In another life not so long ago, an unemployed recyclist would have been in bicycle heaven. Now with a full time workload and a choc-a-bloc shed, he has become much more selective…
Thus, on a recent morning exercise ride I passed by this unloved Huffy almost without blinking an eye. Once it would have been straight back with the van to collect another stray …
One thing about riding though, it gets my thought train rolling – why else was this bike now so seemingly undesirable ?
Well, it’s a department store bike and new ones can be had for relatively little money. And yet, so was my road king bike once, and I was quite happy to make a respectable commuter out of that old Woolworths 10 speeder – and still would.
Secondly, these cheap suspension bikes are unnecessarily complicated and unpleasantly heavy with their uncomfortable flat bars and rigid seats. The sprung forks, rear shock and (possibly) disc brakes all have the potential to wear out and leak fluid, and replacement units would probably be a waste of money.
They are obviously targeted to consumers who may be convinced they will have almost everything for almost nothing.
The surface finishes on many areas of these cheap bikes will oxidise almost while you watch them, rapidly giving an end appearance of cheap and neglected “ugly-tech”. The low price and rustability means that they are approaching throwaway status so why not just buy another one using a high $AUD and cheap overseas labour ?
If this Huffy had been a simple, more timelessly styled and designed bike with rigid frame and forks and perhaps a sprung saddle, how much more appealing would it have been to keep, sell or restore it, even if it wasn’t top quality in the first place, or was a little more expensive to begin with ?
But would people buy it ?