Tuesday, 2 July 2013


So my Reid bicycle finally arrived. I'm really glad to have it after long weeks of waiting and numerous phone calls to find out what was going wrong, but overall I have to say I was underwhelmed.

When I first opened the box, it was a mess. I wish I'd taken a photo, but in my enthusiasm to get the bike assembled I didn't think to do so. The bike came in several pieces. The frame had the rear wheel attached, but the handle bars, front wheel, front mudguard, pedals, seat, and rear rack all needed to be fitted. It doesn't even sound like a big job, but the bike comes with no instructions, so looking at all these parts left me feeling a little overwhelmed. However, once I got the front wheels and handle bar on, everything else was much more straight forward, albeit fiddly at times. But all in all I managed to get it assembled without any major dramas.
I have zero experience assembling bikes so I'm definitely no expert, but I'd say this was a two person job. Technically its probably possible to do it alone, but there were so many times when having an extra set of hands was so incredibly helpful, especially when it required one person to hold whatever part in place and the other to screw it in.

There were quite a few problems along the way. One of the first things I noticed was that one of the spokes on the front wheel was extremely bent. I called up the Reid customer service team and they told me they would sent a new wheel right away. I've attached the bent one in the meantime as I don't think it will affect the structural integrity of the bike or make it unsafe to ride. The brown seat that it came with simply wouldn't tighten enough to stop it swiveling side to side. Fortunately I had ordered a black seat and that arrived shortly after the bike itself and I found the black one tightened up easily. Both the front and rear mudguard sit extremely askew. I've straightened them as much as I'm able but they simply refuse to sit straight over the wheels. There were numerous little nicks and chips in the paint, which was probably the most disappointing thing to me. When you buy anything new, at least part of the reason you choose to buy new rather than used is so you can have that perfect shiny thing all to yourself before it starts getting banged up and worn, so when I noticed the chips I was pretty sad. When I finally had the whole thing assembled and thought I was ready to go, I wheeled it across the room and heard a god-awful grinding. Upon inspection, I found that the chain guard was actually touching the chain. The metal is very light and easily manipulated, so simply bending the chain guard out in the relevant spot fixed that problem. Yay, off I go! What, more grinding? This time it was coming from the rear of the chain and wasn't as easy to spot the problem. I had to turn the bike upside down before finding a small piece of metal the clamped around the mudguard was the culprit. It was not sitting snug against the mudguard and was sticking out rubbing on the wheel. Again, this was thin metal and easily folded inward so it was sitting as it should be. This solved the issue of the awful noises and now the bike seems to run smoothly and quietly.

Some examples of the flaws in the paintwork and frame

SO, I finally have a bike! I haven't taken it for a proper test ride yet, as it was nearing dusk when I finally finished the assembly, but I think I'll take her out for a spin tomorrow. I did have a very brief ride across the yard, but there's literally only about 10 metres of space so it was just a roll along rather than an actual ride. I'm looking forward to taking it out though. Hopefully the weather tomorrow is accommodating. Overall I'm happy with it. There were some less than wonderful factors, but in their defense, I paid $200 for the bike. If I'd been willing to pay $400 or more I probably could have gotten something higher quality but I wanted a vintage style bike on a tight budget. I do think its really pretty and it felt comfy on my test roll. I guess I won't have a final verdict until after I've had a good ride, but it is a really cute bike for an awesome price. I also have to say, for all the hassles and delays in getting the order out to me, I still had some great experience with their customer service team. I still really wish I'd gotten a perfect paint job though!

One ruined manicure and 3 hours later... TA-DAAAAAAAAA

Her name is Betty :)

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