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An outdated, poorly maintained, or otherwise inferior bicycle.

Example usage: 'I can't believe I'm riding this old bicycle shaped object!'

Most used in: Cyclist circles in North America.

Most used by: Budget-minded cyclists.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 6/10

Also see: Bike, Velocipede, Two-wheeler, Cycle,

What is a Bicycle Shaped Object?

Bicycle shaped objects (BSOs) are a term used to describe low-end bicycles, usually mass-produced and sold cheaply in discount stores. BSOs are typically made of low-quality materials, resulting in an unreliable and often uncomfortable ride. They are often sold to people who are new to cycling, and may not be aware of the importance of buying a quality bike.

In the UK, research has shown that around one third of bicycles on the road are BSOs. This is a worrying statistic, as people who ride these bikes are more likely to experience a breakdown or mechanical failure. Furthermore, the lack of quality components can lead to a dangerous situation if the rider is unaware of the potential risks.

Overall, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of BSOs, and to always invest in a quality bike when starting out cycling. Doing so will ensure that you get the most out of your cycling experience, and can even save you time and money in the long run.


The Origin of the Term 'Bicycle Shaped Object'

The term 'bicycle shaped object' (or BSO) originated in the early 1990s in the United Kingdom. It was first used as a derogatory term to describe cheaply made bicycles, which were often sold in department stores and marketed as 'bicycles' despite not actually meeting the criteria for a functional bicycle.

The term was popularised in the cycling community and soon became a shorthand for any bicycle of inferior quality, regardless of where it was purchased. It was used as a warning to cyclists to avoid these cheaply made bicycles, as they often had poor components and were prone to frequent breakdowns.

Today, the term 'bicycle shaped object' is still used to describe bicycles of inferior quality, and is often used as an insult to describe a bicycle that is not up to the standards of an experienced cyclist.

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Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

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