Friday, 14 May 2010

Cheap bikes: Create problems.

I bought a bike and I reckon it's fair to say I've had a couple of problems with it, so after yet another life threatening situation/major part failure it was suggested that I write a post about it. These Create/Unipak bikes are being sold to thick shites like me who instead of building their first bike (too much effort) go for the McDonalds version instead.

This is a list of the problems I've had since I bought a Create singe speed/fixed gear bike in January, so this is a 5 month list. That's still in warranty, right? Right? Never remember these things.

First of all straight out of the box, it's supposed to require a little assembly (wheels/bars on that sort of thing). To us first timers that implies that everything else must be in good nick right? WRONG, everything needs tightening. Simple as that.

The caliper brakes are awful, about as effective as pressing a wet sponge against your rims. Not a problem as such, just shit.

Creaky pedals, again not a massive problem but on a brand new bike it's a bit of a slap round the chops.

One day I was out on the thing, a kid jumped out in front of me swerved and got me foot caught in the spokes (injury pic here) I know this isn't a problem with the bike but the spokes turned out not to be metal, or at least no metal I've ever come across. Best guess is that they were a hardened plastic? The things flex and bend so easily. So bendy spokes, again more a quality issue than a problem. (Also no spoke key fits them, they're like a 13 or something. Nothing that's on a normal spoke key.)

My main problem came with the rear wheel, first of all the lock ring WOULD NOT stay tight, sprocket was rotafixed, everything was greased up and cleaned regularly. So I took decent care of the thing, anyway the thing kept skipping and slipping, causing me to have a couple of accidents:

So this one ended up scarring. After this kept happening (each time I was taking the thing apart re-greasing, rotafixing skidding it out tightening it 2-3 times) every couple of weeks I was starting to get a bit pissed off. 

Anyway, one day I had a really bad slip trying to crank away from a junction, crashed out and would have been in serious trouble had the guy in the car been going fast. This time when I took the thing apart,  the sprocket looked like this:

Yep those are the hub threads. I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure they're not meant to be there. So in 3 and a half months I managed to totally strip a rear hub. Now you could argue that I ride it too hard or I skid too much but here's the thing.... I haven't even had to replace a tyre yet. 

Going through a rear hub before going through a tyre isn't normal is it?

So to get to work I swapped the flip flop hub over to ride it single speed put all the brakes back on and all that malarkey and it lasted two rides of less than 5 miles in all. The bearings just jammed, the freewheel went wonky so the chain just wouldn't stay on.

Ok so we're nearly up to date, I replaced the back wheel. Running a blb rear hub with the original Create sprocket/lockring. Again I was having problems with the lockring slipping and skidding out despite everything being greased and on SO tight. 

Slipped out again the other day, crashed out and dislocated my shoulder (& possibly fractured my wrist, still need to go to the walk in). 

Ok, fair enough new wheels take a little while to bed in, so I tightened it up again and gave it another chance but this morning it slipped a little again. I wanted to see how bad it was so I tried a little skid on the flat and it just popped off. It just came clean off the hub..... 

So yeah, in summary I just wouldn't buy a Create. I would tell anyone else not to bother too unless they fancied just having to replace EVERYTHING as the bike slowly tried to kill them.

A shite bike is not worth your LIFE. (dramatic ending)

The offending piece of shit kit.



(Good sides to the bike: Sugino cranks/weirdly good tyres/half decent stem. That's about it)


  1. NICE WORK Liam. But can you can stop falling on your face now? Good. x

  2. Can't promise anything mystery person, it's a nice soft place to land... x

  3. You may refer to me as 'O, mysterious one' :) great blog sweetie x

  4. My rear wheel on my mongoose Maurice only lasted 3 weeks before the threads stripped on the hub. I too now have a new bad wheel. Strange thing was it was a formula hub that stripped

  5. Having talked about how much of a POS the bike is, and how little faith you have in the components, why are you now running brakeless? Surely stupid?

  6. Because I like riding brakeless and despite everything going wrong it's not yet managed to kill me.