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I want a new bike but how do I justify?

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I want a new bike but how do I justify?

Old 01-14-19, 12:45 PM
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rnelson17
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I want a new bike but how do I justify?

I've only been road riding for about 8 years and for the last 7 of them I've had a 2006 Specialized Roubaix Expert. It's been great for me: comfortable and gets the job done. However, it's been a while with my Roubaix and I can't help but look longingly at new bikes at shops and online. What improvements would I likely see in a new (2018+) road bike that would be beneficial to someone like me? In other words, what would a new bike have that I absolutely need? =) I realize that some people would say that wanting a new bike is enough reason to buy, but my mind doesn't work that way. I honestly don't know how much better new bikes are than they were 12 years ago.

I ride in warm weather only, about 100 miles per week for fitness (no racing, etc).

thanks
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Old 01-14-19, 12:51 PM
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Thru axle, disc brakes, tapered forks/headsets, BB386 EVO, 35mm handlebars/stems, suspension seat posts, electronic shifting, tyre clearance, tubeless, 11 speed, adventure crankset gearing, road plus tyres are among the hottest marketing trends now.
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Old 01-14-19, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rnelson17 View Post
I realize that some people would say that wanting a new bike is enough reason to buy, but my mind doesn't work that way.
Di2 works better than any groupset from 12 years ago. If that's not enough, I can't help you.
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Old 01-14-19, 12:55 PM
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You're doing this entirely wrong.

Necessity is the mother of invention. You buy the bike, THEN find a way to justify it.
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Old 01-14-19, 01:01 PM
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There is a potentially infinite set of frames of reference in which you couldn't justify having even the bike you have now. Accept the fact that the only defensible rationale for such a purchase is that it will bring you pleasure.
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Old 01-14-19, 01:01 PM
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You don't have to justify wanting a little strange.
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Old 01-14-19, 01:07 PM
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A contrary view:

If you love your current bike and it serves you well, dont worry too much about what you may be missing. Instead ride it hard until it dies.

I rode my Trek 5500 for more than 20 years. It finally gave up the ghost (bottom bracket shell separated from the bottom bracket housing) and I reluctantly replaced it with a new Madone SLR. (Thanks Trek lifetime frame warranty!)

Sure the Madone is a much better bike, but its taking some time for it to earn its place in my heart.
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Old 01-14-19, 01:15 PM
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The benefits you would get would be quite modest, but they are real. That said, it's really an economic and philosophical decision that you should decide for yourself.

My advice is to go to the LBS and test-ride a few bikes that fit your budget and decide what's right for you.

One additional benefit of getting a new bike is you could relegate your old bike to beater duty for crappy weather and/or backup when main bike is in need of repair.
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Old 01-14-19, 01:21 PM
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What is this "justify"? You want a new bike---it must be so. Make it so.

You have only one bike, how can you justify that? I know you must be deeply ashamed and embarrassed. Rectify this situation At Once.

Everyone needs a rain bike (don't want to tear up the main ride---and an excuse to get disc brakes.) Everyone needs a back-up bike for when the main ride is in the shop or on the repair stand.
Originally Posted by rnelson17 View Post
I realize that some people would say that wanting a new bike is enough reason to buy, but my mind doesn't work that way.
I am sure, advanced as modern pharmacology is, that there is a medicine to cure that.

More seriously ...

No real need. I ride a couple modern CF, 11-speed, lightweight, modern bikes ... and an '84 Raleigh with 4600 tiagra and an '83 Cannondale with a 3x7 drivetrain (can't update the dropout spacing on an aluminum frame.) I enjoy riding any of them. A few extra cogs only matter if you are serious about speed (mostly.) Otherwise, upgrades have been incremental at best. Bikes honestly have not changed fundamentally in decades.

However ... a lot of people rave about DI2 shifting---however good what you have might be, DI2 offers pretty much instant, flawless shifts.

Ever been on that road with nonstop dips and rises, where you were always a few shifts behind the terrain because you'd come around a corner and see a really steep rise and didn't have time to shift---you jumped on the pedals, stood up, and hammered because you had no choice? You know you cannot shift under full load---not the cogs, and certainly not the chainrings. You just have to suffer and tough it out.

The DI2 people drop to the lower chainring and shift three times in the 50-foot rise without even easing up on the pedals. The DI2 folks shift every three pedal strokes while under full load to always have the optimal ratio.

Otherwise ....

I know where you are coming from, by the way. I have an entire bike--minus the frame---in parts on my shelf. I bought everything, and was waiting for a good sale on the frame, when I realized I had too many bikes to ride them all, as it was. I have the cash, I have the agreement of the wife, I have the whole build ready to go ... but I cannot justify another bike. N+1 is not justification enough.

I would suggest going to a few shops and taking test rides. Consider something ridiculously light and fast, a little longer and lower and racier than the Roubaix---something for short rides where you might want to go a little faster. or maybe look at an endurance frame from another manufacturer? Tubeless tires (lower pressure, greater comfort,) DI2, maybe a little lighter (CF tech has advanced incrementally)?

Riding bicycles is irrational to begin with---i think most of us do it for the joy and pleasure. Maybe you will test-ride a bike which you find brings you more, or a different sort of enjoyment.

If you are going to try to approach this from a scientific point of view ... do some experiments.

Last edited by Maelochs; 01-14-19 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 01-14-19, 04:09 PM
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I myself enjoy Looking at my bikes. I know my teenage son does too. He loves his blue colored sidewall Tires just because it matches the blue accents of his bike.

Somethinga are completely emotional and cannot be rationalized.
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Old 01-14-19, 05:50 PM
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Old 01-14-19, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
The DI2 people drop to the lower chainring and shift three times in the 50-foot rise without even easing up on the pedals. The DI2 folks shift every three pedal strokes while under full load to always have the optimal ratio.
My Garmin says I shift about 300 times an hour on average. That's nuts!
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Old 01-14-19, 06:10 PM
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Go out and try out and try a newer bike and see what you think.
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Old 01-14-19, 06:14 PM
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Sounds to me, you just did. "I want a new bike."
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Old 01-14-19, 06:41 PM
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Justifying bikes has never made any sense to me. It's a bike. You want it. If you can afford to spend the money then you get it. Life is short.
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Old 01-14-19, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Justifying bikes has never made any sense to me. It's a bike. You want it. If you can afford to spend the money then you get it. Life is short.
Totally agree.
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Old 01-14-19, 07:01 PM
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If you want a new bike, buy it.
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Old 01-14-19, 07:26 PM
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WANT > NEED

Though if you really wanna justify it, double your weekly mileage. Stuff wears out and/or breaks so fast, two bikes is a minimum.
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Old 01-14-19, 10:15 PM
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I don't think you can ever justify a new bike (unless your other one was stolen, crashed, etc. ). If you want a new bike just go and get a new bike. The joy you get from riding will more than make up for any guilt you might feel.
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Old 01-14-19, 11:46 PM
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I think you answered your own question by asking this question on an internet forum populated by bicycle junkies instead of writing to "Dear Abbey."
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Old 01-15-19, 11:26 AM
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I can't help you. I'm riding an '84 Peugeot that I bought new. It ain't broke so I have no plans to fix or replace it, but hey, it's your money. If you can purchase a new bike and not miss a meal or rent payment, then no justification needed. Just DO IT.
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Old 01-15-19, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by rnelson17 View Post
I've only been road riding for about 8 years and for the last 7 of them I've had a 2006 Specialized Roubaix Expert. It's been great for me: comfortable and gets the job done. However, it's been a while with my Roubaix and I can't help but look longingly at new bikes at shops and online. What improvements would I likely see in a new (2018+) road bike that would be beneficial to someone like me? In other words, what would a new bike have that I absolutely need? =) I realize that some people would say that wanting a new bike is enough reason to buy, but my mind doesn't work that way. I honestly don't know how much better new bikes are than they were 12 years ago.

I ride in warm weather only, about 100 miles per week for fitness (no racing, etc).

thanks
I imagine you have about 15K miles on that 2006 Roubaix.

It is past due for a costly overhaul and upgrades anyway, might as well pay for more bike instead of parts and service.
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Old 01-15-19, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rnelson17 View Post
I've only been road riding for about 8 years and for the last 7 of them I've had a 2006 Specialized Roubaix Expert. It's been great for me: comfortable and gets the job done. However, it's been a while with my Roubaix and I can't help but look longingly at new bikes at shops and online. What improvements would I likely see in a new (2018+) road bike that would be beneficial to someone like me? In other words, what would a new bike have that I absolutely need?
so you have a carbon frame 3x Ultegra drivetrain thats 12-13 years old.

Just update your current bike with some quality tires, quality wheels, and a modern 2x11 compact drivetrain. It'll cost $800-1400 depending on what all you get.
you will have a modern component bile on a frame you know you like and fit.

or buy something new for even more $.

either way- you dont need anything thats new. You don't need disc, you don't need a suspension stem, and you dont need an entire rear triangle to flex.
get em if you want em, but they are hardly needs.

the real benefit to a more modern frame would be to fit some quality 28mm tires. The will roll just as fast as(or faster) whatever 23mm tires you have on your current bike and gice a bit more comfort due to psi and volume.


it's a toy- there is no justifying the money being spent.
it's a hobby- there is no justifying the money being spent.
when you force yourself to justify purchases that are inherently unnecessary, a lot of guilt can set in. It sucks to carry that around and its a choice whether to carry it or dismiss it

anyways - nothing new is a need. If you are faster on a new bike it's because you want to be.
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Old 01-15-19, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Justifying bikes has never made any sense to me. It's a bike. You want it. If you can afford to spend the money then you get it. Life is short.
Pretty sound view point. I just bought a new Tarmac in December and this was the way I looked at it. If it were taking away from something else maybe more important, then I guess it would require justification.
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Old 01-15-19, 11:29 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by rnelson17 View Post
What improvements would I likely see in a new (2018+) road bike that would be beneficial to someone like me? In other words, what would a new bike have that I absolutely need?
Or you could 'upgrade' to a new bike, and end up worse than you already have. Here are the major developments the last 12 years, and the consequences of these:
  • More superfluous cogs in the cassette. We are beyond Spinal Tap levels now. Yep, the industry is up to 12 cogs in the cassette now, every cassette now includes the useless 11 tooth cog. We are now at $75 chains and $250 cassettes. I replaced 4 chains in 2018; you do the math on your costs...
  • Triples have almost disappeared. Triples were brilliant in that you could ride 90% of the time in the middle ring. When you wanted to go fast, you used the big ring. When climbing big hills, you used the granny. Easy peasy. Now, with compact cranksets, you are unnecessarily and constantly cycling between the small and large rings.
  • 1 x drivetrains. Seriously??? An idiotic development. Shifting a front derailleur is SOOO hard. Perhaps if riders were using a triple crankset, and they could stay in the middle ring almost all of the time, this would not have become a development.
  • Disc brakes. This adds about 2 pounds of dead weight to a bike, both in the brake hardware, rotors, and extra frame reinforcement. If you are riding a loaded bike down steep hills in the rain, then this is a need. Otherwise rim brakes are lighter, less fussy and do not require PITA thru-axles (see following). And they do not require you to be a slave to your LBS for every brake adjustment and bleed.
  • Thru-axles. These convert 5 second wheel removals to a 30-second trial. Only required because the forces generated by discs tend to eject poorly-attached wheels. Goodbye to cross-compatibility between wheelsets, framesets and skewers.
  • Larger Q-factors. The unnecessary proliferation of rear cogs, plus disk rotors, has required rear stay spacing to increase beyond 130mm. This means more heel strike, necessitating cranksets with larger (wider) Q-factors. Ridden on a so-called 'gravel endurance bike' lately? The crankarms are so far apart that it feels like you are riding a horse. Or a Big Wheel.
  • Tubeless. I suppose if you lived in goathead country, or were blissfully slamming into curbs, you would need this. Otherwise a pointless development. If you are getting an excessive number of flats, then get better tires. Or lift you butt of the saddle before hitting that pothole.
  • Low spoke count wheels. Combined with aero rims, these are heavy! I suppose if you are cruising at 25+mph there will be an offsetting aero benefit, but current wheels are much heavier than they were in the 70s.
  • Fatter tires. I tried a set of high-end 28 clinchers on my Lemond, and they made the bike ride like a farm tractor. Mind you, all clinchers suck, compared to tubulars. I switched back to 23s pumped up to high pressures, and they are lighter and more aero, and they just feel faster. As long as you are not a fatty, and ride on decent pavement, I don't see the need for larger tires. I have been riding big miles on gravel lately. Plus if you are going fast enough, the ride smooths itself out.
  • Weight. Damn: current gravel or endurance bikes are so heavy! Despite the weight savings of carbon, the extra weight of the big tires, wheels, discs, and frame reinforcements for discs, results in equivalent level 10 year old bikes being almost always lighter.
Recommendation: think hard about a bike 'upgrade'.

Last edited by Dave Mayer; 01-15-19 at 11:38 PM.
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