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I ride a $200 mtnBike that I bought 20 years ago. Can you still get a $200 bike?

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I ride a $200 mtnBike that I bought 20 years ago. Can you still get a $200 bike?

Old 10-30-20, 05:17 PM
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CheGiantForLife
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I ride a $200 mtnBike that I bought 20 years ago. Can you still get a $200 bike?

Sometimes, I see people asking about buying a bike. Try a new hobby.
Odds are, they will ride it twice and then it will sit in the garage for the next 30 years.
People are telling these guys to buy a $1000 bike. That is insane.

I ride a $200 Giant mtnBike 26" that I bought 20 years ago. So should most new people.
Front shock. I ride to the gym, and the deli, and I have done beginner basic light trail riding on it, when younger.
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...l#post21696379

Most consumer items have not gone up in price in 20 years.
Can you still get a basic $200-$300 bike? What?
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Old 10-30-20, 05:31 PM
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It seems the days of sub-$300 bikes are gone.
What is the new $250 bike price point of today? $500 ?
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Old 10-30-20, 05:33 PM
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$200 in 2000 equates to $300 now; $300 is $450 now. I think you probably can get such a bike, but it wouldn't be very good.

Those inexpensive suspension forks didn't age well. I have a cheap bike I'm converting to a commuter and I'm waiting on a rigid fork.

It's a bit of a conundrum telling a newbie what to buy. If you think you will enjoy riding, $1000 is nothing. Although I have put together some $750 hybrids that I really like. Rigid fork though
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Old 10-30-20, 05:34 PM
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Yes. You can still get a bike for 200 but don't expect it to be the same quality as the one you bought for the same price 20 years ago. While consumer products involving electronics haven't gone up much or in some cases have gone down, products like bikes have increased just based on the price of materials, components, labor, and inflation. $200 in the year 2000 is $300 in 2020 dollars.

Might be a better question to ask what a comparable bike would cost today. Check out the Giant site and look at some of the basic hybrid's or rigid MTB's and see what they cost.

I'm still using the Giant MTB I got back in the early 90's for early morning and wet weather rides. I think it was $250 new but not sure.
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Old 10-30-20, 05:41 PM
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I think there are probably lots of older 26" MTBs that could be bought for $200-$300. They would work fine for the sort of casual riding OP describes. A $200 MTB wasn't much of a bike 20 years ago but the ones that sold for $1000 or so back then would be at that price point now.
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Old 10-30-20, 05:44 PM
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My $200 bike still works great. Still has the original tires.
This summer I had to tighten the lock nut which had gotten loose.
Good as new!
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Old 10-30-20, 05:45 PM
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So Giant is still a good entry level brand like it was 15 years ago?
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Old 10-30-20, 06:00 PM
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20 years on one set of tires is exceptional And yes, Giant still has bikes from good to great.
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Old 10-30-20, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Those inexpensive suspension forks didn't age well.
My bike still works just great.
I am not riding down Porcupine Ridge so the front forks are perfectly fine for grocery store trips
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Old 10-30-20, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
20 years on one set of tires is exceptional And yes, Giant still has bikes from good to great.
Bike has been garaged entire life, not used a lot, and tires show zero signs of wear or dry rot.
I fully expect another 20 years from these tires.
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Old 10-30-20, 06:04 PM
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Buy used. Original condition Nishiki tourer from the '80s that was exactly what I wanted. Two hundred bucks.

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Old 10-30-20, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
My $200 bike still works great. Still has the original tires. !
If your 20 year old bike still has original tires it means that that you don't ride it a lot. Anything that's not used is going to last for a very long time.
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Old 10-30-20, 07:45 PM
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Sure, you can buy a $200 bike. You just wouldn't want to ride it.
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Old 10-30-20, 09:01 PM
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I'd say the new price point for a good new bike is around $600. This puts you in the category of a good hybrid (Giant Escape 2, Trek FX 2, etc...)

Think of it this way, your $200 bike lasted you 20 years. How many people pay hundreds for a new mobile phone, then replace it with next years model ever 1 or 2 years.
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Old 10-30-20, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by CheGiantForLife View Post
Bike has been garaged entire life, not used a lot, and tires show zero signs of wear or dry rot.
I fully expect another 20 years from these tires.
If you never ride the bike, it doesn't matter if it is good.
You can buy a $100 BSO and store for 20 years.
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Old 10-30-20, 09:40 PM
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we see the same thing with cheap e bikes. cheap on a e bike is around 1000.00 there are a few lower but many you really get the junk then. I see people bragging how great their 800.00 e bike is. =I look a a bike with the lowest end components that weights 70 pounds and a battery you would be lucky to get two years out of. but if its going to sit around why spend more?
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Old 10-30-20, 11:17 PM
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no bike that mostly takes up space is a good deal. The cheaper the bike, the less likely it is that it will be ridden.
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Old 10-31-20, 05:02 AM
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I still ride a 30+ yr old GT that I got 7 years ago for $85




And this was a low end model.

Last edited by Oakman; 10-31-20 at 05:09 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 10-31-20, 06:06 AM
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Yes, you can still buy a new bike for less than $200 like this Schwinn Pathway advertised at $149 from Walmart. I am sure this bike is of lower quality than a $200 bike from 20 years ago. No serious bicycle rider would want to ride one of these as they are of such low quality. If I only had $200 to spend I would look at buying an older used bike that was in good working condition. See picture of new $149 Schwinn and link below.







https://www.walmart.com/ip/700c-Schw...Black/48520130
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Old 10-31-20, 06:50 AM
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OK, that Schwinn is perfect for what I am talking about.
Looks like a great value at $150.
Walmart for the win!

I prefer the look of mountain bikes. Looks like the $200 price point is still alive.
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Rigid-Mou...-Blue/42300165

$98. What an insane value for someone who just wants to ride a few miles to work
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Roadmaste...Blue/728826935
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Old 10-31-20, 06:55 AM
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$200 did not get you a true trail worthy MTB 20 years ago. At least not new.

The reason people are suggesting $1k bikes is under the assumption that the person in question is going to ride regularly as an enthusiast.

If you are still running the same tires from 20 years ago and they have not worn down to the barest of threads 5 years ago, you are not riding it very often and there is no need for a $1k bike.

Last edited by Kapusta; 10-31-20 at 07:00 AM.
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Old 10-31-20, 08:36 AM
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I was no beginner in 1997. I was 35 years old with 5 years of daily bike commuting under my belt after a lifetime of casual biking. I bought an entry-level Nishiki Blazer mountain bike for $240. It was my only bike for the next 12 years, and then still my go-to commuter. Five years ago I bought a new mid-range semi-touring bike to replace it, but I still use it as my SUV/Cargo/Snow and Ice bike and just for fun, especially since putting big smoothies on it for summer, and even more so since converting to drop-bars last year!

The frame, wheels, derailleurs and gears are still original (the front gears were upgraded a week after I bought it). The back rack is from the previous bike I bought in 1987. Just some "less-than-routine" maintenance has kept this "big-boned", callipygian cruiser fun, nimble, comfortable and deceptively fast. (Big girl can DANCE!)

I don't know if there are any comparable entry level bikes today that would hold up to the abuse this bike has.

My 1997 Nishiki Blazer MTB is amazing!
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Old 10-31-20, 08:53 AM
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If you want to read people rail about Walmart bikes there are plenty of posts on this site. This $149 bike is a moot point as like most entry level bikes it is “out of stock” at Walmart. There are going to be several problems with buying a $150 bike. How well was it assembled? The assemblers at Walmart may have zero ability when it comes to bike mechanics. Case in point, the Scout who showed up at one of my cycling merit badge rides with a brand new Walmart bike. I had neither the time nor inclination to go through the bike except for safety features like adequate brakes and steering. The cranks fell off within the first two miles of the ride. The assembler hadn't tightened them well. The bike weighed half the kid's weight. By the following ride three weeks later he was on his third Walmart bike. He didn't complete either ride or the merit badge. After two rides (both interrupted) he never again rode a bike with us on any subsequent bike activities. It was a great way to turn off a kid to cycling!

If you buy one of these ultra cheap bikes, be prepared to go through it completely. Make sure it was assembled correctly. That includes disassembling parts that have bearings to be sure they were properly lubricated and adjusted. When you buy a bike manufactured, and shipped from China, assembled here, and still allowing for profit for Walmart, don't expect quality, long lasting components on the bike.

If you are extraordinarily lucky you can find some quality used bikes but with the shortage they are few and far between. I own a good quality Cannondale bike that I bought for $20 at a thrift store. It is about 27 years old but still a beautiful ride. BTW anyone riding a bike with 20 year old tires is really pushing it from a safety issue. No tire was designed to hold up that long even if stored under the best of conditions. Sidewalls get less flexible and the tire cord ages.
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Old 10-31-20, 09:11 AM
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I've been looking for a relatively guilt-free entry into MTB recently (I ride and race road and CX). It's amazing how 20+ y/o MTBs still pass for $200 minimum on craigslist (I think they're overvalued, both the bicyclebluebook and my personal assessment puts them under $100, but my area is overpriced even in non-covid times). I think to have an actual proper MTB, and not just a MTB looking ride, it's going to have to be around $1k. Otherwise there are too many compromises with components to handle rocky trails. I think the barrier to entry with road is far less, I ride and am more than happy to recommend modern Claris equipped bikes as nearly as good as top end bikes with nearly no compromises.

I think some folks on youtube, notably kevcentral, show that big box bikes are getting closer to being functional MTBs, especially if one has the mechanical skills to gradually upgrade to more robust components, so I think there's hope in the $250 range, but with caveats.

As for my hunt, it snowed here yesterday, and I train indoors primarily, so I'm getting on with my base training starting next week so the search is tabled until a future date!
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Old 10-31-20, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
I've been looking for a relatively guilt-free entry into MTB recently (I ride and race road and CX). It's amazing how 20+ y/o MTBs still pass for $200 minimum on craigslist (I think they're overvalued, both the bicyclebluebook and my personal assessment puts them under $100, but my area is overpriced even in non-covid times). I think to have an actual proper MTB, and not just a MTB looking ride, it's going to have to be around $1k.
!
If entry level bikes from Giant and the like are now $600, then $250 for a used one seems fair.
Inflation makes used goods appreciate in price also. Replacement cost of goods.

My $200 bike has been fine for commuting, errands, and beginner trail rides.
This is adequate for most people who are just dabbling.
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