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 misterhorsey » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:28 pm

ldr, I am in quiet awe of your appetite and skills for BigW bike improvement. Its awesome.

I guess you're supplying the quality that has been stripped out of the supply chain with cheap chinese manufacturing and silly Australian retail pricing.
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by BNA » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:33 pm

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

Postby cameroncyc » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:33 pm

[/quote]

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.[/quote]


Yeah, thanks for that. I have a few hills around here so the weight will probably be the issue that I tackle first (after a good grease fest), will have to look around and find some good light cranks, whilst sticking to a budget, the Lasco ones from earlier in the thread still look like they are there so I might grab some of them.

I have been really surprised by this bike, out of the box it has been comfortable and really I am only changing it to suit personal preference, rather than any real issue with it.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:10 am

cameroncyc wrote:
I have been really surprised by this bike, out of the box it has been comfortable and really I am only changing it to suit personal preference, rather than any real issue with it.


Exactly what i found, welcome to the brotherhood :D
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby pauls51 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:03 am

Mate and I were picking up my new mountain bike several years ago (F4) and he had to wait an extra 2 weeks. He wasn't happy about that and wanted to come out with me so he ran down to Big W and bout and off the shelf MTB for $69!... we took it out to the comm track at Lysterfield and guess whose bike broke first??? Yep, cannondale snapped a R/D hanger and old mates BIG W bike kept on going... Every now and then he takes it out and still smashes the trails, the rims are slightly out but the thing is still going strong after 7 years!!!!

There is not a day that goes by that my mate doesn't remind me of this.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:14 pm

misterhorsey wrote:ldr, I am in quiet awe of your appetite and skills for BigW bike improvement. Its awesome.

I guess you're supplying the quality that has been stripped out of the supply chain with cheap chinese manufacturing and silly Australian retail pricing.


:D Thanks, started out just as a silly experiment and now i'm the ambassador for cheap bikes haha.

And just for anyone looking at Lasco cranks, i was looking at my other single speed this evening (1986 Dawes Shadow) and realised the cranks on it are actually Lasco (although branded as Origin8). They've done about 1100k so far and no issues. And they're pretty blue :D .
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby thecaptn » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:00 am

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

Postby uglybob » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:57 am

pauls51 wrote:Mate and I were picking up my new mountain bike several years ago (F4) and he had to wait an extra 2 weeks. He wasn't happy about that and wanted to come out with me so he ran down to Big W and bout and off the shelf MTB for $69!... we took it out to the comm track at Lysterfield and guess whose bike broke first??? Yep, cannondale snapped a R/D hanger and old mates BIG W bike kept on going... Every now and then he takes it out and still smashes the trails, the rims are slightly out but the thing is still going strong after 7 years!!!!

There is not a day that goes by that my mate doesn't remind me of this.


snapping a hanger when you're out on a mtb isn't usually because of what bike you're riding - it'll depend on what rock you hit, or what stick you decided to flick up into your drivetrain & destroy it all... a $10,000 S-Works will still snap a hanger just as quick as a $98 BigW bike!
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby cameroncyc » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:00 am

So I am looking into what I will do to this bike at the moment for the minimum cost and I believe I may put a new set of wheels on it. Found that Reid have a set of flip-flops 700c for $40 at the moment, so I might go with them. I know that they are cheap and I get what I pay for, but I suppose this is my very first build and will see how they go. If they are ruined in a few months (weeks..) then it hasn't been a big cost and at least a foray into fixed gear, oh and pedals, must change the pedals....Any misgivings or advice on these wheels or their installation, I assume that it will be a pretty easy change over...

Will look at cranks and bars and all that jazz later down the line..
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:04 am

uglybob wrote:
pauls51 wrote:Mate and I were picking up my new mountain bike several years ago (F4) and he had to wait an extra 2 weeks. He wasn't happy about that and wanted to come out with me so he ran down to Big W and bout and off the shelf MTB for $69!... we took it out to the comm track at Lysterfield and guess whose bike broke first??? Yep, cannondale snapped a R/D hanger and old mates BIG W bike kept on going... Every now and then he takes it out and still smashes the trails, the rims are slightly out but the thing is still going strong after 7 years!!!!

There is not a day that goes by that my mate doesn't remind me of this.


snapping a hanger when you're out on a mtb isn't usually because of what bike you're riding - it'll depend on what rock you hit, or what stick you decided to flick up into your drivetrain & destroy it all... a $10,000 S-Works will still snap a hanger just as quick as a $98 BigW bike!


But you can't buy replacement hangers in W so yer frame is toast...
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:30 pm

uglybob wrote:snapping a hanger when you're out on a mtb isn't usually because of what bike you're riding - it'll depend on what rock you hit, or what stick you decided to flick up into your drivetrain & destroy it all... a $10,000 S-Works will still snap a hanger just as quick as a $98 BigW bike!


True, except a big w bike will usually have either no hanger, or one that's part of the dropout and not replaceable :) .

Such an awesome story though.

Cameron, i haven't got any personal experience of those wheels from reid but i believe they are Quando hubs and Stars Circle rims. My Dawes has wheels with those bits, and i've used maybe half a dozen wheelsets for road and MTB with Stars rims and Quando hubs. As you said they are cheap and you do get what you pay for, they aren't very smooth but they do the job, and i've not had any issues with any of them.
I would go for it, if nothing else it is all experience. I learned to do mechanical work by stripping Huffys and Repcos i picked up at the tip.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby cameroncyc » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:35 pm

So the process has begun...will buy the wheels tomorrow and fit them. I assume that there is nothing special that I need to know about fitting these types of wheels? Is the axle length standard, can post the link if need be. Not having any experience with them, I think I may scour the forums tonight. Cheers for the help everyone :D
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:40 pm

They should just pop straight in, i'd be surprised if they are a different axle length.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby Backdoorboss » Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:45 am

So the process has begun...will buy the wheels tomorrow and fit them. I assume that there is nothing special that I need to know about fitting these types of wheels? Is the axle length standard, can post the link if need be. Not having any experience with them, I think I may scour the forums tonight. Cheers for the help everyone :D


I got the Reid wheels on my Big W bike. they are 120mm spaced.

I had to put a nut on the other side of the hub to get my chain line right on mine though.
Probably because I changed the bottom bracket and cranks out as well.

Have been using the Reid wheels since April pretty much everyday rain or shine and no problems so far.
I would get the sealed bearing ones for $60 if you don't plan on doing much maintenance though, but that is up to you.

Have fun with it & welcome to the brotherhood :D
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby cameroncyc » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:55 pm

Backdoorboss wrote:
So the process has begun...will buy the wheels tomorrow and fit them. I assume that there is nothing special that I need to know about fitting these types of wheels? Is the axle length standard, can post the link if need be. Not having any experience with them, I think I may scour the forums tonight. Cheers for the help everyone :D


I got the Reid wheels on my Big W bike. they are 120mm spaced.

I had to put a nut on the other side of the hub to get my chain line right on mine though.
Probably because I changed the bottom bracket and cranks out as well.

Have been using the Reid wheels since April pretty much everyday rain or shine and no problems so far.
I would get the sealed bearing ones for $60 if you don't plan on doing much maintenance though, but that is up to you.

Have fun with it & welcome to the brotherhood :D


Thanks for that, picked up a set of the unsealed ones today at the Brisbane store, happy to do the maintenance and get hands on. They were supposed to come with tubes, but they forgot to put them in, so I will have to get in contact with them as I don't have any tubes with the right valve here. Busy over the next few days, which is frustrating, eager to get it moving along.

What tires did you put on yours Backdoor?
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby Backdoorboss » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:58 am

cameroncyc wrote:What tires did you put on yours Backdoor?


The tires came with the wheels. 700x23c Kenda tires.
Looking at them now, I probably should be replace them. Get better ones if you can spare the coin.

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

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:20 pm

How have you found those Kendas? I have a set of wheels that came with those (haven't got all the parts together for the bike they're going on) and was wondering if they would be any good.

I'm a big fan of Maxxis Refuse in 23c, cheap online and no flats. Both my singlespeeds have 28c Michelin City tyres but i'm thinking of changing one to Refuse tyres, can be a bit of a hassle to get fatter tubes with long presta valves.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby Backdoorboss » Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:08 pm

ldrcycles wrote:How have you found those Kendas?


They are not bad, I haven't had a flat yet so no real complaints.
Haven' had any real scares while cornering.
The tread on the rear tire is a little worn, perhaps a little prematurely.
For what I use it for I guess they are fine. I might swap the front one to the rear one tonight.

A guy from work uses the Maxxis Refuse, he has nothing but praise for them aswell.
I did just get a new set of tyres Vittoria Rubino's,they were cheap and had good reviews, will give them a go and compare once my next bike project is done.

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

Postby cameroncyc » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:12 pm

I'm sure that I can find this info elsewhere, but where do you chaps shop for your tires?

In the meantime between now and when I can get a new set of tires, is there any way that I can get the 700x35 stock tire on the 700x15 rim, or is this just stretching it too far?

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

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:01 pm

Hmm, it would be worth googling, could be done but as you say it might be stretching your luck a bit. I would mount one and see what it looks like, if it's really bulging out i wouldn't risk it, wouldn't be much fine to have a tire roll off the rim.

As for buying tyres, the local bike shop is the place to go when you need them in a hurry, but it's more expensive.
Case in point, the 4 shops in my area are around $40-45 for Maxxis Refuse, this ebay listing has them for $29.50 delivered. http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/MAXXIS-REFUS ... 35bba696eb
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby cameroncyc » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:06 pm

Will give it a crack and see how I go..

Either way I have got some Clinchers on order from Wiggle at the moment, free delivery being a major bonus! So it looks like for well under $200 I will have a fully functional fixed gear. All the other aesthetic stuff can come in time, just happy to have a fixed gear now.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:50 pm

Popped into Big W this arvo and while they didn't have a Preset on the floor (and they aren't listed on the website anymore :( ), Repco now have their own 29er MTB! And yep it's a pile of junk, rubbish V brakes, flimsy steel frame, even flimsier forks, plastic derailleur.
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby thomashouseman » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:13 am

ldrcycles wrote:plastic derailleur.

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

Postby cameroncyc » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:57 am

I have to admit that I did approach the Preset tentatively...I bought a Huffy :| (one of those Y frame "Mountain Bikes..") when I was at Uni and on the first ride the pedal shore out of the crank and left me with some damage. I kept riding it, but it was the most uncomfortable thing and awkward to manoveur So buying another bike from a big retailer was a big step for me, and like I have said, very surprised by the build quality.

My understanding is that they sold out pretty quick where I am and then didn't restock, so they are all out there in the wilderness...

Now to my bike, have fitted the Reid wheels and the new Tires (Zaffiros). Still running both brakes, not willing to risk that just yet, but having ridden on it for a bit now, happy with the setup. Now for a new saddle, pedals (no retention yet, as a rookie, my thought is this is safer for when I think I can freewheel... :oops: ) and numerous other bits and pieces..
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Re: So how bad is a Big W bike, really?

Postby Comedian » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:00 pm

Seen on a recent trip to Canberra... :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Image
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill. :mrgreen:

Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day. :shock: :lol:

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

Postby bychosis » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:25 pm

Preset on display at local Big W today (Mt Hutton), didn't check for boxes. Was in there looking for brake pads but none (LBS shut on Sundays). Other spares, but no brake pads? They obviously dont expect any of their bikes to be ridden for long enough to wear them out.

Edit: Just noticed why the pic of the preset above, crank in foreground.
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