“Men's mountain bike for sale. It's a used Magna Pulse with an aluminum frame. Only 8 of the 21 gears work, but if you know more about bikes than I do, you could probably make the rest work.”
—posting on Anchorage craigslist
Hmm. Do ya think someone who knows how to get those shifters and derailleurs working is going to be the kind of person who would buy a Magna bicycle?
I saw this ad a few days ago, shortly before I walked through Costco and saw a shelf full of Schwinns—which was depressing enough for anyone who remembers when Schwinn made bikes that were actually worth buying.
Anyway, it all got me thinking about all the times I've seen people happily standing in line to buy POS bikes at Costco or The Big Blue Hell, and then watched them walk out to the parking lot and load those recycling projects into nice cars.
I don't mean to be a bike snob. I know that the very cheapest bikes are all some people can afford. One of the best bike articles I read last year was Dan Koeppel's piece in Bicycling magazine about migrant workers and other people who live on the economic fringe in L.A., and depend on their department-store bikes to get to work. I know that such people don’t have the option of going to a bike shop and dropping $300 or $400.
I respect that such cheap bikes fill a need for some folks. But I’m not talkin’ about those people. I’m talkin’ about people who wouldn’t drive a Hyundai or live without cable TV, but who buy disposable bikes.
That’s just weird. I don’t understand those people.