Top positive review
57 people found this helpful
Best bike for the price, with some caveats.
on June 1, 2013
If you're like me, you are looking to get an entry level road bike without paying the standard entry level cost of ~800 bucks. My previous Trek hybrid was stolen and I needed a new bike to start training for a hike. After doing my research, I zeroed in on this bike as being the one with the least mechanical complaints, the best visual design, and the best price point. I was right. The bike rides well, is easy to assemble, and looks great, and I saved a lot of money by not getting a brand name.
The bike arrived and I unpacked it to discover that a spoke had broken off the front wheel in shipping. I immediately called Amazon customer service and they resolved things quickly to my satisfaction. The assembly was pretty straight forward for not having instructions to look over, but myriad youtube videos clarified unclear issues.
Aside from the broken spoke, I had to align the brake pads and tighten the brakes, but the big issues that I couldn't fix were that the brake calipers were crooked and made my brakes not hit the tire at the same time, and also that the wheels were not true.
Since I'm riding in NYC I needed to make sure this thing wasn't going to get me killed. So I took it to the shop and they were able to fix the spoke and straighten up the brakes without any problem. I pointedly asked them their thoughts on the bike and if I needed to upgrade any parts -particularly the cheap looking brakes- but to their credit they said no, and that if I don't plan on racing, then this bike is solid and I should just enjoy it.
I've ridden the bike for several miles now across NYC and it holds up very well. The seat was comfortable with my bike shorts and the gears shifted accurately. The bike is definitely a bumpier ride than my old Trek hybrid, but that might just be standard road bike bumpiness, or something I can resolve later through upgrading parts etc. The brakes are not great. I don't stop instantly at full speed, and it feels like I need a good 2-5 ft of clearance to come to a stop at full speed. I will buy new brake pads for 10 bucks to correct this.
Here is the best endorsement I can give, the bike is such a good deal that after taking it to the shop and riding it around central park I ordered the women's model for my wife. This bike is probably the best entry level priced bike you are going to find anywhere. It looks like a higher end bike, and is built pretty well. I think most of the mechanical complaints mentioned in other reviews here are because of user error (not filling up tires enough, not screwing on the pedals tight enough etc.) And with the money you save, you can upgrade a ton of parts and still not spend as much as you would on a brand name bike. So, buy it, but just know you'll need to take it to the shop for a tune up before it's trafficked-road ready.