Sub-$500 all-rounder ?



SteveAndBelle

New Member
Jul 13, 2009
2
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0
Hi,

I'm in the market for two sub-$500 bikes for all-round general cycling and would like some opinions & suggestions from any of you 'cause I don't know enough about what's available nowadays to make an informed decision :(

OK, here are the pre-requisites in order of importance (as best I could sort them anyway):
- Must be under $500 each
- Must be new & identical (warranty & ease of maintenance/parts etc.)
- Must be an alloy frame (the lighter the better)
- Must be able to handle very light-duty off-road riding
- Must be comfortable for 'anyone' to use (young, old, male, female, experienced, non-experienced)

I think that basically covers the critical stuff however keep in mind that these bikes will be used in a holiday house scenario strictly only by family members & very good friends and only very rarely ... in fact probably only about 100 hours maximum use per year I reckon !


They will mainly be used for very short bursts on the road to go down the shops plus slow concrete path riding around a small coastal town BUT they will need to also handle very light/medium-duty, smooth & flat bush tracks plus as they will be near the beach I'm guessing they will also be used for riding on the hard sand & obviously through shallow saltwater too. The alloy frame will be essential for the saltwater exposure however they also need to be lightweight enough for 'anyone' to easily manouver and to load onto a car bike carrier so a cheaper steel frame is probably out.

I'm not expecting them to last 'forever' of course but I'd want at least 5-7 years out of them before having to do major maintenance or replace them completely. I have been looking around at a few solutions to this problem and have always come back to the cheapie 'Atomik' range of bikes as they seem to be just right for the job ... this one in particular: Alpha - Bicycle - Default Store View

I know these cheapie MTBs have bobbing problems and I know they're built to a price so the components are junk etc. etc. BUT considering all the info above could anyone offer any opinions or advice on a different solution ? Does anyone actually own one of these or has at least given one a bit of a test ride ?? I just can't find any decent reviews on them but I can understand why.

Thanks,

Steve.
 

ecsk

New Member
Jul 14, 2009
4
0
0
SteveAndBelle said:
Hi,

I'm in the market for two sub-$500 bikes for all-round general cycling and would like some opinions & suggestions from any of you 'cause I don't know enough about what's available nowadays to make an informed decision :(

OK, here are the pre-requisites in order of importance (as best I could sort them anyway):
- Must be under $500 each
- Must be new & identical (warranty & ease of maintenance/parts etc.)
- Must be an alloy frame (the lighter the better)
- Must be able to handle very light-duty off-road riding
- Must be comfortable for 'anyone' to use (young, old, male, female, experienced, non-experienced)

I think that basically covers the critical stuff however keep in mind that these bikes will be used in a holiday house scenario strictly only by family members & very good friends and only very rarely ... in fact probably only about 100 hours maximum use per year I reckon !


They will mainly be used for very short bursts on the road to go down the shops plus slow concrete path riding around a small coastal town BUT they will need to also handle very light/medium-duty, smooth & flat bush tracks plus as they will be near the beach I'm guessing they will also be used for riding on the hard sand & obviously through shallow saltwater too. The alloy frame will be essential for the saltwater exposure however they also need to be lightweight enough for 'anyone' to easily manouver and to load onto a car bike carrier so a cheaper steel frame is probably out.

I'm not expecting them to last 'forever' of course but I'd want at least 5-7 years out of them before having to do major maintenance or replace them completely. I have been looking around at a few solutions to this problem and have always come back to the cheapie 'Atomik' range of bikes as they seem to be just right for the job ... this one in particular: Alpha - Bicycle - Default Store View

I know these cheapie MTBs have bobbing problems and I know they're built to a price so the components are junk etc. etc. BUT considering all the info above could anyone offer any opinions or advice on a different solution ? Does anyone actually own one of these or has at least given one a bit of a test ride ?? I just can't find any decent reviews on them but I can understand why.

Thanks,

Steve.

Hi Steve

Within you budget I believe you'll be struggling to get the right bike to cover your requirements. You have serveral options
1) Keep your eye open in eBay, Gumtree or Trading post for good second hand bikes.
2) Check out Cell Bikes CHEAP PRICES ON ROAD & MOUNTAIN BIKE AND PARTS, they are generally at $150 cheaper than other good brand bikes. I have just purchased a Giant CRX-4 for $625, for a Cell bikes with same spec I could get one for about $500. However depend on your location you'll need to add posting cost.

Good luck for bike hunting.
 

SteveAndBelle

New Member
Jul 13, 2009
2
0
0
Thanks for that ECSK.

Your comment on my budget is something else I've been battling with as that alone seems to confuse the issue. The problem it seems is that even if I had $10,000 or even $20,000 to spend on each bike I still wouldn't get a single solution that would fulfill all my requirements because as we all know once you hit certain price points the bikes become so 'single-use' it's crazy and you then need to buy a separate bike for each purpose to get the most out of them ... a separate Dual-Sus, a Hardtail and a Road Racer.

I was looking closely at the Hybrids however they wouldn't offer the comfort of a dual-suspension bike even though the cheapies have the 'bobbing' problem etc. The other problem is that the Hybrids I've seen are really very expensive for what they are and I'd prefer to do what I've done in the past and buy a mediocre Hardtail and fit 'hybrid' type tyres.

Hmmm, I just don't know how to tackle this one. Maybe I should be the guinea pig and just buy a couple of those Atomik MTBs to suck it and see. Maybe I should forget about the dual suspension and stick to a couple of DIY hybrids but then fit decent wide & confortable suspension seats. Hmmm, now that I think about it that's probably the better way forward afterall.

Steve.
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
6,723
126
63
SteveAndBelle said:
They will mainly be used for very short bursts on the road to go down the shops plus slow concrete path riding around a small coastal town BUT they will need to also handle very light/medium-duty, smooth & flat bush tracks plus as they will be near the beach I'm guessing they will also be used for riding on the hard sand & obviously through shallow saltwater too. The alloy frame will be essential for the saltwater exposure however they also need to be lightweight enough for 'anyone' to easily manouver and to load onto a car bike carrier so a cheaper steel frame is probably out.
Saltwater will have a negative affect on aluminum, too ... so, you'll need to rinse the bike(s) off with 'clear' water periodically AND on an as-needed basis.
 

ecsk

New Member
Jul 14, 2009
4
0
0
Steve,
Exactly, you can see the more expensive the bike the more specialist it is. If you really think dual suspension is required, then you'll find it is impossible to find a allrounder that suit you, simply because dual suspension is meant for serious mountain biking only.
 

longfemur

New Member
Jul 17, 2007
115
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0
Keep looking, someday you will find perfection... but you won't be riding a bike in the meantime.

You want a reasonably-priced all-round bike, get a hybrid in the price range you want. Simple.
 

2Wh33l5

New Member
Nov 12, 2007
5
0
0
What you are looking for is a hybrid.

Forget a dual suspension mountain bike - they are heavy and the fat tires make them slow. Them dual suspension is NOT designed for rider comfort - it is designed to protect the bicycle when it hits rocks etc.

For your purpose get a hybrid bicycle with front suspension that has alockout (so it does not bob when you don't want it too). If you want to be comfy look for a bike with a sprung saddle or suspension seatpost. This kind of bike will suit you better and won't break either.

I know - cos I learnt the hard way - first I bought a mountain bike cos I wanted it to be "tough". Then I bought a hybrid. SO much lighter!

So look on ebay or run out specials to get a high quality bike at a low price.
Also got to bike shops to get an idea of how much a lighter hybrid costs so that when a bargain comes up, you recognise it.

Also don;t buy stuff from K-mart - enough said!