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Jinkster 10-16-14 10:52 AM

Question...should I buy a new bike or?...
 
Before anyone goes off too hard on me here I guess I should preface this with...

"This is just me planning for the future"

But the topic came up between me and my "Crazy about Road Bikes" coworker who's intensely into it too the point he owns not one but (2) Trek road bikes...one is his $4k "Trainer" and the other?...his $10K "Serious Bike"...now I've teased around with him offering up ridiculously low ball offers for his "Trainer" but I emphasis...just teasing...that said?...he inquired the other day asking me what's next in my journey...to which I responded...

"I dunno...just more pedaling I guess but I would like to upgrade at some point if for nothing else but to keep me motivated."

He then asked what I was thinking about as I responded with...

"I dunno...on one hand?...I'm figuring the next step up in a new bike will probably be something in the $1,200-$1,500 price range in either a Specialized or Bianchi buuuuuuuuut...I'm wondering if I wouldn't be better off just using my current Giant OCR3 Frame and using that same money to deck it out with high end derailleurs and upgraded brakes."

He immediately informed me I should just go for a new bike but when I asked why?...he cited that a new bike will be lighter with a more technologically advance frame...to which I countered with...

"True...maybe....but within that price range how much lighter of a bike am I going to get?...because if it's not a 100% CF frame?....(and I don't believe that money will get me one of those)....my bikes frame is already an aluminum 6061 hydro-formed number with CF forks so?....then that just leaves the tech advancements in ergos that to me means basically nothing because if I can make adjustments to the seat and bars to get my butt and hands in proper relationship to the crank just how advantageous are these "Ergo Advancements" VS me having Cadillac level hardware on my giant?"

To which he kind of cocked his head with a smirk of agreement and I could tell I just got him rethinking his end of this short exchange/debate.

So I'm curious...what say you all?...I've already got a real nice seat on the giant...(a "fitted to me & properly adjusted" specialized romin evo that my butt loves)...so to me it seems a choice between a shiny new frame with bargain basement hardware or?...my trusty old giant with top shelf level hardware...decisions, decisions! LOL!

T.I.A. Bill. :)

Timtruro 10-16-14 11:17 AM

Given the price range you are looking at, I would invest in some improved, higher end gearing. You already have a decent frame and the $1200 to $1500 range won't get you much better. Just sayin'

Jinkster 10-16-14 11:28 AM


Originally Posted by Timtruro (Post 17222633)
Given the price range you are looking at, I would invest in some improved, higher end gearing. You already have a decent frame and the $1200 to $1500 range won't get you much better. Just sayin'

That's what I'm thinking...and far more economical....because if my wife ever caught wind that I spent $1,500 on a bike?...(which would be much harder to hide than new hardware on my old bike LOL!)...that $1,500 would be a drop in the bucket as compared to the lost wages and bills I'd receive of my wife having me Bakers Acted into a psych ward! LOL!

kingfishr 10-16-14 11:42 AM

If you're not racing then I can't see why you would bother getting a new bike. You won't be any faster, you will be a lot poorer, you will have to make it up to your wife in one way or another. Upgrade the wheels to something really aero and you will be way ahead of the game. Or if you want positive feedback and lots of attention then buy a steel frame classic and you will get more comments and admiration than you will ever get from a CF bike.

Biker395 10-16-14 12:07 PM

I was once in this boat.

I had a straight gauge, Al Schwinn bike with an Al fork (believe it or not), square taper crank, Tiagra components, and kinda crappy Alex wheels. I looked into all kinds of way to make it lighter and better. But a better (at the time Hollowtech) crank was at least $250 (the bike itself cost $500), and new wheels and a fork would mean investing more in the bike than I paid for it in the first place. Instead, I found a Schwinn Fastback Comp a year later for about $800 (it was a great deal on a $1600 bike). That had a Reynolds carbon fork, nice Velomax wheels, 105 components, including a Hollowtech crank. Easily the best decision at the time.

So from that, you'd think I'd recommend buying an upscale bike, right?

Actually no. IMHO, there really isn't that much difference between what you've got and a bike in the price range you are considering ... the law of diminishing returns in action. I still ride that Schwinn Fastback Comp, and I still enjoy it. The only reason I bought a CF bike ($2500) was I was going to ride a 500 mile endurance race with crappy road surfaces.

So I'm going to go along with the others and say ... forget about the new bike for now. Unless you come upon a deal you can't resist. And if you really want to upgrade, got with new wheels ... you can swap them on a new bike, should you buy one.

Jinkster 10-16-14 12:09 PM


Originally Posted by kingfishr (Post 17222727)
If you're not racing then I can't see why you would bother getting a new bike. You won't be any faster, you will be a lot poorer, you will have to make it up to your wife in one way or another. Upgrade the wheels to something really aero and you will be way ahead of the game. Or if you want positive feedback and lots of attention then buy a steel frame classic and you will get more comments and admiration than you will ever get from a CF bike.

LOL! Lots of truth in all that! :lol:

Weird part is...I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the Schwinn Continental & Varsity models...they were "The Bike" I wished I could afford as a kid...gumwall tires.....mid-frame shifters...ohhh baby!

PS...okay...now that's (2) that mentioned/opted/suggested to go with "New Wheels" rather than replacing the low level Sora Derailleur system my giant has?...what kind of wheels and how much?

Cause truth be known?...I thought about new wheels as well but probably not what you folks are thinking...as most of my rides are local and most of my local roads look like a jigsaw puzzle?....I was thinking of going with something a bit wider and more "all terrain"...as there's a few dirt/grass spots here and there I'd like to have the ability to traverse without getting hung sideways and flipped over the bars.

RideMyWheel 10-16-14 01:23 PM

Your rationale makes perfect sense to me, Bill. I'm still new to all of this, and I'm improving every month, but last month I was licking my chops over carbon bikes in anticipation of next year's end-of-season sales.

Then I came to the same conclusion you did. I read a lot about aerodynamics and watched every Specialized "win tunnel" video on YouTube. Before I spend any serious money on equipment, I should see how tighter clothes, a better helmet, clipless pedals and maybe even shaved legs impact my times and performances. I've decided that if I buy anything I'm getting a second rear wheel with a different cassette for the days when I'm not climbing. When I'm stronger I may try a bigger crank. But I think I'd be stupid to throw $2-3K at a carbon bike.

The only guys I'm racing against are Father Time and the man in the mirror, and they're riding the exact same bike I am.

big john 10-16-14 01:48 PM

Most of the weight of a bike is in the parts and wheels, not the frame. A decent aluminum frame is about 3 pounds, steel about 4, and a higher end cf frame can be around 2 pounds, or even less.
So to go from an aluminum frame to a nice cf will only save you 1 pound.

As far as upgrading, some people just like to buy new stuff. Nothing wrong with buying whatever you want, whether it makes you go faster or not. Personally, I like to buy new bikes every so often, not to go faster, but because I like to buy new bikes. At 60 I'm probably not going to get any faster after 170,000 miles, or so.

sch 10-16-14 01:56 PM

Aero wheels won't do you much good unless you regularly ride above 20mph, and don't really kick in til 25-28mph. So unless you can ride in the 20+ mph average speed
range for a 30-50 mile ride aero only benefits the shop that sold it. My final ultimate upgrade for my 15yr old Lightspeed vortex frame was an Ultegra DI2 10speed kit for
$1100 from Probikekit. They now have the 11spd version with chainset for $1350. Bike doesn't go any faster but the electric shift makes a compact tolerable and I can
climb hills upto a mile or so and 7-8% grade. Any rides with steeper or longer hills I do on the vintage bike with triple. I did have a pair of 1450 gram non-aero wheels
I bought from Nashbar 6-7 yrs ago that I mounted on the bike, but it still weighs 20# with my usual load in the underseat bag and pump mounted but no water bottles.
Wheels are no longer cheap unless very basic, any bling adds hundreds to thousands to the wheel price.

A friend recently bought an Ultegra 11spd compact group set and raves about the brakes, which appear to be a significant design change from previous brakesets.

RonH 10-16-14 03:31 PM


Originally Posted by Jinkster (Post 17222690)
That's what I'm thinking...and far more economical....because if my wife ever caught wind that I spent $1,500 on a bike?...

Ask your wife if she can put a price on good health.
My wife always tells me to get the bike I want and to not worry about the price, within reason of course.
If you can up the dollar amount you want to spend look at a Cannondale SuperSix EVO carbon 105. That's what I got a few weeks ago to replace my "car crushed" CAAD 10. THe EVO is an awesome bike and the 105 shifts better than the older generation Ultegra on my Litespeed.
If you decide to upgrade, you don't have to get the "Cadillac" components. You'll love the 2015 105 brifters.

GlennR 10-16-14 07:29 PM

I new lighter and more expensive bike will not make you faster. But if it gets you out more, putting more miles on it and makes you want to ride more... do it.

Let's face it, 99% of us will never race. We're at a stage in out lives where the kids are done with school, the house is paid off and we're saving for retirement. We have some disposable income and more free time on the weekends.

So here's your choice:
1) Lease a new Corvette for a year and never use it to a 1/4 of its potential.
2) Get a really nice carbon bike and ride it as often as you can.

With option 1) the only exercise you'll get is dusting the car at weekend cruise nights and sitting in a folding chair drinking beer.

With option 2), you loose weight, strengthen your heart and muscles. It's the best way to relieve stress, other than taking a blue pill and hoping the wife is ready for 15 minutes of activity.

Do you want to be this guy?
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TnM5twsEit...0/IMG_0968.JPG

Or this guy? (who's 102)
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3...cyk6o1_500.jpg

Jinkster 10-16-14 08:32 PM


Originally Posted by oldnslow2 (Post 17223949)
I new lighter and more expensive bike will not make you faster. But if it gets you out more, putting more miles on it and makes you want to ride more... do it.

Let's face it, 99% of us will never race. We're at a stage in out lives where the kids are done with school, the house is paid off and we're saving for retirement. We have some disposable income and more free time on the weekends.

So here's your choice:
1) Lease a new Corvette for a year and never use it to a 1/4 of its potential.
2) Get a really nice carbon bike and ride it as often as you can.

With option 1) the only exercise you'll get is dusting the car at weekend cruise nights and sitting in a folding chair drinking beer.

With option 2), you loose weight, strengthen your heart and muscles. It's the best way to relieve stress, other than taking a blue pill and hoping the wife is ready for 15 minutes of activity.

Do you want to be this guy?
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TnM5twsEit...0/IMG_0968.JPG

Or this guy? (who's 102)
http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3...cyk6o1_500.jpg

Dear God Almighty!...not to be not nice to nobody and hats off to the old dude for sure but to be honest?...neither one...the drug companies couldn't make enough aleve for me to wanna still be pedaling at 102! LOL!

chasm54 10-17-14 12:09 AM

The question is, how is your current bike limiting your enjoyment and performance? If the answer is either "not at all" or "I don't know" then a new bike isn't really going to make any difference, and you're just thinking you might like something newer and fancier. Nothing wrong with that if that's what you want to spend your money on, but it won't make you a better cyclist. Cycling, like golf, is full of people who buy new equipment every year but do little or nothing to improve their own ability to use it.

Personally I'd suggest you ride what you have and don't worry about upgrades at this point. When you think you might want to update the groupset, that's the time to evaluate the economics of doing that, or buying the new bike with groupset already installed. The choice you'll make will be dependent on what deals are available at the time, and in the meantime you can put a bit of money aside to increase the options you have available.

Zinger 10-17-14 02:43 AM


Originally Posted by kingfishr (Post 17222727)
Or if you want positive feedback and lots of attention then buy a steel frame classic and you will get more comments and admiration than you will ever get from a CF bike.

:thumb:

Collection

kingfishr 10-17-14 03:55 AM


Originally Posted by Zinger (Post 17224469)
:thumb:

Collection

that's what I'm talking about!

qcpmsame 10-17-14 05:18 AM

To me Chas hits the mark for your question, Bill. Right now just ride and enjoy your Giant, work on the set up some and then go ride as much as you can. Keep your eyes open for a nice ride at an LBS, or the ideas about a steel frameset, either a C&V or one of the new Reynolds stainless or 501 tubes. Carbon fiber is fine, no real problems with having a frame from this material at all. Ron has moved to CF after his accident so he has an interesting viewpoint, above. To me, you might better enjoy an Aluminum, Titanium or steel frameset, based on your background as a machinist. Steel, either C&V or modern offers a unique ride and feel, I really miss my old Raleigh International with a total Reynolds 531 tube set and the relaxed geometry, I'd gladly spring for another one now.

Down the road a bit, I could see you really enjoying restoring a C&V steel framed bicycle, and having a ball when riding it. You have a good attention to detail from your machinist background and your time in the Corps.

All this said, go do what you think is best for you and your riding, the most important thing, to me, is to ride as much as possible and enjoy every one of the miles. Look at Chasm54's sig line!

Bill

NOS88 10-17-14 07:22 AM

I tend to think along the same line as those who have said ride what you have unless there is a reason not to. With that said, keep in mind that bike junkies will ask questions like your coworker did just to get their fix for the day. Nothing wrong with that unless it gets you into a place you don't really want to be.

big john 10-17-14 07:31 AM

Just to throw this out there, I've been working on cars for 40+ years, motorcycles and bicycles for part of that time. I've no interest whatsoever in vintage bikes, even though I own a couple older ones. I'm so tired of wrenching on crap I rarely even clean my newer bikes. My mtb has sat with a flat for weeks and it needs a new drivetrain.
I'd love to go buy a new road bike and a new mtb today, and sell off some others cheap.

DnvrFox 10-18-14 07:23 AM

Turning 75 in a few weeks. My wife says "Get something real nice." Not necessarily a bike. So, I have been contemplating my riding goals (continue with 20-40 mile relaxed and, enjoyable to me, rides; some mtn biking; and riding with the wife), style (I don't give a hoot about speed, competition, racing, pacelines and the like), fitness goals (swimming, resistance training, walking, bicycling, targeted stretching - all to maintain muscle structure and aerobic capacity - which seems to me to rapidly deplete about this time in life, AND, I greatly enjoy these activities). So, I have decided that my current stable of 1999 Lemond Buenos Aires 105 steel bike with carbon fiber fork, 2006 Specialized Rock Hopper mtn bike, My Windsor Leeds 2002 "utility" road bike - heavy with panniers, etc. but GREAT for riding with my wife as it keep up nicely with her hybrid - she is 76 and will be 77 shortly after I turn 75, and my Specialized Hard Rock as a trainer in the basement are the perfect match for this guy.

What I will do is get some work done on the Lemond - it needs new cableing, a good cleaning, new chain and possibly some drive train parts and I might go for a better set of wheels, although nothing wrong with the current set. The bike shop up the street has a deal for $150 with includes most of the above and more (except the wheels and parts).

There! I think I have sorted out my 75th birthdy present!! Get the Lemond in perfect order. I don't work on (nor enjoy working on) bikes except to pump and change tubes and tires and lubricate as needed.

Incidentally, I get a lot of positive remarks about the Lemond - especially from folks in bike shops.

For me, enjoyment of whatever one does (whatever that means to you) is the key to long-term physical activity.

bruised 10-18-14 08:15 AM

I'm going to break the trend here and suggest 'buy a new bike'.

You've already said…… '….I would like to upgrade at some point if for nothing else but to keep me motivated."

Don't underestimate the need to stay motivated. There are plenty of bikes hanging from garage walls being unused just as there are plenty of gym subscriptions laying around gathering dust. If investing financially into your hobby helps seal the deal and keep you motivated, then do it.

Also, I'm reading a lot on this thread about not needing to go faster, not worrying about a pound saved here and there…. that's all true and sensible, but if we all followed what's sensible as the primary driving force then the 50+ forum would be full of people riding upright fitness bikes with wide tires, straight bars, two sets of brake levers, rear-view mirrors, extra fittings for an IV and so forth. We'd be wearing baggy shorts, a motocross style helmet and NFL style padding. Oh and forget clip-in pedals.

So obviously we all (even at our age) retain an eye on fashion/style, what's trendy, what performs, what might help us go a little faster etc. In fact as we get older the desire to keep pace with the younger generation, both in terms of measured performance and the way in which we achieve that performance (style/trends) should not be played down. It's a useful and legitimate driving force the outcome of which is beneficial to us in many ways - it can help keep us old folks young at heart, if not in body. :)

So it comes down to investing in what you have versus buying new. I'm no expert as everyone knows, but I recommend that you buy new. But pick something up that's a heavily discounted 2013/4 model or whatever the deal is.

Behind my reasoning is the fact that the manufacturers pay a fraction of what you and I pay for the parts. Where a high-end groupset might cost you $1000 or more, the manufacturers cost is probably 20-25% of that, given their buying power.

So if you buy a new bike that's on sale, you're probably getting the frame thrown in for free, and then some.

Since you like the feel and geometry of your existing ride, do your homework and find a bike with similar numbers. I think it's great that most of the big players show you the frame layout and dimensions, so it should be easy to find a new bike that fits the way your old one does.

Keep your old bike for a project bike. I plan to do that with a 29er I have. I'm watching craigslist for parts and plan to slowly rebuild it at a low investment. It will help me learn about the mechanical side of things and will end up saving me money on LBS labor in the long run.

Anyway, given what you've said I'd be all over a new bike in a heartbeat, but maybe that's just me. :)

Jinkster 10-18-14 09:24 AM

Well Folks?..I thank you all very much as great suggestions with solid points were made by all...which at first seemed to confuse me even more but like I initially indicated?...this is just me "Planning For The Future"...and?..."Trying To Stay Motivated"....that said?...at the end of the day?....I have concluded the following....

Maybe Santa will bring me a new bike for Christmas! ;)

My reasoning?....that last post bruised responded with made a lot of sense to me because...

1. If I do shell out for a new high-end group-set for my old bike?...I still have just one old bike with real nice hardware. LOL!

and not that "That's a bad thing" but....

2. For the same money I could have a 2nd....."NEW BIKE"....with real nice 11 year newer everything including wheels.

and finally?...

3. Despite it's age?...everything on my old giant still works just fine and it was just weeks ago I had a brand new Sora Front Derailleur installed (to replace the old broken one) and the bike dons a brand new chain as well and?...

To take care of the "Keeping Me Motivated" part?...

I just dropped $160 on my first ever set of clip-less pedal and shoes...for the old giant...and that "all-new-too-me" upgrade alone has my heart pumping just thinking about getting out on it today...along with my new Catseye Padrone wireless speedo/odo/trip thingy.

Now it looks like the two primary brands that the LBS that I like to patronize (cause they've been great, friendly and very accommodating to me thus far) carry (that would include models they stock well within my price range) are "Specialized" & "Bianchi"....they also carry "Raleigh"....and considering the condition of my local roads?....(and sometimes the lack thereof? LOL!)....I haven't even ruled out getting into something of a slightly different flavor...matter fact?...I'm thinking it might just be optimum for me to deck out a cyclocross type bike as a "light touring/commuter"....would that make sense?

again...thanks for all the great thoughts, points and suggestions, Bill. :)

Zinger 10-18-14 04:38 PM


Originally Posted by Jinkster (Post 17227952)

Maybe Santa will bring me a new bike for Christmas! ;)

Take your time in seeing what's around out there. You might find a steel frame bike suits your needs or might want CF for keeping up with the Joneses. Look everything over before pigeon holing yourself into what the LBS shows you......There are lots of options to be found in a google search. Sometimes it's best to take a few months at this to find something attractive to you that suits your needs perfectly.

Just make sure whatever kind of frame you decide on fits you perfectly.

TiHabanero 10-18-14 04:38 PM

Gotta jump in on this one, as I sell bikes, and have since 1983. Add a grand to the budget and get a new bike. If you are in the 1200 dollar range, you will gain a new bike, but not a new ride. The OCR was a gifted performer, good ride quality, and with the right bits on it, under 20lbs. Save up some more dough, and get an upgrade, not a warmed over new bike. However, and here it comes, one qualifier is if the bike is being closed out at a sweet price...then by all means 1500 bucks could easily buy a 2200 dollar machine, so get it!

chasm54 10-19-14 01:26 AM

OK, if you're now in the grip of bike consumer fever, and think you want a new bike, I'd suggest you continue along the "different flavor" line of thought. If you're buying a new bike there's no law that says you have to get rid of the old one, so consider keeping that - as you've previously observed, it's a perfectly decent road bike - and get something that you'd use for slightly different purposes.

I currently have four bikes. Used to be five, but I actually got round to selling one. My carbon race bike is a seven year-old Giant TCR. It has long been superseded by later editons and the new Propel, but it is still perfectly serviceable, stiff enough for me and with a frame weight of 1.1k I'd save only about 1lb in weight by spending about $3000 on a new frame. So it's going nowhere.

However, it isn't a bike I'd use for touring or commuting or off-road. So I have a heavy-duty tourer that will carry me and lots of luggage over reasonably challenging terrain. Then for just mooching around town there's the FG/SS - also doubles as a training bike in winter - which is much the cheapest, and which I don't mind locking up in places where a more expensive bike would draw the eye of bike thieves. And finally, there's the custom steel road bike that overlaps a bit with the TCR but is set up less aggressively for those long days in the hills.

Which is a long-winded way of saying that if you are going to have more than one, it is worth thinking hard about the sort of riding you'd like to do. Certainly a CX bike - maybe a Specialized tricross, if your LBS is a Specialized dealer - might be an option, it's a versatile bike in itself. And if you are using the bike to commute, a CX with a rack fitted is an excellent choice, fast enough to be fun, capable of carrying a load, clearances for mudguards and so on. And incidentally, commuting is a great way to get time on the bike without eating into the rest of your day.

OldTryGuy 10-19-14 06:23 AM

Test ride some new bikes and see if any talk to you. THEN DECIDE.


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