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29 September, 2012 11:46PM
It's sadly impossible to give you an answer that might make you happy.

By "care plan" and the difference in cost to cover, I assume you refer to one available from a well known orange superstore? If so, I deduce that one of the bikes is from that superstore and the other is not? I'd also guess that the higher priced bike (329) is the one from that superstore.

Reliability needs to be judged on considerably more than whether the badge on the side of the bike is a well known one or not. Reliability has a great deal more to do with the technician who initially assembles it and the way in which it is cared for and ridden. It also has to do with the sum of the parts that constitue the bike itself. One of the regulars here (Doc) will regularly tell people to look carefully at the specification of the bike. A few cheapo components in hidden away areas can dramatically undermine the overall package. At the budget you're looking at, it's unlikely you'll get a complete shimano groupset but there is a temptation for "manufacturers" to spec a headline companent, better than ought to be fitted, in a high visibility area (typically rear derailleur) in the hope of convincing buyer A that their package is somehow better than the competition... but this is often achieved at the expense of less visibly but more important compnents like headsets, chains, hubs and bottom brackets which are the bits that get the most wear and tear

In all things you can buy that rely upon an initial assembly by technician, there can be good and bad even though the product is the same. Bikes are no difference. Give a bike straight out of its box to a hormonal teenager fresh out of school with little (if any) experience and your outcomes are likely to be considerably less favourable than had you given the exact same bike to a cytech trained mechanic with several years experience.

Sorry my answer isn't quite what you hoped for.
Subject Author Posted

First bike advice

Rory 28 September, 2012 10:14PM

Re: First bike advice

siwatts 29 September, 2012 11:46PM

Re: First bike advice

DocB 30 September, 2012 08:02AM


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