Are cheap bikes like Reid a trap?

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Are cheap bikes like Reid a trap?

Postby duckfoot » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:44 pm

I just started riding again a fortnight ago on a cheap second hand bike: $100. But after getting into cycling more seriously and coming off the bike a few times due to steering feeling 'wobbly or loose' and the breaks being hit and miss, I have decided to upgrade. My friend who rides with me bought a Reid mountain bike with the super fat tyres and swears that more expensive bikes aren't any better.

If there is no comparison between Reid and more expensive brands like Giant, then i'm willing to pay more. That being said I wont be racing or entering competitions so a few grand is probably the upper limit . Been riding 10-20km every few days on bike paths and occasionally off road on dirt tracks and I usually average around 16km/h :oops:. I have been leaning towards mountain bikes because of the off road travels.

Any suggestions or input would be welcomed. I am browsing the forums, other websites and looking at articles as we speak to learn as much as I can before making a purchase. I know there's a ton of answers out there but wanted to get a feel for the current consensus.

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Re: Are cheap bikes like Reid a trap?

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:15 am

The very cheapest Reids (like the Condor) are very basic sure, but still usable. Go just a little higher up in price and you're looking at some pretty nice machines.

For your riding I'd look at either the Xenon/Argon 29ers, or the Granite if you want to go the road oriented direction. There's nothing wrong with the specs on any of those, it's not high end but then at $500-800 of course it isn't. The SR Suntour forks on those two 29ers are on the heavy side, and have basic damping, but both of my mountain bikes have similar forks and they do the job just fine. If you do go with a Reid I would check the grease/adjustment of the headset and hubs, some bikes (especially the ones in Big W/K Mart) come from the factory poorly adjusted and with very little grease on the bearings.
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Re: Are cheap bikes like Reid a trap?

Postby MichaelB » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:23 am

Hi - direct experience with a Reid Granite 3.0.

Currently doing a review (writeup to be up shortly) for BNA. Gotta say I'm impressed with the bike. It is inexpensive (different from 'cheap') but has quality components.

It doesn't have the brand cache like other well known brands, but is still very good value and James Reid (a member here that pops in from time to time) is a strong advocate for looking after customers.

I've taken the Granite 3 off road and on, done a shade over 633km for the month of September so far and 1,100 in total, and it's going really well.

You could do much worse than buying a Reid, that's for sure. Listen to your friend. Also, by having a Bricks & Mortar store as well, you can get a look and feel for them in the flesh which helps heaps.

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Re: Are cheap bikes like Reid a trap?

Postby RobertL » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:42 am

I bought a Reid Osprey flat bar to commute on last year. It was $600, on special at $430.

It's now done over 3300km. I had trouble with the rear wheel breaking spokes, so I replaced the whole wheel with something better. Mind you, I weighed about 105kg at the time, so that won't be a problem for everyone.

Apart from that, it's been fine.

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Re: Are cheap bikes like Reid a trap?

Postby familyguy » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:46 am

Just by way of comparisons, I have had 3 Reid Falco road bikes which I've bought second hand, mostly for the parts to swap to other projects. I've been happy with the quality of the frames, compared with Giant/etc. I had a 2011 Giant Defy (bought for the same reason but ridden briefly) that was no more or less better than the Reid. The Giant retailed at $1599 new back then. The current Reid Falco Elite is $900 (permanent discout from $1100 it appears). Certainly nothing to laugh at. Sure, parts are not as 'current' and wheels are not the same quality, but with the prices of Giant now I'd happily grab a Reid (if I needed more bikes).

If their MTB ranges are somewhat similar in terms of comparison, it'd be a no brainer, for my money.


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Re: Are cheap bikes like Reid a trap?

Postby Jmuzz » Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:42 pm

Bicycles are modular, so "Reid bike" is really just about the frame.

The groupset, which is the mechanical bits, the levers, brakes, gears, crank, chain is exactly the same as the big brands. Usually Shimano, less common SRAM, some FSA bits.
Reid actually tend to be a series above the brands for the same price. Eg Tiagra vs 105.

Suspension (MTB only)

Compare, sometimes better sometimes worse, sometimes irrelevant if you are going to customise/upgrade (eg the saddle and wheels) anyway.

Obviously don't expect a $1000 Reid to compare with a $3000 Giant, those are a different class with too big a price gap.

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Re: Are cheap bikes like Reid a trap?

Postby bychosis » Tue Sep 25, 2018 1:55 pm

Your friend is kinda right, Reid bikes are as good as the equivalent brand named bikes and a bit cheaper because they don’t have the brand name tax. They are significantly better than department store bikes as a general rule and nearly as good as those brand name ones.

As above, the Reid bikes will be specced similar to *something* in the branded range and a little cheaper when comparing outright specs to price tag. Frames and parts will probably come from the same factory/s as one of the big brands.

While a cheaper bike is perfectly serviceable and suited to a newbie there are valid reasons why cyclists end up spending more and more. It is however a diminishing return, the more you spend on a bike, the more you have to spend to get an incremental improvement.

Depending on what your second hand bike is, you might get good value out of repairing it or some minor upgrades. I have purchased quite a few what were originally pretty good bikes for around that $100 mark and fixed them up to be perfectly serviceable with very little outlay. Lots of sellers just want to get rid of their old unused bike and don’t care about the condition. On the other hand if it is a cheap and nasty department store bike don’t bother upgrading, pigs ear - silk purse etc.
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Re: Are cheap bikes like Reid a trap?

Postby simlin » Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:17 pm

I've been riding a Reid Vantage Endurance 2.0 for about a year now. I put my own saddle and handlebars on it straight out of the shop (the stock handlebars were too wide for my tastes). Wheels seemed ok, but after 100km most of the spokes had unwound themselves and the whole rear wheel became an unstable mess. Took it back in and it was re-trued etc. but the damage had been done and the spokes started breaking after a couple of hundred more kilometers.
A wheel upgrade was always the plan, but I had hoped to get a bit more life out of the stock wheels, but it wasn't to be.

Apart from that the bike rides really well, sure it isn't as light as a more expensive bike...but it would be easier and less expensive for me to shed 2kg of excess weight. The shimano 105 groupset is exactly the same as my last bike.

So I guess what I am saying is exactly what has been said above. when it comes down to it the only real difference is the frame...does it fit you/ geometry suit your you actually care about it's weight? Reid frames have a lifetime warranty.

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Re: Are cheap bikes like Reid a trap?

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:08 pm

As a starting point, a Reid Granite 2 would probably do the job nicely, with acceptable components for the price and ok for mixed surfaces...


The last 2-3 years have seen a noticeable improvement in quality from Reid, and their mid-range and up are quite decent for the $s.
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Re: Are cheap bikes like Reid a trap?

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:45 pm

It is good that you are doing your research and asking @duckfoot

As mentioned by @bychosis department store bikes like Big W, Kmart and Target are generally rubbish and those are the bikes you really need to avoid.

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