Cheap Vs Expensive Bike !


Jul 3, 2015
What's the difference between ~190€ bike (it's a mountain bike), ~460€ bike (road bike), and ~840€ bike (road bike) ?!! They all are bikes!

I know the difference between mountain and road bikes, but mountain bikes can be ridden on the road (street)!

I'm gonna use it to move between my room and the university, about 9-25km (depends on my room/apartment location). Why I dont use a bus or a train? because I love cycling, here in my country I cycle everyday, but bikes here are cheap, and not brand ones (they are from china)...I consider cycling like if I go to a journey....also, I can save 160€ every month in that way.

I'm gonna stay in germany for about 14-15 years for studying, and I will cycle all that time, 18-50km everyday. I'm gonna go there next year, and I'm planning, and calculating the costs.

Here's the links for the three bikes:

~190€ bike:

~460€ bike:

~840€ bike:

*The problem that I will have ~2600-2800€ for a gaming laptop, a bike, and a mid-budget phone just for gps tracking on the bike.
Pretty much everything. Gears, brakes, frame, wheels will be a better grade. But in my opinion wheels will be main thing. Cheap wheels will never stay true.
They are all bikes but there are some pretty big differences between various types. If you are really going to be traveling ~50 km every day, I doubt an MTB would serve you well. The wheel size is smaller and the tires will have more rolling resistance (unless you swap them for something lighter and skinnier), you will have front and rear suspension that will mostly get in your way, since these parts tend to absorb part of your pedaling effort. On the other hand, a road bike like those you listed, will probably feel better for the longer journey, but the drop handlebars have their pros and cons as well. Also, road bikes as a whole tend to be more expensive and you'll be more likely to have your road bike stolen, especially if it somehow stands out in between many shabby bikes and older MTB's.

Since you're facing a reasonably long commute for some time to come, my advice is, get a bike without suspension, but with 700c wheels, the option to install fenders and a rear luggage rack, as well as your choice of either straight or drop handlebars. A bonus would be for the bike to look old and unattractive, so that thieves don't take interest in it. A great way to start would be to find a cheap used bike and build up from there - see what you like, see what you wanna improve and how much it will cost, will it be worth to upgrade it on that bike or possibly just buy a whole new bike altogether. Experience will help you make these choices and you'll have saved some money along the way.
Suggestion- get a cheap bike now to become accustomed to cycling- one simply does not start logging 50 km daily without some type of issues popping up- and then buy something else when you relocate.
Name brand, bike shop bikes are very robust, even at entry level. You do not need to spend more than that to get a bike that will hold up well.

I'll even challenge the assertion that cheap wheels will go out of true... they won't in my experience, unless you are very heavy or bash your bike over curbs and such.
One element that contributes to road bikes being more expensive is that the integrated shifters are more expensive for drop bars than flat/riser bars. Whether this is because of some engineering, or material cost or just because the manufacturers know road riders will pay more I don't know.

Other than avoiding the very lowest end components, I think most people would be fine with any group from Shimano, Campagnolo or SRAM (I have no opinion on other manufacturers).

The more money you pay, the lighter and prettier the components. Some claim a durability difference (some claimn more durable for more money, others claim less durable for more money because of lighter materials used)... Based on my limited observation, components (of all levels) are more likely to be replaced in order to upgrade than being worn out. Actually most components get little use before the bike is stored in the garage permanently until the bike becomes vintage, and is reclaimed by a lover of old bikes.
I can't tell you anything about the cheapest bike because I don't read German.

The mid-priced one has **** components. Shimano A-070 7 speed? in 2015? Really? **** wheels, aluminum fork, no-name brakes, and 10.22 kg in weight? Almost 23 lbs? That's a heavy aluminum frame.

I spend the 840 Euro for the Radon. Never heard of the brand, but it has good components down the line.
I would buy the better one right away and get used to riding it. I just bought a new bike and it's hard to get used to after riding my old one for so long. Get the new good one right away and get it set up the way you want it.
Pretty much everything in my books. Better mechanics and more speed and power. If you count it, I worth it's worth it to get the better one for more money.
The cheap bike is what many call a bicycle-shaped-object. It generally looks like a bike, but "features" such as the non-functional full suspension give it away.

The Fuji Sportif is a bare-bones but fully functional road bike. It does what it's designed to do, but without refinement or finesse. Drivetrain components and essentials like wheels and cranks will work but lack responsiveness and durability.

The Radon R1 looks like what we see from here in the states. Quality price-point components (11-speed Shimano 105, Mavic Aksium wheels) on a frame that is a little behind the cutting edge, but most capable. After competent assembly and tuning, and with regular maintenance, this is a bike you could enjoy riding for a decade or two. Or three.
Darktone said:
I would buy the better one right away and get used to riding it. I just bought a new bike and it's hard to get used to after riding my old one for so long. Get the new good one right away and get it set up the way you want it.
Indeed, new bikes might often be hard to get used to.
Joe, considering that you are going to stay in Germany for 14-15 years and you are going to cycle all this time, I think that it's in your best interest to invest in a good bike which will serve you well in this period of time. Grab a solid, expensive one, and it will basically pay for itself as time passes by.

Hope this link works. There's an English language option. Wasn't able to find it. If you live urban the Quitmann Big Apple Rohloff is one of the world's great bikes. If rural to urban commute the Speed Rohloff would be the best model.

They ain't cheap. But, your great-grandchildren will use them in college.
A lot of the time you are paying for the name but in some cases the higher the price the better quality of components while lower priced bikes tend to be mass produced using low quality parts that are bound to give you grief at some point. Having said that, there are some good bikes out there that are of cheaper price but just be wary and do your research before you dive in and buy something cheap that will have you constantly fishing in your wallet for replacement parts.
When you get there just go to your a bike shop and talk to a experienced sales rep theat also rides. Tell them your circumstances and budget. I think they will be able to give you a clear cut choice of a bike for you and your budget. Sure you can go cheap and save money, but after time you might have to spend more on part due to breakage. Unless of course you can buy 3 China bikes for the price of one decent high end bike. That;s something else you need to consider.
I think you have made a wise decision to bike to your university. This is one of the best exercises to undertake. I think it is next in line to horseback riding.

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