£80 or £280 range - does it really matter?


New Member
I apologies for another 'Hi I am a newbie' comment but...

I have not ridden a bike in over 10 years. Now my daughter is now starting to ride I would like to get a bike so we can go for little rides together (along country lanes, grass common land, the odd field/wooded area, and a lot of hills!). I have spent the past few days looking online for a bike. I started with Halfords and their £100 range, but before I know it I was looking at bikes for £280 on the internet. I know for my budget I am not going to get anything pro like - but does it really matter if I get a £80 bike from Halfords or a £280 bike for that I want to do?

Also I have come across a load of brand names I have no idea if they are any good (Python, British Eagle, Claud Butler, Carrera, Apollo, Ridgeback....) Is there any brand of bike I should stay well clear off or someone recommend.

After spending hours looking at different websites my mind is very foggy, some advice would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks


Über Member
Poole Dorset
You wanna be looking at what you get on the bike for your budget. Like a good group set or brakes. Those brands you have mentioned will never have good quality items on them.

I would try and buy a good second hand bike as you’ll get more for your money.

I’d youre bumbling about it isn’t really an issue tbh, but if you want to go off and get some miles in, then I would be trying to get the best you can for your budget.
If money is an issue, then don't look at Halfords. Carrera range is just about ok-ish, but Apollo is heavy, cheap & nasty.

A lot depends upon the quality of the Halfords mechanic who has built up the bike, as there's no consistency. I have a photo album of horrors of new build Halfords bikes that people have asked me to check over, which have forks on the wrong way round, brake cables not tightened, gears not working etc.

You're far better looking at the B'Twin range available in Decathlon.

It is true that you get what you pay for. A £100 bike will not last.


Legendary Member
I take it you want a safe, reliable bike that you will enjoy riding, that has quality components and that has a resale value. £80 does not buy you that. It does not even come close to buying the components at trade price, paying for the cost of labour and machinery to build it, transporting it to a shop near you and providing everyone in the chain with an honest profit.

For your budget, I would also hot foot it to Decathlon and buy something from there.


Another vote for decathlon here as being great value for money for a "proper" bike.

Something like this might fit the bill:


A bit more expensive, but also nicer is this (comes with traditional flat bars or racing drop bars):


However, if you're prepared to bide your time, £80 could get you something reasonably good second hand. Older 1990s 26" rigid forked mountain bikes often go for a song on ebay/gumtree and can make nice road going bikes if you change the inevitable knobby tyres for slicks.

I'd only go down this route if you felt happy sourcing and replacing the chain and brake blocks along with tyres yourself (I'd budget £0 - £40 for this depending how much needs doing), and tweaking the brakes / gears if necessary.


The dogs chew toy
I'll echo what others have said, Decathlon is where you need to go.
Going second hand is an option if you know what to look out for but worn drivetrains and bent frames can fool even lifelong cyclists.
From what you've said about the type of riding you'll be doing I'd suggest either a mountain bike or hybrid. Steer clear of suspension forks on bikes below £300 as a good fork retails for that much on its own. You'll be wanting an alloy framed bike with a minimum of 24 gears. The frame for it's weight and 24 gears as that guarantees readily available parts.
Ensure you leave a few pennies to buy a water bottle and cage (cycling can be thirsty fun) and a pump (do a search on the forums for recommendations), spare inner tube, puncture kit and cheap multi tool. You'll need a saddlebag/pouch to store that stuff along with sweeties.
I wouldn't bother with lights for now as we're not exactly in the dark ages for a while.
Most importantly, pick something you like the look of and fun to ride. Get those wrong and you'll give up before you start. Enjoy it :smile:

Oh, and welcome to the forum :smile:


Dont feel bad about yet another newbie post we all need help to get going it can be a right minefield. We all needed some help starting at some point.

In the end what ever you go for you need to be comfortable riding it and have confidence in it. You need to ask yourself will I get that for 80 quid?
Some good advice already given 2rd had will get you a good deal if you know what you want.
@Julia9054 makes a good point see if you can find a bike recycle project near you that way you help a great local community project, you get a good quality cheep priced bike you know has been set up right and will give you peace of mind. You win they win and wider community wins

As other have said if in the end you have to go to a big name shop then Decathlon it is.


New Member
Hi. Thank you all so much. I will check out Decathlon. I am not looking for a bike that I can sell on, just something safe and reliable that will last a few years and allow me to go out with my daughter as she grows up / becomes a more confident rider.

It is nice to have so many of you give advice - wish I found this site a few weeks ago when I started looking, would have saved me so much time. When I was younger I remember my parents taking me to a local bike shop and I had a selection of about three bikes to pick from. There are just so many different bikes out there now with different features - it's a minefield!


Über Member
The Netherlands
Firstly you need to tell us what type of bike you are after?
For your budget I'd be looking at secondhand but you need to take someone with you who really knows about bikes otherwise you have a really good chance of getting ripped off.
Otherwize I'd be looking at one of the Decathlon bikes like the others have said.
I'd echo just about all of this!

First of all, think about what kind of a bike you want - ie where you want to go, when you want to go and how far, as well as what you'd like to bring. Commute to work? Family picnics? Overnight trips? Look for a bike that will do what you want to do..... and maybe what you'd like to do in the future.

How are your mechanical skills? Do you know the basics? Do you want to learn the basics? If you want to work on it yourself with minimal skills, then simpler is better.

Security? Have you a safe place to store the bike? If not, a sound, scruffy bike might be better.

I'd think about a 2nd hand too, probably an older Mountainbike with no suspension. Simple, robust and goes everywhere. Also cheap.

Never bought a bike in Decathlon, but their customer service is good, warranties are honoured with no quibbles. For ease of mind they are a good choice too.

In any case, any bike will get you just about anywhere, all you have to do is enjoy it! ^_^


New Member
I'd echo just about all of this!

First of all, think about what kind of a bike you want - ie where you want to go, when you want to go and how far, as well as what you'd like to bring. Commute to work? Family picnics? Overnight trips? Look for a bike that will do what you want to do..... and maybe what you'd like to do in the future.
I am after something that I can go on the odd 30 min ride maybe longer in the future. Mostly road but we do live near some wooded area / fields. So I am thinking of a mountain bike for this. Someone at work recommended a pinnacle hybrid bike but I was unsure if the tyres would stand the tree roots / bumpy fields.

As for how mechanical am I...... well, less said about that the better :blush:
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