Saturday, December 8, 2018

Big box ooops

Big box store bought bikes fail basic safety checks

 Christmas shopping time and for many that means purchasing a new bike. With the massive numbers of bikes being sold, local bike shops are concerned about the safety of many bikes on the market, particularly those from retailers without professional staff on-hand. Statistics from the National Bicycle Dealers Association (NBDA) say that in in 2015, 74% of the 16 million bikes sold in the U.S. were bought at big box or supermarket retailers1.
A Local 6 news investigation, from Orlando, Florida, brought attention to the reality and risks of buying a bicycle from retailers who may not have the expertise to correctly assemble the bike in the first place. As you can see in the video above, they purchased four bikes from big box retailers and took them to a local bike shop for basic safety checks. The professional mechanic at Kyle's Bike Shop shared the alarming results – most bicycles were not only put together badly, but were dangerous to ride.

Big Box Bike Building Hall Of Shame

Who built my bike?

Big box bike with a wheel on the wrong way
Clearly the person who built this bike has no understanding of bike building or mechanical knowledge. This could quickly end in a visit to the emergency room. image:
Big box bike with cranks on the wrong way
Not as dangerous as it is comical. It is easy to tell the skill level and attention to detail big box bike builders have. I would not let my kids ride a bike built by this person. image:
Big box bike with fork on backwards
It's a bit hard to tell (sorry for image quality), but the fork on this bike is installed back to front! image:
Big box bicycle advertisement with fork on backwards
The problems even make it into the advertisements. Here's another bike with its fork installed backwards. image: Ivan Dominguez on Twitter
Joshua Jiannuzzi, who once assembled bikes at Kmart, is the now professional mechanic who looked over the bikes. "You should really have the confidence and assurance that the bike you're purchasing has been put together correctly. A lot of times the people assembling it are the people assembling your patio furniture, your barbecues, your grills. The same people who sometimes bag your groceries," said Jiannuzzi.
He also pointed out that sometimes the bicycles are assembled by contractors hired by the retailer. Those contractors are often paid for each bike they put together, according to Jiannuzzi, giving them a financial incentive to assemble the bikes quickly.
At the completion of the local bike shop safety check, three of the four bikes failed purely as a result of the way they were assembled in store.
Some of the biggest safety concerns discovered were loose handlebars and stems, which are an accident waiting to happen. Other problem areas were poorly adjusted brakes and loose wheelnuts. Issues like these have already led to serious injury and legal action.

What can I do?

While every industry professional would prefer people purchased from a local bike shop, the reality is that these bikes are often double the price to those found in a big box retailer and, as Jiannuzzi's boss Kyle Markel says, "Those bikes do have a place. Not everybody can afford $300 and up for a bicycle."
The staff at BikeRoar have vast bike shop experience and have seen much of the same thing coming through the workshop door. We recommend if you buy from a big box or supermarket retailer, your next step is to take the bike straight to a bike shop for a professional safety check and tune-up. This may be what prevents a bad accident in the future.
As bike manuals often state: "Improper assembly of this product may result in serious injury or death."
The other issue consumers should be aware of is that even with a safety check, many big box retailer bicycles are constructed so cheaply and poorly from the factory that if you get even six months of reliable riding you may be doing alright – no matter how well adjusted it is. You get what you pay for, so if you can afford more then don't hesitate walking past the supermarket racks and into your local bike shop.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Last year was so exciting - here is a video from the end of the season.
posting to compare progression later in 2017

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Walmart Bike Vs Bike Shop Bike: Why Pay More Part 2

In My Article: 

Walmart Bicycle Vs Bike Shop Bicycle: Why Pay More?

I addressed some of the short comings of department store bikes.

Please enjoy the following video.

Now of course I do not expect all of you to be trying downhill runs 
on Walmart bikes. For some, a Walmart bike is adequate (as many have colorfully illustrated in the first articles comments) for riding on the board walk or to go to the 7/11.

The following items to note in this video( and those below), however, are true for all riders:

1) He had to adjust the bike for it to function properly.

2) He had to tighten bolts to make it safe.

3) Under the stress of riding the bike designed to look like a 
real mountain bike, it broke.

Other fine videos of a similar nature:

Thanks For Reading,

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

41yrs old, 10yrs later.

Feeling the flow and so grateful for this new life. 13 months after shoulder reconstruction......this is the 7th time here at the SGBP since starting rehab. 

I am not good yet, but I am getting comfortable in the air. Stay tuned for the progression videos.

Thanks for reading


Monday, February 1, 2016

Bike Lane Public Meeting, Silver Spring, MD;

Spring Street - Cedar Street Bike Lane - Public Meeting - 
Silver Spring - February 2 - show your support.
Silver Spring Civic Building from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

My Favorite Bike

This bike has been with me through everything and she doesn't have a name. In 1998 the frame was a warranty replacement....I transferred the parts and got to racing her at the Wednesday night series at Holiday Valley, Raccoon Rally, Six Hours of Power and others. I had so much fun, I upgraded to a GT LTS in 1999; but kept breaking parts. Thus I ended up racing and riding this bike most of the next three years. Then I converted her into this outstanding urban assault cycle. She has carried everything from 6: 6' ft sections of copper pipe to 24 packs of beers. There is an adapter for running the dog. This bike commuted everyday in Buffalo winters for 5 years....and every day in the traffic of Washington DC for 5 years. She has towed multiple trailers hauling groceries, kids and camping gear. Her parts have changed over the years, but we never lost that connection. I have depended on this bike for almost 18 years. After multiple shoulder dislocations, this was the bike I rode for re-hab. This year, I had that shoulder repaired surgically....and one more time, I call upon this trusty steed. Thank you bike for all your years of service.

Parts Spec
Raleigh 18" M400 Aluminum frame: 1997
Kinesis Fork: 2000
Ringle Headset: 1995
Azonic Shorty 50mm stem
Shimano Deore XT V-Brakes: 1995
Truvativ Stylo Crank: 2010
Deore XT Cassette, Hubs, Shifters, Deurraleur: 2008
Race Face Carbon Bars and Seatpost: 2008
DT Swiss Double Butted Spokes with Alum Nipples
Rhino Lyte Rims
Cheap Plastic Fenders and Alum Rack
Bontrager Seat
Ergon GP1 Grips
Xpedo MX Force Platform pedals
Jag Wire Sealed Cables

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Do you wear a helmet because of Fear?

This video talks about helmets in terms of our current "culture of fear"
I had to share. While I do wear one while mountain biking, I usually do not wear one when riding around town....getting groceries.....yada....

Now I wear a helmet, and make my son wear a helmet in the bike trailer for the sole purpose of not having to have a conversation about it with other parents at his day school. While it makes little sense to me to wear one riding a bike on the sidewalk, I know that judgement nowadays can come with a report to Child Protective I admit freely that I am wearing a helmet for fear.


Sunday, October 26, 2014


Ray's Life Cycle........Cycled

Before - Girlfriend

After - Wife

Before - Renter

After - Home Owner

Before: bike trailer carried booze and food

After: bike trailer carries son

Before - Employed in Cubicle

After - Owner of Build It LLC with Employee

Before - Riding A Hardtail

After - riding Full Suspension


Friday, June 1, 2012

Heritage, History, Pride: Sounds like a great bike tour.

Article: Muscogee (Creek) Nation bike tour to retrace Trail of Tears

It is so exciting to see rides like this. Its cycling at its best. 

John Beaver has been training for the Trail of Tears Bicycle Tour that starts in Georgia and ends in Oklahoma. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

John Beaver has been training for the Trail of Tears Bicycle Tour that starts in Georgia and ends in Oklahoma. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bike DC - WABA

Bike DC is an event hosted in the DC metro/Arlingtonarea. This is a video of the first 3 minutes (sorry a little shaky at the very beginning) of riders leaving for this glamorous bicycle ride through the heart of our nations capital.  The duration and density of riders moving along these first three minutes is staggering, but at the end I back up and look into the humungous crowd of cyclists still to go. This was an incredible cycling event to participate in.