Cheap bike or Mid-range bike debate...

ForDGRedial

New Member
Location
Cheshunt
Hi all,

Fairly new to the forum but having been nosing around for info. Bascially I want a bike for getting to the station/shops (about 1.6miles away, fairly straight and flat) and for a bit of independence and exercise as I carshare my bf's company car with him. Having not used a bike for about a trillion years...ok so about 8 years, it's been a bit overwhelming looking at the different options. I've decided I want a dutch style/shopper type bike but haven't really agreed mentally on a budget.

Would I be silly to get this bike from decathlon to start me off and then assuming I use it plenty invest a bit more next year? Or should I go for something like this claud butler straight away...?

Thoughts much appreciated!

Amy x
 

mark barker

New Member
Location
Swindon, Wilts
Personally I'd go cheap & cheerful to start with...
 

Augustine

New Member
Location
Cambridge
I'm fairly new to taking up cycling again and i went for the cheap and cheerful route. i got a 2nd hand MTB bike off ebay and am using it to get used to cycling again. and it's working! i'm getting fitter, i am really enjoying cycling and i'm looking into upgrading to a road bike in the autumn.

from what i can see, most bikes tend to hold their re-sale value pretty well if they are looked after, particularly tthe kinds of bikes you're looking at. i would guess that if you did start with a cheaper bike and really got into cycling, then it would be fairly easy to sell yours on eBay ( or Gumtree or local paper or through local bike shop)when you're ready for a more expensive one.
 
OP
F

ForDGRedial

New Member
Location
Cheshunt
Thanks both, have a feeling I might be dragging the boy to lakeside decathlon on Saturday :biggrin: And there is an ikea nextdoor!! wink wink
 

lesley_x

Über Member
Location
Glasgow
I was in your shoes about 2 months ago. I was actually looking at a bike from Decathlon as well. I think the most important thing is that you get a bike that's going to make you want to get out there and ride. If it's the b'twin one that does it for you, then go for it. The best advice I could give you is go and try both out, sit on both, ride both, pick them up to see how heavy they are. I spent a long time in the Decathlon store near me trying out a b'twin bike and decided against it. Ultimately when I sat on it it didn't make me want to get out there and ride, whereas I fell in love instantly with my Giant.

Also, when I went round a few of them the build quality was terrible. Faulty brakes, gear levers hanging off... I'm aware they would have probably sorted these problems but it certainly dented my confidence in the store.

The other thing to consider is re-sale. A Claud Butler (I imagine) would sell a lot easier than a Decathlon bike if you have a change of heart.
 

summerdays

Cycling in the sun
Location
Bristol
I would tend towards the mid range as the cheap bikes can be truly awful. However you haven't chosen a supermarket or toyshop bike, but one from Decathlon which seem to have a reputation for bikes that are quite reasonable for their price bracket ... I would be tempted by that if its what you prefer. I wouldn't really worry about the resale value ... if you like cycling and want to upgrade then you will have a bike that you are happy to cycle to the pub on etc. It's always worth having that spare bike for when you get a puncture. This way you can learn what you want from a bike for future purchases.
 
I would tend towards the mid range as the cheap bikes can be truly awful. However you haven't chosen a supermarket or toyshop bike, but one from Decathlon which seem to have a reputation for bikes that are quite reasonable for their price bracket ... I would be tempted by that if its what you prefer. I wouldn't really worry about the resale value ... if you like cycling and want to upgrade then you will have a bike that you are happy to cycle to the pub on etc. It's always worth having that spare bike for when you get a puncture. This way you can learn what you want from a bike for future purchases.
+1 My first instinct would be the £300'ish bracket. However although the cheap bike will be heavy it will do the job in the short term just won't be as reliable in the longer term. As its out of a bike shop (I don't know much about Decathlon, other than folk say it's good VfM) you should get something thats more usable in the short term. When I initially got into cycling again I bought a similar cheap bike out of a lbs and to be honest it was a heavy beast, built like a tank but it did the job, just a 0.75mile flat commute. It was only later down the line when I started do longer and hillier rides I started to get the urge for another bike. If it hadn't have been crashed damaged I would still have it as a spare.
 
Decathlon bikes do offer very good value for money; there are two in my family, and I am pleased with both. However, you are not going to get much of a bike for £110.00 wherever it comes from. It will be what is known here as a BSO ( a bike-shaped object ), i.e. it looks like a bike but it isn't really a bike. You will be far happier with the Claud Butler, and as another poster has noted - you will be more likely to fall in love with it, and therefore ride it more.
 
I went down the cheap (road) bike route at the start of the year. It was good value for sure but a few months on I'm finding the low spec kit something of a hinderance. I know a leisure bike is a different prospect but still, that's my tupence.
 

HJ

Cycling in Scotland
Location
Auld Reekie
I would tend towards the mid range as the cheap bikes can be truly awful. However you haven't chosen a supermarket or toyshop bike, but one from Decathlon which seem to have a reputation for bikes that are quite reasonable for their price bracket ... I would be tempted by that if its what you prefer. I wouldn't really worry about the resale value ... if you like cycling and want to upgrade then you will have a bike that you are happy to cycle to the pub on etc. It's always worth having that spare bike for when you get a puncture. This way you can learn what you want from a bike for future purchases.
+1

I would also suggest, that unless you live in a flat area, a bike with gears would be a good idea. You can get dutch style/shopper type bikes with hub gears, this would be much more flexible if there are any hills in your area... ;)
 

hotmetal

Senior Member
Location
Near Windsor
If you want a bike to leave at the station/shops and are just dipping your toe in the cycling pond then don't spend too much on your first bike. Also budget for lights/locks/helmet/pump etc.

If you'd said you were interested in cycling as a sport I'd have said spend more, because you'll appreciate the difference and when it's 'for fun', having a nicer bike makes it easier to motivate yourself. But in your case, you already have the motivation (basic transport need) and will be potentially leaving the bike where it may be damaged or nicked (not to be too depressing but it does happen). So I'd say go cheap, and if you find that you wish you'd bought something better several months or so later, then by that time you might have a better idea where exactly to spend the extra money.

Everyone will have slightly different opinions on this but that's just mine!
 

battered

Guru
Well, there's no right answer to be honest. No prizes for guessing the better bike. 3 x the money gets a vastly nicer machine. Having said that if you decide it's not for you or you actually *don't* want that style of bike then you'll wish you'r invested less money. This points us to the cheapy - most bikes at this sort of price are rubbish. Having said that Decathlon's bikes are pretty decent and because you are buying a no frills nothing fancy machine it will prob be OK. The only test is for you to try it out. If you like it, then at 109 you can't really go wrong. If you want a change a year or so on then it goes in the paper at £50-60 and you've had your use at minimal cost, or better, keep it for trundling down to the shops or the pub in decent weather. As others have said it's nice to have a bike you can lock up outside shops without needing to spend 20 minutes applying D locks.

So, in summary, try the Decathlon one. If it's not what you want or visibly rubbish, spend more money. If you like it and it rides well, give it a whirl, you'll not use your shirt if/when you want to move on.
 

battered

Guru
Well, there's no right answer to be honest. No prizes for guessing the better bike. 3 x the money gets a vastly nicer machine. Having said that if you decide it's not for you or you actually *don't* want that style of bike then you'll wish you'r invested less money. This points us to the cheapy - most bikes at this sort of price are rubbish. Having said that Decathlon's bikes are pretty decent and because you are buying a no frills nothing fancy machine it will prob be OK. The only test is for you to try it out. If you like it, then at 109 you can't really go wrong. If you want a change a year or so on then it goes in the paper at £50-60 and you've had your use at minimal cost, or better, keep it for trundling down to the shops or the pub in decent weather. As others have said it's nice to have a bike you can lock up outside shops without needing to spend 20 minutes applying D locks.

So, in summary, try the Decathlon one. If it's not what you want or visibly rubbish, spend more money. If you like it and it rides well, give it a whirl, you'll not use your shirt if/when you want to move on.
 

Alan Whicker

Senior Member
It was me, I'd get the Decathlon one, then if you decide you love cycling you can keep this as a pub/station bike when you shell out on the 'good' one. £109 will soon pay for itself. If you live in a flattish area you can probably get away with one gear and a relatively lardy bike anyway - though a lot of cheaper Decathlon bikes are surprisingly light. If you like the Dutch/traditional style, have a look for a second-hand Raleigh Cameo. Can be very cheap (have a look in local small ads) - bombproof, come with three gears and hopefully far too girly to be of interest to the scrotes.
 
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