The split between road cycles and mountain bikes is around 50/50. Some people prefer the lightness and ease of gear change of a road cycle, others tend to prefer a more robust bike for cycling like a mountain bike. Either way, there are a multitude of bikes available for the novice and pro rider alike. We know there are some pretty hefty price tags for bikes these days, and rightly so; they are great bikes. But how about the budget end of the spectrum? What about the cheap and cheerful side of cycling?
Here are our top tips for buying a budget mountain bike:
1: Trim The Fat
If you are going to buy a budget bike then weight is a big issue. Since an off road bike will need strength as a general prerequisite, their are only two ways to achieve this. Materials, or sheer weight. The lighter more expensive bikes will have hundreds if not thousands of dollars worth of materials like aluminium and carbon fibre in them to reduce weight. A cheap bike will be steel and iron, making it heavier and helping it stay in one piece should you have a cycle accident.
One of the big money savers on budget bikes is brakes. You can still get the old V shaped block brakes but if you want to avoid running into a car you should avoid these. Instead go for disc brakes, better stump up the extra and go for hydraulic too as the cable disc brakes take an age to wear in and need constant adjusting. Save your patience and your sore knuckles and get hydraulic discs front and back. And if you do decide to choose V brakes, get a good Personal Injury Attorney.
3: Bouncing Along
The major factor you will content with on a budget bike is suspension, or lack of it. Cheap bikes have terrible front and rear suspension because the parts they have to use are so cheap. They have to be cheap to keep it a low budget bike, but to the point where it’s hardly suspension at all. Stick with a rigid frame for a budget bike, and instead get some better tyres. You can soak up a lot of the bumps with decent tyres.
Here are 3 bikes you can pick up for less than $700:
A little on the heavy side but a great sturdy bike none the less. It might be too stiff for some people and the font fork isn’t as soft as it could be, but an otherwise great bike.
Vitus VEE 1
Actually aimed at the commuter market with its single gear, no suspension set up. Very trendy to look at and not to shabby on the performance side. Just don’t expect to take it off road with that single gear ratio. Great for Los Angeles in the summer.
Islabikes Beinn 29
Built by the world champion Isla Rowntree, this budget bike is a amazing for the price. All the right parts in all the right places and easy to upgrade when you get bored down the line. The best budget bike by a country mile.
When you go out to ride, make sure you wear a helmet and have the Bicycle Accident Assistant App on your smartphone.