What is a BSO?

I'm posting in the beginners section despite having ridden and maintained bikes for about 40 years because it seems modern lingo is new and unknown to me.

I keep encountering the term BSO. The context around it usually seems to imply something derogatory. But I genuinely don't know what it means. Who can enlighten me?


Bicycle shaped object e.g poor quality .


Found in the Yorkshire hills ...
@User76022 Try this rule of thumb:

"Did it cost less than my weekly food shop?": In the 'Corona' case below it came free and unused. It was even free with beer for the original owner.

"Are the components of basic standard?": Corona bike was abysmal before use, let alone after. The brakes wouldn't work / stop binding, the wheels wouldn't true and the gear shifter only vaguely worked. Passes @Cycleops BSO test

"Does it have 'full suspension' when only rolling to the pub and back?": Absolutely. Although none of it actually worked. Passes @Bodhbh BSO test

"Would I get more than £20 re-selling it?": Actually I did. I got £23 from someone who wanted it for a laugh at a party.

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Ming the Merciless

There is no mercy
Inside my skull
Is that not Wiggos TDF winning bike then? We all know yellow bikes go faster.


Terms like BSO when used in the context they often are, are really quite patronising.

BSO implies a 'my bike is better than your bike' or 'my cycling is more valid than your cycling' attitude.

If I adopt the term BSO, then by the definitions shared here, my kids both ride BSO s. Yet they both love their BSOs. They both pedal good distances on them, practice road skills on them, have a continually developing awareness of safety considerations through their use, and are both learning basic maintenance skills. Both ride cheap appollo bikes.

Are they not yet cyclists?

But where is the threshold. My bike was a little bit more expensive because I ride more. I paid 260 quid for my Rockrider 520 mountain bike. Is that a BSO? In the 6 months I've had it, since replacing its 12 year old predecessor, I've rode over 1000 miles so far on it.
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