What should I look for in a cheap mountain bike

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by David, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. David

    David Guest

    I would like to get into cycling, I dont intend to do any really
    serious off roading or anything competative, I just want a basic
    mountain bike for roads/parks etc.

    The kind of bikes I have seen are advertised from £70 ($120) to about
    £150 ($270), but I want to know if £70 is too good to be true? Will it
    fall apart the first bump I ride over, or is a £70 bike fine so long
    as I dont actually want to ride down a mountain on it?

    ...when making my decision what points should I look out for? - ie I
    asume things like number/type of gears is important and weight? - how
    heavy should a bike like this be, will it make a big difference to
    normal riding if its a bit on the heavy side?

    Is it worth paying for one with suspension, or is this only really
    needed for cycling down Everest?

    Is there a particular make of gears that is good/bad? Will it make a
    difference?

    I notice that a lot of expensive bikes have brake disks in the middle,
    I assume this is so they dont get wet, does this make a great
    difference?

    Finally, any recommendations as to where to buy it (uk) - ie ive seen
    some 'ok' looking bikes at Halfords...

    http://www.halfords.com/opd_category.asp?root=1&id=90

    ...and some even cheaper ones at ToysRUs (yeah I know a bikes not
    really a toy!)...

    http://www.toysrus.co.uk/Category.a...s26InchWheel?ref=TruHome/TruBikesWheeledGoods

    ...any advice would be grately appreciated!

    Thanks

    David Bevan

    http://www.davidbevan.co.uk

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  2. smokey

    smokey Guest

    [email protected] (David) wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I would like to get into cycling, I dont intend to do any really
    > serious off roading or anything competative, I just want a basic
    > mountain bike for roads/parks etc.
    >
    > The kind of bikes I have seen are advertised from £70 ($120) to about
    > £150 ($270), but I want to know if £70 is too good to be true? Will it
    > fall apart the first bump I ride over, or is a £70 bike fine so long
    > as I dont actually want to ride down a mountain on it?
    >
    > ..when making my decision what points should I look out for? - ie I
    > asume things like number/type of gears is important and weight? - how
    > heavy should a bike like this be, will it make a big difference to
    > normal riding if its a bit on the heavy side?
    >
    > Is it worth paying for one with suspension, or is this only really
    > needed for cycling down Everest?
    >
    > Is there a particular make of gears that is good/bad? Will it make a
    > difference?
    >
    > I notice that a lot of expensive bikes have brake disks in the middle,
    > I assume this is so they dont get wet, does this make a great
    > difference?
    >
    > Finally, any recommendations as to where to buy it (uk) - ie ive seen
    > some 'ok' looking bikes at Halfords...
    >
    > http://www.halfords.com/opd_category.asp?root=1&id=90
    >
    > ..and some even cheaper ones at ToysRUs (yeah I know a bikes not
    > really a toy!)...
    >
    > http://www.toysrus.co.uk/Category.a...s26InchWheel?ref=TruHome/TruBikesWheeledGoods
    >
    > ..any advice would be grately appreciated!
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > David Bevan
    >
    > http://www.davidbevan.co.uk


    First of all, I live in the USA, so prices may be a little different
    over here. The ToysRus bikes are a bad idea. They most likely won't be
    set up or adjusted correctly (brakes, derailleurs, etc.) and will
    weigh a ton. You will definitely notice this on hills. In your price
    range, you're better off with a hardtail as it's not possible to get
    quality suspension at both ends for that price. In the drivetrain,
    either Shimano or a Shimano/SRAM mix is fine, just depends on whether
    or not you like SRAM's Grip Shift. If you could go up a bit in price
    to the $400 level, there are many fine bikes from most of the major
    manufacturers. What usually happens with cheap bikes is that you end
    up upgrading the components and spend more than if you had purchased
    better ones with the bike. I still have my first mountain bike, a $400
    Gary Fisher Marlin. It's given me great service and was well worth the
    money.

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  3. S o r n i

    S o r n i Guest

    A run in the stockings and too much mascara.

    Bill "clean version" S.

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  4. On 28 Aug 2004 01:45:05 GMT, [email protected] (David) wrote:

    >I would like to get into cycling, I dont intend to do any really
    >serious off roading or anything competative, I just want a basic
    >mountain bike for roads/parks etc.
    >

    In a cheap mountain bike you should look to get a broken frame and
    possibly a serious injure. Get a good helmet.

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  5. tcmedara

    tcmedara Guest

    David <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I would like to get into cycling, I dont intend to do any really
    > serious off roading or anything competative, I just want a basic
    > mountain bike for roads/parks etc.
    >

    Are you sure you want a "mountain bike"? Depending on what sort of "parks"
    you're talking about, a mountain bike may be a poor choice. If you are
    talking paved bike paths and real pave roads, then a road bike (or one of
    it's several derivatives) may be what you're after.

    Tom

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  6. VBadJuJu

    VBadJuJu Guest

    [email protected] (David) wrote:

    What you should *expect* in a cheap mountain bike:

    * A heavy frame
    * suspension that wont hold up
    * a chain that will last about 200 miles (depending on use and your
    weight)
    * a cassette that will go about the same time as the chain
    * the cheapest rims possible
    * unreliable assembly at best bordering on unsafe
    * unending problems with the rear hub in the second year
    * shoddy components (eg chainrings that are not true, cheap pedals
    etc)
    * a nice shiny paint job to distract you from all that

    The only way that a Toy R Us or Wal-Mart type bike will last is if you
    dont ride it. Seriously, anything you "save" on the initial purchase
    can easily be spent twice over on replacement parts and repairs in the
    first year.

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  7. Badger_South

    Badger_South Guest

    On Sat, 28 Aug 2004 13:41:23 CST, VBadJuJu <> wrote:

    >[email protected] (David) wrote:
    >
    >What you should *expect* in a cheap mountain bike:
    >
    >* A heavy frame
    >* suspension that wont hold up
    >* a chain that will last about 200 miles (depending on use and your
    >weight)
    >* a cassette that will go about the same time as the chain
    >* the cheapest rims possible
    >* unreliable assembly at best bordering on unsafe
    >* unending problems with the rear hub in the second year
    >* shoddy components (eg chainrings that are not true, cheap pedals
    >etc)
    >* a nice shiny paint job to distract you from all that
    >
    >The only way that a Toy R Us or Wal-Mart type bike will last is if you
    >dont ride it. Seriously, anything you "save" on the initial purchase
    >can easily be spent twice over on replacement parts and repairs in the
    >first year.


    I got a great deal for my brother at the local Trek store - the 7300FX for
    about $320bucks. You can't beat that in a straight bar bike - good
    componentry, indexed shifters, nice wheels, no crappy suspension forks, and
    the big plus - LBS support.

    -B
     
  8. Ed

    Ed Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, VBadJuJu says...
    >
    >[email protected] (David) wrote:
    >
    >What you should *expect* in a cheap mountain bike:
    >
    >* A heavy frame
    >* suspension that wont hold up
    >* a chain that will last about 200 miles (depending on use and your
    >weight)
    >* a cassette that will go about the same time as the chain
    >* the cheapest rims possible
    >* unreliable assembly at best bordering on unsafe
    >* unending problems with the rear hub in the second year
    >* shoddy components (eg chainrings that are not true, cheap pedals
    >etc)
    >* a nice shiny paint job to distract you from all that

    Well maybe. But Carl Fogel who posts in r.b.t is up to several hundred miles on
    his $53 Mountain Fury Walmart bike with no trouble whatsoever. He would agree
    with the heavy part. And at $53 there is no suspension to fail.

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  9. S o r n i

    S o r n i Guest

    Ed wrote:
    > In article <[email protected]>, VBadJuJu
    > says...
    >>
    >> [email protected] (David) wrote:
    >>
    >> What you should *expect* in a cheap mountain bike:
    >>
    >> * A heavy frame
    >> * suspension that wont hold up
    >> * a chain that will last about 200 miles (depending on use and your
    >> weight)
    >> * a cassette that will go about the same time as the chain
    >> * the cheapest rims possible
    >> * unreliable assembly at best bordering on unsafe
    >> * unending problems with the rear hub in the second year
    >> * shoddy components (eg chainrings that are not true, cheap pedals
    >> etc)
    >> * a nice shiny paint job to distract you from all that


    > Well maybe. But Carl Fogel who posts in r.b.t is up to several
    > hundred miles on his $53 Mountain Fury Walmart bike with no trouble
    > whatsoever. He would agree with the heavy part. And at $53 there is
    > no suspension to fail.


    AFAIK, Carl has done all his "Fury-ous" riding on the road. There's little
    doubt that rugged trail use would kill that bike in short order.

    Bill "it's a Fury Roadmaster, I believe" S.

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  10. Mark Weaver

    Mark Weaver Guest

    "David" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I would like to get into cycling, I dont intend to do any really
    > serious off roading or anything competative, I just want a basic
    > mountain bike for roads/parks etc.
    >


    If the situation is similar to the US, you should be able to find a cheap
    mountain bike that has comparable parts to a low-end bike store MTB. For
    example, just last week, I picked up one of these:

    http://www.target.com/gp/detail.htm...012216-1095302?_encoding=UTF8&asin=B0000BXHPC

    for my 13-year-old who'd outgrown his old bike (which was a $75 dept
    storebike that lasted 8 years and two kids and is still in good shape
    despite years of kid abuse/neglect--but that one, too, has reasonably decent
    components). Anyway, the new bike was on sale for $110. I did have to do
    some minor adjustments to the brakes, but it seems like it will be far more
    than adequate for his uses.

    > ..when making my decision what points should I look out for?


    Skip the full suspension. Look for alloy rims, quick-release hubs (front at
    least), linear brakes, aluminum (rather than painted steel) brake, fork, and
    crank parts (for weight and corrosion resistance). Here's the sort of bike
    you don't want:

    http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp?product_id=2073249

    Steel caliper brakes, steel rims, 1-piece crank, plastic brake levers, etc.

    >
    > Is it worth paying for one with suspension, or is this only really
    > needed for cycling down Everest?
    >


    You definitely don't want rear suspension for street riding (and even
    moderate trail riding). It will make your pedaling less efficient, provide
    no real benefit, and is more likely to break.

    > I notice that a lot of expensive bikes have brake disks in the middle,
    > I assume this is so they dont get wet, does this make a great
    > difference?
    >


    Don't worry about disc brakes, that's overkill for what you're thinking
    about.

    Mark




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  11. In article <[email protected]>,
    "S o r n i" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Ed wrote:
    > > In article <[email protected]>, VBadJuJu
    > > says...
    > >>
    > >> [email protected] (David) wrote:
    > >>
    > >> What you should *expect* in a cheap mountain bike:
    > >>
    > >> * A heavy frame
    > >> * suspension that wont hold up
    > >> * a chain that will last about 200 miles (depending on use and your
    > >> weight)
    > >> * a cassette that will go about the same time as the chain
    > >> * the cheapest rims possible
    > >> * unreliable assembly at best bordering on unsafe
    > >> * unending problems with the rear hub in the second year
    > >> * shoddy components (eg chainrings that are not true, cheap pedals
    > >> etc)
    > >> * a nice shiny paint job to distract you from all that

    >
    > > Well maybe. But Carl Fogel who posts in r.b.t is up to several
    > > hundred miles on his $53 Mountain Fury Walmart bike with no trouble
    > > whatsoever. He would agree with the heavy part. And at $53 there is
    > > no suspension to fail.

    >
    > AFAIK, Carl has done all his "Fury-ous" riding on the road. There's little
    > doubt that rugged trail use would kill that bike in short order.


    The prime issue is that, for the money, you can almost certainly find a
    used rigid mountain bike. Rigid bikes are so passé that they sell for
    nothing at garage sales and not much more at used-bike dealers.

    For the money, you might well get a high-end MTB that will hold up for
    years, and make a great bike for commuting or light trail work.

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.wiredcola.com
    Verus de parvis; verus de magnis.

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  12. R.White

    R.White Guest

    Ed <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > In article <[email protected]>, VBadJuJu says...
    > >
    > >[email protected] (David) wrote:
    > >
    > >What you should *expect* in a cheap mountain bike:
    > >
    > >* A heavy frame
    > >* suspension that wont hold up
    > >* a chain that will last about 200 miles (depending on use and your
    > >weight)
    > >* a cassette that will go about the same time as the chain
    > >* the cheapest rims possible
    > >* unreliable assembly at best bordering on unsafe
    > >* unending problems with the rear hub in the second year
    > >* shoddy components (eg chainrings that are not true, cheap pedals
    > >etc)
    > >* a nice shiny paint job to distract you from all that

    > Well maybe. But Carl Fogel who posts in r.b.t is up to several hundred miles on
    > his $53 Mountain Fury Walmart bike with no trouble whatsoever. He would agree
    > with the heavy part. And at $53 there is no suspension to fail.


    That's not exactly a vote of confidence.

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  13. 8 months ago, I was in the same situation as you are in today...
    I bought me a cheap trek 3700 for about 350 EUR (with the 21 speed
    shimano altus) and a cheap RST suspension. I was new to mountainbike,
    and, if I didn't like it, not much money lost then...
    I have to say I was quite pleased with the bike... In fact, my friends
    had more expensive bikes, and they faced more problems than me
    (chainsuck, rear derailleur didn't work well, squeaking sound in the
    bottom-bracket...) :)
    Two weeks ago, I had a rather unpleasant meeting with a car (it cut me
    off while I was approaching an intersection), and I took the opportunity
    to replace the low-cost drive train to deore-lx... I have to fetch it
    from the LBS this evening (can hardly wait :)
    A drawback of the cheap drive train is that it is less accurate, I had
    to maintain it a bit more carefully to make sure that it worked well. A
    specially after a months of mud and water... But hey, that's how you
    learn to maintain a bike :)

    Greets

    Manuel


    David wrote:
    > I would like to get into cycling, I dont intend to do any really
    > serious off roading or anything competative, I just want a basic
    > mountain bike for roads/parks etc.
    >
    > The kind of bikes I have seen are advertised from £70 ($120) to about
    > £150 ($270), but I want to know if £70 is too good to be true? Will it
    > fall apart the first bump I ride over, or is a £70 bike fine so long
    > as I dont actually want to ride down a mountain on it?
    >
    > ..when making my decision what points should I look out for? - ie I
    > asume things like number/type of gears is important and weight? - how
    > heavy should a bike like this be, will it make a big difference to
    > normal riding if its a bit on the heavy side?
    >
    > Is it worth paying for one with suspension, or is this only really
    > needed for cycling down Everest?
    >
    > Is there a particular make of gears that is good/bad? Will it make a
    > difference?
    >
    > I notice that a lot of expensive bikes have brake disks in the middle,
    > I assume this is so they dont get wet, does this make a great
    > difference?
    >
    > Finally, any recommendations as to where to buy it (uk) - ie ive seen
    > some 'ok' looking bikes at Halfords...
    >
    > http://www.halfords.com/opd_category.asp?root=1&id=90
    >
    > ..and some even cheaper ones at ToysRUs (yeah I know a bikes not
    > really a toy!)...
    >
    > http://www.toysrus.co.uk/Category.a...s26InchWheel?ref=TruHome/TruBikesWheeledGoods
    >
    > ..any advice would be grately appreciated!
    >
    > Thanks
    >
    > David Bevan
    >
    > http://www.davidbevan.co.uk
    >
    > --
    > rec.bicycles.off-road is moderated by volunteers. To find help solving
    > posting problems, or contact the moderators, please see http://rbor.org/
    > Please read the charter before posting: http://rbor.org/rbor_charter.txt
    >


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  14. VBadJuJu

    VBadJuJu Guest

    Ed <[email protected]> wrote:

    >In article <[email protected]>, VBadJuJu says...
    >>
    >>[email protected] (David) wrote:
    >>
    >>What you should *expect* in a cheap mountain bike:
    >>
    >>* A heavy frame
    >>* suspension that wont hold up
    >>* a chain that will last about 200 miles (depending on use and your
    >>weight)
    >>* a cassette that will go about the same time as the chain
    >>* the cheapest rims possible
    >>* unreliable assembly at best bordering on unsafe
    >>* unending problems with the rear hub in the second year
    >>* shoddy components (eg chainrings that are not true, cheap pedals
    >>etc)
    >>* a nice shiny paint job to distract you from all that

    >Well maybe. But Carl Fogel who posts in r.b.t is up to several hundred miles on
    >his $53 Mountain Fury Walmart bike with no trouble whatsoever. He would agree
    >with the heavy part. And at $53 there is no suspension to fail.


    I am sure there are exceptions, but more often than NOT, that's
    exactly what you can *expect* since you get what you pay for.

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  15. jason

    jason Guest

    I would recomend a fuji for a moderitly low price mountain bike i have a
    gary fisher tassajara which is almost 5 years old and is made from aluminum
    and i havent had a problem with the frame ever the difference is in the
    welds and also a lighter bike is going to be better to ride on trails and
    easier on hills also bike shop bikes such as fuji , gary fisher , cannondale
    come with quality components unlike walmart bikes.

    "S o r n i" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Ed wrote:
    > > In article <[email protected]>, VBadJuJu
    > > says...
    > >>
    > >> [email protected] (David) wrote:
    > >>
    > >> What you should *expect* in a cheap mountain bike:
    > >>
    > >> * A heavy frame
    > >> * suspension that wont hold up
    > >> * a chain that will last about 200 miles (depending on use and your
    > >> weight)
    > >> * a cassette that will go about the same time as the chain
    > >> * the cheapest rims possible
    > >> * unreliable assembly at best bordering on unsafe
    > >> * unending problems with the rear hub in the second year
    > >> * shoddy components (eg chainrings that are not true, cheap pedals
    > >> etc)
    > >> * a nice shiny paint job to distract you from all that

    >
    > > Well maybe. But Carl Fogel who posts in r.b.t is up to several
    > > hundred miles on his $53 Mountain Fury Walmart bike with no trouble
    > > whatsoever. He would agree with the heavy part. And at $53 there is
    > > no suspension to fail.

    >
    > AFAIK, Carl has done all his "Fury-ous" riding on the road. There's

    little
    > doubt that rugged trail use would kill that bike in short order.
    >
    > Bill "it's a Fury Roadmaster, I believe" S.
    >
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    > rec.bicycles.off-road is moderated by volunteers. To find help solving
    > posting problems, or contact the moderators, please see http://rbor.org/
    > Please read the charter before posting: http://rbor.org/rbor_charter.txt
    >


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