Worst bike you have ever owned

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  • Worst bike you have ever owned
  • Premier Icon russyh

    So in my Birthday eve black cloud, sitting here with a mountain of email and a shoulder marinading in Ibuprofen gel thanks to last nights “off” I looked at the super positive “best bike you ever owned” thread and thought….What was the worst bike i have ever owned….I mean proper bike as well not some BSO thing from the 90’s

    I know there have been threads like this before. But why not have a 2017 edition.

    So for me the worst bike i ever owned was a Kona Process 134. I bought the thing after reading glowing reviews. The thing was an absolute dog. Heavy, sketchy (told this means flickable) just bloody awful. Not to mention the woeful cable routing that meant the rear hose wore through the swing arm, the rear shock stanchion being knackered thanks to a out of line rear end. To top it all off Kona were useless in sorting problems. So as an all round package it was woeful!

    Premier Icon kilo

    Moto Guzzi V50!

    SS inbred with v brakes and rigid steel forks, maybe not the best first mountain bike.


    Commencal Meta 4. Short travel, steeg geo and weighed more than my house

    Premier Icon tomhoward

    Spesh sx trail. Weight of a dh bike, angles of an xc bike


    On One Whippet. It managed the complete opposite of the marketeer’s ‘laterally stiff, vertically compliant’, by being both unbelievably harsh and mushy under power.

    Sold it on ebay for hardly anything, then saw it back on there for double the price 3 weeks later!

    Premier Icon richmtb

    Pace RC305.
    I just never got on with it. It was too stiff, too steep and the I couldn’t work out why I could never get the rear brake to stop rubbing really badly, turned out the rear brake mount was out by a mile.

    I sold it, I didn’t miss it

    Premier Icon oldnpastit

    Felt equilink. I did the classic: buying a FS knowing next to nothing about such things.

    There was a great big bolt in the main pivot which snapped. Bearings constantly wore out and needed replacing. Swingarm had a groove cut in it from the gear cable. Terrible steep geometry with high BB.

    Replaced with an on-one 456 which was superior in every way.

    That’s easy.

    2005 Kona Coiler – angles of an XC bike, weight of a dh bike.

    6″ travel, sky high BB.

    Rode like shit, didn’t really know why at the time. Kept it a few months then punted it. Horrible.

    Not mine, but like this:

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    Kids specialized Hot Rock 20″ – leaden weight, a BB as high as an adults bike(!) and steeper than steep head angle.


    Titus FTM, just rode horrible. Rear wheel rubbed on the frame under compression. Mech hanger that snapped if you sneezed. Laquer that just fell off. Shame as the Titus motolite I had before was one of the best bikes I owned.

    Don’t think I’ve ever really had a bad bike tbh, If I had to choose my least favourite, was probably the Bfe, but only because it just wasn’t as nice to ride as the soul I had before, it wasn’t necessarily a bad bike.

    Went back to a soul afterwards, but by that time they’d beefed up the seat tube for dropper posts and went CEN compliant, just wasn’t as good IMO.


    Orange Sub 3. Single pivot frame with the pivot halfway up the downtube. It was like riding a trampoline.

    (not mine)


    Marin mount vision 5.7 reviews really liked it, it was utter utter shite.


    Gary Fisher fat possum. total pile of shyte.

    Premier Icon Normal Man

    A Giant something or other from the early 90s. I bought it as a commute and off-road tourer (before bikepacking was a thing).

    It was awful. Had it for 3 weeks when a guy at work offered me more than I paid for it 8) happy ending 😉

    Not a bad bike by any means, but I couldn’t get on with the original Cotic Soul – never found a position/fork/bar/stem combo I liked. Stuck with it for a year then sold it on.

    Raleigh Activator…
    Bought from Kays catalogue – this is the worst bike I’ve owned but is also the best bike I’ve owned as I caught the MTB bug hauling that great big lump around the Derbyshire hills. 😀

    Not mine, but near identical to the massive thing I bought based of Kays ‘size guide’!…

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon

    Tough one…..

    My first proper mountain bike was a Carrera from halfords circa 2002. 110mm stem and a 22″ top tube on a 21″ frame, it was a bit ‘short’. Would have made a great disk braked CX frame if I still had it! But I had nothing to compare it to so it’s hard to say it was bad.

    DMR switchback? Again, not in line with geometry trends 10 years on, but at the time it was fine.

    Specialized Pitch. It did what it did really well, but it needed £££ throwing at it to get it to the level the reviews claimed it was. And it still blew up shocks for fun. Fantastic bike let down by the details (needed a 210×63 shock and better hubs and it would have been an alright bike off the shelf.)

    Premier Icon BigDummy

    In the early 2000s I had saved up enough to buy a Marin Mount Vision. But then Evans offered me an irresistible 50% off a Trek VRX200. It’s entirely possible I would not have spent the last decade and a half mostly riding hardtails if I had stuck to my guns and got the Marin. The VRX was neither attractive nor pleasant to ride, although the Rolf wheels stayed on my bikes for a few years.

    Premier Icon swavis

    On One Summer season, absolutely horrid! I think it actually was made from scaffolding poles.

    Iron horse 7point, recurring theme… DH weight + XC geo


    I liked my SX trail! Mainly as it got me off the log drop at Chicksands. I only rode it once on a proper ride tho. Had an original soul as well and never really fitted. I’ve have loads of Cotic’s since tho so it didn’t put me off the brand.

    But nothing and I MEAN NOTHING gets close to the horror of

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/LFG4w]Ellsworth ISIS – April 04 – June 05[/url] by Alex Leigh, on Flickr

    Suspension action based on a simple hinge. Made as much noise as an orange 5. Slow on the ups, boring on the flats, terrifying on the downs. After a week in Spain, I nearly left it there!


    Pace RC405

    Looked beautiful, nice geometry, suspension didn’t work due to massive falling rate, paint was dire.

    Tried 3 or 4 different rear shocks, even had a custom bottom out bumper made by TF tuned. No better. Rocker hit the frame as well when it bottomed out, which it did a lot due to the falling rate.

    Sold it on ebay for a fairly big loss in the end. 🙁

    1997 Kona Koa

    Looked lovely. Beautiful paint job. Curve cantilever brakes were just awful, as was gripshift. Ride-position (as per most 90s ‘XC’-orientated mtbs) monstrous, putting all the weight on yr shoulders, wrists and perineum. Add a cricked neck for extra effect.

    But most of all it beat me up hard. Like riding a frame forged from solid unforgivium. I was riding a (albeit fairly lightweight) concrete twin-triangle of pain. Bash, bang, smack. Rode it twice.

    Pretty tho…(not my bike/pic)


    That VRX haha, I test rode one and recall I quite liked it! But the only other full sus I’d ridden back then was a Y22, so yeah… 😆

    Premier Icon chakaping

    Same as on the first MTB thread…

    Sometime I wonder how it didn’t put me off completely.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp

    Cotic Roadrat – lovely looking and well made, but I just didn’t get on with it at all for some reason. Oddly I loved the Escapade though and regret selling it

    Hob Nob

    Yeti SB66. For all reasons Yeti. Literally fell apart over the course of about 9 months.

    Yeti were a total ballbag to deal with on warranty.

    Didn’t even ride that nice. The Switch Link was basically a bad VPP system.

    456 Summer Season, hard and unwieldy, like a concrete donkey.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon

    The similes in this thread are better than the bikes

    riding a (albeit fairly lightweight) concrete twin-triangle of pain

    hard and unwieldy, like a concrete donkey.


    boardman FS team, circa 2009. very light, great component spec but a frame that brought out the worst in everything. it even made a reba dual air underperform.

    Awful steep head angle, long stem, narrow bars and rear suspension that tried to pretend it didn’t exist.. can remember the feeling of utter disappointment I felt when I took it out for the first time

    Premier Icon jimplops

    94 marin team titanium, just not right.


    Giant XTC Carbon – 2007/08 ish – snapped two at the BB/CS junction – replaced on warranty – third one threw me off on a slightly steep drop breaking ribs and wrist. After that I was done with XC hardtails for long day rides. Gave the frame to a clubmate, bought a nicer slack (for the time) frame for riding and enjoying.

    Worst bike I’ve ever ridden though… that is different. Reviewed a few donkeys over the years. One comes to mind instantly.


    There’s a clear winner here for me.

    Back in 2009, I bought a heavily discounted Marin Rock Springs and was told that I needed a medium size. I loved that bike, but it was way too short and I regularly smacked my knees on the bars. On the descents it was utter magic, so I gave the frame to my missus and bought a Wolf Ridge in a large size…

    Oh dear.

    Mostly, the extra size was added to the seat tube and headtube, there was precious little extra length, so Marin supplied the bike with a 90mm stem. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get the front end of the bike to work for me, the steering was completely numb and the geometry was noticeably different to my medium bike with a steeper head angle and taller BB. The Fox RP23 was a pain to get at thanks to the linkages and I ended up throwing a fortune at the bike. In the end, I ran a sticky front tyre tubeless at a low pressure to get some feedback in the front end.

    Matters weren’t much better at the back. The suspension action encouraged out of the saddle attacking, but traction was very spitty which wasn’t great on slippery climbs. Granny ring climbing was an object lesson in elastic suspension, the fitting of a Fox CTD helped somewhat, as did the attachment of a dual chain guide.

    It put me in A&E three times in the four years that I owned it.

    I eventually replaced it with a Spesh Stumpjumper 29er, which is beautifully balanced, has suspension which works and fits me like a glove.

    My old Rock Springs is now ridden mostly by my stepson, who loves it. If only they’d upsized the frame properly.


    Sorry wrong thread 😳


    Haha Concrete Donkey…I like that. 😀


    Mountain Cycle Zen. Bought as a warranty replacement from CRC after my very enjoyable tomac eli had cracked itself to bits.

    The Zen lasted less than 20 miles before being stripped and dumped on eBay. More life in a ketamined sloth.

    Premier Icon DezB

    I lusted after a VRX! Steve Worland gave it a glowing review IIRC.

    Not owned enough bikes to have had a total dog, but nearest was my RM ETS – mainly because it cracked. It also had such a high BB that it was quite ungainly on singetrack. Thing climbed like a mountain goat with crampons though.


    Santa Cruz V10 (original version) – never got on with it, felt like a plow and didn’t suit my riding style.

    Commencal Meta V3 – wanted to love it, full Bos suspension. It was useless up hill and only average down.

    this is easy!
    Cannondale 27.5″ jekyll via this forum from Pauls Cycles. Absolute crap geometry even with 2x offsets fitted its not brilliant. The dyad shock spikes/locks over fast stutter bumps, non replaceable threads for the rear axle, absolute crap BB30 bottom bracket, and then to top things off the bloody thing cracked.
    Couldn’t sell the warranty replacement frame for love nor money so have ended up building it up again – no inspiration to ride it but hoping it cracks again and i can get the new Jekyll instead.

    Trek Remedy 2009. Dreadful dreadful bike that I really wanted to like but it fought me at every stage. Used it totally standard, made changes that should have improved it but they didn’t, they just made it worse in new and unexpected ways. Never have I been happier to see the back of a bike than I was to see the back of that one.

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