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Should the bike match the skills?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway
View Poll Results: Should your bike match your skills
Yes
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18.80%
No
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Should the bike match the skills?

Old 08-30-05, 11:28 PM
  #1  
cuskinsuit
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Should the bike match the skills?

Hello all,
I am now moving into my 2nd year of cycling, and I have come along way from the 300lbs couch potato from a year ago. The first thing that I noticed in this sport is that the amount you shell out for the bike has nothing to do with the speed of your legs. I have learned to watch out for the guy with the 80's Trek with the Downtube shifters, and to not worry about the guy that spent a months salary on his wheel set. I am sure this is only one of those trends you see in the 4s races.

I have the opportunity to get a bike that is well out of my skill level for a very reasonable price

I know the answer is Ride what feel good, but should your bike be equal your skill level?
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Old 08-31-05, 03:37 AM
  #2  
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Buy what you want and can afford....
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Old 08-31-05, 03:51 AM
  #3  
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Buy twice what you can afford. Then you've got to ride the thing or you'll never be able to live with yourself. That's what I did. Now out of me and two mates who bought bikes at the same time (but they only bought what they could afford) I'm the only one riding. And since the bike is so nice, I want to ride more and have fallen in love with the sport. Correspondingly, I'm not so slow anymore, so you could almost say the bike isn't better than me anymore.
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Old 08-31-05, 03:58 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by badsac
Buy twice what you can afford. Then you've got to ride the thing or you'll never be able to live with yourself. That's what I did. Now out of me and two mates who bought bikes at the same time (but they only bought what they could afford) I'm the only one riding. And since the bike is so nice, I want to ride more and have fallen in love with the sport. Correspondingly, I'm not so slow anymore, so you could almost say the bike isn't better than me anymore.
What he said
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Old 08-31-05, 04:08 AM
  #5  
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if the kids have food in their stomachs, shoes on their feet and a roof over their heads go crazy, a flash bike is a true joy to ride.

(plus spend below the limit where the missus, you know, holds out on you for like a month)
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Old 08-31-05, 04:49 AM
  #6  
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- i see idiots driving Cadillac, Lexus, or Mercedes (Chrysler) SUVs, so why can't i ride a top-of-the-line CF bike?

:-)
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Old 08-31-05, 04:50 AM
  #7  
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If my bike matched my skill, I'd be riding a tricycle.
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Old 08-31-05, 04:57 AM
  #8  
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Hi,
the answer is no. The ideal is to have enough bikes to cover what
you want to do. You wouldn't want a Mtn bike with knobby tires on
a Century; or vice versa. ..IF.. the bike fits... why not?
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Old 08-31-05, 04:58 AM
  #9  
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I can't afford the bike that would match my skill.





Hey, posing takes alot of skill.
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Old 08-31-05, 05:01 AM
  #10  
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I probably won't ever have a flash car, so a flash bike makes more sense. Plus if it motivates me to ride more and I get flash legs, well all the better.
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Old 08-31-05, 05:38 AM
  #11  
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I was looking at a Trek Madone SL5.9 and SL5.2. I asked myself "self, do you realllllly need Dura-Ace for an extra 2 grand, when Ultegra is nothing to sneeze at?". I was pretty happy with my pragmatic abilities, when lo and behold, I found a leftover 2004 Trek 5200 in my size. Wonderful. And a full $800 cheaper than the Madone SL5.2. Perfect.

Granted, I'll probably spend another $2,000 or so trying to knock off another pound or so, when I could've just bought the SL5.9 and be done, but what fun would that be .

Get the bike you really want. If you buy the bike that you sorta half-assed want, and are still lusting after the bike that you wish you bought, you'll remember it on every ride. Fortunately for me, the 5200 was on my "list".
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Old 08-31-05, 05:57 AM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by GuitarWizard
Get the bike you really want. If you buy the bike that you sorta half-assed want, and are still lusting after the bike that you wish you bought, you'll remember it on every ride.
+1
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Old 08-31-05, 06:03 AM
  #13  
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buy or build the bike that suits your needs

in my case a race bike is absolutley the worst choice I could make, and I ride for a living

bike is just a tool, the most important part is the motor

skills?99.9% of the riders out there have like zero skills, most cant even bunnyhop a curb, even some of the pros I know arent very good bike handlers, I wouldnt worry about that

If you worry what people think about how you look, there are lots of OCP members that can help you with that
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Old 08-31-05, 06:37 AM
  #14  
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Yes, buy something better than you. I don't recommend a newbie drop 5 grand but don't get the el-cheapo, either. When I was test riding road bikes, fit was #1 concern, build quality #2, gears #3. I didn't like the lower end Shimano stuff. If I had gotten a cheaper bike, I would be constantly frustrated with it in one way or the other.

On the other hand, if I'd gotten the Onix instead of the Dauphine, all the real cyclists would've spotted me as the #1 Fred on the block. I'd be blaming the bike instead of my fat derriere for not being able to climb that mountain.

I got my wife a Trek 7100 to replace her uncomfortable and old Diamondback Topanga. While it was a good step up, it's already holding her back and she wants a better bike. At the time, though, I didn't think she'd want to do more than just ride around the neighborhood. Instead, she's riding 20 miles a clip in the country with me and pedalling like crazy while I merely coast. So you can see that I'm forced, I say FORCED to buy a new bike for her.
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Old 08-31-05, 06:42 AM
  #15  
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I know a few people who own an old steel bike (their bad weather and training bike) and then a high end bike (like a Colnago). But they always end up riding the training bike because they don't want to get the bike dirty, or whatever. One even told me that he used his old bike for racing because he feared wrecking his good bike. So why own an expensive bike? It's like the folks who buy a Porsche, then leave it in the garage all the time. Fetish.
So . . . if you're gonna buy a good bike, ride it.
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Old 08-31-05, 06:57 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by badsac
Buy twice what you can afford. Then you've got to ride the thing or you'll never be able to live with yourself. That's what I did. Now out of me and two mates who bought bikes at the same time (but they only bought what they could afford) I'm the only one riding. And since the bike is so nice, I want to ride more and have fallen in love with the sport. Correspondingly, I'm not so slow anymore, so you could almost say the bike isn't better than me anymore.

I think that's terrible advice. Buy what you can afford. Where you can make the argument that some people only stick with it to justify their bike, there are far more people who are just starting out and somehow feel that they NEED DA and CF, then three months later their $3000 bike is sitting in the garage or on ebay.

If you're just starting out and want the best, and can afford it, then go for it.

If you're on a budget, buy something within your budget and then upgrade later if you find you love the sport.
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Old 08-31-05, 06:58 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Patriot
I can't afford the bike that would match my skill.

Hey, posing takes alot of skill.
Really good. I like that.

Making the investment forces me to go out and ride more and harder. Right now the bike is just three times as good as I am a rider, but I'm gaining and closing the gap.
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Old 08-31-05, 07:29 AM
  #18  
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If people only bought to their skill level the case, Litespeed, Merlin, Pinarello, Cervelo, etc., etc., would all be out of business. You'll spend a lot less on a good bike than on a bad psychiatrist.
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Old 08-31-05, 07:30 AM
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Buy whatever you like and whatever makes you happy. The happier you are with your bike, the more you will ride it...and that is the idea...is it not?

Go for it.

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Old 08-31-05, 07:55 AM
  #20  
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I voted yes, but only because my bike is at a lower level than my skills (ha....how can I objectively determine that? There's no way.), but I can't afford something better.

So yes, the bike should match the skills, and I'm accepting donations.

If I had enough money to buy a bike above my level I would have certainly voted no.

See how that works?
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Old 08-31-05, 07:55 AM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Blackberry
You'll spend a lot less on a good bike than on a bad psychiatrist.
I like that.

Quality gear is great for boosting one's self image.
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Old 08-31-05, 08:00 AM
  #22  
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Buy the bike you'll RIDE and then make it pay for itself. With fuel prices around $3 a gallon, it starts immediately.

Personally, I used to fill my tank about once a week, sometimes more. It cost me $70 to fill it the other day but hadn't filled it for 5 weeks. That's $280 I saved in fuel. Those numbers start adding up pretty quick. Granted there are some expenses associated with cycling but the other benifits as well.

Besides, aren't you supposed to dress for success
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Old 08-31-05, 08:17 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by SteveAZ
Buy the bike you'll RIDE and then make it pay for itself. With fuel prices around $3 a gallon, it starts immediately.
I agree 100%. I live in NYC and my wife and I don't own a car and have no need for one. We were thinking about getting one for weekend getaways but decided against it and I am now building up a new Merlin that will cost about what we were quoted for 1 year of automobile insurance here in the city.
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Old 08-31-05, 08:28 AM
  #24  
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Buy a bike that fits you well. Most pro racing bikes have geometries that are too aggressive (and thus uncomfortable) for under-powered riders.
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Old 08-31-05, 08:35 AM
  #25  
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Ride a bike that's far below your skills. It's all about the engine anyway, right? As long as it rolls smoothly, you're good to go, and it gives a great satisfaction when you blow past wheezers whose bikes cost 10x what you paid for yours.
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