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How much would a quality bike increase my riding pleasure?

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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

How much would a quality bike increase my riding pleasure?

Old 06-18-13, 01:51 PM
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How much would a quality bike increase my riding pleasure?

I ride a cheap China-bike with Shimano 105 gear. I'm 32 years old, been pedaling since March 1st and currently averaging 17.8mph over 70 miles with about 1800' elevation gain; I was an incredulous smoker with miserable cardiovascular strength when I started. I've been thinking about a higher quality frame in a Cervelo R3 (105) or Specialized Tarmac SL4 (Ultegra). I pedal about 180-200 miles per week. Do most people who upgrade in my scenario feel they get $3000 worth of performance increase? What makes the expensive bike ride so much better? I know my bike is probably rough, lacks rigidity, and pathetic, but I'm uncertain that I'll say to myself, "Man, I'm happy I burned that $3k on a new bike!"
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Old 06-18-13, 02:01 PM
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It's quite simple .... Read this:
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...t-cash-in-hand
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Old 06-18-13, 02:19 PM
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Not as much as a very nice pair of shoes and shorts........total cost $500 and you will look and feel great. $1,200 -1,500bike is all you need
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Old 06-18-13, 02:20 PM
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It 100% depends on you and what's going on in your head.
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Old 06-18-13, 02:21 PM
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Depends how much you value a dollar. I'm not sure there's any real "performance increase", but if you like gadgets and make enough money to buy what you please, then it could be worth it. It's not a question we can answer for you.
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Old 06-18-13, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by SirHustlerEsq
I ride a cheap China-bike with Shimano 105 gear.
Are you sure it was made in China and not Taiwan? Be that as it may, most bikes are made in those 2 nations anyway.
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Old 06-18-13, 02:26 PM
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Up to 66% (I learned that from the gas additive guys)...
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Old 06-18-13, 02:36 PM
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Going from a cheap generic frame to a Cervelo R3, you may well feel a difference, but it's going to be subtle.

The ride quality may be a bit better in that the R3 is designed to be (hate to use the dread cliche) horizontially rigid, and vertically compliant.

It likely will be stiffer in the front end,which may inspire more confident handling, and it's likely stiffer in the BB, so it may feel a little bit snappier.

It wil be a bit lighter, which will feel nice when you pick it up, and maky make it feel a bit more responive.

It's not going to be any great increase in speed.

Shiny new bikes are fun, but don't expect any quantum leap in perfomance. Personally, I'd ride the bike you have awhile longer, and wear it out before I upgraded, and then make the curent bike the beater bike.
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Old 06-18-13, 02:38 PM
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Think of your bike as a tool - is it adequate for your needs? Would a new bike enable you to go further, more comfortably, feel more confident on the downhills?

Go to your LBS and test ride the bikes in your post, and others if you can. Make it a good test ride - not just a few laps around the parking lot. Only then can you tell the difference between your current ride and a Specialized or Cervelo. If you perceive no difference, then save your money.

No need to spend $3K either, as most of the main brands (Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, Fuji et al) will have bikes in the $1-$2K range that should be an improvement over your current ride. A test ride of the same model but at different price points will help you decide which price point is sufficient for your needs. When you do dollar up - keep your old bike and use it for bad weather days or going to the pub.

My own experience was that - yes it was worth it to have a bike (a Specialized Roubaix with Shimano 105 in this case) that was stiffer under acceleration, smoother over rough roads, more comfortable on the long haul and tracked better on the descents. Having a bike that fit the type of riding I aspired to allowed me to go out and meet those aspirations.
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Old 06-18-13, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01
He is already involved in that thread. A feeble attempt at a parody thread.
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Old 06-18-13, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog
Not as much as a very nice pair of shoes and shorts........total cost $500 and you will look and feel great. $1,200 -1,500bike is all you need
Oh yeah, I picked-up semi-fance shorts and $$$ shoes because the comfort increase could not be denied. I still look like a fool, of course.
Originally Posted by pallen
It 100% depends on you and what's going on in your head.
See below
Originally Posted by peckma
Think of your bike as a tool - is it adequate for your needs? Would a new bike enable you to go further, more comfortably, feel more confident on the downhills?

Go to your LBS and test ride the bikes in your post, and others if you can. Make it a good test ride - not just a few laps around the parking lot. Only then can you tell the difference between your current ride and a Specialized or Cervelo. If you perceive no difference, then save your money.

No need to spend $3K either, as most of the main brands (Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, Fuji et al) will have bikes in the $1-$2K range that should be an improvement over your current ride. A test ride of the same model but at different price points will help you decide which price point is sufficient for your needs. When you do dollar up - keep your old bike and use it for bad weather days or going to the pub.

My own experience was that - yes it was worth it to have a bike (a Specialized Roubaix with Shimano 105 in this case) that was stiffer under acceleration, smoother over rough roads, more comfortable on the long haul and tracked better on the descents. Having a bike that fit the type of riding I aspired to allowed me to go out and meet those aspirations.
I picked those two bikes for specific reasons, both for their good reputations for stiffness and handling. The R3 always gets great reviews and is written about as a giant in the budget category, the SL4 because it's a stiffer bike with Ultegra. I suppose I need a test ride, but I'm not sure that 1-2 miles is going to drive it home for me. I'd like to ride a Rubaix as well. I am totally ignorant to "what tool works for me". I mash the pedals and the bike goes. That's all I know.
Originally Posted by tagaproject6
Are you sure it was made in China and not Taiwan? Be that as it may, most bikes are made in those 2 nations anyway.
I'm unsure, but $969 with the 105 stuff tells me its probably a slave-labor bike.
Originally Posted by tagaproject6
He is already involved in that thread. A feeble attempt at a parody thread.
Negative, I am really considering a new bike later this year but I've never ridden anything else so I don't know what I'm missing. I want to put quite a few more miles on my current bike before I dump it.

If I'm asking about a $3000 bike, I'm probably genuine. If I say "C59 Italia Disc" you know I'm trolling.
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Old 06-18-13, 03:00 PM
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$3000 is a lot to some; not a big deal to others. You will get pleasure out of owing a fine bike. You will enjoy riding it more. How much more is impossible to calculate let alone fix a $$ amount to. If you can afford it and want to treat yourself - go for it. That's the nature of luxury goods. A beater car will get you to the same places as a Rolls - the enjoyment quotient is up to you.

As for me, I LIKE nice bikes! (and I deserve 'em).
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Old 06-18-13, 03:11 PM
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what I would do first.

get some really good tires. correctly inflate them. I'm a schwalbe ultremos zx fanboi, but there are other fantastic tires out there that will provide immediate pleasurable feedback.

next, love your contact points. shoes, saddle, handlebars have the potential to increase comfort and enjoyment.

you could spend all the money you want on aero equipment, but unless your motor is cranking out the watts, speed gains will be miniscule in the grand scheme of things (<1%). so spend some time figuring out the training thing if speed is your goal. and, as ever, going fast hurts.
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Old 06-18-13, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mountain Mitch
$3000 is a lot to some; not a big deal to others. You will get pleasure out of owing a fine bike. You will enjoy riding it more. How much more is impossible to calculate let alone fix a $$ amount to. If you can afford it and want to treat yourself - go for it. That's the nature of luxury goods. A beater car will get you to the same places as a Rolls - the enjoyment quotient is up to you.

As for me, I LIKE nice bikes! (and I deserve 'em).
I drive a $1100 car that I bought 7 years ago, so $3k is a ton of money for me. I do not have a six figure income.
It's probably for the best that I put 10,000 miles on my ****-heap bike and evaluate at that time and pay student loans for now. I think I could be worthy of a price for "best gear, worst bike" awards.
Originally Posted by pdedes
what I would do first.

get some really good tires. correctly inflate them. I'm a schwalbe ultremos zx fanboi, but there are other fantastic tires out there that will provide immediate pleasurable feedback.

next, love your contact points. shoes, saddle, handlebars have the potential to increase comfort and enjoyment.

you could spend all the money you want on aero equipment, but unless your motor is cranking out the watts, speed gains will be miniscule in the grand scheme of things (<1%). so spend some time figuring out the training thing if speed is your goal. and, as ever, going fast hurts.
GP4Ks, Sidi Pro-5 shoes, Speedplay zeros, Specialized gel seat, Specialized RBX bib shorts, stock bars. I'm on my second generation of gear for everything and I've realized there is quality (and deals) to be had with the increased costs.

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Old 06-18-13, 03:34 PM
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How much? Nowhere near as much as hookers and blow...

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Old 06-18-13, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by thehammerdog
Not as much as a very nice pair of shoes and shorts........total cost $500 and you will look and feel great. $1,200 -1,500bike is all you need
You're telling people to spend $500 on pants and shoes, and in the same post you're playing the frugal card**********???
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Old 06-18-13, 03:46 PM
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When I used to work for a buddy that raced cars, we had a mantra "speed costs money, how fast do you want to go." Not sure the same holds true for cycling. Weight, or the lack there of, costs money. How light do you want to go? Will you notice a difference? Yes. Climbing will be easier on a lighter bike, but the performance gain is not linear with money spent. I would agree with others on the shoes / pedals / bib shorts end of the equation. Outfit yourself better, get stronger, and maybe think about a new bike further down the line.

I realize I have focused on performance, not pleasure. But if you optimize your contact points on the bike with good shoes, socks, shorts, gloves, etc you will be more comfortable and thus should have more pleasure, and maybe a slight increase in performance.
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Old 06-18-13, 03:48 PM
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The R3 is a fantastic bike. It handles like nobody's business, nimble as gazelle and stable as a tank on the way down the hill. It's fairly comfortable as far as aggressive road bikes go. It's a fun bike to ride.

$3,000 is a lot of money. Nobody can predict whether you'll be happy you've spent it or not.

You should rent one, if possible, or talk to the people at some local bike shops about your thoughts. The LBS around here that's a Cervelo dealer encourages people to do all day test rides. You come in in the morning, ride 50+ miles, and take it back in the evening. Rinse and repeat. Then you can believe your experiences instead of a few strangers on the internet.
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Old 06-18-13, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by jsharr
When I used to work for a buddy that raced cars, we had a mantra "speed costs money, how fast do you want to go."
That applies to driving on the freeway, too. Up to 70 mph is free, and beyond that, you have to pay a guy in a robe a velocity tax.
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Old 06-18-13, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jsharr
When I used to work for a buddy that raced cars, we had a mantra "speed costs money, how fast do you want to go."
That's my other hobby. Speed costs money, but skill goes a very, very long way. I'm going to wait on throwing down cash until I have a few thousand more miles under my belt to make a more informed decision.
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Old 06-18-13, 04:21 PM
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About 10 years ago, I used to think people were crazy spending more than $1000 on a bicycle but bikes were not a hobby for me then.
Like most hobbies, prolonged exposure reduces sticker shock.
Nowadays my threshold is $3000 for a casual rider, which you are not.
If I rode as much as you do, I wouldn't hesitate to spend $3K on a bike.
200 miles a week is more than many peoples' commute to work.
That amount of mileage deserves a better bike.
Compared to racing cars, you'll get far more use out of a bicycle than a few sets of car tires or racing fuel.
If you can afford it, buy as ridiculous a bike as you can justify, or buy 2 different types to spread your money around.
When you get to $3K my head starts to think titanium bike.

I barely ride at all, but I'll probably buy a $2-3K road bike just because I don't want to put my money anywhere else.
Sometimes I think about getting a Moulton just to hang on a wall as art.
I know I wouldn't be faster than on a $500 bike, but I would enjoy a more expensive bike because I can feel a weight savings and I think it is a more refined system.

After you do some more research on which bike is best for you, I say go for it

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Old 06-18-13, 04:40 PM
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If you are riding close to 200 miles per week, you should be definitely be doing it on a really nice bike. I bought a Cervelo R3 the 2nd year that I started riding seriously and have never regretted it. If I am going to spend 1-3 hours per day on a hobby, I should have good tools to do it.

Then if you want to improve your cycling, you need to start training properly on your new bike. You should start doing some interval training. You should start to concentrate on quality miles and not just total miles. I bet a really nice bike would help you to commit to better training.
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Old 06-18-13, 04:46 PM
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If buying a new bike makes you want to ride more or faster, and that is important to you, then by all means, do it. Performance increase is subjective according to your own goals. Spend your money on what you enjoy most. Everyone has different goals and values.
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Old 06-18-13, 04:47 PM
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[h=1]How much would a quality bike increase my riding pleasure?[/h]
Would you prefer to date the pimply girl with bad teeth who works at the fast food joint..... or a super model? Take your time and think carefully before answering.
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Old 06-18-13, 05:11 PM
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Not knowing where you live but 200 miles a week could mean 10,000 miles in a year. You betcha a quality bike is going to increase your riding pleasure as long as you ride it rather than parking it the garage.
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