Inexpensive bicycles.


Old 06-27-03, 08:55 AM
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Inexpensive bicycles.

I do quite a bit of mountain biking over very rough terrain. The sort that buckles wheels an breaks spokes from time to time.

The bike is a Marin Bobcat Trail. I've had it for about 5 -6 years now and every year the chain, back cogs, free hub body (free wheel), brake blocks and cables mostly need changing. This year included the front cogs too.

I don't do the repairs myself and the average bill for the annual overhaul is about 125-00 (around $200)

Mountain bike prices have come right down recently. Some being as low as about 80-00 ($130). With this in mind I was wondering if, rather than keep getting the Marin repaired, I might do better to buy one of these cheaper bikes, hammer it for a year or so and then get another.

The only worry is the quality of the materials used. Would the less expensive bike be able to stand up to the rough treatment that the Marin can (mostly anyway). Parts wearing out in a year wouldn't worry me at that price but would there be more chance of total failure such as handlebars breaking or frame welds coming apart.

Has anyone put any inexpensive bikes through rigorous treatment?

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Old 06-27-03, 04:05 PM
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Thumbs up Junker bicycles

I say go for it...and let us know how you do?
Old 06-27-03, 07:30 PM
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Inexpensive bicycles

With bikes it goes the same as most products in that you get what you pay for. I would suggest a new rig. Simply for the fact that if you spend that kind of cash yearly on that bike you could have bought a real sweet bike by now that would not require so much attention.
To answer your other question, yes it was not good.
Old 06-29-03, 02:45 AM
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well, I seriously doubt you would have any problems with welds breaking and such. But if you're spending that much money to repair yours every year, you should probably go ahead and put it to rest. Sounds like it's been run hard. Let us know how the new one works out, who knows it might be better than the old one
Old 06-29-03, 04:06 PM
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If you are purchasing a bike, like any product, with the hopes of it lasting forever, you are hoping against all hope!

You can get a trailworthy bike for about $800 and it should last you at least four to five years of hard riding.

The department store bikes are not trailworthy and will begin braking apart after the first ride. They are not safe for trail riding.

Do youself a favor. Get a decent bike.
Old 06-29-03, 09:17 PM
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There are some decent sub $300/200 bikes out there. Look at the quality of the bikes. In general, you shouldn't have to worry about frames or bars. You could also buy a custom frame and add the parts yourself. Sounds like you should step up to some of the more heavyduty stuff. Get a few bike mags and check prices and equipment. you know already what you tear up, so look for a bike you can replace/upgrade the parts on. Part of the fun of riding is doing the maintenance yourself. It's really not hard, hardly any special or expensive tools, and can save you money. There are some pretty good books and videos. I have a very cheap bike, but have made many mods to it, some major, some minor, and over the last 3 years, i have suffered more damage than it has.
Old 07-08-03, 09:22 PM
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First of all, like everyone else has said, but yourself a mid range bike, something that has any of the Deore stuff! Any of the lower groups are just that lower. If you are replacing wheels all too often, have a set hnad built by a reputable bike shop, study wheelbuilding, learn about what makes a good wheel work. I have walked out of shops with wheels laced up, in need of being trued, I didn't have my own truing stand! One shop's lead mechanic responded "whats that?" when I asked him how much spoke tension he liked to work with. The guy that asked me how much I wanted got the job, that was 10 years ago, and I still ride the same wheels, and they have needed to be trued 4 times since they were built up.

Another issue that is common is a lack of maintenance knowledge. You should learn how to perfrom some of the work yourself, this helps you save money, and have the skills to fix your bike.

I was riding a 600k brevetlast year, 500k without a front derailleur. it broke, and I tossed it. I have even had to ride a 21 spd MTB 60 miles as a fixed gear, courtesy of Suntour's XCD groups poor quality!

Ride Safe


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