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Old 09-18-06, 02:03 PM   #26
FarHorizon
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Originally Posted by Rowan
One way to find out... wait a couple of years until the $5,000 bike bought now is then worth $500. Then take it for a spin...There are, of course, many who ride years-old and much cheaper bikes (even steel ones!) that do everything they want them to do with the same perceived comfort and reliability that a $5,000 one could provide. Their comfort usually comes from having a thicker wallet to sit on.
I particularly like your suggestion, Rowan, of waiting for depreciation and THEN buying. On the other hand, many in the market for high dollar bikes fit one of two niches:

1. Racers who need the lightest on the market (and who don't usually pay for their own equipment)
2. Racer wannabes who have the $$$ to spend

There are a few who want custom bikes, are willing to pay for them, and plan on keeping them for the rest of their lives, but I suspect this market is small.

Of course, I could be wrong, and everybody on a bike but me is carefully banking their spare pennies for a $5K bike, but somehow I doubt it. I do agree with you that the majority of riders don't want or need $5K bikes, but I suspect their comfort comes not from having saved the money, as you jokingly suggest, but rather from being well served by what they already ride (as you so clearly said).

I could (as many other BF posters could) buy a garage full of $5K, $10K, or $15K bikes if I really wanted them, but I find sufficient satisfaction, value, and enjoyment from what I already own.
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Old 09-18-06, 02:53 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by FarHorizon
I particularly like your suggestion, Rowan, of waiting for depreciation and THEN buying. On the other hand, many in the market for high dollar bikes fit one of two niches:

1. Racers who need the lightest on the market (and who don't usually pay for their own equipment)
2. Racer wannabes who have the $$$ to spend

There are a few who want custom bikes, are willing to pay for them, and plan on keeping them for the rest of their lives, but I suspect this market is small.

Of course, I could be wrong, and everybody on a bike but me is carefully banking their spare pennies for a $5K bike, but somehow I doubt it. I do agree with you that the majority of riders don't want or need $5K bikes, but I suspect their comfort comes not from having saved the money, as you jokingly suggest, but rather from being well served by what they already ride (as you so clearly said).

I could (as many other BF posters could) buy a garage full of $5K, $10K, or $15K bikes if I really wanted them, but I find sufficient satisfaction, value, and enjoyment from what I already own.
Yes, of course. Plus, practicality and lust are two entirely different issues. My Fuji Touring is highly practical and will continue to be for the type of riding I envisage into the immediate future. I may even build up a cheap and practical fixie for winter riding.

But I ogle lustfully after Ti and/or carbon frames, even though they would not, in my case, be at all practical for anything but 24H races and show-ponying around the neighbourhood.

Your point about custom bikes is well taken. It's the only time I would consider dropping more than a couple of thousand on a bike, to ensure fit was perfect for the type of riding I do (long distance randonnees and touring and commuting).
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Old 09-18-06, 03:18 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by FarHorizon
1. Racers who need the lightest on the market (and who don't usually pay for their own equipment)
2. Racer wannabes who have the $$$ to spend

.
The implicit assumption is that everyone who is not at a professional level is a wannabe. About 50,000 people race in the US. Less than a 1000 of them get free bikes. The rest of us buy ours. I 'don't understand why people have a problem with other people spending money to have a nice bike to race. Just because you're not racing at an elite level doesn't mean that you don't want to race on the nicest equipment you can afford.
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Old 09-18-06, 05:10 PM   #29
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I 'don't understand why people have a problem with other people spending money to have a nice bike to race. Just because you're not racing at an elite level doesn't mean that you don't want to race on the nicest equipment you can afford.
1. Jealousy.
2. The expectation that money will make up for lack of talent and that you can buy sporting success.
3. The arrogance that some (note, some) who ride expensive bikes have towards lesser monetary mortals.

Personally, I think there is a lot of merit in the notion that you learn on basic equipment, and as you become more skilled, you graduate up to better and (maybe) more expensive. But many people buy expensive on a whim, and don't know about fit or efficient style. You may be an exception.
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Old 09-18-06, 06:02 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
The implicit assumption is that everyone who is not at a professional level is a wannabe...Just because you're not racing at an elite level doesn't mean that you don't want to race on the nicest equipment you can afford.
Hi merlinextraligh!

I apologize if I seemed to imply that - it wasn't my intention. You're entirely correct that those who race have perfect justification for lightweight equipment. You're also right that NO racer should be considered a "wannabe." I admire those who have the determination, skill, and ability to race.

Those who don't race however, have no need to buy the ultra-light, twitchy-handling racing bikes that are often sold them by shops who don't care. The average recreational road cyclist would be better served, IMHO, by bikes that focused less on racing features and more on durability, usability, and comfort.

Again, I don't say that if a cyclist wants a road racing bike (even an expensive one) that they shouldn't buy it (whether that cyclist races or not). I only say that many cyclists who don't know any better are being sold racing bikes (and often, expensive ones) when another style of road bike would suit their needs better.
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Old 09-18-06, 06:23 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by slowandsteady
4 times faster??? So what do you ride now, like 72 mph on the flats over a distance of 160 miles. Where do I get one of these bikes. I just did the MS150 this weekend. It took me 6 hours of riding time on each day(78 miles). With this bike I could have done it in 1.5 hours instead. What a deal!!


Yeah, thats it,.........about 72. It was completely phenominal. I mean, like it really blew my mind. I could'nt belive it.

you should try it.
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Old 09-18-06, 06:35 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by filtersweep
Yes, the marketing really works well, doesn't it.

When I purchased my Look, it was an upgrade from an aluminum 105 level bike that didn't fit me all that well-- so of course it was like night and day when I rode it home.

Well it certainly does for you, right hoss???!!

As for me, I admit I did'nt check the consumer/marketing factor to see if it may sway my purchasing. ( I'll leave that up to you.)

~ but the bike was a lot nicer than my old Fuji. The parts were better, seemed a lot smoother, and really kind of glided quietly. I wanted a nice Italian bike, so I got one.

anything else??
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Old 09-19-06, 05:08 AM   #33
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It depends on what you spend the $5000 on and who you are. If your spending the money on weight saving componants and you are 50 lbs overweight; well you won't see much difference. If you are spending extra money on a custom frame that fits like a glove and you just started riding; I doubt you'll apreciate the benifits of the frame. If you got great wheels that really carve a line but you don't have the ability to push the bike; it won't matter much. If you have some experience and are in good physical shape I think you would notice all those things especially a frame that is made just for you.
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Old 09-19-06, 07:02 AM   #34
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It depends on what you spend the $5000 on and who you are....
If you have some experience and are in good physical shape I think you would notice all those things especially a frame that is made just for you.
BINGO! There it is.
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Old 09-19-06, 08:06 AM   #35
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The $5000 plus bike will be lighter. Does that matter? Not to me but it might to you. Otherwise there isn't any difference in a generic sense.
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Old 09-19-06, 08:41 AM   #36
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Rolex's look better than Timex's. Don't know how much better time they keep though. Plenty of customers fork over the dough and get what they paid for - satisfaction.


+1
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Old 09-19-06, 08:50 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh
The implicit assumption is that everyone who is not at a professional level is a wannabe. About 50,000 people race in the US. Less than a 1000 of them get free bikes. The rest of us buy ours. I 'don't understand why people have a problem with other people spending money to have a nice bike to race. Just because you're not racing at an elite level doesn't mean that you don't want to race on the nicest equipment you can afford.
If someone wants to spend $5,000 or $10,000 for a bike, that is certainly their right. But, many of the 50,000 folks who obtained a road racing license in 2005 (many/most of whom "raced" only two or three times) suffer from the delusion that spending more money will make them a faster rider. And, the sad fact is, of those 50,000 folks with a racing license, perhaps 500 are truly talented, and deeply dedicated. And, those 500 guys could win riding on a used 1988 Centurian bought for $300. And, the guy who came in last would likely come in last, even if he spent $10,000 for a bike.

So, if someone has money, and wants to buy a mega-buck bike, more power to them. But, there is something sad about those aging dentists, accountants and bank clerks who spend many thousands of dollars in their hapless pursuit of being the next "Lance Armstrong". Spending money does not make you faster.
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Old 09-19-06, 09:23 AM   #38
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I've discovered that high dollar bikes:

are most likely to have perfect alignment and threads perfectly chased
...wheels drop in easy, skewer then on and go. no tweaking the wheel this way and that
...BB threads in easy, headset presses in nicely

and frame repairs are easier to do. the manufacturer is likely to have a great
deal for fixing things like tweaked dropouts or der hanger replacement, since
they already have your $$$$, the repairs are usually perfect, cheap, and timely


aside from that, the mfg usually custom builds the frame to your spec

and/or

the mfg builds the science into the tubing and geometry providing a
noticably different feel than a cheaper bike in the same geometry

either stiffer BB, or compliant, or both. whatever you are looking for,
stiff or flex, compliant or jackhammer...high zoot builders can do it


there are hundreds of 800 dollar bikes that, with a tire upgrade change only, will
rock your world. no one -needs- bling to have a nice ride that is raceable,
but it helps...
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Old 09-19-06, 01:19 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
And, the sad fact is, of those 50,000 folks with a racing license, perhaps 500 are truly talented, and deeply dedicated. And, those 500 guys could win riding on a used 1988 Centurian bought for $300. And, the guy who came in last would likely come in last, even if he spent $10,000 for a bike.
How many bike races have you been to recently? Whether there are more than 500 riders with talent depends on your definition of talent. But I guarantee you there are thousands and thousands of people who are dedicated to training hard 6 days a week, in addition to job or school, driving hundreds of miles most weekends to race. I know because I see them every weekend. Our local races in Florida typically draw 500 or more riders when you consider all the categories and age groups. And to even hang in Cat 5 you've got to be following a dedicated regimented training schedule. (or be incredibly gifted).

And there are a lot of people serious about being fast and fit, participating in fast group training rides that don't even race. I think you are way underestimating the number of people around who train hard, are dedicated to it, and are pretty darn fast.

And at the margin, equipment does make a difference. My race bike weighs 17 lbs and has very aero wheels. My backup bike, a 1989 Paramount OS is a fine bike, but weighs 21lbs with conventionally spoked wheels. On my saturday morning training ride, the difference between the 2 bikes on the couple of climbs is beween competing to win the sprint at the top, and being dropped off the back.
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