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30 September, 2012 08:02AM
The admin man has it spot on. I get a lot of people come into my shop asking about road bikes inspired by the hype around the olympics. They want to emulate olympic performance but don't want to spend much and there are a lot of bike manufacturers happy to con them into thinking they can get that from their products. The answer is that you cannot. I get people saying that they don't want to spend much money because they don't know if they will like it. My comment is always the same, that if you buy a cheap road bike, then you are considerably increasing the chances that you won't like it and they bike will not be ridden more than a few times and finish up in the ads section of a free newspaper for half what they paid for it described as "hardly ridden".

The sort of bikes you are talking about are often described as "entry level" or "starter" bikes and these are description I dislike intensely. They are low spec bikes and as such are not very satisfying to ride in the first place. Thats because the gear shifting is not good on 14/21 speed systems, the brakes don't give you confidence, saddles are uncomfortable and tyres are poor amongst other things. Add to that the issue that they deteriorate quickly and will need a lot of regular attention if used to do do the milage normally expected from a road bike. A lot of the cheapest components will need replacing very early in the life of the bike.

That said, my thought is that if you buy a cheap road bike then do it with your eyes wide open with an understanding of what you are going to get. Don't expect to have years of trouble free riding enjoying the freedom of the open road. As to the bikes you are referring to, and like the admin man I can guess which bikes you are talking about, they are likely to be as good or as bad as each other. Forget the "care plans". Check out what they cover and how you get things done. From what I hear they are about as much use a chocolate fireguard.

My advice to people starting out on road biking on a budget is to look for a secondhand bike from a regular cyclist. Not easy to find, but an older, well used, and well maintained bike is a more often than not a far better bike than the cheapos offered by the Big name manufacturers.

Like what the admin man says, not what you want to hear, but I hope it gives you food for thought.
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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