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What do you really pay for?

Old 09-25-16, 08:26 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by jorglueke View Post
Obviously there's an initial cost to get a bike that works and will not break down quickly. For the sake of argument lets say that this is represented in 2016 by the entry level Trek/Specialized Road bikes at $1000. You're paying for the frame/fork, and the wheels, and somewhat the other components though those can be swapped and upgraded. So when you move from $1000 to $2000 to $4000 what are you paying for really? Is it all weight, mostly weight? Durability, style, performance? I'm curious because I feel like the vast majority of bikers don't need any of that and yet sales must be fairly robust.
If you can't tell the difference, it isn't worth your money. If you can, no one has to explain it to you.
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Old 09-25-16, 09:26 PM
  #77  
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In my view, componentry is just so much hype. I worked at bike shops for years, and yes, the higher end stuff holds up better in general, but it doesn't justify the cost. It certainly doesn't make you go faster. Stuff like Shimano Tiagra and the equivalents from the other brands are all most people will ever need. If you get a full Tiagra bike, maybe your derailleur will wear out, or you'll have to replace your brifters (integrated brake/shift levers) but that could happen to anyone, and some repairs have to be in the budget anyway. If you have to replace something, you can upgrade it then.

But there can be a reason for me to want to spend more than $1,000. Frame lightness, wheel lightness, aesthetics, nice workmanship, or some kind of advanced design that isn't available in lower level models.

I haven't actually paid more than $1,000 for a bike, but I've been able to build some really nice bikes that would have sold for more, by being frugal and doing the work myself and waiting for good deals to come along.

If you're the kind of person who wants something that will serve you a long time and that you'll like from the first day to ten years from now, you may want to consider a $1,500 or $2,000 bike, but it's a big commitment, at least in my eyes.

It does make sense to get the best of some things, but which things those are, you have to decide. I like nice tires and lights. Some people don't care about those things.
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Old 09-25-16, 10:25 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by jorglueke View Post
Yes! But, how do I know what I want with so much choice? Sure I'd love not to have to remember to get my butt out of my seat every time I ride over a crack in the road or sidewalk, can a better bike fix that?


I can ride for hours I just get tired of hills, is an electric boost the way to go?

I don't know exactly, I remain curious on what factors go into people's purchasing decisions.
In my case, I worked for a LBS and loved the Cannondales, always wanted one. Now i'm close to having 3 of them, each with a different purpose.
Do your homework, look at the models, pick your favorite and just go for it.
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Old 09-25-16, 10:49 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by Heyspike View Post
In my case, I worked for a LBS and loved the Cannondales, always wanted one. Now i'm close to having 3 of them, each with a different purpose.
Do your homework, look at the models, pick your favorite and just go for it.
Right, but then the price still sets in
As an example lets say I went with a Specialized Sequoia. The base is $1300 and the Expert is $3500. They are made of the same steel. The wheels are different though I couldn't find the specs.

So lets say I ride it, I like the fit, I like the geometry, I like the features. I don't think I care about the components to the tune of $2200, I'd maybe swap as something needed an upgrade. What do I get for $2200 and how do I know I want it? Would a test drive of both versions be enough? I guess I can try the latter
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Old 09-25-16, 11:21 PM
  #80  
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I think it's cool that cycling has attracted enough attention that some bicycles are Verblen goods, i.e. exclusive enough that their price is the attractive part. There is definitely a law of diminishing returns as you go up in price on bikes. Pricing doesn't always follow features. People gotta make a living. However, bikes that weigh less than 10 pounds are not going to sell for less than $10k
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Old 09-25-16, 11:48 PM
  #81  
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Why is everybody down on prices lately? My main ride was GIVEN to me, and while I cannot afford a used Lamborghini Miura, I'm still fond of them.


Ride whatever you can and what works for you. Keep it fixed. This isn't gentry vs. non-gentry.
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Old 09-26-16, 01:51 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by jorglueke View Post
I'm not worried about it, I want to understand what criteria people use when they buy higher end bikes since I could be missing something. Are there considerations above and beyond weight? If you haven't bought a nicer bike don't clutter this thread with pointless advice.
Um ... yes.
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Old 09-26-16, 01:55 AM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Same considerations made when ANYONE buys ANYTHING above the most basic functional level.

Shoes, clothes, cars, appliances, houses, haircuts. Get where this is going?


Yeah ... because we can!
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Old 09-26-16, 05:55 AM
  #84  
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Prestige, panache, and aesthetic superiority...


Why else would I buy something?
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Old 09-26-16, 08:27 AM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by FullGas View Post
threads where people set a limit on what constitutes the proper amount of money to spend on a bike are beyond inane.

Signature-worthy.


And before the OP pipes up: Yes. I have a custom ti frame built by a one-man operation built up with a DA 9000 drivetrain, Chris King hubs and Stan's tubeless wheels and finished with Cerakote. Don't regret the expenditure one bit, especially since I am a hard fit and the bike fits great.
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Old 09-26-16, 08:30 AM
  #86  
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For higher prices, you tend to get

1. Higher-quality frame materials and assembly

2. Higher-quality components

3. Higher-quality wheels

4. Inherently more expensive components (eg: Di2)

5. Branding and bling
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Old 09-26-16, 08:44 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
For higher prices, you tend to get

1. Higher-quality frame materials and assembly

2. Higher-quality components

3. Higher-quality wheels

4. Inherently more expensive components (eg: Di2)

5. Branding and bling
In my Sequoia Base to Expert example my extra $2200 doesn't get me #1 or #5. #2 and #4 seem to be the same.

So I get better components and better wheels for $2200 which is more than the base bike. That seems excessive but maybe I'm missing something. For me the main factors are durability and ride comfort/quality so that seems excessive.
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Old 09-26-16, 10:03 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
A slippery slope if we are only permitted to buy a bike we could utilize to the max. Don't think you really want to promote that. Sorry the lady with the Trek offended you so badly you still talk about it 9 years later. Must have been tough!
Holy **** dude, relax! You don’t have to be a butthole every day of your life! How in any stretch of your messed upimagination did you get the idea that I was offended? You’ve obviously got a problem when you automatically apply your misanthropic bias to a mundane comment such as mine. Ooooo, I remembered an interesting situation from 9 years ago, I must be offended! I also didn't say anything about permitting or restricting anyone's purchases, nor can it even be inferred by what I wrote. My comment was completely benign, but you had to jump all over it. Says more about you than it does me LOL!
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Old 09-26-16, 10:14 AM
  #89  
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Every part of a Bike has a Price , the Frame has a Name on it , every thing else is sourced from other suppliers ..

and those suppliers have multiple levels of the parts ,, derailleurs just one example ..

a couple high end parts are costing what a whole bike with serviceable, adequate for purpose, parts on it cost.






...
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Old 09-26-16, 10:39 AM
  #90  
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Ooops, sorry if I hit a nerve. Remember this is a forum for cycling enthusiasts. Start in on the reverse snobbery and you shouldn't be surprised to get some push back. We like our nice bikes....
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Old 09-26-16, 10:55 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Ooops, sorry if I hit a nerve. Remember this is a forum for cycling enthusiasts. Start in on the reverse snobbery and you shouldn't be surprised to get some push back. We like our nice bikes....
You could lighten up. Goes a long way toward promoting civilized, hostility-free discussion.
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Old 09-26-16, 10:58 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Ooops, sorry if I hit a nerve. Remember this is a forum for cycling enthusiasts. Start in on the reverse snobbery and you shouldn't be surprised to get some push back. We like our nice bikes....
Show me the "reverse snobbery". You can't, 'cause it's not there. You're just a snob in general. You don't require a catalyst. You just look for trouble.
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Old 09-26-16, 11:03 AM
  #93  
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@shelbyfv and @Rider_1 let's drop it and get back on topic or leave.
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Old 09-26-16, 11:06 AM
  #94  
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Need? Do need 10 bikes? maybe. America, everyone " needs "to be faster, quicker. louder, cars, phones, clothes and bikes? And to some, 4K is not a lot of money. Paid $ 2,700 each for my last two mt bikes, a 2013 enduro and a 2015 trek farley fat bike. Both work well, mid range for components and are a good value, for me. I like $30.00 bottles of bourbon. I also like $ 75.00 bottles of bourbon. Do I need either one?

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Old 09-26-16, 11:31 AM
  #95  
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To let the OP look at this from a different angle: I haven't put more than $400 into any particular bike that I own. Why would they want even a $1000 bike? I can't fully utilize most of my bikes, and they're not even modern.

Trying to justify why you spend what seems like an extraordinary amount to someone else is usually a futile gesture. You're likely to hear the same arguments made in every level-up. At the end of the day, the reason they did it is because they saw utility in paying more for a feature, and spent their money on it.

Heck, even at a $400 price point, I sometimes get asked why I couldn't have gotten something cheaper.
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Old 09-27-16, 05:24 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
For higher prices, you tend to get

1. Higher-quality frame materials and assembly

2. Higher-quality components

3. Higher-quality wheels

4. Inherently more expensive components (eg: Di2)

5. Branding and bling
Originally Posted by jorglueke View Post
In my Sequoia Base to Expert example my extra $2200 doesn't get me #1 or #5. #2 and #4 seem to be the same.

So I get better components and better wheels for $2200 which is more than the base bike. That seems excessive but maybe I'm missing something. For me the main factors are durability and ride comfort/quality so that seems excessive.
"Higher-quality" -- please define. More durable, longer lasting..?
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Old 09-27-16, 05:44 AM
  #97  
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The Oldest Lesson,,

You Get What You Pay For In most all things In Life..

My 2010 Mustang, I feel I paid a premium for that car, I wanted the feel of Old school,
I wanted and got Posi trac, Low CG, Wide wheel track, Great Handling, Fantastic Shaker Stereo system,
Leather Interior,,Pony Package

I am not a economy car person, no little puddle jumpers for me, I found out they cost just as much as my Stang...
Ride terrible, sound terrible, look like a death box (So Flimsy)
$25,000 for a gutless Four Cylinder Honda or Toyota,, No thanks, Got my Mustang for less than that...

Same goes for my Bikes, I may not need the obvious performance benefits of a $2,000 Gravel bike or my $2700 mountain bike but I sure do enjoy every penny of that performance.

I consider spending that much money on a few bikes a smart move. They are my Hobby, my passion, and a ticket to my good health and sanity.
I've owned low end bikes and they get the job done In most cases... But the feel,,, the components,, I'm sorry, I have now had far better, I just couldn't ride them anymore...

One Example:
I was happy with my noisy chain throwing rattling drive train on my $600 mountain bike, then I moved up to SLX gear and was absolutely amazed at the performance gains.

Then I made the next jump,,,,,

I am now riding Shimano M8000 XT and 105 components on my bikes, The precision, the smoothness, the speed of these systems, Oh my~

I must be very very careful to never ever ride better components ! Or,, I may lust after them~~

Last edited by osco53; 09-27-16 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 09-27-16, 06:28 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
To let the OP look at this from a different angle: I haven't put more than $400 into any particular bike that I own. Why would they want even a $1000 bike? I can't fully utilize most of my bikes, and they're not even modern.

Trying to justify why you spend what seems like an extraordinary amount to someone else is usually a futile gesture. You're likely to hear the same arguments made in every level-up. At the end of the day, the reason they did it is because they saw utility in paying more for a feature, and spent their money on it.

Heck, even at a $400 price point, I sometimes get asked why I couldn't have gotten something cheaper.
My question has nothing to do with limits on personal spending. Everyone can spend whatever they want all day long. You can buy used, news, or make it yourself I don't care.

My question's intent was to find out the factors for those that have gone beyond the current cost of entry level LBS bikes like Trek and Specialized. From those who have correctly deduced my intent or followed up after clarification the responses still are all over the map . Some value components, some don't. Some care more about weight and others don't.

I'm going to have to see what kind of test drive the nearest stores will let me take and go from there. I hope to find one new and one classic bikes I like at least as much as mu current one, ideally better.
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Old 09-27-16, 06:50 AM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Need? Do need 10 bikes? maybe. America, everyone " needs "to be faster, quicker. louder, cars, phones, clothes and bikes? And to some, 4K is not a lot of money. Paid $ 2,700 each for my last two mt bikes, a 2103 enduro and a 2015 trek farley fat bike. Both work well, mid range for components and are a good value, for me. I like $30.00 bottles of bourbon. I also like $ 75.00 bottles of bourbon. Do I need either one?
Man, that 2103 bike must be cutting edge technology.
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Old 09-27-16, 07:39 AM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by jorglueke View Post
My question has nothing to do with limits on personal spending. Everyone can spend whatever they want all day long. You can buy used, news, or make it yourself I don't care.

My question's intent was to find out the factors for those that have gone beyond the current cost of entry level LBS bikes like Trek and Specialized. From those who have correctly deduced my intent or followed up after clarification the responses still are all over the map . Some value components, some don't. Some care more about weight and others don't.

I'm going to have to see what kind of test drive the nearest stores will let me take and go from there. I hope to find one new and one classic bikes I like at least as much as mu current one, ideally better.
This is unusually rational, so thank you.

When I was a teenager, my stepmother didn't give a hoot about bicycles or anything like them, but when I told her I was trying to decide what bicycle to get, she said I should get the best because I appreciate mechanical perfection. Never mind that there is no such thing as perfection, but it was such a gift that she held a mirror up to me in that way. There are things that we are passionate about, and she was saying I should indulge myself and give up my frugal tendencies. Many years later, it is still a struggle, because I buy cheap thing after another when I could have saved money by buying something good in the first place.

The measurable performance gains between a mid-level bike and a high-level bike are miniscule and sometimes statistically insignificant. But they can make the experience different because of subjective experience. Some of this, of course, is us justifying to ourselves that the expenditure is worthwhile. But some of it is perceptible. For instance, a derailleur or shifter will start to wear and become imprecise, and it happens sooner with a low model than with a high model. This matters very little in a practical context, but you may enjoy the experience a lot more if you have the high model. This means you are spending beyond the point of diminishing returns, but that doesn't mean you're crazy.

In my view -- and it's only my view -- the point of diminishing returns is $1,000 or $1,500. I do like the higher end stuff, and I have bought it occasionally and not regretted it.

Also, when I was a teenager, I was working at a bike shop as a mechanic. It was a family type bike shop, and we sold virtually no high end stuff. I was planning to build a pair of wheels for myself. My boss said I should get Campagnolo hubs. My eyes popped out that he made the suggestion. He pointed out that it was an investment, and I shouldn't settle for less. I didn't see myself as a wealthy person who would have anything top-of-the-line, but he bent my thinking. As it turns out, hubs are one component on the bike where you can get return on your investment. People talk endlessly about performance of derailleur and shifter systems, but it's less consequential. You shift gears every few minutes or less. Your hubs are rolling 100% of the time while the bike is in motion. Plus, changing hubs is more labor and money intensive.

The most expensive thing to replace is the frame, and frame replacement is basically bike replacement. Few people transfer components from one frame to another. The frame is also the most expensive part of the bike for the manufacturer. This makes it the most important purchase. But guess what! It doesn't necessarily affect performance the most. I would contend that your fit on the bike is, and if you are an athletic rider, your tires also make a big difference. It's hard for people to grasp and believe this, so they obsess on things that they spend a lot of money on. I tuned up a neighbor's Huffy for her, a very cheap bike for which I have little respect. I test rode it, and damn, it felt good. I think fit and tires were a lucky thing, and yeah maybe the frame was heavy, and yeah, the brakes and derailleurs may fail after brief usage, but if you ask about ride, you'd be surprised which bikes ride well. It's hard to do double-blind test rides on bikes. If it were easy, opinions about what's good and what's not would be different than they are.

Durability is a fair thing to concern yourself with. Not only that, wear and failure modes are legitimate concerns. Maybe an Ultegra derailleur will work well for 20 years, and maybe a cheap derailleur will work well for 10 years and cost half as much. So it looks like a toss-up, right? Well, no. At the end of the two cheap derailleurs' two lives, quality of service is declining, so you get bad service out of them before replacement for greater periods of time. This outlook has led me to buy better walking shoes than I used to.

It might be important to balance your cost/quality optimization thoughts with the reality of theft, loss, accidents, obsolescence, etc. I might pay top dollar for a bike equipped with Shimano Dura Ace or Campagnolo Super Record, but the extra money is lost if the bike is stolen or wrecked in an accident. And what happens when something better comes along? I might say this was top of the line when I bought it and it's not the best, but it's still good enough for me. Or I might say I want the best available. If I say the latter, then the premium I paid was mostly wasted, especially if I justified the cost with the durability.

This is why I roll my eyes at today's racers who buy Dura Ace equipment and then replace it all after two years or so. I was a bike mechanic in the late 70s and early 80s. Campagnolo brake levers and derailleurs and pedals not only worked well in races, they withstood crashes better than anything else. Now, crashworthiness isn't important because fewer things can be repaired and are replaced instead.
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Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

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