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Is a nicer bike worth the cost and maintenance?

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Is a nicer bike worth the cost and maintenance?

Old 07-06-19, 01:53 PM
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biker3c086e24
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Is a nicer bike worth the cost and maintenance?

I'm looking into a new bike for touring, and eyeing something in the Jamis Renegade line (my friend has a Renegade Expat and loves it for touring), preferably in the $1-2,000 range. I came across a used Jamis Renegade Elite Carbon (the highest-end in the line) for $2300, which is a big discount from list price, and I figured, "well if it's that cheap, maybe I should just buy it?"

My questions are:
  1. Will I notice the difference in terms of ease of riding, or is this the sort of thing where the extra money only makes a difference if you're REALLY good and every inch matters?
  2. Will the nicer gear also mean that I have to put in more maintenance? I obviously won't take care of it as well as the type of person who'd buy one of these new, and I'm OK with that. But does the nicer gear actually require more maintenance than lower-end gear to keep in working order?
Thanks for any advice!
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Old 07-06-19, 02:56 PM
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mstateglfr 
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What do you ride now? That's pretty key in terms of knowing if the renegade will be 'easier' to ride.

Also, what's your gearing now? List that as well as the gearing of the bike you are considering. The gear combinations are mostly what will determine if the renegade is 'easier'.

As for the gear on the bike...I assume you mean the components? Again- what do you have now- that will in part determine if the new bike needs more maintenance or not.
In general though...no- nicer components don't inherently need more maintenance.

Also, I'm not sure why you mention it's obvious that you won't take care of the bike as well as someone who buys it new. That isn't obvious at all.
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Old 07-06-19, 03:26 PM
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biker3c086e24
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
What do you ride now? That's pretty key in terms of knowing if the renegade will be 'easier' to ride.
I currently ride a 2016 Cannondale Quick Speed 2 with no modifications from the factory setup. It's an urban bike with a pretty high lowest gear ratio. Anything in the Renegade series will almost certainly be easier than it. My question, though, is whether there will be enough of a difference between the Elite and lower-end models in that line such as the Expat for me to pick it over the lower-end models.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Also, what's your gearing now? List that as well as the gearing of the bike you are considering. The gear combinations are mostly what will determine if the renegade is 'easier'.
The Renegade line has quite a few bikes, but here are some that I'm considering:
Expat: crankset 50/34T, casette 11-34T
Exploit: crankset 40T, casette 11-42T
Expert: crankset 50/34T, casette 11-32T
Elite (the one I'm looking at buying used): crankset 50/34T, casette 11-34T

By contrast, my current bike: crankset 50/34T, casette 11-30T

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
As for the gear on the bike...I assume you mean the components? Again- what do you have now- that will in part determine if the new bike needs more maintenance or not.
In general though...no- nicer components don't inherently need more maintenance.
Yes, the components, thank you Unfortunately Bike Forums won't let me post links until I've made more posts, but you should be able to find the specs given the bicycle's model name.

Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Also, I'm not sure why you mention it's obvious that you won't take care of the bike as well as someone who buys it new. That isn't obvious at all.
I just mean that I'm not as serious of a rider (and that shows in the fact that I have a lower budget), so I'm not willing to invest as much time and money into keeping everything in top shape.
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Old 07-06-19, 05:48 PM
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Will the frame accept front and rear racks for panniers?
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Old 07-06-19, 06:15 PM
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Actually your 2016 Cannondale Quick Speed 2 looks like a decent bike. It is geared on the high side for touring though. Perhaps replacing the 50/34 chainring (or crankset if necessary) with a compact 46/30 would work for you. A local bike shop can do that for you. Thats about 1 full gear lower then what you have now. The resulting 27 gear inches might be enough for most of your riding and is the same or better then bikes you have listed.

For serous power riding, You may need a 26/38/48 triple chainring with the 11 - 32 cassette used on some recent bikes for 22 - 118 gear inch range. Even an 1 x 11 speed, with a 38T crankset and the 11-42 cassette used on Cannondale's newer bikes, and probably other brands, for a 24 - 93 gear inch range is still pretty low and a big improvement over what you have.
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Old 07-07-19, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
Will the frame accept front and rear racks for panniers?
I was honestly just planning to do the "strap it to your handlebars" approach. A friend of mine did that recently and it worked really well for him. But worst comes to worst, I can add a pannier rack that attaches to the seatpost.

Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
Actually your 2016 Cannondale Quick Speed 2 looks like a decent bike. It is geared on the high side for touring though. Perhaps replacing the 50/34 chainring (or crankset if necessary) with a compact 46/30 would work for you. A local bike shop can do that for you. Thats about 1 full gear lower then what you have now. The resulting 27 gear inches might be enough for most of your riding and is the same or better then bikes you have listed.

For serous power riding, You may need a 26/38/48 triple chainring with the 11 - 32 cassette used on some recent bikes for 22 - 118 gear inch range. Even an 1 x 11 speed, with a 38T crankset and the 11-42 cassette used on Cannondale's newer bikes, and probably other brands, for a 24 - 93 gear inch range is still pretty low and a big improvement over what you have.
Hmmm that's not a bad idea. I got a chance to ride a friend's Jamis Renegade Expat recently and I really liked the how nice the dropped handlebars were for aerodynamics (I'm in the San Francisco Bay area, and it gets really winy), so it's not just the gear ratio that's making me want to switch, but it could certainly be a good improvement nonetheless.
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Old 07-09-19, 09:28 AM
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[QUOTE=biker3c086e24;21015503]I was honestly just planning to do the "strap it to your handlebars" approach. A friend of mine did that recently and it worked really well for him. But worst comes to worst, I can add a pannier rack that attaches to the seatpost.

Frame bags will really limit your load carrying capacity. You'll know better than me if this would be an issue for you. You may regret not being carry much gear. You could also consider using a trailer if you need more carrying capacity.

If you are able to pack light enough to make frame bags work for you, you will appreciate the lighter weight!
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Old 07-09-19, 09:43 AM
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Q:

You value the bike ( with latest tech) you ride, more than the things you go on the bike tour,

to see and experience?
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Old 07-09-19, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by biker3c086e24 View Post
The Renegade line has quite a few bikes, but here are some that I'm considering:
Expat: crankset 50/34T, casette 11-34T
Exploit: crankset 40T, casette 11-42T
Expert: crankset 50/34T, casette 11-32T
Elite (the one I'm looking at buying used): crankset 50/34T, casette 11-34T

By contrast, my current bike: crankset 50/34T, casette 11-30T
I don't see a low gear in that entire list. If you're having problems climbing steep hills, look for a 20 gear inch low -- that's about a 26 tooth (small triple) chain ring and 34 big cassette, or 24/32 with 700C wheels.
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Old 07-09-19, 01:06 PM
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biker3c086e24
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I don't see a low gear in that entire list. If you're having problems climbing steep hills, look for a 20 gear inch low -- that's about a 26 tooth (small triple) chain ring and 34 big cassette, or 24/32 with 700C wheels.
I ended up going with a 2017 Exploit; I verified that it should be possible to swap out the stock 11-32T cassette with an 11-42T, for a ratio of 0.81. I'm gonna take it on some trips first to see if that seems necessary first, but the important thing is that I can always make that swap if need be.
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Old 07-09-19, 10:14 PM
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Some of the biggest mistakes I've ever made in purchasing is; buying only because it was a great price
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Old 07-10-19, 12:15 AM
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[QUOTE=mtnbud;21018417]
Originally Posted by biker3c086e24 View Post
...Frame bags will really limit your load carrying capacity. You'll know better than me if this would be an issue for you. You may regret not being carry much gear. You could also consider using a trailer if you need more carrying capacity.

If you are able to pack light enough to make frame bags work for you, you will appreciate the lighter weight!
Curious if this is a typo or not. Do you mean tosay a frame bag will limit load carrying capacity? Because I find quite the opposite is so.

Weird how this quote is displayed? I don't really know who said it.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 07-10-19 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 07-10-19, 12:24 AM
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[QUOTE=Happy Feet;21019746]
Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post

Curious if this is a typo or not. Do you mean tosay a frame bag will limit load carrying capacity? Because I find quite the opposite is so.

Weird how this quote is displayed? I don't really know who said it.
Probably meaning: "As opposed to rack/panniers"
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Old 07-10-19, 01:48 AM
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Light, Strong, Cheap. Pick any two is the general rule of thumb for bikes.

If you want light and strong, it's not going to be cheap. If you want Strong and cheap like a Trek 520 or an LHT it will weigh about the same as a boat anchor.

Bikes with higher quality parts tend to need less maintenance and last a lot longer than cheaper bikes.

Consumables such as tyres, chains and brake pads still need replacing but bearing etc last much longer.

We have chris king headsets in our road bikes and tandem. The tandem headset has survived 15 years of touring and is still like new. The headset on my road bike has done 50,000 kms since 2013 and is still like new. The Chris King bottom brackets are like new. A clean and grease once a year and they will last a long time. When they do eventually wear out, I'll put some new bearings in and they will be fine for another 10 years plusThe DT hubs are on their 2nd set of bearing and I wore out a few rims before we changed to discs but the hubs are still ok. Derailleurs lasted about 45,000 kms before they got a bit to much play in them. We're now running eTap on the tandem and only have a few thousand kms on them so far so not sure how long they will last.

Generally though quality parts will last a lot longer than cheaper ones and as the bearings are a lot better and it will be a much longer time before parts will need replacing.
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Old 07-10-19, 09:02 AM
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[QUOTE=velojym;21019748]
Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post

Probably meaning: "As opposed to rack/panniers"
Maybe?

I don't find frame bags and racks/panniers to be mutually exclusive.

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Old 07-10-19, 10:32 AM
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Just a guess. Not my post.
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Old 07-10-19, 10:58 AM
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If you are looking at hundreds or even thousands of dollars for an upgrade to make uphill touring easier - consider keeping your current rear wheel (11-30) and going to a triple crankset, say 50-38-24. You will need to buy: a new FD probably, perhaps a new RD (depending on the take-up capacity of your current RD), a new crankset and BB and new shifters (at least a new left).

This is not a cheap or small change. But look at what you get. A much lower gear. 24-30 is seriously low. You keep all the smaller jumps you have been taking for granted. You can fine tune the middle chainring to be optimum for normal flat ground riding with load, using the big ring for down hill and when riding the bike light. Uphill, you not only have a real low, you have lots of good choices that are easy shifts. And, should 24-30 not be low enough, you still have options. 22 in front. Bigger in back.

Consider this seriously. If later, you do decide to move up, you could lift the drivetrain off this bike onto your next bike.

I've been riding triples for 40 years.

Edit: I see I am way too late. OP has already bought a 40 x 11-42.

Ben

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Old 07-12-19, 03:00 AM
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What do you consider "touring" to be? Camping? Credit card ? Multi day? If you are carrying a lot of gear, get a bike that can carry that gear safely without affecting the handling.
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