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Old 07-10-18, 08:59 AM
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Bikes: 2016 Novara Mazama

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To the OP: most bikes in that range are going to be fairly similar. Find something with a Tourney drivetrain at minimum, if you can jump up into a Sora or Claris, all the better. Living in an area without bike shops will hamper your ability to check out the used market. IF you are set on ordering from online, a place like Bikes Direct (or their scratch and dent site Bike Island) or Nashbar will get you a bit of a bump in quality from the Amazon offerings. Agree with others, on avoiding a suspension fork if possible at that price point. You can find something with a bit wider tires, that will add just as much comfort. I'd look at something like this: Save up to 60% off new Flat Bar Hybrid Bikes - Gravity Swift 21 | Save up to 60% off new Bicycles Online

Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
Giant tends to offer the best value for the money. As far as the bikes I own, my family and I own bikes by these brands. Trek, Kona, Salsa, Jamis, Bianchi, Peugeot (vintage), and Gitane (vintage). No one of these brands is better than another.
To an extent. Something like a vintage French manufacturer, while in many cases a fine bike, should not be recommended to someone like the OP, unless he is willing to deal with a lot more maintenance and parts compatibility issues than he needs to. Having owned even a halfway-modern Peugeot, I know bike shops don't have many of the tools necessary for it.

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Stick with a good quality steel frame (not hi-ten steel) ideally with a carbon fork (for a smoother ride and some weight reduction) but a steel fork is fine too or if you must go aluminum find the bike with a carbon fork and make sure you have lots of tire clearance (wider tires usually equal more comfort, less flats and more fun). Avoid Shimano Tourney and Altus for sure ideally I would avoid Claris and Acera if you want dependability. For brakes hydraulic disc brakes offer better stopping power and modulation and brands like Shimano, Magura, TRP, offer some excellent brakes but Tektro isn't bad for hydraulic. Mechanical discs can be decent if you stick with TRP Spyre/Spyke or Avid BB7s usually any non-TRP stuff or stuff below BB7s just isn't that great. Avoid suspension seatposts unless you get an aftermarket one from Sirrus Cycles (Kinekt) or Cane Creek (Thudbuster). Also good to avoid any suspension forks unless you are riding truly off road on really rough stuff like a mountain bike trail, it is another thing to go wrong and the nicer forks are generally quite expensive and have more travel then one would want on more paved or gravelly adventures. Also find cranks that use bolted on chainrings rather than riveted (because when you need to replace a chainring you won't have to replace the entire crankset).

If you absolutely cannot go above your low budget then consider a single speed, the fewer parts mean you can get a tiny bit higher quality and have something more reliable (or at least fewer parts to go wrong)
Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
The reason I say what I say is so people buy bikes they want to ride not just focus on price. A cheap bike that you don't ride is not a cheap bike and a more expensive bike that you ride a lot can be quite a good deal because you are getting more out of it and hopefully having to put less into it.
And you still haven't grasped the concept that not everyone has unlimited, or in many cases even modest, funds to devote to cycling. I do see people on Wal-Mart bikes, all the time, likewise as has been pointed out to you you only see the ones with issues. No, I am not going to pretend they are anything quality, but to counter your point, a cheap bike you are out riding is better than an expensive bike you can't afford and don't buy. It would be one thing if you were mentioning something like many of the other posters, if he finds an extra $60-80, he could get into an entry level Giant or Trek, but you are offering suggestion of hydraulic brake systems that don't appear until much higher priced bikes (even on your hated BD, they start around $700), and seatposts that are half his entire budget. Not to mention, by trashing on lower level components, you are even taking your own LBS offerings out of the mix. Avoiding Altus and Claris and Acera is just straight up snobbery, and if Tourney can do a couple hundred miles through Iceland on my buddy's bike, I'm certainly not going to diss it. There is exactly zero wrong with a bike with V-brakes, one doesn't need discs for the type of riding he is suggesting.
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