My old mountainbike has been stolen. Locked in front of a grocery store. Which is a pity. It wasn’t a particular expensive bike but it was a good bike. I started figuring out what I wanted to do. Buy a new bike? Commute on my Cross bike again? I ended up deciding to buy a cheap cheap bike to do these rides on.
I’ve always had a problem with the concept of having a pub bike / cheap bike to commute and running errands on because why wouldn’t you always want to ride a nice bike. But now cheap bikes here are about the cost of 1½ – 2 insurance approved locks and a good lock isn’t always enough to stop someone stealing the bike. And at some point you have had enough bikes stolen to give up and just get a cheap bike.
So how do you choose a cheap bike? There aren’t reviews of them and the components are often unknown. And does it even matter, you are just riding around town anyway. If you live in the US you can check out kevcentral on youtube – he covers cheap bikes from the big box stores. I don’t live in the US so that didn’t help me much. So I looked around the local stores for some choices. The cheapest bikes seem to be single speeds with 19c/21c tires. Which seems like an odd choice for a cheap bike used for commuting. I’m not against single speeds, but I like cake too much to buy a bike with 19c tires. I have no idea why these are even still made.
I was lucky to find a cheap no name bike with 3×7 gears (which seem to be popular on cheap hybrids), treadless headset, mounts for fenders and racks. Now don’t get me wrong I won’t love this bike but it is decent enough to ride on and I’m willing to ride it so I don’t get a bad feeling every time I park it to go shopping. A little peace of mind.