I’ve been thinking about the same thing, man. I am riding a $350 Giant Boulder SE with platforms, rim brakes and bare minimum components. Right when I got the bike, maybe 3-4 rides into having it, I fell off a little bridge and also basically bent my whole crankset. Rode with it like that for a while because I still had my Low chainring. After riding more and more, harder and harder I realized tht wouldn’t cut it. I was actually ripping through chains like it was cool. So i went out and spent $50 on a new crankset and also bought a whole tool kit because I knew my bike would need TLC after every single ride. I don’t have the budget to buy a new bike (at least, not yet) so I ride the crap out of my beater and have learned how to fix it by reading books and just doing it. So this works for me, but I’d say that if you are going to start riding, you will probably need to upgrade at least some components. That being said, upgrading components will end up costing more in the long run, especially if they’re cheap to begin with.