Which sub 300$ bike?



iLikebikee

New Member
Jan 8, 2013
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I am looking for a road bike for under 300$.... I know I know, you get what you pay for. Be that as it may I am still looking for a bike in that price range. So please no,,, "your 300 now will end up being 500 later so may as well spend more now" Also I don't know enough about bikes to know if im getting a good deal on craigs list or not. So Im not gonna shop for a used bike.

I will be using this bike on a well paved bike path about 12 miles round trip to and from my gym several times a week. Other than that It won't get much use, at least for now with my busy work schedule. Thats why I want to keep the price low.

I have narrowed it to the following choices.


MERCIER GALAXY AL SC-1

GRAVITY AVENUE B

Schwinn Varsity 1300


The Schwinn bike is one of my considerations even though people say not to buy an xmart bike. At least I have heard of Schwinn whearas I have never even heard about the others listed. I dont mind rebuilding and tuning it. I would really like an opinion on the bike itself without a bias on where it was bought.

I really appreciate any help and opinions about which of these may be best for me. Thank you.
 

CAMPYBOB

Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2005
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The Varsity comes complete with a local store window to pitch it thru if dis-satisfied.

The Gravity offers a triple crankset w/8-speed cassette for climbing in lower gear ratios.

The Mercier is geared more for sport/training/racing with its 39-52 7-speed setup.

Both the Mercier and Gravity are offered in sizing options that will probably yield a better fit.

As long as you are willing and able to wrench on them and invest in component replacement/upgrade as required, all three will make decent entry level, moderate use bikes.
 

iLikebikee

New Member
Jan 8, 2013
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LOL I like that line about the store window to pitch it thru.. You had me cracking up.

Im glad you mentioned the differences in gearing. I hadn't thought of that. It helps me to rule out the gravity as I live in flat South Jersey. If you get a chance could you please let me know about the varsitiy gear ratio? As to what that is geared more toward? I would check myself but I dont know how to tell that.

Thanks for the Info.
 

maydog

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2010
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I don't understand why some marketing genius would consider Gravity a good name for a bike brand.

I have a farce-ity. At retail price, the others are a far better value.

Low gear ratios are also useful for riding through snow, over grass, over ice, up parking ramps and overpasses. I wonder what size rubber each option will take.

For $10 bump over the Galaxy, the Gravity gives you:

  • Integrated brifters
  • One more chainring
  • 8 vs. 7 speeds in back
  • An adjustable stem
  • Nice top tube

The Galaxy does have more groovy colors and a rear rack mount.
 

iLikebikee

New Member
Jan 8, 2013
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Does anyone know if the Schwinn Varsity comes with double wall rims like the Galaxy and Avenue? I I have googled the specs on the Varsity to no avail.
 

oldbobcat

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
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Good luck finding anything on the Schwinn. The thing about Schwinn is they make two lines of bikes, one that you can get specs for that they intend to be marketed through bike shops, and the other for the big-box stores. The Varsity is . . . you guessed it.

While in the distant past some customers have had problems with BikesDirect.com, they have upped their game--quality and customer service are quite decent. There are a couple threads on this forum that discuss BikesDirect quite thoroughly. BikesDirect has bought several brands that are no longer imported to the US, Mercier, Motobecane, Dawes, and Windsor, which they apply to bikes made for them in Asia.

Having extensive experience rebuilding bikes bought from BikesDirect and mangled by customers, I recommend having your bike assembled at a bike shop.

As for the Varsity, I recommend you not trust the Wal-Mart build and have it re-assembled at a bike shop.
 

iLikebikee

New Member
Jan 8, 2013
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very imformative thanks so much. So if you had to get one of those 3 which one do you think u would lean towards?
 

mitchman81

New Member
Jan 16, 2013
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Thanks for the info on this! I've been looking at picking up a new bike but don't want to spend too much. Gonna have to keep my eyes open on craigslist.