I was flipping thru a Canadian Tire flyer today and came across an ad for a $99 bicycle. Sounds like a great deal doesn’t it? Full 18-speed, knobby tires and a nice colour. It has two wheels, a handlebar, seat and pedals, what else could I want?
But a bike is not a bike by a parts list alone. A person new to bike riding would think the savings would put them way ahead of any benefits an expensive $1000 bike could. Here is why that is foolish reasoning and why you should save your coin for a better set of wheels.
1 – Good Experience – Top of the list is a better all around riding experience. It will encourage you to ride again. If you don’t like getting on your bike for reasons below, it will sit in the garage and you will sit on the couch.
2 – Dependable – Nothing worse than a sudden mechanical failure in the middle of nowhere. All bikes can break, but typically more of this ($$$) equals less grief.
3 – Weight – Cheap bikes have a lot of iron. Just a few good hills will convince you that lighter is always a better buy.
4 – Longevity – Expensive bikes last longer, with the cost over the lifetime being cheaper.
5 – Safety – You can depend on a good bike to stay together and not endanger your life.
6 – Quality – Expensive bikes operate better, have smoother shifting and better braking. Good bike ergonomic design helps your posture and reduces sore backs, and limbs.
7 – Repairs – A good bike is worth fixing. Mechanics will know your brand and parts will be available.
8 – Maintenance – Bicycles are mechanical and wear out. Cheap bikes have soft, thin metal, poor part tolerances and design. Again, a quality bike lasts longer with few problems.
9 – Ride Better – A well designed bike with quality components enables you to push yourself, knowing the bike will take you there. Gears, brakes and shocks perform better giving you confidence and enjoyment.
10 – Cool Factor – Hey, it has to be mentioned that if you think you’re on a killer bike then maybe your friends will give you some respect. (The rest you earn on the ride.)
So what should you spend for a good ride? I’ll save that question for another post …but briefly you need to ask yourself how often you plan to ride and where. These days a bicycle comes in many flavours.
Do you want to just putt around city parks on a hybrid or bomb down ski hills? Here is a very general list of minimum price points. And watch out, bikes can also be overpriced. Way over priced…got 10 grand $$.
Minimum price for a quality bike:
Kids bike $400
Hybrid bike $ 500
Mountain bike, front shock $ 700
Mountain bike, full suspension $ 1100
Downhill MTB $ 1500
happy hunting – Dan