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  1. #1
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    What is too much money to spend on a new bike?

    I love my Madone and it truly fits most of my needs........but while I'm not a weight weenie I know a pound less here and there can make a big difference on some long rides in the mountains. It gets especially noticeable when they throw in these 4 to 6 mile climbs that have grades of 20% +/- along the way. I've already purchased lighter weight wheels and tires and try and keep my weight as low as I can.

    I've just been "toying" with different options mind you......and I cannot afford any more bikes. Goodness, I just bought a Cervelo P2k time trial bike a couple months ago and it hasn't even seen the track just yet. With three college tuitions and a shaky job it just doesn't make sense to even pursue spending more on a bike.

    Anyway, I enjoy the pursuit and studying and analyzing all the different options. I popped into a bike shop today looking for used bikes and he had some of the new full carbon Operas on display-right as you come in the door. My, my.......what a thing of beauty with the Opus front fork and seat stays (curved instead of straight) . And to just think if I had $5000 to invest in it I could be enjoying the benefits of that 15-16 lbs!! Hummm.....maybe we need to lobby for tax credits for health benefits for equipment like bicycles.

    Oh well, I'll have to settle for window shopping for now.........

  2. #2
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    You don't fool us once again!

    My crystal ball sees a new bike ornamenting your garage in the near future.


    What is too much money to spend on a new bike?
    How much do you have? Then triple it.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  3. #3
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    That's a really good question jppe. As long as your cycling costs don't interfere with your families needs, maybe you should look at all the positives you gain, like improved health.
    I get my bicycle purchasing 'fix' every weekend when I go yard sale-ing. My kids and I now have 10 bikes. But you know we 'need' almost all of them. Fortunately, I buy most of them for less than $25. My wife doesn't say a word as long as I keep on cycling and getting a workout.
    She's the one who talked me into buying that new Specialized FSRxc Comp. It cost just a little more than $25. Her justification: if it keeps me cycling and getting a work out, it's worth it.
    I draw the line and stop buying when I think it interferes with my families needs. Otherwise, I keep my interest going.
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

  4. #4
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    Above about $11K you are getting into precious metals and jewelry accoutrements. That might border on OCP. However, technically it is still probably not too much in most cases.

    Another way to look at this issue is to assume that whatever amount you spend on your next bike (And, it sounds like you are about to.) will definitely be too much. As always happens though, it will be worth it.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  5. #5
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    On the Tour de California we have seen posts on the bike forum about those tough mountain climbs that you mentioned. It becomes particularly personal when the professionals do the climb in 18 minutes while the rest of us take maybe twice as long or more.

    If you're going for a full carbon and think the Orbea is the one, then try the carbon Cervelo Soloist. About the same price.

  6. #6
    427 Cobra
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    Well after playing around with cars for years I decided that I nedeed to get some weight off to fit in my race suit and harness. The solution a bike......

    Now $4,000 less in my account and all the bits that go along with it, I think I have the perfect solution. Whilst $4,000 is a lot of money, I look at what I'm saving on those long lunches, beer and wine etc. Damn I have the bike paid off in no time....

    Importantly ,I'll fit in the race suit and car.





    Now does anyone know how to fit the Nitrious Oxide bottle to a bike..



    Bernie

    Last edited by Bernie Knight; 03-01-06 at 05:37 AM.

  7. #7
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    I don't know about you mate but I'd cheat on those long hills
    with some kind of motor!!

    As to how much money.......
    If you don't do drugs,chase women,drink to much or all the other bad
    stuff then you'll have as much money for bikes as you'll ever need.

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Today I went mountain Bike shopping- or "Window Shopping" to be precise. My current bike does everything I want it to, but it is a bit old, and is a hardtail. Full suspension bikes are coming down in price so I thought I would look to see what is about. Hit the wrong shop with the wrong assistants and they were trying everything to sell me a bike I did not want. It was heavy- did not have the grade of parts on that I wanted and it was the wrong size. Thing is- Old blokes= disposable income.

    I very much doubt that I would have bought from this shop in any case as I have a good relationship with my LBS, but it made me realise that I do not not need a new bike. The only ones that interested me were way above my price range- and I do mean way above. I don't think I could do justice to a bike like that. I would turn into one of those posers down at the forest. All the gear but either the bike- or the rider or the combination of the two together just does not work. At least I know my bike- I know its limits and we get on fine together. I'll just have to spend my money on a new helmet, pair of shorts, gloves, or whatever gets me as an impulse buy when I next Window shop for something else I don't want-or need.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  9. #9
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    There is no subltitute for nice equipment. If you are in it for an occaisional workout, $600 to $750 might do. My personal limit is about $2K which buys pretty nice stuff, but my preference is recumbents which are more expensive. Serious roadies & racers will scoff at 2 grand, and rightly so. They are only limited by their budget. bk

  10. #10
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    I It gets especially noticeable when they throw in these 4 to 6 mile climbs that have grades of 20% +/- along the way. ........
    Man if you can find and ride those kind of climbs, you are a better cyclicst than me. I am pressed to do those distances at 7-8%. Heck I'm not sure I know of any pro races that have 20% climbs that long! Go for it!!

  11. #11
    Senior Member oilfreeandhappy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke
    There is no subltitute for nice equipment. If you are in it for an occaisional workout, $600 to $750 might do. My personal limit is about $2K which buys pretty nice stuff, but my preference is recumbents which are more expensive. Serious roadies & racers will scoff at 2 grand, and rightly so. They are only limited by their budget. bk
    My next bike will probably be in the $2K range, and I may try a bent. I want to test ride a few though. This is tough, because I've never spent over $300 for a bicycle.
    Jim
    Make a BOLD Statement While Cycling!

  12. #12
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyMtnMerlin
    Man if you can find and ride those kind of climbs, you are a better cyclicst than me. I am pressed to do those distances at 7-8%. Heck I'm not sure I know of any pro races that have 20% climbs that long! Go for it!!
    http://www.tinmtn.org/hillclimb/faq.cfm

    Just how steep is the course?
    The Mt. Washington Hill Climb is quickly becoming known as the toughest hill climb in the world and as Dick Devellian, past Race Director, says "This is the World Championship of hill climbing. If someone wants to say they are the best climber in the world then they need to prove it here on Mount Washington."

    The Mt Washington Auto Road is 7.6 miles in length, has an average grade of 12% with extended sections of 18% and the last 50 yards is an amazing 22%! Sprint that to the finish! For more information on the Mt Washington Auto Road click here.
    It looks as if jppe has found some even steeper climbs!
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 03-03-06 at 03:34 PM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  13. #13
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    There's a few climbs I've done the past couple years on the NC mountains that can be pretty challenging. One of my training routes up there has a 6 miles climb that probably averages 8-10% but the last 1/4 miles is around 19-20%. There is 2 mile climb later on in that route that averages 7-8% but the last 50 yards is 21%.

    Mt Mitchell is coming up in May and nothing on that 100+ miles ride is very steep but most of the last 30 miles is 6-7% so you're just grinding away for a few hours.

    The Grandfather Mt ride in September has a 12 mile climb that probably averages 6-7% and the last 2 miles up Grandfather probably averages 8-10%.

    I have not ridden Blood, Sweat and Gears but hope to this summer. It has 13,000 ft of climbing over 100 miles and features a 4 mile climb up Snake Mt where it approaches 20% near the top.

    If I can get rid of 2-3 lbs off my bike it will be very, very much appreciated and noticeable going up those hills.

    I just saw "the perfect bike" for what I'm after........now if the Chancellor will just come through with some scholarship funds for my kids I'd be home free!! I wonder if you can get a student loan for a bicycle........hummm.........

  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    What, exactly, are you trying to accomplish?

    I got into bicycling because i couldn't afford to do anything else. Some of my early bikes were pretty marginal but I was out on the road and I was having fun. Today I own some nicer bikes including a tandem that would cost me over $6,000 to replace. It's nice to have nicer bikes, you will be marginally faster, and some people do respond to you differently, but I'm not sure that I'm having any more fun than I did in the old days.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
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    Too Much is when your wife threatens divorce ( and to take half you bike collection in the court action). Just ratchet if back 10 bucks or so and that is just right.

  16. #16
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    What, exactly, are you trying to accomplish?
    Excellent question. I'd like to have an "everyday" bike that I would do most of my training rides on around where I live. The new bike would hopefully be set up a 2-3 pounds lighter and would be designed for the mountain centuries I do.

  17. #17
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deanster04
    Too Much is when your wife threatens divorce ( and to take half you bike collection in the court action).
    Is that the voice of experience speaking?
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Is that the voice of experience speaking?
    Nah! I have 9 bikes and my wife grumbles occasionally when I just have to have another but I haven't reached the threatening stage yet. Luckily I am at my point of natural saturation.

  19. #19
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    As long as I can afford to spend an equal, or slightly higher, amount on some farkle that SWMBO simply "must have", but doesn't "need", the bike's not TOO much.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    Excellent question. I'd like to have an "everyday" bike that I would do most of my training rides on around where I live. The new bike would hopefully be set up a 2-3 pounds lighter and would be designed for the mountain centuries I do.
    Well there you are. If that's your goal then you just have to pay what it costs. When it comes to bike weight, less costs more.

  21. #21
    Roadie
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    Ask yourself: Is it worth another couple grand to get up that hill in 20 seconds less?

    Two issues should be addressed before answering "what is too much money to spend on a new bike?"
    1. actual bike value (in terms of material, worksmanship and quality) should be equal to cost.
    2. bike should be suitable to actual needs, e.g., commuter, recreational, amateur racer, pro racer, etc.

    by the way what's the difference in weight between your current Madone and the Opera?

  22. #22
    Pat
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    JPPE

    Well, I am just a tad skeptical of you finding a 5 mile climb with any kind of sustained grades of 20%. I have seen 20% grades and they are pretty fiendish. I have only ridden roads that hit that kind of grade for a short time. Actually it is not so much going up that bothers me, it is going down! I mean, 7% downhills are bad enough but 20%!?!

    Seriously, bikes have a quality/cost and weight/cost curve. I mean as you go from the cheapest walmart bikes to decent bike shop bikes you get a big improvement for a very reasonable cost. Also going from entry level bikes to say an entry level racer with Shimano 105, you get an improvment. But after Shimano 105, you are paying quite a bit for just minor weight reductions.

    Will losing 2 lbs on your bike make a big difference. Let me suggest your inexpensive bike weighs 20 lbs with gear (pump, bottles, tubes, etc) and your top of the line bike weighs 16 lbs. So you get a 4 lb saving. You and your clothes way about 180 lbs. So the cheap way is 200 lbs and the expensive way is 196 lbs. You save 2%. So on a climb you will go 2% faster. Now in a race for a professional on a mountain stage getting a 2% edge is well worth $5,000. But does it make sense for a recreational rider? I mean can you really detect that you are going 5.1 mph instead of 5.0 mph? And if you can does it really make a meaningful difference?

    Well, some people just got to have the latest and greatest. That is what advertising does to us. If you have to have it, you know that answer better than we do.

    I mean when you are done with everything, bicycling is far cheaper than many other hobbies and it is good for you to boot. So if you want the top end stuff and it makes you feel good, get it. If not, don't.

    Pat

  23. #23
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat
    JPPE

    Well, I am just a tad skeptical of you finding a 5 mile climb with any kind of sustained grades of 20%. I have seen 20% grades and they are pretty fiendish. I have only ridden roads that hit that kind of grade for a short time. Actually it is not so much going up that bothers me, it is going down! I mean, 7% downhills are bad enough but 20%!?!

    Seriously, bikes have a quality/cost and weight/cost curve. I mean as you go from the cheapest walmart bikes to decent bike shop bikes you get a big improvement for a very reasonable cost. Also going from entry level bikes to say an entry level racer with Shimano 105, you get an improvment. But after Shimano 105, you are paying quite a bit for just minor weight reductions.

    Will losing 2 lbs on your bike make a big difference. Let me suggest your inexpensive bike weighs 20 lbs with gear (pump, bottles, tubes, etc) and your top of the line bike weighs 16 lbs. So you get a 4 lb saving. You and your clothes way about 180 lbs. So the cheap way is 200 lbs and the expensive way is 196 lbs. You save 2%. So on a climb you will go 2% faster. Now in a race for a professional on a mountain stage getting a 2% edge is well worth $5,000. But does it make sense for a recreational rider? I mean can you really detect that you are going 5.1 mph instead of 5.0 mph? And if you can does it really make a meaningful difference?

    Well, some people just got to have the latest and greatest. That is what advertising does to us. If you have to have it, you know that answer better than we do.

    I mean when you are done with everything, bicycling is far cheaper than many other hobbies and it is good for you to boot. So if you want the top end stuff and it makes you feel good, get it. If not, don't.

    Pat
    Thank you so much for the insightul and well thought out feedback. I continue to wrestle with all the points you've made above.

    By the way-I probably wasn't clear on the climbs. They're typically 6-11% over several miles but with a stretch of 20% thrown in there for stretches of those climbs. There isn't any way this old body could even attempt a 6 mile climb at 20%!! My experience has been that the steepest part has been the last section and it has felt like hitting a wall. On one of the routes we have to ride back down that climb that has a 20% section and I'm braking pretty good on that one.

    Last year I upgraded my wheels and dropped about 300 grams. I realize losing the weight in the wheels is a little different but I could really feel the difference on the climbs. I'm hopeful that by losing 2-3 more lbs overall I'd also notice some difference from that as well.

    You're absolutely correct that I'm not a racer but am just trying to optimize my individual performance- plus feel capable that I can handle almost any climb. There's several rides I repeat from year to year so I have a baseline from past years that I hope to continue to see improvement. I suspect I'm going to reach my peak pretty soon so this is just another attempt at giving myself every opportunity to do my best.

    There's some other things I'm considering doing with my present bike where I could swap some components around and wind up with tweaks there as well.

    I certainly could not afford to go the new bike route. The only way I could pull off what I'd like to do is to consider a used bike-and that very well could be out of my reach. I'm still trying to get a feel for what I'd need to spend on a used bike but from what I've seen so far it isn't very cheap!!! I'm not even sure it's even doable given my finances!!

    If it make any sense, I've been a golfer for 40+ years and fought many of the same decisions on that front. Do I splurge for a "higher tech club" that gives a few more yards and helps the ball go straighter???? Will it help me reduce my handicap a few more strokes???? I suppose I'm just swapping those old decisions with some new ones with my new hobby.

    Heck, I probably enjoy analyzing the options as much as I do actually making the plunge..........

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