The story with my bicycle is not over yet. I finished the last post at the point where I already got the bicycles, but I haven’t assembled it yet. Before assembling it, I took the wheels to a gas station to inflate the tires, and I discovered that one of them is flat – the inner tube has a tear, so the air is all going out. So I bought a new one, re-inflated the tires, and assembled the bicycles.
Then I discovered that the wheels are bent – that is, they require the equivalent of a wheel-alignment for automobiles. When the tire rotates around its axis, it occasionally shifts to the side and touches the frame of the bicycle, making it impossible to ride the bicycles.
I speculated that the wheels got bent during the shipping, thus also causing the flat tire. I called the supplier (who doesn’t normally answer his phone, as I explained earlier), and he agreed to replace the bicycles, provided that I drive to his warehouse with the old one. I, of course, wanted him to deliver the new bicycles, but he refused (chances are that paying for another delivery will eat his entire profit from the sale). I got into some legal argument between him, myself and getit. I’ll spare you the details – it’s enough to say that the end result was that I had no option but drive to the warehouse.
Eventually I drove to Yavne, got new bicycles, and drove straight to a cycling store so they assemble it (having the bicycles assembled by a professional is required for the warranty). They did assemble it, and they did a good job, but they also told me that these are among the crappiest bicycles that they ever saw. The wheels were bent, again, and they straighten them up for me.
The bicycles themselves are not a fun ride. As far as I could tell, some of the gears don’t work.
In short, I got pooched. I thought that I was being a smart customer, but it turned out that I was a cheap customer, buying the crappiest stuff possible online, from the crappiest supplier who makes a living from unknowledgeable, naive customers like me.
I placed a for-sale ad for the bicycles in a couple of online Israeli sites. I’ll sell them to the highest, lowest, or any bidder :) , and if I can’t sell them, I’ll just give them to charity.
Tomorrow I am gonna buy real bicycles, from a real store (recommended by a colleague at work), and for a lot more money.