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Difference between a $500 bike and $5K bike

Old 06-22-20, 03:32 PM
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wgscott
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Difference between a $500 bike and $5K bike

So I got asked the following in an email from a non-cyclist friend today:

What is the benefit of a multi-thousand dollar bike over, say, a $500 bike? If its sole benefit is to go faster for a given amount of pedaling effort, that seems counterproductive. If the purpose of biking is exercise, reducing the effort defeats the purpose. OTOH, if you expend the same effort on a $5K bike as a $500 bike, you’ll go faster, which is both more dangerous and reduces your enjoyment of the scenery because you’re whizzing by so fast.
My diplomacy skills fail me. (This guy is spending > $5K on recreational audio equipment, so the issue isn't a restricted budget.)
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Old 06-22-20, 03:39 PM
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If someone isn't into cycling there isn't really a difference between the two. To a casual user the weight/speed advantage doesn't matter and in some cases a casual may enjoy something like a trek FX more than a s works venge

Some people listen to music on their cell phones speaker and are ok with that, others want a fancy speaker setup

Why is one necktie $15 and another $1500?
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Old 06-22-20, 03:46 PM
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The difference is $4500.

I've learned that most people don't understand how a bike can be over $2000 and never will. But these people would like a $60,000 Mercedes when a $25,000 Kia will get you there
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Old 06-22-20, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
So I got asked the following in an email from a non-cyclist friend today:



My diplomacy skills fail me. (This guy is spending > $5K on recreational audio equipment, so the issue isn't a restricted budget.)
a $5,000 bicycle with a Casual cyclist on it is

= to

playing a 64 bit (or less) mp3 on a $5,000 audio equipment

Send him that...
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Old 06-22-20, 03:48 PM
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What's the point of a $100,000 car when you can get a 1987 Hyundai Excel for 400 bucks?

Sometimes the value of something isn't determined by how much it cost. I spend way more every year on insurance (auto/home/medical) than I've ever spent on any bike, and I get a whole lot more out of the bikes.

Hell, I don't have a bike that cost what I've spent in auto registration in the last 10 years. I don't look at cycling as a monetary investment. Bikes cost what they cost. My investment is time, and I'd like to maximize that time.
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Old 06-22-20, 03:49 PM
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Simple: The $5000 bike looks cooler than the $500 bike.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
a $5,000 bicycle with a Casual cyclist on it is

= to

playing a 64 bit (or less) mp3 on a $5,000 audio equipment

Send him that...
I get it


BTW.. one word:
es·o·ter·ic
/ˌesəˈterik/

adjective
adjective: esoteric
  1. intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post

My diplomacy skills fail me. (This guy is spending > $5K on recreational audio equipment, so the issue isn't a restricted budget.)
Tell him he’s absolutely right - he’ll be safer and happier on a slower bike, and just leave it at that,
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Old 06-22-20, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I get it
I am not picking on casual cyclist, Or people that listen to streamed music on a smart phone.
everyone just has to find their niche......
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Old 06-22-20, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
So I got asked the following in an email from a non-cyclist friend today:



My diplomacy skills fail me. (This guy is spending > $5K on recreational audio equipment, so the issue isn't a restricted budget.)
Your friend doesn't know enough about cycling to know that both of his premises are false. There are no sole benefits, there is no single purpose.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:14 PM
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People can obsess - to the point of seeming irrationality - over almost anything. Bikes, cars, cameras, guns, computers, 19th century Tibetan pornagraphy, guitars, audio, phones - and the outsider doesn't get it - "why do you need a $5000 guitar? Does it sound better than a $500 guitar?"

Obsession is fun!


Last edited by tyrion; 06-22-20 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:14 PM
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Coincidence? Your friend sounds very much like a familiar BF troll/sock. You need new friends....
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Old 06-22-20, 04:16 PM
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Here's an idea. Tell him it is a good question and that it deserves research. You buy the $500 bike while he buys the $5000 one. Then take him on a series of rides, nice ones when he is on the cheap bike and unpleasant ones when he is on the high priced one. Eventually, he will see your bike as superior and you can trade him, getting a $5000 bike for $500
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Old 06-22-20, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
a $5,000 bicycle with a Casual cyclist on it is

= to

playing a 64 bit (or less) mp3 on a $5,000 audio equipment

Send him that...
This guy has an engineering degree from MIT and says he can hear differences between power cables.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Coincidence? Your friend sounds very much like a familiar BF troll/sock. You need new friends....
No. He is a patent attorney and engineer. He's a decent guy but he tends to be a bit ... awkward like this. He doesn't bike.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:28 PM
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Difference between a $500 bike and $5K bike

A small, older Toyota with a lot of life left in it.

A lot like the speaker analogy. Does your friend want to just get there (slowly) or ride a bike that disappears under him? Does he expect his speakers to just sound the notes or have you believe you are in the room with the musicians?

That said, money isn't everything. My living room has near to-die-for sound from 1990 bookshelf speakers, 1970 speakers used as rear and for bass. Arched ceiling, sunken floor help. I ripped out the carpet, put in a bamboo floor and suddenly the room came alive! A bike with a just right fit, good wheels and decent components can do the same thing. Disappear. Take you places. Two bikes that do it for me. A wrecked 1990 sport Peugeot frame I paid $20 for and outfitted for barely $100 and parts on hand and the bike it inspired, a custom ti fix gear. The two costing roughly the amounts the OP is talking. (I kept doubling the investment on that cheap bike because the ride was so sweet. First, a new good seat, Then a full professional paint job. It's now retired so it won't break l while I am riding it. It was hit by an SUV hard before I bought it.)

Ben
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Old 06-22-20, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
This guy has an engineering degree from MIT and says he can hear differences between power cables.
I don't know about power cables but can tell the difference in tubes.





And tell him you can tell the difference between a $5000 and $10,000 bike

Last edited by GlennR; 06-22-20 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I get it
I'm all for lossless codecs. But > 96kHz Nyquist sampling frequencies? Overkill.

(For the record, so to speak, I cannot distinguish between 320 kbps compression and lossless.)

BTW.. one word:
es·o·ter·ic
/ˌesəˈterik/

adjective
adjective: esoteric
  1. intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
People can obsess - to the point of seeming irrationality - over almost anything. Bikes, cars, cameras, guns, computers, 19th century Tibetan pornagraphy, guitars, audio, phones
I don't want to know how you came up with that one.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I'm all for lossless codecs. But > 96kHz Nyquist sampling frequencies? Overkill.

(For the record, so to speak, I cannot distinguish between 320 kbps compression and lossless.)



Sorry... I prefer analog.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
I don't know about power cables but can tell the difference in tubes.
I can't, and it cost me $100 to find that out.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I don't want to know how you came up with that one.
Very few people understand the depth of nuance displayed in 19th century Tibetan pornography.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
Sorry... I prefer analog.
Class D amps are analog. I was suggesting to him a couple of Hypex kits.

He bought a Benchmark AHB2 (which is a $3K amp with specs that make it a really good deal). This came up because I suggested he get a second one and run them in bridge (monoblock) mode.

I said you could get two for not much more than an Emonda SL7.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Tacoenthusiast View Post
If someone isn't into cycling there isn't really a difference between the two.
Oh, there's a difference. They may not be able to discern it or might not care. But,there's a difference.
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Old 06-22-20, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
This guy has an engineering degree from MIT and says he can hear differences between power cables.

well then like Glenn said, "tell him you can tell the difference between a $5000 and $10,000 bike"

I mean your friend is kind of right, if he wants exercise then a $500 bike ought to do it. If he wants enjoyable exercise then a $5,000 bike is better. From my experience, it is really hard to talk to engineers. So Good luck ???
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