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Old 06-27-11, 06:02 AM   #1
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Maybe I have my priorities backwards - or do I?

Some things I just can`t handle - cheap pedals, uncomfortable grips and most stock saddles. So if a basic hybrid costs about $600 and a reasonable set of pedals costs between $35 and $65, a set of Ergons between $45 and $75 and a Brooks saddle between $200 and $400 depending on the model and a good set of fenders about $50 - there`s really no such thing as a cheap bike - just a stripped down bike IMO.

Yup - those really are my priorities and I`d be almost as happy riding a basic hybrid so equipped as I would any high end performance hybrid so equipped.

Oh yeah - I forgot to mention tires. Please - no $15 tires. Whats wrong with decent tires with puncture protection built in stock on the bike? Schwalbes have to be cheaper when provided as OEM equipment and bought in bulk!
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Old 06-27-11, 06:18 AM   #2
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This is precisely why I'm thinking about buying a frame and putting together my own bike for my next bike. Not next year, but maybe the year after that.
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Old 06-27-11, 07:26 AM   #3
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Quality vs. features.

I have triplett grandsons who are 10. A few years ago I bought them Red Line coaster brake BMX bikes that they ride to the library etc. I think that they're outgrowing them. What to replace them with?

What I'd really like to get them would be hard tail mountain bikes with no front suspension and minimal tread tires. I'd like cassette rear hubs (7-speed would be fine) and step up to Shimano or Avid linear pull brakes. In other words, basic but good quality bikes. Does such a product even exist today?
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Old 06-27-11, 07:32 AM   #4
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Oh yeah - I forgot to mention tires. Please - no $15 tires. Whats wrong with decent tires with puncture protection built in stock on the bike? Schwalbes have to be cheaper when provided as OEM equipment and bought in bulk!
Perhaps, but I got flat on my Schwalbe Marathon Plus last night.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 06-27-11, 07:35 AM   #5
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In other words, basic but good quality bikes. Does such a product even exist today?
You might look at the Schwinn Frontier they sell at LBSs. Entry level MTB.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 06-27-11, 07:37 AM   #6
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This is exactly why I bought a used bike and am almost done replacing every moving part on it. To my way of thinking a frame is a frame and for an over-weight recreational rider like myself the frame is the least of the package. I shopped until I found a decent used bike with a frame that fits me, I have a bike I can ride and do payday upgrades as time goes on.

If I bought a new bike I would still end up spending the cost of the bike again with upgrades and accessorizing. I figure starting out with something used I will end up in the same place with all new components and the accessories I want for many hundreds less.

It is amazing to me the deals that are out there for three year old bikes with less than a hundred miles on them.
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Old 06-27-11, 07:44 AM   #7
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Another great option is buying used from craiglist. You can find a decent hybrid or otherwise that someone bought and never rode. It does take work, lots of looking, emailing or calling BEFORE the other person, and sometimes even making the trip and the bike being gone, or not worth the asking price
. It's not for everyone, but if it's what you like to do it can be fun and save some money. (although a habit of perusing craigslist everyday usually isn't the way to save money).
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Old 06-27-11, 11:25 AM   #8
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Cheap bikes are usually designed to be sold as easily as possible, not be comfortable and durable in the long run. Accessory sales and upgrades to go along with the bike as well. Making a quality, long lasting product goes against their business model of continuous consumption.

I think the problem is worst in road bikes which constantly toss out logic and instead push new 'features' every year to replace the old, that are highly marketable, instead of entirely logical.
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Old 06-27-11, 12:40 PM   #9
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Two thumbs up for breaking out of the "cheaper is better" mindset that is so popular around here. A real breath of fresh air, Burton. bk
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Old 06-27-11, 12:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Burton View Post
Oh yeah - I forgot to mention tires. Please - no $15 tires.
I like my $15 Seca tires!

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Schwalbes have to be cheaper when provided as OEM equipment and bought in bulk!
This makes no sense. Schwalbes as OEM equipment would be more expensive than $15 OEM tires bought in bulk.
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Old 06-27-11, 01:00 PM   #11
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I don't think you're priorities are backwards at all. Contact points are key, so I will definitely pay top dollar there if necessary. On the other hand, a $25 aluminum stem will hold your bars as securely as a $250 carbon stem.
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Old 06-27-11, 06:01 PM   #12
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I like my $15 Seca tires!


This makes no sense. Schwalbes as OEM equipment would be more expensive than $15 OEM tires bought in bulk.
I`m guessing you misunderstood what I was implying. As an example, the president and founder of Velec electric bicycles, located here in Montreal, made the decision to equip all his bikes with Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. That requires a 6 month lead time for an order to Schwalbe because we`re talking thousands of tires. Which is likely a larger bulk order than most dealers would be making with the intention of simply reselling the tires. And since the markup on bikes isn`t as high as the general markup on accessories - the consumer would be getting those tires cheaper than they could get them themselves. Thats a pretty good example of what I had in mind.
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Old 06-27-11, 06:16 PM   #13
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Perhaps, but I got flat on my Schwalbe Marathon Plus last night.
Yeah - flats are always a pain and never seem to happen at a convenient time!
So was it a pinch flat or a perferation?. The perferation protection in Schwalbes is first rate but pinch flats can only be avoided by using a tire wide enough for the road conditions and a tire pressure high enough for the load on the bike. I`m running two different sizes of Matathon Supremes myself - 700 x 50c and 700 x 28c. The 700 x 50c are vertually bombproof at 45PSI and negate any need for a suspension system. The larger footprint also means less pounds per square inch when rolling over broken glass and the like so less chance of getting a perferation flat.

So lets hear about your mishap and what you think caused it.

Last edited by Burton; 06-27-11 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 06-27-11, 06:28 PM   #14
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Yes there are cheap bikes and expensive bikes. Not all about stripped or not. You can buy a $1000 hybrid and you can buy a $200 hybrid, neither will come with fenders etc.

If you dress up the $200 hybrid with $800 worth of stuff (fenders/lights etc) it still wont ride as well as the $1000 hybrid.
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Old 06-27-11, 06:57 PM   #15
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Two thumbs up for breaking out of the "cheaper is better" mindset that is so popular around here. A real breath of fresh air, Burton. bk
Thanks very much for the comment sir - there don`t seem to be too many of those floating around here either and I figure a forum should be fun as well as a pooling of resources.

So do you think that people that buy cheap bicycles eat cheap ice-cream too?

LOL I`ve got every Ben & Jerry`s ice-cream parlor in the city flagged for a visit! And if you bike enough - it doesn`t matter how much ice-cream you eat. And those expensive accessories make the ride almost as much fun as the destinations - life is short - might as well enjoy what you can and make the most of it.
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Old 06-27-11, 07:22 PM   #16
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Yes there are cheap bikes and expensive bikes. Not all about stripped or not. You can buy a $1000 hybrid and you can buy a $200 hybrid, neither will come with fenders etc.

If you dress up the $200 hybrid with $800 worth of stuff (fenders/lights etc) it still wont ride as well as the $1000 hybrid.
Well you may be right although I`ve never seen a $200 hybrid myself. And I`m not sure I`d wish one on anyone either - 20 x $10 compenents leaves nothing left over for the frame! Now thats CHEAP!! (shudder)

On the other hand I do have a one-off carbon frame with a 130mm DT Swiss carbon fork. Shimano XT wheelset, Shimano Hone hydraulic brakes/ shifters and XT low normal shadow derailleur on a 9 speed drivetrain. That bike has Ergon GC3 grips/barends, a WTB competition saddle, sixteen64 pedals, and Maxxis Hookworm 26 x 2.5in tires.

When I compare it to the 18yearold Giant Protigy which is equipped with the original cromoly fork and frame, Shimano 400CX 7 speed drivetrain and cantis and shifters (which all still work perfectly), it might seem like a no-brainer but its not. The Giant is equipped with the same GC3 GRIPS/barends, same sixteen64 pedals, Schwalbe Marathon Supreme 700 x 50c tires, a 20 year old Ovocet saddle with titanium rails, and KoolStop salmon brake pads.

The rides actually compare very favorably - in fact - I have a slight preference for the Giant. Besides being slightly lighter, the cost of chains and cassettes are half the price they are for the 9 speed.

The Giant was bought used for $100 with a rim that needed straightening and cables that needed replacing so lets be generous and say it cost $300 before customized accessories were added. That DT Swiss fork on the other bike retails for $1.200 all by itself.

Last edited by Burton; 06-27-11 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 06-27-11, 07:53 PM   #17
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Yes there are cheap bikes and expensive bikes. Not all about stripped or not. You can buy a $1000 hybrid and you can buy a $200 hybrid, neither will come with fenders etc.

If you dress up the $200 hybrid with $800 worth of stuff (fenders/lights etc) it still wont ride as well as the $1000 hybrid.
No, but if you buy a four year old $1000 hybrid for $200 because it was cluttering up someones garage and you upgrade the components and redo the bearings and add the lights and fenders it can ride *better* than the $1000 hybrid.. and lets face it, you were gonna buy those farkles anyway..
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Old 06-27-11, 08:05 PM   #18
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Here's my thoughts on the cost of bikes.. A little more money makes a cheap bike a lot better, a whole lot of money makes a very expensive bike a teeny bit better..

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Old 06-27-11, 11:26 PM   #19
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Yeah - flats are always a pain and never seem to happen at a convenient time!
So was it a pinch flat or a perferation?.

So lets hear about your mishap and what you think caused it.
I pulled a hunk of something out of the tread... I thought it was metal but someone else (I was on a group ride at the time) thought it was glass. Second tread puncture I've had with a Schwalbe Marathon (this one with a 25 mm Plus at 100 psi, the other a 35 mm Supreme at 80 psi), but then again, some of the areas I ride through have a lot of debris and glass, so I'm not complaining.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 06-27-11, 11:27 PM   #20
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Here's my thoughts on the cost of bikes.. A little more money makes a cheap bike a lot better, a whole lot of money makes a very expensive bike a teeny bit better..

I love it... "Degree of Betterness"

I tend to agree, but then again, most of my bikes are previously experienced.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 06-27-11, 11:51 PM   #21
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I don't think your priorities are backwards. I do think you should look for a cheaper source of saddles - you can buy a B-17 in the US (on Amazon) for $90, and a B67 for about $100.

I'm also somewhat sympathetic to the bike shops, though - even if they thought that you were going to upgrade the saddle, they wouldn't know if you wanted a brooks (and which one), or a noseless saddle or a fizik saddle - so it's better for everyone involved if they provide the cheapest saddle available.

The same is true of pedals - platforms, rat-traps, with cages, without cages, clip-ins? Or maybe grip kings?

And kind of the same issue with tires - I alternate between Schwalbe Marathons (not plus or supreme) and Schwalbe Kojaks...but how is the shop supposed to know my preference? I'd rather pay less for cheap tires I'm swapping for Marathons than pay $50 more for Schwalbes that I'm swapping for another pair of Schwalbes.

Of course, the ideal situation would be for you to be able to specify your preferred tires, pedals, saddles, and accessories at the time you bought the bike and not have to pay for the original equipment at all. But the dealer may not sell Schwalbe, Brooks, Ergon, or your preferred pedal, of course.
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Old 06-28-11, 03:48 AM   #22
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Some things I just can`t handle - cheap pedals, uncomfortable grips and most stock saddles...
Understood and agreed about the grips and saddles, but what's the deal with pedals? I've been riding on cheap pedals for years and it hasn't bothered me. Please note that I'm not trying to second-guess you, I'm just curious because I haven't noticed a problem. I can see that there could be a big difference if you're talking about clipless, but I ride platforms.
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Old 06-28-11, 04:40 AM   #23
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Europeans have been offered town bikes with all the right equipment for decades.
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Old 06-28-11, 05:16 AM   #24
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I haven't ever noticed that a Brooks (or any leather saddle, for that matter) typically outperforms synthetic materials. In particular, the shape would stretch over time. If that ended up being a benefit or not is difficult to say.
It would be an interesting experiment to take a Brooks frame, remove the leather and make another cover for it, out of nylon or whatever. Something synthetic that wouldn't stretch.

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... Oh yeah - I forgot to mention tires. Please - no $15 tires. Whats wrong with decent tires with puncture protection built in stock on the bike? Schwalbes have to be cheaper when provided as OEM equipment and bought in bulk!
Cheng Shin Tire makes a cheap copy of the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tire, named the CST Salvo. (or some places, misspelled "salva" or "silva")
-Or maybe those are other models? I am not sure of the different names...
If you look on different sites adverising the different names, the tires are the same size (only 559 x 1.75" wide) and usually the same pic, but the weights differ???


The China tire may not have the same type of extra-thick rubber that the Schwalbes do, but the Salvos do have an extra 5mm thick layer on the tread area.
People online who've tried them say that the size and weight is comparable to the Marathon Plus', and the China tires even have the reflective strip sidewall.
The Cheng Shins are usually priced <$20 US.
Here is one source, $17-
http://www.niagaracycle.com/product_...ducts_id=16157

I have not tried them or even seen them in person.

My own commuting bike has Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires--expensive , heavy and slow, but certainly difficult to puncture.
No flats since 2007, and I've picked scary-looking screws and wire out of them on many occasions that did not get through.
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Old 06-28-11, 05:57 AM   #25
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Understood and agreed about the grips and saddles, but what's the deal with pedals? I've been riding on cheap pedals for years and it hasn't bothered me. Please note that I'm not trying to second-guess you, I'm just curious because I haven't noticed a problem. I can see that there could be a big difference if you're talking about clipless, but I ride platforms.
The growing trend is for road bikes to be delivered without pedals at all because most riders will go clipless and already have shoes so its imposibble to second guess compatability.

Hybrid and mtb bikes and kids bikes are a different story and lots seem to come with resin pedals that are not capable of dealing with the weight of heavier riders, can`t be lubed and come with bearing tolerances so poor that in some cases its hard to turn the pedals at all. Personally I`d rather they come with nothing.

I ride with platform pedals myself - mtb style with screws not pins. That lets me wear a variety of footwear (including Sorel boots in the winter) and maintain a good grip. Because I ride in a variety of weather conditions I prefer sealed bearings and a bedal that can be dissassembled and relubed. I was surprised to find that the locknuts on the cheaper pedals are now swaged onto the spindle making dissassembly and/or lubrication impossible or extremely difficult.

If cheap pedals keep you happy then I think you should also have that choice, and being able to select key components at the point of sale would be the best way to keep us all happy. I personally hate the idea of being forced to pay for something (even if its only a buck) thats only going to be used to create more landfill. Quality components just last longer and so IMO create less landfill.
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