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How much of a difference is there from riding a $1000 bike compared to a $3000 bike?

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How much of a difference is there from riding a $1000 bike compared to a $3000 bike?

Old 10-10-11, 02:21 AM
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rbloem
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How much of a difference is there from riding a $1000 bike compared to a $3000 bike?

Hey guys. I was wondering how much of a difference is there between riding a road bike that is in the $1000-$1600 (aluminum bike with carbon forks) compared to a $3000 (full carbon road bike. Like honestly is it worth the extra cash for the full carbon bike? For someone who has had both bikes give your honest opinion. Thanks.
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Old 10-10-11, 02:29 AM
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znomit
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$2000 less to spend on beer.
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Old 10-10-11, 02:38 AM
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My aluminum bike is pretty harsh compared to my full carbon bike and I suspect carbon potentially could last longer if you kept it a long time, but figuring out if that's worth $2000 is something that is personal to you. If you make $250k a year, you might as well try full carbon. If you're eating ramen in a studio apartment then I'd save the cash. I'm guessing you're somewhere in between.
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Old 10-10-11, 02:48 AM
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fastbartender
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If you make 250k a year, you might as well let me try full carbon.
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Old 10-10-11, 03:03 AM
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kleinboogie
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Yes.
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Old 10-10-11, 03:16 AM
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All depends on your priorities... is a $x car worth more than a $y car? Ask a car enthusiast, and they'll say sure. Ask someone who drives maybe 100 miles a week and is looking just to get from point A to B and they'll say no. Every one has different priorities and different means. Same to be said about just about any consumer product.
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Old 10-10-11, 03:25 AM
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Let's put this way, after I rode my full carbon full ultegra Ksyrium SL bike for 30 mins, the next day I sold my 06 Allez with Tiagra and 105, Alex 400.
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Old 10-10-11, 03:36 AM
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If you have to ask, you don't have enough miles to appreciate a $3000 bike, and so you should probably get off the computer and log a few thousand. Then you'll know what you like and what's worth it to you.

And for the record, I have neither a $1000 bike nor a $3000 bike, and what I'm riding now is perfectly fine.
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Old 10-10-11, 03:53 AM
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Much bigger difference between a $1K bike and a $3K bike than between a $3K bike and a $9K bike.
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Old 10-10-11, 04:00 AM
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The difference between bikes is very small.
For pro riders trying to beat their best time by a few seconds ... this is very important.
For everyone else ... not so much.

I'll give you an example for comparison:
I have two bikes ...
One is my full aluminum hybrid with front suspension and 35mm cross tires ... it weighs about 13 kilos.
This bike is very able on about every terrain ... it's also got an aerobar for added comfort and speed.
My other bike is a full on superaggressive positioned full carbon TT bike ... it weighs 8,5 kilos.
This bike is about as fast as they get with a discwheel and 50mm carbon front and race tubulars.
The price for my hybrid was about $900 ... the price for my TT bike about $1700 (but it would be around $3000 bought brand new)
I ride both of these bikes on rolling and hilly terrain.
With my hybrid ... on a typical 10 mile ride ... I average 20 to 22 mph.
With my TT bike ... on a typical 10 mile ride ... I average 22 to 24 mph.
So you see: the difference is there, but it's not huge ... especially if you consider that a typical roadbike will be somewhere in between, depending on the position.

The main difference between a $1000 and a $3000 bike is the latter is going to be a few pounds lighter, which will save you a few seconds on climbs, depending on how steep and long they are.
If you live in a very mountainous area and are going to be doing very long ascends ... it might be worth the extra money.
If you are going to be riding mainly on the flats, there will be no measurable difference.

Last edited by AdelaaR; 10-10-11 at 04:04 AM.
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Old 10-10-11, 04:17 AM
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I had a 1K bike, a Trek 1500 aluminum w/ carbon fork with 105 and Ultegra mix. I have a 3K bike, a Specialized Tarmac Expert full carbon w/ Dura Ace Ultegra mix. I was slightly faster on the Trek, but the Specialized is more comfortable. If I had to do it all again I would go for the $1200 Bikes Direct Motobecane Century full carbon bike. I bought the Specialized as a non-current from my LBS when I had a good LBS. There are no LBS's in the area I am in now to justify spending more.
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Old 10-10-11, 04:18 AM
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Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
With my hybrid ... on a typical 10 mile ride ... I average 20 to 22 mph.
With my TT bike ... on a typical 10 mile ride ... I average 22 to 24 mph.
Really?

An AVERAGE of 22mph on a hybrid with 35mm cross tyres?

Something looks a little off with your speed comparisons there...

Is your typical 10 mile ride all downhill?
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Old 10-10-11, 04:43 AM
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There's a difference, but it's small.

The carbon vs aluminum ride comfort is more a matter of the frame geometry and fork than the material, honestly. While carbon has more shock-absorptive characteristics in physics testing, if the frame is built in a way to be stiff, it will be stiffer than all getout. Cervelos are notorious for this - they are super stiff despite being carbon, and the ride on it is way harsher than my entry level Giant aluminum bike. (Any Cervelo dealer who knows their stuff will confirm this.)

The components will have a noticeable difference between $700 & $3000. Smoother, lighter stuff that shifts under pressure more reliably. But don't expect to go any faster because of it - you will not
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Old 10-10-11, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Lexi01 View Post
Really?

An AVERAGE of 22mph on a hybrid with 35mm cross tyres?

Something looks a little off with your speed comparisons there...

Is your typical 10 mile ride all downhill?
I was gonna ask that question too.
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Old 10-10-11, 04:53 AM
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Depends on how much you ride. The more time you spend on the bike the more you'll notice the difference. You can get a decent carbon bike for less than $3k btw.
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Old 10-10-11, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
The difference between bikes is very small.
For pro riders trying to beat their best time by a few seconds ... this is very important.
For everyone else ... not so much.
Why is it important for a pro riding trying to beat his best time by a few seconds and not an amateur rider trying to beat his time by a few seconds?
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Old 10-10-11, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Farmer Dave View Post
I was gonna ask that question too.
He may be a prophet sent down by the cycling gods to enlighten us.
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Old 10-10-11, 06:08 AM
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I would say the differences are modest. They are REAL but modest.

What you should buy depends on your income/resources, your values, how much you plan to ride, and the style of riding you will do.
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Old 10-10-11, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Much bigger difference between a $1K bike and a $3K bike than between a $3K bike and a $9K bike.
What he said.
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Old 10-10-11, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Lexi01 View Post
Really?

An AVERAGE of 22mph on a hybrid with 35mm cross tyres?

Something looks a little off with your speed comparisons there...

Is your typical 10 mile ride all downhill?
Hmmm, I am seeing a similiar thing but at my slower average speeds. With my full carbon Trek Madone 5.9 running 25C tires I average 19-20 mph on my daily solo rides of around 30 miles. Riding the same distance and route on my Aluminum/steel fork Kona Jake the Snake with 30C knobbies I can run 17-18 mph average. Even ran with a roadie on one of the first rides and wound up with a 18.5 mph average. So I am seeing about a 2 mph drop off also.

Now all this said I am sure other factors are coming into play also. For one, is the gearing. Then there is the fact that this route only has small hills and one 2 mile section of around a 2% ascent. I am sure if I'm hitting the mountains the difference would be more dramatic. Also I am running a very light set of Zen Cycle wheels on the Trek while the Kona has the stock super strong (and fairly heavy) wheels. The Kona is also now equipped with full fenders, a rear rack, and trunk bag in preparation of winter riding. I'd say there is now at least an 8 lb difference between the 2 bikes.

Other observations, the Kona rides very comfortable despite being an aluminum frame. Probably more a factor of the low pressure fatter tires than frame material. The past couple of days have given us freezing rain and snow here so the Kona was my ride for several consecutive days. Then yesterday afternoon it dried up and I took out the Trek. Wow, what a difference. The Trek felt so light and responsive and the 30 mile jaunt was a total blast! Clipped the first couple of fast turns so there is a difference in handling between the bikes also.

I ride a lot (almost 6500 miles all ready for the year) so I do find value in a nicer bike for many, many reasons. But cheaper bikes can be a total blast also. In fact either of my steel roadies are quite fun, comfortable, fast, and way cheaper than the Trek was. And the average speed on them is a lot closer to the Trek than the CX bike.
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Old 10-10-11, 06:44 AM
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In term of fun factors, I would say the differences are significant.
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Old 10-10-11, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Pug View Post
You can get a decent carbon bike for less than $3k btw.
correct.
I noticed that climbing is now easier with my carbon 105 double vs my old aluminum tiagra triple. Not much difference on the flats. Ride is also smoother on rough terrain.
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Old 10-10-11, 07:44 AM
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Although I am still suffering from sticker shock on my recent bike purchase, I do know I enjoy it much more than my 2K $ bike. The expensive bike is much easier to ride, but I am still slow.

Last edited by triumph.1; 10-10-11 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 10-10-11, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
Much bigger difference between a $1K bike and a $3K bike than between a $3K bike and a $9K bike.
This. 100 percent accurate.
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Old 10-10-11, 08:02 AM
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A strong rider on a 1000 bike will have better time than a hack like me on my........

$xx,xxx.xx bike
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