In Australia, the government has taken steps to halt the online sales of crappy bikes.
Yes, it’s shocking. The bicycles “failed to stop in the required distance and did not have the required safety warnings”. Can you imagine if the bikes sold at Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Toys R Us were tested for functionality? How would those substandard bikes, with substandard assembly, fare in a basic safety test?
If this one made it to a photo shoot for a national ad campaign, imagine what you’ll find in your local store:
As far as labeling goes, that should be less of a concern for the retailers. After all, where else can you buy a kid’s bike with front and rear suspension for $64.27? I’m willing to bet that the 20″ Boys’ Mako All Terrain Bike (not pictured) has a sticker on it that states it is not suitable for off-road use, even though the ad copy proudly proclaims “Its dual-suspension system and lightweight construction is designed to tame the toughest terrain”. Of course, the three moms that reviewed the bike all gave it 5 stars, which perpetuates the questionable notion that this is something you should buy for your child.*
In all fairness, I suppose that if I’m getting this worked up, it should be over feeding the hungry, housing the homeless, finding a cure for AIDS, or just proposing that there be some sort of court order preventing Britney Spears from breeding. But since cycling is my thing, that’s what I’m writing about. It would be nice to see our government pull their thumb out and do a little more to protect children from this crap. And if anyone thinks I’m being slack by devoting a whole page to cheap shots at Wal-Mart, just Google the following words: next bicycle recall.
*If you didn’t read the reviews, or can’t be arsed to even bother to check out the above link, click here for the bonus image of the awesome assembly handiwork.