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Is the jump from £1000 to £2000 worth it?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Is the jump from £1000 to £2000 worth it?

Old 05-20-20, 10:13 AM
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stampz
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Is the jump from £1000 to £2000 worth it?

I know this might be the equivalent of "how long is a piece of string", but I thought I would pose the question anyway.

Short version, I love riding, and am currently on my second road bike in about 3 years, currently riding a Specialized Allez Elite 2019, which cost me £1000 about 18 months ago....I get out about 3 or four times a week at 30-50miles a time with an average of 15/16mph and currently weigh in at 85kg...and could drop a couple of kg to lighten the ride :-) (just in case all that is relevant)

Im thinking of upgrading and have been nosing around at the "best" bikes between £1500 and £2000, a lot of the components seem similar (105 groupset for example), or I can upgrade more by looking at things like decathlon and getting a van rysel...but what I can't seem to find anywhere is a guide as to at what price the jump stops being as relevant as simpy upgrading what you have.

For a rider my level is it worth spending out a new bike, will I see a tangible difference, or would i be better buying new wheels or something for the current ride?

I was considering something with slightly more aggressive geometry like the"

Ppecialized allez sprint comp disc (£1900) or a Giant TCR Advanced (£1900) or maybe a Trek emonda alr disc 5(£16500)

Appreciate this is a minefield... going to stop typing now before I get lost even more down the rabbit hole.
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Old 05-20-20, 10:43 AM
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Probably not.

If you want a more aggressive fit, change your stem. New wheels or tires might change the ride too.
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Old 05-20-20, 10:55 AM
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79pmooney
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That's £1000 more to go about 0.5% faster on the flat and 1.0% faster uphill on a machine with maybe two more gear selections and nicer clicks between gears. You are already riding a bike a full pound lighter than what we raced 40 years ago with as many gears in back as we had total then. But if this makes your heart sing and riding more fun - well, is that money going to make your life better doing anything else?

I bought a bike for (relatively) what you are asking about 47 years ago. That bike was enough that Icould race it. And I found the one sport I actually had natural talent for (after bench warming every mandatory sport I played at a private school). I learned I had a natural talent as a hill climber; that both my heart and soul sang on the long, hard climbs of a tough bike race and that this body was a weapon my fellow riders respected. (For the bench warmer, what a concept!) To this day I still love long, tough days in the saddle and almost any climb. The bike is my freedom.

This was my journey, I suspect yours is radically different. But if the spending of that dough opens a window, it might well be far bigger than anything else that sum of money can do for you. (Or it could be a mis-spend that becomes a little expensive stolen space in the garage or basement for years, decades. Go to any yard sale and you can see how that played out in that family 30 years ago.)

So, listen to your heart re: the money. Use your head on what bike to buy if your heart says yes. And test ride it! The right bike will speak to you.

Ben
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Old 05-20-20, 11:25 AM
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Maybe try some lighter/faster/better tires, change your bar tape...saddle, carbon cages, helmet etc.
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Old 05-20-20, 01:58 PM
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Cycling is just one of those areas where there is a massive point of diminishing returns. Where on the price/quality spectrum you wish to fall is entirely up to you. Cycling is utilitarian for some people, and the exact cost of things, and minimizing those costs, while achieving the utility they want out of it, is important. It's more of a hobby for some people, and hobbies don't necessarily demand a cost/benefit analysis.

So I guess it's up to you. If you just want to get the most bang/buck then that's probably somewhere in the $1000-2000 range.

As far as opinions go, they'll be all over the place, and will depend heavily on someone's focus on cost or their ability to pay. Some folks will draw the line at 105-level parts, while for others it's Ultegra, and for the high-rollers anything less than Dura Ace is just unacceptable. Then the Tiagra lovers come out of the woodwork. For the record I'm in the Ultegra camp. I'm willing to pay Ultegra prices to satisfy my material urges in this cycling hobby, but just can't make the leap to Dura Ace because I'm not Mr. Money Bags. The 105 fans will remind me that the benefits of Ultegra over 105 are slim, and they're not wrong. So is going Ultegra "worth it?" It is to me. It may not be to you or anyone else, because that's just a personal decision with many variables and influences behind it.
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Old 05-20-20, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by stampz View Post
I know this might be the equivalent of "how long is a piece of string", but I thought I would pose the question anyway.


For road bikes, particularly Shimano equipped road bikes, I think the 105 group set is currently the best value and anything more expensive is really just gravy (I ride Ultegra, but I like paying a little more for gravy, I guess). Beyond that, disc brakes, carbon frames, and carbon wheels are the next things that are likely to cause a pretty big jump in price. If you can live w/o disc brakes, save yourself some money and don't get them. If you can deal with a slightly heavier bike, go with aluminum over carbon. At the sub $2k range, I'd have to think that aluminum rimed wheels in that range will be just as good as the low-end carbon.

Between brands, I just don't see a big difference in quality or value when comparing apples-to-apples and stick within the same price range. I'd be shocked if one brand's bike in the sub $2k range is radically better than another brand's. Canyon is a little cheaper because they "chop-out the middleman" (I.e., the LBS).
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Old 05-20-20, 03:32 PM
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You don't get double the bike for double the money, but whatever gets you riding more is a good thing
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Old 05-20-20, 05:06 PM
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I would say it's not worthwhile unless you're getting something that you don't have now that you really want, such as electronic shifting or a different geometry, or any of a number of things that you can't do to your bike in a practical way.

I got a new bike last year because I got some money from the sale of the company i worked for. I wasn't really unhappy with my old bike but I'm really happy I upgraded. In the new bike, I got Di2, disc brakes, better gearing for climbing, and a personalized fit. The electronic shifting and discs are a revelation and I will never regret spending the money.

If the new bike maybe just had lighter wheels and a better mechanical groupset, I don't think I would feel the same way.
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Old 05-20-20, 06:34 PM
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"Worth it" is hard to answer, as you note.

Personally, I find value in the following steps:

aluminum -> whatever else
anything lower -> 11-sp 105
mechanical -> Di2

Most would probably add
rim -> hydraulic disc

Those are all quantitative differences. It's harder (for me) to justify qualitative things like higher-grade carbon, lighter components, and bits of aero (for road cycling). I would certainly, for example, prefer to have 105 and a power meter than Ultegra or Dura-Ace without (and so I ride an R2 with 105 and a Quarq). However, even those differences I listed won't make you any real amount faster than an aluminum bike with Sora or Tiagra and rim brakes.

Each extra £1000 certainly gets you less than the previous one, though.
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Old 05-20-20, 06:43 PM
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The point of diminishing returns comes at different places depending where you shop. And also what's important to you. (Dumb example, when I bought my first real road bike it was important to me to have carbon brake levers because I rode year round, sometimes without gloves, and the metal ones were icy to the touch.)
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Old 05-20-20, 07:22 PM
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Originally Posted by stampz View Post
For a rider my level is it worth spending out a new bike, will I see a tangible difference ... ?
Depends. What kind of a tangible difference are you looking for? If you're thinking that it'll make your consistently, measurably faster, you're probably going to be disappointed.

Instead, think about your riding your bike - what quality is lacking that you want to be improved? If you can't articulate the answer to that question, you just need to ride more until you can.
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Old 05-21-20, 05:21 AM
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Short answer is no.

GCN did two videos - one with a really terrible bike vs a super bike and then a follow-up with an entry level road bike for I guess around £1000 (but don't remember exactly) and it turned out the terrible bike really was terrible, but the advantage of the super bike compared to the entry level bike was minimal. Unless you are racing, those few seconds here and there won't help.

Saying that, I intend to buy a new bike this year. But, I want to make it my first carbon frame, so it will be lighter, and it will be with racing geometry, currently I have endurance geometry. And then I can upgrade that bike, probably with carbon aero wheels in some years. And I had my bike already 4 years. You say you had 2 in 3 years.
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Old 05-21-20, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
Short answer is no.

GCN did two videos - one with a really terrible bike vs a super bike and then a follow-up with an entry level road bike for I guess around £1000 (but don't remember exactly) and it turned out the terrible bike really was terrible, but the advantage of the super bike compared to the entry level bike was minimal. Unless you are racing, those few seconds here and there won't help.

Saying that, I intend to buy a new bike this year. But, I want to make it my first carbon frame, so it will be lighter, and it will be with racing geometry, currently I have endurance geometry. And then I can upgrade that bike, probably with carbon aero wheels in some years. And I had my bike already 4 years. You say you had 2 in 3 years.
I also recall them doing a video of a "blind" test with 105 vs. Dura-Ace and basically the ability of them to tell which was which was about as spot on as a guess. I get the sense that unless you're going electronic or you really want Dura-Ace decals or you really think your margin of victory rests on a handful of grams, 105 is basically almost as good as it gets and is incredible value.
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Old 05-21-20, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mattscq View Post
I also recall them doing a video of a "blind" test with 105 vs. Dura-Ace and basically the ability of them to tell which was which was about as spot on as a guess. I get the sense that unless you're going electronic or you really want Dura-Ace decals or you really think your margin of victory rests on a handful of grams, 105 is basically almost as good as it gets and is incredible value.
Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. This is one of the things I have been considering, I think I want like a more racier geometry..I wouldn't be replacing the Allez, this would be "as well as", also I didn't mention it, but I will be taking full advantage of the cycle to work scheme, so in that regard a new bike is easier than upgrading components :-)
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Old 05-21-20, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by stampz View Post
Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. This is one of the things I have been considering, I think I want like a more racier geometry..I wouldn't be replacing the Allez, this would be "as well as", also I didn't mention it, but I will be taking full advantage of the cycle to work scheme, so in that regard a new bike is easier than upgrading components :-)
What kind of tire clearance does your Allez have and what kind/size of tires are you running? You're a bigger guy, about my size, and if you're not running/can't run at least 28mm tires, that would be a really worthwhile change. Again, it may not consistently show up on the stopwatch, especially on shorter rides, but being able to runs lower pressure tires increases comfort, decreases fatigue (which helps performance), and is faster on real-world roads where the suspension losses of smaller tires puts them at a disadvantage.

Also, you say that you want to move to a racier geometry. IIRC the Allez Elite isn't particularly sluggish in the geo, is it? A little taller stack than a lot of straight-up race bikes, but would you be able to take advantage of decreased stack? IOW, are you running a slammed stem right now and you could comfortably ride even lower for extended periods of time?
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Old 05-21-20, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
What kind of tire clearance does your Allez have and what kind/size of tires are you running? You're a bigger guy, about my size, and if you're not running/can't run at least 28mm tires, that would be a really worthwhile change. Again, it may not consistently show up on the stopwatch, especially on shorter rides, but being able to runs lower pressure tires increases comfort, decreases fatigue (which helps performance), and is faster on real-world roads where the suspension losses of smaller tires puts them at a disadvantage.

Also, you say that you want to move to a racier geometry. IIRC the Allez Elite isn't particularly sluggish in the geo, is it? A little taller stack than a lot of straight-up race bikes, but would you be able to take advantage of decreased stack? IOW, are you running a slammed stem right now and you could comfortably ride even lower for extended periods of time?
It's still on the default spec so has the following: (25mm tyres)...however the bike radar review states (And while the Specialized tyres may have said 25mm on their sidewalls, they ballooned up to a comfort-boosting 28mm on the wide DT Swiss rims.)
  • Chainset: Praxis Alba 50/34
  • Bottom bracket: Praxis
  • Cassette: Shimano 105 11-32
  • Chain: KMC X11EL
  • Derailleurs: Shimano 105
  • Shifters: Shimano 105
  • Wheelset: DT R460, sealed cartridge hubs
  • Tyres: Specialized Espoir Sport, 25mm
  • Wheel Weight: 1.3kg (f), 1.85kg (r)
  • Stem: Specialized, 3D forged alloy
  • Bar: Specialized Shallow Drop, 6061
  • Headset: Specialized
  • Saddle: Body Geometry Toupé Sport
  • Seatpost: Alloy, 2-bolt clamp
  • Brakes: Tektro Axis caliper
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Old 05-21-20, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by stampz View Post
It's still on the default spec so has the following: (25mm tyres)...however the bike radar review states (And while the Specialized tyres may have said 25mm on their sidewalls, they ballooned up to a comfort-boosting 28mm on the wide DT Swiss rims.)
  • Chainset: Praxis Alba 50/34
  • Bottom bracket: Praxis
  • Cassette: Shimano 105 11-32
  • Chain: KMC X11EL
  • Derailleurs: Shimano 105
  • Shifters: Shimano 105
  • Wheelset: DT R460, sealed cartridge hubs
  • Tyres: Specialized Espoir Sport, 25mm
  • Wheel Weight: 1.3kg (f), 1.85kg (r)
  • Stem: Specialized, 3D forged alloy
  • Bar: Specialized Shallow Drop, 6061
  • Headset: Specialized
  • Saddle: Body Geometry Toupé Sport
  • Seatpost: Alloy, 2-bolt clamp
  • Brakes: Tektro Axis caliper
What tire pressure are you currently running and how much more tire could you fit in there? Could you fit a 6mm hex wrench between your tire and frame/brake calipers at all of the tight spots, top and side?
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Old 05-21-20, 09:24 AM
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Does the bike fit and do you want it to do something different than it currently does?

If you are unhappy with the fit (want a more aggressive or relaxed position than you can get on this frame) or you want the bike to be fundamentally something different (you want to fit 40 mm gravel tires) then I would be shopping for a new bike. Otherwise that is a great bike and super value. You might get more enjoyment out of personalizing or upgrading your current ride. You would probably see some significant benefits from a nice set of tires, a saddle that suits you, and maybe a real good bike fit to dial in your position. If you really want to spend some money wheels are pretty universally accepted as a great upgrade on a road bike as well.

All that said, if you want a new bike, go for it! New bikes are great fun as is shopping for one so if that will put a smile on your face giver!
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Old 05-21-20, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Tacoenthusiast View Post
https://youtu.be/3HmVQCAjBE0


You don't get double the bike for double the money, but whatever gets you riding more is a good thing
I love GCN.
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Old 05-22-20, 08:16 PM
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As I was shopping for new bikes and set a budget that wouldn’t get everything I wanted to upgrade to (Di2, hydraulic discs, full carbon wheels) I started thinking about what upgrades would really make a difference for me and the type of riding I do. Considering I live in south Florida and do long steady miles on nice smooth paved roads in dry weather, I figured I could live without discs and had written off Di2, but it seemed most of the 2020 bikes in my budget were 105 and hydraulic discs (think Domane SL5) and I could add some mid grade disc wheels to finish it off.

I ended up finding a great deal on a Cervelo R3 w/ Di2 and carbon wheels under my budget. Of course I then bought a different set of wheels, full carbon cockpit, new saddle(s) and of course a second frame to build up from the parts I pulled off.
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Old 05-24-20, 07:04 PM
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THere are good vidéo sur on YouTube showing the difference between a 100$, 1700$ and 7000$ bike

between 100$ and 1700$ there was a 20% speed difference for a 40 miles course

between 1700$ and 7000$ there was a 10% speed difference

so I guess the more you spend the faster you go but the slope of improvement tappers off around 1500$
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Old 05-24-20, 09:01 PM
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How much % improvement for a $70,000 bike? Does it come with aero wheels, hopefully red ones?
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Old 05-24-20, 10:40 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by SethAZ View Post
Then the Tiagra lovers come out of the woodwork.
You say that like its a bad thing
I do have to say that I'd found 4500 and 4600 series of Tiagra to be kinda meh. The 4700 series I feel like they kept 10sp to justify having 105, it really is a good group.
As others have mentioned the jump might not be that significant or worthwhile unless there's something about the new bike that adds to the value it has for you. Often 1000 in the US gets you a tiagra equipped aluminium bike while a 2000 can get you a carbon frame with a 105 group but the same cheap wheels, tires, and add ons of the 1000 bike. To me that can be a worthwhile improvement that will be noticeable and a reasonable jump. Probably won't make you faster in the greater sense but a nicer ride and an extra gear for better shifting. After 2000 is when it starts to be a question of what upgrades will make it better. Its once you hit that carbon frame with 105 that the differences can become even more marginal but my opinion is colored by the fact that really have a low opinion of aluminum road frames, others might not care.
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Old 05-24-20, 11:38 PM
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​​​​If you know what's annoying you and what you need to buy to fix the issue, then maybe it's worth it.
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Old 05-25-20, 10:26 PM
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Personally, the 2000 mark is the sweet spot for value for me.

You can get very good bikes at the 1000 price point (dollars, euros or pounds). But they are made to a price point and often have very obvious shortcomings: heavy wheels, lower-end groupset (9 or 10 speed) and heavy finishing kit. As people get into riding, those are things that they will often want to upgrade.

At the 2000 price point, you arent getting as many corners cut. You may have lower end groupsets, but that will be mainly slightly higher weight - you still get 11 speed, which is good for long term compatibility. The wheels are likely a little better as well. So all in all, you have a bike where there is a much lower impetus to upgrade.
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