Buy cheap entry bike, add better parts?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Akyriacos, May 27, 2013.

  1. Akyriacos

    Akyriacos New Member

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    OK so I am new to cycling and I have a question. Would it be OK to buy a cheap GMC Denali 700c and eventually swap out parts for better ones? Can I do something like that? I just don't want to spend a lot of money and then find out its not my zen thing. Any and all advice please.
     
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  2. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    no, you will end up paying more adding parts than buying a better bike straight away, even if you do that bike is not a keeper so you will end up having an odd combination of good and not good accesories in your bike, which is not nice. A number of people have come asking abouth the GMC Denali so it must be a popular choice for a super budget minded purchase, the funny thing is that some of them wouldn't hesitate in spending 500 usd., if not more, for seats in the NBA or the Superbowl, which is of course a one day event, and then getting freaked out about spending 500 usd. on a bike, which you can use for years,
     
  3. FHII

    FHII New Member

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    I'm happy someone asked that question and someone answered. I'm hoping to get a new bike soon and was going to be in the position of asking the same question.
     
  4. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Only if you like the frame color scheme that much on the version with the simpler parts.

    If you want better parts (which is very probable after some time on the bike) then its probably better if you get the version with the nicer parts to begin with.
     
  5. Nukuhiva

    Nukuhiva Member

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    Unless you're talking thrift shops, flea markets or yard sales, the last 'cheap' bike was sold 15 years ago.
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. While vspa is generally CORRECT that "you will end up paying more adding parts than buying a better bike straight away" vs. buying an inexpensive bike and then changing out the components, I believe that the option which you suggest CAN BE BETTER if you are handy & know what you are doing + if you are a wise shopper (i.e., eBay) ... BECAUSE the components will typically be better (105 and/or Ultegra instead of Sora or Tiagra)

    • 95% of what you need to know can be gleaned from www.sheldonbrown.com, www.parktool.com and YouTube
    • most of the tools which you will need can be generic (typically, metric)
    • some bike specific tools are required

    While some of the difference between Shimano component groups can be considered to be cosmetic, there is a small weight difference AND (IMO) the greatest difference is for the person who is actually WORKING ON the adjustments -- nicer components are a pleasure to work with when compared to some (but, not all) less expensive components ... but, not necessarily worth the price difference ...

    • having said THAT, 'I' definitely recommend that possible upgrades be 105-or-better & LX-or-better rather than components from any of the lesser "groups" ...
    • because CAMPAGNOLO SHIFTERS are compatible (that is, can be readily indexed to ...) with most Shimano drivetrains, 'I' highly recommend Campagnolo shifters because the net result will exceed the results you will get with an all Shimano drivetrain ... and, potentially cost less.

    • if you save the parts which you remove from the bike whose components you are upgrading, then the majority of the replacement components which you buy can (also) be used on a future frame ...
    • FYI. Here is a vintage Hardtail frame which was the recipient of "spare" parts which I had ...
    [​IMG]

    • NOT counting the tires/saddle, I reckon I could buy a comparable mix of new & used components from eBay for well under $600 -- Ultegra rear derailleur, XT front derailleur (the frame required a top pull derailleur), Chorus shifters, etc. ...

    Regardless, NOT knowing what to do when working on a bike could result in an unhappy experience ... both initially AND when updating the bike ...

    • an improperly adjusted bike can be unpleasant to ride AND possibly unsafe ...
    • nonetheless, it's NOT rocket science ... if you aren't blind + you are semi-literate & you can open/close a pickle jar then you can probably work on any bike which you buy
    • IMO, only surgeons (dentists & dental hygenists, too) & hand models should probably not work on their bikes

    If there is a problem with inexpensive and/or big-box bikes, it is the limited number of frame sizes which are available ... but, based on what 'I' have seen people ride, I think that a lot of riders are sent-out-the-door on a bike that is not necessarily properly sized for them despite possibly having been "professionally fitted" ...

    BTW. SOME people whom I know shy away from mixing components from different Shimano component lines -- for them, if it's not Dura Ace (or, Ultegra in some instances) then it's not good enough to be seen on their bikes (ditto for SRAM where if it isn't "Red" then it doesn't matter that the first generation of Red front derailleurs was inferior to the Force & Rival front derailleurs because putting a Force or Rival front derailleur on the bike would make it look too hodge-podge for them) -- so, mixing different brands components is unthinkable.

    BTW2. For some people, the frame (or, the name there upon) seems to be almost everything ... presuming the frame & fork are not damaged then for most people in most riding conditions only the fit truly matters in this regard.
     
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  7. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    Most would not consider a Denali an "entry-level" bike. In quality and refinement it is more or less an adult version of a child's toy bike - functional, but built primarily to look the part while meeting an amazingly low price point. I have purchased similar bikes, schwinn varsity ( arguably better than the denali) clearanced at $50 a pop. They are not a good deal at retail price.

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t/493398/why-does-everyone-tell-me-buy-a-new-bike
     
  8. Akyriacos

    Akyriacos New Member

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  9. Akyriacos

    Akyriacos New Member

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    What if I were to get a good entry level singlespeed bike which are a little cheaper. Would I be able to convert it into multigears further in the future?
     
  10. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FYI. Although not impossible, it is VERY DIFFICULT to convert a Single Speed bike to one with multiple gears.
     
  11. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

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    Single speed and fixed gears are good for a small segment of they cycling population - multi-speed bikes are popular because they are much more versatile and user friendly.

    Riding anything is better than nothing, you can always try out the Denali - just don't walk out the door with the notion that you can affordably or easily upgrade it to the spec of another manufacturer's entry-level rigs. Its better to save that cash to buy a new bike outright.

    The resale sucks as well. Whereas the resale of tried and true bicycle brands is pretty good.
     
  12. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Depends on the dropouts:

    http://www.cyclingforums.com/t/494790/single-speed-or-not/0_30#post_4071836

    I would not recomend a fixed gear bike, unless its for velodrome training.
     
  13. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    +1.
     
  14. Akyriacos

    Akyriacos New Member

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    Ok so I solved my problem and purchased this used Trek 400. Damn near perfect condition. [​IMG]
     
  15. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    Sweet bike... /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
  16. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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    well done, excellent choice we are glad our input meant something to you !
     
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  17. vspa

    vspa Active Member

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