I totally agree, however the cheapest option is usually not the best value. I suppose Pete could have found a pair of Chuck Taylor all-stars for $20. I don't look down on anybody because of the car the drive, the house they own or even the bike they ride, but I view department store bikes as a travesty. The are designed and sold as toys. I believe this hurts cyclists in general as the public then sees bikes as toys or at best sporting equipment. As a child I only had department store bikes and when I bought my first bike store bike I was blown away at the difference, and It wasn't even a expensive bike.Originally posted by 'goose
Inexpensive DOES NOT have to mean TRASH.
I think that toy bikes have even become worse over the years as now-a-days they're designing the bikes with half-arsed suspension systems that self-destruct while being ridden. I believe that all bikes should have to meet a set of standards in order to be sold. This is because I believe bikes are vehicles not toys.
In respect to the original poster, $250-$300 will buy a decent bike at a shop that can actually help you after the sale. If you ride the bike hard and often you'll wear things out, but the bike will be worth fixing.