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What do you really pay for?

Old 09-25-16, 10:49 AM
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jorglueke
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What do you really pay for?

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.
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Old 09-25-16, 10:58 AM
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Buy what works for you and don't worry about what others buy.
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Old 09-25-16, 11:22 AM
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Yep, some folks can/will have a nicer bike than you. Don't worry about it. Enjoy what you have.
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Old 09-25-16, 11:24 AM
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jorglueke
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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.
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Old 09-25-16, 11:28 AM
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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.
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Old 09-25-16, 11:29 AM
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1. Going from big box up to a bike shop entry level bike gets you improved performance and durability, and even safety, in every area, and is the biggest jump you can make.

2. Going from entry level up to mid level gets you moderately better functioning components (smoother wheel bearings, better shifting and braking, better saddles and higher quality seat posts, bars, forks, frames), and weight reduction.

2. Going from mid to upper is mostly weight, with only Marginal performance gains, and likely comes with a DECREASE in durability. (Light, cheap, strong...pick two...)

In my own case, I upgraded from a $200 Walmart bike to an $800 steel road bike. Every part is better in every way, and even though it is heavy for a road bike (23lbs), it has given me everything I need to be at a similar level with the fastest riders in my bike club, even on the climbs, even though some of them have 14lb carbon sram red or dura ace level bikes.

The fastest climber in our club rides a 25 yr old Aluminum touring bike with a rack attached...I'm sure it weighs in similar to mine.
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Old 09-25-16, 11:31 AM
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I bought my Giant Defy Advanced 2 due to lower weight, smoother drivetrain(105), and hydraulic disc brakes.
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Old 09-25-16, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by jorglueke View Post
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.
Need has little to do with it, and want has almost everything to do with it.

In my case, I don't "need" the largest engine I could get in my F-150, I don't "need" a pool in my back yard, and I don't "need" a CF bike, but I wanted all of them.

OP, for instance, how big is your TV, and do you really "need" one that big?
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Old 09-25-16, 11:37 AM
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I will add, the as you got up in price, the intangible called "ride quality" is what alot of people talk about, and can't be dismissed easily.

For example, the Aluminum Cannondale Synapse bikes, from both personal experience and pro reviews, are uninspiring, nothing special....but both pro reviews and several of my friends rave about the ride quality of their Carbon fiber Synapse bikes. The lowest level carbon synapse is about $2000, and a version with better grade carbon starts around $4K. I haven't ridden one of those, but some might ride it, notice a difference in either comfort, or in liveliness, that they like enough to pay extra for.
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Old 09-25-16, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Wileyrat View Post
In my case, I don't "need" the largest engine I could get in my F-150, I don't "need" a pool in my back yard, and I don't "need" a CF bike, but I wanted all of them.
Ok why did you want a more expensive bike? What were the factors?
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Old 09-25-16, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by 12strings View Post
I will add, the as you got up in price, the intangible called "ride quality" is what alot of people talk about, and can't be dismissed easily.

For example, the Aluminum Cannondale Synapse bikes, from both personal experience and pro reviews, are uninspiring, nothing special....but both pro reviews and several of my friends rave about the ride quality of their Carbon fiber Synapse bikes. The lowest level carbon synapse is about $2000, and a version with better grade carbon starts around $4K. I haven't ridden one of those, but some might ride it, notice a difference in either comfort, or in liveliness, that they like enough to pay extra for.
Yeah I wonder about that too, but it's kind of hard to figure out until after you spend the money right? I don't think a test drive will reveal a massive difference...or would it?
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Old 09-25-16, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by jorglueke View Post
If you haven't bought a nicer bike don't clutter this thread with pointless advice.
All of my bikes are nicer. If you heed the advice it will not be pointless.
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Old 09-25-16, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by jorglueke View Post
Ok why did you want a more expensive bike? What were the factors?
In most cases a nicer ride, nicer groupsets, lighter and more durable wheels.

It's like the difference between a base model car, and a high end model. The base model will get you around just fine, but the high end will do it nicer with better performance and comfort.

The bottom line is I wanted it and I could afford it, but I've been riding LBS bikes for almost 45 yrs, and I knew what I looking for.

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Old 09-25-16, 11:58 AM
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The OP has a good point. Once you have gotten up to a bike that cost $1000, any more money than that buys mainly glitz and a name.

It is pretty much like the person that is in a room and told every time the bell rings walk half way to the wall. The first few times (or dollars) gets you something, but the point of good progress becomes less and less. BTW in case you didnt know the person will never reach the wall.

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Old 09-25-16, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
The OP has a good point. Once you have gotten up to a bike that cost $1000, any more money than that buy mainly glitz and a name.

It is pretty much like the person that is in a room and told every time the bell rings walk half way to the wall. The first few times (or dollars) gets you something, but the point of good progress becomes less and less. BTW in case you didnt know the person will never reach the wall.
Nonsense! I could have a bought a cheaper bike with cheaper components and lower quality ride with the same name and same paint. You can't tell the difference from across the parking lot.
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Old 09-25-16, 12:10 PM
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When looking at bikes, I set my budget at around $1000. Went to a couple of LBS's and test road some in that price range. Nothing grabbed me, so just for the fun of it, I asked to ride a $2200 CF bike. It was a night and day difference to me. It was so much smoother riding. I ended up getting a CF bike with an Ultegra groupset and have been very happy with it and ride a lot now. I don't think that would have been the case if I had bought a bike that was in my original budget (however, I was able to stay close to that budget by buying a lightly used bike).

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Old 09-25-16, 12:15 PM
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Looks.

In my case my case I built from the frame up and got all the stuff I wanted: dynamo lights, nicer IGH, custom paint, Brooks saddle, hand built wheels....

You can pay more for all sorts of features: nicer components, nicer frame, looks, features.

I have ridden cheaper bikes and they don't ride as nicely as mine does. Or look as nice!

It is up to you if that stuff is important.
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Old 09-25-16, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
All of my bikes are nicer. If you heed the advice it will not be pointless.
I have to side with the OP here. It is "pointless" when you post a legitimate topic, looking for intelligent responses, only to get BS rhetoric from those that border sarcasm and thinking they're giving divine advice.
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Old 09-25-16, 12:33 PM
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I don't see this as a "legitimate" topic. When these threads are posted, it seems to invariably be a situation where the OP feels insecure about his bike and is trying to drum up support for the notion that any bike nicer is a poor choice. Look at the original post. Some arbitrary limit of $1000 is thrown out, curiously corresponding to close to the cost of OP's bike if new. He clearly states he doesn't believe the majority of cyclists need a nicer bike. Why post? Most of us understand diminishing returns and we understand nicer is nicer. No cyclist I know would diss someone's bike because it was inexpensive. Ride what you can afford and let others do the same.
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Old 09-25-16, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
No cyclist I know would diss someone's bike because it was inexpensive. Ride what you can afford want to and let others do the same.
"Can afford" might have zip to do with it. That assumption, that a guy's bike reflects his financial resources, may be part of the impetus of this kind of topic.
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Old 09-25-16, 01:05 PM
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Different companies are going to choose different compromises to make to hit their market segments. And different riders are going to prioritize certain factors more than others. Certainly weight factors into a lot of the upgrades, as well as things like ride quality, braking, and drivetrain performance. But here's what I've generally noticed in the road bike segment:
  • Cheaper bikes usually have heavier aluminum or "no name" chromoly steel frames
  • More expensive bikes will have lighter aluminum, steel, or carbon fiber frames
  • The more expensive frames tend to offer a balance of stiffness for performance and compliance for comfort in key areas
  • Often aluminum or steel forks on cheper bikes; carbon forks up the line
  • Cheaper bikes often have off-group cranksets, usually entry level FSA
  • Brakes are usually basic Tektro calipers or rebranded FSA instead of nicer groupset brakes
  • Hydraulic disc brakes are usually a premium component
  • Cheaper bikes have basic, heavier wheelsets with cheap OEM 30tpi tires

It seems like one can get a lot of bike for around $1000, but there are still meaningful upgrades from there to the $2500-$3000. And if you want an electronic groupset, expect to pay even more. I've never experienced electronic shifting, but it sure seems like a nice luxury. You can keep spending more and continue to experience performance refinements and weight savings, and I can't tell you where to draw the line. But I think most riders can be perfectly content riding an "entry level" $1000-$1500 bike.
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Old 09-25-16, 01:15 PM
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Why do people need to respond to these kinds of threads with a snarky put down? I think its a legitimate question for a lot of people.

I have an aluminum Motobecane Le Champion, with Ultegra gear set, brakes, shifters, Kinesis carbon fork and Shimano wheels with Michelen Pro 4 tires. I also have a Trek Madone 5.2, completely stock with Ultegra, Bontrager wheels, Gatorskins.

The two bikes shift the same, as would be expected. They brake the same. Seats, bars feel the same. Cornering feels the same.

The Trek accelerates faster, likely due to the lower weight. It climbs easier, again, likely due to the weight. The Trek does seem to damp some vibrations better.

If I were racing, I wouldn't have a choice. I'd need the Madone to be competitive against people of my same skill and fitness level.

For recreational riding, there's not enough difference to justify the additional costs based on performance.

So, as a strictly recreational rider, why do I have the Madone? Because I like it.
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Old 09-25-16, 01:49 PM
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You get "something" with every upgrade whether it's lighter, more durable, easier to use etc. Whether it's worth it to you is a personal choice. We'd all be driving Corollas and telling time with Timex watches without personal choice.
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Old 09-25-16, 01:51 PM
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If you're not a racer, chances are you're paying far too much for prestige!
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Old 09-25-16, 02:05 PM
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people dont need a car either, but they sure love it
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