B&Q adopts a freestyle approach to bike assembly

B&Q go for radical aero set up on kids' bicycle shaped object

by Mark Appleton   November 25, 2010  


Kids these days, hey? Not even dispensed with the stabilisers and already trying to gain a competitive advantage.

At least if this little number's backward facing forks with their aerodynamically-concealed, wind-cheating brakes are anything to go by. Or could it be that B&Q don’t know how to assemble the kiddie bikes they sell? Hmm…

Always one to stop and look at a shiny bike and at a bit of a loose end now the sportive season is over David Else spotted this incorrectly-built bike at the home, garden and bicycle-shaped-object supplier’s Chippenham outlet.

We’ve sent a pic of the creatively assembled machine to B&Q’s PR agency so expect a statement about their training policy for BSO assemblers along any minute.*

Meantime we’ve talked about bicycle shaped objects before on road.cc

And there was a conversation here last year, following the BBC Watchdog programme focussing on ‘flat-packed’ bikes.

*And here it is!:

‘Thanks for bringing this matter to our attention and enabling us to put our display right. Safety within our stores is a priority and we strive to ensure the highest standards. We would like to assure you that our colleagues at Chippenham are experienced in assembly and display and that this was an isolated incident, which I am pleased we have now been able to put right.’



9 user comments

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some of the stuff we have to deal with at cycle training is just nuts. Brakes that dont work, forks on backwards, a bike with no pedals - yes thats right, go on a cycle training course with a bike with no pedals.


PzychotropicMac's picture

posted by PzychotropicMac [85 posts]
25th November 2010 - 16:30


Its even got a picture of the bike on the box behind it on the display!

posted by harvey.grainger [13 posts]
25th November 2010 - 17:08


PzychotropicMac wrote:
a bike with no pedals - yes thats right, go on a cycle training course with a bike with no pedals.

"Sorry mate, this is cycle training, velocipede training is next week" Smile

I'd be really surprised if there wasn't at least one middle-aged convert to cycling out there who dropped a chunk of his City bonus on a top-spec road bike then complained that the pedals were missing Wink

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [9025 posts]
25th November 2010 - 17:36


This is obviously a "stayer" designed to follow a motor bike in paced events.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1398 posts]
25th November 2010 - 17:41


Fair dos to the company/its PR agency for responding in a (reasonably) timely and forthright manner.
Hold your hand up, reassure it won't happen again, move on. Textbook. 'Course it all falls apart if someone spots another creative build...

posted by Mark Appleton [554 posts]
25th November 2010 - 17:50


Actually it does seem to happen again and again from non-specialist bike suppliers. I saw a kid on a BMX bike with backward facing forks at the BMX track where I train a few weeks ago. He was a former schoolmate of my sons and knew them. I told him not to ride his bike on the track as it wasn't safe and one of my sons lent him his bike instead. I didn't have enough tools with me so I couldn't correct the problem but I said he had to take it back to his dad ASAP and get it sorted. The bike came from the local Halfords store, which has a poor record for such misassembly.


posted by OldRidgeback [2468 posts]
26th November 2010 - 10:01


It's not as if the brakes work safely anyway. No braking surface on those wheels. My niece has a similar bike bought from Toys R Us. The mere sniff of a puddle and bye bye brakes.

posted by j1mmy76 [66 posts]
26th November 2010 - 11:06


You'd think Tesco's would get it right after all the bad press:



DaveP's picture

posted by DaveP [467 posts]
27th November 2010 - 10:07


Happened to be back in B&Q yesterday, and can confirm that the demo bike has brake on the correct side of the forks now. However, the in-house cycle mechanic has obviously just swivelled the forks, rather than actually move the brake, because now the mudguard is on back-to-front. At least the bike is safer, though. It’s just a matter of looking daft now.

It’s odd for B&Q to mess up like this. I do a lot of fairly major DIY-type stuff (when I’m not tinkering with bikes, or riding them) so I’m often in my local B&Q. The range of stock is good, and the members of staff are always friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. When I noticed the BSO, I was actually in the shop to buy some specialist paint. I also needed some electrical stuff. I had some technical questions, and the guys who helped me really knew their stuff.

B&Q is a very good shop for home and garden supplies. Just maybe they shouldn’t sell bikes.


David Else

posted by David Else [314 posts]
28th November 2010 - 10:47