BSO to a real bike, Advice?

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BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby Brotality » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:09 pm

Hey guys,

A few month ago I bought a foldable BSO from Aldi, It was a bit hard at the beginning since it was my first time one a bike in 8 years, but I sticked with it, and now I'm averaging around 12km daily on it (just for exercise/fun), doing some math, I'm pretty sure I passed 500kms on it. Last week there was a special at Aldi on a Mountain BSO, but I thought I should get something decent this time.

I usually stick with sidewalks with the occasional off road scenario (which is very unpleasant on the BSO), but nothing too extreme. I'm relatively a short light guy (160cm, 60kg) in my early 20s.

I was thinking about something between $300 and $500, what do you guys think?
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by BNA » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:22 pm

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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby zero » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:22 pm

$300 to $500 basically either gets you an aldi bike with a nicer frame, saddle and bars (see giant boulder 4), or a comprehensive range of small upgrades (seen giant boulder 1), but still basically a weekender for a casual rider. If you see a full suspension bike in that price range, its probably really bad. Heaps of brands do similar bikes, ie I'm not shilling for giant in particular.

"Proper" hardtail MTB is about $800 - $1000 - and will have a way better fork (ie rockshox or fox and not suntour), and be mostly deore / x4 / x5 groupset bits. I have a deore group Trek MTB that I use for commuting that has 28,500 kms on the clock now (and its thousands short of the true figure).
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby GeoffInBrisbane » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:30 pm

Zero is correct, but if you are happy to buy used, $500 should get you something pretty decent. Go hardtail, not full suspension.
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby bychosis » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:06 am

If going down the used road look at new bikes in the $800-$1200 range, then look for the same models/specs in something a couple of years old. Be prepared to tinker, regularly people will purchase new ride a bit and then when it gets too hard will on sell cheap, often because a tyre is flat or the gears are playing up.

Definitely don't get a full suspension bike.
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby human909 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:50 am

bychosis wrote:If going down the used road look at new bikes in the $800-$1200 range
:shock: No use talking somebody out of their price range. $200 will get you a decent used road bike IF you know what you are looking at. $500 would get you something nice.
EDIT: SORRY, I misunderstood/misread. Your advice makes sense now. :oops:

Brotality wrote:I was thinking about something between $300 and $500, what do you guys think?

You can get an entry level brand name bicycle new for that price or something a little better second hand. You haven't said what you want it for. Is it only for recreation? Or is there potential to use it for transport and commuting? A flat bar road bike or a mountain bike would likely suit a young male getting into cycling. A flat bar road bike is better for speed on bike paths and the road. A mountain bike would naturally be better off road.
Last edited by human909 on Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby bychosis » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:17 pm

human909 wrote:
bychosis wrote:If going down the used road look at new bikes in the $800-$1200 range
:shock: No use talking somebody out of their price range. $200 will get you a decent used road bike IF you know what you are looking at. $500 would get you something nice.

Brotality wrote:I was thinking about something between $300 and $500, what do you guys think?

You can get an entry level brand name bicycle new for that price or something a little better second hand. You haven't said what you want it for. Is it only for recreation? Or is there potential to use it for transport and commuting? A flat bar road bike or a mountain bike would likely suit a young male getting into cycling. A flat bar road bike is better for speed on bike paths and the road. A mountain bike would naturally be better off road.


My comment was not to talk him out of his price range, but to look at current bikes then find the same models a few years old. Bike brands often keep their model naming consistent for a few years so for example a giant boulder is low level, a talon or Yukon is probably in the ball park as second hand, or you may find an XTC for a suitable price a little older.
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby Bendito » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:22 pm

I did the same as you a year or two ago, $600 for hardtail MTBs will get you above the basic ones, and get you things like mechanical disc brakes an lockout front forks. I'd even say the lockout is a must-have if you'll be riding footpaths/cycle paths mostly. Look at bikes like the lower end specialized hardrock, giant talon, and avanti montari :-) people may try convince you that hydraulic brakes are needed, but cable ones are still pretty tip top.

I ended up with the giant, as they seemed about $50-$100 cheaper than other brands for the same level of components :-)
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby Bendito » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:23 pm

Another good option would be picking up a 90s steel 10 speed roadie for under $100, replace the tyres and brake pads and you're away ^_^
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby Nobody » Mon Feb 11, 2013 12:52 pm

Bendito wrote:Another good option would be picking up a 90s steel 10 speed roadie for under $100, replace the tyres and brake pads and you're away ^_^
OP was talking about off road occasionally.

Brotality wrote:I usually stick with sidewalks with the occasional off road scenario (which is very unpleasant on the BSO), but nothing too extreme...I was thinking about something between $300 and $500, what do you guys think?


@Brotality - If you don't really need front shocks for the occasional off road, you can still buy a clunker MTB secondhand and then replace the worn out or rubbish fork with a rigid MTB fork. With big enough tyres at lower pressure, off road will still be manageable.
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby Brotality » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:08 pm

thanks for the replies guys,

I'm kind of scared to commit to a $1000 bike right away, 500kms seems like baby steps compared with the number I keep reading here :|

What increases my doubts is, I haven't tried a MTB bike before, so I'm not sure if its the best fit for me (although i'm thinking anything will be better than the 20" ridiculously uncomfortable foldable i'm currently using). Again, I just ride for fun and I think the more I can do with a bike, the more fun it would be (just a thought).

What do you guys think? and can someone point me to what an entry level hardtrail bike look like? I'm currently into the idea of buying a new entry level hardtrail bike maybe push the budget to $600, I really appreciate all of the used bikes ideas, but I have very little experience changing parts that I don't think I can pull any of these off :cry:
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby Nobody » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:30 pm

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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby zero » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:12 pm

Brotality wrote:thanks for the replies guys,

I'm kind of scared to commit to a $1000 bike right away, 500kms seems like baby steps compared with the number I keep reading here :|

What increases my doubts is, I haven't tried a MTB bike before, so I'm not sure if its the best fit for me (although i'm thinking anything will be better than the 20" ridiculously uncomfortable foldable i'm currently using). Again, I just ride for fun and I think the more I can do with a bike, the more fun it would be (just a thought).

What do you guys think? and can someone point me to what an entry level hardtrail bike look like? I'm currently into the idea of buying a new entry level hardtrail bike maybe push the budget to $600, I really appreciate all of the used bikes ideas, but I have very little experience changing parts that I don't think I can pull any of these off :cry:


Just grab a boulder 1. Giant dealers are everywhere, they sell them in 5 sizes so they'll have a good fitting one for you, you'll get a free service so you won't go out of budget for 6 months unless you start buying a lot of accessories (cycling shorts make a hell of a difference for comfort if you are on it for longer stretches), and MTBs are usually comfortable bikes.
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby human909 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:27 pm

zero wrote:Just grab a boulder 1. Giant dealers are everywhere, they sell them in 5 sizes so they'll have a good fitting one for you, you'll get a free service so you won't go out of budget for 6 months unless you start buying a lot of accessories (cycling shorts make a hell of a difference for comfort if you are on it for longer stretches), and MTBs are usually comfortable bikes.


You can't go too far wrong with a Giant. Buying a Giant is like buying a Toyota Corolla or a Toyota Camry. They are kinda boring and not that interesting but you really can't go wrong. They are good value basic bikes.

You can get cheaper bikes online from places like Cycling Express. Here is a better specced bike for less money. But buying online means you don't get helpful service in choosing the right bike for you, nor do you get needed free services. Personally I buy online, but I do my own servicing that makes a big difference.
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby Brotality » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:17 pm

That boulder 1 seems to be exactly what I need, also appreciate the online idea, and I think once i get familiar with everything on a "what you see is what you get" bike, I might switch completely to online.

Thanks alot of your help guys
Small question tho, what is the difference between different boulders (1,2,3)?
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby Nobody » Tue Feb 12, 2013 7:42 am

Brotality wrote:Small question tho, what is the difference between different boulders (1,2,3)?
3 & 4 don't have lockout forks so not good bikes for what you want to do.

1 & 2 are close in price with the only differences being the brakes. Since there isn't much money between them I'd get 1. Rim brakes aren't much fun when the rims get wet.
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby warthog1 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:35 am

Nobody wrote: Since there isn't much money between them I'd get 1. Rim brakes aren't much fun when the rims get wet.


OT again sorry :roll: :oops:

I cant get over how cheap that boulder 1 is :o
Cheaper to buy that than to try and replace the front fork, brake and wheel only, for a disc equivalent on my roadie :x
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby Nobody » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:17 am

warthog1 wrote:I cant get over how cheap that boulder 1 is :o
Cheaper to buy that than to try and replace the front fork, brake and wheel only, for a disc equivalent on my roadie :x
The lack of brifters makes a significant saving for the Boulder.

Customization costs dearly. My Surly CC cost almost twice as much to build from parts as the similar Charge Filter Hi, which is ~ $1481 AUD delivered from Evans. And in reality it probably cost me closer to $3K if I include all the extra bits I've upgraded etc. :roll: :oops: At least I found out what I wanted/needed which would make it much cheaper now, especially with the current availability of road going disc bikes.
http://road.cc/content/review/76067-cha ... er-hi-2013
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby human909 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:30 am

warthog1 wrote:I cant get over how cheap that boulder 1 is :o
Cheaper to buy that than to try and replace the front fork, brake and wheel only, for a disc equivalent on my roadie :x


Bikes are cheap. So getting a good set of wheels for under $500 is easy.

However cycling companies have figured out that MAMILS, road bike enthusiasts and MTB enthusiasts often have significant disposable income that they are willing to spend on a bike. So cycling companies have obliged and given everybody a wealth of options to spend on a bike. :wink:
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby sb944 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:10 am

If you think you'll mainly be on roads, and you can avoid too much off road riding, I'd consider going a road bike. They are much lighter and better suited tyres, you'll be riding quite a bit quicker. If you like taking a lot of shortcuts, or riding down rough paths, definitely stick with a mountain bike though.

While the advice here has already given you a decent answer to what mountain bike might be best at that budget, checkout http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/ . Put in your maximum budget, choose mountain bike, choose male, and sort by most expensive first. At $600, there are a few bikes discounted from $800+, which I'm sure would be like heaven compared with your current bike. That gets you some ideas, then start googling those ideas, and seeing what's available locally.

You could look 2nd hand, but be wary. New from a bike shop gets you a bike fitted to you (maybe most important thing), usually a free service and brand new parts and warranties. 2nd hand is often ridden a lot, or neglected for the last couple of years, either of which could have replacement parts needed, plus it's going to be hard to know if it fits you correctly, or is setup correctly for you.
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby warthog1 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:54 pm

Nobody wrote:
Customization costs dearly. My Surly CC cost almost twice as much to build from parts as the similar Charge Filter Hi, which is ~ $1481 AUD delivered from Evans.


Now if I can just get someone to steal the Azzurri.......

I'll keep looking for a cheap road disc fork that doesn't weigh 2 kilos, someone will have one eventually.
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby human909 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:20 pm

sb944 wrote:If you think you'll mainly be on roads, and you can avoid too much off road riding, I'd consider going a road bike. They are much lighter and better suited tyres, you'll be riding quite a bit quicker. If you like taking a lot of shortcuts, or riding down rough paths, definitely stick with a mountain bike though.


For the beginner/recreational/utility cyclists road bike handle bars are not ideal. This may be controversial given the demographics of this forum but you only need to look at Europe or inner Melbourne to see that drop bars are not the choice of most 'regular' riders. Flat bar road bikes or 'commuters' are the way to go for most people if you are avoiding off road riding.


-Brotality- .. As you can see many people have many different opinions. Take you time, decide on you needs and go for some test rides. If you are see yourself really getting into cycling as serious fitness thing then most end up with Lycra and a road bike. If you just like taking the thing for a spin off roads then mountain biking is better. Personally, bikes are transport and a lifestyle so I look for practicality.
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby warthog1 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:01 pm

.
Last edited by warthog1 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 3:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby Nobody » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:19 pm

warthog1 wrote:I'll keep looking for a cheap road disc fork that doesn't weigh 2 kilos, someone will have one eventually.
2Kg for a steel fork? Sure Mr WW. :P More like 1Kg. Maybe the whole package will add 2Kg. But that shouldn't matter if it's only commuting.

Actually I just noticed that the fork listed above has a A to C or 376 for the 26" version.
Last edited by Nobody on Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BSO to a real bike, Advice?

Postby warthog1 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:23 pm

Well I s'pose it will help on the downhill strava segments. :)
Need that disc brake so I can run it deeper into the corners when going for it on the loaded commute :lol:

Edit : nice fork by the way, good find 8)
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