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Old 04-26-06, 08:33 AM   #1
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How much changes from year to year?

I'd like to know more about how much actually changes on a typical bike from year to year. I notice that color is frequently different, but aside from that, do models really vary much from one model year to the next, and if so, how so? Perhaps it's my inexperience speaking, but I don't see much difference between 2005 and 2006 models, for instance, although the price does seem to go up.

How do bike model years compare to car model years? What I mean is, with cars there's usually a bunch of supposed improvements throughout the car every year even if for the most part they look pretty similar. But is that true on bikes as well, or is 'model year' pretty meaningless, except as a way of knowing when the bike was manufactured?
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Old 04-26-06, 08:39 AM   #2
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I thinkthat it depends on one what new/changes there are to the components group, and what price point there is. SO the component mix may go up or down to meet price points. also, periodically there are frame changes. These can be big. ANd then there is the sold out/bankrupt maker who sells the name to a marketing group and the quality goes to crap. In short it really varies year to year how much change ther is beyond cosmetics.
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Old 04-26-06, 10:30 AM   #3
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I thinkthat it depends on one what new/changes there are to the components group, and what price point there is. SO the component mix may go up or down to meet price points. also, periodically there are frame changes. These can be big. ANd then there is the sold out/bankrupt maker who sells the name to a marketing group and the quality goes to crap. In short it really varies year to year how much change ther is beyond cosmetics.
+1 to this. I'd also add that there appears to be a steady increase in the overall quality you can get at price points all the way up to the most expensive from year to year. For example the Ultegra suff that is out now, IMHO, is easily on a par with the Dura Ace stuff of just a few years ago. I rode a friends new bike with Shimano 105 and couldn't believe how good this stuff was.
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Old 04-26-06, 11:11 AM   #4
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The makers have to do something other than change color to get people to upgrade or pay the same or higher price point for a new model. So they will upgrade components, add carbon bits, flashier wheels etc. My feeling is that if you stay in the same class of bike the differences will be pretty negligable. Where you find the greater difference is going from a $1,200 bike to $4,000 bike, though this will still not make you Lance. This is why so many people prefer to buy expensive bikes used on Ebay. If I can get the $4,000 bike for $2,000 and it is only 1-2 years old that to me is a better upgrade than buying a new $2,000 bike.
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Old 04-26-06, 03:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
I'd like to know more about how much actually changes on a typical bike from year to year. I notice that color is frequently different, but aside from that, do models really vary much from one model year to the next, and if so, how so? Perhaps it's my inexperience speaking, but I don't see much difference between 2005 and 2006 models, for instance, although the price does seem to go up.

How do bike model years compare to car model years? What I mean is, with cars there's usually a bunch of supposed improvements throughout the car every year even if for the most part they look pretty similar. But is that true on bikes as well, or is 'model year' pretty meaningless, except as a way of knowing when the bike was manufactured?
Unless there is a major change in the groupsets, there is not much a bike manufacturer can do to improve their bikes. All they seem to do is change the colour and the logos and it is this years new model. Gone are the days when chromoly tubing came in- then Double butting to make a lighter frame or the new scandium steel made for a brand new model.

I have a 12 year old Kona Explosif. The current model looks remarkably similar. Colour has changed- It now has suspension forks, but weight of the bike, allowing for the forks, is still the same. Price is around the same as I paid for mine just over 12 years ago, but in my opinion, there are certain downgrades. Crankset is no longer a high end unit and the wheels are nowhere as good as mine were. They had to be replaced a couple of years ago and were Shimano XT hubs and Mavic rims. Now it is in house hubs and rims I have never heard of. It does not even have Disc brakes on the current model, but as this is a true XC machine- they are not necessary. V brakes are lighter and work well enough.

The only time I am impressed with a new Model in a manufacturers range is if it is that--- A New Model.
As far as I can see- upgrading an old model frame-changing only a few items to keep up with the opposition, does not make this years bike better than last years.
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Old 04-26-06, 03:47 PM   #6
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Some changes are pretty unnecessary, IMHO, and are just designed to push the buyer into a new "latest" model.

I.e., going from a 3x9 to a 3x10 transmission when most of the biking world could get on just fine with a 3x7.

For most of us, a good steel bike will do wonders and everything we want. It is those "elitist" tekkies who push for the pound less weight. ANd for some who do this kind of riding, a pound less weight is significant. Then there are others of us who could lose the entire weight of a bicycle off of our bods, and still have adequate padding! YMMV
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Old 04-26-06, 07:46 PM   #7
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lots of change goin' on........

Don't do much road riding, but I have noticed that over the years, on mtn.bikes, that top tubes have generally gotten longer, stems shorter, brakes have advanced from cantilever to v-brakes to disk, both hydraulic and mechanical. The number of cogs in the cassette have risen. Shimano has changed most of their rear derailleurs to "low normal". You see more carbon in use now than you used to. Suspension forks and rear shocks have gotten more sophisticated, and perhaps more tempermental. Suspension travel has increased greatly. Shimano has introduced integrated shift/brake levers on mtn.bikes. Headtube angle on full suspension mtn.bikes has decreased slightly. Some changes happen over years, and you hardly notice, others more abruptly, but something is always changing.
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Old 04-26-06, 08:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
How do bike model years compare to car model years? What I mean is, with cars there's usually a bunch of supposed improvements throughout the car every year even if for the most part they look pretty similar. But is that true on bikes as well, or is 'model year' pretty meaningless, except as a way of knowing when the bike was manufactured?
This is sort of funny...

Last week, Linda and I borrowed some older (1999, 2000 and 2001) Tour de France videos. As we were watching the 1999 one, we both commented on how old the bikes looked. Now, I know there wasn't that much difference, and I don't know what it was, but we both noticed it. The handlebars, the stems, the wheels. It's really noticable how much they've changed at least in appearance.

I know it doesn't really address your question, but just an observation anyway

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Old 04-26-06, 09:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
For most of us, a good steel bike will do wonders and everything we want.
I'd bet Tour de France champions of the 70s and 80s and maybe later would certainly have been happy to be riding many of the mid-priced road bikes of today.
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Old 04-26-06, 09:41 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox
For most of us, a good steel bike will do wonders and everything we want.
I'd bet Tour de France champions of the 70s and 80s and maybe later would certainly have been happy to be riding many of the mid-priced road bikes of today.
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