No ride for me; off out buying a bike instead.

Sunday morning is ride day.

Except when you buy something off eBay Saturday night and the seller wants you to collect pronto. As it was Sunday; off to Crawley to buy a £20 ancient heap I'd bid on.

The bike was advertised simply as "bike" and had received no real bids. Painted in Hammerite grey with purple highlights, it was a Bitsa. Spotted the thumbshifters and new cantilevers fitted, so figured an easy strip and sell as parts for £50. £30 just for breaking a bike down? Well why not.

Except when you buy something off eBay and it actually turns out to be a class act. Collected the bike and expected a dog; mismatched components and hand painted frame do not bode well. However it was put together very well indeed. No sloppy job this. Even the hand painted frame was done to shop standards. Internal cable routing suggested that the original frame was a goodun, the wheels ran true, the brakes pulled up sharply and the gears all worked well. Thumbshifter heaven.

Thought this is an easy sell, make £60 profit no bother. Proper photographs, better description; usual story. Will pay for that XT clutch mech I want for the Orange 5. Drove home thinking I'd put it back onto eBay that very same day, no messing, easy sell.

Except when you get it home, and it turns out to be daughter size perfectly.

Got my bike out, we rode off up the trail. Ten miles later all thought of swoping it for a new clutch mech went out of the window. Daughter has a nice bike for all of £20. Even if under the paint it is a dog that's had it's day, if she gets a summer out of it that's a cool deal.

Best either sell something else, or just go out and buy a new mech instead of faffing with old bikes.

I'd missed my early morning ride out, the price was worth paying though. My daughter is chuffed with her new ride, and it should last until my boy is big enough for it. £20? You can't hire a bike for half a day for that. Sure it's not the latest Hoy or Frog, and it weighs a bit, but my children aren't really into cycling so it doesn't matter. My kids [and I for that matter] also couldn't give a toss about brand names, so aren't shallow enough to care there either.

So, eBay Bitsa for £20 that the children like, or brand name snobbery for £400 that will not get used any more than the cheapo bike? Indeed chatting to my local bike mechanic the Bitsa actually has better components fitted than the Hoy.....