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Amazon Bike vs Pre-Owned Bike

GCN recently released a video reviewing a 300GBP Amazon bike. Although they did specifically mention that they would rather someone pay a bit more and buy Decathlon’s Triban, they still did a full review of the ‘Eurobike Roadbike XC 550 21-speed Dual Disc Brake Road Bicycle’, presumably for laughs and gags.


Eurobike Roadbike XC 550 21-speed Dual Disc Brake Road Bicycle


This got us thinking. As we deal with roadbikes, including more specifically pre-owned roadbikes, we know exactly the thought processes behind someone purchasing his/her first road bike. That is of course, on top of us being once beginners ourselves, years and tens of thousands of dollars ago. So yes… what do you get/don’t get when you buy a…. Eurobike Roadbike XC550 21-speed Dual Disc Brake Road Bicycle versus say… a pre-owned road bike, either from us or on Carousell.


Parts & Components


The Eurobike comes with a 3 by 7 groupset with drop bar brake levers but click shifters at the top of the bars, by the stem. Yes, you get 21 speeds, which is a wide range of gears to choose from. However, do note that in a 3-by setup, there is bound to be some overlap and you will have less than 21 gear options, effectively. Most modern roadbikes run a 2x11 or 2x12 set up and more disciplines like gravel riding and mountain biking prefer a 1-by setup for ease of servicing and weight. Also, we personally feel that in Singapore where it’s rather flat, you can go with a 2-by setup or even get away with a 1-by if you’re fit!





A comparison of a single, double and triple chainring crankset on an XT crankset. This is aka 1-by/2-by/3-by or 1x/2x/3x. Notice the gears?


You get mechanical disc brakes, which work fine, but frankly haven’t been used by bike manufacturers for years… maybe decades. Mechanical disc brakes do come with some advantages like the supposed ease of serviceability and cost. However, they offer little to no modulation, resulting in an ‘on’ and ‘off’ feel, and can hardly beat the performance of a hydraulic brake set. In this day and age, as hydraulic disc brakes get cheaper, easier to maintain and service and more practical and accessible, there is little to no reason to go out of your way to look for mechanical disc brakes.


The wheels use a bolt-on axle and run on rather plasticky tires that do not offer much grip. Wheels also use deep profile rims, which… let’s be real, will only serve to add weight at this price point.


Frame


The Eurobike frame is made of steel, as per described by Amazon. As with a lot of semi-dubious branded, mass-produced frames at this price point, welding jobs aren’t too great. They’re big, messy and frankly, we wouldn’t trust it to take a beating as the brand is not too reputable and there is no post purchase care.


Weight


The Eurobike weighs in at 15.5 kg. That’s heavier than Canyon’s entry level Grand Canyon model (mountain bike), which weighs 14.1 kg. Heck, Canyon Neuron 6, a FULL SUSPENSION mountain bike(yes the one with a 'back spring'), weighs 15.3kg, and that is a hugeeeee bike. And to bring you back to road bikes, the aluminium Canyon Endurace AL 6.0 checks in at 8.6 kg. That’s almost half the weight of the Eurobike. It retails at $1399 but scour the used market and you might get one at just a little more than what you would otherwise pay for the Eurobike.





The Canyon Neuron is a beastly huge full suspension bike (yes the rear spring thing). Credit: Mountain Bike Review


Conclusion


As a local bike shop, we understand that you might not want to spend too much on your first road bike. And we also know that for one reason or another, you are looking for a road bike, and not any other bike, as there are many other types of bikes in this price range. Therefore, we feel that if you want to look for a road bike at a lower price point, save up a couple of hundred more dollars and get yourself a used bike that’s from a reputable and reliable brand. The bike will use parts that are easy to find replacement parts for and will use parts that are universally used so it’s easy for you to fix or find a mechanic to help you fix. The bike will also be lighter (by almost half maybe) and therefore faster. You’ll get more reliable shifting, braking, wheels and tires - which can all be dangerous if you have anything less than reliable. You can buy a pre-owned bike from a store like us, or browse through marketplaces like Facebook, Carousell and Togoparts for deals. At the end of the day, we want you to have the best bike your money can buy for your first bike so you feel good and continue cycling, instead of chucking a bad bicycle aside because it is bad and uncomfortable to ride and the cycling community loses another potential cyclist.


 

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