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  1. #1
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Sometimes you just want the best...

    The thread on ceramic bearings got me to thinking of the times that I've simply wanted the "best". Of course what is best for one application and/or person may not be best for another. That is a given. In any event, because this is a more mature collection of folks, I was wondering how many of you can remember your first cycling purchase experience where you felt you had just gotten the best there was to get. For me, it was the first purchase of a Brooks Pro saddle in 1976. It was a lot more expensive than other saddles, but in my eyes it was worth it. (BTW, I still have that saddle but don't use it any longer.) At about the same time, I got a pair of 2nd generation Phil Wood sealed hubs and thought it just didn't get any better than that. How about you? What was the first "best" you can remember?
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  2. #2
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Wanted a good winter long sleeve jacket but they do not come cheap. Certain makes come to mind and Assos being one of thge quality ones. Went into the LBS in summer and they had just bought some good winter coats from their supplier ar a very good price. In amongst them were a couple of Assos jackets and I tried on the medium. Italian sizing and I would have to be a lot slimmer to fit into the medium but tried the Large and body wise it fitted. Arms a bit long but not too bad. Them they told me the price. Listed price of 210 but this was a model of 2 seasons ago. I got it for 70. Still have it and the sleeves are still too long.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  3. #3
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    Stepfam,
    Why not have the sleeves tailored to fit?
    Phil

  4. #4
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    $2.00



















    My wife - best deal ever.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 07-23-13 at 12:38 PM.

  5. #5
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    I've never bought the best of anything. Most things are good enough. I do try to get the most utility/performance out of what I have though...

  6. #6
    Member xtrout1's Avatar
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    I've always bought the best of things that i wanted.
    I use to purchase first edition photography books by photographers I like and antique fly fishing equipment.
    these books cost around $100.00 + each and are now are worth thousands.
    I do not think that I will do as good with bicycles.
    I did buy my 1974 Schwinn Le Tour for $129.00 and now might get $200.00
    My kids will benefit from my photography and fly fishing purchases.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    My Merlin Extralight frame in 1993.
    Mal

  8. #8
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    A Trek 970 Road Frameset in '83. I didn't get it put together for about a year and wound up selling it to ship my machinist tools from Dallas to San Diego. I probably would have to do it again in the same circumstances but boy that's the one bike I miss the most.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    It might be a toss up of my ceramic crank bearings and my Hope Hubs that I ordered from England. Then I think about when I had a set of hand built wheels built making the choice hard between the three. And yes I looked at Chris King and Phil Wood hubs and got the Hope hubs for ease of servicing. I bought the SMP saddle because I figured like shoes there are some parts of the body that need a good fit. But if there is one thing that may stand out more than the rest it was my choice of Shoes. I got some Specialized S-works carbon shoes that were more than twice what I have ever paid for shoes before. Sure it is a drop in the bucket compared to my niece's LouBouton heals or some snake skin boots but I just never paid that kind of money for shoes. At the time when I bought the shoes I did a lot of research and several sites listed the S-works and the best and one of the lightest cycling shoes I could buy. Opinion? Maybe but I sure like them and the Boa tightening system.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  10. #10
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    Giving this subject some thought brings to mind only one purchase that might qualify as "the best". My wife and I each wanted a touring frame so we had PDG, Paramount Design Group, build one for each of us with my wife's being a modified mixte, single top tube to seat tube then twin. Her frame was the first made by PDG with the second for a customer and the third for a Schwinn family member. Not sure if they made any more than those. Lug and pin striping along with our names.

    After registering for IMFL my wife said I could get this, http://www.renovobikes.com/hoodoo-triathlon/, but purchased my Giant Propel SL3 even though she said I could have the SL0.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Mountain Mitch's Avatar
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    Getting my Specialized Roubaix Expert SL4. It may not be the 'best' for everybody but it was exactly what I wanted and needed to move my cycling in the right direction for me.

    And my German Shorthaired Pointer.

    Oh yeah, and my wife (are you reading this honey?)

  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Promise not to laugh?

    We never seemed to have enough money either while I was growing up or raising a family. At one point I decided that nobody can afford the best of everything but almost anybody can afford the best of one thing. My "one thing" was Cinelli Cork handlebar wrap. It's still my favorite.

  13. #13
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    I've never been all that interested in chasing "the best". It has always seemed to me that where bikes are comcerned, the law of diminishing returns sets in pretty early. However, when I gave up working I decided I'd get a really serious touring bike, and my Nomad with a rohloff IGH is a very robust bit of kit that seems utterly unbreakable. And having always had a yen for a custom steel roadbike, I recently decided that there was really no reason to wait. According to the framebuilder, I should have it next week. The funny thing is, it'll cost me less than I would spend on replacing my Giant TCR. So I guess what is "the best" is profoundly subjective.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Promise not to laugh?

    We never seemed to have enough money either while I was growing up or raising a family. At one point I decided that nobody can afford the best of everything but almost anybody can afford the best of one thing. My "one thing" was Cinelli Cork handlebar wrap. It's still my favorite.
    No, I think that is perfect for this question. We have all, or at least most of us have had times when everything from family to work has been the only thing we could focus on. So Bar tape or gloves, or Assos cycling wear fit the bill.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  15. #15
    Older I get, faster I was con's Avatar
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    Yup, my first bike related "getting the best" was buying a brand new Ciocc Mockba frame set to build up and race on. I still can't believe I spent that much money on just a frame set back in the early 80's.

  16. #16
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    The best is elusive. I purchased a Cervelo R5 VWD frame which is one of the "best" and most expensive frames available. During my tour in France last week, I met the chief designer of the Cervelo Project California frames that are manufactured in California. He is going to let me test ride his Cervelo R5 frame that he designed and makes. It is double the price of mine. So I do not have the best Cervelo frame and according to the designer, I will really like his version a lot.

    I tend to buy what I like versus what I need and pay up to get it. Most of the time, it is excellent but may not be the best. The more experience I get in life and the more exposure I get to other people, the more I learn that I do not have the best.

    BTW, not all ceramic bearings are created equal. There are some precision ceramic bearing made in Sweden that are excellent. During the Masters World Track Championships in 2011, I met the coach and mechanic for team Great Britain. He exposed me to some amazing bearings that are extremely expensive that made my nose bleed. Are they better than the less expensive Asian versions? Yes. Can one measure the difference? According to him, Yes. Are they worth the money? Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  17. #17
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Promise not to laugh?

    We never seemed to have enough money either while I was growing up or raising a family. At one point I decided that nobody can afford the best of everything but almost anybody can afford the best of one thing. My "one thing" was Cinelli Cork handlebar wrap. It's still my favorite.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  18. #18
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Tires and rims. When I started to obsess on tires and controlling my flats a little more, it went into rims. I wouldt say I demand the best, but they have to be strong and stay true. Sort of like they put on early eighties Peugeots with the conical gearsets. . . . . NOT!
    But really------>strong rims, Schwalbe/Gator type tires, and glass mirrors

    Oh yeah, comfortable pedals, too . . . Ok, I need to stop. Sorry
    -ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"

  19. #19
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    $2.00

    My wife - best deal ever.
    OK, I'm intrigued. Any details?
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  20. #20
    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    OK, I'm intrigued. Any details?
    That was the cost of the marriage license. Very simple wedding.

  21. #21
    Has opinion, will express
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    That was the cost of the marriage license. Very simple wedding.
    You see, you and I are alike in more ways than we think.

    Machka is the best thing in my life. A fine, intelligent, attractive woman who shares interests with me such as cycling.

    And our wedding was a very simple affair -- putting aside the cost of an airfare for me to go to Canada, we were married on the shores of Lake Annette in Jasper with Machka's cousin as the marriage celebrant, and his wife and Machka's parents as witnesses.

    The "best" thing we have bought as a couple in relation to cycling is the Santana Arriva tandem.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  22. #22
    Senior Member mkane77g's Avatar
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    In the long run it pays to go 1st class. in 1973 I (hate that word) purchased a Nishiki Pro from Chain Reaction in Berkeley. Nice ride and was my first new road bike. Sew ups, bar ends, lugged frame and even a patch kit, needles included. $300 and change.

  23. #23
    Senior Member oldnslow2's Avatar
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    "The Best" is only for a short time, but even after many years it will still be better than most.

    From 1975-1978 I put together a then state of the art audio system built around Audio Research components, Vandersteen speakers and a Janis Sub-woofer.




    The system ended up costing more that twice what I paid for my new car a year earlier.

    But 38 years later it still sound as good as the day I got it.

    BTW.. I still have the car I bought new.


  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldnslow2 View Post
    "The Best" is only for a short time, but even after many years it will still be better than most.

    From 1975-1978 I put together a then state of the art audio system built around Audio Research components, Vandersteen speakers and a Janis Sub-woofer.




    The system ended up costing more that twice what I paid for my new car a year earlier.

    But 38 years later it still sound as good as the day I got it.

    BTW.. I still have the car I bought new.

    Great car. My first was a '63 with a 1192cc IIRC.

  25. #25
    Senior Member oldnslow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
    Great car. My first was a '63 with a 1192cc IIRC.
    74 with a 2180cc and a 5 speed.

    Wasn't the best when it was new, but after 39 years, I made it better.

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