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Pre-requisite for high-end bike?(30 posts)

Pre-requisite for high-end bike?dcv
Oct 18, 2002 9:03 AM
Should you be a good (if not great) cyclist before you buy an expensive high end road bike? I would think it's embarrasing to be passed / dropped on a ride if you're on a top of the line bike. If you ride a bike at your skill level, I think I'll be on an entry level bike for a long time to come. What do you think?
Just think how great you will make others feel. . .czardonic
Oct 18, 2002 9:18 AM
. . .as they blow past you on their low-end bikes!

Seriously. Buy whatever bike makes you happy and motivates you to ride it. Isn't that the point? I wouldn't be to worried about the opinions of people who are going to judge you like that.
Bingo!.....Dave Hickey
Oct 18, 2002 9:21 AM
I totally agree. If it takes a $5000 bike to get you riding, so what. The important thing is you are riding.
The bike doesn't make you fast.MXL02
Oct 18, 2002 10:40 AM
People buy high end road bikes because: a) they are a joy to ride, and b) because they can afford them. Getting dropped or not getting dropped has nothing to do with the bike. People who drop you could care less what you are riding.
I thought the same thing. You get over it. It sucks to getbill
Oct 18, 2002 9:18 AM
dropped no matter what you're riding. It doesn't suck any more to get dropped riding a nice bike; that's not really what you're thinking about at the time. It arguably sucks less, because then you have nice bike on your lonely ride back to town.
The bigger problem with being inexperienced and getting an expensive bike is that you will convince yourself that it's the right bike for you even if it's not. There are a lot of bikes out there. With a little experience, you're less likely to make a mistake.
I wouldn't worry about the other business. It deserves a passing mention at best (hey, look at the dude with Record; never saw him before. wonder if he can ride it). That's about it.
Your name doesn't have to be Andretti to buy a Corvette.Spoke Wrench
Oct 18, 2002 9:21 AM
If you can afford it, why shouldn't anyone buy the products that they like?
re: Pre-requisite for high-end bike?Fez
Oct 18, 2002 9:26 AM
Obviously its a free country and you can buy whatever bike you feel like.

But I think you shouldn't be so focused on speed or whether you are getting passed.

Think instead of your road manners, bike handling skills, riding position, cadence, smooth pedaling stroke, endurance, how to ride efficiently, etc. Do you know how to ride solo? In a small paceline? In a large group ride?

It might be more embarassing causing a wreck in a large group because of poor riding skills than if you were a little slow and got dropped.
good point. manners are more important than matching thebill
Oct 18, 2002 10:18 AM
equipment to the strength of the rider, certainly, and probably mean more than anything in terms of how others feel about hanging around you. Nobody derides (or much minds) the guy who may be a little off the pace but is considerate and really trying, even if he does get dropped, even if he is riding "beneath" his bike. People tend to watch over those guys. But the bad-mannered guy, no matter what he is riding, no matter how strong, is alone soon enough. People just want to get away.
I swear I've actually heard this conversation:
"Did you see that dude on the DeRosa? What an a$$hole!"
"Yeah, I couldn't stand to be around him. Where is he, anyway?"
"He flatted two miles back."
"What a shame." [chuckles all around]
"Nice bike, though. He was strong, too."
"Yeah, what a shame all around, huh?"
not how fast, but how well?DougSloan
Oct 18, 2002 9:29 AM
Ride anything you want.

I would never think ill of anyone riding slowly on an expensive bike. That guy is me a lot of the time. However, riding like a total dufus on an expensive bike might be worse than on a cheap bike. When I say dufus, I mean weaving all over, endangering others, tube socks, no helmet, blowing through stops, being a loud mouth...

Then again, ride whatever you want. Who cares.

And just what the heck is wrong with tube socks!? (nm)up_hiller
Oct 18, 2002 10:57 AM
Pre-requisite: MONEY (nm)onespeed
Oct 18, 2002 9:36 AM
Not really different from buying a nice suit or a great dinner .Look381i
Oct 18, 2002 9:40 AM
Once you have a bike that functions efficiently and safely, it's mostly substitution. You substitute lighter, more aero, prettier, newer, more durable, more expensive, etc. or refuse to do so, according to your schedule of priorities. I happen to like things that are functional but also well-crafted, attractive and a little out of the ordinary, and my bike equipment choices tend to reflect that. Even though I race very little these days, my choices can be pro-peleton induced and somewhat research supported. Does it make an important performance difference in my case? Not really.

So, do I "deserve" the bike I ride? Not if that means riding like a pro. Do I care? No. Do I love the bike I ride? Yes. And that's what's important to me.

It is true that a few riders will look askance at an obvious newbie who shows up with an expensive bike and pro kit. But then some will look askance at anyone who doesn't meet their own equipment and clothing criteria. Those folks tend to use the word "poser" (or "poseur") a lot. If you worry about those looks, then choose your ride, kit and company accordingly. I might be inclined to say that the better rider you are, the more slack you'll be cut, but then skill envy can come into the picture and change the calculus.

In the end, enjoy your ride and choose your company so that you enjoy your riding, whether it's for fun, for fitness, for competition or for no reason at all. And remember that fit is the most important criterion when choosing both your bike and your company.

As my people say, "May the wind always be at your back."
are you Irish? nmDave Hickey
Oct 18, 2002 9:46 AM
a few Irish seanfhocal (proverbs)mike r
Oct 18, 2002 12:04 PM
Níl aon tóin tinn mar do thóin tinn féin.
There's no sore ass like your own sore ass.

Giorraíonn beirt bóthar.
Two people shorten a road.

Ní bhíonn tréan buan.
Strength is not enduring.

'Sé leigheas na póite ól arís.
It is the cure of a hangover (to) drink again.

Ní huasal ná íseal
ach thuas seal agus thíos seal.
It is not upper class or lower class,
but up a while and down awhile.

Is minic a ghearr teanga duine a scornach.
It is often that a person's tongue cut his throat.

Más cam nó díreach an ród,
's é an bothar mór an t-aicearra.
Whether the road is crooked or straight,
the short cut is the best way.

Is fearr rith maith ná droch-sheasamh.
A good run(ning) is better than a bad stand(ing).

Ní dhéanfadh an domhan capall rása d'asal.
The world would not make a race horse
out of an ass (donkey).

Is fearr Gaeilge bhriste, ná Béarla cliste.
Broken Irish is better than clever English.
great stuff Mike. ThanksDave Hickey
Oct 18, 2002 12:11 PM
re: Pre-requisite for high-end bike?mackgoo
Oct 18, 2002 9:42 AM
That's crap. Like anything else when you go to by it you get the best you can afford.
The definitive prerequisites for a high end bike:djg
Oct 18, 2002 9:48 AM
1) The financial wherewithal; and

2) The desire to buy a high end bike.

If only UCI Division 1 pros rode the bikes built for UCI Division 1 pros, then those bikes would probably not exist. Oops, a paradox.

Colnago, De Rosa, Trek, Look, Orbea, etc. are companies run by folks with an interest (and often history) in pro bike racing. They also happen to be businesses. They build bikes to SELL them. They give bikes to pro teams in part to test them (and subsequently sell them) and in part to advertise them (and subsequently sell them). They almost certainly derive some satisfaction from sponsoring good racers, and from seeing their bikes raced at the top of the sport, but that doesn't mean that they are not in business. No contemplated future sales = no R & D.

I understand about getting dropped. These days, I get dropped much more easily (and by a much broader class of cyclists) than once-upon-a-time. The little competitive part of the brain lights up still, even though I'm not competing any more (I was never world class anyway), even though I'm not 22 anymore (or 32), and even though I'm not training as I might as a 42 year old with kids and a career. It can go off even when I know that I'm just spinning an easy gear and not trying to push myself--there's that little primal nudge when somebody goes past. That's ok. I deal and I keep riding. It'd happen on a Trek 1000 about as often as it does on a Colnago CT1. I prefer the CT1, so that's what I ride.
Pre-requisites for those who would be judged ...Elefantino
Oct 18, 2002 10:10 AM
1) If you're riding with someone and they're paying more attention to your bike than the road, don't ride with them.

2) If you're riding and you pass someone with a less expensive bike, you don't care.

3) If you' re riding and you pass someone with a more expensive bike, you're jealous because you wish you had that bike.

4) If you're riding and you pass someone with a more expensive bike and you spend more time looking at the bike than the road, see 1)
It's not always a racefiltersweep
Oct 18, 2002 10:17 AM
I'd rather learn my lessons the hard way on an entry level bike... like forgetting to unclip!

I think many newbies don't have a clue about good bike fit when they start out... I know that I didn't. I'd rather buy a cheap, ill-fitting frame than an expensive one!

I didn't know what kind of wheels, bars, components I'd want when I started out...

I appreciate a high end bike much more after riding a more or less "entry level" bike.

Embarrassing to be passed? Big deal if you catch some guy on a recovery ride or doing intervals- two essentials of "serious training." I'd bet anyone can get dropped if they are having a bad day and riding with a fast group.

The only thing I feel is remotely shameful is having a top end bike that simply gathers dust! People ride for all sorts of reasons... its not always about riding fast or racing.
Amen.Thanks for summing it up so nicely!!!PEDDLEFOOT
Oct 18, 2002 11:12 AM
re: Pre-requisite for high-end bike?tarwheel
Oct 18, 2002 10:22 AM
Before buying a high-end bike, I think a cyclist ought to ride long enough to know what they really want and need. It takes a while to figure out what really fits you -- in terms of size, geometry, and style. You could blow a lot of cash on an expensive bike only to find out it doesn't fit, or that what you really need is something less aggressive. You might also decide you just don't like cycling that much, don't have the time, or don't feel safe riding on roads. A lot of expensive bikes get put up for sale on eBay all the time for such reasons.

When I got back into road biking several years ago, I started out riding my 15-year old Bianchi with downtube shifters. I then bought a used aluminum Bianchi with Ultegra gear, but realized after 6 months it didn't fit right and I didn't like ride of aluminum. I then had a fitting done and bought an inexpensive steel frame, figuring I ought to try that for a while before investing a lot more money. After riding that bike for 1-1/2 years, I'm now considering a more expensive (but still not high end) custom frame -- which I wouldn't have appreciated 3 years ago or been able to select properly. If I had spent $3-4,000 on a new bike when I first got back into cycling, I'm afraid I might have thrown my money away by getting something that didn't fit. A good bike shop is supposed to take care of that, but plenty of cyclists have found out the hard way that many shops will just sell you what they have in stock rather than properly fitting you.
How would you decide?terry b
Oct 18, 2002 10:39 AM
If we assume you're correct, how does one exactly chose a bike equal to one's ability?

If you're a beginner do you limit yourself to a sub $1k bike? How much better do you have to get to move up to a $2k bike? Are we talking semi-pro for a $4k bike?

What if you're an old guy like me who truly is limited in terms of age, genetics and time available for training? Let's say I'm about as good as I can ever hope to be - do I stay on the bike that is commensurate with my highest level of achievement and never buy a better one?

I'm never going to win the TdF, should I stick with Ultegra/Chorus on a rack steel frame? I'd be hard pressed to win any race, does this mean I should be on a Tiagra rig from the LBS? I'm pretty satisfied with a 5.5 hour century, do I downgrade my DA bikes to 105?
One downside (or maybe upside?)....fewer parts to upgrade! (nm)bikeridah
Oct 18, 2002 11:14 AM
My $0.02grzy
Oct 18, 2002 11:14 AM
While it might be a bit idealisitic to think that you have to earn the right to ride a fine bike the world just doesn't work that way. Wittness what people drive for cars.

Probably a more realistic approach is that you should be able to appreciate a fine fine bike and actually tell the difference between bikes. If you're just collecting a status symbol or trying to keep up with the Joneses then, no, you shouldn't do it. However, if this is how you opperate then who's really going to stop you. If it's important enough to you and has enough meaning in your life then go for it. Some people are perfectly happy to ride the wheels off of an average bike while others are very demanding and only want the finest. Remember the best things in life aren't things.
You know what?Sherpa23
Oct 18, 2002 2:03 PM
Take it from me. You know what a pro cyclist says when he sees a fat guy decked out in a pro uniform on a super sweet 15 lb. bike with full record? He says (well, at least I say it): "That's super cool. That guy is out there riding top of the line stuff just like what I am riding. I/we must be doing a decent job promoting my sponsors' products," which in turn means I will get my contract(s) renewed for next year and will continue to ride on top gear. Any pro who doesn't think this really should not have a sponsor. It's the average people riding top of the line bikes that make it happen for me. Don't sell yourself short - buy yourself the bike of your dreams. Besides what fun is it if the only people riding the top bikes are racers and the enthusiasts ride 25 lb, 10 year old steel bikes? There is a place like that, by the way. It's called Europe.
like FerrariDougSloan
Oct 18, 2002 2:29 PM
I read that Ferrari (Enzo) only sold road cars to make money to pay for racing. Any bike companies sort of like that?

I'd imagined that a fair amount of my C40 price is going to support racing. Ernesto doesn't pay for all those pro bikes out of his own pocket, does he?

re: Pre-requisite for high-end bike?julio
Oct 18, 2002 3:52 PM
It's been said before but bears repeating: the best bike is the one you're going to get out and ride. If an expensive bike motivates you go for it.

But an expensive bike that doesn't fit you or your riding style isn't going to make you want to ride. My first road bike was a 10 year old used Cannondale that I got for $150. This bike helped me learn what was important in a bike for me, I learned how I wanted a frame and the various components to fit me and function. Then I spent a bit more and bought a better bike, this way I knew I was buying the right bike. Do you want to race or tour? I wouldn't even think of spending over $1200 my first new road bike without some proffesional help with frame sizing and bike fit. Would you spend $100 on a new pair of Jordan's that are 2 sizes too small?
Huh? What does it really matter...B2
Oct 18, 2002 5:58 PM
if someone has a "high-end" bike or not?

Botton line - if it makes you feel better when you're riding, if it makes you ride more - then go for it if you can afford it! ...It might even help you ride better (that is if you ride more:-).

Get what you want, enjoy the ride.Mariowannabe
Oct 21, 2002 7:12 AM
Life is short. Get the bike you want. If you love your bike, you'll ride it more often, and then you'll be faster!!
re: Randy Moss...jakedufresne
Oct 27, 2002 7:05 AM
that's right... Randy Moss. It's no different than if someone is wearing a Randy Moss Vikings jersey. Who the hell cares? If you want to wear a Domo outfit, with a team issue Domo Merckx bike, then do it if you can afford to. But just remember one thing. Always ask yourself WHY you would make that decision before you do it so that you understand why you would do that. I know the answer.
If you have 1 day to live, are single, and have never had sex with a beautiful woman before, and had the opportunity to do so right now... would you? Well, you should.
So ride what you want. We all are living death sentences here on earth. EVERY SECOND IS ON BORROWED TIME. Ride what you want, when you want.

Take care,
Jake Dufresne.