the bike properly?
If you're no good mechanically then save a little more and buy a bike from a proper bike shop that will set it up properly. Badly assembled and adjusted parts are what will killl a bike (at any price point).
 
OP
BikeShapedObject

BikeShapedObject

Formerly austin-towers
Location
Liverpool
AndyCarolan said:
Ah, fair enough :blush: - Given the choice, I think the Muddy Fox would be a better option but thats because I personally dislike grip shifters and have been warned off them. I guess its down to personal preference though
Yes, I've heard nothing but bad things about twist grips! I'm assuming the EZshift gears on the 'fox are not twist-types... I hope.....

Landslide said:
The main question is how confident are you in your ability to assemble the bike properly?
If you're no good mechanically then save a little more and buy a bike from a proper bike shop that will set it up properly. Badly assembled and adjusted parts are what will killl a bike (at any price point).
There's no problems with assembly, I'm handy with a spanner and a hammer. Again, the choice is definitely down to these two bikes from Argos, no room for manouvre there I'm afraid. I was trying to keep a long story short, but basically I bought a Challenge Atlantic from them last year (WORST. THING. EVER.) and I'm on my third replacement now, and it's developed the same old faults, so I'm getting it replaced with a better bike from them and paying the bit extra....

I think I'm going to get the 'fox.....
 

Landslide

Rare Migrant
austin-towers said:
...I'm handy with a spanner and a hammer...
I really hope you're being jocular with this statement. Seriously, if you don't know how to set up a bike properly, then don't buy from Argos.
 
OP
BikeShapedObject

BikeShapedObject

Formerly austin-towers
Location
Liverpool
Landslide said:
I really hope you're being jocular with this statement. Seriously, if you don't know how to set up a bike properly, then don't buy from Argos.
Fear not, I can set up a bike, and indeed tie my own laces!
 

RecordAceFromNew

Swinging Member
Location
West London
austin-towers said:
Again, the choice is definitely down to these two bikes from Argos, no room for manouvre there I'm afraid. I was trying to keep a long story short, but basically I bought a Challenge Atlantic from them last year (WORST. THING. EVER.) and I'm on my third replacement now, and it's developed the same old faults, so I'm getting it replaced with a better bike from them and paying the bit extra....

I think I'm going to get the 'fox.....
I do appreciate your dilemma. In fact I raised this very subject for discussion not so long ago, you might find some contributors' suggestions there useful.

As you know the Challenge Atlantic is still for sale (for £60). The potential problem with the two new bikes is that they have more features (hence they may not be "better" although they cost more). It is because a) they have even more things that can (and very likely within a year) go wrong, and :blush: they might be even heavier.

If you have difficulties fixing/replacing the components of the Challenge Atlantic, you might well end up having the same/worse problems with the new ones.

For what it is worth, I would suggest if you could help it get one without front and/or back suspension - they add quite a bit of weight, and eat up your energy on the road.

Are you sticking with Argos because they would not give a refund? If so would you consider this (which is mechanically simpler than what you already have, and cheaper than the ones with suspension) or this (which unfortunately is more expensive)?

If you can get a refund, your options are obviously much wider.

Finally if you wish you could also tell us what the problems are with your Challenge Atlantic, so that fixing/upgrading it might become another option open to you.
 
OP
BikeShapedObject

BikeShapedObject

Formerly austin-towers
Location
Liverpool
RecordAceFromNew said:
I do appreciate your dilemma. In fact I raised this very subject for discussion not so long ago, you might find some contributors' suggestions there useful.

As you know the Challenge Atlantic is still for sale (for £60). The potential problem with the two new bikes is that they have more features (hence they may not be "better" although they cost more). It is because a) they have even more things that can (and very likely within a year) go wrong, and :biggrin: they might be even heavier.

If you have difficulties fixing/replacing the components of the Challenge Atlantic, you might well end up having the same/worse problems with the new ones.

For what it is worth, I would suggest if you could help it get one without front and/or back suspension - they add quite a bit of weight, and eat up your energy on the road.

Are you sticking with Argos because they would not give a refund? If so would you consider this (which is mechanically simpler than what you already have, and cheaper than the ones with suspension) or this (which unfortunately is more expensive)?

If you can get a refund, your options are obviously much wider.

Finally if you wish you could also tell us what the problems are with your Challenge Atlantic, so that fixing/upgrading it might become another option open to you.
An interesting thread there, thanks.

Argos have offered me a refund, but seeing as they'd have to come and pick it up I decided they might as well bring a new bike while they're at it. I do like the look of that CBR, but unfortunately I am more skint than a very skint thing, so can't stretch that far.

As for the Challenge(d) Atlantic, here goes:

1st bike: After around 100 miles, the spindle on the rear wheel seemed to kind of 'collapse' in on itself, pushing the wheel against the frame and bringing me to a dead stop in the process, on a round-a-bout. I was very nearly knocked over by a van..... Argos replaced for another with no fuss.

2nd: Managed around 250+ miles on this one, before a 'clicking' started when pedalling, caused by (I THINK) a knackered BB. I was going to fix this myself to save the hassle of waiting in all day for another pickup/delivery, but then the right gear shifter snapped off in my hand and gave me a nasty gash in the process, which rather annoyed me. Argos replaced the bike again with no fuss, and were very apologetic.

3rd (current): After light use, the BB is clicking and the rear gear freewheel is loose and going clappity clappity clonk. The gear change (which on this latest model uses Falcon Index Shift gears) worked for a bit, now jumps constantly and I just can't seem to get the adjustment right. The handle bars keep coming loose, and from the outset it's had a slow puncture on the rear wheel. The little metal bit of tube between the brakes and the cable is corroding.

Frankly, it's a heap of crap and I don't feel safe/confident on it, and I would recommend this bike to NOBODY!

SO, to sum up.... I'm going to get the 'fox, before I can afford a proper one next year :smile:
 

RecordAceFromNew

Swinging Member
Location
West London
If I were you I would also want to switch to another bike. What you have is clearly unsafe, and IMHO not worth upgrading.

While I have no direct experience, I believe Decathlon sells bikes from £70 up, and there have been quite a few good reports on this and other forums. They do mail order, and offer a 2 year warranty as a minimum.

I would expect e.g. this to be quicker than the Muddyfox from Argos on the road (for a start it has semi-slick tyres and no front suspension). Despite having a steel frame, it might even be lighter given the latter weighs 18kgs! Others have reviewed it here.

Whichever you choose, I wish you luck. Your further experience and feedback here would be useful too.
 

blockend

New Member
People denegrate BSOs but they serve a purpose to the potless and probably have more working parts than a secondhand bike, unless you know a philanthropic clubman wanting to increase shed space. It's easy to think nice old frame, I only need to replace x, y and z to make a nice bike, when x alone competes with the price of a new BSO.
They do however, rely on being handy with a spanner and a willingness to pester for replacements that die under warranty.
 
OP
BikeShapedObject

BikeShapedObject

Formerly austin-towers
Location
Liverpool
RecordAceFromNew said:
If I were you I would also want to switch to another bike. What you have is clearly unsafe, and IMHO not worth upgrading.

While I have no direct experience, I believe Decathlon sells bikes from £70 up, and there have been quite a few good reports on this and other forums. They do mail order, and offer a 2 year warranty as a minimum.

I would expect e.g. this to be quicker than the Muddyfox from Argos on the road (for a start it has semi-slick tyres and no front suspension). Despite having a steel frame, it might even be lighter given the latter weighs 18kgs! Others have reviewed it here.

Whichever you choose, I wish you luck. Your further experience and feedback here would be useful too.
I do like the look of that RockRider..... looks nice and sturdy plus not too much to go wrong. Now I have a dilemma! I will spend the evening thinking about that or the 'fox. I know the 'fox is 30 quids more, but I think it's at half price. The sShimano's look better on the R'Rider's.... but it's got twist grips. Hmmm.....

blockend said:
People denegrate BSOs but they serve a purpose to the potless and probably have more working parts than a secondhand bike, unless you know a philanthropic clubman wanting to increase shed space. It's easy to think nice old frame, I only need to replace x, y and z to make a nice bike, when x alone competes with the price of a new BSO.
They do however, rely on being handy with a spanner and a willingness to pester for replacements that die under warranty.
True, I suppose we get what we pay for! To be honest, the Challenge would be fine if I was just going to meander to the post office once a week at 6mph, so it would serve some purpose for someone. Are ASDA still flogging their £70 bike? I had a close look at one and it looked like the exact same bike as the Challenge, but with twist grips..... anyone have any experience of one of these?
 
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