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Donít upgrade your bike buy New one video

Old 02-18-21, 11:34 AM
  #1  
Ed Wiser
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Donít upgrade your bike buy New one video

I always buy a good frame bike and then upgrade the parts as I have the money.

Thia video suggestís that itís better to buy a whole new bike than to upgrade. What are your thoughts.
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Old 02-18-21, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed Wiser View Post
I always buy a good frame bike and then upgrade the parts as I have the money.

Thia video suggest’s that it’s better to buy a whole new bike than to upgrade. What are your thoughts.
I think that guy watched this video and decided to make one of his own: Same title even.
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Old 02-18-21, 12:22 PM
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Ed, I don't think that this is earth-shattering news. Buying a compromise bike and then spending more to upgrade it incrementally is dumb. I know because I've done it.

My last four builds have been frame first, and components hand selected. But, of course, I get what I want that way.

This assumes that you can actually find a complete bike that you'd want in your size right now. Good luck with that.
Frames can still be found if you know where to look. So...
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Old 02-18-21, 06:46 PM
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Another video that thinks people are too stupid to make their own choices. I personally have not built up a bike from parts but I can see the logic behind it; especially if you have something very specific in mind that isn't offered by the major brands.

Will it cost you more? Probably and it's highly likely that the people that do it, know that.
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Old 02-18-21, 07:19 PM
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I'm not giving the video any clicks.

It's almost always a better deal to buy a bike as a package deal. Often for tier 1 or 2 groupsets it's like buying the groupset at retail & getting a free frame & having it pre-assembled to boot.

Smart money then sells the frame set to offset the cost & puts the groupset on whatever happens to be their favorite bike.

It's not an unheard of strategy: "I ride a 58 & I want an Ultegra groupset...Oh, look! A size 47 with Ultegra on sale. Oh happy days!"

It's how Mrs. Base2 got her Salsa frameset.
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Old 02-18-21, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed Wiser View Post
I always buy a good frame bike and then upgrade the parts as I have the money.

Thia video suggestís that itís better to buy a whole new bike than to upgrade. What are your thoughts.
Whether itís better to upgrade or not depends. If you buy a bike from one of the big manufacturers and then try to upgrade it to the next level bike, thatís a foolís errand. In that case itís better to just buy the next level bike. You probably should have done that to begin with.

But if the bike is something special, that changes the calculus. If the bike is rare or no longer made or made by a small frame maker etc., it is worth upgrading parts. All 8 of my bikes and 4 of my wifeís 5 bikes and several of the bikes my daughter owns have all be upgraded. Sometimes they are upgraded to the point where then donít resemble the original bike nor have any of the original parts (). Itís not the cheapest way to go but I end up with bikes that I want with components I want.

The advice I give my wheel building class people is that if you want to build a wheel that you can buy, just buy the wheel. But if you want something special, build it yourself. Same applies to bicycles.
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Old 02-18-21, 08:18 PM
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Like mentioned, I assume most (so called) upgrades are building or fixup projects of a bike or frame we already have. Finding parts at a good price happens often enough. Gears are worn down, rims, cranks, pedals... few things lasts that long. Those who work on their own bikes and search for good parts have a wider selection. That said, the guy in the video has a fair point. It can be ideal to find a new bike at a good price. If we have a bike we like a lot, we are more likely to replace parts with better parts. Commuting and riding all winter, I have bought bikes at bargain prices just for the purpose, I know they will likely not last that long before they need major upkeep. Bikes that take a lot of abuse and are easily replaced have this advantage.

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Old 02-19-21, 06:58 AM
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There's a big depends on what makes sense to do. If a stock bike model has everything you want, nothing less or more, then it makes sense to just buy that. OTOH, if it has one thing you want, but a lot of 'upgraded' stuff you don't need or care about, then it may well make sense to upgrade a lower tier bike.

For example, say you want a CF Domane with Di2 electronic shifting. The lowest tiered model I believe is the SL7 for $6500. In theory you could opt for 105-equipped SL5 for $3130 and just get a Di2 upgrade kit for ~$1k (?) and save close to $2500.
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Old 02-19-21, 07:58 AM
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The more I ride and know what works for me, the less I care about "upgrades" but what will enhance "my" cycling experience.

For example, I switched to a GRX crankset on a 1999 crit bike to help with climbing and give me a user friendly cassette.
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Old 02-19-21, 08:03 AM
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My dilemma, as I approach my 75th birthday, is how to celebrate. My inclination was to either buy a "dream" bike or upgrade one of my existing bikes. Not going to upgrade my GURU Sidero (steel) since I've done that over the years. So.....my CAAD 12. First, I love this bike. It fits me perfectly and I ride it well. I also just love looking at it. It's all 105 so I thought about Ultegra or maybe a couple Dura Ace pieces. Should I forgo that upgrade and just buy a new Ultegra CAAD? Well, the CAAD 12 is no longer made and the new CAAD 13 geometry is different. And, it's heavier. Basically what it has come down to for me is I don't really want to lose my CAAD 12 and I don't really need to buy, say, upgraded shifters. It looks like my celebration is going to be a weekend trip to ride somewhere new and fun. Feeling very fortunate right now.
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Old 02-19-21, 08:30 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Ed Wiser View Post
What are your thoughts.
I think it isnt as simple as a good or bad decision that applies to all situations. Sometimes its financially bad to upgrade. Sometimes its financially good to upgrade. Sometimes a hobby isnt only about the cost of things and you buy stuff in spite of it being the more expensive option.
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Old 02-19-21, 10:27 AM
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First of all you have to decide what advantage an upgrade or a new bike will give you that you dont have now.

THEN and most important of all can you hide the costs of either from your wife.
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Old 02-19-21, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
For example, say you want a CF Domane with Di2 electronic shifting. The lowest tiered model I believe is the SL7 for $6500. In theory you could opt for 105-equipped SL5 for $3130 and just get a Di2 upgrade kit for ~$1k (?) and save close to $2500.
If there were more competition in bike parts I could see someone putting electronic shifting on a 105 equivalent group set and make a killing.

I actually own a Domane SL5 and I would have loved if it had come with Di2.
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Old 02-19-21, 10:59 AM
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Get the bike you want from the get go if you aren't super choosy and want certain parts but don't mind others go for the bike that has those certain parts. Otherwise don't bother upgrading is expensive as you are buying parts you don't want along with the parts you do want and while having a good parts bin I think it important you may not want to do that right away.

I like building frame up because I choose what I want to go on it and make it work well for me. It is going to cost more than buying a complete bike but it ensures I get what I want. Otherwise I will buy the bike closest to what I want and swap parts as needed or keep it what it is because it is pretty darn close.
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Old 02-19-21, 11:52 AM
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The question here is how really experienced the rider is? I see tons of people run out and buy that super deluxe road bike with dreams and asperations of cycling across the country. Only to realize that cycling is hard work and quit after only a season or two. Then they go to sell it and they are shocked that it's worth nothing compared to what they paid. Buying the cheap beginner road bike in this scenario is way better and way cheaper. Most new cyclists are not going to benefit from the extra gearing anyways.

And there's other things you can upgrade other then the group set that vastly improves the cycling experience. For example the seat, brake levers, peddles, wheels, brakes etc. All of which you can keep the original parts around for when you sell the old bike. And bring to the next upgraded bike.
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Old 02-19-21, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by cbrstar View Post
The question here is how really experienced the rider is? I see tons of people run out and buy that super deluxe road bike with dreams and asperations of cycling across the country. Only to realize that cycling is hard work and quit after only a season or two. Then they go to sell it and they are shocked that it's worth nothing compared to what they paid. Buying the cheap beginner road bike in this scenario is way better and way cheaper. Most new cyclists are not going to benefit from the extra gearing anyways.

And there's other things you can upgrade other then the group set that vastly improves the cycling experience. For example the seat, brake levers, peddles, wheels, brakes etc. All of which you can keep the original parts around for when you sell the old bike. And bring to the next upgraded bike.
Yes, in that scenario, buying the cheaper bike is the better bet. If that buyer gets a bike with Sora/Tiagra level parts, for $1000ish, it will be more than good enough to decide if they actually like cycling.

That buyer should not then expect to cost-effectively put a Di2/AXS/hydraulics group onto that same frame. If they ride enough that they find themselves in the market for a fancy bike, they would be better off trading in/keeping the $1,000 bike as a winter bike/indoor trainer, and buying a new $4-5,000 bike.
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Old 02-19-21, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Leinster View Post
Yes, in that scenario, buying the cheaper bike is the better bet. If that buyer gets a bike with Sora/Tiagra level parts, for $1000ish, it will be more than good enough to decide if they actually like cycling.

That buyer should not then expect to cost-effectively put a Di2/AXS/hydraulics group onto that same frame. If they ride enough that they find themselves in the market for a fancy bike, they would be better off trading in/keeping the $1,000 bike as a winter bike/indoor trainer, and buying a new $4-5,000 bike.
Except for the impossibility of making a rim braked bike into a disc-braked bike, they absolutely could cost-effectively put Di2 or AXS on such a bike. Using the Specialized Allez, which was the highlighted bike in the OP's video. The highest end disc Allez is 105 and has MSRP of $2300. Adding a Di2 conversion kit brings it to ~$3300.

The alternative nearest neighbor (disc + Di2 race geo) is the the Tarmac SL7 Expert at $5500 ? If you're happy with rim brake the Allez Elite w/105 is $1500; add Di2 and you have a $2500 bike.

If working with 9 or 10 speed $1k bike, you'd be adding $2k for the full Di2 Ultegra kit, but even so, then you're still at $3K instead of $5500
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Old 02-19-21, 04:39 PM
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I have this issue that slows me down when I think of getting a new bike. My arms. Fit. I was 6'1/2" and have been shrinking the past couple of decades but my inseam is unchanged and long. My reach, fingertip to fingertip is over 6'2" even after shortening my already narrow shoulder width a full inch with collarbone breaks. So to be comfortable on a bike, I need a really long reach despite my short torso. (With the classic elbow to seat nose, I need handlebars 4-5" past my long fingertips.)

Years ago I wrote a Fortran program that I could input the published geometry of a prospective frame and it would output the stem I needed and the weight balance between the wheels. (I was looking into a ti bike; having ridden a Merlin MTB 10 years before and having my eyes opened to "this is it! Just make it a road bike". The result? There were no stock frames out there that would give me optimal weight balance and good downhill handling and not require a custom stem. A $4000 class "B" fit? Nah.

Since then I have had two customs ti's built. Love the rides! Getting a new, much lighter, much faster, much sexier bike and having to settle for the "B" fit? Still, nah. I might resurrect that program and run it on the new stuff. Every once in a while a truly fitting bike comes along. My My 1976 Fuji Pro I raced. An early '80s Univega Competition with the same seat angle and top tube. (My first ti is patterned after it but with the BB kicked up for 175s.) The rest? I have used stems of 140, 150, 155, 175 and two of 180 cms.
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Old 02-19-21, 04:55 PM
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When I was working on the sales floor, I found that most entry-level riders had a totally unrealistic understanding of price and value. A video like that is probably a good thing to help drive home that it's better to "buy once, cry once."
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Old 02-20-21, 06:16 AM
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Frame size and bike fit is number one. If the bike don't fit right it doesn't matter how good or bad the components are.
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Old 02-20-21, 09:39 AM
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First: the title of this thread is misleading. He's not saying "forget upgrading, go buy a new bike", he is saying "spend more upfront to get a better bike, it's worth it". These are two different things.

Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
When I was working on the sales floor, I found that most entry-level riders had a totally unrealistic understanding of price and value. A video like that is probably a good thing to help drive home that it's better to "buy once, cry once."
I watched the video and I think this was his point. He's taking the perspective of a bike shop employee. Most people coming into bike shops are not enthusiasts like those on this forum. I'm sure people come into bike shops all the time thinking that $800 will get them a top-end road bike. Just talking them into the $1,000 entry level road bike is probably tough. If they end up cycling, they'll inevitably want to upgrade their $1,000 bike and he'll have to explain why that's either a bad idea or not possible. Those are the people he's talking to.

Speaking personally as an enthusiast, for the past 25 years I've (almost) always bought Ultegra / XT / Chorus / Force level bikes. As I approach 50, I've realized that I'm only going to buy Dura Ace / Super Record / AXS Red / XTR whatever the next top end stuff is stuff from here on out. I'm also done buying major brand bikes. I'm going the high end domestic Moots/Seven/Firefly/whoever custom route from here on. These are all emotional and even irrational decisions. I know that Dura Ace / Super Record is almost certainly not worth it over the second level groups. I also know that Trek/Giant/Specialized make some great bikes. Still, I'm starting to realize that life is short. I love cycling, it means a lot to me and is an intrinsic part or my personality. I'm not going to be buying too many more bikes, each bike I do buy needs to be special. I can afford these bikes without being financially irresponsible. Also, to me it's better than buying a boat or Porsche or whatever.

Last edited by Hiro11; 02-20-21 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 02-20-21, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I have this issue that slows me down when I think of getting a new bike. My arms. Fit.
I guess my issue is that Iím cheap and easily pleased by a bike that works and fits. Plus, my riding is so much on dusty or muddy trails that Iíd rather trash a cheap, old frame. Also, I like to try out different things and have ended up with bikes that suit my preferences but arenít readily available as a new bike.

That said, I think that video makes a good point in the case of an entry level road bike. Of course, my viewpoint isnít particularly relevant: I ride SS so moving from 2x8 to 2x11 sounds like a downgrade. 😀

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Old 02-20-21, 10:01 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Ed Wiser View Post
I always buy a good frame bike and then upgrade the parts as I have the money.

Thia video suggest’s that it’s better to buy a whole new bike than to upgrade. What are your thoughts.
It depends.

When I wore out discontinued small parts in my 1997 Campagnolo Chorus shifters, upgrading my titanium Litespeed to 10 speed Record Titanium cost $3000 less than buying a new bike equipped with Chorus.

Conversely, with the steep OEM discounts you can buy a generic bicycle from bikesdirect for not much more than a Shimano groupset.

OTOH, $300 on a used or take-off groups won't buy anything complete worth riding.

Last edited by Drew Eckhardt; 02-20-21 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 02-20-21, 11:40 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Except for the impossibility of making a rim braked bike into a disc-braked bike, they absolutely could cost-effectively put Di2 or AXS on such a bike. Using the Specialized Allez, which was the highlighted bike in the OP's video. The highest end disc Allez is 105 and has MSRP of $2300. Adding a Di2 conversion kit brings it to ~$3300.

The alternative nearest neighbor (disc + Di2 race geo) is the the Tarmac SL7 Expert at $5500 ? If you're happy with rim brake the Allez Elite w/105 is $1500; add Di2 and you have a $2500 bike.

If working with 9 or 10 speed $1k bike, you'd be adding $2k for the full Di2 Ultegra kit, but even so, then you're still at $3K instead of $5500
Ok, that can be done, but itís not exactly like for like.

A Synapse Carbon disc is $2400 for Tiagra, versus $4400 for Di2. Iím not seeing a Di2 kit for $1000, but even if you can get that, you still need to add a new cassette, chain, and possibly wheels to the shopping list, and then you do have to allow for the fact the rest of your finishing kit (bars, cranks, brakes) is lower end than if you just bought the expensive bike.


Also, I just watched the video in the OP, and heís discussing the upgrade from Sora to 105. That jump is typically well under $500 in MSRP, but the upgrade process would likely cost more, and certainly run into problems along the way for an inexperienced mechanic.

I think the core takeaway there is, if youíre new to cycling and you can stretch to 105 level up front, do. And the bit that he doesnít say is, if youíre new to cycling and donít know how long youíre going to continue at it, donít spend more than 105.
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