According to EnergySavingGadget.net, a few hundred dollars will buy you a good bike. You can also find good deals on bicycles on eBay.
This is a very sour subject as I got into back into biking myself about two years ago and was blown away to see the shelf price of some of these new road bikes. The sky is the limit on price, but trying to stay towards the lower echelon can be a bit challenging. Your average entry level decent road bike is going to cost about 700-1200. Depending on how long you are willing to wait, where you live, how good you are at finding deals, what features you consider necessary, and if you are limiting yourself to a certain brand name. I ended up getting a used Giant off craigslist for 350, and could not be happier. I also saw a couple of decent Trek bikes at the time that had nicer gear set-ups and were going for about 500. If you go used and are not used to fitting a bike, you may need to have it sized for you at a local bike shop. Also, make sure the tires are straight – usually they do not get too much abuse, but it is something to look for. Another trick about used is you have to know a little about what you are looking at; for instance gears alone can be a challenge: Shimano alone makes different levels of gears and they greatly range in price: 2200, Sora, Tiagra, 105, Ultega 6700, Ultegra SL, DuraAce Track, and DuraAce DI/2.
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