Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Saga of the $80 Bike is Already Drawing to a Close


I got the bike -- a Kent 700c single-speed road bike -- on September 24.

I concluded by September 26 that is was pretty damn cool.

The problems started about two weeks ago. I was out on a 10-mile ride when I heard a squeaking sound. Couldn't tell if it was coming from a tire rub against a brake pad or what.

It got worse.

About eight miles into the 10-mile ride, the left crank arm suddenly felt loose. I dismounted, checked, and yes, it was loose. I limped the bike home, got out my socket set, and tightened the bolt which held it to the rest of the crank assembly (there appeared to be a cap missing that should have been over the bolt based on other bikes I subsequently looked at).

The following Sunday, I rode it to church. By the time I got there, it was loose again. A friend with a socket set let me use it to REALLY tighten that bastard down. Made it home just fine. Took it on a five-mile ride the next day. Good as gold.

Then I started off on another 10-mile ride and whaddayaknow, by the time I was approaching home the damn thing was loose again.

So I took it back to the store, invoked the extended protection plan I paid for, and asked for it to be repaired.

That was six days ago. Finally, this morning, Wal-Mart called to tell me that it can't be fixed (by which I assume they mean that it's not worth their time and money to fix it by, say, ordering and installing a new crank set).

RIP, I guess.

Presumably the next step is that they give me my money back and I order a new bike. Not sure whether I'll see if this model is still on sale, or pop a little more money for a slightly better model, or maybe switch styles to something they have in stock at the store instead of ordering online (that would probably mean a cheap mountain bike instead of a road bike).

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