By Justin Hun • July 08, 2014
If you love the great outdoors and the feel of the road, then biking is great. But the only downfall you have is no bike and you’re slim on cash. You’ve got to find an affordable bike that will last you years but won’t have you regretting flipping the bill. We’ve scoured the Internet and found the best bikes under $200. Whatever lifestyle you live you’ll be sure to find something that will get you from A to B.
Bikes Under $200
For Owning the Road
If you’re planning on biking just a few miles a day to work or to the gym, then a fixed gear or one-speed bike is great. They work very much like the bikes you had when you were a kid; you just have to pedal back to brake. These ones also have hand brakes, so you have two different ways to stop.
Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike: $189.95 at Amazon
Amazon highly recommends the Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike. It’s fantastic if you don’t have too far to go and want to get there in a hurry. The bike comes with hand brakes and toe clips that are great for practice if you’re looking to move onto shoe clips. The colors aren’t the best, but the logos are stickers that can be peeled off, and outside of the frame you can switch out the tires, rims, and handlebar tape. Starting at $189, it’s not bad for a bike you want to start on.
Vilano Fixed Gear Road Bike: $195 at Amazon
The other bike that Amazon recommends is the Vilano Fixed Gear Road Bike. It’s a blank slate and comes in eight different colors. It’s pretty standard and plain, but sometimes that’s all you need. The bike is solid and because it’s only got one gear—it’s easy to maintain and fix-up. At around $195, you’ll appreciate the rides you’ll be getting out of it.
For Climbing Mountains
Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike: $179.95 at Amazon
If you’re thinking about jumping canyons and climbing steep rocky trails, then the budget bike might not last that long. But for the recreational cyclist who takes the dirt trail, there are definitely some respectable bikes. The Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike is exceptional for the price and uses the best names in parts from Shimano and Sram. The only negative thing reviewers can say about it is that it’s a little on the heavy side.
Nashbar AT1 Mountain Bike: Currently $249.95 at Nashbar
Looking through different blogs and reviews about affordable mountain bikes, I kept finding the Nashbar AT1 as the bike to get. The AT1 as well as the other Nashbar brand bikes offer quality at fantastic prices. Using a solid aluminum frame very much similar to big brand names like Diamondback, the AT1 is a bike you can actually take out on the trail and off roads. This bike uses Shimano and Sram parts, which are the two leading names in bike parts. The only thing worth noting if you do plan on keeping this bike for a while is upgrading the wheels to a double-wall alloy so if you do go over rocks it won’t bend the rims. It is currently priced at $249, but most owners have said that they have gotten it for under $200 during the many sales that Nashbar offers.
For Cruisin’ the Beach
Micargi Rover Beach Cruiser: $169.95 at BikeBuyers.com
If you live on the California coast, you’ll find it easy to see plenty of bikers going up and down the beaches. The best bike for cruising along the beach can only be a beach cruiser. There are many classic looks to a beach cruiser; you can find almost anything to fit your style. Micargi makes a wonderful bike with a stylish look that will have people turning their heads. It’s got a handful of different colors as well as a classic spring seat and chromed-out accents. It even comes in men’s and women’s if you’re looking to have a couples’ ride by the beach.
Schwinn Sanctuary Beach Cruiser: $164.95 at Bikemania
If you’re looking for something with a little bit more oomph, take a look at the Schwinn Sanctuary Cruiser. It’s got a vintage look and style along with a rear rack to haul your things. The cool thing about this bike though is that it’s got a seven-speed shifter so you can change gears when going up those hills. For a comfortable $164.95, you can even afford to get a basket and some lights for those long travels.
Before you buy a new bike, be sure to look at local bike shops as well as classifieds and even eBay before going to a big name shop like REI or Performance Bike. Local bike shops tend to offer used bikes and big discounts you wouldn’t be able to find at big-name shops. Classifieds are great because you can negotiate prices and save money on bikes that look brand new. eBay is a good source for complete bikes as well as parts if you plan on building your own.
Justin Hun Justin Hun has an obsession with food and books—especially books about food. His favorite past times include watching the Food Network and researching for ways to save money and be cheap.