Decent Bike around $300-400: Single Speed or Geared?

With the budget, I think it would be difficult to find geared bike. I came across to Single speed bikes, not much of maintenance and not that expensive too.

I usually won't be riding at steep hills, just for general use: fitness/recreation, along footpaths, bike paths (with some hills but not very sharp/steep), park ride with nephews, max 2 or 3 times a week.

Came across to these 2 options:

1) https://www.reidcycles.com.au/products/harrier-2-0-matte-bla...

2) https://www.99bikes.com.au/pedal-messenger-gotham-52cm-1

They both are AU businesses and could be turned into a single speed or fixed gear. Both are lightweight, come with lifetime frame warranty, 2 years parts warranty, free assembly and servicing. Anyone had any experience with them?

Appreciate the input fellas.

Comments

  • +1

    I've bought from Reid before; I had a good bike for the money. And they threw in a few things like pump etc.

  • +1

    I have a Reid Harrier. I have riden it about 15km a day (to/from work) everyday for about 3.5 years. I have replaced the the back sprocket/hub thingo once, brake levers once and obviously tires and brake pads. Seems to be holding up OK.

    Personally however, given a choice I would go with the 99 Bikes option. At this price point I imagine they are very similar quality low tier bikes, but 99 bikes will give you better service if you need help. For example, To change the hub on my Harrier, I had to go to 99 bikes to get the old one removed (Reid didn't have the right tool), but then I still had to buy the part from Reid.

  • +1

    Gumtree/marketplace

    Although if you held a gun to my head and forced me to ride one i'd pick the Reid. (both made in China/Taiwan lets not forget).

    FWIW Neither of these i'd classify as great bikes and as a previous bike mechanic the repairs on this can quite quickly write-off the bike. The tyres, wheels, seat, brakes all degrade rather quickly.

    • +1

      Gumtree/marketplace is definitely the way to go (even if to pick up a second hand Reid for a $100 off retail). And if you’re in Sydney, a couple of gears won’t go astray for sure!

  • +2

    I wouldn’t get a single speed bike..

    • Any reason?

      • +3

        Even small inclines you want gears..

        • TBH, we have all become a little pampered, wanting 21-speed ultra light bikes just to get up small inclines.
          It does make life easier, but it isn't absolutely necessary.

        • Not always. While it’s nice to be able to shift down a gear normally I quite enjoy riding my fixed gear bike. Just need to be prepared to put in an effort on the hills.

          It encourages you to ride at a more consistent speed as well. When commuting time varied a lot more when riding a geared bike because it was easier to ride at different speeds using the same cadence.

      • +1

        Sydney roads are the reason.
        Not the flattest city out there.

  • +1

    Grab a better bike secondhand. You want those gears. The first time you've got a slight incline and a bit of a headwind, you'll thank yourself.

  • If I couldn’t find one second hand I’d pick the cheaper if the two. Likely to be very similar spec and build wise, possibly even out of the same frame factory.

    Single speed riding with kids isn’t great. They often ride a too slow for the gearing to be efficient and it ends up being quite hard work to keep moving.

  • +1

    Single speed is great for cruising, short trips and you can go zero maintenance. You won't really care if it gets stolen and thieves won't bother since they are practically worthless.

    I've owned a Gotham for a very long time and don't really ride it. Let it sit outdoors and unused for a very long time and the freehub sized up - easy + cheap to replace since its a eBay China part. Brakes always sucked but you're probably not going fast anyway.

    I've been thinking of getting a geared touring bike for $$$$, so it was a low cost entry fee into the hobby.