Perfect bikes for real people.
It amazes me how cheaply these bikes (using the word loosely) can be made. 60 bucks, and Menards is probably clearing $15-20. So they're buying those roaches for about $40. I don't know what freight is from China, but at least a few bucks, right? Slave labor not even being taken into consideration, I just don't get how you can manufacture the components for $35!I cannot fathom the corners that must be cut. Ethical, environmental, material, etc.Btw, I bet the frame welds were pretty good! Some 14yo kid that could make a good living as a welder in the real world.Err, "end rant". Sorry.
You pretty much nailed it. I figured I'd let the pictures do my ranting for me. They pretty much sum it all up. The thing that really gets me is how nice looking the more expensive bikes look from Target and Walmart. Many of them are starting to come with eye catching components such as higher quality entry level Shimano trigger shifters, adjustable stems, and paired spoke lookalikes. There are obvious component cost cutting things other places on the bikes, but they are getting very good at making their bikes look like bike shop quality bikes. The bikes of that ilk we saw yesterday now cost as much as $280, only $50 less than an entry level Trek hybrid, but at a far lower overall quality level, assembled by morons. There's the thing to think about.
Ben, I have just a bit of insight on the assembly process for those bikes. I had a room mate in the late 90's who took a job as an bike assembly guy at a Toys Are Us store. He was a savvy bike nut, so when he got there he was appalled by the lack of tools provided to assemble with. He made several suggestions to his manager, all shot down, not surprisingly. He was required to meet a quota of assemblies each day, which pretty much dictated that most assemblers couldn't do a good job, even if they wanted to. So, I look at these bikes with a bit different viewpoint. Yes- They are usually assembled in a horrific manner, but most of the time the people doing the assemblies are not to blame. It's a management decision to save on labor, tooling, and training that we should be pointing the finger at.
Fair enough point Mark. I have to say that I have met several big box bike assemblers as well. Let's just say yhe ones I ran into were not quite like you friend. Even so, it may be a bit of a generalization I realize.
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