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Cheap Bikes’ Price Categories

In presenting bikes that we recommend, we’ve tried to help our readers by grouping the recommended bikes into price categories represented by a number of dollar signs (e.g., $, $$, $$$, etc.).

With many products and services, you tend to get what you pay for and bikes are no exception. That said, for most of us a $5,000 mountain bike isn’t necessarily twice as good as a $2,500 bike. Furthermore, some bike categories are just inherently more expensive (e.g., full-suspension mountain bikes cost more than hardtail mountain bikes). These observations make it difficult to assign qualitative assessments (e.g., “cheap”, low-priced, etc.) to specific dollar amounts across all bike categories. In other words, there is a certain amount of subjectivity that comes into play when assessing the “value” of a bike. In recognition of this, one-dollar-sign bikes in one category may cost more or less on average than one-dollar-sign bikes in a different category.

Cheap Bikes’ Price Categories

Price CategoryCheap Bikes' Subjective Intent
$Very cheap bikes. We try to only recommend bikes of decent quality, so these aren't necessarily the cheapest bikes available anywhere. However, in our opinion these bikes are the cheapest you should consider if you want a decent bike.
$$Cheap bikes. Better quality than the very cheap bikes and a killer value.
$$$Moderately cheap bikes. Even better quality but still an excellent value.
$$$$Not so cheap bikes. The bikes in this category are probably pricey enough to not be considered cheap bikes by almost any objective measure. For that reason, if we feature any bikes in this category it will generally be a bike that we truly love.
$$$$$Crazy expensive bikes. As these bikes are not cheap at all, we will rarely highlight any of these except purely for gawking purposes. 🙂

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