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Most expensive vs "ultimate" touring bikes

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Most expensive vs "ultimate" touring bikes

Old 10-15-16, 10:46 AM
  #101  
saddlesores
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
Is it possible for you to post without being insulting? sometimes i try....
It doesn't sound like you have any experience on anything but steel. on aluminimum last 7 years, prefer steel.
So where's your personal experience? china, myanmar, vietnam, cambodia, laos, thailand, malaysia, singapore
new zealand, australia, west germany, east germany, poland, czechoslovakia, switzerland, italy, austria,
france, belgium, netherlands, luxembourg, usa, texas. not sure about total mileage.....stopped counting
after the first 100,000 miles or so.
Carbon blah blah blah....
the point is, my opinions, as unsocial and curmudgeonly (yet lovable!) as they be, are grounded in what
we in the bike touring sport/hobby/pastime like to call reality.

as far as i know, and perhaps you can show me i'm misteaken, you have a total of 0 miles touring,
and somehow 1000+ posts in a touring forum equates to real world experience?
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Old 10-15-16, 11:11 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
... I had a professional frame builder add cantilever brake studs, cantilever brake stop bridge, rear rack seatstay bosses ans an under the downtube pair of water bottle mounts for less than $70.00 including the partss. When the guy found out that I was a fair distance from me he offered to do the job right then if I could wait an hour. Could that have been done with aluminium or carbon fibre?
It actually could be done with CF, it's just not usually worth the trouble. There's a guy in my home town who makes carbon fiber canoes and he's offered to retrofit one of my older CF bikes with S&S couplers since he's already done the same with one of his own bikes apparently.

In any case, I doubt that steel frames will go away for touring applications. The material is more than good enough, and it's plenty cheap to get a custom frame when compared to pretty much everything else. Most people stick with a budget, and what they'd spend on a bike with marginal improvements would be spent on touring longer and more comfortably otherwise. Same deal with bike packing vs regular rack and panniers. Even with the younger crowd there's still plenty of people who aren't into racing and want to carry more than what a frame pack and saddle bag would carry.

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Old 10-15-16, 12:35 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
Interesting take on the superiority of steel trollism.
Ti is still around. Carbon has proved itself as the superior material. It just costs too much.
We'll see what the cheaper is better tourers have to say when carbon and steel is the same price.
That is actually a good point in some ways but you often miss the second part in your own arguments. Cost to benefit ratios always play a part in people's decisions when they are being practical.

Recently I bought an AL ccx parts bike for $25. After humming and hawing I've decided not to rebuild it. Off it I will use a high quality alloy drop bar and save a nice stem and ST extender, brifters, mech disc brakes and a compact double crank. All good quality components that I will morph into other bikes but not really what I want right now. I can still sell the stripped frame for $25. I bought the whole thing for the bars initially as I want to try a mtb/db conversion for fun. $25 is cheap for fun.

What I would not do is go out and spend 100's or thousands on more exotic materials without knowing there would be a corresponding exponential increase in performance just because they are "fancier". Having toured I know those things will not greatly increase my experience cycling within the reality that I currently tour in. Better tires will, being able to sit comfortably will, being able to pack lighter might and getting fitter definitely will. Except for the last, that is where I invest real money, not CF cranksets.

Being able to regularly enjoy wrenching on bikes by using good quality yet inexpensive commonly available parts also maintains my enjoyment of the hobby and increases my knowledge base. I'm able to lend out a bike or sell/give it away cheap if someone wants to try touring without worrying it will get damaged, stolen or lost. That makes me feel good and keeps me happily busy. You can't wrench on a regular basis if every part is going to cost you C's or K's. Maybe if you only have one bike you can do that slowly but I'm not that guy and would be bored to death without n+1. I'm about to do a quick cheap mtb/tour build today for my wife that would handle the Katy trail very well and will post a thread so you can see it.

So, yes, if I see a Ti bike suitable for touring at a good price for me I'd buy it all day long. Would I go out and buy it new at today's prices... not unless I win the lottery.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 10-15-16 at 01:21 PM.
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Old 10-15-16, 04:09 PM
  #104  
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My perception of cycling is not that it is merely a peasant activity for people who are saving for their first car, but a sport in and of itself, for which the best equipment at any cost is an entirely reasonable proposition.

Touring is also for me about riding a bike, it is not the tour, and not the bike. A bike I have made or developed that I really like is a positive part of any tour for me.

I also have some problems, post heart attack, and post plane crash where creating gear that allows me to keep touring is a benefit to my health and enjoyment. In general most of my stuff is not all that expensive, it is more custom than expensive, but some of it is expensive. There is a difference, but most people are locked in the idea that whatever is generally available is perfect, and therefore they will never get to cheap ways of getting better gear, because their mindset precludes the possibility that it exists.

Touring would be more popular (not an objective I particular want) if it cost more. That is just a fact. People are not drawn, except a very few of us, to a lifestyle of scofflaw hobo. On the other hand, I don't think credit card touring is the answer because it doesn't do what loaded touring does, open up remote places, and give you huge freedom in how you explore them.

As usual a lot of people are jumping on the guy with no experience, who for the most part sound like people who have no experience of riding upper end touring bikes. And you say you are adding what to this conversation?
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Old 10-15-16, 04:22 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
What I would not do is go out and spend 100's or thousands on more exotic materials without knowing there would be a corresponding exponential increase in performance just because they are "fancier".

Your bias is showing, the cranks may be better, you have already ruled them out with the correct conclusion that as the price steepens the return in performance does not, but that is true of current default appropriate bikes like the Surly. My wife toured happily on a 40 dollar bike for one whole summer before I met her. In going up to 1K plus bikes nobody is having a better time. Nothing broke.


Having toured I know those things will not greatly increase my experience cycling within the reality that I currently tour in.
Tautology

So, yes, if I see a Ti bike suitable for touring at a good price for me I'd buy it all day long. Would I go out and buy it new at today's prices... not unless I win the lottery.
I don't doubt it, but that is sorta weird. There is this sense that there must be something wrong with people who recognize the value in certain gear, and pay up for it. But for others they would only pay up, if they won the lottery, a state that would for a moment make spending money seem like getting stuff for free. So value is revealed to some, only when there is no need to pay for it... Where do we end up when we assume that getting better is worthless? The flip side is people who hunger for the best stuff in the world, and get it, but end up with stuff that arguably is garbage and silly. It does seem to be hard to nail this one.
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Old 10-15-16, 04:29 PM
  #106  
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One thing that is obviously changing is the preference for disc brakes, more gears, integrated stuff, electronics, and power assist.

It's funny how every new generation comes along feeling superior in environmentalism, and minimalism, and immediately adopts all kinds of crap that every person before them did without. I am sure I spent huge blocks of time without any draw on the grid at all. Used no disposable products. I think the big changes will be somewhat generational. People born today are going to think anything less than 11 gears is crazy. Progress will occur but not by changing anyone's mind who is alive today.
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Old 10-15-16, 07:56 PM
  #107  
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How do you explain the fixie fad?

Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
Your bias is showing, the cranks may be better, you have already ruled them out with the correct conclusion that as the price steepens the return in performance does not, but that is true of current default appropriate bikes like the Surly. My wife toured happily on a 40 dollar bike for one whole summer before I met her. In going up to 1K plus bikes nobody is having a better time. Nothing broke.


Yes, my bias is showing. I prefer to see a real tangible increase in performance before outlaying large amounts of cash rather than the "if it cost more it must be better argument". I also just toured on a bike that I bought for $55 dollars. Nothing broke either.

Tautology

I suppose fancy words are better, even if others have to look them up to participate in a discussion. However, in my case I have provided logical examples of why I think the way I do so if you want to argue those fill your boots.

I don't doubt it, but that is sorta weird. There is this sense that there must be something wrong with people who recognize the value in certain gear, and pay up for it. But for others they would only pay up, if they won the lottery, a state that would for a moment make spending money seem like getting stuff for free. So value is revealed to some, only when there is no need to pay for it... Where do we end up when we assume that getting better is worthless? The flip side is people who hunger for the best stuff in the world, and get it, but end up with stuff that arguably is garbage and silly. It does seem to be hard to nail this one.

I am not saying I don't recognize the value in certain gear. For a TdF racer a CF crankset might be quite valuable. For a RAMM racer a CF bike might make a difference. Only that I also recognize when that value will or won't really effect me. I don't know your medical condition but I know that at my fitness level (not to bad really) and stage in touring a CF crank will not provide a tangible benefit to my performance based on the cost involved in gaining it. If I could buy one cheaper maybe it would? It really is that simple. I'm still active and riding bikes to the edge of what they can deliver before moving on within reason because touring is just one of many competing duties and hobbies. I'm not building a holy shrine to the most awesome bike anyone, anywhere, regardless of use can own. If I can get an small increase for a small price I accept it. If I get a small increase at a huge cost I don't. That's the value of stuff revealed when you actually have to pay for it.

So yes, you are correct in a sense that if I won the lottery I would buy fancy stuff, but not because it suddenly gained more value to me. It would be because money gained less value.

To add some perspective. I used to install and maintain salt water aquariums as a business and saw many many people with disposable incomes spend thousands on systems only to have me remove them several years later when the thrill was gone. I had one of the better reefs around created by their "gifts". I also scuba dive and see the same thing happening in shops all the time. Someone gets into it, gets talked into spending thousands on "life support", does a half a year or two of diving and sells it on CL. I have a lot of really good dive gear too because I network with a lot of divers and even write articles sometimes. People generally give me interesting stuff cheap or free because I'm a nice guy who also helps others and shows a real interest and passion about the sport and not just the stuff. They just walk up and give me stuff anyway and say things like "I saw this and thought of you". In both the above cases I've benefited by working hands on with numerous systems and am respected for offering real world experience to counter balance the "hype". I try to do the same with bikes.

I wouldn't say some material doesn't have value. Just that there is a time and place in ones spectrum of touring for it. People just starting out on moderate tours do not need expensive gear - they need experience. Then the experience will tell them what's of value and what's not.
My text in bold.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 10-15-16 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 10-17-16, 04:38 PM
  #108  
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Sounds like everybody got predictably involved in debating details. I upgraded my LHT with a Rivendell Hunqapillar Frame a few years ago.

I can't imagine finding a better touring bike.

It was built to handle any terrain fully loaded and field tested on the Continental Divide Trail on a solo self supported tour from Canada to Mexico.

I've been using it for 4-5 week long trips a year as well as weekends and commuting year round in Michigan. It takes whatever I throw at it and looks damned cool in the process.


Marc
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Old 10-17-16, 11:43 PM
  #109  
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I agree with MassiveD. I don't understand why people insult others intelligence when the others' can justify the purchase of high-end gear.

And I've noticed many threads here are full of insults when someone wants to talk about highend gear. What's up with that?
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Old 10-18-16, 02:21 AM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
How do you explain the fixie fad?....
same way you'd explain the watusi or the macarena.
fads come and go, exploited for commercial profit,
then we move on to the next....gangnam style!
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Old 10-18-16, 05:47 AM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by linus View Post
I agree with MassiveD. I don't understand why people insult others intelligence when the others' can justify the purchase of high-end gear.

And I've noticed many threads here are full of insults when someone wants to talk about highend gear. What's up with that?
Most often they can't though. Usually you see the argument that some certain gear is better just because it's more expensive. Mostly in touring application though that's not true.
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Old 10-18-16, 10:00 AM
  #112  
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Full suspension touring (for we older folk) will grow.

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Old 10-18-16, 10:24 AM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
same way you'd explain the watusi or the macarena.
fads come and go, exploited for commercial profit,
then we move on to the next....gangnam style!
Cycling is very fad prone. I used to think that touring was less fad prone, but now I'm not so sure.
Only time will tell which is a fad and which is a genuine trend.
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Old 10-18-16, 10:53 AM
  #114  
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I don't think there is an ultimate touring bike. I have several bikes I use for touring, and each has different characteristics, and can be customized to a certain extent with different bags, wheels and tires. The key is flexibility. I ride all my bikes more in non-touring settings, so they have to be good at many things. I have a CF bike that is not really suitable for touring, but the rest are steel, ti and aluminum, road, mountain, gravel, fat, and skinny tires, 26, 700, you name it. No ultimate touring bike in the mix. No such thing exists, or ever will.
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Old 10-18-16, 02:25 PM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
Cycling is very fad prone. I used to think that touring was less fad prone, but now I'm not so sure.
Only time will tell which is a fad and which is a genuine trend.

+1. See, e.g., 1x drivetrains. Was reading an article in ACA's magazine earlier this year. A guy from SRAM enlightened me to the fact that triples are terrible for touring since you only spend time in a few gears and rarely, if ever, use your middle ring. After 15,000+ miles of loaded touring I was embarrassed to learn I have been doing it wrong all this time. Did I mention that the article featured SRAM's new 1x11 drivetrain?


Another growing fad is people haunting this forum and starting threads about touring "theory" and the like without providing any evidence that they actually tour.
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Old 10-18-16, 02:51 PM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
+1. See, e.g., 1x drivetrains. Was reading an article in ACA's magazine earlier this year. A guy from SRAM enlightened me to the fact that triples are terrible for touring since you only spend time in a few gears and rarely, if ever, use your middle ring. After 15,000+ miles of loaded touring I was embarrassed to learn I have been doing it wrong all this time. Did I mention that the article featured SRAM's new 1x11 drivetrain?
Any idea what the chainring of the 1x was? Just curious as I have thought about 1x systems(not from a desire to use one, just from the perspective of thinking about what would work for me) and I would probably want a 36t chainring.
36 chainring and 11-36 cassette would give me not even close to the bailout gearing I would want for a loaded bike, but allow me to go fast enough most of the time and climb most of the time in relative comfort.
Curious what his view of the perfect ring size is.
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Old 10-18-16, 02:59 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Any idea what the chainring of the 1x was? Just curious as I have thought about 1x systems(not from a desire to use one, just from the perspective of thinking about what would work for me) and I would probably want a 36t chainring.
36 chainring and 11-36 cassette would give me not even close to the bailout gearing I would want for a loaded bike, but allow me to go fast enough most of the time and climb most of the time in relative comfort.
Curious what his view of the perfect ring size is.
I run 34 on the front and 11-40 11-speed on the rear, which will get me up 12% grades without too much difficulty. Top speed at a reasonable cadence is 24 mph, spinning out at 27-28 mph, beyond which is pretty much just coasting. I love the simplicity of shifting a 1x drivetrain, especially in the rolling hills around here. Got to say, the Shimano M8000 components are really nice.
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Old 10-18-16, 03:16 PM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
+1. See, e.g., 1x drivetrains. Was reading an article in ACA's magazine earlier this year. A guy from SRAM enlightened me to the fact that triples are terrible for touring since you only spend time in a few gears and rarely, if ever, use your middle ring. After 15,000+ miles of loaded touring I was embarrassed to learn I have been doing it wrong all this time. Did I mention that the article featured SRAM's new 1x11 drivetrain?


Another growing fad is people haunting this forum and starting threads about touring "theory" and the like without providing any evidence that they actually tour.
Yes, and in that same ridiculous article, one product manager or sales person suggested that it was really inexperienced, ignorant cyclists who didn't know what they needed who wanted triples. One of the "benefits" of a 1x was that one could completely change the character of one's bicycle by simply swapping chain rings?? I suppose it would be easier to carry an extra chain ring in one's bag and disassemble and reassemble the bike when one wanted to change the "character" of the bike. That is certainly far less complicated than shifting with a derailleur.
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Old 10-18-16, 03:29 PM
  #119  
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[QUOTE=Joe Minton;19131008]Full suspension touring (for we older folk) will grow.
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Old 10-18-16, 05:10 PM
  #120  
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Want a new bike or component? Pick 2:
-lightweight
-cheap
-reliable


Can't have all three.
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Old 10-19-16, 04:07 PM
  #121  
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I've been riding a Windsor Tourist for almost 7 years now. Its done all that I have asked it to do. I am ready for a new bike. The reason? I need/want disc brakes! So I will upgrade.

End of story.
__________________
Windsor Tourist * BOB Trailer
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Old 10-19-16, 05:29 PM
  #122  
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Originally Posted by steve-in-kville View Post
I've been riding a Windsor Tourist for almost 7 years now. Its done all that I have asked it to do. I am ready for a new bike. The reason? I need/want disc brakes! So I will upgrade.

End of story.
I'm a pretty big fan of hydros. They just feel oh so much nicer to me, and there are cable actuated ones for people who are afraid of having long hoses.

Originally Posted by L134 View Post
Yes, and in that same ridiculous article, one product manager or sales person suggested that it was really inexperienced, ignorant cyclists who didn't know what they needed who wanted triples.
Reminds me of a salesman I ran into who kept trying to up sell me on a hunting rifle until I asked him if he's ever gone hunting for anything that wasn't printed on a sheet of paper...
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Old 10-20-16, 12:07 AM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Yes, my bias is showing. I prefer to see a real tangible increase in performance before outlaying large amounts of cash rather than the "if it cost more it must be better argument". I also just toured on a bike that I bought for $55 dollars. Nothing broke either.
So what, we did that 30 years ago, and my parents in the 40s. I'm not impressed, I get it. I drink out of paper cups. I can appreciate fine crystal, I don't have to know it will out perform something. However, it is almost a certainty that if you are open to all the options, rather than just some, you will have a better chance of getting better gear. Touring bikes are a perfect example of that, some of the gear we pretty much all use is not high end, it simply isn't even made in that level.

I suppose fancy words are better, even if others have to look them up to participate in a discussion. However, in my case I have provided logical examples of why I think the way I do so if you want to argue those fill your boots.
Well no, if it is a tautology it is essentially a sorta circular statement that is not an actual argument.

Only that I also recognize when that value will or won't really effect me.
That is grand, but what is the relevance of that to a general discussion. Maybe you actually have nothing to say because you have no experience, or interest in the subject, so why are you here? If someone wants to know where to go to have a fine dining experience, a lot of stuff about how McDonalds delivers more bang for your buck is not that useful.

I don't know your medical condition but I know that at my fitness level (not to bad really) and stage in touring a CF crank will not provide a tangible benefit to my performance based on the cost involved in gaining it. If I could buy one cheaper maybe it would? It really is that simple.
I have never considered a carbon crankset for touring myself, but I have a White, and a Sugino. But the performance advantage isn't the only thing, though there probably is some. Does it require your intensive rationalization if people just want to tour on fine bikes. Why is that a problem for you, why can't you and other people who don't want to discuss this, just not discuss it somewhere else.

Medically I have a bad heart, and structural problems from a plane crash. I watch gear weight to keep the stress on my heart low. Mostly I do that through lightweight camping gear, that I mostly make. I'm tall and muscular, so there is a load on the bike, so I don't want anything to break down. Walking a bike can be a real problem for my leg that was shattered. My right foot also toes, out, and I made special pedals for that. I would like a custom right crank. I also have pain in my neck that a longer top tube would help, but I don't have that sorted out yet. I am 57, fitness is right at the average for the age group, my various skeletal problems don't make me stand out in a crowd. Riding a bike is a huge survival factor for me. I find it is the best kind of wheel chair, and I don't mind investing in it, for one thing because I am aware I could live another 30 years like my dad, or not have the time to enjoy the kind of bike I have though to someday have, when I got around to it.

I'm not building a holy shrine to the most awesome bike anyone, anywhere, regardless of use can own. If I can get an small increase for a small price I accept it. If I get a small increase at a huge cost I don't. That's the value of stuff revealed when you actually have to pay for it.
Yeah, when YOU have to pay for it. Other people feel different, run along now. We get it, there is no linear relationship between money spent, and performance.

So yes, you are correct in a sense that if I won the lottery I would buy fancy stuff, but not because it suddenly gained more value to me. It would be because money gained less value.
The lottery defense is just saying you won't get there. I don't have fish tanks, I like bikes. I have liked serious bikes since my friend got a custom Mariposa in the 70s. I had a reasonable Peugeot. The moment you got on his bike it felt better. Still haven't even reached that level.


To add some perspective... In both the above cases I've benefited by working hands on with numerous systems and am respected for offering real world experience to counter balance the "hype". I try to do the same with bikes.
Yeah, I get that too, I worked in the outdoor industry, and most of the people who bought stuff bought it because they weren't going camping, not because they were. It is questionable whether dissuading them will actually help, they may just go elsewhere, and one would have lost the sale. But in any case, we live in a crass world, where people find most of value in things, so why rain on their parade.

That said, you are the flip side of the problem you observed, you do know what to do with these cast-off reefs, so someone out there does know how to use that stuff. Presumably in this world this is were we come to talk about that.

The only reason there is a sweat spot in cost, is because that is the average budget. It isn't because of the quality of goods, that is arbitrary to what can be provided for the average budget. So derailleurs used to be mostly made of stamped parts. Not because it was best (though there were some great designs in there), but because that was what fit the price point. Shimano deploys cold forging, all the gear looks like Campy from then on. If you had been around then you would have been pro Simplex (a good position actually), but when the cost structure changed, your argument was lost to Shimano, the gear was always better, it just moved into the affordable column and that is all people in your price range will now use. Some people have the cash to move to the better gear now. These relationships are more like a class system than absolutes. If it is better, you won't get it till the next spiral of production upgrades. It is already better, and at some point it will move into your class, and you will defend it. The system isn't about rational choices, it is about rationing. You don't get this stuff now, because you decided you were middle class were bikes are concerned.


I wouldn't say some material doesn't have value. Just that there is a time and place in ones spectrum of touring for it. People just starting out on moderate tours do not need expensive gear - they need experience. Then the experience will tell them what's of value and what's not.
I do agree nobody needs the most expensive equipment, or the stuff most on this forum will not do without either. 55 bucks you said it. I expect you to furiously reject any bike that costs more.

I don't agree there is a future time and place for the good stuff. It is true you won't make all good decisions right out the door. Not so long ago the Surly LHT was a frame only deal. If you built it out with what it is easy to agree were the best components, then when you found you have the wrong size or shape frame, you just move them on. While you used the better components you get some experience with then, not just talk about how some day your not using them will make you an expert in what you need, and what you don't With any luck you won't buy another bike for 30 years as some people here never have. They rode a Bruce Grodon TI touring bike, while the rest of us bought the same bike over an over again. You can have a signature line here that lists all the nearly identical bikes you have bought to the tune of sever customs, and everyone is in awe, mention buying a quality component at some small increase in price and all you get is a lot of noise.
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Old 10-20-16, 09:01 AM
  #124  
Happy Feet
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My response to all:

So sad...

I'll just keep sharing my grass roots experiences if that's ok and you can continue impressing us with how elegant and cultured yours are. Both have a place I suppose.

You can impress the connoisseur's without trying to insult others and I will try to help those starting out with limited funds or who just plain don't want to spend a lot of money on something they don't need. I'll try not to insult you either. If people want to spend money on something they want that's fine. I never argued against that.

Cheers.

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Old 10-20-16, 09:23 AM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by elcruxio View Post
Most often they can't though. Usually you see the argument that some certain gear is better just because it's more expensive. Mostly in touring application though that's not true.
That's your opinion.
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