ALDI are bringing out a road bike on Wednesday. For $399.00 it looks like it has Cell Bikes and Reid Cycles on the ropes as regards value for money. The review is here depending on how my money situation and negotiations with my non-cycling partner go I may even go N+1 and get one myself.
It does raise a question about the impact on the LBS. I mentioned it to a couple of people I know at two of my locals one said ALDI were selling Claris equipped road bikes $600 cheaper than he could bearing in mind he builds them and has the initial free service.

ALDI also have other cycling gear on sale. My question is this, can the LBS survive not only the emergence of the On Line Bike Shop but the ALDI and no doubt other shops selling entry level bikes? I mentioned the ALDI road bike while one guy was stating that for every $300.00 spent at Wiggle etc another job was lost in Australia.

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You can't treat people like children forever.  If they want to go and buy what you and I consider to be shitty bikes, all power to them.

"can't treat people like children" is a pro-free-market cliche that ignores the asymmetry of market information. In this case thats the lack of knowledge by consumers and the very specialised knowledge of companies that make products (and the government bodies that police them).

Getting the government to fix this social and environmental problem by raising standards is exactly why we have government.

No thanks.  Not any government I want.

There are perfectly valid reasons why people would want to buy a low-cost bike...  but you want government to prevent that occurring?

No problem with standards allowing a safe, durable but heavy option.

Allowing a piece of shit that is dangerous and ceases to function is where the standards bar is needed at a proper level.

Duncan I can't seem to reply directly to your comments so I'll comment here and hope that you see it. 

Yes I want our government to prevent companies from selling low cost bicycles with poor durabilities. In fact, they already do that through the use of standards, I'm just arguing they should be better. 

Is the government you don't want any of the same governments that have increasingly been protecting consumers from shoddy products over the last century or so? Its not just bicycles, but all sorts of dangerous goods that even kill when they fail in some cases. Increasingly, the standards of what is allowed now also concerns risk to the environment i.e indirectly as well as directly to human health, but that hasn't yet occurred in some consumer product markets like bicycles to the extent it has occurred in others. But it will. 

Low cost is relative. There will always be relatively low cost bicycles available for the poor or uncommitted. The benefit  they will gain from buying a more durable bicycle for a little extra is at least threefold: better use satisfaction, longer service life and higher resale value. The reduction in bicycles going to landfill will improve supply in the resale market and this will also help the poor and benefit the environment, reducing demand for new products and reducing pollution from production, thus reducing climate change.

Whats not to like? Nothing, unless you happen to be an unscrupulous business bottoming out the market and making money from customer ignorance. As it concerns that, the problems of information asymmetry between consumers and producers is hardly new, see the classic 1970 economics paper "The Market for Lemons":


Maybe I'm being too blunt.  My point is that I think the consumer and advertising laws that apply in this situation are already sufficient to protect the consumer - unless he or she is an idiot - and you can never protect all the idiots.

Policies to reduce landfill, reduce the emission of gases that promote plant growth, interfere with trade or the employment laws of other sovereign countries, and any other unrelated aims should not (I think) be part of these laws.  I realise that view may be perceived as 'extreme' by some, but there you go.

Duncan, my point exactly, the problem is lack of labelling to clearly state what the purpose of the bike is. It is probably obvious to most of us on this site, but not to most people I dare say


The world is too complex, and too filled with complex relations, to be understood by a simple perspectives like yours.

Ah yes -- its all in the nuance.

As long as the product performs as per what it was sold for. So it would be better (in my opinion) if these "shitty" bikes were labelled as intended for short trips in the park, and requires servicing by a professional every 6 months.

Perhaps as opposed to my "shitty" bike, which gets ridden every day, and is lucky if it even sees the oil can in roughly the same time frame. But rain, sweat and blood make a decent chain lube it would seem

Here in Newcastle, the City Council organises and pays for a series of three cycling courses. One is a very basic introduction to what the parts of a bicycle are, what they do, so that new riders can have a better understanding of what they are riding and when (and how) to ask for help. It also includes how to fix a puncture. The other two are about teaching adults to ride a bike safely in traffic. The courses are delivered by one of the local bike shops in town, and there is no charge to the attendees.

Every now and then, Newcastle City Council really does do good work. :^)

This is a very worthy discussion about some very important social and environmental concerns.

I commend you all, but those of us of a more dishonourable persuasion are tantalised by the prospect of these things turning up on Gumtree  for a pittance or even on council pick-up piles, abandoned by impulse buyers or neophytes disillusioned and daunted by the idea or expense of ongoing maintenance. Also, ALDI has a very easygoing 60 day return policy  --  I expect many ever-so-slightly-used bikes will be returned to the shelves at a discounted price.

I'm thinking it would make for a good beater or back-up or pub bike or wet weather bike or shopping bike etc.

So for us rapacious individuals, what's the word from the frontline?  Just how serviceable is the bike? Did they all sell out quickly, suggesting a bounteous salvage approaching?


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