When we first thought of getting into biking, we thought of nothing more than some weekend rides. The reason was pretty simple – our lifestyle didn’t give us much time between the kids and full-time jobs, so we only had one day a week for outdoor activities – Sunday. As we started looking for bikes, though, we couldn’t help but notice a significant difference in the price of bikes. Which got us asking the question: Are cheap bicycles worth it?
Are Cheap Bicycles Worth It?
Bike riding is versatile. There are positives and negatives to buying a cheap bike and for some people in certain situations, buying a cheap bike is absolutely worth it. For others, it isn’t. Let’s talk a little bit about that.
What are the pros and cons of buying a cheap bike?
- The best part about these bikes is that they are …. CHEAP. If you are on a tight budget, you can easily buy a cheap bike that will do the job! If you have only a $100 budget, don’t let that stop you. You can still get out and ride!
- With a cheap bike, you can literally buy a new one every year for under $100 or so and toss it at the end of the season. Now you might be thinking that this is crazy, but hear me out. If you have tight living arrangements, you don’t have to stress about winter storage. You can simply give your bike to someone in need and start again next summer when the weather is nice.
- Easy to get. Oftentimes with nicer, more expensive bikes you have to special order or wait for them to be in stock. With cheaper bikes, you can pretty much just go get one.
- Cheap bikes are great for beginners. When you first start riding bikes, you might find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of things there are to learn about it. Because cheap bikes often have fewer accessories and abilities, you can focus on your bike riding skills as opposed to learning all about the bike.
- Cheap bikes are simply not made to last as long as better, more expensive bikes. They are not built to the same quality. You will find that your gears go out, your brakes need to be fixed. Heck, even your tires are more likely to go flat sooner.
- Another con of buying cheap bikes that took me by surprise was the fact that cheap bikes are not really made to be upgraded. Did I mention I was a newbie? I had no idea that bikes were meant to be upgraded at all, but when I took my first cheap bike to a bike mechanic, he informed me that the cheaper bikes are not compatible with upgrades that experienced bike riders are going to want. Once I got a little bit of riding under my belt, I can confirm that you will want to upgrade and customize your bike.
- In addition to them not lasting as long, cheap bikes are also oftentimes not as safe as higher quality bikes. Although, if you are buying a used bike, that may be a little different.
Where can you find cheap bikes?
Finding cheap bikes can be a little bit tricky because it really depends on where you are looking and what your requirements are.
Big Box Stores. You can hop into Target or Walmart and likely find a cheap bike right then and there. Alternatively, go online and order one.
Amazon. Amazon is a great place to find cheap bikes. Plus, if you are an Amazon Prime member, you don’t have to worry about shipping fees.
Craigslist/FB Marketplace. If you are open to buying a used bike, you can save a significant amount of money. You can also likely get a much better quality bike. Let’s say you have a $100 budget. You can buy a brand new $100 bike, or you may be able to find a $500 bike used for $100. That’s definitely a great way to save money! Remember how I mentioned that we were able to get 2 bikes for $70?! That would have definitely not happened if I wasn’t open to the idea of buying used.
Do you have any bike buying stories or tips or tricks that you would like to share?
Next time we will talk more about what to look for when buying a bicycle.
Our Cheap Bicycle Story
When we first thought of getting into biking, we thought of nothing more than some weekend rides. The reason was pretty simple – our lifestyle didn’t give us much time between the kids and full-time jobs, so we only had one day a week for outdoor activities – Sunday.
We looked at what Walmart and Target had to offer (including the pricing point) and decided to look for used “Like New” bikes on Craigslist. Target Price? $30-$40. Sure enough, we found a deal – two decent-looking bikes for $70.
One of our bicycles gave up at the beginning of the third season. The second one had to be replaced after the first season due to the failing gear shifting mechanisms and brake system.