Budget for your First Bike

As a cyclist and bike to work advocate, one of the most common questions I get asked is how much should one invest in a proper bike. As many of you experienced bikers out there, the answer to that question is a lot of “it depends on you”.

Biking is a very personal sport. The relationship between the cyclist and the bike is unique, to say the least. It is something that is built on knowledge, knowing where to go, and how to get there. I have seen a lot of people go all out and spend so much money on a bike simply because they think it’s what they need or they don’ really understand what they are doing.

On the other hand, I have seen cyclists who use the same bike since they began. Maybe an upgrade here or there but nothing really serious.

In both cases, the relationship wasn’t built right. One was too quick on the draw and the other didn’t really take things to the next level so to speak. They both gave up on cycling eventually.

The actual amount would depend on what type of ride you want to accomplish and how serious you are in biking. And of course, it is very important to ensure that whatever you are deciding for your bike, you are happy with it. Or else the relationship will be ruined.

Here’s a quick rundown of options.

Budget Bike

Budget bikes are exactly as they sound. They are cheap but they get the job done. There are a lot of budget bike brands out there that are quite good in terms of durability and performance, especially for their price. Of course, it would be difficult for them to be used in serious bike competitions but hey, they give you a good ride. Prices of budget bikes can go from as low as 5,000PHP to 20,000PHP.

Brands like Trinx, Foxter, and Betta are all China-based brands and have made a living in creating budget-type bikes. This is perfect for people who want to bike to work and the parking option they have is open or free.

Although I wouldn’t recommend this as an entry bike since you would want to invest in a really good bike frame if you are in it for the long haul, some people make it work. They upgrade the parts of budget bikes and turn them into really fine machines.

Mid-Level Bikes

Most bike brands today have mid-level bikes or entry-level bikes such as Giant, Trek, Merida, and Specialized. For people who want to start biking as a sport, I would recommend these bikes. You can start with a good entry-level bike from these brands at the mid-20,000PHP mark all the way to 80,000PHP.

What’s great about this is that even though you do not have high-end parts, you get a good frame that can dictate what you want to do later on. Start with this price range and you can change what you need based on your riding experience and needs.

High-End Bikes

Now for people who are going to buy their first bike, I would not recommend high-end bikes that cost from 90,000PHP to way more than 100,000PHP, but hey if you have the money to spare why not?

With these bikes, you normally do not need to change anything else except maybe for a few personal choices. If money is no object, go with either the top-of-the-line bikes from the same brands mentioned above or you can go with Bianchi, Colnago, Factor, and other European brands.

So all in all, your first bike is dictated mostly by how much are you willing to invest. But to be honest, if you really get into it, you’d want to upgrade and buy new things anyway. So for me, starting with a mid-range bike gives you the most flexibility.

It’s not a big investment yet which allows you to find what you want. At the same time, it offers good options to upgrade later on.


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