Who doesn’t love a good deal? Groupon is the perfect storm for people such as myself, who are searching for good deals and discounts from their iPhone and expecting not to have to do too much research on the subjects. For restaurants, beauty services, concert tickets, and other events, it’s great. But for goods, I’ve noticed, notsomuch– sometimes products are identical to ones you can find in stores, and if you go to the store you don’t pay for shipping.
What Possessed Me to Buy
Back at LFAR 23, I noticed all the other fabulous lady cyclists had water bottle holders affixed to their bikes. My search had begun, but so far I’d only seen flimsy-looking wire models. The image made it look sturdy and easily attachable. This particular model was only $9 (it seemed like a good price, right…?) and it would be shipped directly to my door, saving me time in searching a bike shop or sporting goods store. I mean, it’s literally click-to-buy, and the timer running down adds a sense of urgency to the matter.
These are the specs according to Groupon:
After the Purchase
|A makeshift attempt to attach to the seat tube|
|The Savior clamp. Source: Bontrager.com|
|The holder’s got some fresh kombucha! But bad idea to ride with glass.|
Worth the Buy?
9 Months Later…
Problem #1: Not Holding Very Well
As early as September, just 1 month after purchase, I noticed the holder was getting loose in the adjustments. The little screw would come unwound a little if I hit the bumps, and things got very questionable when coffee spilled on me because the holder was too loose. So I tightened the bottom screw with a wrench to a point just smaller than my water bottle and coffee mug and left it.
Problem #2: Rusty Screws
While the tightened screw did not come loose for another month or so after I tightened it within an inch of its life, it became obvious that it was getting rusted. I store the bicycle inside my apartment complex’s bike room every night and make sure I can park it in a covered area whenever possible. (Plus, it wasn’t even as rainy in Portland this Fall/ Winter/ Spring as it usually is!) Either way, the screw started rusting (as you can see above).
By December, it was clear that the rusty apparatus was no longer adjustable at all– I was afraid to try to loosen it with a wrench for fear that Problem #1 would recur. And frankly, the fact that I could no longer adjust it was somewhat OK since it held each of my 2 cups reasonably well. That said, the fact that the supposed “adjustability” was one of the features of the item did not escape me.
Problem #3: Inflexibility
Since the holder was supposed to have a handy screw-mediated adjust on bottom, clearly the engineers thought they wouldn’t need to invest in more flexible plastic polymers for the holder itself. Wrong!
RESULT: Broken, Rusted, and Replaced
You can read my final thoughts on this, as well as my final solution, in my Winter update post, Joy in the New Year!