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

Bunch of Questions

Old 08-01-11, 09:22 PM
  #1  
Nassa
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Bunch of Questions

Hello,

I apologize in advance for all the questions; I am just trying to get as educated as possible. I cycle about 3-4 a week for about 25-50km if it matters.
I read in some other threads that high-end aluminum bikes and better than low-end carbon bikes.

Is this true in all cases and for all companies if the components were the same?

If it is true, how does one determine what is high end and what is low end?

When shopping for a bike is it better to get good components or a better frame and upgrade components later if need be?

Is an aluminum bike with Ultegra a better bike for your money than a Carbon bike with 105?

How important are the wheel sets? Is it a deal breaker or is it something most people upgrade anyways?

How important is a good guarantee on a frame? i.e. GIANT does not guarantee their frames, is it something I should be worried about if I am looking at a GIANT TCR 2?

Again sorry for all the questions, just trying to understand what is more logical.
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Old 08-01-11, 11:43 PM
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craftygeek
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I'm not going to answer all your questions - because I don't have enough experience myself to do so.
But, regarding different levels of components - it partly depends on the type of person you are...some people probably wouldn't be able to notice the (larger) difference between Sora & Ultegra. If you are the sort of person that can tell subtle differences in the way that mechanical devices perform...then you will most likely notice some difference.

Whilst things like derailleurs & brakes are relatively cheap to upgrade, levers/shifters & cranksets are not - so it would be a false economy to buy a bike knowing that you will upgrade these parts in the first place.
I have a Cannondale CAAD8 with mostly Tiagra components (105 brakes) - I originally thought about upgrading most of it...now I am going to wait until derailleurs start to wear out before upgrading them - & the levers/shifters work just fine for me right now.

What is probably more important is the fit of the bike...which feels better to sit on/ride?
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Old 08-02-11, 12:15 AM
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Hi, while not totally relevant, I upgraded from a reasonable aluminum frame Giant to a 2008 Scott CR1 Pro carbon. I expected miracles but in reality avg speed and effort required etc over the same route didn't really improve much. A case of the bike being a lot better than the rider, althogh it does feel awesome to ride. Go with what feels right for you.

When I wanted to upgrade, I looked at Ultegra equipped good quality carbon bikes, but the price was too steep for my budget. As I knew what size frame i wanted I carried on with my Giant while watchig online classifieds/auction sites etc, and ended up getting my pre-loved Scott for less than a new mid-spec aluminum bike would have cost. It was low mileage in very good condition, and hasn't let me down n 12 months and many 1000 kms. Might be an option worth considering?
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Old 08-02-11, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Nassa View Post
Hello,

I apologize in advance for all the questions; I am just trying to get as educated as possible. I cycle about 3-4 a week for about 25-50km if it matters.
I read in some other threads that high-end aluminum bikes and better than low-end carbon bikes.

Is this true in all cases and for all companies if the components were the same?

If it is true, how does one determine what is high end and what is low end?

When shopping for a bike is it better to get good components or a better frame and upgrade components later if need be?

Is an aluminum bike with Ultegra a better bike for your money than a Carbon bike with 105?

How important are the wheel sets? Is it a deal breaker or is it something most people upgrade anyways?

How important is a good guarantee on a frame? i.e. GIANT does not guarantee their frames, is it something I should be worried about if I am looking at a GIANT TCR 2?

Again sorry for all the questions, just trying to understand what is more logical.
it all depends, what you want out of a bike. Most bike shop bikes will last a long time 10k-25k miles. Don't worry too much about wheels, its just an easy way for them to make money. Alex wheels are the usual base wheels. Mavic aksium race and shimano rs20 are good starting points for the performance rider. I consider 105 the minimum for performance riding. If I wasn;t racing I'd still be riding a 200 dollar 80's 12 speed. just to put it into perspective.
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Old 08-02-11, 03:54 AM
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Nassa
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Hello and thanks for replying,

I currently ride a 2011 Trek 1.1 and going with the advice from my other recent posts, I will continue to ride this bike before purchasing a new bike.
I am just trying to understand what components of the bike one should be more concerned about when buying.
If the fit is identical for both bikes - an aluminum with ultegra or a carbon with 105 for example?
I see more aluminum bikes on group rides than carbon, so I am question if aluminum would be a better? Just asking........
Many people here say "Buy the best bike that you could afford." If fit is identical on what should one be looking at?
Frames, components, easy of upgrade?
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Old 08-02-11, 04:17 AM
  #6  
Sourpuss Magee
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Originally Posted by Nassa View Post

How important is a good guarantee on a frame? i.e. GIANT does not guarantee their frames, is it something I should be worried about if I am looking at a GIANT TCR 2?
Giant does have a life-time warranty on their frames if you are original owner.
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