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Bike buying advice

Bike in a box
Often when you buy a BSO Bike Shaped Objects you get it in a box. Apparently all that's needed is to unpack it, pump up the tyres, fit the pedals, make a few adjustments and you're away… hilarious. And what do they give you to do this? Da da! Yes, a strange shaped soft piece of metal with a lot of irregular shaped holes in it. Finally you get this heap of junk into a semi rideable state and what does it feel like? Terrible. You ride it down the road and it's heavy, clunky and unresponsive. The braking is poor and uneven. The gear shifting is a joke. Where is the pleasure in riding a bike like this?
Modern manufacturing methods have enabled a relative reduction of the price of many consumer goods. The bicycle is not exempt from this. For £300+ you can choose from a range of well-built bikes utilising quality components for almost any purpose. £300 is not expensive. Look at the following table. For further information and sources see end of article.
Average Weekly Wage Cost of reasonable bicycle No of Days to buy
1955 £8.25 £33 28
1980 £110.20 £200 12.7
2005 £518.70 £400 5.4
Today it takes less than an average week's wage to buy a good quality bicycle. Fifty years ago it took nearly a month. And the bike you'd buy today would be a far superior, more comfortable and responsive ride than its counterpart of yesteryear. You can sometimes get reasonable bikes for even less.
Still not convinced? You still want to buy a BSO for £99? Believe me, it will not last. If you get two years out of it (no chance) that works out at £50 a year for a heavy, clunky, unresponsive ride. The £400 bike will last at least ten years. That's £40 a year for something that's a real pleasure to ride. See where I'm coming from?
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