Home > Random thoughts > Cheap full suspension bikes

Cheap full suspension bikes

In Russian we have a saying that a greedy person ends up paying twice. Well, we almost ended up doing just that the other week when we bought two cheap Chinese made full suspension all terrain bikes at a local supermarket. It was an impulse purchase, after all the things were cheap, after all and they looked impressive with all those springs and wide tires.

In actuality the problems started right there, when the chain on my bike fell off as I was changing gears. The front dérailleur kept dropping the chain between the chainrings rather than on them.  Plus think about the design of the crank set with the gaps between the chainrings wide enough for the chain to drop in and get stuck there. But I figured I could live with that, after all it didn’t happen every time and the thing was cheap.

So we rode our bikes home without any trouble. Two days later we took them for a spin. Now they were heavy, sure they were full suspension but I had to pedal really hard to gather enough speed to pass pedestrians. And I soon found that going uphill was a real murder unless I stood on the pedals and as soon as I did, the cheap plastic pedals got busted. The next day I went and bought aluminium pedals and had  my GF screw them on for me (after all the whole bike thing and buying them from that supermarket was initially her idea). Ok, now it seemed more or less ok. We went out for another ride. There is a street not far from our apartment that ends in a dead-end so there are hardly every any cars on it and it’s more or less flat so I was always able to accelerate very fast on it. This time I was pedalling like crazy when I heard some weird sound from behind where my GF was pedalling after me. At first I didn’t give it a second thought, thinking she was just changing gears or something, but then I looked back and she wasn’t there. I turned around and rode back, turned out she was changing gears but her chain broke. Bummer.

The next day we took turns riding my bike. I had some work to do so while I was at it my GF went riding. Then she came back  and I took the bike from her and off I went. I was pretty far from home, going up a relatively gently sloping street when the left crank arm broke off. I ended up having to push the damn thing all the way home.

The next day I took them back to the supermarket. The only good thing about this purchase was that the supermarket took them back without a word and gave us a full refund. I honestly don’t know why they sell crap like this.

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