More times than not most people that are looking to buy a road bike are only looking at the price of the bike and not the quality. Although price is obviously important, it is equally important to recognize the value based on the price you are paying for the bike.
There are several considerations you must take into account when you begin your search for the best road bicycle for you.
There are many places to find used bicycles on the Internet today. Craigslist has hundreds available for sale in every imaginable category and price range. If your budget is tight then this might be a good option for you. The problem with buying a used bike is that you really do not know how many hours are on the bike and what condition the bike is really in. Although the bike may look clean you may not notice the small details, this will absolutely be the undoing of the bike.
You must look carefully at the components to see if you can see obvious wear on the metal. Naturally all bike parts will always wear out, it is the degree of wear that you must concern yourself with. You must inspect the frame carefully because if there is a stress fracture in one of the welds then you might as well throw the bike away.
Components can be changed provided you are willing to do the work yourself. You can go to a bike shop and have them do it for you but the cost will be exponentially higher. These are just some of the concerns when you buy a used bike. Not to mention that if the bike has a structural failure while you are riding it you risk serious injury or worse.
Mid-Range Price VS Low-Range Price
There are three price ranges for road bikes, but for the sake of this article we will only discuss the mid and lower range road bikes. These bikes range in price from $ 200 – $ 400 for the lower priced bikes and $ 400 – $ 1200 for the mid priced bikes. Now you may say that $ 1200 is a lot of money for a mid range priced road bike but when you take into consideration that you could pay upwards of $ 10,000 for a higher priced road bike it does not seem so high.
The difference between these bikes is the quality of the frame, crank, derailleur, gears, brakes, tires, seat, head post, handlebars etc. So basically the overall quality of the bikes will be as different as night and day. Although you will probably be getting a Shimano derailleur on both bikes you will be not getting the Shimano XTR Shadow on the low priced road bike This holds true for most of the components on the road bike. If it does not matter to you then by all means get the inexpensive bike as opposed to the more expensive road bike.
Cost Of Repair
If you factor in the cost of replacement for the cheaper components you have to ask yourself what you really saved by buying the cheaper road bike. To replace the derailleur will cost you anywhere from $ 100 to $ 200 and and more depending on the bike shop and the derailleur you choose to replace it with. The same holds true for most of the components on the bike. The total cost of replacement will certainly out price the original price of the road bike.
The rule of thumb is that if you buy cheap you get cheap.