An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Taking a Dynacrap ride to the limit: Canadian edition

God bless Canada and the Canadians! This fellow is very earnestly trying to learn -- through trial and error and bloody knuckles and Canadian dollars -- whether it is possible to"successfully commute" on a "$99 department store bike." In other words, a Dynacrap bike.

And now he has come up against an age-old philosophical question, normally reserved for socks. (When you have patched and darned so much that no original material is left-- is it still the same sock?) In this case, our man has replaced parts and made expenditures that far exceed his original Dynacrap purchase.

And yet, for some reason he still feels he does not have an answer to the most pragmatic of his questions:

Would it have been wiser (and perhaps cheaper) to purchase a low-end bike from a Local Bike Shop as a commuter?

Which brings us to our own philosophical quandry: What's the Canadian word for "Duh!"?

Ultimately though, our friend tips his hand: It's all an exercise in sado-masochistic fun. Fun is fun, but there is a serious ethical question embedded here as well: Buying Dyncrap bikes supports the Dynacrap bike industry, and that definitely puts a cyclist's immortal soul in peril.


Anonymous said...

"...there is a serious ethical question embedded here as well: Buying Dynacrap bikes supports the Dynacrap bike industry, and that definitely puts a cyclist's immortal soul in peril."

The possible truth of this hit me yesterday when I received an email from a couple in Toronto (other Canadians) who said they'd been "inspired" to buy their own Piece'o'Crap bikes because of my blog. This is not the first time. It is causing me a degree of consternation I had not anticipated when I started this experiment. I really hadn't considered seriously that anybody would want to buy one of these things after I started writing about it.

I don't want unwary cyclists, especially newcomers, to buy a "Dynacrap" thinking they'll get the same mileage, life, and (yes) enjoyment out of the thing that I'm getting. It just won't happen, unless they're willing to spend an equal amount on bike tools, and invest hours every month keeping the thing running. I'm probably having more fun fixing the bike than riding it. I should also point them to the posts on Bike of Doom where I explicitly describe how the cheap bike almost destroyed my holiday because of its low quality construction and parts.

On the other hand, your "Duh!" comment on whether it would have been better to buy a low-end ride from a local bike shop misses what I've decided is probably the only valid reason for buying a Department Store Bike. Even the dumbest low-life bicycle thieves seem to have an acute sense of brand and value (similar to cyclists); they find themselves attracted to even a Taiwanese clunker if the "Giant" or "Trek" logo is splashed across the paint. The few upgrades I've made on the Bike of Doom have made it similar (at least in ride quality) to a Giant Sedona... but one that no bicycle thief wants.

-- Steve at Bike of Doom,

Jerry Riggs said...

Hah, yes... Pinchie has noted many times that the true mark of a Dynacrap bike is that the homeless folks around town are the only ones who bother to lock them -- often by simply tying a knot in a bight of swingset chain.

Awesome job on the BOD project, by the way. It takes a man with a strong sense of security and intestinal fortitude to suffer as long as you have on your Canadian Tire. Huzzah!

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