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NYT Wirecutter

Old 02-23-24, 04:29 AM
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NYT Wirecutter

The New York Times Wirecutter mentioned bicycles today in their article saying that the most expensive items are not always the best. Here is what they wrote about bicycles:

And our cyclists on staff caution that almost everybody is likely to do just as well with a midrange bike as with something lightweight and top-of-the-line that boasts expensive components such as carbon-fiber wheels since higher-end bikes are designed for speed rather than durability. “Modern components like gear shifters, brakes, derailleurs, and hubs are all solid, and the high-end stuff is not functionally much better than midrange,” says senior staff writer and cyclist Tim Heffernan. You’ll still have to keep buying the parts that degrade over time, and high-end bikes are magnets for thieves.

“And as a general word on buying bikes right now, the pandemic boom is over, and many suppliers overshot on inventory, so deals can be found, both new old stock in bike stores and on the used market,” Tim adds. “Stores need to dump stock, and lots of people who bought a new bike during the pandemic have given up the hobby.”"

Last edited by Lucillle; 02-23-24 at 04:48 AM.
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Old 02-23-24, 05:04 AM
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Old 02-23-24, 08:22 AM
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I think in general, including with bikes, you get what you pay for. I agree that "mid-range" stuff is fine. I don't think you can go wrong with 105 v. Dura Ace.
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Old 02-23-24, 08:52 AM
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"Best" doesn't seem to be defined here. Best in what way? Obviously the most expensive bikes aren't the best bikes for a low budget. And if best includes more than one criteria, then as with most things, there's a bell curve where you have lousy on one side and marginal gains on the other.
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Old 02-23-24, 08:55 AM
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All things engineering are compromise.

and "better" is subjective.

queue 100 pages of the same tired arguments
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Old 02-23-24, 09:05 AM
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Lies! all lies! you absolutelly CAN buy speed, now let me show you this bike, and why it's a bargain at $16k...
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Old 02-23-24, 09:10 AM
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A house with tens of thousands of dollars of custom trim isn't the best choice if you are moving in with seven little kids. An electric pickup truck with all the bells and whistles isn't the best choice to take into the wilderness. A high performance jet plane isn't the best choice for a novice pilot. The most expensive choice isn't necessarily the right choice for a certain individual, but it might be the right choice for someone else.

I find nothing to disagree with in the quote from the article.
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Old 02-23-24, 09:13 AM
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By the way, not being a learned type, I read "NYT Wirecutter" and assumed it was a tool.
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Old 02-23-24, 09:30 AM
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I will certainly concur that the most expensive item isn’t always the best. It really comes down to what you’re doing with the bike, or component/gear. Unless you’re looking to just spend money unnecessarily, a bicycle used to run errands around town doesn’t need to be CF, and have top-of-the-line components. Obviously a bike used for racing is different. And of course I’ve encountered cyclists who insist “I have a certain reputation to uphold so my errand bike has to be top of the line.” If that’s you, and it’s how you want to spend your money…that’s your prerogative. In regard to apparel and other bike-related gear…I try to think outside the bicycling box. Some of my best cycling gear isn’t produced by the usual bicycling-related manufacturers, nor was it even intended to be used for cycling. But it works well for my purposes. Conversely, I’ve purchase high-end, name brand cycling gear that promised ‘this or that’ and didn’t come close to doing what it was supposed to do. — Dan
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Old 02-23-24, 03:45 PM
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For road bikes there are 4 key technologies that came along in the last dozen years: Tubeless tires, hydraulic disc brakes, power meters and electronic shifting. If your new bike has all of these 4 things, you are golden. With that in mind I think the new 105 Di2 groupset would be a good stopping point for 'good enough'. Above this level I consider 'nice to have' but non-essential. Below this level you are not getting the full benefits of the latest technologies.
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Old 02-23-24, 06:37 PM
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No thanks, don't need the NYT or their wirecutter to tell me what is good or bad, they rate bikes with tourney as good and their locks were all from Kryptonite. I trust them about as much as I trust a broken ladder.
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Old 02-23-24, 07:39 PM
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The quoted part of the article is very good advice for people who are looking to Wire Cutter for what bike to get.

As a general rule, if you don’t already know why a high end bike might be better than a midrange one, you are probably wasting your money buying it.

Full disclosure: I ride midrange Road and Fat bikes and a high end FS MTB.

Last edited by Kapusta; 02-23-24 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 02-24-24, 11:01 AM
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Heh. "I asked around the office" is kind of a tell.

The judges would also accept "My colleagues, in a rare consensus, assert the Garmin Forerunner keeps more accurate time than a Patek Philippe."
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Old 02-24-24, 05:57 PM
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The only publication for bicycles that I trust is Bicycling! magazine. The NY Times often has a hidden agenda. Just sayin'.
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Old 02-25-24, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Lamont Cobb
The only publication for bicycles that I trust is Bicycling! magazine. The NY Times often has a hidden agenda. Just sayin'.
Absolutely ! ! For decades Bicycling! has been the fount of truth, justice, and the American Way ! ! !
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Old 02-25-24, 08:54 AM
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This has been my preferred wirecutter (cables and housings, too) since I got it over forty years ago. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has long since abandoned operations. There does seem to be at least one domestic manufacturer of quality fence pliers still operating in the state of Texas.




Otto
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Old 02-25-24, 09:29 AM
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one should review the concept of "marginal diminishing returns" in which 50% more spend gets you 5% more functionality.

in the shimano line, the difference between the DA item and the comparable Ultegra is (mostly) cosmetic. Mostly.

but at the low end the difference is larger because you're further down the spend vs benefit curve.

it is hard to believe how crappy a $500 ebike can be, at least in my view. An unrepairable.

Remember Wirecutter's staff evaluate bikes the same way they evaluate toasters. they are not enthusiasts.

/markp
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Old 02-25-24, 09:32 AM
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The Garmin does keep better time than a Patek, as long as the satellites are in view.

my Garmin Fenix watch will drift a minute or so out sync with the official time if I don't put it in GPS mode every couple of weeks.

just sayin

/markp
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Old 02-25-24, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Lamont Cobb
The only publication for bicycles that I trust is Bicycling! magazine. The NY Times often has a hidden agenda. Just sayin'.
They're telling people that they don't need to spend as much on a bike as Bicycling! magazine often hints that they should. Would you mind explaining what the NYT's hidden agenda might be here? Just askin'.
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Old 02-25-24, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
They're telling people that they don't need to spend as much on a bike as Bicycling! magazine often hints that they should. Would you mind explaining what the NYT's hidden agenda might be here? Just askin'.
It's because they evaluate bikes in the same way they evaluate toasters. They are not enthusiasts.

/markp
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Old 02-25-24, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
They are not enthusiasts.
Neither are 99% of the people who will be looking to them for bike buying advice.

And for those people the advice quoted (stick with midrange) is spot on.
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Old 02-25-24, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Lucillle
The New York Times Wirecutter mentioned bicycles today in their article saying that the most expensive items are not always the best. Here is what they wrote about bicycles:

And our cyclists on staff caution that almost everybody is likely to do just as well with a midrange bike as with something lightweight and top-of-the-line that boasts expensive components such as carbon-fiber wheels since higher-end bikes are designed for speed rather than durability. “Modern components like gear shifters, brakes, derailleurs, and hubs are all solid, and the high-end stuff is not functionally much better than midrange,” says senior staff writer and cyclist Tim Heffernan. You’ll still have to keep buying the parts that degrade over time, and high-end bikes are magnets for thieves.

“And as a general word on buying bikes right now, the pandemic boom is over, and many suppliers overshot on inventory, so deals can be found, both new old stock in bike stores and on the used market,” Tim adds. “Stores need to dump stock, and lots of people who bought a new bike during the pandemic have given up the hobby.”"
It's fun being able to afford and enjoy top of the line stuff - as long as it fits.
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Old 02-25-24, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by icemilkcoffee
For road bikes there are 4 key technologies that came along in the last dozen years: Tubeless tires, hydraulic disc brakes, power meters and electronic shifting. If your new bike has all of these 4 things, you are golden. With that in mind I think the new 105 Di2 groupset would be a good stopping point for 'good enough'. Above this level I consider 'nice to have' but non-essential. Below this level you are not getting the full benefits of the latest technologies.
None are needed to have a top performing and/or really enjoyable fast bike.

Last edited by Camilo; 02-25-24 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 02-26-24, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mpetry912
It's because they evaluate bikes in the same way they evaluate toasters. They are not enthusiasts.

/markp
You might be thinking of Consumer Reports. The NYT article refers to "our cyclists on staff." Contra your offhand guess, The NYT staffers cited likely fit the cycling enthusiast profile, probably skewing upmarket in bikes and equipment.
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Old 02-26-24, 11:46 AM
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They know their audience, and that's a good thing. They wouldn't recommomend a Ferrari to a Soccer Mom, and that makes sense. Does anyone need a Ferrari? Yeah. Me.
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