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Am I crazy spending $2.5k on my first real bike?

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Am I crazy spending $2.5k on my first real bike?

Old 08-11-20, 10:34 AM
  #26  
fietsbob
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mtb addict has shown a preference for cheap stuff @ $2500 that is likely the total for a lifetime of buying many bikes.


I spent $2K on a used bike. I had to Put more out on repairing it , but Rohloff hubs on their own were and still are expensive ($1500) ...





...
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Old 08-11-20, 10:50 AM
  #27  
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This is solid advice, I was told similar by a salesman and thought it was just an upsell tactic. Now I love my bike but 11 months in and I'm already eyeing the next bike after riding a friends bike with 105 briefly, yeah the shifting is smoother but the smaller jumps between gears was really nice and made it easier to find the right gear on the climbs.


Shimano 105 is also good because you can usually still find a compact crankset 50/34 and an 11-32 or even 11-34 cassette which you may appreciate as a newer rider. Bikes with Ultegra or Dura-Ace tend to have more aggressive gearing that could be a challenge for you on climbs.


Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I always advise people to get an aluminium frame w/105 for their first bike. It's good enough that it won't hold you back for the first couple of seasons. If you're still into cycling an a couple of years, you'll probably want a different bike anyway. If you decide it's not for you, then you still have a decent bike that you can take out from time-to-time but haven't spent thousands of dollars on something you don't use.
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Old 08-11-20, 10:54 AM
  #28  
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Spend whatever you think is right. Invest time in getting the right bike. Since you said "citibike," safe guess you're in NYC. Where you gonna keep it? Make that easy on yourself if you can. Where you gonna ride it? buy for that, like not a tri bike or super aero. Who's gonna service? Find an LBS you like, even if you're a handy mechanic, and make sure they're available for the tough stuff (not much, but...). For instance, if I was still living in 11231 (not anymore), I'd have a very light endurance bike that's easy to carry up the stairs, not very high-end wheels due to road quality (ugh), it would live in the apartment hanging on the wall (WAF issue to be sure), and I'd put good lights on it. Gotta think holistically.
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Old 08-11-20, 11:10 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by wannabespeedy View Post
Am I crazy to want to buy a nicer bike with a budget of $2.5-3k as my first real bike? Should I start with something cheaper and work my way up? I feel like I know what I want out of a road bike and have had the opportunity to test different brands and frame sizes. I would be buying used locally and would try the bike out before purchase. My thoughts are that if I get a nicer bike initially I would save money down the road by not needing to upgrade, but is a $3000 bike built that much better than a $1500 bike?
That sounds like a perfectly reasonable budget for a road bike that should be step (or two) above entry-level. When I was bike shopping a few months ago, the difference between a $1500 vs $2500 road bike was the frame and wheels in almost all cases. The more expensive bike should have a carbon frame and will probably have 105 components with disc brakes, and wheels that are tubeless ready. The less expensive bike will likely be an aluminum frame with rim brake wheels, although some will have disc brakes. Since your aim is to go fast, buy the carbon frame bike, since it will be more aerodynamic (and slightly lighter).

If it matters to you, all of the road bikes I found in the $2000-$3000 range only came with a compact (50/34) crankset, except for Canyon. If you think you need bigger gears, you will likely have to pay for bigger chainrings at some point.

Edit: I missed the part where you said you were planning to buy used. Don't do that just yet. Look online and see what is available new; there will be plenty of options for your price range. Specialized, Canyon, Trek, Cannondale, and Giant all have new, 105-equipped carbon road bikes in the $2500-$3000 range.

Last edited by BoraxKid; 08-11-20 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 08-11-20, 01:40 PM
  #30  
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If you're crazy rich, or at least can afford to drop $2,500 on a bike, do it.

If spending that much pinches, as in you'll only eat Ramen noodles for the next two years, you're crazy to even think about it.
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Old 08-11-20, 01:55 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by BoraxKid View Post
That sounds like a perfectly reasonable budget for a road bike that should be step (or two) above entry-level. When I was bike shopping a few months ago, the difference between a $1500 vs $2500 road bike was the frame and wheels in almost all cases. The more expensive bike should have a carbon frame and will probably have 105 components with disc brakes, and wheels that are tubeless ready. The less expensive bike will likely be an aluminum frame with rim brake wheels, although some will have disc brakes. Since your aim is to go fast, buy the carbon frame bike, since it will be more aerodynamic (and slightly lighter).

If it matters to you, all of the road bikes I found in the $2000-$3000 range only came with a compact (50/34) crankset, except for Canyon. If you think you need bigger gears, you will likely have to pay for bigger chainrings at some point.

Edit: I missed the part where you said you were planning to buy used. Don't do that just yet. Look online and see what is available new; there will be plenty of options for your price range. Specialized, Canyon, Trek, Cannondale, and Giant all have new, 105-equipped carbon road bikes in the $2500-$3000 range.
Good point! He should consider what kind of hills he has to climb and descend, his weight, and level of fitness. My Canyon has 56/36 and 11-34, and with the hills around here and my weight, I use ever last gear. I don't think I'd want anything lower than 36 x 34, and I actually use the 52 x 11. I find the 50 x 12 on my Bianchi is too small sometimes. But if I lived where there aren't hills, I'd never need more.
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Old 08-11-20, 02:06 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
...Last point - that "wow!" bike is only very loosely related to how much you spend. There are 40 yo bikes out there that fit you like a dream, have light, fast wheels and (once you get used to the idea that its just a 40 yo steel bike and you have to reach between your knees to shift those 10 gears (5 X 2, back when multipliication was used to describe gears!) disappear. You ride for miles before you think once about what's under you.
Quoted for truth: It may take you many bikes and years of trying to find a "wow" bike. It was likely my 25th bike and my 35th year riding drop bar road bikes before I stumbled onto a "wow" type ride. Seriously. And I never thought that my bikes hadn't been "good enough". Just the opposite. I liked them. It wasn't until I really began to understand my body, my fit and the qualities that made a bike a superior ride that I could, indeed, "wow" about a bike. These are few and far between...
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Old 08-11-20, 02:31 PM
  #33  
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I'm a proponent of always buying used first. You can get some almost new bikes at huge discounts.

BRENT
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Old 08-11-20, 03:10 PM
  #34  
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If it seems too expensive, maybe there is some other way to same money elsewhere? I would suggest, give up smoking, but you probably don't smoke.

I used to buy a lot of model trains. When I stopped, suddenly I had a lot of extra spending money. A lot.
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Old 08-11-20, 03:19 PM
  #35  
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My first real bike was a hardtail mountain bike, which I purchased for $ 1780 way back in 2007. I have no regrets.
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Old 08-11-20, 03:31 PM
  #36  
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Buy it. I got back into cycling some 15 years ago, riding a early 80's Trek. When I knew that I was going to stick with riding, I bought a $2k Trek and rode it for 5 years . It was not sized well for me so I sold it for $500, easy sale and I figured it cost me $300 per year and I learned a lot about fit and how to ride and my Dr. was happy. Cheaper than a gym, golf membership etc. Really, that's the worst that can happen to you. Get what you want and don't be shamed by it. You'll probably buy a second bike 4 or 5 years later anyway.
BTW, I love my diverge it's really versatile and while it's a gravel bike, you can put narrower tires on and make it close to a road bike. I now keep 38's on it full time as they're so comfortable.
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Old 08-11-20, 03:33 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Why waste time and money? Buy the bike that you want.
get what you want and can afford.
I've been beat by thin guys fat girls 1k bikes 10k bikes who cares just ride baby.
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Old 08-11-20, 03:42 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog View Post
I've been beat by thin guys fat girls 1k bikes 10k bikes
There's always someone faster.

As they say... it's the engine, not the bike.
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Old 08-11-20, 03:46 PM
  #39  
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My first "real" bike was a Trek 5200 that I bought for $2000-ish during the Lance/Postal mania days. Correcting for inflation, that would be $3100 in current dollars.

I say knock yourself out.
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Old 08-11-20, 03:46 PM
  #40  
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$2,500 for a used bike? How old, and what were the prices when new?
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Old 08-11-20, 03:47 PM
  #41  
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Whatever gets you out on the road. Truth be told, you could get two amazing vintage steel bikes for that amount of coin if you knew bikes. Since you likely do not, overpay for that shiny carbon piece that's calling you. Not crazy, but I was one who overpaid on a $2,000 bike when I am much more satisfied with a used steel bike.
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Old 08-11-20, 04:09 PM
  #42  
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No. Next question?
__________________

Formerly fastest rider in the grupetto, currently slowest guy in the peloton

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Old 08-11-20, 04:28 PM
  #43  
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When I bought a used full suspension bike off Craigslist I stopped in a bank some miles from my home and withdrew $1800 in cash. The teller, a very pretty young woman, had to call her equally attractive but older female manager over to approve the withdrawal. The manager asked what I was doing so far from home withdrawing so much cash. I told her I was buying a used bike. She asked, "Bike, as in bicycle?". I answered yes. Both women just sort of stared at me.

Finally I said "You know how some men my age buy motorcycles and start dating younger women? Well, I'm buying an expensive bicycle." They kept staring at me. When I added "My wife knows where I am" they both started laughing and gave me 18 fresh $100 bills.

Ended up selling the bike 6 months later for $1400 after it tried to kill me.
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Old 08-11-20, 04:30 PM
  #44  
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$ 2.5 K for a whole bike is reasonable. Some people spend that much on just the group set alone or a kit.
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Old 08-11-20, 04:50 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
$ 2.5 K for a whole bike is reasonable. Some people spend that much on just the group set alone or a kit.
Pocket change...
Lightweight Fernweg 63 EVO Disc Black Tubeless Wheelset

$9900 for the pair
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Old 08-11-20, 04:59 PM
  #46  
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Not crazy, you get what you pay for.
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Old 08-11-20, 05:25 PM
  #47  
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My 1979 vintage steel is 63.5cm (25")
So when I went looking for a "modern" bike I asked around the LBS's at what they had to offer in that size.
To my surprise they recommended a 58cm frame size.
I decided I didn't like the idea of a smaller bike and so I purchased a used 61cm as a size experiment at an initial cost of $1100. Knowing I could likely flip the used 61cm for about what I paid.
Bike rode nice, so upgrades came next.

I like the 61cm but due to some knee pain issues I went for a bike fit. Best $300 I've spent on bike related stuff.
The bike fit proved to me that I'd be a lot better off on a 58cm. Turns out that frame geometry has changed over the years and 61cm in a modern frame is a bit big for me at 6'1"

I'm saving for my "dream" 58cm and very glad I made that size mistake with a used bike and didn't take the $$$ hit on a new one.
Had I gone directly to a bike fit, I'd be riding around now on a more suitable but still used 58cm for the interim.

I can't tell if $2500 is a size experiment or a dream bike for your wallet.
But I can tell you that buying new and selling due to an upgrade, size mistake, or you just can't live with that color, will result in a loss.

If I had to do it over, I'd pay for the bike fit, or at very least I would have rented a bike in the size I wanted.
Carbon bike rental around here is ~$100 for a 3 day weekend.

All the best

Barry
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Old 08-11-20, 07:47 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
A bike is not an investment. It is a depreciating asset. But, if you have the money (do NOT finance a depreciating asset) set aside, and you can meet your other financial goals without needing this money, then you can consider spending it on a bicycle. Whether or not you will notice the difference between a $2.5K bike and a $1.5K bike can be debated by others. I'd say to set a goal to spend half of what you planned. It will still be an improvement over what you had been riding.
With my weight of 126 lbs, I sure won't be able to tell the difference as I won't be able to put down as much force as heavier riders.

I do feel some bike flex in the dirt cheap ones (wally world quality) when I'm sprinting out of the saddle. I don't feel them at all with bikes upwards of $800 in price.
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Old 08-11-20, 07:58 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by wannabespeedy View Post
is a $3000 bike built that much better than a $1500 bike?
Well all 4 of my bikes were in the $300 range so I cant say for sure , but I would definitely buy 2 $1500 bikes instead of 1 $3000 bike if I had your budget.
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Old 08-11-20, 08:26 PM
  #50  
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I started cycling last year and wanted to dip my toes in. Bought a $1300 Cannondale Topstone 105 and put hundreds of miles on it within weeks. I knew I was hooked and justified selling that bike and buying a $3200 Trek Checkpoint exactly 3 months later. Thousands of miles later, I felt justified selling that bike and replacing it with a $5500 Open UP.

If I knew what I know now, that I loved cycling and that I would ride daily, if not x2 daily, I would have gone straight to the $3000+ bike. Even though I have spent more money in the long run, I feel comfortable knowing I made the right financial decision at each step rather than blow a wad of money on a toy that I have not proven I will make use of.
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