My Aldi bike has had it's bottom bracket cleaned out, new brakes and a new deraileuer for a little while and is choofing along quite nicely. After a small eternity fiddling, adjusting and fine tuning and tightening things I had not tightened properly the gears are behaving almost predictably. (and no I do not mean predictably bad). The new brake is a bit more agressive than the old one so I have taken to using one or two fingers to do my braking to avoid doing a face plant endo. So far the rear wheel has left the ground unintentionally only once though I have to admit having the ability to do it intentionally is a lot of fun. While I could do this with the old calliper, this one is easier.
I had a couple of minor surprises though
1 - for some reason the rear brakes were sticking a little so I pulled them apart and greased the completely dry and slightly stuck pivots - problem solved.
2 - I had a flat tyre - Went through my supply of puncture repair kits - the glue had dried out in almost all of them
- the only one that it had not dried out in was a new one I had got with the new bike tool kit I bought off Torpedo7
. I was almost reduced to using the glue-less patches that came with the pump I bought about 4 years ago. The other thing that irritated me was that the rim tape which is supposed to protect the tube from the ends of the spokes had pretty much just been thrown on unevenly and only covered about 80% of the spoke ends and guess what - the flat tyre appeared to be caused by one of them wearing through a bit
Reseating the rim tape was dead simple so I look forward to no more spoke holes in my inner tube.
Incidentally 146 days of the 12 month warranty to go and don't think I won't use it if I have to.
I have also made a fitted box to go on the luggage rack and a cut up and sewed a cam buckle luggage strap so the buckle does up on top of the box and not on the side. This keeps the loose end of the strap out of the wheel and I am very proud of my little handiwork. The box was a standard plastic roller box where the little wheels were precisely the right width for the luggage rack to fit between so all I had to do was trim a tiny bit of plastic from one end for a close to perfect fit.
Time for another couple of true confessions -
1 - For his birthday recently I bought my son a new Giant Boulder 3 with a small frame. He is just big enough for it. It cost about four times what the Aldi bike cost me and the only fun I have had with it has been adjusting the reach of the brakes and fiddling with the adjustable front suspension. How boring. My son has had lots of fun riding it though.
2 - I am however in a bit of a moral dilemma as my mum and I won a won a Toysisus bike in a meat raffle, ostensibly for another one of my nephews. Honestly we came in bought the tickets in the meat raffle and I bought a bottle of bubbly for fun to "celebrate" the fact that we were going to win my nephew a bicycle and THEN WE WON IT...
Somewhat luckily the bike was a girls bike-which you could not tell from the box (honestly it just had Realm - purple 24 inch printed on it) so we took it back to the toysisus store and they gave us a full price refund gift voucher for a hundred and forty bucks
How cool is that! After inspecting the Toysisus bikes I am hoping that either my nephew will spend the gift voucher there on something other than a bike or I will be able to throw in some extra money to get something with reasonable discs on it. All of the toysisus bikes seem to have painted steel rims and I have had unhappy experiences with trying to get rim brakes to work on painted steel rims. The only bikes in toysisus with disks seem to have dual suspension too which is a bit of a waste of time for a kid's bike and probably more pogo stick than real suspension. But - it is what the kids really want isn't it. Hopefully in three weeks, when his birthday is, the toys is us people will have put some of their better bikes on special or he will find something else in the store he likes for that amount of money. But that is not the thing that is troubling me the most. Honestly with this critical talk of how bad toysisus bikes are - I think I am turning into a bike snob!!!!
This takes me back to one of the reasons why I started this whole little exercise of buying the cheapest bike from the least bike store I could find. I think this quote kind of sums it up:
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. â€“ Paul Gilding via Drubie
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
And it was only $99 and it had a 60 day no questions asked money back guarantee on top of the 12 month all parts 5 years frame statutory warranties.