When looking to buy a bike, consumers seem to have many options at their disposal. But the amount of choice is very deceiving: just because more stores sell bikes at prices they think are competitive doesn’t mean these prices are actually competing!
An expensive bike does so many things a cheaper model can’t, including handling hard trails and longer rides without breaking down. If you’re eyeing a cheap bike from a major retailer that doesn’t specialize in cycling, you won’t save money. This is why we’ll use the term “expensive” in quotation marks: for serious cyclists, an “expensive” bike is actually a great investment and will save them money!
“Expensive” Bikes Can Go More Places
For cyclists who want to ride rough terrain or long distances, a cheap bike won’t cut it. The manufacturers of “expensive” bike use lighter, stiffer materials with components made to handle the most extreme conditions. Many companies save their highest-grade carbon fibre for top models and use less-expensive materials, like heavier carbon, aluminum, and steel, for the lower tier.
Still, the disparity among top-quality bikes isn’t wide. The difference between these and cheap models found at a major retailer, however, is night and day. You might see a familiar brand name at a store like Walmart, but in all likelihood, a completely different team designed and built this mass-market model. Cyclists can’t seriously consider taking a cheap model on a rugged, lengthy mountain trail if they want to finish the route with the bike in one piece.
“Expensive” Bikes Use Higher Quality Components
Manufacturers of cheap bikes don’t put a lot of time and thought into the design or components. Cyclists won’t be able to replace the shifters or rear mechanicals with quality-made parts without a lot of work. “Expensive” bikes, on the other hand, have a considerable amount of engineering behind them to increase the efficiency and durability of the model.
These decisions improve the fit of the bike, letting the cyclist sit in the best position for its intended use. By paying a little more upfront, you can expect every component to help your bike and body stand up to the demands of the route!
“Expensive” Bikes Are Easier To Work With
As cyclists spend more time on their bikes, the desire to swap out components like pedals, tires, and handlebars makes sense. But this isn’t always possible with a cheap model, despite the fact that the bike might need the changes more quickly. A mass-market model comes almost completely assembled from factories that don’t specialize in making bikes. This means fewer gears, cheaper chains and frames that rust more quickly and slipping seat posts.
Manufacturers design and make their “expensive” bikes to avoid these pitfalls. The cyclist or a shop can oil or change parts that otherwise would be inaccessible. Rather than having to replace the whole model every few years, you can take the bike into our shop for a tune-up!
With Bikes, You Get What You Pay For
There’s nothing wrong with opting for a cheap bicycle per se, but the rider should be aware that their riding options will be limited. As shown in the preceding points, the biggest difference between a cheap and “expensive” bike is overall quality. Even if the specs look the same on both the cheap model and a pricier bike, the quality of the materials used to make the frame and features is going to be very different.
This means that while you’ll save money in the short-term by going with a cheap model, the money you’ll pay to repair and replace this bike over the years will be more costly. On a high-quality bicycle, you will get hundreds, maybe even thousands of kilometres before needing repairs. With more fit options, your body will thank you, too!
The best way to understand the difference is by talking to the Outspokin Cycle team. We can show you what makes certain models worth the price and how to choose the right bike for your needs!