Author Topic: Any serious cyclists here? Looking to make a purchase  (Read 2628 times)

wealthviahealth

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Any serious cyclists here? Looking to make a purchase
« on: December 24, 2015, 11:57:34 AM »
I got back into biking this year when I moved to San Francisco. Bought a fairly high end Specialized Hybrid  and have been very happy with it. I bike just about everywhere and enjoy it both for the health aspects as well as for saving $ on commuting expenses.
I am now getting into endurance sports again and would love to pick up a nice road bike but to keep the hybrid as my commuter.

My question is- is there a significant difference for your average fitness junkie ( non competitive) between the $1,500 range and the $3k plus? I am the type that would rather by it once and go all in and do it right but at same time don't want to buy in to the idea that I need the highest end gear if its mainly benefiting competitive performance over quality/ function. 

James!

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Re: Any serious cyclists here? Looking to make a purchase
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2015, 12:05:51 PM »
Nope! Get yourself basically one step above the lowest groupsets and you'll be fine. For shimano for example:

Sora - Junk
Tiagra - Clunky, Heavy, but functional and durable
105, ultegra, dura-ace - basically the same functionality just a lot more money for marginally less weight.

I'm a few years out of racing, but I felt like 105 or the equivalent from campy or SRAM is the best value.

You also don't need to worry about carbon fiber this and that. Not at the levels you're considering.

Bonus points if you can find a slightly used bike from someone else who recently upgraded! As long as the bike has been maintained, you can find great values used.

Cheers,
James

sol

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Re: Any serious cyclists here? Looking to make a purchase
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2015, 12:23:27 PM »
Agreed that the biggest value increases on new bikes are below the ~$1500 retail level.  Beyond that you're mostly paying for street cred and a tiny weight reduction that has no relevance for mortals.

If you really need convincing, just weigh some bikes for yourself.  Your LBS will try to tell you that this year's $4k model is lighter and faster than a three year old $1k version from craigslist, but a simple handheld fish scale will tell you otherwise.  Bikes aren't really getting lighter anymore.

mulescent

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Re: Any serious cyclists here? Looking to make a purchase
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2015, 12:30:49 PM »
I got back into biking this year when I moved to San Francisco. Bought a fairly high end Specialized Hybrid  and have been very happy with it. I bike just about everywhere and enjoy it both for the health aspects as well as for saving $ on commuting expenses.
I am now getting into endurance sports again and would love to pick up a nice road bike but to keep the hybrid as my commuter.

My question is- is there a significant difference for your average fitness junkie ( non competitive) between the $1,500 range and the $3k plus? I am the type that would rather by it once and go all in and do it right but at same time don't want to buy in to the idea that I need the highest end gear if its mainly benefiting competitive performance over quality/ function.

I second the previous comments - a quality aluminum frame and 105s or equivalent is all you "need."  But, to take the mustachian perspective, why even bother buying another bike?  Is there something wrong with the one you have?  I did "serious" biking (e.g. distances >50 mi, fast-as-I-could-go speeds) for many years using my front suspension MTB with slicks tires.  Unless you are trying to win a race or keep up with a pack of serious roadies, a heavier bike will just get you fit faster.

wealthviahealth

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Re: Any serious cyclists here? Looking to make a purchase
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2015, 01:13:59 PM »
Thanks for the insight guys. Here is the bike I have been checking out -http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/road/tarmac/tarmac-comp

Jack

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Re: Any serious cyclists here? Looking to make a purchase
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2015, 01:25:07 PM »
Thanks for the insight guys. Here is the bike I have been checking out -http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/road/tarmac/tarmac-comp

That's got an MSRP of $2800. Unless you're planning to find one used, why are you even looking at it?

Glenstache

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Re: Any serious cyclists here? Looking to make a purchase
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2015, 02:34:27 PM »
The Bay Area is full of nice used bikes. It is well worth looking there before going for a new bike. If buying new, many shops are closing out old models for the 2016s and there may be some deals to be had. Look around a bit and see what is available within a reasonable driving distance to get to the shop.

I'll echo the points on equipment above. If you are doing this for fun and want a dedicated road bike, going with 105 or better will pay off. These "nicer" gruppos are better made, easier to work on/maintain, and last longer. (I've worked on, replaced, maintained many bikes with different component groups over the years). There are some really ugly climbs to be had in the Bay Area, so a compact front chainring and up to a 27 tooth cassette drivetrain gearing will probably serve you well for all-around riding in that area.

Beyond what type of parts, it is really, really, really important that the bike feels comfortable and has a good fit if you are doing more endurance riding. If the bike is not a good fit or can't be made to fit with some minor parts swaps (stem length, handlebar width), don't buy it even if it is an otherwise good deal.

act0fgod

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Re: Any serious cyclists here? Looking to make a purchase
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2015, 06:03:24 PM »
Craigslist is definitely the way to go, especially in the bay area.  My current single bike is a specialized tarmac pro (dura ace) that I purchased for under a grand.  It was definitely a splurge and the previous bianchi giro (105) that I bought on craigslist for $300 worked just as well.  That being said I've done some 24 hour rides and my body appreciates the carbon in comparison to the aluminum that I never rode more than 100 miles.

You don't seem to need the bike right now so take time search craiglist and find a killer deal.

kendallf

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Re: Any serious cyclists here? Looking to make a purchase
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2015, 10:04:43 PM »
I'll throw out something you might not have considered: if you want a "lifetime" frame look for a titanium frame that's a few years old.  They're all over Ebay and CL and, since they were high end when purchased, usually come with Dura Ace or comparable components.  No corrosion worries, much more resistant to impact damage than carbon, light (enough), great ride. 

My travel frame is a ~15 year old Sampson titanium frame that I had cut in two for S&S couplers.  These allow the bike to be broken down into an airline luggage sized case to avoid oversize fees.  It has been all over the world through the less-than-gentle hands of baggage handlers and TSA inspectors.  Still looks great, rides beautifully, and I have ridden it up and down mountains and through jungles for many years.  I paid about $700 for it with Dura Ace parts on Ebay when it was perhaps 5 years old.



Sampson travel bike

Exflyboy

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Re: Any serious cyclists here? Looking to make a purchase
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2015, 10:50:35 PM »
www.performancebike.com

A few years back I bought last years aluminium framed model with 105 gear for just over $700.. Nice bike..:)

spokey doke

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Re: Any serious cyclists here? Looking to make a purchase
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2015, 11:07:33 PM »
I think you need to go ride some bikes and see for yourself...does it make a difference to you to have x, y, z?

I think that getting into a 105 group is a good target/sweet spot for price for performance, although the rest of the specs can make a difference (like wheels).  Carbon gets poo-poo'd alot, esp. because its associated with cost, but I love my carbon Roubaix, not only for the weight and stiffness, but the vibration dampening (which is a big plus where roads are rougher). I've also felt a real difference in swapping out alum. for carbon bars and posts.

I have the Ultegra group (as spec'd on that Tarmac) on my Roubaix, and like it a lot.  I don't need it, or the carbon frame, but I love getting on a really quick bike that performs really well.  Go ride a few Tarmac's and a few Roubaix's at different spec. levels and see what you think (and if you even need another bike).  You'll likely have lots of fun on whatever you ride, but you are the best one to tell what makes you happy.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2015, 11:11:32 PM by spokey doke »