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What's the cheapest popular-brand multiuse bike one can get w/o sacrificing quality?

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What's the cheapest popular-brand multiuse bike one can get w/o sacrificing quality?

Old 05-25-20, 07:16 AM
  #1  
CaptainPlanet
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What's the cheapest popular-brand multiuse bike one can get w/o sacrificing quality?

So far the cheapest named brand bike I saw was Trek FX 1 for $400, and the review for this bike is very stellar, but I want to know if there are other bikes cheaper than this that's also worth a buy.

A tech example I always give is logitech. When I just need some quick and cheap tech to get things going, say I need a 10 dollar keyboard and mouse right away without doing any research, I will pretty much always default to logitech. logitech makes some really good high end stuff, but they also make low end stuff with more consistent quality than their competitors. They don't compromise on quality no matter it's their low end or high end.

So I was trying to see if I can find a bike equivalent of that. A bike company that will compete for the low end market share but also known for their all around quality.
When I was looking at the poppular brand bikes,
Kona/Trek/Marin/Giant/Specialized/GT/Cannondale/Norco, and etc
it seems they only go as low as 400. The only bikes I saw below 400 are generic retailer bikes that cut a lot of corners and reuse ancient tech.
Thing is I don't know if I missed any other brands than the ones I have listed. Maybe there are cheaper bikes from big braneds I haven't heard of.

Is there a named brand bike cheaper than Trek FX-1 that's worth buying?
Trek FX-1 is only this price becuase it has no disc or front suspension, and that's fine. It just means you paied for a well-buiilt basic model with a path to future upgrade.

Last edited by CaptainPlanet; 05-25-20 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 05-25-20, 07:24 AM
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My general feeling is, anything under $400 is usually a toy store bike.

If you want cheap... buy used.
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Old 05-25-20, 07:38 AM
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If your a new rider and not capable of doing your own basic bicycle maintenance then I definitely recommend that you only buy a name brand bike from a local bike shop that will support you with checkups and after sales service.
$400 isn't expensive for a basic new bike in my book in Australia anyway. They may be cheaper in the USA. What's the price on a Giant where you live?

Really cheap bikes won't necessarily outright break on you but the gears and brakes can be difficult to adjust and if you don't know how to adjust the brakes and gears yourself yet they always need adjusting then you can see how cheap bikes just get left in a shed or abandoned.
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Old 05-25-20, 07:47 AM
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Buy used > save 50+%
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... and so it goes
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Old 05-25-20, 07:48 AM
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Actually after thinking about it, you most likely won't be able to find the actual bike since most stores are sold out for the year.
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Old 05-25-20, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by CaptainPlanet View Post
So far the cheapest named brand bike I saw was Trek FX 1 for $400, and the review for this bike is very stellar, but I want to know if there are other bikes cheaper than this that's also worth a buy.

A tech example I always give is logitech. When I just need some quick and cheap tech to get things going, say I need a 10 dollar keyboard and mouse right away without doing any research, I will pretty much always default to logitech. logitech makes some really good high end stuff, but they also make low end stuff with more consistent quality than their competitors. They don't compromise on quality no matter it's their low end or high end.

So I was trying to see if I can find a bike equivalent of that. A bike company that will compete for the low end market share but also known for their all around quality.
When I was looking at the poppular brand bikes,
Kona/Trek/Marin/Giant/Specialized/GT/Cannondale/Norco, and etc
it seems they only go as low as 400. The only bikes I saw below 400 are generic retailer bikes that cut a lot of corners and reuse ancient tech.
Thing is I don't know if I missed any other brands than the ones I have listed. Maybe there are cheaper bikes from big braneds I haven't heard of.

Is there a named brand bike cheaper than Trek FX-1 that's worth buying?
Trek FX-1 is only this price becuase it has no disc or front suspension, and that's fine. It just means you paied for a well-buiilt basic model with a path to future upgrade.
You probably won't find anything less expensive than that. Remember that China is paying tariffs on those bikes now. 11% currently on complete bikes and 5.5% on road bikes. There used to be less expensive bikes but that tariff that China is "paying" drove the price up. Quality came down a little as well.
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Old 05-25-20, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
You probably won't find anything less expensive than that. Remember that China is paying tariffs on those bikes now. 11% currently on complete bikes and 5.5% on road bikes. There used to be less expensive bikes but that tariff that China is "paying" drove the price up. Quality came down a little as well.
China doesn’t pay “the tariff”, the consumer does.
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Old 05-25-20, 08:41 AM
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IDK if it is tariffs, or the industry pushing things like hydraulic disc brakes, or interrruptions in the supply chain, but prices of new entry level bikes have gone up. Generally, Giant is the value leader among quality bikes. I had to look it up in archives to see if my memory was correct. In 2017, you could get a 7 Speed Giant Escape 3 for $340 retail, an 8 speed Giant Escape 2 with 8 speed drivetrain for around $400, and an upgraded Escape 1 with 9 speed and carbon fork for $600. Today, the non disc escape 3 is the only option for Giant under $450, and the Escape 1 disc, with 9 speed and carbon fork is now $800.

I used to advice newcomers to look at the $400 to $500 price point as where to start, because you got past the entry level 7 speed drive trains into at least 8 speed, but now you need to spend at least $600 just to get 8 speed, and over $800 to get 9 speed. And there is no quality brand that goes below these price points.
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Old 05-25-20, 09:15 AM
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Out of LBS bijes, Giant seems to be the best value.
Better value with direct brands.

All the low level bikes are garbage for if you ride a lot.
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Old 05-25-20, 02:33 PM
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The names, "Gravity, Mercier, Motobecane, & Windsor" are not really known to the general public as a popular non-supermarket bicycle, but in my experiences thus far, those brands are worth a look for how much they're priced at. Goodluck trying to obtain a bicycle currently though.
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Old 05-25-20, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Freerojo View Post
China doesn’t pay “the tariff”, the consumer does.
Um...""
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Old 05-25-20, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Freerojo View Post
China doesn’t pay “the tariff”, the consumer does.
That's not what the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. told us.
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Old 05-25-20, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Um...""
“...companies in China do not pay U.S. tariffs directly. Tariffs are a tax on imported products and are paid by U.S.-registered firms to U.S. customs when goods enter the United States. Importers often pass the costs of tariffs on to customers - manufacturers and consumers in the United States - by raising their prices. U.S. business executives and economists say U.S. consumers foot much of the tariff bill.“
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Old 05-25-20, 04:51 PM
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One thing you can do is wait until the end of the season when everything's on sale. Springtime is usually the worst time to buy a bike, and we're in a bike shortage right now to boot. I don't think anybody's going to discount a decent bike. The brands you mention are all reputable.

A few years ago I bought a new bike in the spring, but I figured that a summer of fun was worth paying a bit more for the bike. Sure enough, the store marked it down in the fall, but I have no regrets. Right now I'd pay it to get some exercise, blow off steam, and avoid the covid.

Diamondback, Raleigh, and Fuji are interesting brands that seem to have somewhat different dealer networks, and occasionally good prices. I'm quite happy with my Diamondback. They seem to save a few dollars by using a reasonable mixture of brand-name and generic parts.

Below that $400 level (give or take), you may have to do more of the quality control yourself, such as checking the tension of the spokes and lubrication of the bearings. At the same time, gaining at least some basic bike maintenance skill greatly improves the practicality and enjoyment of cycling.
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Old 05-25-20, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Freerojo View Post
“...companies in China do not pay U.S. tariffs directly. Tariffs are a tax on imported products and are paid by U.S.-registered firms to U.S. customs when goods enter the United States. Importers often pass the costs of tariffs on to customers - manufacturers and consumers in the United States - by raising their prices. U.S. business executives and economists say U.S. consumers foot much of the tariff bill.“
Um...””.

As in rolly eyes. As in sarcasm. Reread post 6 with that in mind.
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Old 05-25-20, 08:24 PM
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My apologies.
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Old 05-25-20, 11:10 PM
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Depends on what you mean by 'multiuse' but I reckon there are some quality single speed bikes under $400.
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Old 05-26-20, 03:48 AM
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The price of the bike doesn't determine it's quality, you just have to shop around , if you limit yourself to one specific bike style you will be restricting your options .
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Old 05-26-20, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Freerojo View Post
My apologies.
No problem. I’ve been known to be kind of dense at times as well.
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Old 05-26-20, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Toespeas View Post
The price of the bike doesn't determine it's quality, you just have to shop around , if you limit yourself to one specific bike style you will be restricting your options .
Well, it kind of does. At least at the entry level.
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Old 05-26-20, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
No problem. I’ve been known to be kind of dense at times as well.
Actually, it wasn’t density, it was the fact that your emoticon was too small to be properly understood.
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Old 05-26-20, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Freerojo View Post
Actually, it wasn’t density, it was the fact that your emoticon was too small to be properly understood.
That’s the size that we are given.
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