$50.00 - $125.00 MTN Bike vs $250.00 Bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    $50.00 - $125.00 MTN Bike vs $250.00 Bike

    I don't care if I get slammed here. I'm still looking for info. I ride on pavement back and forth to work, 10 plus years. 8 - 10 miles a day. I have treated the Big Box $75.00 bikes as disposable. Some last a year, some last several years some I return still under warranty. Any recommendations in the $250.00 range. I want to see if they are any better then the "disposable" ones I have been using.TIA.

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    Buy something from your local craigslist.

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    Buy used

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    Lets see you been getting a new bike ,lets say every other year at 100$ a piece ,that's at least 400$. If you bought a 400$ bike ten years ago yuo could still be riding it and not filling up the junk yard. You owe to yourself to to at least go to a local shop and talk to them.

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    $50.00 - $125.00 MTN Bike vs $250.00 Bike

    You don't need a mountain bike because you don't ride on trails.
    Get a commuter off craigslist.

  6. #6
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    So your jumping from the disposable $75 bikes up to a disposable $250 bike. I've got some ocean front property in Nebraska priced well below market if you're interested.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    For commuting, I wouldn't ride a mountain bike. There are a lot of nice looking commuter bikes out there for what I think is a reasonable price. Thinner and higher pressure tires. Full fenders. Road specific gearing. Some with lighting packages plus some with generator hubs. Racks already installed. Don't know how well the generator hubs work, but if I was going to start bike commuting again, I'd check that out. My wife's aunt has some generator hubs on her bike (albeit very high end hubs) and she says the lights attached to the hubs are brighter than car headlights, even at relatively slow speed. I'd be comfortable betting that a commuter bike in the $400 - $500 range would easily last 10 years with minimal maintenance, plus it would be nice to ride compared to a cheapo big box $75 bike that lasts a year or two and isn't anything more than basic transportation even when it is brand new.

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    Check craigslist for a used one.
    I spent about $125 on a used trek 4500 with v brakes that lasted me 3 years before I decided to upgrade. Ended up selling for more than I bought it for. It was light years better than the 2 Walmart junkers I spent $100 each on the previous years. Night and day difference.

    If you insist on new, take your pick based on your riding type and size.
    Best bang for the buck is found here:
    Save up to 60% off Mountain Bikes, All Mountain Bikes, Full Suspension SRAM MTN and Shimano Mountain Bikes and Hardtail Front Suspension and 29er Mountain Bikes from Bikesdirect.com

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    $50.00 - $125.00 MTN Bike vs $250.00 Bike

    This thread will go well for you.

    Treat any bike like it's disposable and it will be disposable.

    At $250, your options are limited. The used market is about it. A new $250 bike is not going to be much better than a $75 walmart bike.

    Stay away from suspension and shifters and you could wind up with a pretty decent used bike at that price, though.

  10. #10
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    spending money on bikes in that price range and then riding them those kind of distances is like flushing money down a toilet. also, a mountain bike is made for off-road riding, so if you are riding mostly on pavement, get something with narrower (not racer skinny, just narrower) tires and 700c wheels. it will be much faster and more efficient and nimble on the road but every bit as comfortable if you set it up right.

    see if any local bike shops sell used bikes. that way, at least you will know that they were assembled and tuned correctly. most of the bikes you see at Walmart, Target, ToysRUs, Costco, Sams, etc are never tuned by an experienced bike mechanic. they are just thrown together by a bicycle "assembler" as quickly as possible and don't perform well or last as long.

    also, is there a bicycle co-op in your neighborhood? you can build up a "custom" bike with used parts, learn how to work on your bike, and save a lot of money at the same time.

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    You go soooo slow on those Dept store fake bikes.. I don't believe the OP, to be frank. I would have to guess shill of some sort. Nobody could ride a bike 10 miles a day for more than two years without buying a bike that doesn't feel that crappy. Those Wal-Mart bikes are a total waste. They barely move. I was lucky enough to buy my son a bike that was >70% off for $249 that has a Deore deraillur and a Suntour XCR build. It's a REAL BIKE for less than $300. Amazing deal. There are no deals like that right now anywhere.

    I can't imagine the h*ll of riding those dept store bikes that long, that is why I can't believe it. I'm kind of poor tbh, but when one of my jobs some years back was giving away $100 special in a contest, I 100% would not have taken it for FREE. Literally, would not have taken it. For what?? It's not a bike, and I can barely call it a toy because I don't see how you can play with it. Up around $250 at a dept store you may get a bike that ACTUALLY works on some level, unlike the $100 ones which don't. But you can get the lowest end Scott Aspect for < $400, get that. Stop punishing yourself.

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    If a rider is used to riding cheap, crappy bikes and has not ridden anything else, that's all he knows. ignorance is bliss.

    this is a first-world problem. ever seen the bikes that people use in the third world? I saw bikes in Rwanda that NO american would dare ride, yet they were using them as taxis, schleping giant piles of fruit around, and riding up mountain roads, often in their bare feet. sure, someone could ride a crappy bike 100 miles a day until it no longer moves, then just throw it away and buy a new bike. until they discover what a wasted opportunity he is experiencing by buying junk.

    the OP seems to have a chip on his shoulder about "expensive" bikes. maybe I am wrong, but I have met people with this issue before. I once met a man who told me that modern bikes are a stupid waste of money because they have those "skinny valves" on them that "don't work." he was too ignorant to figure out how to use the presta valve (not exactly brain surgery) on a bike he bought 10 years ago, so he let the tires go flat on their own and just parked the bike. it's probably still sitting in his garage gathering dust. people like that irk me. he was too lazy to ride a bike or figure out the most basic mechanical feature of the bike, so he just gave up after buying a brand new bike.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    If a rider is used to riding cheap, crappy bikes and has not ridden anything else, that's all he knows. ignorance is bliss.
    ^^^ This.

    OP, I suggest used older road bike from Craigslist. I picked up a "nice enough for road riding" Norco that looks to be about 15-20 years old for $45. If it's lasted this long and I look after it, it will probably outlive me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja's Son
    You may be happy to hear that my dad has kicked cancer's ass. Now he's looking for whoever sent it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    this is a first-world problem. ever seen the bikes that people use in the third world? I saw bikes in Rwanda that NO american would dare ride, yet they were using them as taxis, schleping giant piles of fruit around, and riding up mountain roads, often in their bare feet.
    nice idea, except those bikes aren't even remotely equivalent to the department store junk available in the US.

  15. #15
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    Well more u spend the better but a $100 bike and a $1000 bike neither are going to last for crap if u don't take care of them and just treat them as disposable. But u spend $200 at WalMart and actually take care of it and maintain it, it'll outlast u. One thing ppl here don't get is bigbox bikes use many parts that many years ago were considered the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Well more u spend the better but a $100 bike and a $1000 bike neither are going to last for crap if u don't take care of them and just treat them as disposable. But u spend $200 at WalMart and actually take care of it and maintain it, it'll outlast u. One thing ppl here don't get is bigbox bikes use many parts that many years ago were considered the best.

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    That's cool that walmart bikes use XTR parts. I'll have to check it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Well more u spend the better but a $100 bike and a $1000 bike neither are going to last for crap if u don't take care of them and just treat them as disposable. But u spend $200 at WalMart and actually take care of it and maintain it, it'll outlast u. One thing ppl here don't get is bigbox bikes use many parts that many years ago were considered the best.

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    I don't think a $200 bike from Wal-Mart is going to outlast anybody.. If you were to ride a decent bike ONCE, at that moment you would have outlasted that bike.

  18. #18
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    For commuting? There are several options to be honest. Road, hybrid, single speed, rigid mountain with smooth tires....

    I commute, and for that, I chose a single speed. You can get them brand new for dirt cheap. On Sale Single Speed Bikes
    No gears to mess with. No cassette to change. No adjustments to make. No crappy "suspension" from Wal-Mart or Target. If you are going to ride 8-10 miles a day, get something that will last, so that you aren't spending $75-whatever every year because the bike is disposable.

    Any day of the week that ends in y, I would get a single speed bike from the site that I posted over some pos from Wally world to commute with.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    That's cool that walmart bikes use XTR parts. I'll have to check it out.
    Wheels on Wally bikes use loose bearings and cones....XTR hubs do too....

    Walmart=XTR

    Shit, I had it all wrong for years!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Well more u spend the better but a $100 bike and a $1000 bike neither are going to last for crap if u don't take care of them and just treat them as disposable. But u spend $200 at WalMart and actually take care of it and maintain it, it'll outlast u. One thing ppl here don't get is bigbox bikes use many parts that many years ago were considered the best.

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    Just stop.

  21. #21
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    Craigslist an older brand name bike. I have a nearly 20 year old Specialized Hardrock I picked up for 100 bucks of Craigslist for crusing around town and that thing shifts so smoothly. Definitely go used, you can easily find Treks, Specialized, Giant, etc used for under 150.

  22. #22
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    I have to say, I've thrashed my commute bikes at every pricepoint. I think it's actually really hard on bikes. I rode my commuters in all weather and often with a load on the rack.

    That said, I definitely preferred my $100 Craig's List specials to Big Box bikes. Most recently I bought a mid-2000s Trek Portland for $450; while it suffered some damage, it is a nice ride and I did a bunch of road miles on it yesterday.

    I think knowing one's vehicle is really important for commuting by bike. It let me leverage parts I had around or could get cheap at co-ops and my local used shop to keep my bikes rolling.

    Also, from maintaining older bikes, I think they're best maintained "period." Updates often open Pandora's Box.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    the OP seems to have a chip on his shoulder about "expensive" bikes. maybe I am wrong, but I have met people with this issue before.
    I see you've met my Dad. He thought I was insane when I bought my HT a couple of years ago for $800 (which was 1/3 off during an end of season clearance sale, BTW) when he sees Walmart selling FS bikes for $120. "See how much cheaper it is, and it's better because yours doesn't even have a back spring!"

    His thing is that he believes all bikes are the same, so you're just wasting money on a name brand bike from a specialty shop. I'm sure a lot of people share that belief.
    Speed solves all problems, except for those things it makes worse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjaguar View Post
    I see you've met my Dad.
    I just don't bother conversing with people who have that mentality anymore. you can't fix ignorance and arguing with them just makes them feel persecuted and self-righteous, and therefore less likely to amend their perspective. just let them ride crappy bikes and waste their own money. unfortunately, you don't want to ride with them either because you don't want to get stuck in the wood helping them fix their crappy broken bike all the time.

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    To add another point of people simply not knowing any better. I had a department store bike come through the shop today. Brand new bike, rear tire completely blown out to the point that I could fit my fist through the tread, fork on backwards, both disc brakes rubbing, the list goes on and on. The customer asked me to change the tire...and when I mentioned the other things he said "I just thought they were suppose to be like that".

  27. #27
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    I'm not saying there isn't a difference from a Wally bike to a trek for instance but how can u bash bikes u know nothing about. Look at a new basic trek or other brands what's fitted on them. Ull find the driveline is much the EXACT same. Same Shimano freehub, same shimano shifters, and the list goes on. At that level ur paying for warranty, service and a brand name sticker.

    Before trashing my comments due ur research just as I have. I own a trek 29er ht now but my previous bike was a Wally 26"fs. Replaced forks and rear shock using eBay and had tons of fun on it. 2 years later that bike still looks and rides like new.

    Op was asking about something and I answered with real info and hands on experience. Something many of u don't have cause u go by purely that its not brand name so it has to be crap.

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    someone on the internet is wrong! I shall not rest until I have defeated him!

    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Ull find the driveline is much the EXACT same. Same Shimano freehub, same shimano shifters, and the list goes on. At that level ur paying for warranty, service and a brand name sticker.
    no, they are not the exact same thing at all. your statement is simply, factually, literally, and logically NOT TRUE. that's like saying that, if Craftsman made a toy plastic hammer for kids, and a contractor's hammer for full-time construction work, the difference in price are only in the name. since they are both Craftsman tools, the fact that one costs $2.50 and the other $40 is just for suckers.

    Shimano makes a wide range of components from sub-par entry level that work fine on cheap bikes for gentle, occasional bike path usage, to full-blown race and downhill bikes. they look different and have different model numbers on them to differentiate them. there is a significant difference in price and performance on these items. shifters, freehubs (most of the hundreds of department store bikes I have seen don't have freehubs!), bottom brackets, derailleurs, shifters, brakes, etc are always the lowest-possible components available. the Shimano components you see on cheaper bikes are usually Shimano Tourney, TX, Acera, etc, while pricier bikes get Alivio or better parts. the more expensive parts are more difficult to produce and perform better. I know this from personal experience.

    no one here is "bashing bikes they know nothing about." as a bicycle mechanic and co-op volunteer, I know all about these bikes from working on hundreds of them. they are horrible. they don't last long, they don't work well, and they perform like poop in the meantime.

    also, you are really not doing anything to help your argument by typing in gibberish like you are six years old. please type words and use sentences so that you don't come off sounding like a doofus.

  29. #29
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    Honestly.

    The difference in quality and performance in an upgrade from a $80 Walgoose to a real brand MTB that costs $250 is probably alot higher than it is for $500 bike to a $5000 bike.

    Definately so when that $250 is a used bike has a real suspension fork, and disc brakes.

  30. #30
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    true. in the new bike market today, there is a bottom to the offerings available anywhere below which everything is mediocre. I do think that any bike purchased at a reputable bicycle shop is worth the extra cash because it was properly assembled and tuned. department stores generally do not employ qualified bicycle mechanics but "bicycle assemblers." even if a Wally bike is $175 and has Tourney components and a LBS offering also has the same basic level of components but a nicer frame and was properly set up, paying double is worthwhile in the long run.

    for example, a family brought in a wally bike and asked me to fix the brakes. the brake pads were rubbing the rim in several places because both wheels were so badly out of true that they looked like spinning tacos. I instructed them to return the bike because it would cost more to fix all the issues on the bike than it would to buy a new one. I meant for them to get a refund and not waste their money on just, but they just exchanged the bike for another of the same model, with all the same mechanical problems that would take more than a basic tune-up to fix. I mentally face-palmed myself and told them I would not work on it because I didn't want to take their money to temporarily fix something that could not be fixed for the long-term. I hope they got a refund, but it seems likely that they just accepted their preconceived, lowered expectations of how a bicycle should work and rode it anyways until it got its first flat tire, then just threw it away. while working at a bike co-op, I saw a lot of that- bikes that were disposed of because replacing a tire and tube cost more than replacing a disposable bike.

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    For me, owning a wally world bike was a great experience because I learned how to fix a whole lot of stuff on that bike. If you accept the fact that you're going to have to constantly fix and adjust stuff, the $100 wally bike is OK. I'd rather have a used $150 LBS bike though, but that's just because the parts on those bikes are readily available and usually better quality standardized parts. Just walking through a Target, looked at a bottom bracket on a new $250 schwinn with promax mechanical brakes and a no-name fork, and it wasn't even a cartridge bearing. Some cheap cup/cone setup. I'd rather have something I can fix than something I can't.

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    They go slow. very, very slow. They feel like they are going to fall apart. The one that was given away free at the gym I was a manager at was worthless, literally worthless. It would not have lasted ONE day on single-track, and no more than 10 (slow) days anywhere else.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by STACK View Post
    They go slow. very, very slow. They feel like they are going to fall apart. The one that was given away free at the gym I was a manager at was worthless, literally worthless. It would not have lasted ONE day on single-track, and no more than 10 (slow) days anywhere else.
    I think herein lies the problem with these kinds of threads. The majority of people that are regulars on this forum love to mountain bike on TRAILS. Then, somebody comes along and basically rides a bike on paved roads, paths, commuting, etc. and doesn't get that the base equipment functionality for either kind of riding is vastly different. It seems like generally, people get it and try to send them to the commuting forum (is there one?! yes there is!) or the family riding forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by girlonbike View Post
    I think herein lies the problem with these kinds of threads. The majority of people that are regulars on this forum love to mountain bike on TRAILS. Then, somebody comes along and basically rides a bike on paved roads, paths, commuting, etc. and doesn't get that the base equipment functionality for either kind of riding is vastly different. It seems like generally, people get it and try to send them to the commuting forum (is there one?! yes there is!) or the family riding forum.
    I definitely see the wisdom here, but I suburban commute on a MB a lot. It would take me an extra 15% longer (I'm being conservative there) on one of those $100 things. I have rode them briefly in the past, and ride past others on them. There is no question they are not built to take any kind of mountain biking, but I also question their effectiveness in riding from point A to point B on mostly pavement. I will say this, in the 4 years since the "bike give-away" of the $100 bike I would not have taken for free, ever, I have noticed dept store bikes have got slightly better. Meijer cariies a couple $299 models that look like they would work, eveb if 36-40 lbs. The "Iron Horse" series and things like that.

  35. #35
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    But if all you know are paths, do you know what it's like to ride a jarring, jingling pogo stick down a singletrack with your kickstand catching on a root or rock?

    I guess what I'm saying is, if you didn't know any better, you kinda have nothing to base it on except the other $100 bikes you've been on.

    Personally, as have been stated ad nauseum here, I would and do use an old used cross bike I got on CL and it is a fantastic commuter. I also would use a used, steel rigid mtb which have XT components on it from the 90's for $200-300. Those are on my local CL every day and I won't have to throw it away and get a new one every year. Landfill bikes make me sad.

  36. #36
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    At age 60 I bought my first non Wally type bike. Hadn't ridden in years. Got a wally Mtb on sale. Then bought a decent hybrid. Not top of the line, but what an improvement. I also gained the support of a LBS in the process. I am also supporting a small local business. Nothing but positives in getting a better bike.

  37. #37
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    The first thing most people ask when they see one of my bikes?

    "Where's the kickstand?"

    That's the extent of what most people want in a bike. Two wheels and a kickstand to park it. No arguing that mentality. The OP should continue with his Big Box Bikes.

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