Anyone ever tempted by a cheap bike?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
random37
Posts: 1945
Joined: 19 Sep 2008, 4:41pm

Re: Anyone ever tempted by a cheap bike?

Postby random37 » 5 Jun 2019, 1:13pm

I recently bought an almost unused Alpinestars MTB. Tange steel frame, STX groupset (middle of the range, but perfectly serviceable). IIt still has knobbly bits on the tyres, I'd be surprised if it had done 30 miles from new. It cost £50. A new equivalent would be maybe £1000ish.
It had never been ridden by the original owner because the stem was 140mm long. I swapped it out, repacked the hubs with clean grease, and it's ready to go. With new tyres, mudguards and racks it would be ready for a round the world tour. In my twenties, I cycled thousands of miles around the UK with something that wasn't nearly as good.
Last edited by random37 on 5 Jun 2019, 4:46pm, edited 1 time in total.

Brucey
Posts: 35582
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Anyone ever tempted by a cheap bike?

Postby Brucey » 5 Jun 2019, 3:42pm

STX was King of Value BITD. The hubs in particular were/are truly excellent. Apart from trivial differences in more gears less weight etc things have not moved on appreciably since then IMHO.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

windysmithy
Posts: 143
Joined: 10 Dec 2009, 8:03pm
Location: Blackdown Hills, Devonside

Re: Anyone ever tempted by a cheap bike?

Postby windysmithy » 6 Jun 2019, 12:27am

10 years ago i bought a EBC "tourer"
6 months later nearly ebvrything was worn out- stis, wheels had broken a dozen spokes, lights stopped working its all a lot to remember now.

But the main thing was that the forks folded back under me braking down a 1 in 4 in Cornwall, fully loaded. Messy, but not deadly , fortunately. They denied any liability but did give me a refund. After a couple of nice 531s im now on a thorn raven which i do trust.

dont buy a brand new cheap bike.

Tangled Metal
Posts: 5688
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Anyone ever tempted by a cheap bike?

Postby Tangled Metal » 6 Jun 2019, 8:56am

To answer the op question I've never have but if anyone on here does want to buy a cheap bike I have one for sale or just collection. I got it as an incentive to join the local council gym for a year's membership.

Apparently £99 when I got it but I was never into mtb so it's only been ridden a couple of times around my parent's driveway. Yours for anything you want to pay me or just collection. I wish I'd got the £30 asda vouchers that v were the alternative offer at the time.

pwa
Posts: 10263
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Anyone ever tempted by a cheap bike?

Postby pwa » 6 Jun 2019, 9:11am

When i have bought bikes I have intended having them for a decade or more, replacing bits as they wear out. So I see no point in getting something that isn't as good as I can afford. I will be living with it for ten years or more, so I want it to be ticking quite a few boxes, not just value for money. My most used frameset is now about 18 years old and most of the rest of that bike has replacement parts. The original chainset only came off last year. So I am not very drawn to cheap bikes, just as I am not drawn to ridiculously expensive bikes.

Oldjohnw
Posts: 1809
Joined: 16 Oct 2018, 4:23am
Location: Northumberland

Re: Anyone ever tempted by a cheap bike?

Postby Oldjohnw » 6 Jun 2019, 10:58am

My steel framed Raleigh hybrid cost about £300-£350 17 years ago. I have cycled 1000s of km and over the last three years cycle-camped all over the place. I am not under any illusions that it will one day wear out but so far only consumer items - break pads, tyres - have needed replacement. I retro-fitted a motor 3 years ago which included a new front wheel. I cycle 3-4 times a week between 10 and 60km a time.
John

Cycling and recycling

Brucey
Posts: 35582
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Anyone ever tempted by a cheap bike?

Postby Brucey » 6 Jun 2019, 11:41am

I think it is worth mentioning that what means cheap to one person might not be to another. About twenty five years ago one of my (non-cycling but keen to have a go at anything) chums asked some advice about a bike. I recommended a hybrid, arguing that he didn't yet know what kind of cycling might float his boat and the hybrid would let him find out; it would tackle some easy offroad trails locally and with more road-biased tyres it would be suitable for longer road rides too. He wanted to spend £150 or so (as another mutual friend had just done on a MTB) until I explained that a £150 bike wouldn't have seals on the bearings and various parts of it were made in materials that are not corrosion resistant enough.

Far better to spend ~£250, I said; the bike will not only be a fair bit better to ride but it will last a lot longer too. The ~£250 bike had got a nice frame and fork, and mostly good quality parts on it, that ought to give good service before they wear out. He (very reasonably) asked what he'd get better if he spent even more money. "Not that much" I said; a bit lighter in weight, a few more newer (but not necessarily better) designs for parts, a few more parts that ought not to corrode as quickly.

On the latter point I mentioned that the heads of some of the fasteners on the £250 bike would corrode and in addition the (Zoom) stem and the seatpost were plated steel on that bike too; they would eventually corrode too, if they were not kept clean and wiped with an oily rag occasionally. He wasn't 100% convinced but went ahead and bought the £250 bike anyway. Many years later he came to me and said "Brucey you were spot on; that bike has been good and you were even right about the fastener heads corroding". He still has that bike -amongst a fair collection of bikes now- and still rides it.

IIRC that bike has a butted steel CrMo frameset and a mixture of 7s Alivio and STX parts on it. The wheelset (with 135mm 7s rear hub) was even built with DT stainless steel spokes. At the time, that was the sweet spot, value wise; spending half as much would get you a bike that might last half as long, but spending double wouldn't get you one that was twice as good in any respect whatsoever.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

peetee
Posts: 1366
Joined: 4 May 2010, 10:20pm

Re: Anyone ever tempted by a cheap bike?

Postby peetee » 8 Jun 2019, 9:34am

Brucey wrote:STX was King of Value BITD. The hubs in particular were/are truly excellent. Apart from trivial differences in more gears less weight etc things have not moved on appreciably since then IMHO


Absolutely right. And obsession with less weight creates a whole heap of longevity issues on its own.
Current status report:
Latter side of fifty and feeling less than nifty.
Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.

sjs
Posts: 731
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 10:08pm
Location: Hitchin

Re: Anyone ever tempted by a cheap bike?

Postby sjs » 8 Jun 2019, 7:23pm

ratherbeintobago wrote:There was a thing in Singletrack years ago where Chipps took Halfords’ cheapest “MTB” round the Towneley without fiery death. If memory serves it had no suspension and wasn’t quite a BSO, though they did have to shim the seatpost clamp bolt as it kept slipping.


Seems a common complaint on this forum, with quite fancy bikes.

sjs
Posts: 731
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 10:08pm
Location: Hitchin

Re: Anyone ever tempted by a cheap bike?

Postby sjs » 8 Jun 2019, 7:29pm

gbnz wrote:
reohn2 wrote:Speaking of cheap bikes,a couple of months ago whilst out for an early morning walk I noticed an MTB sticking out of a skip......such bikes up and down the country that could be put to good use.D


Yep, have to admit I wish I hadn't binned my Specialized Tricross frame in 2016. Made perfect sense at the time, as I didn't have space to store another "spare" bike and utilized all the components building/rebuilding a Spa Cycles frame/Giant road bike.

Nothing wrong with the frame, aside from nine years heavy use. But could easily/cheaply have made it into a run around perfect for the sort of ride I'd consider a cheap bike for now


I regret binning the '96 Ribble I did LeJog on. It was a bit rusty, and everything except the frame was knackered, but it was a quite interesting 731OS frame, and I wish I'd rebuilt it.

rotavator
Posts: 235
Joined: 6 Jun 2016, 9:50pm
Location: North Wales

Re: Anyone ever tempted by a cheap bike?

Postby rotavator » 8 Jun 2019, 8:38pm

Back in 2007 I did my first contract, after quitting my "proper" job, in Copenhagen which is very bike friendly. I bought a cheap ~£180 Chinese bike from a supermarket for commuting and pottering around in the evenings and at the weekends. It had a hub gear and a back pedal brake which were novelties for me. It worked well apart from frequent punctures which were somehow caused by the inner tube shifting around rather than by sharp objects. I guess now that there was something wrong with the rim tape. Looking back, the most enjoyable part of that contract was commuting to work, especially in the mornings when there were races when the traffic lights turned green at certain junctions. I got half the cost of the bike back when I sold it at the end of the contract so I reckon it was good value.

Cheaper still was a bike that I was given by a work colleague and fanatical bike rescuer. It was a yellow US racing bike with a Tange Prestige steel frame and it had been converted badly to flat bars. It was a nice comfy frame but just a bit too small so I gave it away.

bazzo
Posts: 123
Joined: 27 Jul 2012, 7:37am

Re: Anyone ever tempted by a cheap bike?

Postby bazzo » 10 Jun 2019, 2:13pm

I suggest you buy second hand off eBay or gumtree. Be careful what you buy and look for bikes with minimal usage. I got a Dolan Preffisio with Tiagra groupset for £250. It had been ridden twice. Try and look close to home to avoid postage costs.

Gearoidmuar
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Joined: 29 Sep 2007, 7:35pm
Location: Cork, Ireland. Corcaigh, Éire má tá Gaeilge agat.

Up to a point...

Postby Gearoidmuar » 10 Jun 2019, 4:53pm

You get what you pay for, unless you buy secondhand in which case if you know how to suss it up, you can get a lot more.
You can also get stuff online, last year's model etc., which is worth considering.