So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:07 pm

OOHHHH i am SOOO tempted to get another...
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by BNA » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:21 am

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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby slarv » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:21 am

Yesterday on the way home I passed a guy riding he Big W bike. Then today, on the way in, I passed him at about the same spot. Only this time he was going a lot slower and was 'scooting' along with one leg. I am not sure what happened but his left crank was missing entirely.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby diga » Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:00 pm

mine lasted exactly 1 trip to work had to fight to get refund you get what you pay for,was not interested in putting money into it ,went to cash converters an picked up disc brake gt for 200.much MUCH better
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:37 am

What happened with it?
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby diga » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:21 pm

freewheel gear crapped itself on the first decent hill i came to were i really had to stand on it.i got roughly 30 mins riding.got it to use as a commuter after reading this thread but didnt work out for me could have exchanged but looking at the gear its cheap an crap that cant deal with tourque transfer.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby cray- » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:49 am

diga: curious, did you strip it all down & re-grease everything or ride it as assembled from the shop?

Quite understandable if people feel they should be sold ready to ride, but it seems that's not the case. With a bit of effort they seem... serviceable, for lack of a better word. Waiting for a report from one of my commuter buddies after he puts some decent kms on his.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby diga » Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:58 pm

no mate i did not pull apart the freewheel an pack it with grease.was not the bearings inside that failed but the pawls would no longer engage.after smashing it up the first decent hill.i imagine if you just putt around on the flats an walk up hills this bike would last.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:07 pm

ldrcycles wrote: the freewheel feels very light and tinny.


From the first post on the first page. The freewheel is the only weakness, if it breaks replace it (say $10 for a Dicta or $20-30 for Shimano) and you're all good to go again.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby Backdoorboss » Wed Jul 25, 2012 1:08 am

My repco preset is still going strong since I got it in April, I have pretty much ridden it everyday to work, rain or shine plus weekends if its nice and sunny.
I havent really done any real maintenance to it either. I only lubed up the chain once and that was today.
Although I did gradually replace most of the parts including the wheels, hence the freewheel as well.
When I was riding the repco stock for the first couple of weeks, especially in the first few days, a lot of things did come loose.
You really do need to check all parts and peices, grease them and re-tighten, not only for a better riding experience but for your peace of mind.

ldrcycles wrote:I've decided to change my Preset to drops (and maybe buy another one down the track). I'm going to change the cranks, probably to Shun and not least to get some higher gearing, pop on some old bars and stem, add a couple of links to the chain and job done. Well down on the to do list which is jolly long atm so probably won't happen for at least a month or 3.


Hey Idrcycles, tonight I just changed my bullhorn bars and put on drop bars instead, got the stem and bars for a bargain price of $15!
Here it is installed
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:53 am

Looks good, and i notice you've got a new headlight too, looks like 250 lumen torch with the adjustable focus thing? I have one of those, they're damn good. And the mounts (which you can get on their own for $4-5) will take those little cheap LED torches from Super Cheap or the servo if you get caught out.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:31 pm

And so the Preset begins the next part of it's life, now with drops!

I had some steel 41cm drop bars lying around (suitably they are off the god awful $250 Schwinn Prelude road bike i got from K Mart a few years back) and put them together with an old Sakae stem (because it was black and i couldn't use the stock stem with drops, that's just wrong).
I had wanted to use the original brake levers (just for appearances sake) but they wouldn't fit, i dug up some plastic bodied levers from a Huffy or something that i could stretch a bit to fit but they looked and felt rubbish. So it has ended up with some Lee Chi branded drop bar levers, they don't look great but they're good enough (they may also be left overs from that Schwinn).

Some bar tape from the LBS, and a new saddle (which is white and has Apollo emblazoned across it, but it's comfy and was only $15) and she's back in business.

Just did a 41k ride on it this evening and she goes very well. It's been ages since i rode her so my memory of riding with the riser bars is not too fresh but i can say with the drops it is very comfortable. The change to the cockpit hasn't done anything to help that mild twitchiness/vagueness but it still gets along well enough, and i was able to avoid a halfwitted car that made a solid attempt at smearing me all over the road (thanks to that i can also report that the brakes are working exceptionally well).

I proposed to my girlfriend last weekend and will be moving in with her shortly, so my commute will be much shorter and should suit the Preset well (singlespeed being a great thing for a commuting bike). After a very painful crash on another bike last week due to the chain coming off while i was out of the saddle i am keen to replace the freewheel on the Preset soon, i haven't had any sort of issue with it yet but it's the one obvious weak link on the bike and cheap insurance to replace it.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ILMB » Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:55 pm

ldrcycles wrote:I proposed to my girlfriend last weekend ...


Congratulations, and happy life :)
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby Oxford » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:28 am

ILoveMyBike wrote:
ldrcycles wrote:I proposed to my girlfriend last weekend ...


Congratulations, and happy life :)

Yes congrats and as the saying goes, happy wife, happy life. Keep her happy (well within reason) and you will never have another problem. Coming up to 23 years this year and wouldn't want to be with anyone else, no one else will put up with me. :mrgreen:
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:46 am

Thanks guys, and ox, what you're saying sounds familiar, when you find a chick who is willing to stand by the side of the road in the freezing cold for an hour while you finish mid pack in a night time B grade crit you know you've got a keeper!

Got the pics up, and yes those are 105 pedals on the $98 bike :) .

Before

Image


After


Image


For the moment i am keeping the stock cranks, the 44-16 should be a good gear for commuting when i want to take it a little bit easier.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby cray- » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:50 pm

Drops look good but ditch that white seat for a black one when you get the chance.

Grats on the upcoming nuptials.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:37 am

Cheers cray and i'm with you on the colour, even if it does match the speedo lol. It will definitely be staying though, it's very comfortable and that's a rare thing for me. Another 52k commuting yesterday, went well.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:47 pm

I forgot to mention in my last post, i am now rocking a Big W helmet too! I wanted to replace my helmet after a crash last week but was very short on cash so i popped into the same Big W i got my Preset from. There was a Rosebank helmet for $40 which actually looked really good, but that was getting towards the same price as the Specialized Align i was replacing, so i got a Rosebank 'Escape' for $18.82. From a distance it looks pretty good, the coloured plastic is just stuck on, not 'in-moulded' like more expensive helmets, and while it has vents all over the front and top there are only 2 tiny little ones on the back.
The fit is really good, the adjuster actually feels alright to use (i had a cheap helmet when i first started riding that had a rubbish adjuster, very flimsy) and above all else, it has the AS sticker.

In spite of the lack of vents at the back i haven't noticed any difference between it and my previous helmet, but the 2 rides i've done so far were both quite cool.

Oh and in case anyone thinks i'm on Big W's payroll, i bought a plastic mini pump a couple of weeks ago when i couldn't find my Lezyne pump and wanted to have one with me on a ride, it didn't work AT ALL. At least they refunded it no worries.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby bychosis » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:07 pm

Cheap is not all bad, in picked up a helmet at Kmart a while back and it seems fine. We went on hols with bikes, but no skid lids. Quick shopping trip netted three helmets for the helmet less ones of us, cheap, cheerful and now a great backup.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby hazmat5765 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 12:09 am

Your bikes look great backdoorboss and ldr! Do you think the Preset would suit somebody who is 1.85 metres tall approx? About 6ft in the old language.
Cheers, Rob.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:46 am

Well that's exactly my height so i'd say yes :D . Usually when you go into a store they will have an 'assembled' bike on the floor so you can throw a leg over and see for yourself.

If you're looking at buying one, remember the 2 rules of Preset ownership-
1) Strip it down and reassemble all bearings before riding.

And 2) Replace the freewheel asap. (Following on from diga's experience and my impression of it, a new reputable freewheel is cheaper than new teeth).
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby hazmat5765 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:28 am

ldrcycles wrote:1) Strip it down and reassemble all bearings before riding.
2) Replace the freewheel asap.

Thanks mate, I've been following and enjoying this thread and have built up a collection of bits and pieces including an ACS and Dicta freewheel ready for fitting. Rob.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby twizzle » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:30 pm

Well, one of the seven year olds wanted a new bike for his present... bike shops wanted an arm and a leg, when they even had 16" bikes... I eventually ended up in Toys-R-Us and got an alloy framed 16" for the princely sum of $63 marked down from $99.

Then I started looking more closely after I'd gotten it home. After 2.5 hours in the shed, the only moving parts not touched were the pedals and brake levers. Some bearings had grease, some had none... wheel and BB bearings were overtightened, the headset was loose. It actually qualifies as a 'bike' now, but it was worse than expected. The coaster brake rear hub still drags, not much more I could do about that other than gut it, and I couldn't work out how to do that. Besides which, the front/rear brakes are crap.

The big disappointment was that my spare Tektro dual-pivot long-reach calipers were about 3mm too short to fit. They looked awesome for a dummy fit. :twisted:

And it's lucky I have all the tools, most households would have been screwed trying to make a bike like this rideable.


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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:13 am

The only thing that surprises me is the fact it has an aluminium frame. Just think of the dragging brake as resistance to build up those little legs, you'll have the next tour champion on your hands :) .
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby cameroncyc » Tue Sep 11, 2012 6:59 pm

Just came across this, bought a Preset a little while back and have been riding it stock since. Seeing the pics has inspired me to do what I bought the bike for, to modify it. Looks like the crank will be first to change and then bars, but slowly slowly, last bike I worked on when I was 10, which is decades ago...

Had the same issues with the brakes that squeal..but has anyone had the issue with the shudder in the front wheel at speed (it feels like the bike is going to slide out from under me). Any ideas on a fix?

Considering I am new to this, and don't have a lot of the requisite tools for cranks etc, may I be better to start with more aesthetic issues such as bars, or is this for naught if the cranks aren't right?

Sure there will be plenty of questions.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:29 pm

cameroncyc wrote:Just came across this, bought a Preset a little while back and have been riding it stock since. Seeing the pics has inspired me to do what I bought the bike for, to modify it. Looks like the crank will be first to change and then bars, but slowly slowly, last bike I worked on when I was 10, which is decades ago...

Had the same issues with the brakes that squeal..but has anyone had the issue with the shudder in the front wheel at speed (it feels like the bike is going to slide out from under me). Any ideas on a fix?

Considering I am new to this, and don't have a lot of the requisite tools for cranks etc, may I be better to start with more aesthetic issues such as bars, or is this for naught if the cranks aren't right?

Sure there will be plenty of questions.


Changing the cranks is cheap and will lop off a HEAP of weight, and if you have a set of vice grips all you need to work on the cranks is a crank extractor (about $15 from your local bike shop). Now yes vice grips are not perfect but when i've been caught out they will do the job. If you need any guidance with the process i can take some pics the next time i strip a bike.

If you read back through the thread, i think on the second page, i noticed the shimmy on my first ride, i don't think it's anything actually wrong, just maybe a steep head angle. When i'm getting into the 50s or more i have found it a bit twitchy, other than swapping the forks for some that are longer, i don't there's much to be done about it (besides staying under 50 ish).

There's nothing wrong with the cranks, they're just very heavy. It depends on what your area is like, if you have a bit of climbing then dropping weight will make a difference, in which case swap out the cranks, but if you're not going flat knacker i would just pretty it up, make it what you want.
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