People on here talk about them being bad, and in many ways that's correct. But if they were really bad, you wouldn't still see hundreds of them trundling out the decades as a general rule.
that's cos they were so shocking few buyers could bring themselves to rude then for long
Sometimes typos are funny...
But seriously, there's a subtle yet curiously poignant aspect, that's normally missed or ignored by those determined to label everything below point X as BSO. Some of these older bikes like Mustangs, like Activators, were heavy, not really practical, almost a pastiche of true off-road bikes.
Yet heavy, with quite poor components, they did tend to be at least robust. Far from being aspirational, perhaps not desirable, maybe worth no more than a grudging nod - but compared with some of the real, supermarket special BSOs, at least had something. When you've got £50 bikes that seem to play up as soon as you've wheeled them out of the huge warehouse that has been labelled as a shopping emporium, and the moment you dare even go near it with tools, things round-off, break, or will never align correctly, you have to grudgingly admit that whilst Raleigh were hardly making proper MTBs with these sort of bikes, and whilst perhaps heavy, awkward bikes, they did at least seem to work reasonably, without falling apart.
Have to agree with you in every way, I rode mine both Pre & Post Transformation and on some Trails around Thetford forest, nothing technical but it held its own, never missed a gear, stopped when i wanted it to and despite the rear elastomers providing no suspension at the rear, the ride was no different to a hardtail. Yes it was heavy but with the tweaks i did shaved some weight off and turned it into a lively bike, the front forks were heavy and again had about as much movement as a constipated sloth!! were replaced with a pair salvaged from a Ridgeback 601. I am 100% sure that if i paid £75-£150 for a BSO from my local supermarket it would have not faired so well. £25 for some fun in the retrobike world cant be sniffed at.
Yes it will never be an Orange, Yeti, Klien or Saracen, Kona etc (Other brands available) It will always be a hulk of a lump, welds that were horrible, and suspension that never worked, a bike hated by so many but it will always be a retrobike, a bike from BITD, a bike that young lads and lasses dreamed about, and enjoyed. A bike that stood the test of time and is still going strong today.
"Would anyone else rather be doing something other than marching up and down the square????"