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Products you pay more for and their value

Old 07-09-17, 02:27 PM
  #1  
Shuffleman
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Products you pay more for and their value

I started thinking about this as I look for new shoes. I used to take my clothes for granted. For example, I wore Bontrager $35 jerseys, Serfa $45 shoes and Performance bike shorts. I did not think there was much difference in clothes, and I was way wrong.
Shorts- I bought a pair of PI Elites and Assos. Both major upgrades on my Performance Ultras, which are still descent.
Jerseys- I bought one Castelli and one Gore. The Gore is the best piece of cycle clothing I own.
Helmet- I started with a $50 Bell and switched to a $150 LG 7 years later. The Bell is more comfortable.
Gloves- I have had many types at various prices. I have not found any to be true upgrades.
Shoes- I have only had 1 pair, Serfas I got on clearance. They are comfy but worn out. I'm not sure if they matter or not. I am going to try a pair of Sidi shoes net.

This, in my experience it is a mixed bag. I will spend more on Jerseys and shorts. Gloves, helmets and glasses will be the least expensive but most comfy articles. Shoes, I will know more about shoes in a few days.
Any other experiences?
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Old 07-09-17, 02:49 PM
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The biggest difference I've noticed were shoes. I went from $50 shimano off the shelf, to Specialized S-Works 6. WOW, the biggest difference was out of the saddle. They also gave me a sweet deal to match my helmet

edit:They sold me them for $230, they retailed for $400 at that time.
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Old 07-09-17, 03:07 PM
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Contact points: shoes, bibs, saddle, bars, and tape.
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Old 07-09-17, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Contact points: shoes, bibs, saddle, bars, and tape.
+1
I have some issues with my feet so I refuse to skimp on shoes. I wear Sidi Ergo 3's. My orthotics fit nicely in them and the adjustable heel collar prevents heel slippage which can be an issue for me.
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Old 07-09-17, 06:44 PM
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Shoes are thee toughest for me ... i have weird feet, but since I use my feet on every pedal stroke, they are Really important.

I have always bought cheap gloves---except occasionally they were expensive gloves on huge markdown (buying in odd sizes helps.) I have not found that expensive gloves last longer or work better.

Jerseys ... I don't care. I wear $5-$25 jerseys ... they all work better than cotton t-shirts and have pockets int he back.

Shorts---second most important after shoes ... and just as hard to find good ones. I have bought great stuff that didn't last and cheap stuff that has lasted a long time ... some of it is comfortable, some isn't but again, this doesn't seem to be directly related to cost in every case.

hard for me to really comment meaningfully because I haven't spent more than a couple hours on a bike at one time in years. obviously the guys doing regular centuries have much different needs and can probably justify trying a lot more more expensive products.
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Old 07-09-17, 08:28 PM
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Things I pay more for and buy high end: Bikes. Wheels. Components. Saddles. Tires. Kit. Bar Tape.

But even though I buy high end, I'm usually pretty particular. When I finally settle on some item it's because it is the best compromises for what matters to me.

Things I don't pay extra for but am particular about which ones I use: blinkies, water bottles, socks.

Shoes are a funny thing with me. I never seem to find a pair I love, so I just get something "cheap for now" and they end up being "about as good as anything else" until they're worn out and it's time to shop again. And then I have the same issue all over again and end up with another temporary solution that becomes semi-permanent. Maybe some day I'll find a pair I actually like.
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Old 07-09-17, 09:21 PM
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I don't pay more for anything cycling related. Shoes, I could see but I don't use those kinds of pedals ...
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Old 07-09-17, 10:09 PM
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I usually go for medium tier stuff, especially if I can find it discounted -- discontinued, old stock, whatever.

Cheap is usually just cheap and unsatisfactory.

Upper tier stuff, meh... nice but I'm not a strong enough rider to take advantage of the best tires, etc. I'll try 'em if they're ridiculously discounted, which occasionally happens with Jenson and other discounters.

Overall I've been satisfied with everything from Pearl Izumi (especially from the local outlet store) -- baselayer, baggies, padded shorts, windbreaker, arm warmers, everything; Garneau jerseys and gloves; Champion wicking fabric boxer/briefs and long sleeve tees; Merrell shoes for platform pedals and walking -- the highly reflective heels are great for nighttime rides and walks, and they're like walking with cat paws, although they don't breathe quiet as well as my Montrail hiking shoes.

I can understand why some folks pay more for a saddle than I do for an entire bike. I've had a perineum rash once, very minor and cleared up quickly, butt 't'ain't pleasant. Generally speaking my butt is like iron and I don't really care what saddle I ride. Just lucky.

My feet are picky. Long, narrow, high arches. Very difficult to fit. I regret getting rid of my custom fit Detto Pietros 12 years ago. At the time I didn't expect to want or need 'em again. Wrong. Now I'll need to find clipless that fit properly without burning arches and heel pain. Meanwhile I'm just wearing my comfy walking shoes and riding platforms.
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Old 07-09-17, 11:15 PM
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DA cassettes & upper end chains.

Spurcycle bell.

Generally late adopter- yesterdays top stuff used or on sale.
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Old 07-10-17, 03:10 AM
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Old 07-10-17, 06:14 AM
  #11  
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I guess I'm lucky. I'm pretty happy with cheaper stuff. I wore a pair of $50 Giro shoes for several years. Recently replaced them with $150 Specialized and can't really tell a difference. Both felt fine. I'm happy with the stock saddles on my bikes. I tried on a lot of helmets and was willing to pay $300, but the $65 Giro Foray felt better than any of the others. I like $35 Baleaf bib shorts, too.
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Old 07-10-17, 06:26 AM
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I've been cycling for about 35 yrs. Started out with shorts with a leather chamois. For me, after many different brands, almost anything Assos works really well. The bib shorts work especially well and their socks are the best I've had. OTOH, although I use their gloves, I've had others that are just as good. Same with jerseys.
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Old 07-10-17, 06:35 AM
  #13  
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I agree with others who spoke of "touch points" being the most important.

To your shoe question, I would also check out the Giro Empire's as I've found the laces make adjustments easy and they have been comfortable to me for many long rides. When I went to buy a good pair of shoes I thought I would end up with Sidi's but the Giro's were much more comfortable for my feet.

Giro Empire ACC on Amazon
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Old 07-10-17, 08:13 AM
  #14  
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IMO

Items where you generally get what you pay for. With these items, almost always if you spend more you'll get noticeably better quality:
1. Shoes
2. Clothing
3. Stems (avoid the cheap ones)
4. Cable outers
5. Rim brake calipers
6. Hubs (again, avoid the cheap ones)
7. Racks
8. Bags
9. Socks

Items where you can find options that are just as good as more expensive models for a lot less. With these items, in general you can spend more to get better quality but you don't necessarily have to:
1. Helmets
2. Shifters and derailleurs (105 is functionally fine for 99% of people)
3. Tires
4. Seatposts
5. Bars
6. Cable inners
7. Hydraulic disc brakes
8. Saddles
9. Bar tape
10. Pedals
11. Rims
12. Chains
13. Lights

Items where there's seemingly no connection between what you spent on it and the quality of the actual item:
1. Sunglasses
2. Tubes
3. Gloves
4. Bottle cages
5. Spokes

Last edited by Hiro11; 07-10-17 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 07-10-17, 10:12 AM
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I've seen a couple of mentions of socks. I don't get it. How can one sock be better than another? I've got warm socks and cool socks. That has nothing to do with their price.
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Old 07-10-17, 10:44 AM
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I'm done with the bargain clothing on Amazon.. like the Santic brand and such. Works great once or twice, but then the chamois pads fold inside the material, labels/graphics come off.. It's just a waste of money. From now on when it comes down to Bibs/shorts or tops.. I'll go with a trusted name and pay the extra money.
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Old 07-10-17, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
I've seen a couple of mentions of socks. I don't get it. How can one sock be better than another? I've got warm socks and cool socks. That has nothing to do with their price.
had the same question.

Also .. i have never broken a stem but I have broken seat posts.

I have had good luck with closeout/bargain Garneau gloves, and anything Pearl Izumi, but i don't see enough benefit to buy the brands unless they are leftovers for super-bargain prices. I just bought four sets of gloves from the two, because if they are on sale why not? I will be set for a few seasons.

I like 'Zumi bibs but I always get there a few minutes too late when the go on sale.

Will check out Baleaf bibs, thanks fro that.
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Old 07-10-17, 11:50 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
I've seen a couple of mentions of socks. I don't get it. How can one sock be better than another? I've got warm socks and cool socks. That has nothing to do with their price.
Try one pair of Swiftwick Pursuit merino wool socks and make up your own mind. At most, you're out of $20 (unless you're in to the knee-high jobbers), but my guess is that, in short order, you'd want more pairs so that you can cover a week's worth of riding without doing laundry... and then you'd want a couple more pairs so that you can wear them even when you're not riding.
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Old 07-10-17, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Try one pair of Swiftwick Pursuit merino wool socks and make up your own mind. At most, you're out of $20 (unless you're in to the knee-high jobbers), but my guess is that, in short order, you'd want more pairs so that you can cover a week's worth of riding without doing laundry... and then you'd want a couple more pairs so that you can wear them even when you're not riding.
Why? What's better about them than the bags of cheap Chinese socks I get from the sporting goods store?
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Old 07-10-17, 12:03 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
had the same question.
Some socks don't last long. Some can be abrasive. Some socks are tight fitting. (I have a pair of XLs that I got in a bargain bin at a race that are way smaller than any XL sock I ever bought. Too small to wear.)
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Old 07-10-17, 12:06 PM
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Some socks bunch up or stretch out and others have weird seams that can chafe.

Crappy socks can make a long ride unbearable.
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Old 07-10-17, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
Why? What's better about them than the bags of cheap Chinese socks I get from the sporting goods store?
They feel really good? The right amount of compression in the right places, the right amount of padding in the right places, they breath well, never feel too heavy or too wet or too hot and they make you coffee in the morning.

Again, try them and find out. Whether or not you end up thinking that they're worth the price of admission for future pairs, you *will* like them, but twenty bucks isn't much to pay to find out, either way. I mean, you could order a pizza or possibly have a pair of life-changing socks.
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Old 07-10-17, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Some socks don't last long. Some can be abrasive. Some socks are tight fitting. (I have a pair of XLs that I got in a bargain bin at a race that are way smaller than any XL sock I ever bought. Too small to wear.)
Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
Some socks bunch up or stretch out and others have weird seams that can chafe.

Crappy socks can make a long ride unbearable.
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
They feel really good? The right amount of compression in the right places, the right amount of padding in the right places, they breath well, never feel too heavy or too wet or too hot and they make you coffee in the morning.

Again, try them and find out. Whether or not you end up thinking that they're worth the price of admission for future pairs, you *will* like them, but twenty bucks isn't much to pay to find out, either way. I mean, you could order a pizza or possibly have a pair of life-changing socks.
My cheap Chinese socks last for years. They're never abrasive. They aren't tight. They don't bunch up. They don't stretch out. They don't have weird seams. I've worn them on centuries without ever noticing them. They have no compression. They have very little padding. They breathe well. They never feel heavy. They never feel wet. They never feel hot.

I have some Castelli socks, purpose built for cycling. My feet feel just like they do in my cheap Chinese socks. The Castelli's match one of my team's jerseys, so we all bought a pair. I think they were $16 with a team discount. I got no new PRs out of them and was bitterly disappointed.
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Old 07-10-17, 12:25 PM
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Only one thing I pay a premium for = nice tubular tires.
Tires are the best way for an experienced cyclist to improve the ride.


Although with the UK prices, I feel like it's the bargain of the day.
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Old 07-10-17, 12:34 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by memebag View Post
My cheap Chinese socks last for years. They're never abrasive. They aren't tight. They don't bunch up. They don't stretch out. They don't have weird seams. I've worn them on centuries without ever noticing them. They have no compression. They have very little padding. They breathe well. They never feel heavy. They never feel wet. They never feel hot.
You think that now, but you don't know what you don't know. 20 bucks.

As far as the Castellis, meh. I wouldn't necessarily blame you for being unimpressed. I've tried a number of socks, many of them supposedly cycling specific, but the Swiftwicks are a step above.
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