Most of us want a good quality bike for recreation or leisure. Not all of us are expert riders or professionals who would care for really high-quality specs and excellent performance.
Sometimes, a good bike that will bring us comfortably anywhere will be enough.
Such is the Nashbar bike. Having long been in the bike industry, this one caters to the need of the general public.
They make buying a bike as convenient as possible. They are the pioneers of mail-order bikes, the predecessor of online buy selling and shopping.
But are the Nashbar bikes good? Is there anything that makes them stand out?
Are there any drawbacks to Nash bikes? Which Nashbar bikes are currently available on the market?
Those are the things we will discuss in this article.
The Nashbar Bike: An Overview
They have all things concerning bikes: this is what the social media platform of Nashbar bikes says. And for the longest time, Nashbar has been associated with everything bikes.
It is because Nashbar has perfected the art of marketing it, bringing bikes everywhere to those who may want or need them.
Nashbar’s story began in 1974 when Arnie Nashbar established the company. For decades, the Nashbar company manufactured anything bike-related: bicycles, parts and components, and even apparel.
In the 80s and 90s’, chances are, any of those applying for a biking racing license would have heard of Nashbar. They will send you a catalog of everything relating to bikes.
Now it is common for bike companies to advertise themselves through social media platforms, online websites, and sponsorships of athletes.
Back in the day, companies do it house to house, and Nashbar has perfected the art, becoming one the better-known brands in the country before the advent of the internet.
One of the more famous bikes from their catalog was the 1985 Nashbar Toure MT.
Now a favorite among collectors of vintage bikes, this blue bicycle has a Chromoly frame loved by cyclists.
Famous for its time but is now obviously dated, vintage collectors usually upgrade this race bike to give others a run for their money.
In 2000, Performance Bicycle, the seller of high-end biking products, bought Nashbar, while in 2016, Advanced Sports International (ASI) bought Performance Bicycle, including its subsidiary, Nashbar.
ASI, however, went bankrupt, and the rights to Nashbar went to AMain, Inc.
Nashbar may have changed hands, but the legacy itself continues.
Nashbar is now part of AMain Sports and Hobbies, a company dedicated to promoting cycling and providing all the needs of bikers.
What makes Nashbar bikes stand out?
Some qualities make Nashbar bikes preferred by some riders. Among these are:
Nashbar bikes are primarily affordable, even then. Those who want a decent, good-quality bicycle can have a Nashbar bike simply by filling out those forms sent via snail mail.
But now, it is much easier to order their bikes because of the internet.
The prices are mostly affordable, with many road bikes priced below $500.
It is rare to find good decent bikes of that quality, much more from one which has established itself throughout the years.
They may not be elite or high-end, but for purposes of riding whatever type of bike for leisure and enjoyment, Nashbar bikes are more than enough.
When we say Nashbar offers anything bike-related, we mean it. They have them from bikes to parts, gear, apparel, maintenance, and service.
You need not worry about your bike needs; you can look at their catalog through the net, then shop.
In short, Nashbar can cater to all your needs.
You can have the bike of your choice or parts that suit your customized bike: that would be the least of your problem.
And you will have them right at your doorstep. Nashbar does not have a brick-and-mortar store.
They will deliver, lock, stock, and barrel what you need.
And they offer options and coupons for some customers. You can have some bikes or other products at low or discounted prices.
The marketing strategy is just the continuation of the tradition of the Nashbar brand.
And with a tie-up to Performance bicycles and AMain, the service would be far better than the ones they had during the 80s and 90s.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Nashbar Bikes?
There are some things, though, going against Nashbar. Among these are:
Not An Elite Bike
If you are looking for a top-of-the-line or elite bike, this is not the bike for you. What Nashbar has are mostly serviceable bikes, yes, but not of the highest quality.
Their bikes are good enough for you to enjoy biking or give some athlete an excellently performing bike, but they are not of the elite.
A Dip in Reputation
There is a question about the reliability and quality of Nash bikes, even then. More of it, however, is due to the company catering more to the mass market and the general public.
There is a particular bias against companies that produce for virtually everyone, and Nash bikes are no exception.
Compounding that, however, are the business troubles and issues that plagued the company throughout its existence.
It did not help that Nashbar changed ownership three times, from Performance Bicycle to ASI and now to AMain Sports and Hobbies.
In itself, it has nothing to do with the qualities of the bicycles per se. But public perception is such that the business troubles rub off on the company’s reputation.
But now, with AMain Sports and Hobbies dedicated to delivering quality bikes and bicycle-related products to everyone, Nashbar is on more solid footing.
The brand Nashbar has finally recovered and has been performing well again in the market.
Best Nashbar Bikes Review
Here are some Nashbar bikes that have a solid reputation among cycling enthusiasts.
1. 1985 Nashbar Toure MT
It is the bike most associated with Nashbar. 1985 Nashbar Toure MT is a vintage racing bike with a solid reputation among collectors due to its excellent performance and durability.
More than any bike, this one belies the suspicion that Nashbar bikes are not of good quality.
This bike has a Chromoly steel frame with a SunTour drivetrain and 27″ wheels. One thing working for this vintage bike is that it is easy to upgrade.
And most of its parts could be compatible with a genuinely efficient new component.
Some, for instance, replaced the SunTour rear derailleur with a Shimano one, perfectly compatible with other SunTour drivetrain components. The result is a very efficient racing machine that is more than decent on flat roads and smooth surfaces.
No wonder many collectors and cycling fans are looking for this one. 1985 Nashbar Toure MT is more than worth it.
2. Nashbar Diamond Hatch 3
This one is a hardtail mountain bike, but it can give you everything. Its feature allows you to take on rugged terrains and smooth flat surfaces.
That makes Diamond Hatch 3 efficient as a mountain bike and commuting on city roads.
This one has an aluminum frame and sports SunTour as a suspension fork, with a suspension travel of 100mm.
It sports of Shimano drivetrain, tires from Vee, and other components made of aluminum.
The spokes are of stainless steel.
This one gives the rider enough stability on the trails with an aluminum frame and suspension fork with 100mm travel.
With aluminum parts, it is also lighter but still durable.
Nashbar Diamond Hatch 3 is one of the ideal all-terrain bikes from Nashbar. And for the price of $775, quite affordable too.
3. Nashbar AL1
This road bike is one of the biggest bargains from Nashbar. A road race bike sporting an aluminum frame with a carbon fork, this has a Shimano Sora groupset.
Sora groupset may not be the best of Shimano but still ideal for the road bike and more than efficient for this one, considering its price and performance.
The road bike’s smooth shifting for which the Shimano Sora groupset is famous for more than compensates for its other shortcomings, if we can call it that way.
It is heavy at 23 lbs, a consequence not of frame or fork but wheels, which are heavy than others employed by some road bikes.
Compared to other road bikes, Nashbar Al1 provides a more relaxed geometry. True blue road racers aching for speed and aggressive riding may not like this.
But those who want to race comfortably and have some speed at the same time will surely do.
Nashbar Al1, after all, is for those who want to enjoy riding a road bike for leisure. And one that costs inexpensive with Nashbar’s discount promo.
4. Nashbar AT1 Mountain Bike
Another mountain bike that sports an excellent bike-price ratio, AT1 Mountain Bike has a 6061 aluminum frame and Zoom suspension fork that has 50mm suspension travel.
It has a Shimano Revo for the shifter and Shimano Tourney for the rear derailleur.
The wheels are single wall, alloy rims, and tires are size 26×1.95″.
The tires may be short of the usual two inches for thickness in mountain bikes, but that makes it more efficient to take on smooth roads and flat surfaces.
The only issue with AT1 is the pedals, the most neglected component by those selling for the mass market. But considering its price of around $300, we can let it pass.
For talking about efficiency and road excellence, it can compare with those priced around $500.
It is comfortable too and provides the needed stability for riders, especially the new ones.
And it performs well in shifting terrains or on smooth flat surfaces. Overall, we can consider it a bargain because it is inexpensive and has a good name, Nashbar.
Conclusion: Is It Worth Having a Nash Bike?
The Nashbar bicycles suffered a hit on their reputation for the past several years. With AMain Sports and Hobbies, the name and reputation recovered and are now selling again.
The best thing concerning Nash bikes is their good bike-price ratio. Overall, it cannot compare with elite bike companies in terms of performance and road excellence.
Select bike companies offer that much compared to Nashbar.
But they offered bikes for everyone, bikes that are fun to ride anywhere, anytime. They are of decent quality, and some have excellent road performance.
Considering the price and discount, most of their bikes are a bargain.
Pro riders, experts, and hardcore fans of certain bike types like mountain bikes or road bikes may not like Nashbar. But we can expect that.
The company caters mainly to those who want to enjoy riding some trails and smooth flat surfaces. Performance, though, still matters, and Nashbar has some of them in their stable.
So, yes, it is still worth having a Nashbar bike. It is still of good quality, has a name that has history, and has a primarily affordable price.