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cheap vs nicer bike

Old 11-23-20, 05:33 AM
  #26  
Herzlos
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I'm in a sort of similar position, I've got a $500 bike that's maybe 30lbs and tempted to invest in a $1000-1500 bike but I don't think I will because I won't get 3x as much enjoyment out of it. However, I plan to run the existing one into the ground and then buy an expensive one, as by that point I think I'll appreciate the difference.

Does the $300 bike do what you need it to?
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Old 11-23-20, 06:51 AM
  #27  
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Spend what you want to spend on a bike. I've had great service from cheap bikes which don't have suspension. A few key cheap upgrades can transform them. It's really down to how you use the bike if its just on the road and a few gravel tracks etc a simple reliable bike is all you need and the weight varying by a few kg is not a huge issue. Remember a expensive mountain bike is designed for extreme off-road use and a super lightweight road bike is designed for competitive fast riding. Don't be ashamed of a cheap bike often they make the most sense for general cyclists but if you want a high end model go for it.
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Old 11-24-20, 04:39 PM
  #28  
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Thank you!

Thank you all for responding! We had a few days off after I posted my question, so I haven't had time to respond to any specific comments.

I understand some people think I'm a troll, I'm not. I mentioned a 2-3k bike because I was thinking of getting a 1k bike from bikes direct that was supposed to be the equivalent of 2-3 k. I'm just trying to figure out if more expensive bikes are worth it. I'm pretty analytical and hate to spend more than I have to. I'm also concerned that an expensive bike will burn less calories as my primary goal is to really increase fitness benefits for my son and me (e.g. expensive bike is too easy). I'll look at the answers tonight, thanks again!!
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Old 11-24-20, 05:11 PM
  #29  
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It's like anything else. As you spend more you will realize certain improvements in the quality of the bike and the benefits it provides. After a certain point, the magnitude of the return diminishes. There is not a whole lot of difference between the bike I spent $4k on and the bike I spent $1200 on within a few months of each other. But, for me there is enjoyment and benefit in having both. It all depends on what one is looking for.

It's a lot like cars. As you go from Volkswagen to Audi to Porsche, you will see improvements in various areas of the cars from model to model and brand to brand. For some, there is great joy in owning a car that costs over, and sometimes well over, $100k. For others, they are content with the lowest price car that gets them from point A to point B.

If your goal is just exercise, then any bike would give you that if you use it. If you want to go farther, faster, and have other benefits from a bike, then one tailored to what you want to do may give you more enjoyment and be worth spending more money on.
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Old 11-24-20, 05:11 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by jacquisplace View Post
I mentioned a 2-3k bike because I was thinking of getting a 1k bike from bikes direct that was supposed to be the equivalent of 2-3 k.
It's not the equivalent of a $2-3k bike. If it was, everyone cyclist that owned a set of Allen wrenches would be all over it.
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Old 11-24-20, 05:14 PM
  #31  
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It's just possible that a more expensive bike will be more fun, and get ridden much more, and therefore burn many more calories.

However! I'm going to plug buying from your local bike shop (LBS). The reason is simple: fit. As a relative newbie, you won't know what size bike your body will fit, nor how to adjust it for a comfortable ride. Now it's possible you'll get lucky ordering off the web. (Quantum physics joke: there's a finite, positive probability Heisenberg's cat slept here. You'll have slightly better odds ordering the right bike.) You can either go to a bike shop, pay them a hundred dollars (or two or three) and find out what size bike to order. Or you can buy it from them.

If you buy local, you can expect some service -- like showing you how to adjust things, or doing it for you. That can make a very real difference in keeping your new bike running well, meaning you'll want to ride it. The most expensive bike isn't the one that costs the most; rather, it's the one you spend a lot of money on and then let it rust in your garage.
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Old 11-24-20, 05:41 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by jacquisplace View Post
I mentioned a 2-3k bike because I was thinking of getting a 1k bike from bikes direct that was supposed to be the equivalent of 2-3 k.
It isn't really equivalent. When you spend $1,000, you get a $1,000 bike.

But those $1,000 bikes tend to be pretty nice bikes and you'll really appreciate the difference between that and your current bike. That difference will be greater than the difference between the Bikes Direct bike and the real $3,000 bike. As others have noted, the higher the price the more subtle the improvements. What you get is a smoother ride and cleaner shifting. Remember that fit is important as well, so when you get a new bike try different seat and/or bar positions to see what is most comfortable. Small changes can make a lot of difference.

To me, this is an upgrade that would easily be worth it. I ride for fun and a better ride is more fun. But it's all relative. There was a recent election here where one of the candidates was criticized for owning a $5,000 bicycle. I'd never buy a $5,000 bike, but I understand why people do and the fact that she was a competitive cyclist made me like her more. She can appreciate a $5K bike. I wouldn't be able to. I think you would really appreciate this jump. Beyond that might be questionable, but give it a few years and who knows.

Don't worry about it being too easy. As Greg LeMond famously said "it doesn't get easier, it just gets faster."
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Old 11-24-20, 05:55 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by jacquisplace View Post
Thank you all for responding! We had a few days off after I posted my question, so I haven't had time to respond to any specific comments.

I understand some people think I'm a troll, I'm not. I mentioned a 2-3k bike because I was thinking of getting a 1k bike from bikes direct that was supposed to be the equivalent of 2-3 k. I'm just trying to figure out if more expensive bikes are worth it. I'm pretty analytical and hate to spend more than I have to. I'm also concerned that an expensive bike will burn less calories as my primary goal is to really increase fitness benefits for my son and me (e.g. expensive bike is too easy). I'll look at the answers tonight, thanks again!!
Don't believe the Bikes Direct comparison numbers. Their bikes are generally a pretty decent value if you are OK working on your own stuff, and know how to check over the build of a bike, but the price comparisons are pretty silly.

That said, a 1K bike from BD will be a noticeable upgrade from the Walmart bike.
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Old 11-25-20, 12:37 AM
  #34  
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What's the difference between a Sole Society purse and a Louis Vuitton? Will one work as well as the other, and last as long? Maybe. Is the LV better constructed of higher quality materials? Probably. But that isn't why she buys the Louis Vuitton - it's for places and events where the Sole Society isn't appropriate.

An inexpensive bike (under $1000) having industry standard components does the same thing as a $3K bike, about as well for practical purposes, and may or may not be as durable. You probably don't want to race on an entry-level bike, or take it to group rides with professional peers. Depending on your profession. But you can ride it mostly as fast as you wish, and mostly as comfortably.
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Old 11-25-20, 01:35 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by jacquisplace View Post
I'm also concerned that an expensive bike will burn less calories as my primary goal is to really increase fitness benefits for my son and me (e.g. expensive bike is too easy).
If you're not working hard enough, just pedal harder and go faster. Even motorized e-bikes can provide an excellent workout if you want to get a good workout on one.

Look at the people who compete at high levels, look at what they ride for training. Generally not cheap stuff. If they're not pedaling hard enough to attain the fitness they want, they pedal harder.

The best bicycle for fitness, is a bicycle that you want to ride.
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Old 11-25-20, 07:30 AM
  #36  
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For most of us on BF bicycle riding is a hobby. We should get as much enjoyment out of our hobbies as possible because it is supposed to be enjoyable. If having a $3000 CF bike is what it takes to get the most enjoyable experience out of bicycling and you have the money then get the $3000 CF bike.

Personally I have the money available to purchase a $3000 CF bike tonight on the way home I could pick one up. When I got back into cycling 2 years ago I started on my mid 80s Asian steel bike I think I paid about $300 back then. It's a nice bike but a bit heavy but way lighter and better components than any department store bike. I rode that for a year then found a 15 yo alum. Cannondale 3x9 Synapse for $350 When I ride with my club I usually have the least expensive AL bike in a sea of CF frames but I'm even at my ripe old age and only 2 years riding I'm able to pull the hills with the big dogs. Why? Because I spent an lot of time and sweat/pain working on my hill climbing ability.

So it's the Indian not the Arrow in my opinion. Still my bike gives me zero problems on the road as is solid as a rock. I doubt that if I were to buy a more expensive bike that it would vastly improve my riding performance although at some point I will probably upgrade just because.

No one has really talked about the point in the OP about wanting a lighter bike to make it easier to place on the (car) rack.
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Old 11-25-20, 08:19 AM
  #37  
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If You spend a significant daily time on a bicycle and enjoy it then buy the best bike you can afford and enjoy it. Make sure You buy a bike that you can also upgrade as the time goes on (drive train etc ...)
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Old 11-25-20, 12:15 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
No one has really talked about the point in the OP about wanting a lighter bike to make it easier to place on the (car) rack.
if 35 pounds is too much to lift, will 25 be a significant improvement? Sure the OP could get a 17-lb bike, but doing so Just to make it easier to put on the car .... whatever one's priorities are, i guess.

Keep the bike and get a trunk rack?
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Old 11-25-20, 01:34 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Most cyclists in the world are on cheap generic-branded (100% China-made parts) bike <$400.

Either most cyclists in the world are ticking troll bombs or are actually writing legitimate queries based on their own experiences or observation of other cyclists. I doubt that BF is or should only be for cyclists interested to talk about >$1000 bikes.
Oh, 100% - I'm not interested in only talking about expensive bikes either!
My eye-rolling was more about the wild swing from 'i have a Walmart bike so heavy that I can't lift it onto my rack' to then 'looking at a carbon bikes in the 2-3k range that is ~20 lbs.' and finally 'What is the cause for such a jump in cost in bikes from a Walmart aluminum bike to a carbon bike?'
The OP has answered his or her own question, but I acknowledge it would be better to just answer pointing out that there's a wide gap there and YES, they should consider something in between as even a non-carbon, non-$3k, >20 lbs. BUT non-Walmart bike WILL yield appreciable gains in quality, less weight, and better operation and cycling enjoyment both immediately and in the long run.
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Old 11-25-20, 03:31 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Random11 View Post
My fist bike (in 40 years) was a Giant Cypress, which I gave to one of my sons who lives nearby when I got my Specialized Diverge 16 months ago. Yesterday a shifter cable broke in the Diverge, so off it want to the shop and I borrowed my son's Cypress to ride 20 miles today (a typical distance for me). I was pretty impressed with the ride quality of the Cypress, which cost about one-eighth the price of the Diverge. Both bikes have 700x38 tires and high gear is 48-11 on both (older model of Cypress; the specs are different now). The Cypress was comfortable to ride, and the Shimano Altus drivetrain shifted very smoothly even though I'm used to Ultegra on my Diverge. The Cypress was slower for sure, and more work to get up hills, but if you're riding for exercise you don't really need the fastest bike. I was really surprised at how pleasant the Cypress was to ride. My thought was that if speed doesn't matter (not racing, or trying to keep up in a group ride), the Cypress is probably 90% as good as the Diverge at one-eighth the cost. No, I'm not going to give up my Diverge, but after my experience on the Cypress today my impression is that beyond $1000 or so you spend a lot of money to get a little bit of an improvement in a bike. (The Cypress cost me $450 at a LBS three years ago.)
Lots of truth to this, more expensive gets you better but not always amazingly better though noticeable when compared back to back, which makes it reasonable to buy the best you can within the budget you're willing to use.

How old is your son? At 8 mine is reasonably quick for about 8 miles but the mtb is all I really need to keep up and get a decent workout. My 10yo daughter I can take the gravel bike and I wouldn't call it a workout but I wouldn't keep up with her on the mtb but still only makes 12 miles. When they're 20 if they keep training with their team and racing through their teens then I expect I'll need a really nice bike and will still not be keeping up well, or I'll just need to add some water to their tubes to slow them down.

I take the gravel bike out and I can do a nice 25mi ride in an hour and a half, the cross bike I will do more like 28mi with road slicks and the road bike I'll do 30 miles. Same time, same workout feeling just longer rides. Heck even the mtb will only be 10mi in that time but lots of fun and just as tiring.

Last edited by Russ Roth; 11-25-20 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 11-25-20, 08:06 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
...How old is your son? At 8 mine is reasonably quick for about 8 miles... I take the gravel bike out and I can do a nice 25mi ride in an hour and a half...
My son who's taken possession of my Giant is 30, and not much of a cyclist. It wasn't much of a sacrifice for him to lend me my old bike back for a day. I have an older son who's 32 and very much into cycling. I've traveled to see him over the Thanksgiving holidays (against the advice of Dr. Fauchi) and we rode 41 miles of gravel today. Very enjoyable, and this is one occasion when it's really nice to have a top-quality bike to try to keep up with a younger rider. You're going to have a good time riding with your children in a few years.
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Old 11-26-20, 12:14 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Maybe valid scenario for someone still undecided whether they will like cycling or not. Someone who doesn't make a lot of money but willing to spend extra if they think it's worth all of it.

Not uncommon for someone to try cycling for 1 month and then sell their bike after losing interest.

You'll be losing less with cheaper bikes if think it's not for you.
Classic dilemma.

Buy a crappy bike, don't enjoy cycling, never know what you are missing .... or buy too much bike and if you don't like cycling, huge loss ....

And further ... you buy the wrong bike, spend too much, and don't really enjoy it, because you would rather have gotten racier geometry or more relaxed, or maybe a light rigid frame instead of suspension, or maybe suspension instead of a rigid.

Until you ride some you won't Really know what and how you want to ride, but if you buy the wrong bike you won't be able to afford the right one. The drop in value as soon as tires touch road is pretty large even if all they do is touch the road for a few inches.

Best bet is always to find someone who knows bikes and can go shopping for used bikes with you, and help you fix up whatever you bought.
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Old 11-26-20, 06:31 AM
  #43  
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Real world scenario for me.

Mid March: I cant go to the gym due to C19. So I decided to start riding again after a few year hiatus. Get me KHS off the garage wall to start riding it. Needs a tune bad and all the LBS are backed up 2-3 weeks and also have very few if any new bikes in stick.

April: After getting KHS tuned up a bit. Still no bikes available at LBS. Find bikesdirect on line and order one of the last $1000 Carbon, group 105, basic wheels etc. Take it to LBS for final assembly and tune. Bike is actually pretty decent. Ride it for 3 months or so and realize I love riding and want to do this for awhile.

July: Decide to buy a better (more expensive) road bike. Look around at LBS, still very limited stock. Find a few Specialized to test ride but have to order and wait for right fit. Always loved Bianchl and find a Bianchi LBS dealer near me that has a few to test and can order my size for a good price.

August: New Bianchi Infinito CV Disc arrives and I am in love. Just about 5x more expensive with a few needed accessories as the Online bike from April. The new Bianchi is wonderful but not 5x as good in a quantifiable way. I am lucky to be able to afford what I would like to ride. I ride 120 plus or minus a week, riding the Bianchi 90% of the time.

I do like the Bianchi more than the $1000 bike even though the technical differences are not 5x improved. The design, subtle feel and my individual satisfaction from all that comes with a “better” bike make it worth 10x more to me. Many factors, some not completely rational make me feel this way. RESULTS MAY VARY.

October: Not only do I ride a decent amount for me, I have spent a significant amount on lights, computers, shoes and kit.
will be going out at 6:30 am for 90 minutes before wifey is up this morning.

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Old 11-26-20, 09:57 AM
  #44  
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Over the last 50 years I have spent the following on bikes: $300 (1970), $175 (1990). $125 (2000), $200 (2015). As the years passed, the dollar fell out from under me, so my basic trend has been cheaper and cheaper ($300 in 1970 bought me a new Raleigh International loaded with Campy Nuovo Record parts). And I have never been unhappy. The 2015 was a single-speed flip-flop with a plain steel frame (35 pounds+ weight) and it's bike that's brought me the most pleasure because it's the first I've ridden for pleasure rather than commuting--I've become a tourist in my own town, riding around every day to places I've never seen in the 35 years we've lived here.

So I'm going to say it's more about your attitude than the bike you're riding. If you have to have nice stuff, buy a nice bike. If not, then why?

[I'm liking the tourist role so much I just broke my trend and sprang $550 for a State Bicycle 8-speed. I had to think about that for a while. I'm thinking it will give me more Chicago tourist reach, being a bit more than half as heavy as what I ride now, but it's the cheapest new ride I could find that was a solid bump up]
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Old 11-30-20, 01:23 PM
  #45  
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Thank you! I'm going to look that up!
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Old 11-30-20, 01:47 PM
  #46  
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Thank you! I have copied your answer and am dissecting it, really great information!
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Old 11-30-20, 01:50 PM
  #47  
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Thank you, that's great information! I copied it and am unpacking the information.
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Old 11-30-20, 01:52 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by jacquisplace View Post
Thank you, that's great information! I copied it and am unpacking the information.
I didn't realize the posts went to the end instead of under each comment. I thought the above comment didn't take, so I rewrote it. I'll figure this out. I'm slowly going through the quotes and gathering information.
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Old 11-30-20, 01:55 PM
  #49  
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Thanks again, everyone! This is so essential to me because I, a former gym rat, have gotten completely out of shape and need an activity I can do with my flat footed son (nothing standing). I'm looking for an activity to help get us healthier. I'm planning to use this information for bikes for Christmas. Thanks so much for all your time!
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Old 12-01-20, 02:59 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
I predict this thread will hit six pages within a week.
Apparently not.
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