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A Simple Guide for Bicycle Prices in Kenya

Bicycle prices in Kenya vary depending on a lot of factors. You might have developed an interest in cycling and you want to shop around for a new bicycle. You might even be looking for the best bicycle prices in Kenya if you want to upgrade your current bike.

Well, you are definitely spoilt for choice. It is a no-brainer that everybody likes to shop for a bike that gives them value for money. It is not always easy because you may be swayed by a lot of factors, some which are undeserving, such as five-star ratings and cut-throat discounts.

The factors that determine the bicycle prices in Kenya vary depending on the brands available for sale. Therefore, a key point to note here is that bicycles are sold at a variety of prices. In this article, I will provide a simple guide on bicycle prices depending on my personal experience.

Factors that determine bicycle prices in Kenya

The major factors that determine bicycle prices in Kenya are as follows:

  • frame material of the bike.
  • components that come with the bike

Other factors may include the following:

  • shipping costs for the bike (if they are imported).
  • Retail costs (costs of operating the bicycle retail store)
  • overhead costs (such as salaries for employees).
  • marketing and advertising costs (if or when needed).

These additional factors are eventually included in the final costs of the bicycles. However, for the simplicity of determining the bicycle prices, frame material and components are what you as the buyer should really look at.

The prices also depend on what type of bicycle you are purchasing (mountain bike, road bike, hybrid bike, etc.), and also whether it is for children or adults. Moreover, whether you are buying a used (pre-owned or second hand) bicycle or a new bicycle.

Frame material of the bicycle

The frame material is in most cases the most expensive part to replace on a bicycle. Therefore, it is important to know which frame the bicycle comes with depending on your needs and budget.

Most bikes are made of aluminium, steel and carbon frames. The difference is as follows:

  • the aluminium frame is found mostly on mid-level and inexpensive bicycles.
  • the steel frame is found on inexpensive (and some high-end) bicycles.
  • the carbon frame is found mostly on high-end bicycles.

Therefore, carbon fibre frame bicycles are the most expensive and also the lightest of the frames. There is a general rule in cycling that the lighter the bicycle, the more expensive it is. This applies both to the weight of the frame and the components of the bicycle.

Some bikes are more expensive because they are made of stronger, lighter materials. Those materials are generally manufactured with or require manufacturing with, a much higher level of precision and workmanship.

Billy Blais, Quora

Most bicycles you will find in your local bike shop are either made of aluminium or steel. Steel is heavier than aluminium though.

Components of the bicycle

Most of the components you will find on a bicycle (e.g. breaks, gears, gear shifters, derailleurs, cranks, etc.) will be mostly either from Shimano or SRAM. Others include Campagnolo among others.

The Shimano and SRAM mountain bike components vary by model level. XTR Di2 from Shimano is the most expensive, while the Shimano Tourney is the least expensive.

Most bicycles will have a medley of different components mostly to cut down on prices. The more the price of a component, so is the quality, durability, and weight savings.

Personally, I prefer components from Shimano Deore and above (for mountain or hybrid bicycles). But research and due diligence are important when purchasing a bicycle.

For Road Bikes, Shimano Tiagra and Sora are also good entry-level components (Tiagra is better). But Shimano 105 components (and up, including Ultegra and Dura-Ace) are even better (if you can afford them). Here is more information about the Shimano and SRAM groupsets.

Bicycle prices in Kenya

In general, for bicycle prices in Kenya, road bikes are usually more expensive followed by hybrid bikes and then mountain bikes. You can find a mountain bike for as low as KES 5000 to KES 8000 if you care to look around (I found a nice steel MTB for under KES 7000). However, I recommend the following price guide for the different types of (second hand) bicycles (this guide is meant for adult bikes):

  • Mountain Bicycles – After finding a steel MTB for under KES 7,000, I think you can get a good MTB for under KES 10,000 if you have keen eyes. However, for quality MTBs, I recommend a budget of KES 15000 and above. At this price range, you get a good quality mountain bike. The higher your budget is the better. I have seen better mountain bikes (second hand) from the KES 20,000 to KES 30,000 price range. If you are buying a bicycle below the 15000 price range, make sure you check it out thoroughly before purchasing. For new bicycles, you can go as high as your purse allows you.
  • Hybrid Bicycles – KES 15,000 and above. The same applies to quality. However, personally, my budget for a hybrid bicycle is usually KES 20,000 and above. If they are new, you can go as higher as your budget allows you.
  • Road Bicycles – you can get vintage road bikes for lower than KES 20,000 and some good road bikes for between KES 20,000 and KES 30,000. But KES 30,000 and above is the price I would recommend for road bikes, especially if you want to be competitive in local races. Most pre-owned road bikes with good components I have seen being sold locally usually range from 35,000 and above. For new road bikes, go as high as your purse allows you to go.

For all these bicycles, you will mostly get aluminium frames at these price ranges. Steel also, but mostly for mountain bikes. Prices for carbon frames and/or components are on the higher end (KES 70,000 and above).

You can also look for a good frame for a mountain bike, hybrid bike or a road bike at any of the price ranges above, and then upgrade its components. You might get a cheap or affordable bike with lower end components which you can upgrade slowly.

For children’s bicycles, you are better off bargaining with the seller, but unless your kid is competitive in which case then you can worry more about getting higher quality bikes.

There are many other factors to look at when it comes to bicycle prices in Kenya and you become more keen with experience (both on riding and on using the bike).

In summary, for bicycle prices in Kenya, look for components and frame material. But above all, the price of bicycles in Kenya will depend on the budget of the buyers.

Check these two articles by dragon bicycles and bicycle universe on other factors that may determine bicycle prices. Also, see where to purchase bicycles in Nairobi.

But keep away from supermarket bikes!

For more cycling tips, check the other articles on cycling.

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Gĩthĩnji is the founder of afrocave.com. He is passionate about politics and governance, public finance management and cycling.@Afrophi