it’s okay to buy a Walmart bike (I have one!). In that same vein, it’s okay to buy discount running shoes.
Honestly, unless you’re going to be competing at an elite level, it’s just not worth it. At least not in the beginning.
I bought my first bike for $99 at Walmart 4 years ago. I fell in love with a beautiful 700c Thruster Fixie with red and yellow wheels. It was a single-speed road bike, and at $99, it wasn’t so expensive that I felt I was wasting my money if it turned out that I didn’t like riding.
Amazingly, I've spent 4 years riding a $99 from Walmart. Not once did I feel in the least bit deprived that I wasn’t on an elite bicycle from a specialty shop.
Recently, I bought a second bike. I found a decent bike for about $150 at the local bike shop, and when I posted about it, I was told by a few people that my bike was essentially garbage.
It’s not fancy, but it gets me where I’m going, plus I can bang around the local bike trails on it. And once again, I didn’t spend outside of my budget on an ultra-fancy specialty bike because I wanted to make sure I was going to stick with cycling once again.
You don’t need high-end stuff to enjoy a sport like cycling. Especially you're new. Expensive gear is a luxury, rather than a necessity.
If you’re not an elite athlete or competitor, you may not even notice the difference.
Stair-stepping up in quality is the way to go, that way you know your body and your habits well enough to assess your needs better. By starting out with higher-end gear, not only are you spoiling yourself, you’re spending a lot of money on features you won’t even use.
Think about it like buying a sixteen-year-old their first car. Are you gonna buy them a Cadillac Escalade or a Ford Focus? Sure, the Escalade has all the bells and whistles, but will the teenager be able to appreciate them and take advantage of them so that it’s worth the extra money?
Eventually, they’ll get to the point where the extra cost is justified and worth it. But it probably won’t be within their first few years of having a license.
Fitness equipment is the same way. Look at your needs and find the most appropriate gear you can for your personal situation. Even if the internet says what you buy is garbage, if it works for you, then it works for you.
And if what works for you is a $99 Walmart bike, then that’s awesome. I hope you have fun on it.
THE QUEST LOG
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