Author Topic: Should I buy a $3000 bike?  (Read 17709 times)

mtnrider

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Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« on: June 10, 2012, 08:49:04 AM »

So I'm thinking of buying a new bike... for $2000 to $3000.  Should I stop by the face punching machine?

I'm interested in a moderately high end cross country mountain bike.  This would be mostly for enjoyment, and if I have time, bikepacking and some endurance racing.

Before you answer, consider this - I've been looking to buy a used bike for over a year, but haven't found anything that I'd want to buy.  High end bikes have a limited market.  The few that are on the local market are typically about five years old.  And the used prices are crazy.  Some owners are trying to sell for $500 less than their purchase price.   After 5 years of unknown abuse trail riding, I would only pay 1/2 the current price!  I'm also limited to XL frames, which further narrows my market.

Ebay scares me, as I can't test ride or inspect the frames for wear before purchasing.

Gerard

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2012, 09:09:49 AM »
My knee-jerk response would be, "fuck, no!" But I guess a more nuanced answer depends on how you answer other questions:
*How will this purchase affect your broader financial goals? What are you giving up in exchange for buying this bike?
*Will the bike replace other costs? Commuting, entertainment, etc.? (based on your post, it seems the answer is "no")
*Will the bike incur new costs? (e.g., will you start driving to faraway places to participate in the endurance races you talk about?)
*What are the odds of such a bad-ass bike getting stolen? (I speak as an ex-Montrealer here...)
*Can you get the same (or nearly the same) enjoyment etc. from a cheaper bike? From the bike you're riding now?
*Will the bike have a high resale value?
*Do you already ride enough that the cost of the new bike will be amortized over thousands of hours of fun? Or is your planned big-time riding a lifestyle change that you may or may not maintain? (in which case, are your plans just a justification for a purchase you want to make?)
*Are there additional changes you could make to improve your life once you have the new bike? (e.g., would you consider bike commuting if you had a bike that was a joy to ride?)
*Are there ways to lower the cost without buying used? (e.g., buy online, buy at the end of the season, or buy last year's model)

Maybe serious bikers can chime in with more specifically bike-related questions...

smalllife

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2012, 10:22:28 AM »
I think it hinges on what you define as "enjoyment" and what you are doing with your current bike (you said "new" so I'm assuming you have one).   

If you merely dream of doing a lot of mountain biking, but the "enjoyment" is referring to simply riding in general, then I would sign up for the punch in the face.  If that's the case, don't go so specialized and you can probably find a used or mid-range new bike for cheaper.  I would even question buying a serious mountain bike at all before you know (and I mean really know) that you love it.

If you currently do a lot of mountain biking but your machine isn't holding up to the task, then there is an argument to be made for buying the expensive bike.  I'd personally try to upgrade my current bike or some kind of handy man special before I dropped that much on a bike - and I love my bike.  But I also snagged a mid 70s Schwinn for a song on Craigslist . . . .

It's the law of diminishing returns: how much more of a bang for your buck does a bike worth two or three grand bring you that an entry to mid level mountain bike cannot? 


mtnrider

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2012, 11:19:38 AM »
Good questions!

@Gerard

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*How will this purchase affect your broader financial goals? What are you giving up in exchange for buying this bike?

Let's say that MMM could be my brother, separated at birth.  We're similar ages, took similar life paths, have similar interests, have similar attitudes, and have similar spending habits (or non-spending habits!).  I just discovered MMM recently, and, wow!  Of course, there are differences, but I could easily "afford" the bike without sacrificing.

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*Will the bike replace other costs? Commuting, entertainment, etc.? (based on your post, it seems the answer is "no")

I already commute on a bike.  This bike would let me commute through the woods more, which I enjoy.  But I probably wouldn't use it that often as a commuter.  I might use it one day a week to commute and one day on weekends.

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*Will the bike incur new costs? (e.g., will you start driving to faraway places to participate in the endurance races you talk about?)

High end suspension forks need maintenance.  I'll do that on my own, of course.  I already drive about 500 miles a year for racing.  That won't be increased.

But point taken that I should not get one of those proprietary forks, where it's hard to find parts.

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*What are the odds of such a bad-ass bike getting stolen? (I speak as an ex-Montrealer here...)

I do worry about that.  I live in a rural area, so the odds are low, but possible.

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*Can you get the same (or nearly the same) enjoyment etc. from a cheaper bike? From the bike you're riding now?

I long since converted my almost 20 year old mountain bike into a commuter.  I could get a cheaper bike, or at least a bike in the $1500 to $2000 range.  The primary difference is weight, and secondarily, durability of components.

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*Will the bike have a high resale value?

Ha!  It appears so, based on my experience.  Odds are that I won't resell it though.

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*Do you already ride enough that the cost of the new bike will be amortized over thousands of hours of fun? Or is your planned big-time riding a lifestyle change that you may or may not maintain? (in which case, are your plans just a justification for a purchase you want to make?)

I do ride quite a bit, and continue to do so.

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*Are there additional changes you could make to improve your life once you have the new bike? (e.g., would you consider bike commuting if you had a bike that was a joy to ride?)

Already bike commute. :-)

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*Are there ways to lower the cost without buying used? (e.g., buy online, buy at the end of the season, or buy last year's model)

That's the frustrating thing!  Last year I waited until the end of the season and asked about sales.  The sales people pointed me to a bunch of pre-built bikes, but all of them were for people of average size!

I'm not really sure about online.  I'm considering bikesdirect.com.

@smalllife

I do bike maintenance for fun, so I would love to get a handyman's special - assuming the frame isn't cracked.  If only I could find one. 

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It's the law of diminishing returns: how much more of a bang for your buck does a bike worth two or three grand bring you that an entry to mid level mountain bike cannot? 

Ah, for the finer things in life!

Up to $1500 to $2000, you get lighter and better reliability.  Above that, you get lighter.  Two or three grand buys you lightness, the ability to manhandle the bike more.

JR

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2012, 11:39:06 AM »
If you are a proficient bike mechanic I would most defiantly go with bikesdirect.com.  The fact is that almost all bikes no matter what brand they are are built by Taiwanese contractors (Meridia and Ideal to name two).  You can even find the exact frames that are made for bike shop brands on Bikes Direct bikes (check the geometry).  If you do not need a relationship with a local bike shop then there is no sense paying for all of the advertising and overhead for the well known brands. 

Lex

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2012, 11:56:04 AM »
It seems that you already bike a lot, not just judging by your username... :-)  Probably you will be using that bike a lot, which means that the higher price will easily pay itself back in more biking and more fun in doing so.

It always surprises me that if you spend 15 grand (be it euros or dollars) on a car, everybody will think that's normal, whereas when you buy a more upscale bike, most people will find that outrageous.

I'd say: do your homework, get a good quality bike and enjoy it!

Lex

smalllife

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2012, 12:39:41 PM »
Sounds like you know what you are talking about, so I say go for the more expensive bike but try to get it on the cheap :-)

The bigger frame is something you can't sacrifice, so in your case (already racing, know you like the dirt more than the road, etc.) it is a smart decision to get a bike that's reliable and you love - even if it costs a couple of grand.

Tyler

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2012, 01:30:08 PM »
This should be simple enough to break down:

1) what does a $3000 bike do that a $2000 bike does not?
2) is that difference really worth $1000 to something other than ego and tech addiction?

If yes, buy the wonderful but crazy expensive bike.  If no, punch yourself in the face then then repeat steps 1 and 2 (constantly taking 33% off of the lower price and comparing bang for your buck) until you reach the point where you can no longer cut.

gooki

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2012, 04:01:50 PM »
Are you competing to win or for fun? If it's fun then I'd spend less.

masont

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2012, 08:04:15 PM »
If you are a proficient bike mechanic I would most defiantly go with bikesdirect.com.  The fact is that almost all bikes no matter what brand they are are built by Taiwanese contractors (Meridia and Ideal to name two).  You can even find the exact frames that are made for bike shop brands on Bikes Direct bikes (check the geometry).  If you do not need a relationship with a local bike shop then there is no sense paying for all of the advertising and overhead for the well known brands.
I will respectfully disagree.  Even though Merida may make bikes for different companies, they make them to different specs.  Just because something came out of the same factory does not mean it's the same thing.  At all.  Not that they don't try - when Specialized came out with the Epic (made by Merida), there were a handful of Merida "epics" running around.  Specialized puts a lot of money into R&D and squashed that quickly.  Bikesdirect.com is a great place to buy your mustachian grocery getter, but if you want a high end MTB, have ridden a high end MTB, and know what the differences are, bikesdirect is not what you want. 

Also, in the full suspension MTB world, there's a huge difference in terms of not only quality but reliability between $2k-$3k.  Your stuff works better, lasts longer, and holds resale value better.  Now sure, you're spending the money, but just understand that there is a pretty large difference in what you get for that $1000.

OP - what kind of bike are you looking at?

delnorte

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2012, 08:36:06 PM »
I am a thrifty guy and I spent years mulling over the same question that now faces you.  In the end, I bought a $3500 bike, and it was one the best decisions I have ever made.  Good bikes are enjoyable to ride, as a result, I rode a lot, got in great physical shape, and began entering and winning races.  But, for me, the biggest benefits of the bike were mental.  It did for me what years of Prozac couldn't do.  Riding it daily snapped me out of a long-term depression, which allowed me to get my post-graduate degree, which helped me get a job in the bike industry.  My only regret is that I didn't buy it sooner.

delnorte

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2012, 08:41:11 PM »
You can even find the exact frames that are made for bike shop brands on Bikes Direct bikes (check the geometry).

This is almost always false, especially on higher end bikes.

menorman

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2012, 11:57:42 PM »
Over on Brave New Life, he took a look at virtually the exact same concern. Check it out, see if his synopsis fits your idea.

JR

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2012, 08:30:27 AM »
Bikesdirect.com is a great place to buy your mustachian grocery getter, but if you want a high end MTB, have ridden a high end MTB, and know what the differences are, bikesdirect is not what you want. 

This is bike snobbery at its finest.  Most of the critical reviews I have read for Bikes Direct are from people who have never purchased a bike from them.  I will agree that the super high end bikes ($3000 is not in this range) are designed specifically for certain companies but frames and componentry come from the same third party vendors and are assembled by the same employees for lower and midrange bikes.  But feel free to fund the big bike brand's Tour de France teams and multi million dollar marketing campaigns.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 08:32:19 AM by JR »

Matt K

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2012, 09:11:14 AM »
I understand the want for a higher end mtb. I teach mountain biking as a side gig, so I spend a lot of time on my mtb. It has to be fun, durable, comfortable, and good enough to not be slowing me down when I'm with clients on much more expensive bikes. I should point out, I do not race, so out right performance of a bike is less important to me than reliablity.

I'm going to suggest that you can get a bike that will do everything very well for $1500 or so. Here's how:

1 - Don't get this years model until it is heavily discounted by the distributor (usually end of June, bike shops can order in the exact model you want for 70% list or less). Ideally get last years model (50% off). Despite what the magazines say, most bikes don't change a lot year to year.

2 - Following on that, I'd go with a mid range drive train. Shimano Deore or SRAM X7. These are both pretty much the same as the previous generation (last year, maybe two years ago) higher end parts. They aren't as light as the current higher spec parts (use cheaper/heavier materials), but are rugged and reliable.

I prefer the feel of the SLX shifter to the Deore that came on my latest bike, so I picked up a set of SLX shifters on close out. But once I got used to the 'basic' deores, they were good enough, so I've never put my SLX shifters on. Same goes for brakes. Two year old Deore brakes (M485) are as good as the Juicy 7s from three years ago. I know, because I swapped my "higher end" juicys on, and was dissapointed to find exactly the same perforamance and feel.

If buying full suspension, do your research on the frame. If the frame uses a linkage design that negates pedalling influences (Horst linkage, or a linkage driven single pivot 3D link, Magic Link, etc) don't pay extra for a pro-pedal rear shock. The suspension design is already doing 95% of the work the 'pro-pedal' is supposed to. Save $200 by going with the lower end shock.

The exception to all this is front forks. Forks are worth the extra money, you can definitely feel the difference between a $200 fork and a $600 fork. The good news is JensonUSA and other websites often have closeouts on last years models for as much as 50% off.

Remember, that wth the possible exception of Carbon edition frames, the frame on a $1500 version of a bike is the same as the $5000 version. It is only the part spec that changes. So buy the lowest part spec that will give you good reliability, and then upgrade the parts you care about.

So, find a good frame you like, buy it in a lower-mid trim (not base, you do not want an Acera drive train), and use the saving to upgrade only the parts that really matter to you. Buy close-out or last years model of everything. It isn't hard to get a bike that rides like $3000 for half that.

Quote
I will agree that the super high end bikes ($3000 is not in this range) are designed specifically for certain companies but frames and componentry come from the same third party vendors and are assembled by the same employees for lower and midrange bikes.  But feel free to fund the big bike brand's Tour de France teams and multi million dollar marketing campaigns.

I recommend you speak with some designers at Devinci, Intense, Banshee, Rocky Mountain, Santa Cruz, Norco, Marin, and many many others. They design their own frames. Many (such as Devinici and Intense) even manufacture their own frames. Those that don't (like Banshee) most definitely do design their own frames. And yes, many frames have similar geometery, but a quarter inch difference in a pivot position changes a bike from perfectly smooth to P.O.S.
Yes, components come from Shimano, SRAM, and others. And some companies do use Tawainese designed frames (Opus mountain bikes were and maybe still are sourced from a provider, Opus deals with the component selection, assembly, and distribution). But in my experience the vast majority of mountain bike frames sold a local shops are designed by the company with the the logo on it.

James

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2012, 09:45:58 AM »
I agree with Matt K, growing up we raced a bit and my brother worked at a bike shop.  We would get last years bike at a big discount, and then upgrade whatever parts we wanted to.


As far as size goes, talk to your bike shop about how to work that out.  Give them your budget (start low), and what frame and components you are wanting.  Ask them to find out when they can a discount from their supplier on last year's bikes, and then check with them around that time and ask them to call about getting a bike in your size.  If they know you are willing to wait and willing to work with them, it would be nice to give them the business and not go mail order.  But I wouldn't pay full price, if that was my only option at the local place I'd start looking further away and at mail order, some shop probably has your size from last year.


I don't see any problem spending whatever it takes to get the bike you want, but I do think you will enjoy it the most by picking specific improvements rather than spending $3000 up front on one package deal.

menorman

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2012, 05:42:15 PM »
I agree with Matt K, growing up we raced a bit and my brother worked at a bike shop.  We would get last years bike at a big discount, and then upgrade whatever parts we wanted to.


As far as size goes, talk to your bike shop about how to work that out.  Give them your budget (start low), and what frame and components you are wanting.  Ask them to find out when they can a discount from their supplier on last year's bikes, and then check with them around that time and ask them to call about getting a bike in your size.  If they know you are willing to wait and willing to work with them, it would be nice to give them the business and not go mail order.  But I wouldn't pay full price, if that was my only option at the local place I'd start looking further away and at mail order, some shop probably has your size from last year.


I don't see any problem spending whatever it takes to get the bike you want, but I do think you will enjoy it the most by picking specific improvements rather than spending $3000 up front on one package deal.
If bikes are anything like clothes/shoes, odd sizes won't sell very quickly. This might work out great for OP, who then might be able to find an excellent specimen of last year's model on sale at a decent discount simply because the size just couldn't sell.

tannybrown

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2012, 05:46:12 PM »
Crappier bike = more work by you = you are more badass.

masont

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #18 on: June 11, 2012, 06:25:14 PM »
Bikesdirect.com is a great place to buy your mustachian grocery getter, but if you want a high end MTB, have ridden a high end MTB, and know what the differences are, bikesdirect is not what you want. 

This is bike snobbery at its finest.  Most of the critical reviews I have read for Bikes Direct are from people who have never purchased a bike from them.  I will agree that the super high end bikes ($3000 is not in this range) are designed specifically for certain companies but frames and componentry come from the same third party vendors and are assembled by the same employees for lower and midrange bikes.  But feel free to fund the big bike brand's Tour de France teams and multi million dollar marketing campaigns.
Perhaps it's bike snobbery, but it's correct.  What you're saying isn't.  Let's look at a Specialized Epic.  The base model costs you $3k.  The gucci model costs you $9k.  The frame geometry, travel, suspension design (patented, by the way) are completely unique to that bike, and identical across the spectrum of $3k-$9k.  You cannot get an equivalent bike from bikesdirect.  You can get an approximation, but I've seen the bikes.  The frames aren't made well.  There's lots of play in the pivot bearings.  They're not going to ride as well or last as long. 

I don't mean to be a bike snob, but I work in the bike industry, and have a pretty good idea of how it works.  Also, I'm not trying to sell anybody anything here, and fully realize that 99% of mustachians aren't going to ride an expensive bike, and that's totally ok.  A large percentage of people aren't going to be able to tell the difference.  An accomplished cyclist will be able to tell the difference, and that's why nice bikes exist.  Specialized and Trek hire PhD's from MIT to design badass bikes that people win world championships on in many cycling disciplines.  They get feedback from the best cyclists in the world, who are their lab rats before a product hits market.   

Bikesdirect buys generic frames and puts componentry on them.  There is no innovation, no improvement on the current standard, or anything like that.  They're cheap bikes.  That's not bad - for many people, a cheap bike is a better bike - but it's true.  If being informed makes me a bike snob, I guess I'm guilty as charged. 

edit: Matt gives great advice on how to score a deal, and I agree with almost everything he said.  Good stuff. 
« Last Edit: June 11, 2012, 06:28:03 PM by masont »

andrew

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2012, 07:00:48 PM »
So I'm thinking of buying a new bike... for $2000 to $3000.  Should I stop by the face punching machine?

I've been riding the same $500 bike for about 13 years, would a $3000 bike be 6x better? I'm not sure, what would the extra $2500 would get me? I'd say pick a couple of bikes at various price points within the range you're considering spending... $1000, $1500, $2000, $2500, $3000 and quantify exactly what you'd be getting and how exactly that will benefit you at each price points. I think there's probably a bigger difference between a $100 Walmart bicycle and a $1000 bike store bike than there is between $1000 and $3000 bike store bikes, i.e. diminishing returns the more you spend on a bike.


Matt K

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2012, 06:55:12 AM »
I've been riding the same $500 bike for about 13 years, would a $3000 bike be 6x better? I'm not sure, what would the extra $2500 would get me? I'd say pick a couple of bikes at various price points within the range you're considering spending... $1000, $1500, $2000, $2500, $3000 and quantify exactly what you'd be getting and how exactly that will benefit you at each price points. I think there's probably a bigger difference between a $100 Walmart bicycle and a $1000 bike store bike than there is between $1000 and $3000 bike store bikes, i.e. diminishing returns the more you spend on a bike.

You're right about diminishing returns, but you also aren't seeing the differences between the bikes at the higher price tags. I have a mountain bike worth almost $4000. It is 8 times better than your $500 bike? Well, that depends. It pedals slower than yours, it weights more than yours, and replacement parts are stupidly expensive compared to yours. For a mustachian, your $500 bike is better, period. But my $4k bike can do something your $500 simply cannot. I can ride it down ski hills and do six foot drops all day every day on it. There simply is no $500 bike that can do that (unless we are talking very old and used, but that is a very different story).

Because of the amount of time I spend on my bikes, and the trails I ride, a $500 bike simply isn't enough. Either I'll spend a lot of time and money keeping it in working condition, or it'll just beat me up too much. I ride very rough trails, and my knees aren't what they used to be; since bike parts are cheaper than knees, I splurge on the bike parts.
If money was the true concern, I simply wouldn't participate in mountain biking to the degree I do. But mountain biking is a significant part of my life, and not something I would chose to give up or even scale back on.

Sometimes the differences between a $1500 bike and a $3000 bike are pretty minimal; a few pounds lighter and gucci kit from big names. Sure riding the gucci one feels better, but at the end of the day, you'd be happy with the $1500 too.
But at the $1500+ mark, you see a vast array of bikes offering a very wide range of capabilities and compromises. Some bikes are built for speed on smooth terrain, others for climbing mountains, and a few just for going down mountains. These differences are as big as those between a sports car, a family sedan, and a Jeep. Chosing a $1500+ bike is more about what you want out of the bike than what you want to spend on it.

And because I never miss a chance to share pretty pictures, I suggest anyone who isn't familiar with expensive mountain bike spend a few minutes looking at pictures of people riding said bikes. If you're familiar with expensive mountain bikes, than you probably already know about the pinkbike picture of the day:
http://www.pinkbike.com/photo/podlist/

mtnrider

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2012, 08:05:54 PM »

Oh my.  I didn't know I'd set of such a maelstrom.

FWIW, I think you're all correct.  I'm conflicted about treating myself to this, and the responses echo my own internal conflict.  If it makes anyone happier, I originally started with wanting this very nice, light carbon fiber bike , but a friend pointed out that I would no longer be able to use my bike as an excuse* for why I don't end up on the podium.  So I moved down to models where I thought I'd still have fun without looking like I was trying to make up for the engine with the bike.  I was thinking about the alloy version of the same bike, which is also nice but now I'm questioning the Lefty, since it might be harder to find parts, and to repair.  Fox makes a nice suspension that is almost as light.

After reading and thinking about it, I realized that I should set $3000 as an upper limit.  I'll have the summer to look around, to find a good deal.

* Seriously though, it's hard to compete with the pros and semi-pros in cycling, at least in this locale.  The engine make a big difference and there are riders out there spending as much time doing intervals as I spend on all my training.

gooki

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2012, 08:11:09 PM »
* Seriously though, it's hard to compete with the pros and semi-pros in cycling, at least in this locale.  The engine make a big difference and there are riders out there spending as much time doing intervals as I spend on all my training.

Then don't compete with them ;)

You don't have to be the best at everything. But do enjoy the stuff you do. Race for the challenge, not the glory.

mtnrider

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2012, 08:25:15 PM »
* Seriously though, it's hard to compete with the pros and semi-pros in cycling, at least in this locale.  The engine make a big difference and there are riders out there spending as much time doing intervals as I spend on all my training.

Then don't compete with them ;)

You don't have to be the best at everything. But do enjoy the stuff you do. Race for the challenge, not the glory.

That's been my strategy!  But I still feel a little sheepish when friends look at my middle of the pack finish and wonder out loud if I could find 2 minutes somewhere. :-)

masont

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2012, 03:24:51 PM »

Oh my.  I didn't know I'd set of such a maelstrom.

FWIW, I think you're all correct.  I'm conflicted about treating myself to this, and the responses echo my own internal conflict.  If it makes anyone happier, I originally started with wanting this very nice, light carbon fiber bike , but a friend pointed out that I would no longer be able to use my bike as an excuse* for why I don't end up on the podium.  So I moved down to models where I thought I'd still have fun without looking like I was trying to make up for the engine with the bike.  I was thinking about the alloy version of the same bike, which is also nice but now I'm questioning the Lefty, since it might be harder to find parts, and to repair.  Fox makes a nice suspension that is almost as light.

After reading and thinking about it, I realized that I should set $3000 as an upper limit.  I'll have the summer to look around, to find a good deal.

* Seriously though, it's hard to compete with the pros and semi-pros in cycling, at least in this locale.  The engine make a big difference and there are riders out there spending as much time doing intervals as I spend on all my training.
I'd much rather a Fox than a Lefty.  Getting Cannondale to service anything has been a giant pain in the rear after they went bankrupt and got bought out by a big holding company, and if you're going to ride it hard (ie: race it) you're going to end up needing to service it. 

Now that I know you're after a hardtail, I think you should be able to get out of this for under $2k easy.  How tall are you?  Where do you live?

Sparky

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2012, 05:22:44 AM »
Any luck on finding a frame yet?

I am also one of those people that rides a stupidly expensive bicycle. I don't mind saying I spent near $4700 bucks into my touring machine, but I built it with exactly the stuff I wanted and I am very happy with it. Spent 18 months putting it together from start to finish. My daily grocery getter back home is worth $50 and around 40 years old.

OP: It sounds like you've pretty much made up your mind on buying the bike. Try to find the best deal you can and get out riding. It's not as if your some person thinking your getting into a sport, spending a whole bunch of money and do it only once. Sounds like you enjoy riding a lot :)

mtnrider

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2012, 07:25:23 AM »
Any luck on finding a frame yet?

I am also one of those people that rides a stupidly expensive bicycle. I don't mind saying I spent near $4700 bucks into my touring machine, but I built it with exactly the stuff I wanted and I am very happy with it. Spent 18 months putting it together from start to finish. My daily grocery getter back home is worth $50 and around 40 years old.

OP: It sounds like you've pretty much made up your mind on buying the bike. Try to find the best deal you can and get out riding. It's not as if your some person thinking your getting into a sport, spending a whole bunch of money and do it only once. Sounds like you enjoy riding a lot :)

No luck yet.  It's more difficult than you'd expect to find a bike to test ride!  I might have to drive out of state (only 50 to 100 miles) to find some selection in the right size.

It's a nice feeling, to build up a bike just the way you want it!  I'd actually like a touring bike too, but first I'd have to have the time to tour. :-)


geo.gs

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2012, 09:17:18 PM »
The first think I would do with a $3000 bike is take the decals off and paint it flat block. That being said, if you thought that buying a $10k bike would get you out the door I would say go for it. To me this is a question about health/fitness and $10k is a drop in the bucket compared to living with obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, hardened arteries, etc...

grantmeaname

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2012, 06:48:50 AM »
He already gets out the door, all the time, because he said he's an avid cyclist.

Xtal

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2012, 08:02:46 AM »
Menorman: that Price of Luxury article is great.  I've learned that in the long run, it's more economical to buy the **perfect** item when you can, because then you never, ever need to buy it again.

I've been playing viola for 27 years, and I'm still using the student model my mom got for me when I was in high school 18 years ago.  I'll be playing viola for the rest of my life.  As soon as I'm out of debt, I'm going to buy a carbon-fiber viola http://www.luisandclark.com/?product=viola that will give me much enjoyment and that will last the rest of my life and beyond.  It will cost me, oh, eight weeks of income.  And it will be totally, totally worth it.  (But not until I am out of debt!!)

So don't buy a $3000 mountain bike if you're going to be buying a new one every 5-10 years.  Do buy one if you're going to keep it for the next 30-50 years!

Matt K

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Re: Should I buy a $3000 bike?
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2012, 08:18:45 AM »
So don't buy a $3000 mountain bike if you're going to be buying a new one every 5-10 years.  Do buy one if you're going to keep it for the next 30-50 years!

Unfortunately mountain bikes are not like violas. They degrade with use. Parts get worn, frames get beatten, battered, and broken. An aluminum frame, even the best ones, only last 5 years of hard use because of how aluminum reacts to stresses (it slowly builds up microscopic fractures known as "spider cracks"). Steel fatigues much better, but when crashing and bounching off rocks, it too has a limited life span. All the moving parts (chain, gears, shifters, brakes and pads) are wear items. Some last years with proper care, some only months (chain, brake pads). Just like a car, a mountain bike can alst a long time, but not an indefinite time.

A longer lasting frame (such as a steel hard tail) will outlast several cycles of parts, but when you buy a complete bike, it is usually the cost of buying 2/3rds of the components independantly. So keeping your frame for ten years of heavy use is rarely a cost savings over replacing the entire bike every five years (there are exceptions, this is a general rule).