Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby hartleymartin » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:57 am

Dr_Tony wrote:I usually try to avoid that shop, but it's hard when it's the closest one, ie walking distance. In Hamilton today they still had a stack of those BSOs, reduced of course. Plus large plasma or lcd tvs that they can't shift either. Did buy some of the socks on clearout, avoided the gloves though. They only had full fingered ones left and they look like something to go to the snow in, not ride a bike.


Last winter, the early morning rides were so cold with the moist, chilly air that I was wearing an old pair of SKI-GLOVES to keep my fingers warm. The rides at 11 am were not much warmer! I was also wearing a flying jacket and a scarf (should have got some leather goggles to complete the look!)
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by BNA » Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:36 pm

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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby msn » Wed Apr 14, 2010 2:36 pm

hartleymartin wrote:I was also wearing a flying jacket and a scarf (should have got some leather goggles to complete the look!)

Like this?
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby Max » Wed Apr 14, 2010 6:20 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Good one, msn :)

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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby hartleymartin » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:02 pm

msn wrote:
hartleymartin wrote:I was also wearing a flying jacket and a scarf (should have got some leather goggles to complete the look!)

Like this?
Biggles


He's not wearing gloves. :lol:
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby flammer » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:15 pm

The Tao is like a bellows: 
it is empty yet infinitely capable.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby msn » Wed Apr 14, 2010 11:20 pm

hartleymartin wrote:
msn wrote:
hartleymartin wrote:I was also wearing a flying jacket and a scarf (should have got some leather goggles to complete the look!)

Like this?
Biggles


He's not wearing gloves. :lol:


My bad.

For some funny reason maybe Chad or Christine will be looking for a pair like these. :lol:

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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby kukamunga » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:07 am

I was contemplating getting some of those Aldi winter gloves the other day. They look and feel a lot better than some of the BBB offerings
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:16 pm

Monty the Montana Aldi bike has probably found a permanent home.

He has lived up, rather than down to his reputation. He is cheap. His front derailleur is less than ideal. His front forks are not adjustable and do not have a suspesion lock. His tail is hard. He even has a ridiculous sticker telling you to keep off the off road. His wheelbase is shorter than I would like, and he only comes in one size, which is smaller than I should probably be riding. However he is capable of being ridden around the fire trails above where I live in comparative comfort. And he pops down to the shops with my 100kgs on board without complaint. His brakes are about a thousand times better at bringing me to a stop than the old side pull brakes on my 1985 model Gemini ten speed racing bike.

I also went round and retightened all the bolts using a proper allen key set rather than the folding multitool I had used initially. :roll: While nothing was really loose, quite a few of the bolts were able to be tighened quite a bit more.

As an independant test I asked one of the Aldi shop assistants if any of these bikes had come back and he told me that none of this lot had come back but some of their other models were a little less robust. He also told me he rode his Aldi bike (albeit an earlier model) to work every day and had no problems with it.

Personally I think Monty fills a niche which should probably be filled with proper utility style bikes like the steel framed British made Raleigh with a special Sturmney archer 3 speed internal gear PLUS coaster brake hub that my Dutch mother bought me in the late 1970s. (Sadly stolen in about 1988. I must confess though at the time I wished I had got the Speedwell Dragster with 3 speed stick shift and banana seat that my brother had got for his birthday. Talk about awesome 8) ).

In Monty's defence he cost $99 and he works. He is an adequate moutain bike style comfort bike, but I doubt if he is adequate as a mountain bike. I might be having words to the fair trading people about this as "fit for purpose" in a mountain bike implies off road I would have thought. A quick walk arond Wmart, Big K and toyasaurus found every single one of their bikes had a similar sticker about not suitable for off road and stunting to Monty's. In an interesting loophole however you can use your Wmart, Big K or toyasaurus bike for competition.

In the time I have had him his chain has popped off a couple of times as I was trying to change gears as I was pushing too hard on the pedals going up hill. His tyres are ridiculously knobbly- As soon as his 60day satisfaction guarantee wears out I will either get two new tyres. What $60 each?? I will quote Anthony Hopkins (no Clarice not the fava beans) "Get me a knife boy I am going to cut the tread off these tyres to make them go faster."

The other thing I think I might add is half toe clips. I had them on my old ten speed and they keep your foot in the right spot and let you pull up as well as push down without the embarrasment of having your foot locked into place or having to change into ridiculous shoes just to hop on your bike.

The funny thumping noise I had been hearing has been traced to the region in my chest occupied by my heart.

Other minor mishaps have related to embarrasingly finding myself slowly sliding backwards as I pedalled up one particularly steep section of track, being attacked by an apparently feral standard poodle (he may have had an owner but he was off his lead), finding that derailleurs do not work very well and drag on the chain when they are full of grass and startling a small mob of kangaroos. :oops: The grass clogged derailleurs probably had something to do with the chain jumping off that I mentioned earlier- it has not happened since I cleaned them.

I hate standing up on the pedals and shifting my weight from side to side to find the momentum I am generating not being fully translated into go forward but part of it going into up and down in the front suspension. My brother in law tells me his $2000 mountain bike has a button that lets you lock the suspension for going up hill. I guess that is what you pay $1900 more for.

kukamunga wrote:I was contemplating getting some of those Aldi winter gloves the other day. They look and feel a lot better than some of the BBB offerings

Being in Canberra I think the Aldi winter cycling gloves must have sold out ultra quick because I never even saw any here. If you live in a warm area tell your Aldi to send them up to the poor souls in the mountains who need them.

I am really annoyed with the front derailleur- I am having a hell of a time adjusting it to perfection - it is just ever so slightly temperamental, either going too far resulting in jumping off or not going down far enough into bottom gear - I think it needs a gentle attack with the knockometer to make the gate between the inner and outer guides just that little bit narrower.

In an added confession I have NO lycra in my cupboard at all.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Mon Apr 26, 2010 8:48 pm

Handlebar started wobbling loose, thankfully the front little screw was to blame and not the head bolt so no real danger involved. A little annoying though. Also annoying is a little click in the drive chain when pushing down with the right foot under medium pressure. Will not make the noise when upside down for testing.

On the plus side, possibly thanks to a second squirt of the silicone spray, or running in or something working loose, the front derailleur has turned from a noodle into a precise piece of machinery. I also picked up a tip about inflating the front tyre to a lower pressure than the back and increased the tyre pressure in the back. This has transformed the ride from soft and spongy to much more slick feeling.

Speaking of spongy the front forks are performing pretty much as expected, feeling ever so slightly more spongy as they wear in. I must admit though I am not sure if I really am feeling this or if I have just been talked into feeling it. Time will tell.

I also started work on removing the tread from the rear tyre the fun way. Sliding around with the back wheel locked up.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby Ross » Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:32 pm

aldifan wrote: A quick walk arond Wmart, Big K and toyasaurus found every single one of their bikes had a similar sticker about not suitable for off road and stunting to Monty's.


Same deal with most car rental companies if you rent a 4WD like a LandCrusier, they won't let you take it off-road!
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby Redbull » Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:37 pm

aldifan wrote:My brother in law tells me his $2000 mountain bike has a button that lets you lock the suspension for going up hill. I guess that is what you pay $1900 more for.

:lol: :lol: I'd say reading your posts that the extra $1900 gets you more than a lock out button.

I suppose the bike mechanic training will be invaluable.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby Nobody » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:11 pm

Aldi. Turning bike riders into bike mechanics...
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby rkelsen » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:43 pm

Nobody wrote:Aldi. Turning bike riders into bike mechanics...

:lol: They're the Ducati of the bicycle world... only nowhere near as cool...
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby MiG » Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:45 pm

I really enjoy hearing about this bike. All I ever hear is that cheap bikes are useless and good for no more than 20 km blah blah blah. They are crappy but not AS bad as most cyclists make them out to be.

Have you adjusted the lower limit screw on the FD? Moving the limit outward and loosening the cable will allow the derailer to fall solidly to the low position but no further.

You can get OK tyres from overseas for $15 each, good ones for $30 each and top shelf for $60.

You don't really need front suspension lockout, but you do need appropriate technique to ride suspension efficiently.

You don't need ridiculous shoes to be clipped in. Shimano's MTB system (SPD, not SPD-SL) uses fairly normal looking shoes/boots with recessed cleats (walkable). Check out their website. Mind you, shoes + pedals will cost almost as much as the bike even at overseas mail order prices and significantly more than the bike locally.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby hartleymartin » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:06 am

The modern Aldi/K-Mart/Big-W style MTB that you get lives in an unfortunate situation. Chances are it will never be seen by a bicycle mechanic, some enterprising beginner will attempt self-assembly to save the $16.50 assembly fee and it will never see any lubricants inside it's cables or on it's chain. The enterprising beginner will wonder why his nice new bicycle stops working properly within a few weeks (unaware of cable stretch) and eventually will go to a bicycle shop, and get a shock when he finds out what he must pay for a service, considering how little he paid for his new bicycle.

I've seen quite a few Blue MTB-style bicycles with black BMX-style forks (but with 26" wheels) They have no front derailer, but 6-speeds on the back. Apparently they could be had for about $100. I thought they were not all that bad until I discovered that what-ever the rims were coated with basically chewed up brake pads within a matter of weeks.

The old rigid-framed MTB's and 10-speed bicycles you used to be able to get were no-where near as bad. In fact, they can be turned into quite decent machines by replacing the steel wheels with alloy ones (which these days are easily scavenged at council pick-up), better quality brake pads (quite cheap), and a better quality rear derailer, although the original ones seem to keep working just fine.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Sat May 01, 2010 2:15 pm

Redbull wrote:
aldifan wrote:My brother in law tells me his $2000 mountain bike has a button that lets you lock the suspension for going up hill. I guess that is what you pay $1900 more for.

:lol: :lol: I'd say reading your posts that the extra $1900 gets you more than a lock out button.

I suppose the bike mechanic training will be invaluable.


I think the main thing that he got was the removal of the part of his brain that relates to self preservation.

He makes the occasional unscheduled off piste excursions including trips to casualty and a couple of hundred in repairs to the bike.

Edit: After a bit of thought, in a perverse way, in spite of his occasional sprains, spectacular stacks and regular repair bills. he may be safer up there hurtling down a lofty mountain bike track than those of us peacefully pedalling along at sane speeds in a calm manner, sharing the roads with 4 wheeled metal mahem.
Last edited by aldifan on Sat May 01, 2010 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby Nobody » Sat May 01, 2010 5:52 pm

That the problem with suspension on MTBs. It allows you to go faster down hill so you'll be going faster when you crash.

In my middle age I'm happy to ride a rigid and would replace it with another if necessary because my bones aren't as rubbery as they used to be. Also riding a rigid may help to improve my bone density.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Thu May 13, 2010 9:41 pm

Well, only 21days to go before the satisfaction guarantee wears out.

Wish I could say the same for the left hand pedal as it is starting to make some right peculiar noises.

Apart from that the bike is having no problems. Nothing else has even needed adjusting. The front derailleur in particuar is completely well behaved, which in the first week or so I had it I thought I would never say.

I think I will test out the Aldi help line to get a replacement pedal. Stay tuned.

Real life. Real bike. No sweeping generalisations. Well worth $99, if only for the fun of reading everybody else's comments about it.
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby kukamunga » Fri May 14, 2010 1:21 pm

aldifan wrote:Well, only 21days to go before the satisfaction guarantee wears out
And how many days before the warranty runs out?
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Mon May 17, 2010 10:29 pm

How annoying the noise has dissappeared :evil: - hopefully the pebble or whatever was in there has worked it's way out and it is not a prelude to the pedal falling off.

kukamunga wrote:
aldifan wrote:Well, only 21days to go before the satisfaction guarantee wears out
And how many days before the warranty runs out?

This is actually quite a smart question - the ALDI 60 day satisfaction guarantee in their store effectively means you can bring anything back within 60 days if you cease to like it with notionally no questions asked, though I am sure if you bought a packet of chips there and brought back the empty packet and asked for your money back they might ask a question or two. Especially if you did it every day for six months.

The Bicycle Waranty is in a few parts -
Frame - 5 years
All other parts (except normal wear items) 12 months
Normal wear items 30 days - normal wear items include Tyres & tubes, grips, cables, brake shoes and saddle covering.

Tyres and tubes I think is fair enough but I am not sure if I am overly comfortable with cables being covered by waranty for only 30 days, and what would you have to be doing to wear out a saddle cover or grips in 30 days? On second thoughts - I don't think I want to know. Brake pads?? well they do wear out but 30 days? - I just went out and checked mine and everything seems to be OK :roll:.

The waranty does not cover normal wear and tear, abuse, competition, jumping, misuse, accident, neglect, theft, improper assembly or maintenance, or adding parts or accessories not intended for use with the bycycle as sold and uncle tom cobley and all. They also warn you to have the frame inspected regularly by an authorised dealer for indications of potential problems? I am sure all the staff at my local Aldi are highly trained bike mechanics :lol:
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Sat Jun 05, 2010 11:21 am

Last day of the 60 day satisfaction guarantee was yesterday. Sadly as I am a wet weather whimp I have not had much time on the bike recently. The only issue of note was that the handlebars had started to rotate a little in the socket so round so the brake handles were starting to feel awkward and the headlight was starting to point more skyward. Undid the clamp screw cleaned out the join, which was full of ground up cheap black paint from the handlebar and put it back together - problem solved.

There are still a few odd noises in the drive train but it seems to have settled down a bit.

Have been teaming the Aldi bike with the Aldi ski jacket in the Canberra cold. Just bought some more Aldi compression undies to go with the outfit too. I would try to wrangle a sponsorship deal but somehow I can not think of a racing class I could be competitive in. Even the slow ride has lost it's charm :roll: Whatever happened to those slow ride races we had in the early eighties? Were there any real competitions or was it just a school fete thing?
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby kukamunga » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:23 am

aldifan wrote:Whatever happened to those slow ride races we had in the early eighties? Were there any real competitions or was it just a school fete thing?

Must've been a Canberra thing :wink:
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby jet-ski » Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:32 pm

I've heard of these slow bike races, I think it's a street fair/fete type deal, time to practice your trackstands! :) and keep riding that bike! I want to know how far you get before you break it ;)
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:10 pm

Sorry for the delay on an update but there was an incident of self destruction. Unfortunately for the naysayers it was not the Aldibike or anything to do with the Aldibike that failed but my knee on an ice rink.

There is still a noise coming from somewhere in the drive train that I have not tracked down. All I have had to do since my last update is adjust the front brakes.

I have had some amusing incidents riding with son, nephews and brother in law with couple of thousand dollar mountain bike. Boy was my brother in law embarrassed when the reflector that had been found in the middle of the road was sourced to have come from his son's bike. :oops:

I did lose a few hairs when he told the kids to get of their bikes and walk down a section of the trail where there were stairs every few feet and then took of riding down it himself, my son, immediately riding after him :shock: . Thankfully my son stopped at the first set of stairs (something to do with me yelling like an idiot).
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Re: Aldi Bike: Assembly or minimising self destruction

Postby aldifan » Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:04 pm

Woo Hoo Aldi have now advertised a dual suspension mountain bike with front AND rear disk brakes for $199.
If you are looking at this sort of thing the previous installation I bought was a hard tail with only front disk brakes. Many naysayers have written these off as Bicycle shaped objects rather than bikes but I am reasonably happy with mine.

Now for the advice:
1) Tighten everything that can be tightened
2) Adjust everything that can be adjusted - in particular the derailleurs and brakes will need adjusting.
3) take it for a 10 minute ride with a set of tools in your backpack. Tighten and adjust everything again.

Be prepared to do the occasional bit of adjusting.

Be aware that the frame will have a a sticker that tells you this is a mountain bike that you can not actually use as a mountain bike but I have ridden mine around on the roads in and the fire trails around Canberra without losing any skin or much of my dignity - except on that really steep bit where I found myself going backwards as I was trying to pedal up hill :oops: . In short I would take it places where I would not have taken my old 10 speed racer but I would not take it places there you need a real mountain bike :mrgreen: .

Check out the rest of the thread for other stories about things that have gone wrong or have needed fixing.
The only thing that has gone wrong recently is that there was a bit of phantom shifting happening and I found that the twist grip shifters seemed to have worked a mm or two loose, and the only way to tighten them was to pull the grips back closer onto the handle bar(no tools required). :roll:

In general many ALDI items get reduced after being on the shelves for 4 weeks - This is why I got my $149 mountain bike for $99. I can give no guarantee that the current crop at $199 will not dance out the door quickly, so be it on your own head if you decide to hang out for the reduction and miss out :wink: .

Above all enjoy and be nice to each other.
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