Cheap bikes...... I love them. I'm not talking about the crap you'll find at your local department store whateverthef*ck-mart, I'm talking about well built cheap bikes that are real working machines and not a bicycle shaped object picked up from the toy department.
It seems that I always find myself buying a relatively cheap bike ($1000-1500) and upgrading it to my personal tastes / bomb-proofing. I'm not interested in pop can thin aluminum tubes for lightweight racing or the high cost of carbon fiber frames. Cheaper aluminum frames use heavier wall tubing without as much shape manipulation, which IMO makes a better bike..... for me at least. Although harder to find now, cro-mo frames can be had cheaply as well.
Some of my favourite cheap bikes you ask? Well I've had a few over the years.....
1) Norco CCX3 - $875 +tax
What a work horse. This bike has done it all for me. Road riding, gravel grinding, rail trail jaunts, even some singletrack work. It has seen 25c racing slicks, 32c commuter tires, 35c cross tires, fenders, racks, panniers, kids pulled in trailers... the list goes on. Who can fault a 29lbs cross bike with disc brakes for the price? Especially one that withstands the abuse of a clydesdale on a weekly basis.
2)Nashbar Big 'Ol Fatbike $1100
The only mountain bike I own right now. 4130 chromoly steel frame, 4" wide tires, can run it 29er+ (a format that I'm beginning to really love), decent parts from the OEM. Heavy? Sure. Sexy? Nope. Solid? Like an anvil. I've beat this thing for a year now and have no faults with it except the rear hub died, spent $90 on a replacement and we're good to go again. Bric approved.
3)Origin8 Scout 29er frameset $250
I had bought this frameset from feebay and built it with parts in my bin into a nice rigid singlespeed 29er. another bike made from 4130 it served me well. A nice frameset that would be my go-to choice to build another 29er - singlespeed or geared. Sold it a couple of years ago and have missed it.
Its always nice to see what people make of cheap bikes. Some bike snobs will scoff at your run of the mill $1000 hardtail with an aluminum frame and cheap fork. Fack em! A bike is what you make it, and no matter what you spend it will be seeing some upgrades I'm sure. If the bike feels too slow or heavy - pedal harder. I've seen people on cheap 38lbs fat bikes out ride the guy on a carbon fiber state-of-the-art race machine. Its all about the engine.
I love cheap bikes.
The Bric...._ mountain biker, road rider, heavyweight gear abuser. Built like a brick sh*thouse. No bike is safe.