I've been helping the friend to choose the bike the other day and we went to specific bike open air market. As I remembered the normal price for entry level bikes was ~400 EUR, but the Chinese mountain bikes there were priced something like ~100 EUR for the new one. For new one I mean it was right from the box with some branded parts from "Shimano" (probably fake :)). I've took a ride of one of the bikes and it seemed OK, without any sounds or discomfort. What is really the big difference? May be it's worth to buy 4-10 cheap bikes instead 1 expensive one for 1000 EUR? I mean, yes, the parts will be of cheap quality, but when they are worn - I probably can even install the original ones in the future or am I mistaken?

Example: http://trinx.ge/index.php?m=126 The majority is priced ~150$.

  • Looks like they are extremely cheap (in every sense of the word). Steel frame, 6 speed cassette, steel spring front “suspension” etc. Expect them to be very heavy and the parts badly installed. Probably also prone to rust and the rubber will go brittle or gummy in the sun. If you are handy you can probably get them to work okay-ish, but don’t expect it to be a nice ride.
    – Michael
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 6:44
  • There is a good discussion on a question similar to yours "What do I get by paying more for a bicycle?" bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/64704/…
    – David D
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 14:32
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    I can't find an online version of the article, but several years ago a popular UK MTB magazine ran a test on several cheap supermarket grade (BSO) MTB's. They took them to a trail centre for a day, and by the end of that day all but one were destroyed. This type of cheap bike may look like a MTB, but they do not perform in any way like a MTB
    – Andy P
    Commented May 4, 2020 at 15:11

1 Answer 1


These bikes won't really work well as mountain bikes.

They won't be able to handle any real terrain. Will be difficult to control on the trail due to bad damping and insufficient braking or braking modulation. Will be slow uphil due to heavy weight. They gearing will give you fewer options and shifting will not be as accurate. To achieve some reasonable gear range they must use a triple crankset and that is not used for midrange bikes any more (more awkward and heavier.

They will be prone to braking after jumps - I would especially be worried about the wheels (+ axles) and the forks, the steel frames might be sturdy.

They might work well for commuting, but then some of the features will be just a useless weight addon. Commuters are usually better with simpler bikes from different categories. And not just commuters, even when riding off-road on gravel roads or reasonable paths a simple bike with rigid fork and good rim brakes for the same price might be a better choice with better overall quality.

  • My late-and-unlamented "mountain" BSO was not able to withstand being ridden off of the curb of a sidewalk multiple times (the axle bent).
    – EvilSnack
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 17:36

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