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Am I Missing Something?

Old 05-11-15, 08:47 AM
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Am I Missing Something?

Before I begin, I am just doing a brain dump here, not condemning people for holding as important the things that they do. If the model year of a bicycle is important to you, then please don't take the following as an attack on what you hold dear, it is just the way I view things.

Am I the only one that doesn't worry so much about what model year a bicycle is?

I bought a used 7.3 FX about 18 months ago, and the seller told me it was a 2011. I believed him. Why would he lie? I did later check the Trek archives, and I am not 100% sure whether my bike is the one pictured... It is close, but to me doesn't quite match the color in the description... Maybe it isn't a 2011, and maybe it is my perception of the color. After all, how many different variations of off-white and/or silver are there??? But honestly, it was at that point that I realized that I really don't care. My previous bike was a 2003 Giant, and it didn't match the colors displayed either, but I still call it a 2003 since it is in the right ballpark.

For some reason, to me, people seem overly concerned about what year their bikes are.

I can see this (slightly) in cars, because there seems to be a significant price gap between a 5 year old car and a 6 year old car (for example)... And also, when you go to buy parts the chances are that two nearly identical parts will have just enough difference that they can't be interchanged from one model year to the next. On one old car, I bought a water pump for the wrong year. Everything worked great, and it mounted perfectly, but when I went to attach the fan, I discovered the only difference was the diameter of the fan shaft.

On a bike, you can count the number of cogs on a cluster, and then you can easily figure out which derailleurs you need, which chain to buy etc. You can look at (or perhaps measure) the bottom bracket or stem to see what you want to buy to repair or upgrade. In other words, other than slight tweaks to the frame or a different color scheme, the rest of the bike is off the shelf, and basically the same as many other bikes of the same level for that year (+/- 2 years).

In the forums I usually add the professed year of my bike because clearances etc may change a bit from year to year, and what size tire I can squeeze onto mine may not fit a 2012 (for example).

And I guess there may be a slight difference in resale value... But unless the differences in the model year were extreme (very rare) I can't imagine that the price of a 4 year old hybrid is more than $25 different from a 5 year old bike of the same model... Unless you have a color that everyone wants that was only made in limited numbers.

Vintage bikes, there might be an exception if you want the first (or last) year that a specific model was built, or one just like what you rode many years ago, or you want to go back to whatever the original components were after years of rider upgrades... And even then, the average person won't know the difference, but again, if it is important to you, then by all means pursue your passion.

While it is true that sometimes on a higher end bike, a certain year will be the first to have a dream feature, like maybe 11 speed electronic shifting... but to me the bragging rights and joy are related to having 11 speed electronic shifting, not the year of the bike.

But, what do I know. I tend to at least occasionally be out of touch with what is fun. Is there some implicit or explicit joy in knowing a bike's model year that I am overlooking?

So, in short, am I missing something, or not?
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Old 05-11-15, 09:24 AM
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You aren't missing anything.

Sellers are often wrong, remembering only the year in which they bought the bike, which of course is not the same of a model year.

I do care a little bit about year when I buy used frames sight unseen on eBay, because frames from the late 1990s and early 2000s often are built around a shorter top-tube and longer stem geometry that I do not like. Given a year, I can sometimes find the geometry on the manufacturer's web site.

In mountain-biking you sometimes have yearly changes in suspension design and shock technology that matter, and the model year can be a shortcut to discerning just what it is that you are dealing with. For example, I recently learned of a change in the 2013 year on RockShox brand forks that makes shortening the travel a more difficult and more expensive task than in prior year models.

I used to know the year of the frame I'm currently riding, but can't bring it to mind right now. 2002 or 2003, I think. Parts are all a hodgepodge of newer parts that were never spec'd on the bike to begin with, so I can't really assign a year to the bike as a whole, but only to the frame.
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Old 05-11-15, 09:40 AM
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Model year is important to me! Because by buying "last years model" I have save a couple of hundred dollars twice now . Both times it was just a colour change.
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Old 05-11-15, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
You aren't missing anything.

Sellers are often wrong, remembering only the year in which they bought the bike, which of course is not the same of a model year.

I do care a little bit about year when I buy used frames sight unseen on eBay, because frames from the late 1990s and early 2000s often are built around a shorter top-tube and longer stem geometry that I do not like. Given a year, I can sometimes find the geometry on the manufacturer's web site.

In mountain-biking you sometimes have yearly changes in suspension design and shock technology that matter, and the model year can be a shortcut to discerning just what it is that you are dealing with. For example, I recently learned of a change in the 2013 year on RockShox brand forks that makes shortening the travel a more difficult and more expensive task than in prior year models.

I used to know the year of the frame I'm currently riding, but can't bring it to mind right now. 2002 or 2003, I think. Parts are all a hodgepodge of newer parts that were never spec'd on the bike to begin with, so I can't really assign a year to the bike as a whole, but only to the frame.
Yeah, if there are differences relevant to your needs, it makes sense. Of course, for me, I think things have gone down hill as far as sizing. Used to be any 23" sport touring frame would be just fine for me... Now, I typically ride a large, but sometimes large sizes differ by manufacturer. And for suspension frames, things are a little more complex, and don't fit into my simplistic approach.

Originally Posted by steve_cay View Post
Model year is important to me! Because by buying "last years model" I have save a couple of hundred dollars twice now . Both times it was just a colour change.
That is the one time when it matters... In the shop it will either be marked down, or if you know, you can ask "That is last year's model, what sort of deal will you give me?" And, if many people weren't so hung up on buying this year's model, that wouldn't happen... So, even though I don't understand it in many cases, I guess I like other people to be hung up on the model year, or the shop would have no incentive to mark down the previous year's model.
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Old 05-11-15, 11:31 AM
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I think the only concern about the year is re: specs of the bike, just like a car. If someone tells you that they have a 2011 trek fx model over a 2014, you can then determine what the differences are. As the models progress, options from "higher end bikes" make it way down to lower end bikes so this is why the year is important to me.

In the end, at a very high level, it's a bike and it's all the same but the years matter if you are trying to buy a used bike. for example, is a 2011 trek fx 7.2 selling for $300 worth it? if it was a 2014 trek fx 7.2 selling for the same price, you know it would be "better optioned," just like a car.

an example in my case: a few years back when i got into the trek fx line, the 7.4's didnt have carbon forks.... i dont even remember what the old 7.4s were! lol... at the time, only the fx 7.7 had a carbon fork but that was a ~$1900 bike. but then when it came to buying an fx 7.4 this year, they are now including a carbon fork in the model and all the cables are routed through the frame like on madones and higher end bikes. these are cool features but i know if i bought an older 7.4, this would not be the case. i know if i bought an older 7.4, there's no way i would shell out $200 or $300 more to buy a carbon fork for it so it's nice that my new bike comes with one right out of the gate.

fwiw and ymmv.

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Old 05-11-15, 11:53 AM
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Most bike manufacturers have an online archive that goes back several years and there is always Bikepedia for tying bikes to a model year. Component mix is usually a better way to id the year. Finding a bike with the right components and good fit is far more important than having the model year correct. Back in late 1995 I found an outlet store that stocked a full line of carbon and aluminum framed Cadex bikes in the right size. I really did not know the model year but assumed the bikes were overstock from 1994 or 1995. Being a dyed in the wool retro grouch I went for the carbon framed CFR 3 with 105 gruppo and downtube shifters rather than the then new STI on the other models. Seventeen years later Bikepedia told me it was a 1993 model. At less than 50% of msrp it was a deal, but most important it was set up the way I wanted. Model year was and is irrelevant.

I agree most sellers are probably like me and they remember the year the bike was bought but probably don't know the model year.

Last edited by Delmarva; 05-11-15 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 05-11-15, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by sh00k View Post
I think the only concern about the year is re: specs of the bike, just like a car.
+1

The model year is just one of many useful pieces of information to use when recommending bicycles or cross-referencing specifications.
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Old 05-11-15, 01:41 PM
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Last used bike I purchased off of Craigslist was a 2008 Monogoose Amasa Comp, actually a decent MTB not Walmart junk. The seller claimed it was a 2010, it was actually a 2008. i did not care, had the components I wanted and I got it for a steal!
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Old 05-11-15, 03:35 PM
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Sometimes model year has more importance, as there are big differences. My latest bike is the first year the model went to a flat bar, all previous years were drop bar (and cost more) So in this case the model year is a huge difference.

But yeah, I get it... all Trek FX's are pretty much the same. I kid!
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Old 05-11-15, 03:44 PM
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More concerned about the parts and condition,but there are a few cases where it matters. My old Dahon Mu SL folder was the last year that had the curse from God Pantour front hub;prolly wouldn't have bought it if I'd known about it in advance. Also,although I got a good deal on my '04 Pt Reyes,and really like it,would've been nice to get a '05 for the carbon fork.
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Old 05-11-15, 05:23 PM
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A lot of times it's more about the specs or color of the bike. Manufacturers tend to make spec and color changes for each model year. That may determine if your willing to buy a left over or older bike or get the newest thing.
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Old 05-11-15, 06:21 PM
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In my case it was about newer technology - I went from a 2006 7.3 to a 2014 7.4. The 2006 I got off c-list .There is a tremendous difference! The frame is lighter, the ride is smoother, the components are better, and better gearing.
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Old 05-11-15, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by JG1967 View Post
A lot of times it's more about the specs or color of the bike. Manufacturers tend to make spec and color changes for each model year. That may determine if your willing to buy a left over or older bike or get the newest thing.
But as specs change, they sometimes move down in the line-up to keep the bike in the same price range
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Old 05-11-15, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by yashinon View Post
In my case it was about newer technology - I went from a 2006 7.3 to a 2014 7.4. The 2006 I got off c-list .There is a tremendous difference! The frame is lighter, the ride is smoother, the components are better, and better gearing.
I would expect more significant differences moving ahead 8 years, and going up to the next level in the line-up... I really was more curious about people who agonize that they may have bought a 2014 instead of a 2015 with virtually identical specs. It seems that a lot of people ask either "Did I not get this year's bike?" or "Should I wait 6 months for the new model?" Or for used bikes, "I bought what was said to be a 2008, but it is really a 2007, what should I do?"
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Old 05-11-15, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
But as specs change, they sometimes move down in the line-up to keep the bike in the same price range
Very true, actually that seems to be the norm. I bought a leftover 2014 Trek Fuel EX8 29er simply based on the color. I wanted white and the 2015 wasn't available in white. Didn't bother me that it was a leftover.
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Old 05-11-15, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
I would expect more significant differences moving ahead 8 years, and going up to the next level in the line-up... I really was more curious about people who agonize that they may have bought a 2014 instead of a 2015 with virtually identical specs. It seems that a lot of people ask either "Did I not get this year's bike?" or "Should I wait 6 months for the new model?" Or for used bikes, "I bought what was said to be a 2008, but it is really a 2007, what should I do?"
Yeah I understand your point. I think the average person does not care. However, when you get on this forums like this and learn a thing or two, everything changes. I am surprised that some people are wary of buying pre-owned. I won't say "used" because sometimes you find ppl buy bikes and don't really use them.

PS - I saved some $$. If I did not have the option to get a '14, I would have picked up the '15.
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Old 05-11-15, 07:25 PM
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When buying my first road bike, the comparing the year was a big deal for me as components and the little extra features varied widely on the same model even 1 year apart. For example, the between the Pinarello Razha 2014 and 2015, the differences are: external vs. internal cable routing, 10-speed tiagra vs. 11-speed 105, Di2 compatibility. 2 of those were enough for me to consider the 2015 frame even though the older year model could be had at 20% discount. Since I'm pouring big bucks into buying a bike, I wanted to buy one that I knew I would be 100% satisfied with, not just a happy "compromise."
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Old 05-11-15, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by yashinon View Post
Yeah I understand your point. I think the average person does not care. However, when you get on this forums like this and learn a thing or two, everything changes. I am surprised that some people are wary of buying pre-owned. I won't say "used" because sometimes you find ppl buy bikes and don't really use them.
Yeah, some of the best buys are for bikes that were bought with great intentions and rarely (if ever) used.
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Old 05-11-15, 07:41 PM
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The only times I care about year is if there is something unique about it. For example, a pre-Trek Bontrager Race-Lite. It also helps to know the year to know what parts to hang on a frame, fork travel, etc.

Also, old bikes dont have lawyer tabs.

Bicycles havent changed much over the years and condition and parts are more important than how old it is.

Trickle down is much overrated. I will gladly take 950 XTR derailleurs over modern Deore ones.
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Old 05-11-15, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by marimorimo View Post
When buying my first road bike, the comparing the year was a big deal for me as components and the little extra features varied widely on the same model even 1 year apart. For example, the between the Pinarello Razha 2014 and 2015, the differences are: external vs. internal cable routing, 10-speed tiagra vs. 11-speed 105, Di2 compatibility. 2 of those were enough for me to consider the 2015 frame even though the older year model could be had at 20% discount. Since I'm pouring big bucks into buying a bike, I wanted to buy one that I knew I would be 100% satisfied with, not just a happy "compromise."
Those Pinarello bikes are sweet! Being interested in other cultures, I wanted to know if cycling is popular in Japan as a way to enjoy or stay fit? In some nations the major mode of transportation is bike. Does Japan still have cycle manufacturing such as some of those from the vintage era?
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Old 05-11-15, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by yashinon View Post
Those Pinarello bikes are sweet! Being interested in other cultures, I wanted to know if cycling is popular in Japan as a way to enjoy or stay fit? In some nations the major mode of transportation is bike. Does Japan still have cycle manufacturing such as some of those from the vintage era?
Cycling is popular in Japan, but more in the utility cycling kind of sense. Moms, dads, kids, grandpas, all on their big and heavy dutch bikes that cost $100-200 a pop. They're great for hauling kids and groceries. The electric-motored powered kinds are also popular (not a surprise because people haul two kids at a time on their bikes, and the hills here). Many people do have hybrids and road bikes, but are vastly outnumbered by the utility cyclists. It's legal to ride on the sidewalk here.

There are dedicated cycling paths around here where the roadies gather during the weekend, and nearly everyone has impressive kit. The brand of road bike I see the most is COLNAGO, no kidding.

As for road bike manufacturing, it's niche. Just the custom builders (which are quite expensive) but apparently the quality is top-notch. There's also a guy famous for making bikes (including wheels) from mahogany.

Last edited by marimorimo; 05-11-15 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 05-11-15, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by marimorimo View Post
Cycling is popular in Japan, but more in the utility cycling kind of sense. Moms, dads, kids, grandpas, all on their big and heavy dutch bikes that cost $100-200 a pop. They're great for hauling kids and groceries. The electric-motored powered kinds are also popular (not a surprise because people haul two kids at a time on their bikes, and the hills here). Many people do have hybrids and road bikes, but are vastly outnumbered by the utility cyclists. It's legal to ride on the sidewalk here.

There are dedicated cycling paths around here where the roadies gather during the weekend, and nearly everyone has impressive kit. The brand of road bike I see the most is COLNAGO, no kidding.

As for road bike manufacturing, it's niche. Just the custom builders (which are quite expensive) but apparently the quality is top-notch. There's also a guy famous for making bikes (including wheels) from mahogany.
Thanks for replying. It was OT and I apologize to others if I hijacked the thread.
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Old 05-13-15, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
But as specs change, they sometimes move down in the line-up to keep the bike in the same price range
I've seen them go opposite as well, up in the line-up.

My bike is a 2014 Giant Escape 1. I bought it in early March, thus he had nothing in his shop for 2014 yet. I chose Giant because he is really the only shop around, the Escape because I researched and knew I wanted a hybrid, and the Escape 1 tier because I wanted a carbon fork and 9 speed cassette.

He had a slew of 2013's sitting in his shop. When I looked at the leftover 2013's, the Escape 1 had aluminum forks, an 8 speed cassette and SRAM shifters which I didn't like how both triggers were actuated with the thumb. So, the specs got better for the same tier between those years.

The car analogy doesn't really work too well. Automobiles are generally updated in generations. There may be slight differences year to year, but as for the majority of the car, it will be the same. My car for example is a Mark IV (generation 4) VW Jetta, particularly a 2003. The MK4 VW line started in 2001 and was basically the same through 2005. There was a computer program change on the 1.8 turbo engine that bumped it from 150 to 180 hp and that is really the only difference. Stuff like that happens, but it is still the same engine (as well as the same engine used up until the 2.0 turbo came in 2009 I think.)
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Road Cycling
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04-09-12 03:07 PM
spooner
General Cycling Discussion
3
07-16-10 06:00 PM

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