Quality Control Anarchy

Got a part time job at the local bike shop  and have noticed the quality control on bikes and components is pretty poor. Bad/broken welds, wheels way out of true, shitty paint jobs, out of round steerer tubes, out of round BBs, one whole range of bikes needs the brakes drained and bled out of the box to function properly.

its a fucking bummer.

 
Don’t know the condition until they are delivered and opened. It’s not just 1 brand either. 
 

It’s one thing to tell people we can’t get a certain bike they want due to supply issues, it’s another to tell someone we have to send back a bike they have been waiting for months because shitty quality control.

 

Lark

Supper Anarchist
9,674
1,800
Ohio
It’s a race to the bottom.   The brick and mortar shop has to compete with Amazon shit on price.    I bought and assembled a kids first bike last year.   The reviews of cyclists buying Walmart shit for their kids were stunning,   Proprietary bearing cages that couldn’t be replaced, shipped dry or out of round so pedals wouldn’t turn.   Bent cranksets, factory headsets that were over tightened to crush. etc.  The bikes were meant to last just a season at most.    So I bought a more expensive Mojo from Target online.    (It’s a first bicycle with training wheels, he won’t be riding any centuries).  It came with two left pedals, one marked R and one marked L.    They didn’t answer their emails,    The first five times the phone didn’t answer, then it just rang busy.    So I bought more pedals at Walmart, cheaper then driving to the city and Target to return the shit bike.    Then Target refused to post my slightly caustic one star review asking if the manufacturer was still in business.   (They appear to be).  
 

I’ll stick to my rusty 1989 chromoly biopace beater, especially since the Craigslist Trek carbon Al hybrid keeps throwing flats even the surviving shop in the next town can’t solve.    

 
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White Lightning2

Anarchist
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Don’t know the condition until they are delivered and opened. It’s not just 1 brand either. 
 

It’s one thing to tell people we can’t get a certain bike they want due to supply issues, it’s another to tell someone we have to send back a bike they have been waiting for months because shitty quality control.
All the good ones are stuck in the Chesapeake....

WL

 

Chris in Santa Cruz CA

Super Anarchist
6,511
1,475
earths surface
Got a part time job at the local bike shop  and have noticed the quality control on bikes and components is pretty poor. Bad/broken welds, wheels way out of true, shitty paint jobs, out of round steerer tubes, out of round BBs, one whole range of bikes needs the brakes drained and bled out of the box to function properly.

its a fucking bummer.
Wow, where to start. Tell the shop not to buy shit bikes. All the good independent shops in my area have either hooked up with giant or specialized etc. Big shame as they push all the stuff I use like velox rim tape, cinelli bar tape, and many other items like that off the shelves for their branded crap. Can’t get the little green patch kits or spare parts for my cinelli floor pump etc. 

Learn to spec and build good wheels based on their use and you will have work forever. You can do it at home and the basic tools needed are less than 1000 usd easy. It’s an art but with enough science you can get good at it pretty quickly.

 
We carry Trek and Giant along with the brands owned by those companies. Giant has better quality through there range of bikes ($-$$).

Trek’s quality on the entry level bikes <$1000 is pretty shabby.

anyway……

Are there any other industries where quality has gone down hill in the last few years?
 

 

Chris in Santa Cruz CA

Super Anarchist
6,511
1,475
earths surface
We carry Trek and Giant along with the brands owned by those companies. Giant has better quality through there range of bikes ($-$$).

Trek’s quality on the entry level bikes <$1000 is pretty shabby.

anyway……

Are there any other industries where quality has gone down hill in the last few years?
 
Part of the issue with the bikes is that they can’t make them fast enough and they are just throwing shit out there most likely. Also the shift in the market to ebikes is sucking resources from traditional metal low priced pedal only bikes. The used market of steel bikes from the many past decades is really strong. Lots and lots of really good steel/chromoly frames were made in the 80s and 90s especially that are bulletproof and can be updated easily. Good riding bikes.

 

mikewof

mikewof
45,868
1,246
It’s a race to the bottom.   The brick and mortar shop has to compete with Amazon shit on price.    I bought and assembled a kids first bike last year.   The reviews of cyclists buying Walmart shit for their kids were stunning,   Proprietary bearing cages that couldn’t be replaced, shipped dry or out of round so pedals wouldn’t turn.   Bent cranksets, factory headsets that were over tightened to crush. etc.  The bikes were meant to last just a season at most.    So I bought a more expensive Mojo from Target online.    (It’s a first bicycle with training wheels, he won’t be riding any centuries).  It came with two left pedals, one marked R and one marked L.    They didn’t answer their emails,    The first five times the phone didn’t answer, then it just rang busy.    So I bought more pedals at Walmart, cheaper then driving to the city and Target to return the shit bike.    Then Target refused to post my slightly caustic one star review asking if the manufacturer was still in business.   (They appear to be).  
 

I’ll stick to my rusty 1989 chromoly biopace beater, especially since the Craigslist Trek carbon Al hybrid keeps throwing flats even the surviving shop in the next town can’t solve.    
Do you like the Biopace? In the 1990s, they were the rage, some of the ovals were really pronounced, like a squished egg. And then folks moved away from them, now the ovals -- if any -- are barely noticeable. 

As for the quality of the Made-in-China stuff ... post-COVID, they apparently now outsource some of their lower-margin stuff to Malaysia, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

 
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Autonomous

Turgid Member
4,367
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PNW
Biopace, ugh. We bought some Treks with them and I couldn't replace the chainrings fast enough. Even my non-mechanical wife noticed the difference when we updated her entry level Trek with round SunTour rings to one with the Shimano BP

We had a lot of long steep trails so the cassettes got switched out too. Avid made a cool gizmo to put a 20 tooth chainring on our XT cranks.

 

tommays

Super Anarchist
1,390
60
Northport
We just had a few YEARS were the shops took whatever they could GET and the bike industry  is just possibly slowing down to the point they can push back and be more selective 

Personally I by better bikes BUT we have many Walmart Huffys that get the intended job of riding a few blocks around the neighborhood done just fine 

 

Lark

Supper Anarchist
9,674
1,800
Ohio
Do you like the Biopace? In the 1990s, they were the rage, some of the ovals were really pronounced, like a squished egg. And then folks moved away from them, now the ovals -- if any -- are barely noticeable. 

As for the quality of the Made-in-China stuff ... post-COVID, they apparently now outsource some of their lower-margin stuff to Malaysia, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
The oval is moderate, and yes.    It seems to minimize stress on a trashed knee.   Squats are difficult and the sandpaper tends to limit my cycling.   Under moderate conditions, biopace seems to minimize the post exercise joint pain.   The off brand steel frame is heavy but comfortable.    Like Chris said, those old steel frames make a nice ride decade after decade.    Among other duties, it gets staged at the marina when rigging for launch so I can reclaim my tow vehicle after docking.   Well worth the $80 I initially paid.   The PO must have commuted, based on corrosion. 

Some prior shop damaged the trek 2200’s crankset bolt, so the bearings are trapped.   Even if I figure out why it keeps blowing tires, it’s life is limited beyond the UV sensitive composite frame.   Cool color though.   This one lacks biopace.   I only paid $400 during the Great Recession, the first owner never used it (the usual story of money and athletic equipment) and I put miles on slowly between work, sailing, and now flats.  

 
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SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
70,188
13,333
Great Wet North
Quality is fading away in most things.

Ever noticed the typos and downright semi-literacy in newspapers?

We won't even mention political leadership.

Cars are a lot better but they're in a minority of things IME.

The herd generally prefers large volumes of cheap crap to a few things of quality.

 

Autonomous

Turgid Member
4,367
1,538
PNW
Biopace chainrings for ageing/injured joints never crossed my mind. I threw them in the recycle bin last spring... Doh!

 
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Mrleft8

Super Anarchist
27,460
4,070
Suwanee River
No. You can't get decent stuff anymore, even if you pay through the nose for it.

No body cares. We live in a society where disposable is an attribute.

IKEA is king because people would rather spend $180.00 6 times than $1,200.00 1 time, and be able to pass it down to their kids.

I think that it's become very apparent that quality is a thing of the past. Everything now is meant to be replaced by the next generation of technology.

 There is no next Gen of "Properly built". It is, or it isn't.

 


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