OK, I’ve been doing lots of research on new bikes that cost under $100. I was hoping to provide a comprehensive list comparing prices, features and values. Unfortunately my research revealed more bad than good.
The biggest problem is the parts. In the worst example; the company’s website stated that the bike used Falcon derailleurs, while the store’s website claimed it to have a Shimano drivetrain. In reality, the one at the store had Peak derailleurs. I don’t know much about Peak, but what was on the bike in the store did not look too sturdy.
So basically my buying guide comes down to this; buy a Roadmaster Granite Peak. It has SRAM grip shifters and Shimano derailleurs. That’s what it says on all the websites and that’s what the ones in the store had. It’s available from several sources for $88. It’s kind of heavy, but seems to be able to take some abuse.
Of course, the tricky bit is who puts it together. I looked at a few that seemed to be tuned properly and one that was put together by someone with no knowledge of a bike’s anatomy. The brakes were both on backwards and the brake pads were rubbing against the tires. Buyer beware.