I hear people saying if only they could afford a bike, or find a good bike for less than $500 dollars, they might commute. Well, here are a few ideas, from new to used, here is a listing of bikes under $500…some may just be under $500, but they’re under. Most are fairly stripped down, but you then start adding accessories as you find you need them.
First off, if you’re in a tight spot financially start your search at a local thrift store. Many people donate bikes that are in good enough shape or they may only need minor repairs, but you can generally get into a bike for anywhere from $15 – $25 dollars. The down side to this is that it is just left to dumb luck or being able to check frequently. There are no guarantees that you’ll find a good bike, but it never hurts to check. I have two bikes that are thrift store finds, but we just happened to be there on the right day.
Second, see if you have any second hand bike shops in your area. I know here in Columbus we have a small handful. The bikes at these places cost more than the thrift store, but considerably less than a brand new bike. My wife and I stopped in at one store here in Columbus called Once Ridden Bikes. Many of the bikes we looked at averaged $100 – $200. All of the bikes had been gone over, repaired, and were ready to be ridden out the door. Mind you, it’s hit or miss, you just have to stop in and look to see if there is something you like and then if it’s in your size.
Third, is a brand new bike. Yes, you can get a brand new bike for under $500. Many of the big mane manufacturers have bikes at the less than $500 price point.
Swobo bikes has the Folsom 1 speed w/coaster brake for $479
Kona has the Africa One for $375 (Check out Kona Bike Town for the origins of this bike)
Giant Bikes has the Transend for $490
Those are just a few of the bikes that you can get for under $500. There are too many others to post them all here, so go do a bit of research based on what I have here.
Now, I purposely left out bikes from big box stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, or Meijer for one big reason, no real customer support and a total lack of good info about your purchase. I may be cracked, but you’ll get100% better service at your local bike shop, not only that, but better follow up sevice. Why? Because the folks at your local bike shop also ride bikes, the bikes their selling, so you’ll be better informed.
*EDIT: Dec 22 08* So, if you happen to be in a position where the best option for you to buy a bike is one of the big box stores, taken the time and have a wrench at your local bike shop take a look at it to make sure it is assembled correctly. The last thing anyone needs is to be injured on a new bike, because it was improperly assembled. I’m just looking out for you.
Hope this posts helps some of you.