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First bike, $1200 too much?

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First bike, $1200 too much?

Old 06-02-08, 06:26 AM
  #51  
lil brown bat
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Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
1,200 is a bare minimum for getting a good bike.
Wow, I so don't agree with this. I think the issue I have is with your definition of "good bike". Remember, the purpose here is commuting. I commuted for two years on a $300 used bike from Bikes Not Bombs, and would have kept it up only I got doored and the amount of damage made more sense to buy a new one. I'm sure you would have considered my bike junk, but I took good care of it, it ran well and it did the job just fine. I think that defines a "good bike".
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Old 06-02-08, 07:24 AM
  #52  
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Yeah, if your bike does what you want it to...then you've made a good investment regardless of how much actual money it cost you. I have never bought a new bike in my life and really don't plan to, but I wouldn't tell anyone not to buy new if they want to. I buy used simply because a slightly above average and well cared for bike will not deteriorate quickly at all. It's a similar concept as buying used cars. You could pay 30,000 for a car off the lot, or get one with 5,000 miles on it for like 20,000 or so. Doesn't make sense to me. Additionally, if you wanted to spend 30,000 you could get a much nicer but slightly used car than the new one. If you buy a brand new bike or car, the minute your butt hits the saddle/seat, you're driving a used one. Anyway, I think the OP should do what they want, but that's my opinion on new bikes.
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Old 06-02-08, 08:20 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
1,200 is a bare minimum for getting a good bike
lol
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Old 06-02-08, 08:30 AM
  #54  
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I've got 14000 miles in 4 years on a $300 bike. There are one or two bikes I'd kind of like to have at about $800. I don't think I'd ever spend $1200 on a bike unless I was planning a very extended trip (like around the world or across several continents). I'd ride an $800 bike across the US without hesitation.

There's a big difference between a WalMart bike and a $300 bike, and probably about the same difference between a $300 and an $800 bike. There certainly are difference above that, but ISTM that above about $1000 you start paying a lot of money for less and less difference.

Personally I'm very glad that I didn't go out and buy a $1000 bike right off the bat. My current bike I just took the LBS guy's word for it that it was what I needed. When I get my next bike, I have very particular ideas about exactly what I want in many areas.
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Old 06-02-08, 08:34 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
1,200 is a bare minimum for getting a good bike.
Clearly, different people have different ideas of "good". I have a $300 bike that I have 14000 miles on. The only real thing that let me down was the rear wheel; I had to build a new one at a cost of about $75. I have put on other things but none of them were necessary for me to keep riding. All told I have only about $600 into the bike total, and that includes stuff like 3 full sets of lights while I was figuring out what I wanted, and a new Brooks saddle, which wasn't really needed but I wanted it. Also regular maintenance items; brakes, tires, chains, etc.

I don't even really have that much interest in replacing the bike. It's still working great, and I'm happy with it. I've test ridden a few expensive bikes but there's nothing that makes me want to go out and spend that kind of money.
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Old 06-02-08, 08:49 AM
  #56  
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Remember the extra $75-300 for decent shorts.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:05 AM
  #57  
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I got an almost twenty year old Panasonic Road bike of of Craigslist and I absolutely love it. The best part is that when I pass clipped in cyclists on their carbon fiber bikes I have the added joy of knowing that my bike cost a seventh of what theirs cost. I say be patient wait until you find a good deal on a bike that you will love and then pounce.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:12 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by JMRobertson View Post
Let's see... $1300 bike... $60 tank of gas... that's umm... umm.... 22 tanks of gas. Your bike will pay for itself in a year.
If he rides to work 5 days a week, the bike would probably pay for itself in 12-14 months, and thats just riding to work. If you ride to the grocery store or other errands, then definately less than a year.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:27 AM
  #59  
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When you guys talk about the savings in gas, you aren't even considering the money saved on wear & tear on your vehicle, and money saved on less hospital visits (due to being in better shape).
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Old 06-02-08, 09:28 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by ablang View Post
When you guys talk about the savings in gas, you aren't even considering the money saved on wear & tear on your vehicle, and money saved on less hospital visits (due to being in better shape).
Very true.
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Old 06-02-08, 09:53 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by BroadSTPhilly View Post
I got an almost twenty year old Panasonic Road bike of of Craigslist and I absolutely love it. The best part is that when I pass clipped in cyclists on their carbon fiber bikes I have the added joy of knowing that my bike cost a seventh of what theirs cost. I say be patient wait until you find a good deal on a bike that you will love and then pounce.
I commuted about 12 years on a used Panasonic. Still useable if I replace the chain and rear cassette.
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Old 06-02-08, 10:18 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Griff805 View Post
All this to get your opinion on: Is getting a Cannondale Synapse Sport 5 for 1299.99 at a LBS too much for a first bike? Should I just get a cheaper Road bike till I figure out what I want? Does "idiot" come to mind when you think about my situation and buying a bike like that? (Opinions about the specific bike itself aside)

Give me your opinions-

I would vote for putting in 1000 miles or so on your current bike and try to isolate what it is you do/don't want in a 'better' bike (gearing, seating position, cargo arrangements if needed...). Even 1k miles isn't that much really in terms of how much time you might theoretically spend on your upgrade purchase. I'm all in favor of spending a lot of money on a bike, I just lean toward doing it not too many times (unless you're in bike accumulation mode I suppose...)
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Old 06-02-08, 11:01 AM
  #63  
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The value of something is what you are willing to pay for it.

That said, I own 2 bikes that retail for over $2500 and two well used bikes that I paid less than $100 each for and the older bikes are some of my favorites. I replace parts are necessary but they keep on rolling year after year. I buy every single bike I own used (I just get WAY better bikes for my money that way).

I ride the nicer (read: Lighter; not necessarily better or even faster) bikes for recreational rides on weekends but the day in/day out commuting work often falls to the 1982 Peugeot road bike (with clearance for 35s) or the 1993 Jamis Explorer MTB with no suspension. Sometimes I run the Peugeot as a single speed, other times I run it geared as a 1 X 9.

There is a lot of value to a high-mileage commuter in simplicity, adaptability and reliability as long as the bike does not slow him down. For those reasons, if I were buying new (which I never would), I would consider a Trek Portland or a cyclocross bike. Otherwise, I personally think the perfect commuters are the old bike boom road bike frames that have better tire clearance than modern road bikes. Sure, you can put some money into nice parts if you want to make it more moders (and I have), but you certainly don't have to do so.

For reference, my commute is 26 miles RT.
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Old 06-02-08, 12:40 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by HiYoSilver View Post
1,200 is a bare minimum for getting a good bike.
As long as enough people continue to think like this, I can be assured that there will be a large supply of quality low mileage "old' bikes hanging from the garage rafters, available to me in 10 or 15 years. Much better than $300 dollar unused bikes.
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Old 06-02-08, 01:44 PM
  #65  
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My $.02. $1200 is not too much if you know what you are doing and know what you want. Having said that there are good bikes in the $300 to $600 range that you might be better off with until you get more expereience with bikes and commuting. Your preference may change over time. Buying used is an option if you can find what you want in the right size and finaly getting the right fit is most important.
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Old 06-02-08, 02:07 PM
  #66  
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If it makes you happy then buy it. I don't think it's a ridiculous price for a first bike. My first 'real' bike was a $500.00 Peugeot back in 1987. It was probably too much bike for a casual biker but it got me into riding as much because it was a joy to ride as it was to just own a 'cool' bike. These days $1200 for a bike is about comparable. Just make sure it fits you.
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Old 06-02-08, 02:29 PM
  #67  
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In principle I agree with the folks who said buy used, but you're really just trading time for money. Time to research the want ads, time to chase down sellers, time to perform the maintenance the previous owner deferred, etc.

Whether you buy new or used, budget some time and cash to fit the bike to you. For many of us, bike fitting is a trial and error process, which inevitably takes at least a few weeks to settle in. I think of it as coming to a mutual accommodation with the bike.

I'm a big fan of the Surly Long Haul Trucker. I bought an LHT complete just over a month ago and have been riding it to work and around town every day since. It's a tremendous value for the money. And it just loves to roll. At roughly $1000 that leaves the OP with $200 or so for accessories like racks, lights, etc.

I have a short commute - 5 or 6 miles each way - and a reasonably fuel efficient car, but at today's gas prices, every day I bike to work I save $2 in gas alone! That's at least $500 a year. And that's before I figure in other car expenses. So it's easy for me to justify the purchase of a new bike.
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Old 06-02-08, 02:42 PM
  #68  
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The bike I ride now is 20 years old and was free. The frame is to big and it was completely un-equipped. So every dollar I've spent has gone into learning just how far the right gear and accessories can go in making a bike comfortable. I've spent around $300 on cycling clothes, tires, seats, shoes pedals zero-ing in on how I can get the bike as near to perfect as I can for my needs; given the wrong size frame.

Now that I'm ready to shop for a dedicated road bike I know I don't need to spend $1000+ to get a completely awesome set-up -all because of everything I've learned on the road, and bikeforums, and practically for free. So, now that I'm ready to buy I have a much more conservative budget $400 for a decent used bike that fits me + another wisely spent 200-300 for the after-market stuff that will have me riding like Lance without dropping $5,000

And to top it all off, I'll still have an awesome dedicated commuter bike. If you do it right, the sacred formula should always be attainable and affordable: Where N equals the number of bikes you own; N + 1 equals the proper number of bikes you SHOULD own.

Cheers!
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Old 06-02-08, 03:19 PM
  #69  
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I paid 100 for my first one.
converted it.
decided i wanted to get serious and paid 800 for a nice bike.

its all about your commitment level if you ask me.
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Old 06-02-08, 03:44 PM
  #70  
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have you looked at the Raleigh grand sport? I test rode this for kicks, and really liked it..and it is under 700. The Grand prix is much better though, but was out of my range. I went with a flat bar bike for now, maybe in a couple of years will get a roadie. GT road bikes look nice, and the componets are good on them, not so sure how well they hold up. GT BMX were good back in the day, that is the only exp i have with GT, from the early 90s
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Old 06-03-08, 03:24 PM
  #71  
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Alright, I've decided to go ahead and try and find a bike for under $400. Ride that for at least 6 months, and look into getting a nicer one down the road.

Thanks for all the suggestions. My LBS is www.bikeworks.com - so if anyone wants to logon and let me know what they would pick from that selection, that'd be cool. I am going to be checking craigslist for some good deals as well. Wish me luck-
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