Need tips on affordable bikes for cross country bike journey.


New Member
need help reguarding tips on affordable bicycles for a trip across the entire country. I plan to start in maine and head to california and than continue up the pacific coast. I need something that will be able to endure this, and that id also affordable. please help thanks.


Smile a mile bike provider
All depends upon are you doing it on or off road ?
Good luck, that sounds like an epic trip! :okay:

We are mostly UK based here rather than the US, but we do have some members over your side of the pond who may be able to advise you better. What I would say though, is whatever bike you get, get something with robust wheels and mainstream drivetrain components (e.g. 8-speed Shimano) which are easy to maintain, easy to source and cheap to replace should you have a mechanical mishap.

If you're willing to go used, a rigid steel MTB or older steel tourer should do the trick. @Gravity Aided might have some useful pointers for you.


Über Member
Steel tourer or gravel bike springs instantly to mind, but a bit more information would doubtless aid selection..

Gravity Aided

Legendary Member
Land of Lincoln
I would state that our U.K. members typically spend a good bit more on bicycles than we do, but there are lower priced options. If you are in a large city of over 100,000, there may be a nearby bicycle co-op, they will have older touring bicycles for quite low prices compared to new, and many will let you work off the cost of the bicycle as well. You can then learn all about bicycle maintenance and repair while earning a good bicycle as well. A new touring bicycle would run you in the $1,000 dollar mark, generally. But that would have new additions like disc brakes and brifters. But older bicycles can do just as good a job. And do not overlook old 26" rigid frame MTBs, some of them were quite light and capable, and usually don't go for much money.


West Yorks
What Gravity Aided said, I think an older 26” wheeled hard tail MTB will do a job for you, do a bit of research into what would have been an expensive, quality bike In the late 90’s/early 2000’s and keep an eye out, anything from the likes of Trek, Specialized, Marin, or Cannondale as they will be good, I would be tempted to remove the suspension fork and fit a solid Carbon fork with mudguard eyes as this will save a chunk of weight, plus it’ll have some low enough gearing for riding off road & loaded with your kit, also you will need some way of carrying your kit, either frame , saddle and handlebar bags, or traditional panniers and racks. I would also consider mudguards, I think you would say fenders in the US, as it will rain at some point on a long trip such as you’re thinking about.
Have a look at the above for kit reviews to give you an idea of what you may need to add to your bike, and the YouTube link for some inspiration
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