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Are bicycles which require proprietary parts an unwise purchase?

Old 06-09-22, 05:13 PM
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dja1
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Are bicycles which require proprietary parts an unwise purchase?

I'm considering a new bike and have been erring with the possibility of going for a full aero frame/finishing kit/wheels from the likes of Ribble or Canyon. Yes, they seem very good on paper, and I am aware of the benifits offered by reducing drag on frames and wheels, but then I look deeper into it and wonder about the proprietary seatposts and forks which such bikes seem to come with.

Damage the seatpost or forks on my lightweight carbon frame then no biggie, as long as the frame is good then I'll just go and buy a new one. Snap the Ribble or the Canyon, yeah I might get one, but what about 5/10 years down the line when the latest model and 'improved' is out; do they still make it?

Yeah my current bikes are fine, no I don't need a new one but I love the ideas of these aero bikes. That said, in the real world, for somebody who just enjoys cycling and wants to put the miles in, even though so called innovative technology, engineering and design may appeal, is it worth it? What are your thoughts and experiences? Are parts for such bikes widely available and easily obtained, or is it best to steer clear?
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Old 06-09-22, 05:18 PM
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4 years post purchase and I could not get a cervelo seatpost.

I think you are wise to consider this in your purchase.
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Old 06-09-22, 05:23 PM
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I would avoid it.
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Old 06-09-22, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
4 years post purchase and I could not get a cervelo seatpost.

I think you are wise to consider this in your purchase.
May I ask what post you could not get.
I just got an R5 two weeks ago.

Barry
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Old 06-09-22, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Barry2 View Post
May I ask what post you could not get.
I just got an R5 two weeks ago.

Barry
S3. 25 mm setback. Cervelo tells people to try to find a used one. The clamping design totally sucks. You know where I can get one? There is a china version w/o setback from a company called Helix. I need 25 mm setback. The clamp is serrated aluminum. Hit a good bump and the itty bitty serrations disintegrate.
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Old 06-09-22, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by dja1 View Post
I'm considering a new bike and have been erring with the possibility of going for a full aero frame/finishing kit/wheels from the likes of Ribble or Canyon. Yes, they seem very good on paper, and I am aware of the benifits offered by reducing drag on frames and wheels, but then I look deeper into it and wonder about the proprietary seatposts and forks which such bikes seem to come with.

Damage the seatpost or forks on my lightweight carbon frame then no biggie, as long as the frame is good then I'll just go and buy a new one. Snap the Ribble or the Canyon, yeah I might get one, but what about 5/10 years down the line when the latest model and 'improved' is out; do they still make it?

Yeah my current bikes are fine, no I don't need a new one but I love the ideas of these aero bikes. That said, in the real world, for somebody who just enjoys cycling and wants to put the miles in, even though so called innovative technology, engineering and design may appeal, is it worth it? What are your thoughts and experiences? Are parts for such bikes widely available and easily obtained, or is it best to steer clear?
I can't say I've ever worried about such things or kept the same bike for more than 10 years. New bikes have always seemed worth it to me.
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Old 06-09-22, 05:49 PM
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R5 came with a type SP24 15mm and I need & purchased SP24 0mm.
I was going to dump the 15mm.
I'm NOT now.

Thanks

Barry
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Old 06-09-22, 06:38 PM
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I certainly wouldn't buy any bicycle that used anything other than standardized parts, given how much I enjoy tinkering and changing parts from time to time.
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Old 06-09-22, 06:44 PM
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Are bicycles which require proprietary parts an unwise purchase?

Better to put it like this...

Are

bicycles which require proprietary parts

an

unwise

purchase?

But sometimes

Unavoidable...

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Old 06-09-22, 07:03 PM
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Are bicycles which require proprietary parts an unwise purchase?
Yes.
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Old 06-09-22, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by dja1 View Post
I'm considering a new bike and have been erring with the possibility of going for a full aero frame/finishing kit/wheels from the likes of Ribble or Canyon. Yes, they seem very good on paper, and I am aware of the benifits offered by reducing drag on frames and wheels, but then I look deeper into it and wonder about the proprietary seatposts and forks which such bikes seem to come with.

Damage the seatpost or forks on my lightweight carbon frame then no biggie, as long as the frame is good then I'll just go and buy a new one. Snap the Ribble or the Canyon, yeah I might get one, but what about 5/10 years down the line when the latest model and 'improved' is out; do they still make it?

Yeah my current bikes are fine, no I don't need a new one but I love the ideas of these aero bikes. That said, in the real world, for somebody who just enjoys cycling and wants to put the miles in, even though so called innovative technology, engineering and design may appeal, is it worth it? What are your thoughts and experiences? Are parts for such bikes widely available and easily obtained, or is it best to steer clear?
...I guess it's an individual decision. Personally, I'm just out there looking at the passing scenery and getting in some interval training. Aero, shmaero is kinda my take on it. Once you get up to a certain speed, the air resistance on your body seems to be the biggest factor anyway (although lightweight wheels and tires will make you feel like a superhero, in terms of acceleration.) I'm not gonna ride around in a full tuck, because it's uncomfortable, and I can't see the traffic as well. I'm not gonna get a fairing, because I don't need to go that fast.

So I guess my question would be, "Why take the chance on proprietary stuff like seat posts and forks and headsets, just because they're aero ?"
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Old 06-09-22, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by dja1 View Post
Damage the seatpost or forks on my lightweight carbon frame then no biggie, as long as the frame is good then I'll just go and buy a new one. Snap the Ribble or the Canyon, yeah I might get one, but what about 5/10 years down the line when the latest model and 'improved' is out; do they still make it?
My bikes have from 10k to 40k+ miles on them, and I've never needed to swap out a fork or a seatpost. Seems like a low-probability concern. But if you're really worried, just buy a spare seatpost when you get the bike. (If you snap a fork, you'll likely have larger problems than finding a replacement.)
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Old 06-09-22, 07:54 PM
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Yes, but I've not let that stop me and - so far at least - I haven't had any issues with proprietary parts.

Looking to the future though, In 5 years time if I snap my Aeroad seat post will I be able to get a new one from Canyon? Probably not...


Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Seems like a low-probability concern.
^ That.
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Old 06-09-22, 08:04 PM
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Go search aero seatposts and you'll find that there are proprietary seatposts and clamps that become impossible to find; especially the clamps.

If you turn your bikes over every 5-10 years, or have access to a machine shop, I wouldn't worry about it.

John
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Old 06-09-22, 08:11 PM
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The things I see here most being "unobtainium" are seatposts, seatpost clamps, and derailleur hangers
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Old 06-09-22, 08:36 PM
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Everything was proprietary once.
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Old 06-09-22, 09:18 PM
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I’ll give you an example of proprietary. I ride a 2020 Bianchi Infinito CV and have been swapping seats like crazy to find one my gentleman parts find agreeable. Two weeks ago I was out riding and something went pop and my seat raked back about 5 degrees. Looking at the bolts which mount to the seat rails, they go though these little toothed washer like things which secure to the clam holding the seat rails. One of the little toothed things the bolts go through had snapped in half. Searched on line and no one sells that one little part. In fact you have to buy a $150 assembly with two bolts, two toothed things and the clam, but according to the official Bianchi site, they are out of stock. So I contacted Bianchi dealers and online retailers and got blank looks. Just by luck I found a site which still had the full assembly available and immediately ordered it, spending $170 for a 5 cent part. I could have had one CNCd but who know how much that might have cost. So yes, beware of exotic bikes. (Still waiting on the part)
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Old 06-09-22, 09:44 PM
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Industry standard or not at all.

Proprietary parts are a headache waiting to happen. Modular design is one of cyclings' greatest strengths. It leads to longevity, value, utility, low cost of ownership & repairability. Any genuine innovation to these ends has a tendency to become adopted; to become moreorless "standard."


Simply put: Proprietary components are a liability to future use & chain you to single source provisioning at great freedom & cost.

Choose wisely.
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Old 06-09-22, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
I ride a 2020 Bianchi Infinito CV and have been swapping seats like crazy to find one my gentleman parts find agreeable.
...one's gentleman parts are somewhat proprietary.
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Old 06-09-22, 11:00 PM
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I'm confused.

You say youíve already got a great road bike. Cool.

Extra bikes with more bling are also cool.

So far Iím with you.

Then you go on to say you ride for fun and arenít a racer.

Now Iím lost. Why would you want a nearly identical bike thatís a teeny bit faster aerodynamically?

I think we can have more fun with your next bike purchase.

My initial thoughts are gravel bike, mountain bike, or time trial bike. All excellent +1 options.

We can go deeper still. Mountain Unicycle, a fixed gear mountain bike, or a Surly with a bunch of BS on it for commuting or touring (itíll never leave the garage and thatís ok).

Maybe a BMX bike, they have beginner adult nights at the track. Seems like it would be amazing (and probably never leave the garage).

You could grow a mustache and an attitude and get something steel.?

All of these things seem more fun than a slightly slippery spare road bike.

As for proprietary stuff, itís fine until itís not. I wouldnít do it if I were heavier, since new parts are a given. I wouldnít do it if you expect good resale on the bike. Iím sure it all works great though.
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Old 06-10-22, 03:50 AM
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Thinking about it, there arenít really that many truly proprietary parts on a modern road bike. Seatposts are the obvious one of course and I think it is probably worth avoiding those unless you really do want the marginal aero gain from an aero-section post or compliance from a D-section post. As it happens my Giant Defy has a proprietary D-shaped seatpost, but it is very comfortable and I donít expect it to be that difficult to replace in the unlikely event of failure. If I was planning to keep the bike for 20 years I would maybe buy a spare post.

I think the worst scenario is when you have a proprietary part that doesnít function very well or is a pita in some way. In other words a part that you would change if you had an alternative choice. Sestposts can sometimes fall into this category if for example they have a crappy seat clamp or you canít get the right amount of setback.

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Old 06-10-22, 05:02 AM
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some love to be fiddlin with their bikes, and to them, time spent doin shop work is like making music.
me, I very much dislike annoying fiddly things, creaking seatposts, bottom brackets, annoying headsets/front ends.
I do pay attention to the drivetrain and wheels, so that always requires and deserves attention... but additional attention diverting stuff is super annoying.
I've been a home owner for most of my adult life, and do the work myself, rarely hiring, unless it needs specific equipment I don;t want to own, or very specific skills...
so I don;t want or look for more things to maintain - given all the things I do which have 'equipment'...
seatpost creaks, I'll grease the clamps or clean them, but once I've put in the reasonable solutions - the post has to go and I put another on - AND GO RIDE !
a lot of the 'highest' performance bikes these days have some assortment of proprietary , so you pays your money and takes your chances...
at 150 lbs, I don;t break stuff much... if I was 220, little fiddly, hard to source things might be more of an issue.
my considered expendable income is limited, and I do many other things. A pricy bike would really cramp my style... My bikes are right nice enough... without the full-on fiddly aero crappage
but then, a good race in really nasty conditions, got my juices goin...
Ride On
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Old 06-10-22, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
Industry standard or not at all.

Proprietary parts are a headache waiting to happen. Modular design is one of cyclings' greatest strengths. It leads to longevity, value, utility, low cost of ownership & repairability. Any genuine innovation to these ends has a tendency to become adopted; to become moreorless "standard."


Simply put: Proprietary components are a liability to future use & chain you to single source provisioning at great freedom & cost.

Choose wisely.
This is also my concern with bikes that use a seat mast instead of a seatpost. What if my fit changes but toppers of various sizes are no longer available? Not that I'm really worried about it as I prefer bikes with lugs and shiny chrome, but I'm now aware that any new wheels I want, I'm going to have to build myself.
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Old 06-10-22, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
This is also my concern with bikes that use a seat mast instead of a seatpost. What if my fit changes but toppers of various sizes are no longer available? Not that I'm really worried about it as I prefer bikes with lugs and shiny chrome, but I'm now aware that any new wheels I want, I'm going to have to build myself.
There is usually plenty of adjustment range in the available toppers and there are rarely more than a couple of different length toppers. The one I nearly bought had two toppers, giving a total adjustment range of something like 35 mm. So fit would never have been an issue.
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Old 06-10-22, 06:09 AM
  #25  
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Having an identical spare bike waiting in the wings can sometimes be helpful. Heck, you could even leave it unassembled and store it in the box!
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