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Help me build/buy a sub $1K Bikepacking bike

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Help me build/buy a sub $1K Bikepacking bike

Old 05-29-24, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by john m flores
I'm coming up from the bottom. I'm _this_ close to pulling the trigger on one of those $248 Walmart Gravel G.1 bikes. When I'm done with it, I bet it will be close to $1k.
Let us know how much you spent on "upgrades". This is a monster that has bitten me many times...
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Old 05-30-24, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by john m flores
I'm coming up from the bottom. I'm _this_ close to pulling the trigger on one of those $248 Walmart Gravel G.1 bikes. When I'm done with it, I bet it will be close to $1k.
The most important expenses on a building are the foundation, and basic structure. I'm thinking at that price, the frame is junky steel? Or just oversize aluminum, which is now ubiquitous everywhere. Gosh I have to think that one of the complete bikes with decent components, selling cheap due to the glut, would be a better deal, but not if you want to equip it more special.

I guess I'm not much different, starting with a 4130 steel Dahon Speed frame, and equipping it like a Bike Friday NWT. My threshold for a used build is it's gotta be at *most* 1/3 new cost, and usually way less. But also, the cost delta on that for a $3000 new bike is a lot more than for a $300 new bike, so at the low end of parts, same effort involved, I'll go new, unless the build is saving an old frame that especially appeals to me. I haven't done any builds in many years except for my folder, but the above rationale is what's keeping me from rebuilding a friend's daughter's old Specialized, I said when she wants to get a better bike, let me know. But a Litespeed Ti found cheap on craigslist (legit, his kid got out of racing, plus hundreds of miles out in the boonies away from the city), oh heck yeah, I bought that for a friend and overhauled it for nothing. Chain broke on the test ride, every other link was cracked, they got full use out of it.
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Old 06-01-24, 06:17 PM
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I'm also a used and/or frameset only kind of guy. I've only bought three complete, brand new bikes in my life - a Windsor in 1977, and the Salsa Journeyer 700c Advent 9 speed (mine) and Journeyer Claris 2X8 650B (wife's) I bought about a year and a half ago. Other than that, I've built and/or modified bikes for both of us every time; many bikes.

But this forum is HIGHLY biased towards people who (a) know what to look for in a used bike in terms of functionality, condition and feasible modifications and (b) have the mechanical experience and/or inclination to make the used bike what it needs to be if it's not as-is.

It's not a bad recommendation to make, but, IMHO, usually irrelevant and not a good option for a person making an OP like this. The general implication is that an OP with this type of question does not fit those "qualifications" or does not care to.

You can get a very, very functional bike in this category for less than or within a hundred dollars absolutely new with, most likely, a year's support from the bike shop, including REI.

Last edited by Camilo; 06-01-24 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 06-01-24, 10:38 PM
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Agree this forum is biased with folks who prefer builds over off the shelf. Part of the fun for me is putting together a bike the way I want, even if it's not the most cost effective. In years past I've tried to convince friends new to cycling to look used and/or build from the frame, or research the used market. Nowadays, I've accepted that many people just want a bike to ride, and they are attracted to modern offerings. I've learned to resist the urge to impart my old school perspective, but then I'm also not the most helpful when it comes to recommending something new at a specific budget because I have no reason or desire to keep super up to date with modern trends. I still believe you get what you pay for but a properly assembled bike, even at the entry level, is more than enough bike for all but the most nuanced cyclists. I'm actually quite impressed by some of the sub 1k offerings today including ones mentioned already in this thread.
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Old 06-01-24, 10:51 PM
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So for a good many years, bikes were getting to be a better and better value, really great bikes at $500. Then prices started to zoom, and then really zoom during the pandemic. And thus, used bikes became a much better value, but also because I could find ones needing an overhaul really cheap and then do that. But now, with the supply glut I am hearing about, new prices have adjusted. I think that REI bike is a great value, everything new, warranty, usually good initial setup by REI and one free adjustment after cables stretch and such, has disc brakes (a big plus in my book, especially for wet or off-pavement riding, better stopping and not wearing the rim sidewalls), and designed for the task the OP wants it for. That's just a great value. Oh heck yeah.
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Old 06-03-24, 01:49 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by john m flores
I'm coming up from the bottom. I'm _this_ close to pulling the trigger on one of those $248 Walmart Gravel G.1 bikes. When I'm done with it, I bet it will be close to $1k.
I ended up buying a used Merin Four Corners for $350. I bet that's a much better frame than anything Walmart sells. If you can be patient I am sure you can buy something in that range as your base.
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