Having chewed over this somewhat emotive subject, I would like to offer my suggestion as a straw man – all arrows are welcomed! If one goes along with the car analogy, I don't think new bikes under £200 are equivalent to imaginary £1500, plastic, rubbish, new cars. I think they are more like new cheap Vauxhalls or Fords or Fiats. They are everywhere. They are the majority. If one takes the trouble, one can work out that the cost of ownership of mass market cars from new is generally higher, for the typical driver, over long period, than equivalent sized bmw's or merc's. It is because the latter have lower depreciation (which is usually the biggest cost of ownership) and generally last much longer; even though they are more expensive to buy new. Yet few will call the cheaper Vauxhall's or Ford's or Fiat's rubbish, or Car Shaped Objects. I think for the same reason there is something distinctly ignoble about calling bikes rubbish or Bike Shaped Objects just because they are cheap, when they are what many fathers/mothers and their children ride in Sunday outings, in preference to sitting at home watching TV. I think bikes are bikes as long as they are safe. An unsafe bike is something else however. All outlets should be strongly encouraged to supply bikes that are safe irrespective of price, and shamed and indeed punished for supplying ones that are unsafe. Sure, poorly designed/manufactured components can compromise safety, as are some expensive super light weight components. A relevant associated question is whether bikes should be supplied partially assembled in such a way that assembly resulting in a safe bike by the general public can not be taken for granted. My view is they should not, and that sellers should not be allowed to by law. Again this should apply irrespective of price since bikes are supplied partially assembled at all sorts of prices. I would therefore like to invite fellow CCer’s to focus our spotlight and pour our scorn on unsafe bikes/components/sellers, rather than cheap bikes/components/sellers. I think the distinction is necessary because I believe it is possible for bikes to be sold cheaply and yet safe - I think it is possible because I don't think all £70 bikes are unsafe, or can't be made safe for a modest outlay. In fact cheap is a virtue that should be encouraged – safe bikes that are cheap will help to popularise cycling, and improve health. On the other hand, giving bikes a stigma just because they are cheap knowingly or unknowingly does the opposite. Sure, a cheap bike may not be as light, durable, smart and pleasurable to ride as one more expensive, but we shouldn’t think the bike buyers, just like cheap car buyers, are naïve enough not to know and accept there are tradeoffs for the price paid. I also don’t think most drivers will be put off driving by their cheap cars falling apart earlier, they just end up wanting better and/or newer cars.