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700C Commuter Bike (7-speed) $129 Pickup @ Kmart


Hi, I wish to share this clearance price for a bike that exceeded expectations.

I was looking for a cheap alloy frame with steel forks to build an eBike. (steel forks survive the torque of a hub motor)
Found this at only $129, very much a BSO price.
But only 12kg (a bit under on my scales), and rode well. The problem with most K-mart bikes is poor assembly and adjustment, more than the components, so get a bike shop to do it, or ask a friend if you lack the skills.

Drivetrain is Shimano, and even their entry-level performs well. Ok, the freewheel is a copy, but the hyperglide patent has long lapsed.
Front wheel gave a nasty click every circuit on braking - a common problem with cheap bikes due to the rims being pinned, rather than welded. But easily fixed by switching left to right.

This would make a fine bike for anyone wanting to commute a modest distance. Faster / less effort than a mountain bike, hybrid or "comfort bike", and not a thief magnet. Even so, use a D-lock.

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closed Comments

  • +149

    Your description is superb

  • +115

    Mate don't need the bike but gave you a +1 as I enjoyed reading your description 👍

  • +23

    Twist gears! Avoid like the plague.

    • +36

      My experience with Kmart bikes is they are complete junk. I have no idea why OP thinks he's stumbled on a gold mine with this bike but I wouldn't touch it with a 10 foot barge pole. You'd struggle to find a worse built bike than a Kmart bike.

      • +17

        Don't know why you're getting down voted
        It's a fair point
        These things are death traps on wheels (admittedly this is one of the nicer ones)

        Kmart bikes are definitely pay for what you get

        • +13

          I've tried to maintain a Kmart bike for a friend which looks of similar construction to this one. It quickly became obvious I'd have to spend the price of the bike itself just to keep it on the road, and it rode like a pig from day one. They use non-convetional parts and everything is extremely low quality (including tubes) and items quickly need replacement. I own several bikes of good quality and the difference is night and day between the kmart bike and my own. You get what you pay for. Kmart bikes are disposable.

          • +1

            @Budju: You can’t complain when the price is that cheap. And even if you start replacing parts you will still be saving money with this bike.

            • +8

              @bOngOCaT: Are you sure about that.

              Also.. myself, I have a conscience for the environment and many of these bikes will end up in the trash (in whole or in parts) .

              Buy quality and cry once
              Buy cheap and cry over and over

            • @bOngOCaT: A lot of times you won't be able to replace the parts that you need on these supermarket bikes. If you really want one because they are cheap, my recommendation is you should buy 2. You will soon think you rather walk to the shop or station than riding 1 of these.

            • +4

              @bOngOCaT: compared to renting a bike for the day in st kilda …..this pays for itself in 3 days of rental and no need to drop off or pick-up … i have a $3500 road bike, $1900 commuter, but i can see that this bike fits the bill for people doing short trips vs rent a bike.

          • +22

            @Budju: I don't understand how they're a death trap. People always say this. Sounds like hyperbole.

            • +13

              @justtoreply: yeah i've never seen anyone die from a kmart bike. There's hundreds of kids riding around on them.

              • -6

                @shxhshzhz: So.
                To help you comprehend this term ‘death trap’.

                Just because it’s titled as a death trap, doesn’t mean it will kill you.
                But… there is a greater possibility that it could.
                How to you prove that the injury was caused by a bike malfunction¿
                Especially when someone tries to sue a large corporation over this.
                Very difficult to prove tbh.

                Scenario 1:
                Now say your Kmart bike’s brakes were fitted incorrectly (thus has occurred more than once tbh).
                new to cycling so don’t know this issue off sight.
                You’re riding down a small decline and trigger the brakes and nothing happens..
                You use your feet (or shoes of course) to bring yourself to a complete stop.
                You then take your bike to a proper bike store and they use the term ‘death trap’ when referring to your bike.

                Scenario 2:
                Same as above but instead of a small incline you’re careering down a massive decline and putting your faith in the bikes brakes.
                You trigger the brakes and they don’t work.
                You career off the cliff below and die.
                Lawsuit attempted.
                Judge rules that you were just going too fast, skilled, forgot to trigger the brake, etc..
                Case lost.
                Kmart doesn’t bat an eye over this.

                So… yes… using the term ‘death trap’ for a bike that is a high risk of being assembled incorrectly is a decent term, as it can result in tragedy..

                • +8

                  @FredAstair: Before I adventure downhill or anywhere on a bike, I drag the bike with brakes on to see how grippy they are and give the brakes a few short skids to see how they react, regardless of how expensive the bike is…Everybody should do this and teach their kids……Now if you said Forks break or wheels collapse I would be concerned….

                  At the volume these are sold, Kmart would be bankrupt by your claim and if there was validity to your claim, lawyers would be onto this in a heartbeat…. As for the judge he would say the supplier as well as the retailer, have a duty of care for the product to be safe, hence why we have recalls.

                • +5

                  @FredAstair: Dude, it's called a commuter bike

                • +4

                  @FredAstair: OP did point out you need to get it assembled correctly and not trust Kmart for that bit.

              • +3

                @shxhshzhz: If they're dead you won't really see them though.
                I have seen the result of kids going over their handlebars if they assemble these at home though, it's not pretty

                And I've had ladies (they're always kmart mums) come back to my shop when I was a mechanic claiming we assembled their kmart bike wrong.

                When we'd go over it it would turn out either the brakes were bent from general use, gears were all over the place, again from general use, wheels were no longer true after a week of riding or the suspension had collapsed or rusted in the first month.

                They'd then have to take it to kmart to warranty and spend another $70 getting the warranty bike built

                • @Drakesy: What would you recommend buying as an alternative?

                  • +1

                    @davelarz: Any secondhand name brand bike

                    From the past 10 years would be a solid buy and outlast this

              • @shxhshzhz: every one of those kids will die sometime. maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe in 80 years. but they will only die because they rode a kmart bike.

                it's called causation.

                get educated /sarcasm tag

              • @shxhshzhz: Also it's because they pay settlements and deny culpability
                See here

            • +28

              @justtoreply: They're a death trap, because bike enthusaists would rather commit seppuku than be seen riding on one of those.

              • +1

                @Zaptruder: Sounds like a win for us motorists.

            • +2

              @justtoreply: A death trap here usually refers to the fact that a complicated machine as a bike is usually put together by store staff who are not bike experts and often doing this task in a time poor situation.

              I’ve heard horror stories of things like forks being put in backward, nuts not tightened, cables connected incorrectly.

              I feel this is one of the reasons why they can be referred to as death traps.

              • +2

                @FredAstair: This could also be done with an expensive bike in fairness.

          • +1

            @Budju: Yeah…these low end drivetrains just put people off cycling. Awful to ride with, and terrible to maintain. Once you've had (much) better you never go back, and it becomes a pleasure to go for a ride.

        • +3

          And so many articles on line state the same.
          Cheaper parts
          Badly put together

          Overall.. not worth it no matter how cheap they look.

          I buy from cycle shop
          Because of after sales service and you’re going to need maintenance and repairs and a good cycle shop will look after you as their main profit (from cycle store owner I’ve spoken to) is from selling you gear, not bikes.

      • +1

        Can you comment on Decathlon bikes as I’m looking for a low maintenance one for my daughter

        • +1

          Their kid bikes are pretty good. They have the cheapest 20 inch disc brake MTB on the market. If you can wait for their 50/20pc sale then you score a bargain. Their low end adult bikes are meh in term of C of components. Their bikes are assembled by bike mechanics so better than Kmart.

          • @theUnderdog: What is 50/20pc sale? Do they ever do 50% off sale on bikes?

            • +1

              @louuisc: I was referring to their 20 or 50 percent sale on bikes. And yes I bought my son a rockrider st900 at the last 50pc sale last year

        • -2

          As in the Decathlon that is staying in Russia to capitalise on the sudden exit of other companies?

        • +1

          I have two Decathlon bikes - CF900 & RC520, amongst others which reside in a higher price bracket. My stance is that Decathlon's higher-end offerings often punch above their weight in a value for money - the components used can be worth more than what they charge for the bike, if you get it on sale. The RC520 is a contender for bike radar sub £1K bike of the year: https://www.bikeradar.com/reviews/bikes/road-bikes/triban-rc...

          Their lower end offerings I find so-so. However, the good thing is that it is mechanic assembled, servicing is accessible, and charge less than other mechanics.

          • +1

            @ShoeyAU: Thanks really appreciate the sharing

      • +4

        The irony is that most of the bikes that actually imperil their users are high-end super-light carbon frames that disintegrate into confetti the moment they hit a pothole. Just google JRA (just riding around)..

        Ive never actually heard of a Kmart bike killing someone…

        • Exactly seen so.many more crashes on brand name bikes failing.

          • +1

            @Tleyx: Big risk is the steerer snapping so you hit the ground head first, like what happened with this guy on his $4000 Trek bike:-

            Or here:-

            The frame on this thing weighs a ton, so chances of that happening are pretty much nil.
            Main safety issue would be the brakes. As long as they are working properly, I dont see this bike as being in any way unsafe.

            • @cannedhams: But you're less likely for it to happen with a name brand bike

              Kmart still pays off the injured parties and denies culpability.

              • -1

                @Drakesy: No, you're more likely for it to happen with a name brand bike. Most catastrophic failures are on weight weenie bikes where the makers try and cut weight wherever they can.

                As for what happened with that lady's kmart bike, my best guess is there were one or more spokes already loose or popped, and another spoke popped in more or less the same place. The spokes opposite on the other side would have failed under the weight and then the spokes on the other side would have failed under the lateral stress.

                Another video about carbon steerer tubes failing - these are real death traps:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqA1VPEefpE

                • @cannedhams: Just for reference over my career I've built around 500 bikes in Alloy and carbon from $50 kmart bikes to $15,000 carbon weapons.

                  Out of them all I saw 3 name brand frames come back for cracks within 4 years (no failures though) and we're quickly warrantied. So a failure rate of <1%

                  Out of the 20 kmart bikes I built 5 came back with component and frame/fork failures within the first 6 months and they all ended up on the scrap heap after they saw what a few hundred $$$s more could get you

                  • @Drakesy: I'm not denying that this bike is a heap of crap, comparatively speaking. I reckon the tyres would be flat out lasting 3000km. For reference, I commute 40k a day on a bike and have owned everything from department store pluggers up to carbon frames.

                    The only time I had a catastrophic failure was a carbon frame, it blew out near the bottom bracket. I've cracked frames before, but at least alloy and steel give you warning. Carbon just blows. Having said that, the trek bike that killed that guy had an alloy steerer.

                    There are plenty of reasons not to buy this bike. I probably wouldn't. I bought a second hand trek multitrack for $60 and I reckon that was a better buy than this. But to say that this bike is a death trap is overegging it massively. Even that one kmart lady with the collapsed wheel didn't suffer any serious injuries.

        • all bikes need a box maintenance regardless of price, oil chain adjust brakes ….. if you do that they are as safe as a $1000 bike …..big leap i find is calmer to disc brakes ….that is price jump and for some people not worth it …….

    • +5

      Never had a problem with twist gears, done many thousand kms with them. Easy to use, maintain and quite reliable.

      The plague, on the other hand…

  • +2

    Is there a size on the frame?

    • +5

      The frame is not small, I'd say 1.7m minimum height for rider.

    • +3

      That was my immediate inquiry. No size specified anywhere, so if it's one size fits all, as an adult orientated bike it's likely to be either the dimensions of a L or on the large size for a M. I would say nothing worse, but that wouldn't be entirely accurate. Almost nothing that will destroy the pleasure of riding a bike and be a source of physical discomfort over commuting distance than a frame which is a poor fit on the too large side. IME a rider needs to be in the 180cm height range+/-1cm for bikes like this to fit. Unless you are, for this reason alone, avoid.

      Out of sheer curiosity I immediately had a look at the the lowest priced reliable brand and spec of an urban commuter in 2022, and I have to say, I did get a shock whilst at the same time being a experienced and regular bike rider of decades, I wasn't entirely surprised either. N.B. It was curiosity. I don't need one as I have 5 current different discipline/orientation personal bikes I am most satisfied with one of which inc. an urban bike. HT MTB + slicks/lockout + geared chainwheel & cassette ratios for ersatz road/path commuter use.

      Reality is, although the price is low and so appeals, its a false economy. This K-Mart bike is a dog that as is, will undoubtedly be gathering dust, cobwebs and rust in the corner of a garage or shed with a month of buying it. As a bike ride who is my own spanner man who can pull one apart and rebuild it from the frame up, not only is there a lot of work to do to turn this into a ride you'd want to ride on any daily commute, but the cost of even low end decent parts in 2022 to do so even buying from the likes of CRC or Wiggle negates it as a project. Just buy the cheapest Reid Commuter that fits you you can instead e.g. Reid Harrier 2 (under $400 inc. shipping), and actually save yourself money and a ton of grief. If you want to lash out, go Polygon, or wait for an ALDI's annual promo and buy the ALDI bike which in the past has been a rebadged Polygon marginally cheaper.

      • +5

        ALDI does not do Polygon rebranded MTB anymore. The one they sold last year is very average noname OEM hybrid

        • That's such a shame. When they were OEM Polygon, they were good value reliable entry level. I'd encounter a nearby neighbour and his daughter out and about on a pair of them regularly when out on my own morning rides, although that was back in 2018. They've since moved..

      • Reality is, although the price is low and so appeals, its a false economy.

        didn't Peter Brock try same stunt with Lada Samara in late '80s?

  • I've been eyeing this for a while but not stock locally for me :(

  • +20

    Bike shit.

    Better buy from a fb second hand but got to upvote you for your write up.

    • +11

      I feel like the people upvoting this 'deal' and neg bombing posts from people who know about cycling have never ridden a bike in their life.

      • +9

        But you, Budju, are an expert.
        We bow to you

        • +15

          Cashless, you buy this bike. It is perfect for you

          • +1

            @Budju: They're going to be lifeless if they do

      • +1

        i feel like the people neging - ride their bike 4k everyday and in lycra. So they have really high standards of what is acceptable for a bike. When if you just need to ride to the shops once a month this piece of metal will do fine.

        • +2

          based on my experience, any bikes are good for the price…

          but there is a difference between cheap bikes and cheaply made bikes which can take all the enjoyment out of riding…

          i do have expensive bikes, but i started from cheaper and 2nd hand bikes too…

          i think the minimum required to achieve pleasure from riding would be:

          • $700 brand new
          • $450 2nd hand

          2nd hand price may not be reliable these days due to pandemic causing inflated prices on the 2nd hand bike market…

          brand new bikes of good value can still be had at $700 but stock is scarce so you may have limited options in terms of sizing, etc

          • +2

            @4iedemon: Plenty of people don’t ride for pleasure

            They ride for convenience or price

            • +1

              @dtc: i think you understand what i mean by pleasure… it doesn't have to be lycra riding experience…

              some of the cheap bikes are so terrible you would think you hate riding regardless of the purpose of riding itself whether its for pleasure or as a necessity because you don't have a car etc…

    • +1

      Hard rubbish pick up FTW!

  • Thanks for the great description.
    How does this compare to a passable $500-600 Giant bike?

    • +1

      In terms of initial riding experience, not terribly different. But maintenance effort and longevity will differ.
      The $600 bike will survive harsher treatment.

        • +4

          That's not quite what I said. But please tell us your perceptions.

          • +17

            @bargaino: A $500-$600 giant will far outperform one of these.

            From wheels that won't buckle at the slightest curb to gears that change and brakes that will actually stop.

            Trust me I've built enough of these when I was a bike mechanic to know they belong in the scrap heap.

            Even reid cycles bike are better than these

            • +3

              @Drakesy: Wheel rims and brakes are definitely the weakest points, I agree. But that does not affect the "initial riding experience".
              Please try to understand what I was saying.

              • +3

                @bargaino: I do get that, if you want the new bike feeling then by all means go for this.

                Just as long as they accept the new bike feeling will last all of 2 rides before you wonder why you didn't just get a second hand name brand bike from 3-4 years ago for the same money.

                • +3

                  @Drakesy: Before pandemic Yes. Since this crazy COVID-19 happened all secondhand bike tripled in price. I sold my Avanti INC2 hybrid earlier last year for $50 more than what I paid for it in 2016

                  • +1

                    @theUnderdog: And I had a side hustle flipping them that made me a healthy profit last year as well.

                    However this has all subsided now that supply lines have caught up and prices are returning to the affordable norm. Just the last month I've seen bikes drop around 40-50% from covid levels before they sell.

                    Affordability on the seondhand market is back.

                  • @theUnderdog: Check auctions like pickles you can sometimes get a bargain on good bikes. They often sell for peanuts cause not many people bother to check or are even aware. I think they are unclaimed stolen property etc.

                  • @theUnderdog: Now isn't too bad anymore, I see lots of people selling bikes at reasonable price again … Mostly because no more lockdown and travel opening up and lots is people bought during COVID no longer riding… However if you don't know about bikes either get a fairly new one with no rust and test ride and pay a bit more or spend those extra saving and get a bike shop to do a full check. Remember you may only need 1 fall to realise it not worth the saving on a cheap bike or poor maintenance bike

    • +1

      It doesn't. Pass on this.

      If you want cheap, rideable and grief free, the Reid Harrier 2.0 just under $400 or similar around that delivered is about it -cheapest I would personally consider if I were that budget constrained. It uses lesser profile but definitely reliable decently performing if base level components where it counts, i.e. VP, KMC, Tekro, Kenda, and the CrMo frame will be OK and fit. i.e. available in a M. Not sure if it really has a freewheel rather than a cassette hub -the specs are poorly outlined, or if that's just a typo in the description.

      Edit: Just realised it's a fixie. No Cassette. Reid will have a geared commuter with cassette. Just search.

      • It is a 7 speed with twisted gear. No single speed here

      • Thanks, will avoid. Sounds like way too many shortcuts on the Kmart build.

    • +1

      Really different in riding (geometry, wheel true, hub, bb, shifting, ratios), huge difference in maintainence (screws are soft and easy to rust).

  • +7

    Read title as "700cc Bike $129" I was like YES!

    • Lol 700cc? thats a Yamaha MT07

  • Push bikes are easy to service but 129 is a compelling buy..if it is 12kg with the wheels ..a giant second hand at that price would need some work to get it to new

    • Giant is a top notch brand. This bike is absolute trash. What do you think the better choice is?

      • +3

        I have a Giant bike, plus both my kids' bikes, so you may be preaching to the converted :-)

      • A Giant frame is the only one I have ever broken - weld cracked at the bottom joint where the cranks are. And that was one of their mid level commuters, not entry level. I steer clear of them (and aluminum frames) after that

        • +2

          GIANT is fine, as is aluminium, and your prejudice to which you are inarguably entitled, is emotion based.

          It's unclear where you experienced the fracture from your sentence, the actual bottom bracket itself or where the downtube or seatube or chainstays are welded to the bottom bracket. And you don't mention how it was induced. But for a frame tube to fracture away from the weld, there'd have to be significant impact force applied unless it was an undetected manufacturing defect. With companies like GIANT and Polygon who use robotic welding manufacture and alloy fluid forming with brand QC, that's exceptionally rare.

          I've owned PEUGOT, GITANE, NISHIKI, REPCO, GIANT, MERIDA, POLYGON, AZZURRI, KHS to name but a few brands, CrMo, Alloy, Composite and Carbon and before that good old plain steel anchors in my youth and childhood. For recreational, training and sport use outside competition, I still prefer Alloy, Carbon/Alloy Composite or CrMo.

          GIANT would remain a preferred brand for me, but over the past 20 years the brand name has achieved a high profile a resulting in a price premium so they have lost their value position in the marketplace to alternatives. They remain however a solid reliable brand for those willing to pay that premium, I'm not. Polygon have replaced them for my need and purpose. Polygon are now what GIANT were two decades ago, but better.

          That said, I buy without brand prejudice to suit my need. I like Aluminium and favour it over Carbon for my purposes on and off road. Steel (CrMo) is actually the softest ride of the four. I like it and still ride my venerable 30 year old Made in Taiwan REPCO Victory Tri A frame as a training backup.

          Only failure I've ever personally experienced with aluminium is frame bottom bracket internal thread failure in a mid-high price segment MERIDA MTB within a week of buying and riding it which rendered the frame a throwaway. Fortunately it was covered under warranty. That could have happened with any material. MERIDA DEALER PRE-DELIVERY OR MACHINING FAIL DURING PRODUCTION. It happens. Doesn't make every MERIDA brand or alloy framed bike bad.

        • Giant is well respected brand in cycling world to deliver high quality bikes on lower budgets of around $2 grand for similar product to other manufacturers give for $4 grand. They are from Taiwan and make their efficiencies through manufacturing costs on labour and efficiencies from larger production volume. Again, they are high quality, so whatever happened with your situation is likely to be a rare anomaly.

  • +1

    Consider writing a book "Everything about a cycle". I didn't understand most of what your wrote but damn I enjoyed reading that

    • -4

      If he knew the first thing about cycling he wouldn't recommend this bike to anyone.

      • +2

        I concur

      • +7

        Department store bikes are quite similar to the low end of big brands like Giant, Trek, Cannondale or even Specialised. I support what ops said about assembly. My bro a bike mechanic and he had done several projects turning cheap Target/Kmart bikes into decent ride by simply adding more grease and tweaking gears. Of course it won't be the same with your Ultegra DI2 road bike. Compare it with the $500/600 entry level ones. For the average riders, it also doesnt cost a bomb not to mention several months waiting.

        BTW my daily ride is a Norco. I also own a Polygon T8 for weekend fun and currently building a Surly Karate for my first touring

      • +7

        I was ignoring you up until now but seriously mate I have dmridden nothing but kmart bikes my whole life and this "death trap" business is a bunch of bologne. Yeah if you buy a kmart mountain bike and go down hill diriding it's not a good idea, and they might be slow and heavy, but there's plenty of people who can buy a bike like this, set it up themselves watching YouTube videos and ride it around town without killing themselves that wouldn't ever spend 600 bucks on a bike.

        I don't ride that much but nothing I have picked up in the last 10 years has been more than 60 bucks and my current bikes were all free.

        While we are at it let's make the cost of entry if bicycling 600 bucks, after all we cna just alineante half he country, they should walk

        • +1

          It's more for $129 you can pick up a secondhand name brand bike that will have far better everything and a frame that won't rust at the slightest amount of water.

          This is literally the dregs of the parts bin, and no it's not bicycle wankery talking its basic human safety.

          • +6

            @Drakesy: On ebay within 100km from me there's only 7 bikes, and 4 of those are women's and kids. Yeah you could scrounge around and hang out but if you need a bike now then you can duck into a kmart and get one.

            I am not saying there aren't other options for people with patience, but this deal doesn't warrant the abuse of bike snobs. Not to mention that with this everything is new and won't need to worry about worn tyres, brakes etc. You could do a lot worse than this at kmart too, the set up is better than most mountain bikes etc.

            • +1

              @Jackson: That's ebay
              Marketplace and gumtree literally have hundreds if not thousands of them

        • +1

          nothing but kmart bikes my whole life and this "death trap" business is a bunch of bologne


          I think you mean baloney

          this deal doesn't warrant the abuse of bike snobs

          You need to calm down. People are allowed to give advice on here, just as much as you. Ozbargainers are usually smart enough to at least check the comments to find out if there is a catch to the cheap price.

          I am a Kmart fan but not of their bicycles. You are better off buying secondhand branded bicycles. (Having said that, watching Hambini on YouTube has pretty much ruined my view of all bicycle and component manufacturers… The AbsoluteBlack roasting was particularly entertaining though!)

  • +4

    Thanks for the writeup! I don't need a bike but I suggested it to a couple of my friends who need something to commute around. They could also use it to get some exercise when they feel like heading out for a ride.

    Excellent price at $129, I hope they get it so I can see what it's like hehe :)

    • +3

      They could also use it to get some exercise

      This bike will be perfect for that!

      I'd say that it's so inefficient that the rider will get a great workout riding on the flats. It'll come with features such as sticky bearings, rubbing rim brakes, poorly indexed gears, and if you're lucky you'll get one without factory buckled wheels. They are cheap to maintain though, as bike shops will not work on them as they won't consider it safe to ride. On the upside you get to learn DIY bike maintenance and repair.

      • Tank you for the funny.

        I read this entire comment in a stereotypical TV ad voice. "Now with our BRAND NEW DRIFT TYRES!" (cheap tyres with no grip).

        I would generally think exactly this about a $129 Kmart bike, but this entire comment section of the post has convinced me otherwise. Now I'm not sure if it's a good idea anymore, if they even have the slightest bit of doubt, I'll agree with them and change topic -_-

  • +3

    12kg is pretty reasonable for a bike at this price. The average (non E-bike) commuter won’t be disappointed

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