I recently got back into cycling and in honor of a personal weight loss goal plus personal distance record I was going to treat myself to a new bike between now and the end of the year. The Raleigh R500 with Shimano RSX just celebrated it's 17th birthday last week and intend to convert it into a more commuter-centric bike versus a zipping around town/group ride 'fun' non-competitive bike.
When I first began my searching I had a budget of about $750-900 because the last time I bought a bike (1996) that got me a pretty solid ride but I suddenly find myself really interested in these new aero frames and far more exotic carbon bikes. So I bumped my budget up to $3000 (but less is better) and I've spent the past few weekends looking at Boardman, Cervelo, Ridley and Orbea.
The current generation bikes (2013) are out of my price range, even with the non-Di2 configuration and standard Ultegra. Over the weekend I looked at Litespeed and they offered a few Shimano 105 bike builds that were very much in my price range. I could careless about my drivetrain being Ultegra or even Di2 and I've tried very hard not to test drive a Di2 bike for fear that I'd fall in love and then either go out of my budget or have to tell myself: "No, you can't afford it."
I've historically purchased most of my larger value items (from cars, to TVs and computers) when they're a generation or two back. It's worked out pretty well for me as the product fits my needs and it saves me hundreds to thousands of dollars. I'm not really interested in buying someone's used bike, although I'd consider it from an LBS if they gave me some sort of guarantee/warranty. The last thing I want to is save a bunch of money on a Ridley Noah or Cervelo S5 only to discover that I've inherited someone else's problems.
To the point...
- Historically when is the transition from current generation to next generation? Is it an industry wide transition window or is it specific to the manufacturer?
- My three LBS(s) don't usually keep a bike that's older than the last generation, occasionally they will but by the time it's two generations back that price isn't going to go any lower than already marked (it's probably already close to a loss or break even). So I'm going to be targeting 2012 models when the 2014s come out, is my plan before they disappear from the show room floor.
- For those of you who purchase equipment like this, have you found framesets get marked down a greater percentage off original MSRP? I'm not going to build the bike but if I can put together a bike and have my LBS build it for less then I'd absolutely consider it, I already have a great pair of wheels that I had built for my Raleigh and a very nice saddle. Plus, I feel as though I could do a 105 build of a bike that isn't offered in a 105 build from the manufacturer for less than a Di2 model.
Thanks in advance for your input/feedback.