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What parts do you never skimp on financially?

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What parts do you never skimp on financially?

Old 09-14-14, 08:21 PM
  #26  
corwin1968
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I tend to buy good but affordable components (Deore is my default level for components and Surly level frames are the minimum), cheap while still being workable level for things like stems, headset, handlebars, seatpost and I invest the most money in wheels and tires. As a 400 lb rider, I think my priorities are right on. I hope to eventually splurge on a custom frameset....either a Co-Motion Pangea or an R&E UTB.
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Old 09-15-14, 05:20 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
...No one yet (but me) mentioned the part that lasts the longest and, pretty much is not changed ever (of if is defines a different bike) the frame. Andy.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_of_Theseus
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Old 09-15-14, 06:52 AM
  #28  
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Seat - must be good. I pay extra cash here. 45 euro Selle Royal Suez does the job very well.
Pedals - also, found some under 20 euro MTB style platforms and not looking further. Eeach commuter gets a pair.
Front brake, lever and pads - must be good. Shimano Acera, with decent pads work just fine.

Frame - any that looks sturdy enough, that fits.

Wheels and hubs - cheap ones, because commuter has more chance to get stolen or crashed by a car, then to wear rims, or hubs. Bad luck so far.



The rest... I get 2nd hand bikes for commuters. Replace things as I go with Shimano Acere level equipment. That is the sweet spot for commuting. Overall sweet spot for me is Deore / 105, but that's too pricey for a bike that gets locked outside at night.
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Old 09-15-14, 07:01 AM
  #29  
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Brakes (pads, cables, calipers). That doesn't mean I only buy the most expensive, but it does mean I'll gladly pay the extra for stainless cables, koolstop pads and calipers/cantilevers I know I can trust. When brakes fail, it can end more than just your ride.
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Old 09-15-14, 07:32 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
So there seems to be a few families of thought here. Contact points, as in saddle and bar wrap. Expendables as tires and pads, but these could also be called safety items. A few mentioned bearings/hubs. No one yet (but me) mentioned the part that lasts the longest and, pretty much is not changed ever (of if is defines a different bike) the frame. Andy.
The frame is an unusual thing in that you can get it free or very cheap if you are patient. I picked a 1971 Raleigh Super Course out of the trash a few years ago and have modified it many times and put many miles on it. I wouldn't use a cheap quality frame because, well, because I don't have to. But I also don't have to spend a lot of money on a moderately good one.
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Old 09-15-14, 09:27 AM
  #31  
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a Lock, to keep the bike. (learned the hard way)
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Old 09-15-14, 11:07 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
a Lock, to keep the bike. (learned the hard way)
Right, how could I forget to mention that, since I'm living in the bike theft capital of the country? (It's tied with Boston.)
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Old 09-15-14, 11:34 AM
  #33  
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I spend whatever is necessary to get what works for me. I guess tires are the one thing I spend a bit more on, because blowing out my front on a descent would ruin my day faster than almost anything else.

As far as saddles go, sometimes, you can find a diamond in the rough. One of the most comfortable saddles that I've used is a $29 Specialized Riva. I way prefer it to the Romin.
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Old 09-15-14, 11:52 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
The frame is an unusual thing in that you can get it free or very cheap if you are patient. I picked a 1971 Raleigh Super Course out of the trash a few years ago and have modified it many times and put many miles on it. I wouldn't use a cheap quality frame because, well, because I don't have to. But I also don't have to spend a lot of money on a moderately good one.
because the life of a well made frame
built into a bike that is not abused
will often be several times longer
than the life of any moving part on the bicycle

supply and demand
also caveat emptor
if that is spelled right
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Old 09-15-14, 11:58 AM
  #35  
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saddle, shoes, wheels

maybe tires.

OH... fit
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Old 09-15-14, 12:08 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by gsa103 View Post
Brake pads, tires, and saddle. Three places where you really want quality.
+1 to all of those for buying the best for my use. (Love that Gilles Berthoud saddle!).

I prefer TA chainrings, which are pricy, but like their wear, appearance, and the shift assist bits probably help. And I always use DT spokes to connect good eyeletted rims with better than mid-range hubs (600, Ultegra, XT), then rebuild them when needed with Grade 25 bearings.

And I'll probably spend the extra for another pair of Sidi Dominator shoes, if my current 13-year old pair ever wear out.

Last edited by Dfrost; 09-15-14 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 09-15-14, 12:39 PM
  #37  
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Saddles, bibs, shoes.
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Old 09-15-14, 03:52 PM
  #38  
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post ride beer. After that, everything is a cost benefit analysis (cost, perceived value, quality and cool factor are many of the variables).
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Old 09-15-14, 05:57 PM
  #39  
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I attend 2 - 3 large swap meets a year and pick up new / leftover items for roughly 1/2 the price they retail for. So, instead of paying say $70+ for a Conti 4000s, I get a pair of them for $65 - $75, or $50 for Pearl Elite bibs, ultegra cassettes for $40,Giro Atmos helmet for $100, etc... It can be hit or miss @ times, but I keep a list, so when I go I'm on a mission. I can get what I want / prefer at a discounted rate. I don't have super high tastes, but do enjoy well made items.
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Old 09-15-14, 07:41 PM
  #40  
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You should always have a comfortable saddle, good tires, good tubes, and good brakes to get yourself and your investment stopped when needed. If you'll be riding at night, very good lighting at the front and rear are priorities.
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Old 09-15-14, 07:47 PM
  #41  
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Guess I zag. Saddle is my cheapest part. I go high end on headsets, BBs, hubs, shifters, tires, --mostly in that order.
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Old 09-15-14, 08:25 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
As with most everthing, more money with get you better performance up to a point. Usually that point is mid range. Beyond that you are buying a name and snobbery.
As a longtime wrench, I will say that if you ride lots....and I mean 200-300 miles a week, or tend to keep your bikes 10 years +, then spending the bread for the best is not waste or snobbery. Those cold-forged parts in those Dura Ace derailleurs stay adjusted better and wear longer than their less pricey counterparts....
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Old 09-15-14, 08:35 PM
  #43  
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I guess if there's one thing I won't ever skimp on, it would be my saddle. The other items I'll factor in the price of when making a decision, but I want to most comfortable seat I can get.
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Old 09-15-14, 09:58 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by spinachface View Post
I mean, bar wrap is bar wrap, right?
Spenco used to make handlebar grips out of their patented foam. They were the best, and sturdy. They seem to have stopped a long time ago. Even padded gloves and foam grips don't protect my hands as well as those bare-handed. I'd pay for them.

Your question has too many different approaches: the rider who wants performance, to whom every second matters, will drill out levers, buy a $5K custom frame, titanium bolts, thin tires, ultra-light tubes...; the rider crashing around mountain trails wants his/her bike to not-break; the tourist crossing the country on back roads wants parts to last *and* can be replaced in Podunk (e.g., not-prestas, used to be not-700c, not too skinny) - comfort, too, and carry all that weight. Finding a tube in Garden City!

A book on the physics of bicycling measured the difference between the friction in running parts between the best real parts and the cheapest, and found it to be 3-5%. For the rider getting around town, dealing with automobiles, pedestrians, traffic lights, stop signs..., the small difference in the time it takes to get to work, school, the store... one may reasonably neglect. It's probably better to pay attention to traffic than one's splits on city streets.

Paying more for a part that lasts longer can be cheaper. I used to buy cheap tires and run through them every few hundred miles - and I use tires until they fail, not just look thin. Paying more for sturdier tires has given me more miles per dollar, less time replacing them, fewer punctures to patch.
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Old 09-16-14, 04:44 PM
  #45  
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Buy the best and cry once.

I always start with a good frame, then it would be saddle then tires.
I ride only CV Peugeot and since they are 30-40 years old already the components have with stood the test of time.
I replaced my derailleurs recently and chose Shimano Acera, inexpensive and they shifted 100% better than my old Mountech (which had been serviced several times).
I spend the $ based on safety and comfort.
A lot of quality components can be purchased on line if you are patient, I tend to buy winter and summer items off season.

I do love my B-17 and Schwalbe Marathon + tires for year 'round commuting.
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Old 09-16-14, 09:13 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by RandomTroll View Post
Spenco used to make handlebar grips out of their patented foam. They were the best, and sturdy. They seem to have stopped a long time ago. Even padded gloves and foam grips don't protect my hands as well as those bare-handed. I'd pay for them.

Your question has too many different approaches: the rider who wants performance, to whom every second matters, will drill out levers, buy a $5K custom frame, titanium bolts, thin tires, ultra-light tubes...; the rider crashing around mountain trails wants his/her bike to not-break; the tourist crossing the country on back roads wants parts to last *and* can be replaced in Podunk (e.g., not-prestas, used to be not-700c, not too skinny) - comfort, too, and carry all that weight. Finding a tube in Garden City!

A book on the physics of bicycling measured the difference between the friction in running parts between the best real parts and the cheapest, and found it to be 3-5%. For the rider getting around town, dealing with automobiles, pedestrians, traffic lights, stop signs..., the small difference in the time it takes to get to work, school, the store... one may reasonably neglect. It's probably better to pay attention to traffic than one's splits on city streets.

Paying more for a part that lasts longer can be cheaper. I used to buy cheap tires and run through them every few hundred miles - and I use tires until they fail, not just look thin. Paying more for sturdier tires has given me more miles per dollar, less time replacing them, fewer punctures to patch.
- Spenco bar coverings were short lived for a number of reasons. That they unraveled at their seams was one. I would never have called them long lasting.
- I would be surprised if the rolling friction differences between nice but basic tires/bearings/chain was as much as a 5% amount. But statistics are a flexible field...

But I do agree with much of what RT says otherwise.

BTW some investments are not calculated in only $. Andy.
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Old 09-16-14, 10:29 PM
  #47  
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I don't skimp, been out of biking for 20 years and I want to get back into it so I just ordered a Lynskey R350 titanium frame with Campy Super Record RS, Chris King head set and Phil Wood hubs. Always buy the best you,ll never be disappointed and well save you money in the long run.
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Old 09-17-14, 12:19 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
- Spenco bar coverings were short lived for a number of reasons. That they unraveled at their seams was one. I would never have called them long lasting.
Seams? I don't remember seams.

Mine lasted thousands of miles. I biked from LA to NYC. A guy stopped me to ask for help on the Williamsburg Bridge promenade. Then he pulled a big knife. I imagined heroics but calculated the cost of fixing a knife wound against the value of my bike.

Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
- I would be surprised if the rolling friction differences between nice but basic tires/bearings/chain was as much as a 5% amount. But statistics are a flexible field...
I don't know that statistics had anything to do with it. Perhaps they used worse cheapest stuff. And it was 30 years ago.
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Old 09-17-14, 06:40 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
I would be surprised if the rolling friction differences between nice but basic tires/bearings/chain was as much as a 5% amount.
I would bet the difference between
say dura ace with racing tires
and sora with kendas
would be less than that
but the difference between
xtr with supple sidewall tubeless
and the steel freewheel hubs and thick sidewall tires
on an x mart 79 dollar special
would be in that neighborhood
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Old 09-17-14, 06:55 AM
  #50  
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For cars I have always believed - and now implementing this with bikes - that cheap tires are a false economy.
Good tires last longer, blow up less, and are more enjoyable to ride on in the meantime.

Saddles and shorts - sometimes you can find a "medium" priced alternative that fits well, so it doesn't always mean paying top dollar for the most expensive thing, but certainly willing to pay for quality and would not willingly buy a poor quality or poor fit product in this area out of a misguided attempt to save money. Near the end of a long difficult ride, there is no price to pay that's too high for a less miserable bottom.

Last edited by alathIN; 09-17-14 at 07:03 AM.
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