Cheap bike recommendations
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Thread: Cheap bike recommendations

  1. #1


    Join Date: Jun 2006
    Location: Earth
    ME: 02 NAMM Jackson RR
    MA: Takamine 12
    MB: Spector Euro 5
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    Cheap bike recommendations

    The wife and I are wanting to get bikes to help pass the quarantine time. I know next-to-nothing about bikes so I'm looking for some suggestions.

    We live on a gravel road, and will mostly be riding on that, or on dirt paths. We will not be riding on pavement much, if at all. We also won't be doing any trails that aren't smooth - meaning we won't be going over roots or other obstacles.

    Our budget is $500/ea. I realize that this is a pretty low budget for many here (I don't expect carbon fibre frames), but it's what we've got.

    Given the current lock-down, we'd be looking to get something delivered, we are not interested in going to a bike shop right now.

    So, any suggestions?

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  3. #2


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: EBMM(s)
    MB: Spector Legend 4
    Rig: Mark V / Axe-3 / Kemper

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    Double your budget but this is the lowest I’d go. A cheap $500 bike sucks, in every way. Not just comfort - but safety too. You might find something decent used for $500 but brand new and delivered, no chance.

    https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/revolt-2-2020

    Get a pair of Revolts. Inexpensive, good on gravel, good on pave, fantastic warranty, quality parts.

    You know how a 7620 is a decent guitar, but a 7321 is straight up awful? That’s the difference in the two price points.

  4. #3


    Join Date: Jun 2006
    Location: Earth
    ME: 02 NAMM Jackson RR
    MA: Takamine 12
    MB: Spector Euro 5
    Rig: SLO|Road King|Überschall

    iTrader: 10 (100%)

    Yeah, but sometimes, when you're just starting out, the 7321 fits the bill.

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  6. #4


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: EBMM(s)
    MB: Spector Legend 4
    Rig: Mark V / Axe-3 / Kemper

    iTrader: 34 (100%)

    Probably a bad analogy. Everything on a $500 bike is shitty. That's a shitty frame, shitty brakes, a shitty seat, shitty cranks, shitty wheels, shitty tires, shitty pedals. Maybe a better analogy would be getting your kid a Rhythm in Jump guitar that never stays in tune and is obnoxious to play, vs spending a bit more on something that isn't top notch but is reliable, like an RG550 or a Schecter C1.

    If you're hard on $500 I have no advice for you, unfortunately. That's department store bike price point and I wish you luck with your uncomfortable buttocks and sore back.

  7. #5


    Join Date: Jun 2006
    Location: Earth
    ME: 02 NAMM Jackson RR
    MA: Takamine 12
    MB: Spector Euro 5
    Rig: SLO|Road King|Überschall

    iTrader: 10 (100%)

    I'm not disagreeing with you, I just have a budget set for these

    Anyway, are any of the following any good? If not, can you educate me on what's not good about them? Keep in mind, I'm not going on long rides. My kid will probably get tired after 20-30 minutes, and we'll head home.

    https://www.fujibikes.com/usa/bikes/...e/traverse-1-5

    https://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/20-san-rafael-ds1

    https://www.raleighusa.com/cadent2-r143

  8. #6


    Join Date: Jun 2006
    Location: Earth
    ME: 02 NAMM Jackson RR
    MA: Takamine 12
    MB: Spector Euro 5
    Rig: SLO|Road King|Überschall

    iTrader: 10 (100%)

    Also, I that you're concerned about my buttocks.

  9. #7


    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: King of Prussia, PA
    ME: PRS CE22
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    At that price range I'd suggest looking used online near you or going to a few bike shops and seeing what they have on clearance. Though the latter may be out of the cards at the moment.

    Loads of 500 dollar bikes are on craigslist for half the price all the time pretty much anywhere. If you are somewhere with a cycling community you can probably find a really nice value bike for 5-600 used as someone graduates to their fancy schmancy bike. The bike shop route getting the 2 year ago clearance model you should be able to get that next model up. Which at that price range is usually a big difference in drive train components. Some shops also have used bikes from trade ins which may put a really nice bike in your price range.

    I'd look at the price range of bikes (as long as you are not mountain biking) as 5-600 dollars you are basically buying a go kart. At 7-800 you are buying the equivalent of a Chevy Spark. North of a grand you are buying a Camry. If you can't find a deal from a shop or a used bike locally, then mail order can get you a slightly better bike. But at that price range I really doubt the slightly better spec would be worth the value in shop treatment. Personally I'd at least save a little more to get into that 700+ dollar range. The difference between a cheap and value drive train will be well worth the cost. I'd also highly suggest disc brakes, even the cheap ones will be fine for stopping on the road and they'll be easy to upgrade to something really nice for not too much $$$ if you want to.

  10. #8


    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Boston, MA
    ME: EBMM(s)
    MB: Spector Legend 4
    Rig: Mark V / Axe-3 / Kemper

    iTrader: 34 (100%)

    Quote Originally Posted by Überschall View Post
    I'm not disagreeing with you, I just have a budget set for these

    Anyway, are any of the following any good? If not, can you educate me on what's not good about them? Keep in mind, I'm not going on long rides. My kid will probably get tired after 20-30 minutes, and we'll head home.

    https://www.fujibikes.com/usa/bikes/...e/traverse-1-5

    https://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/20-san-rafael-ds1

    https://www.raleighusa.com/cadent2-r143
    Anything with a fork is going to be god awful and you're better off with something rigid. There's no such thing as a good complete $500 bike with a fork that works correctly. All it will do is rob pedaling efficiency and make you more tired. Of those three, I'd buy the Raleigh. There's nothing good on it but it doesn't have a terrible suspension fork, so that's a plus.

    Every one of those is 1/10 the bike that the Revolt is. Safety, reliability, geometry, everything. If you're a 30 minute bike ride from home, that's a damn long walk. Do you really want to rely on the absolute cheapest possible components you can get?

    You have like 50k in amps, buy the damn giant you cheap asshole.

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