buying cheap bikes

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by bonj2, 2 Mar 2008.

  1. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    It's just occurred to me that I don't agree with the oft-trotted-out recommendation to beginners to "buy a cheap bike, then if you don't get into it, you haven't wasted much".
    In my opinion, if you want to get into cycling, then if you have got to the stage of finding a forum and asking a question about bikes you have obviously already made the decision that you are going to become a cyclist. So there is no point trying to pretend that you aren't one yet until you've got a certain amount of experience on a bike and are used to it.
    No, you might aswell buy the most expensive bike you can afford. That way, you are more likely to think "well, I've spent all this money, I might aswell ride the bloody thing" and you are a lot more likely to want to ride your bike if it is a really nice one than if it's a shitter.
    I think we should stop recommending "spend a maximum of 3 hundred until you know cycling is definitely for you". Whether a beginner knows it or not, cycling definitely IS for them, by the fact that they have found this forum, and therefore we should tell them that. Also, we should warn them against falling into the trap of having an entry level bike that they can't be bothered to ride 'cos it's not that great and not minding getting lazy and letting the motivation to cycle fall by the wayside because they won't have wasted that much money.
    In other words, a financial commitment is a good thing, just for the fact that it is a commitment.
  2. curve

    curve New Member

    I would definatley agree to buy the best bike that you can afford bearing in mind to also budget for all the little extras.

    I am just about to buy a new bike and have set myself a budget for what I can comfortably afford and if I don't get much use out of it then there is always Ebay.
  3. This is very painful for me......

    I agree with you Bonjela.

    There, I've said it.
  4. My first bike when I returned to cycling was a cheap bike, mainly because I wanted a hack but if I was buying again and have since, I would of upped the budget.
  5. Smokin Joe

    Smokin Joe Legendary Member

    Good advice. Cheap means low quality kit that wears quickly and needs constant fettling.

    Having said that I am after a £10 clunker to use on my turbo, as I have decided to overcome my hatred of the things and there is no way my good bikes are going on one.
  6. PrettyboyTim

    PrettyboyTim New Member

    But again I think there's something to be said to getting something cheap to start on and then spend your money on something good once you have the experience and knowhow to know what it is you actually want? Your first bike then makes a useful spare / winter hack.
  7. simoncc

    simoncc New Member

    If you live in a flat area and just want a bike for short trips around town it is amazing what you can get these days that will do the job. A friend of mine has bought a brand new 12 geared road bike with mudguards and an alloy rack for £130 and although it is quite heavy it certainly isn't rubbish quality.
  8. OP

    bonj2 Guest

    Can see the logic of it, to an extent, but still think method of buying good bike to start off with is better. If you want a 'hack'/pub bike then just look for a mechanically sound rigid mtb in the local free ads paper.
    What knowledge about what you want is experience on a cheap bike going to give you other than that you want something better?
    The only thing it's good to avoid is people falling into the rut of not needing a better bike, but wanting something better, but not feeling justified to get it because the bike they've got is still suitable, and not riding it as much as they otherwise would.
    There's a bike in the communal parking area of my block of flats, a decathlon 7.1 sport road bike, still with the flat pedals + toe straps on it and the cassette still shiny clean - this says to me it's obviously never been ridden any more than a test ride and a couple of runs to pay lip service to the decision to buy it. It's a shame, really, as save for the fact it's not got a triple, it's a perfectly good bike.
  9. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    Having run my first bike into the ground through lack of care, I think there is an arguement to buying cheapish (not including supermarket bikes here). Far better that I learnt on that, than on something very flash.

    That said, I leave my bike locked up all over town so I don't see the need for something really nice, as it is I get comments about it's a nice bike which always gets me worried (depending on what they look like).

    Maybe its because I've yet to experience a nice bike to convince me that it would be worth spending a vaste sum of money on it.
  10. OP

    bonj2 Guest

    how did you 'run it into the ground'? I suggest worn components could be replaced, as and when they get too worn. Agree with getting a cheap bike for anti theft purposes though, although it's no reason not to have a nice bike aswell. I wouldn't ever leave my MTB locked up anywhere, with any lock, apart from possibly in my van locked up with my hefty chain, and insured - it's far far far too nickable. Although if going to the LBS i'll just take it inside with me, although it does get a bit crowded at times as everybody else does that.
  11. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    I know I can replace worn components but to be honest I'm still learning alot from everyone on here. I've had my bike for over a year and a half and yet I don't know the order of components like Deore, LX, Tiagra (?) etc so how would I work out which good bike I should go for.

    So first bike cost me £250 for my Dawes Saratoga Deluxe, and the next one is going to be a Giant Escape M Zero I think. But I'm not completely certain why I'm looking at that one rather than another bike. I'm hoping I'm taking a step up on the components and I'm going to have the old bike which I can try doing some of the maintenance such as changing chain/chainset etc on, whilst still having a good bike which isn't messed up by me tinkering. Plus I'm not exactly a high earner
  12. OP

    bonj2 Guest

    just saying though that you shouldn't feel like you're "not a good enough cyclist" or "not good enough at maintenance" to have an expensive bike.
    If anything, it's the other way round, as expensive bikes will need less maintenance as components won't break. The main thing is, as with cars, is just not to ignore it if you think something's not right.

    Deore and LX is MTB stuff - tiagra is road. Road stuff goes (in descending order): Dura ace -> Ultegra -> 105 -> Tiagra -> Sora. (although apparently ultegra is being deprecated)
    MTB goes XTR, XT, LX. However, XTR is just the newest technology (i think the "R" stands for 'release') - it's what they put gizmos and things they've just brought out onto. So apparently 2007's XTR will be largely similar to 2008's XT. No idea what 'Deore' means, think it's one step lower than LX but not sure.
    However, there's not much difference between them apart from a slight difference in weight. e.g. tiagra shifters will shift and brake perfectly well and (at the risk of being shot down in flames) not many cyclists would notice any difference in shifting performance between them, if there's any way in which there could possibly even be any.
  13. Steve Austin

    Steve Austin The Marmalade Kid

    Dura ace - Ultegra SL -Ultegra - - 105 - Tiagra - Sora
    XTR - XT - LX - deore. but there is a new SLX range that will replace LX.
    the R in XTR stands for race. And XTR is very very good.

    And Bonj, there is a lot of difference between components throughout the range.
    and even the most humble of cyclist will be able to tell the difference
  14. OP

    bonj2 Guest

    yeah yeah yeah course there is steve. WHAT difference. and why
  15. Tee hee! Tell him steve!
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