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Old 10-20-04, 11:01 AM   #1
jwille
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Is this a decent bike?

I was curious if this would be a good deal for about $100. I don't know much about Bicycle's and was looking at buying one mainly for casual riding in the evenings for exercise. If anyone knows anything good or bad about the features listed below it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Optimal Men's Bicycle - 26"

*Handcrafted oversized alloy frame is strong and durable
*21-speed Shimano TZ drive train with SRAM MRX twist shifters make shifting smooth and effortless
*SR Suntour suspension fork will smooth out your ride on and off road
*Alloy linear pull brakes with alloy brake levers offer strong and immediate stopping power
*36-spoke silver anodized alloy rims are light and strong
*Mongoose brand MTB bar and stem keep the rider in a more upright position giving a more comfortable ride
*Alloy seat post has quick release function
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Old 10-20-04, 12:15 PM   #2
colinm
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Where would you be buying this from?

The deal with very cheap (new) bikes is that while they do work fine, they are often very heavy. Parts used are the cheapest possible and they wear / break faster than better parts.

If you intend on slower speeds and light use, it'll be fine, but within a year you'll look for more, and this will not have any resale value.

My .02
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Old 10-20-04, 12:16 PM   #3
alanbikehouston
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I don't know anything about the bike you mentioned. Picking the "right" bike shop is more important than the label on the bike. The "right" bike shop is close to where you live or work, so you can get there easily when your bike needs adjustments.

It is a BIKE shop...not a hardware store, sporting goods store, Wal-Mart, a ski shop. That means that all the store sells is bikes, bike accessories, and things helpful for bike riding. It has a full-time tech on duty everyday to take care of your bike.

Visit the two or three bike shops closest to your home. Just hang out, and look at a variety of bikes in the $200 to $400 price range. Ask questions. Tell the staff what kind of riding you will be doing, how much riding. Let them help you select a bike that matches your personal situation. Then narrow down your choices and take some "test rides".

A $300 bike from a good bike store is cheaper than a $100 bike from Wal-Mart. It will give ten or twenty years of reliable and safe service. It has value if you "trade up" for another bike later. It will be a good bike to pass on to a friend or family member.

A $100 bike tends to be expensive to maintain, and put into safe riding condition. Key parts are often poorly made. Those parts are often "non-standard", making it difficult for a bike shop to repair or replace. I saw an industry estimate that said that the average $100 bike is ridden less than 200 miles during its entire lifetime. And the industry builds a $100 bike hoping it runs 200 miles.

The money you spend on a reliable bike is a good investment in your health and well-being. Most adults who ride an hour or so every day lose weight, have more energy, sleep better at night, and become taller and better looking.

Many of my friends who ride bikes daily begin to use their car or truck MUCH less often for a run to the store or coffee shop. The money saved on gasoline alone quickly pays for the cost of the bike.

Some bike stores carry "pre-ridden" bikes. A store in my neighborhood gets in twenty year old bikes that were originally sold for around $500, fixes them up, tunes them up, and sells them for around $200. And these are bikes that compare well with brand new bikes selling for three times that price.

Some bike shops have bulletin boards where customers post photos of bikes that they are selling. If you see one you like, ask the owner to bring it in so that the shop's tech can evaluate its condition. You can get a bargain on a nice older bike that has some scratches and nicks, but is in fine mechanical condition.
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Old 10-20-04, 12:28 PM   #4
Nightshade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwille
I was curious if this would be a good deal for about $100. I don't know much about Bicycle's and was looking at buying one mainly for casual riding in the evenings for exercise. If anyone knows anything good or bad about the features listed below it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Optimal Men's Bicycle - 26"

*Handcrafted oversized alloy frame is strong and durable
*21-speed Shimano TZ drive train with SRAM MRX twist shifters make shifting smooth and effortless
*SR Suntour suspension fork will smooth out your ride on and off road
*Alloy linear pull brakes with alloy brake levers offer strong and immediate stopping power
*36-spoke silver anodized alloy rims are light and strong
*Mongoose brand MTB bar and stem keep the rider in a more upright position giving a more comfortable ride
*Alloy seat post has quick release function
Please remember that your discription is the marketing text
designed to make want this bike....not that it's a well made
bike.

My guess is that you're returning to cycling so it would be
in your best interest to do a bit of homework on the features
that make up a quality bike.....not the one you mention.

My suggestion to newbies and folk's returning to cycling is
buy a quality bike,preferably a quality older STEEL bike, to
ensure that they at least start with a bike that won't break
right away and will give a safe comfortable ride. While steel
framed bikes "new" are both expensive and hard to find alloy
or aluminum ,to me, is a pitful poor substitute for steel.
Both aluminum & alloy will not give the ride of steel nor the
longterm durablity of steel. So if you buy aluminum or alloy
be prepared to replace it before you might want to.

All that said spend some time here learning what makes up a
quality bike (new or used) to avoid buying a bike that spoil
your fun before you start.

www.sheldonbrown.com
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Old 10-20-04, 01:40 PM   #5
Raiyn
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Read this
http://www.bikesrnottoys.com/
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Old 10-20-04, 02:12 PM   #6
alanbikehouston
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Originally Posted by Raiyn
That is a terrific website on how to buy a bike. I wish there was a way that URL could get automatically triggered everytime posts to say "I don't have my experience with buying bikes, and I was thinking of buying x...."
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Old 10-20-04, 02:21 PM   #7
jwille
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Thanks everyone for the help. This bike was not for sale at a bike shop and after reading the responses I have decided it would be wise to find my local bike shop. Again thanks for the help. I really appreciate it.
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Old 10-20-04, 03:14 PM   #8
LordOpie
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thing about the $100 bike is, after you decide you want something better, you can still use it for commutting short distances, like down the street to the grocery store instead of firing up your car. And you'll not worry about it as much as your $500 mtb or road bike.

in fact, if you do get the $100 bike, beat the paint job up when you get the new one so it'll look like crap and less likely to be stolen. I bought a $20 junker just so I could drop it at the store front door and not worry.
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