Tying to setup a Argos BSO

Gixxerman

Veteran
Location
Market Rasen
My brothers partner has just bought a BSO from Argos. But after they built it, they could not stop the front brakes from binding on one side, So they asked to look at it.
Well it was reduced from £100 to £70, and if I am being honest, it isn't worth £50.
Plastic brake levers and terrible paint finish with runs all over it, poor quality fasteners and plastic pedals.
Anyhow back to the problem. No matter how much adjusting to the brake screws, I could not get them to contact the wheel at the same point in their travel. It was then that I noticed why - the wheel was not straight in the dropouts, and was about 1/2 inch nearer to one fork that the other. So it is impossible to get it to work correctly. So I took it to bits and put it back in the box and told her to send it back.
 

cyberknight

As long as I breathe, I attack.
Send it back it is not fit for the purpose it was designed for.

In fact it could be dangerous,alternatively
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..............
 

e-rider

crappy member
Location
South West
Argos should be banned from selling bikes, along with supermarkets and petrol stations. Halfords should be the minimum standard (and that's bad enough).

As it's potentally fatal to ride an unsafe bike, no shop should be allowed to sell them without trained staff. Those cheap bikes should never be available for sale in the first place - dangerous and not fit for purpose!
 
OP
Gixxerman

Gixxerman

Veteran
Location
Market Rasen
Well she sent it back....
But alas, got another one.
This time I was asked to build it.:biggrin:
So I grabbed my Lidl toolkit and my Halfords Professional toolkit and off I went. I only took these as a backup as it comes with all the tools necessary to build it and set it up ;)

Once out the box, it was a different one to the last one.
It was still crap like, but a different crap.
Dropped the front wheel in and it was a lot better than the last one. Setup the brakes (front and rear) and adjusted the balance. All looked good. Greased the seatpost and stem as they hadn't bothered, fitted them.

The rear wheel had a very large buckle in it. So I set about truing it. But as usual, not all the spokes would tighten using a spoke key. So off with the tyre, tube & rimtape, so I could get to the spoke ends to adjust them with a screwdriver. After half an hour of work, I had the wheel something like.

Then came the gears. They would not work properly. The rear would not shift into the highest sprocket and the front would not shift to the large chainwheel. Adjusted the cable length and set screws and had it changing gear OK ish. Can't get it spot on as only the rear is indexed. The front if like a friction shifter but on a ratchet. So you just keep moving it a bit until it changes. Not brilliant by any means.

Off for a quick test ride and it seemed to work. I was a lot happier that I built it as I know that it is safe. Total build time 3 hours. It will do for her as she only needs it for riding with the kids.

OK to the list of problems:-
1) Rear valve was at an angle as it was not lined up correctly with the hole in the wheel which caused a large bulge in the tyre.
2) Rear wheel out of true.
3) Gears did not work.
4) No grease on stem or seat post.
5) Brake balance incorrect.
 

battered

Über Member
Sounds grim. I've had a little experience setting up BSOs, and almost become adept at it. To be honest I really do feel that you are better off buying a second hand BSO, at least then you know it basically works when you go to look at it and hand over the cash. You can then avoid the real garbage.

I got 2 broken BSOs from Freecycle and turned them into one working item which a mate now uses, sorry, leaves rotting in the garden for 364 days a year. I suspect that in a year or two I'll get it back, at which point I'll get it running again, turn it into a pub bike and hope someone steals it.
 
Gixxerman said:
Well she sent it back....
But alas, got another one.
This time I was asked to build it.;)
So I grabbed my Lidl toolkit and my Halfords Professional toolkit and off I went. I only took these as a backup as it comes with all the tools necessary to build it and set it up ;)

Once out the box, it was a different one to the last one.
It was still crap like, but a different crap.
Dropped the front wheel in and it was a lot better than the last one. Setup the brakes (front and rear) and adjusted the balance. All looked good. Greased the seatpost and stem as they hadn't bothered, fitted them.

The rear wheel had a very large buckle in it. So I set about truing it. But as usual, not all the spokes would tighten using a spoke key. So off with the tyre, tube & rimtape, so I could get to the spoke ends to adjust them with a screwdriver. After half an hour of work, I had the wheel something like.

Then came the gears. They would not work properly. The rear would not shift into the highest sprocket and the front would not shift to the large chainwheel. Adjusted the cable length and set screws and had it changing gear OK ish. Can't get it spot on as only the rear is indexed. The front if like a friction shifter but on a ratchet. So you just keep moving it a bit until it changes. Not brilliant by any means.

Off for a quick test ride and it seemed to work. I was a lot happier that I built it as I know that it is safe. Total build time 3 hours. It will do for her as she only needs it for riding with the kids.

OK to the list of problems:-
1) Rear valve was at an angle as it was not lined up correctly with the hole in the wheel which caused a large bulge in the tyre.
2) Rear wheel out of true.
3) Gears did not work.
4) No grease on stem or seat post.
5) Brake balance incorrect.
Welcome to what used to be my world

Worked in a couple of BSO retailers in my time and it taught me to have pride in my work as someone would buy a 10-ton Concept Kalaban with plastic/resin everything and expect it to perform like a top-notch machine.

And of course, if it didn't, it wasn't that the customer was a tightwad and the bike was just cheap and expectedly nasty, it wasof course that I was such an unbelievably poor excuse for a cycle technician that personal abuse came with the territory.

As for trying to explain why the more expensive bikes had narrow "horrible" saddles whilst the cheap bikes had big wide spongy "comfy" saddles....well...head and brick wall?


Still work for the same company but in a completely different capacity but I remember one horrible year when i was "drafted" back into the bike workshop. The only bike tech that we had was sacked on the spot after a scam with layaway bikes, pocketing the deposits. There were something like 300 bikes all stored, supposedly fully set up and just wanting the quick once-over before release.

The customers all started to turn up for their Xmas bikes, all obviously last-minute on the 22nd-24th..

Well, went to get the first one, lifted it off its storage hook and **CRASH** the bike fell to the floor, me left holding a saddle and seatpost. Got it into the 'shop and nothing was right at all.

So began 3 days solid of queues of angry people all trying to shout at me whilst I was trying to work at the speed of light, completely starting from scratch setting up these 300 or more bikes to make sure that at least any bikes that came back with problems were minor niggles rather than damaged bikes and damaged children.

I have never been so comletely drained, and have days go past in complete blurs, as that Xmas. The best bit was to fill in for ther missing post I also lost my Xmas break, normally having 2 weeks off, I ended up back in work Boxing Day - NYE and was of course busy tweaking indexing and other things..but NOT dealng with broken teeth/limbs which would no doubt have resulted if everything hadn't been re-built again.
 
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