August 13, 2008 at 3:22 am #11539
Is the difference between say a 1000, 2000, or 3000 dollar bike worth the difference? I’ve never ridden a bike that costs even 1000 dollars, so could can experienced rider please shed some light on this topic.
Thank you.August 13, 2008 at 4:00 am #108947
components will largely make up the difference if you’re talking about the same base frame. Otherwise it could be a whole slew of stuff. A carbon frame will run more than an aluminum frame – the carbon will be a little lighter but will be way more comfortable to ride since it will absorb the road better than alum or steel. Check out http://www.cervelo.com/bikes.aspx?bike=P2C2008
It’s all in there.August 13, 2008 at 4:12 am #108948peterwong wrote:Is the difference between say a 1000, 2000, or 3000 dollar bike worth the difference? I’ve never ridden a bike that costs even 1000 dollars, so could can experienced rider please shed some light on this topic.
At the $1k range, you’re basically talking about an entry level bike. It’s going to have low-end components, it’s probably going to be aluminum, and it will definitely be heavy.
At the $2k range, you’re going to get a decent bike with decent components. More importantly, it’s probably something that you’d keep for awhile.
At the $3k range, you’re starting to get into cosmetics. If it’s not carbon, the welds will be nice, the components will be on the high-end, and it’ll be light.
For tri bikes, the numbers are going to be $1.5k, $2.5k, $3.5kAugust 13, 2008 at 1:11 pm #108956
A $1k bike that fits you properly will be better than a $3k bike with the wrong dimensions. Go out and test ride some bikes in the range you’re willing to pay. One decision you’ll have to make is carbon vs. aluminum, I test rode both the P2C and P2SL on 40mi rides and for me the extra $1k wasn’t worth getting the P2C so ended up with the P2SL w/DA. Most of my races are olympic/halfiron but if I planned on doing a bunch of ironman races I might have gone with the P2C.August 13, 2008 at 1:34 pm #108961
I think the WEIGHT of the bike is a little over emphasized. Some people will pay way more for a difference of a couple of pounds. Maybe just skip a fast food visit and save a grand. With that said there IS A DIFFERENCE between a couple of thousand. I was riding on an entry level bike and i found the biggest difference is the components. The cheaper bike needed lots of adjustments and the gears/breaks were clunky. I purchased a felt s25 and added zipp flashpoint wheels. NOT the lightest bike in the world but very well built and great durace components. In 2.5 years i have put over 5000k on it and everytime i take it for a tune up the guy tells me there is really nothing to adjust. Its been flawless and feels as good now as the day it was brand new.
good luck.August 13, 2008 at 1:40 pm #108960
TriSoonerParticipantwarrenp wrote:I think the WEIGHT of the bike is a little over emphasized. Some people will pay way more for a difference of a couple of pounds. Maybe just skip a fast food visit and save a grand.
OMG! A lone voice in the forrest of “I need to shave off 50 grams but I can’t fit in my bibs.” Thank you for signing up to trifuel. Vive la résistance!
Differences come primarily from 1) frame material and 2) grade of components.
Read this on the difference in frame material from Sheldon Brown:
Read this on the differences between Shimano grades:
http://www.bikesportmichigan.com/features/dura-ace-ultegra.shtmlAugust 13, 2008 at 1:48 pm #108967warrenp wrote:I think the WEIGHT of the bike is a little over emphasized.
Aero trumps weight. I’m much more interested in getting my bike and my body as aero as I can.August 13, 2008 at 2:55 pm #108979
I just debated the same thing about a month ago. I had been riding an ’07 Trek 1000 for the past year that I paid $700 and I just upgraded to an ’05 Specialized Tarmac Pro which originally sold for $3600. So I went from aluminum entry to full carbon with DA/Ultegra mix. The biggest differences are a smoother ride, better shifting, greater power transfer and of course weight. I also have the bike set up with T2+ aero bars and a fast forward seatpost. Finding a good used bike can help out with the cost jump to get all of the bells and whistles. I paid $2000 for the bike (came with pedals, shoes, carbon road aero bars, and Mavic wireless computer with cadence). I also sold my bike for $400, so for an extra $1600 I basically got what would have cost me $4000 brand new. I absolutely love the bike and should never need another one if I maintain this one properly, that is until I get the urge to buy a tri bike . My recommendation is to set a budget and then get the most bike for the money that fits you the best.
As for weight, I agree. My new bike is way lighter than my old bike and I can tell a difference when I’m climbing. That being said, I also added weight with aluminum aero bars, an aluminum seatpost and a Profile Design Aqua Drink, so I’m basically right back to where I was once I throw on all of my water bottles. Although carbon is lighter, the biggest difference is the comfort of the ride, which on a long course comes in handy.August 13, 2008 at 5:35 pm #109022
TryScottParticipantwarrenp wrote:I think the WEIGHT of the bike is a little over emphasized. Some people will pay way more for a difference of a couple of pounds.
My bike is stored on the wall of my garage, and my wife’s car parks under/beside it. Sometimes I think that if the bike weighed just a few more grams, I’d drop it on the hood of the car. When I’m riding, I can’t imagine it makes a difference. If a lighter bike is easier to climb with, then isn’t a heavier bike faster on the downhills?August 13, 2008 at 6:12 pm #109031
TryScottParticipantpeterwong wrote:Is the difference between say a 1000, 2000, or 3000 dollar bike worth the difference? I’ve never ridden a bike that costs even 1000 dollars, so could can experienced rider please shed some light on this topic.
It would be nice if someone could actually give hard numbers for how much time improvements you receive for certain upgrades. When someone upgrades, it’s because they are riding more and enjoying the sport more. So when they post how much faster they are on the new bike, how much is due to the bike vs engine? Has anyone ever posted about how much slower they are because they downgraded? Not that I’ve heard.
If someone guaranteed that I’d be 10 min faster over a 40k by spending another $2k, I’d do it. 5 min faster… I’m thinking about it. Less than that, and I’ll wait until my engine stops improving.
It’s worth mentioning that when you pay more, you also get crisper shifting, softer ride, longer lasting parts, and most importantly, more motivation to be on the saddle.August 13, 2008 at 7:29 pm #109052
peterwong, I couldn’t agree with you more. I just updgraded from a 2001 QR Tequilo (with 150 parts) to a 2008 Orbea Ordu with DA/Ultegra SL components and could not be happier. Funny thing is that they both weighed about the same when I put them on the scale. However, the Orbea rides totally differnent. I compare it to buying a Cadallic to a Honda Civic. A Civic is a nice car, but a Cadallic……….It is much more comfortable, the bumps don’t send shivers through my spine or slow me down too much, it corners much better, the compenent upgrade is huge also – crisper shifting is really nice. I have gotten much more involved in the past few years and the QR was being sent into the LBS way too much. If I had to do it over again I wouldn’t change – the QR was a great entry bike and now that I am completely hooked I am comfortable with shelling out the dough for the Orbea.
All in all, am I that much faster? Maybe just a little on the bike, but I think that is mainly from better positioning and the road not beating me up so much. I also felt much better on the run in my most recent tri. But in the end, it does provie more motiviation! IT’s also something that will be with me for a long time.August 14, 2008 at 12:38 am #109106
As with everything in life, you get what you pay for.
My general rule of thumb is to buy in the midrange of most things, triathlon gear included. At the highest level you begin to pay for minor cosmetic differences, snotty branding, and slight performance improvements. If you have the disposable income then buy the best money can get if it is something that you love, but it costs a lot more to make small high end improvements. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the cheapest entry level stuff seems like a nice way to start since there is little initial cost, but you usually end up paying more for upgrades and frustration along the way. $1000 is not the base line though, I’m talking about the $100 road bikes I have seen hanging in Walmart. Stay away from that crap, because you will pay a ton to maintain it or improve it.
If you are unsure about the initial investment then it is fine to start in the $1000-$1500 range and upgrade if you learn to love the sport. Buying used is a great recommendation for saving money if you find a reliable source.August 14, 2008 at 6:22 pm #109187
Thanks for the reply guys.
I’ve been contemplating what to buy; entry road bike, high end road bike, entry tri bike, high end try bike, hybrid, or a combination of first a road bike, then a tri bike.
After all the decision-making I’ve decided to just go for a tri bike. I won’t use the bike to commute and its primary purpose would be to ride in tri events anyways. My budget is 2000 dollars.August 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm #109230
Check out the Cervelo Soloist. It’s a road bike, but with aero tubing and a flippable seat post that lets you get in an aggressive position. You would have to get clip on aero bars which aren’t as nice as the real thing, but I think you might enjoy the flexibility of road bike geometry. The real selling point for me was that every article I read about the Soloist Team said it was the best value out there. Many authors said they couldn’t understand how Cervelo could manage to sell the bike for so little. It’s right at the top of your budget but a very good value in my opinion.
Of course there are some quality tri bikes at the same price point, so I don’t want to steer you away if you are confident in that decision.August 14, 2008 at 10:50 pm #109231
For that money, you might want to look at the Cervelo P2 SL… here’s a review from Bike Sport…
The Kuota K Factor & Guru Ventus are close to that price range. I have the Guru Cron’Alu which is basically the same thing as the Ventus and I’d buy it again. I’m sure Bike Sport has a review on both of those as well. His review of the Cron’Alu is one of the reasons I bought it.
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