(x<$10) = Awesome?
June 17, 2011 10:51 AM   Subscribe

I just snagged a $9 Decathlon VitaminF bike from Goodwill. I feel like I got a great deal but I don't know much about this bike company. What do you know about Decathlon?

A quick trip to my local friendly bike shop confirmed the brakes, gears, tires and rims are in good shape - back brakes/gearing could use a seasonal tune up, but they're fine for riding. I'm content with that diagnosis, and it rides great, but I just want to know more about the company since there isn't a ton of info and I'm an amateur biking enthusiast.

posted by glaucon to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total)
Any bike that is ridable for $9 is an incredible steal - that's about what it might cost to buy pretty much any part of a bike, maybe even used, like a seat, or a single brake, or brake cables, or whatever.

I've never really heard of the company but that doesn't mean much. Most of the fiddly bits on a bike are made by a small set of manufacturers to good standards (like, brakes, shifters, gears, derailleurs, pedals, etc) and the only thing a bike manufacturer usually actually "makes" is the frame. If it's solid and not too heavy then it should be fine.
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:55 AM on June 17, 2011

Decathlon is the biggest sporting goods stores in France, and they have a pretty big presence elsewhere in Europe. So while they are not specialist bike manufacturers, they're a company with massive buying power and a home market that takes cycling seriously. I don't know the non-road bikes, but their cheap road bikes are considered extremely good for the money, and competitive with the (often more expensive) bottom-of-the-line Specialized/Trek equivalent.
posted by caek at 10:58 AM on June 17, 2011

Here's some UK articles about other Decathlon bikes: top of the line carbon road bike, one of their better "regular" (non-carbon) road bikes, and off-road XC bike.

So basically: you haven't picked up an invaluable artisanal bike with a hand-made frame at a crazy price, but if there are any problems with your $9 bike, the brand name isn't one of them. Congratulations!
posted by caek at 11:07 AM on June 17, 2011

I came here to say basically what caek just said.

I live in France, Decathlon's kind of the REI of France. Their bikes are good – not great, but more reliable than other store brands. That said, I'll never buy one of their mountain bikes after seeing too many of my friends have catastrophic failures after a year or two (we're talking frame breakage, life-threatening kind of stuff). Their road bikes are better quality, it seems. It does look like the VitaminF is part of their Rockrider MTB line. Does it have suspension? It seems like their suspension MTBs (front and full) are the riskier ones.

(For context, I have a 2004 GT XC 2.0 MTB.)
posted by fraula at 12:17 PM on June 17, 2011

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