Alright, so, please, don't flame me for buying a budget bike. My dad recently passed away, and i've been riding his bike. It was a hybrid mountain/road bike. As it slowly died, and i bent the rear axle (Don't ask me how, i don't ride it hard) i debated buying a new bike. I have a few friends with the Denali, and, while they won't let me try it, it looks to be a good bike. One of them has had it for over a year, prompting me to consider it. Personally, i don't have the money for a big budget bike, and only have around $200 to spend. I also pop on and off curbs, and am wondering if that will be much of a problem. Is it worth buying? Will it stand up to my antics? I only weigh 155 Lbs and am a fan of speed. I'm 5'8" but am looking to buy the one intended for much larger people (6'2"-6'5") as i am used to that on my dad's bike. (Plus, i'm only 16, i might get a little bit taller). Biking is pretty much my life, I do it daily. But my old bike is not a road bike, it was a hybrid and is 40 lbs. Is it worth the upgrade? I'd like to get a higher cruising speed as well as a higher top speed. I'd also like to be able to jump on and off curbs if need be. (I've been hit on my bike riding on the road a few times)
"As it slowly died, and i bent the rear axle (Don't ask me how, i don't ride it hard) i debated buying a new bike"
Hmmm… If the bent axle is the only major problem the bike has (by "it slowly died" I take you to mean that it was developing other less-serious problems too), if I were you I would do an overhaul and continue with the hybrid.
I don't know if you have the knowledge/experience it would take to do such an overhaul, but if you were willing to put up $200 in quality components and elbow grease, you could probably turn your hybrid into something that's significantly better than any new $200 bike.
If you decide to purchase a bicycle, definitely buy used. Don't get the Denali. A used $200 road bike will last longer.
A $200 bike is not good for someone that rides gentle and you want to ride it a little more than gentle.
Look used as you will find better values.
Go for a bike that is maybe a bit big for you but at 5'8" don't jump to a bike for 6'2".
Then there is style of bike.
- If you want to go fast and bang (jump curbs) then a road bike with some solid wheels, axle, frame, ... That is not is not a $200 bike. Road wheels that will bang are more like $400 alone.
- Consider not going fast and getting like a single speed street or bmx bike. You are going to need to get up into more the $400+ range but can get a pretty ballistic bike.
- Kind of between is a cyclocross that is like a rugged road bike. But you not going to get a good one for $200. You do find some nice used for like $600+ especially at the end of the racing season (Feb).