First the good. The Daisy Diva, once assembled looks every bit as sleek and cute as it does in online photos. Further, once my 8 year old daughter hopped on for her first spin she was in heaven. It is a very smooth riding bicycle and is a great value for $84. So all in all I am quite satisfied with the bike. I want to get that cleared up first because I'm about to list the bad, of which there is some.
The bad. I used "Site To Store" to save on shipping which worked out great. But when I got the box home I noticed it looked pretty rough and had been opened and taped back shut. This made me immediately wary that I would be short on parts and that the bike itself might be damaged. Luckily, the bike was OK and all the parts were there. Although, I will say that given how this bike was packaged from Huffy, it's probably a common occurrence to receive this bike with damage.
Once opened, I commenced with unpacking the parts and perusing the "instructions" (and I use that term loosely). The first thing I saw was that all the bike decals had been slapped on very haphazardly. Most were crooked and bubbling up quite a bit. I had expected this based on other reviews so no big deal. I peeled the crooked decals off and carefully replaced them properly while pressing out the bubbles.
Then onto assembly. Most of the assembly of this bike is pretty straightforward. Thank goodness for that because the instructions were virtually no help. For instance, it's pretty obvious how the front fender attached. But there is no indication as to which end of the fender is the front and back. They are different so it matters. There are no actual pictures of the full bike included on the box or in the instructions. So I resorted to visiting the Huffy website to view their full color photo of the bike to see the details of assembly. Strangely, many of the steps and photos included with this bike were not even for this actual bike. What's worse, the few photos they give are so small and of light print that they are utterly worthless. These obstacles are mostly easy to overcome but with unnecessary inconvenience. The handlebars were pretty simple, as were the refelctors and seat.
From the beginning I was worried about assembling the brakes because of the trouble I had read about brake systems on cheaper bikes and the poor instructions. This bike has what are called "cantilever" brakes. As expected, the instructions for this portion of the bike were not great, but at least they were better than what they provide for the rest of the bike. Through mostly sheer trial and error I ended up figuring out on my own how to adjust the brakes to get them to apply smoothly and evenly. Brakes, from assembly to adjustment took about an hour. I'm sure a bike tech would have done this in 15 minutes, but hey, most of us only assemble a bike for our kids every 3 - 5 years.
Once the bike was assembled, I went through and double checked all bolts and screws to ensure tightness. I pumped each hand brake repeatedly to ensure smooth operation. And I aired up the tires to the required 35 lbs. I gave the wheels a final spin to ensure clearance and trueness. Then wiped the bike down.
The whole job took me about 3.5 hours. If I had to do it again I could no doubt shave 1.5 hours off that but no biggie. I was primarily satisfied that my labor was not wasted. The bike turned out beautifully and is perfectly adjusted on all counts. It rides smooth and looks sharp. And most of all, my daughter loves it.
So to sum up, this is a wonderful, sturdy bike that will not disappoint in form and function. Just be prepared to hunker down for assembly and feel your way through the process without much help from the instructions. If you're not good with that sort of thing, just take it to a bike shop and pay them to do it. At least that way you will know it's done right.
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