Asda, one of the UK’s largest supermarkets, now boldly claims to have the UK’s cheapest bike. However, a Guardian newspaper review is less than complementary. It compares the riding experience to going to the cinema and having someone kick the back of your seat all the way though the film.
The list of flaws are outlined in the article as follows:
1. The Purple Eagle is a ladies’ bike. So why the men’s saddle?
2. The components are rubbish and made out of the biking equivalent of a supermarket own-brand. The derailleur, gear shifts and more are made by a brand that sounds like Shimano but isn’t. It’s even written in the same font.
3. The brakes are made from plastic, rather than more expensive aluminium, and so will flex and bend, wasting energy.
4. The handlebar stem is the old “quill” style (instead of attaching to a steerer tube it fits directly into the headset and screws onto the forks), rather than an a-head stem.
5. The rear derailleur is hooked onto the axle, rather than bolted straight to the frame, making it almost impossible to adjust the gears properly.
6. The cheap plastic pedals will “simply fall apart before long”.
7. The rear wheel was badly out of true.
8. The front wheel wasn’t round, and was wobbling about the place as if the bearings have already gone. Apparently this shouldn’t happen on a decent bike until you’ve done at least 1,000 miles.
I think you are much better off paying around £100 – £150 for a second hand bike as I did with my Marin San Alselmo which is worth around £600+ new (Check out our negotiation tips for more on this)
I also predict that soon enough you will see even cheaper Chinese bike imports though the quality of these has yet to be proven. In China you can pick up an electric bike, which is extremely popular, for around $290 (£175).