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Best cheap gear you've used

Old 04-20-18, 07:47 AM
  #1  
WNCGoater
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Best cheap gear you've used

Yes, I believe you get what you pay for. I also believe a lot of times, "Name Brand" can and will cost considerably more, usually because of quality, but sometimes you're also paying a premium for the name. That's not to say it isn't worth it, and no way around it, crap gear is crap and is usually worse than nothing, especially if you're depending on it. But there is some gear, maybe a cheap Chinese knockoff, that will work and isn't necessarily worthless, in fact, you sometimes can actually find some gear that's reasonably well made and functionally not deficient simply because it is inexpensive.

So what is some cheap gear you've used and found to be reasonably well made and functional for your purposes?

Here is two I've used some bike packing trips, multiple rides, and a 6 day tour.

A small handlebar bag by Axiom, its their Atlas bag. Axiom makes some decent mid price range gear. This is a smallish bag, will hold your smaller doo-dads. I used mine for gels, charging cord, iPhone, battery power pack, bandanna, que sheets, bluetooth ear bud for music, wallet, spare reading and sun glasses, ets. I could quickly take it loose and carry it into restaurants with me.

71VydLf240L._SL1000_.jpg

The second is a cheap Chinese knockoff, I wanted an expandable saddle bag but some of those by Revelate, Ortleib, Apidura, etc were a bit pricey and I wasn't sure how well I'd like using one anyway. So I decided to try a cheap-o from Amazon before investing a lot more moolah. I found this to be very handy and functional. Additionally, I believe it to be reasonably well made. I've used is on the same trips as the Axiom bag above. On the recent 6 day tour, I stuffed two spare tubes, arm warmers, leg warmers, and a windbreaker jacket in mine, and there was still ample room for more. While I may not recommend it for long bikepacking trips across rough singletrack, and maybe not for multi-month trips across a continent. But for the occasional week or multi-week road trip, it seems perfectly functional.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

71-UFqZnePL._SL1000_.jpg
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Old 04-20-18, 08:38 AM
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My cheapo Jandd seatpost bag ffor my tubes, etc., has taken a lickin' and is still tickin'.


Bic lighters also hold up well and are cheap.
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Old 04-20-18, 08:50 AM
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We bought a mailing envelope for one of my daughter's books in eastern Kansas. Since it looked like rain, we asked for a plastic bag. What we got was a huge bag (the only one bigger than one for a stick of gum the cashier had). That bag worked as a de facto laundry bag all the way west to Washington, and didn't cost a penny.
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Old 04-20-18, 08:51 AM
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I find that cycling specific stuff often costs more than the same item not from a cycling brand. For example UV blocking arm and leg covers. Cycling shops had Castelli and other brands for around $40, but I bought them in the sports section of a regular clothing store for $10.
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Old 04-20-18, 10:14 AM
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I bought a cotton reusable coffee filter, to use with my Ortlieb folding filter holder.

Built my very reliable rear touring wheelset around an old Phil Wood hubshell,
I got in a Bike Shop Garage sale ..

The original hubs had a steel sleeve with the flanges of aluminum , but the freewheel thread in steel.. PW Co put the axle assembly in and I built up a 48 spoke wheelset around it..




..

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Old 04-20-18, 10:24 AM
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I always regret buying cheap tools. Bought some knockoff brand Torx sockets, and of course they are now rusty. So annoying.
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Old 04-20-18, 10:33 AM
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BV seat saddle bag from Amazon, $11 and going for years. Chinese knockoff twofish flashlight holders from Ebay for $1.50. Random flashlights that take 18650 batteries that are no where as bright as claimed but still good enough for riding at night, $10-12.
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Old 04-20-18, 11:05 AM
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I bought a cheap Mongoose frame off eBay for $36.00+shipping, build a bike with parts that I had and it served me many years, I even did a Paris Brest Paris ride on it.
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Old 04-20-18, 11:16 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by DanBell View Post
I find that cycling specific stuff often costs more than the same item not from a cycling brand. For example UV blocking arm and leg covers. Cycling shops had Castelli and other brands for around $40, but I bought them in the sports section of a regular clothing store for $10.
I bought three pair of sun sleeves from Amazon for like, $20 or less IIRC. Still using all three pair though one is getting a bit grungy despite repeated washing, though it's holding up well.
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Old 04-20-18, 11:20 AM
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$29 Canadian Tire 2 man tent. Really a big 1 man. I've often thought to upgrade it but haven't found a similar one at less weight. 6 tours so far.
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Old 04-20-18, 05:43 PM
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I bought 2 no name tires a few years ago, $10 each. Road from Glasgow to Nice and all around Italy. Zero flats and still look hardly used. Taking them this year on an Eastern European tour and beyond. Not only that they've performed extremely well in the winter, no sidewall cracking or anything.
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Old 04-21-18, 05:50 AM
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We should have a BF Touring Forums Build-off Challenge!

1. Buy or build a bike.

2. Outfit it with gear enough to take on a tour.

3. Cheapest setup wins.
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Old 04-21-18, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by NoControl View Post
We should have a BF Touring Forums Build-off Challenge!

1. Buy or build a bike.

2. Outfit it with gear enough to take on a tour.

3. Cheapest setup wins.
You're just looking for an excuse to buy another bike!
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Old 04-21-18, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by WNCGoater View Post
You're just looking for an excuse to buy another bike!
Dude. Its a sickness.
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Old 04-21-18, 12:40 PM
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I re-purpose discarded one-liter soda bottles. Better than free. About 2mm of bending and they fit in standard bottle cages. Lighter and larger capacity.

Alky stove made with discarded Pepsi cans. Also better than free.

I use cage pedals with toe clips and trail runners, normally a lot cheaper than clipless pedals and shoes.

I now use cheap non-breathable rain gear. Breathable fabrics just aren't worth the premium for the cycling I do. I've learned to live with wet and warm. My current favorite is homemade silnylon pants and anorak, weigh 7 oz for the set and each piece packs the size of my fist.

I normally don't go cheap on tires and drive train components. That's a false economy for my style of riding.
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Old 04-21-18, 01:51 PM
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Another saddle bag(Rockbros), though a small one. I have two, quite nice. Can fit an extra water bottle or the pocket is good for an innertube.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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Old 04-21-18, 07:40 PM
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I have a smaller Axiom handlebar bag, cheap & handy for small essentials. Used to find decent cheap saddles in LBS sale bins. Once bought a pair of plastic platform pedals for $8, labelled with "graphite"...pretty sure they had no carbon fiber but they were light & sturdy.
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Old 04-26-18, 09:06 AM
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I don't know if it's around anymore, but I still have a pyramid rear rack on my commuter bike. It's carried some pretty heavy loads over the years and never given me any cause for concern. Cost about half of what I paid for my Blackburn's several years prior.
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Old 04-26-18, 11:34 AM
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Picked a few used canvas bags from an army/navy store. 3 for $35. Lots of buckles and straps. Worked well, tough and water resistant.
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Old 04-26-18, 09:36 PM
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I don't agree with you - sometimes you get what u pay for. Anyway, I live on my bike. When this situation started, the guy I bought my used bike from threw in a basket for $5. I'll never go back to a handlebar bag! Baskets hold more - a lot more. And $15 beats today's cost of $100 for a handlebar bag. You all should try one!
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Old 04-27-18, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by travelinhobo View Post
I don't agree with you - sometimes you get what u pay for. Anyway, I live on my bike. When this situation started, the guy I bought my used bike from threw in a basket for $5. I'll never go back to a handlebar bag! Baskets hold more - a lot more. And $15 beats today's cost of $100 for a handlebar bag. You all should try one!
I agree with you on this. I think that a bike equipped with baskets front and rear would outclass any other setup by offering more versatility, road-presence, etc. Baskets that are lightweight and rugged would fill the bill very nicely here, but I have not found any yet, just the extremely heavy Wald baskets. If anyone can provide a link for a nicer and lighter basket, please do. There is also the argument that steel wire baskets can be manipulated back into shape after a crash. There seems to be no happy medium between weight and strength.
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Old 04-27-18, 07:41 PM
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Baskets have the advantage of low air resistance when they're not full. I used to keep a milk crate tied to the rear rack for local errands, handy for toting groceries etc.
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Old 04-27-18, 11:30 PM
  #23  
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The best cheap gear I have used was the free mid 90s era XT rear derailleur I got from my shop's used parts bin. It needed a small bolt or something and I found a small bolt to replace it and now it is doing quite useful and reliable service on my hybrid.
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Old 05-01-18, 05:59 PM
  #24  
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A reusable grocery bag!
It's got a lot of uses besides carrying groceries out of a store...
  • it can be a laundry bag when stopping at a laundromat
  • it works as a food hang bag in bear country (throw a line over a branch and haul it up)
  • it's great for carrying your clothes, towel, shave kit etc. to the shower at a campground or hostel, and it's easy to hang on door knobs, hooks, corner of a door, etc.
  • great for keeping stuff organized in the tent and might make an ok pillow case if stuffed with a fleece jacket
  • works great as your carry-on or personal item on the airplane - load it up and push it under the seat in front of you
Bonus is they weigh next to nothing and fold down really small so they don't take up much space in a pannier. And they cost just a couple bucks and last a long time.
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Old 05-01-18, 08:25 PM
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The bicycle itself, a Schwinn Sidewinder on all my bike tours.
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