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Cheap bikes

Old 08-12-13, 10:13 AM
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Just scored this lower end Scattante r330 off Craigslist for $320. It's a beginner bike is under $600 new, and rides great. It also comes with an adjustable stem which can be great if you got a gut in the way like I do.
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Old 08-12-13, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by PhotoJoe
OK, now we're into a space I can talk about intelligently here!

Shimano Road Groupsets vs. Canon

2300: PowerShot A1400 Point and Shoot
Sora: PowerShot SX500IS
Tiagra: Rebel XT
105: Rebel T3
Ultegra: 7D
Dura-Ace: 1-D X with EF 800mm f5.6L IS Lens
Di2: Hasselblad H5D-200MS

Glad I could help!
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Rule #10 // It never gets easier, you just go faster.
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Old 08-12-13, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by mrodgers
Wow, didn't expect this many replies. Have to read through them a bit more thoroughly.

First off, about this comment....

Yeah, I'm just a poor working man trying to feed his family. I just didn't want the $100k/year folks getting in here telling me that I need a $2000 bike. Heck, even at $350, to me that is a LOT of cash! It's a shame really how popular biking is that it costs so much that just a regular working Joe fat guy can't easily get into biking just for a little fitness. Everyone always wonders why this country is so fat? It's because real food costs way too much money and to get the tools for exercise is pretty much out of the economic ability as well. (Heck, our grocery/toiletry budget is $1000/month! And with that, we now don't buy any junk food. That is just $250 to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week.)

For the buy used part, just about anything buying used makes economic sense. I bought 2 brand new cars in 25 years of driving. My very first car (listened to parents instead of my senses) and the car my wife just rolled over on the roof in January. Both were a mistake buying new.

The one problem that I have with used bikes unlike with used cars is I still have no idea what I am looking at. I know the value of replacing the brand new Ford Escape with a 2 year old Toyota Rav4 for the same price I paid for either because I know what a Ford Escape is and what a Toyota Rav4 is. I could pull up a used bike on Craigslist and it could be the best bike for the best deal I'd ever find, or it could be some idiot ripping people off who don't know better with a Walmart bike. That person who wouldn't know better is me. I do have a giant distrust of anyone on Craigslist and even more with E-bay.

Yeah, a $600 bike or a $1000 bike is just out of the question. Got a family to feed and keep warm in my little thimble size of a house, more important things to spend that kind of money on.

As for Bikes Direct and having to set it up yourself, I don't really see that as being a big deal. I'm not an auto mechanic either, but economics forces me to do my own maintenance on the cars from replacing the clutch to replacing head gaskets and timing belts (the only thing I won't do again is tear into suspension, I hate working on the suspension.) Heck, we drove a Ford for 6 years and 118,000 miles from new. I've done a lot of mechanic work. I've replaced clutches and head gaskets with printouts from the internet in my hand, never having done that sort of work before. The Ford since the day we brought it home had nothing but problems and I was constantly working on it (36k warranty up in a year and a half...) Heck, this Walmart special I'm riding right now the kids left out in the rain all the time last year. She wanted to ride it this spring and the chain was literally completely rusted in place. I tried to bend it with my hands, I couldn't get it to budge. I worked on that and got it loosened, derusted, oiled, and it's still the same chain that I am riding with. I think it had a grand total of 3 of the 21 gears I could shift into. Worked on that and got it almost operable now (having trouble with it either easily adjusting from 1 to 2 on the front, or 2 to 3 on the front, or I can get all 3 working but it is difficult to get to either 1 or 3 which is where I'm at now.)

So, yeah, based on my 2 coworkers who are happy with their BD bikes and reading how folks here who actually have bought a bike from them are happy (ignoring those who just "don't like the business model" stuff) I think I would be happy with a BD bike.

That still doesn't solve the I have no idea anything about components though. I've looked at the specs and component list on quite a few inexpensive or cheap bikes and can't really find any info that tells me anything other than Amazon reviews which who knows who those folks are reviewing, everything from Dad reviewing a bike bought for an 8 year old son to someone who maybe does ride. I can't get through all the overwhelming amount of brands and models to know what the heck would actually be good and what wouldn't

Anyways, there I am again, writing a book. It's a problem of mine, LOL. Thanks for the responses to this, gonna read through them again.
Ok, here's the deal (or I should say MY version of the deal):

If all you want is a cheep bike to ride around for fun and fitness.... go to Walmart.
(ducking low)
OK, now that every one has had their strokes, let me finish. For a hundred bucks you can get yourself a nice little one speed or three speed cruiser bike. It will have a comfortable seat and a comfortable riding position. You can ride any MUP in the universe on one as well as nearly every cull-de-sack and side street. There are no parts of any significant nature to go wrong. If you like to tinker and want to get a couple of tools you might want to make sure the headset, crank and wheel bearings are greased up enough. I wouldn't bother, quite frankly because if you ride it frequently at all, you'll be upgrading in a year or two and that's all the (heavy) use you should expect to get out of a hundred dollar bike from Walmart. For Heaven's sake, do NOT buy a bike with gears or any kind of suspension at all from Wallmart!!

If you HAVE TO HAVE gears:

Get a bike's direct bike if you are comfortable putting it together.
Get a Diamond Back from Dicks.
If you have time to burn on the internet look up the components on DB vs. other brands "Entry level" bikes. They are the same, but the bike itself is a couple hundred bucks cheeper. The frames MIGHT be heavier of not as well made, but the vast majority of all the aluminum bike frames in the world come from the same few factories. As an example, it is a known "fact" that the Bikes Direct bikes are Fuji bikes that are unassemebeled and have different stickers on them.

Get rim breaks. The disk breaks available at this price point are crap. Get no shock at al of a simple fork if you have to have one. Do NOT get a fork with a "lock out" the higher-end ones are fine but the cheep ones are notoriuos for freezing up and never un-locking. DO NOT GET A BIKE WITH FULL SUSPENSION, for a lot of reasons.

I have a Trek 820. It is the bottom of the line. I don't think that they sell an adult bike for less money than an 820. It has serve me with 100% reliability for years now. It's a tank to be sure and it has bottom of the line (by bike shop standards) components. It's awesome.
"I'm built like a marine mammal. I love the cold! "-Cosmoline
"MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL

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Old 08-12-13, 08:29 PM
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mrodgers, seems like you have a choice. From your posts, I'd say you seem mechanically adept and able to do things to keep a car running, which is more than I can do. So I'm going to suggest the Bikes Direct/Bike Island/Performance/Nashbar route.
Three reasons-
A-From what I've seen, better componentry in all respects, especially repairability and weight.
B-A better, lighter frame than X-mart
C-Better fit and finish on the bike in general. GMC Denali, case in point.
I think there is also a wider range of bikes from a lot of mail order, or buying used. Lots of stuff on the web about bikes, lots of stuff right here that can teach you alot about evaluating and repairing a used bike other may think has seen better days.
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Old 08-13-13, 08:34 AM
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Honestly, I see the used bike market as the best place to get more bang for your buck. Craigslist you gotta be careful, run the serial at, and really inspect the bike well for wear and damage. A lot of the time you can find a really decent deal on a entry level good brand name bike from someone who decided that it was just not for them. Local bike shops that deal in used can be another good option because they usually go over the bike and tune it up before putting it out for sale. I bought a Klein a few years back from a shop used for $325! Best bike I ever owned. Just research what you see with google, look up reviews before buying. Do not buy if you haven't looked in to what you see for sale, that is just setting yourself up for disappointment. I have always bought used bikes, because I can't afford new, and for the most part have made out pretty well. With the exception of one Raleigh mountain bike that was just put together poorly.
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Old 08-19-13, 11:12 AM
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I feel for your friend. I guess $350 is considered a cheap bike these day
if you're buying new. Some sales people care for nothing but their commission.
One can usually get more personal consideration from a small local bikeshop
than a big Chain store. Their people are cyclists and far better qualified to
fit one with a proper bike. I'm sorry to say, but a tried & true used bike
lovingly tuned would always be my first choice.
For $30 I got an '89 Raleigh technium mb. It's light,(aircraft alu tubes):
it's strong,(chromoly fork,headset,stays & bb), and fits me perfectly.
Sure, I had to put a few bucks into it and a bit of labor. So, after
tires, packing the bearings and brake pads. I had a bike that performs
as well or better than anything you can buy today under $400.
I've been riding it almost every day for the last 5 years; its still as good
as it was then. Price has nothing to do with quality. So many bikes
today get by on hype & snob appeal without really bringing the goods.
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