Every so often, the deal of the century presents itself in an online sale, and with ever-increasing bike prices a persistent source of frustration, it can of course be tempting to jump on an offer before the "limited stock runs out!!"
Before anyone whips out their credit card, let's take a pause: we think it's possible that the 'Equinox Super Smooth Road Racer Bike - Black or White!' on Wowcher (opens in new tab) may be an example of a slightly overambitious pricing strategy.
The 'Super Smooth', as we'll call it, is indeed listed at 'BingBangBosh (opens in new tab)' with a retail price of £1,119. The makers may be experiencing a conflict of identity, judging by the entirely different name sprayed onto the downtube, but the whopping 82% saving - taking the RRP to £119 - could appear impressive.
However, it's worth taking a look at the spec of the 'Super Smooth,' and comparing it to that of other bikes priced upwards of £1000 before we get too excited.
Reportedly, 393 of these bikes have been sold, and the deals will refresh in (at time of writing) eight hours - so we best be quick. Brevity should be easy since there's not a lot of detail to run through. And, the price is "correct as of 17.7.21", so the urgency of that ticking clock at the top of the browser probably isn't your greatest enemy here.
Kicking things off, we have a "high carbon steel hard fork and frame." We're not entirely sure if you're getting a carbon frame and steel fork, or if the duo uses a steel alloy with additional carbon of unknown quantity.
The 14.5kg overall weight implies there's likely to be at least some steel in the mix. For comparison's sake, the carbon Boardman SLR 8.9 we tested last year came in at 8.75kg. A steel fork can indeed induce a feeling of super-smoothness - which we found in the Genesis CDA 30 - but even that was classed as 'heavy,' clunking onto the scales at 10.85kg.
Other areas of the spec list gave us more cause for head-scratching, and had several members of Cycling Weekly's tech team rushing to Google Translate, to see if we could reverse engineer the adjectives.
The "seven positioning tower wheels," we concluded, must refer to a seven-speed cassette - with wheels being spockets. Again, this doesn't measure hugely well against the Boardman SLR 8.9 - which won our ~£1000 grouptest - but came with 11-speed shifting.
You do get "heavy-duty disk brakes", and a TZ30 shifter. The images are a little low resolution for us to be able to tell you much about the technology going on, there, but well - they're "heavy-duty" so we'll have to accept that these brakes must just be very, very good.
The description refers to "aluminium 60/30 knife rim[s]," yet the Equinox rims shown at Wowcher look to be of a shallower profile. Over on BingBangBosh, you do have deeper rims - which might well "cut through the air like a knife" - so perhaps the Wowcher bike is not pictured exactly as it will arrive.
It's anyone's guess which name you'll get on the downtube, but most importantly, you can have "black or white".
The "four nail stand horn handle" had our team conflicted: is it a stand that can be positioned at four angles? Or a bell/horn, attached via four fastenings?
The still unanswered piece of the puzzle is the "hidden unlined bowl set tower mat brushed," which left even our greatest problem solvers stumped.
Our conclusion? If you're looking to buy a bike for under £200, we recommend asking a friend with a good knowledge of bicycles to assist you in searching the second-hand market. And be wary of handlebars that seem to be deeply confused about their desired orientation.
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