In no way do we want to hurt the feelings of low-cost bike owners. It’s up to everyone to decide how much money to spend on a bike. After all, you don’t have to buy a Beantley to go to the cottage. When you just need a bike to get to the university or the office or just to get out in the evening to the nearest body of water, it really does not make sense to buy an expensive bicycle. Now imagine that in the nearest supermarket, where you go every day for groceries, there are inexpensive, to say the least, bicycles, which in common parlance are called “ashambikes. What kind of a beast is this and whether such a nickname is justified? Let’s find out together.
What is an Ashanbike
The term appeared thanks to Moscow cyclists, who so nicknamed the cheap Chinese-made bicycles sold in the supermarkets Auchan. In simple terms, it is a bike of dubious origin with the corresponding characteristics. But the appearance is eloquent evidence to the contrary: they look flashy, bright and even a little vulgar, but formidable.
We should say that the supermarket chain has nothing to do with it. The prefix “Auchan” appeared because with the advent of warmth in this store, as well as in any other major retail outlet, appear related products for spring and summer holidays: inexpensive aluminum braziers, coals, garden tools and bicycles. They buy them at a ridiculous price, cleverly adding a cosmic markup. The distinctive feature of Ashanbikes is their quality, which is beyond comprehension.
But the warm days, cyclists passing by, promoting a healthy lifestyle and, of course, the tempting price skilfully do their job. As a result, the satisfied customer, carefully taking his treasure home, does not enjoy getting on his bicycle, but over time learns all the “charms” of Ashan transport.
It is easy to recognize a bicycle of dubious quality. They are designed for impulse buying, so the manufacturer skillfully presses the sore points of the buyer: creates an imitation of a reliable bike, spices it up with a more or less presentable appearance and, like the cherry on the cake, – a mouth-watering price. That is all, the buyer is hooked. Moreover, if you show an inexperienced person a great road bike and an Ashan bike, he will choose the latter, because it makes an impression of “reliable”.
By the way, ash bikes are often presented in mountain models, so they have a two-suspended circuit. This has learned how to use the manufacturers: for the wholesale price (from 3 to 5 thousand rubles) they complete a bike wide teeth rubber, 2-3 shock absorbers and disc brakes. One can only guess what the components of such an upgrade are made of.
Based on this, follows the first hallmark of Ashan bike: at obscenely low cost bike is “extreme” and “reliable” appearance.
Let’s run through the other external differences:
- Habitat. Auchan and Carousel are places of concentration of these funny bicycle beasts (pronounced in Drozdov’s voice). Sometimes found at markets or in bike stores. In general, if you were walking along the market rows and suddenly among the shoes and outerwear saw a pavilion with bicycles, then this is probably those very Ashanbayki.
- Coloring. Bright, shouting, inviting and provocative. Female models may additionally be “completed” with stickers with incomprehensible inscriptions.
- Characterized by an abundance of chrome and details of unknown purpose. If you ask the seller “What is this thing?”, he’s likely to be confused and will not be able to give a articulate answer.
- A royal armchair or a sofa saddle. Virtually all Ashanbikes come with padded and dimensionless seats. This is good, but to the moment when you need to ride a bike a decent distance (here you remember the Chinese in typical Russian words).
- Heavy steel frame of incomprehensible geometry. Try to lift the bike: if you managed to do it with great difficulty, then in front of you a typical representative of ashambike. Strangely enough, but most people, far from cycling, believe that the weight in this case is an indicator of quality: they say that the heavier the bike, the more durable, etc.
As for the mechanics, the manufacturers, holding the extremely low cost of the bike, physically can not put modern branded components, so there you can find mechanisms that remotely resemble derailleurs or very old devices, removed long ago from production.
Given that the ashambike is a working model of a bicycle, it will still be moving around for a while. The first problem the new owner encounters is shifting gears (either they do not shift immediately, or do it on 3-4 tries). Since the machine was bought in a supermarket, the warranty sends the owner to an obscure repair shop where the shifter is adjusted so that at least 2-3 speeds in the middle of the cassette work. This adjustment lasts for a couple of days, after which the owner humbly waves his hand and adjusts to riding a bike in these conditions. As a last resort, goes to the forum, where the first message will know what kind of miracle-technique he bought.
Another sore spot of Ashanbikes is brakes. It does not matter if they are disk brakes or the notorious clutch. The latter are constantly hitting the rims because of the large eight teeth, and discs make such a sound that seems like somewhere nearby are shooting some horror movie.
If the cyclist is a dense complexion, then very soon after the purchase “flies” the carriage, as Chinese bicycles are not designed for even the slightest load. Together with the carriage goes into the next world and shock absorbers, which are easily squeezed under the weight of an adult. Hubs have a short lifespan due to the lack of moisture and dirt protection. Especially when the owner naively thinks that he bought a mountain bike, and begins to furrow forest trails, fields and meadows.
The rubber wears off at a phenomenal rate: some, especially “successful” copies demonstrate the threads of the box literally after a couple of hundred kilometers.
It’s not a fact that all the curses ashambikes fall on the new owner at the same time (well, how to clog up the karma, that this happened). But no one can say how long you can ride a bike of questionable quality. Nevertheless, if you take care of it, do not jump on curbs and other irregularities, ride only on a smooth as velvet, asphalt, then use “ashambike” can be far more than one season.
How to use “ashambike” with benefit
Questionable quality of the original configuration – is still half the trouble. At the worst, you can replace the same shock absorbers, put good tires and do a full bike tuning. True, this will cost a pretty penny, and with the frame is unclear what to do, because it, like other parts can fail at the most inopportune moment. There is a quite logical question: what to do with ashambike? We shouldn’t throw it away.
Of course not. If you bought a bike to go out on a cool summer evening to ride rides, enjoy the beauty of the evening city, but at the same time and to pump up some muscles, ashambike for this quite suitable. Of course, we must ride on smooth and flat roads, rush when approaching curbs or potholes, as well as carefully lift the bike, and not pull it by force on the stairs. With such care he should ride at least 1-3 seasons. Well, and then a new collection will be brought to Auchan.
Pros and cons
A real Chinese Ashan bike is already a household name. Accordingly he has much more minuses than pluses. The latter, by the way, only one – low cost. No, if you try hard, you can find a couple more advantages, such as a good range of models on the design and size of the frame, the universality of parts and unpretentiousness. In addition, ashambike – the best option for the novice cyclist. Even if it breaks down, spare parts and parts can be found at any bike shop.
As for the disadvantages, then here, in the words of the famous doctor, “full bouquet”:
- Poor quality.
- The inability to use the bike as intended.
- Frequent breakdowns and unpleasant riding experience.
Very strongly manifested the shortcomings of ashambikes on rides with enthusiastic cyclists, when the owner of the Chinese bike is trying to magically switch to a lower gear before the hill or flying over the handlebars because of the brake. All this completely discourages you from riding and mastering spectacular tricks on the bike.
Any tuning or upgrade of the Ashan bike is useless and has no practical value. You have to change absolutely everything, including the frame. If you are lucky, and your bike does not crumble on the move, you can put semi-slicks. This is a rubber that is designed for riding on light off-road. The middle of the tire is smooth or with a slight pattern for water drainage, with spikes on the sides. This will add rolling after the stock “wicked” tires.
Finally, it is worth adding that cheap bikes and Ashanbikes – are not identical concepts. The latter are devices of dubious quality, designed for one season. Accordingly, any safe riding is out of the question. Therefore it is necessary to warn: do not buy “Ashans” for your children, especially teenagers, who will surely want to show their friends a sharp turn. As for the advisability of buying, then you need to look at the situation: if you need a bike to get from point A to point B, ashambike quite suitable for this. If you want to fully experience all the pleasures of riding a bike, then look for a bike of appropriate quality.