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What would a new bike do for me?(23 posts)

What would a new bike do for me?HillRepeater
Dec 20, 2002 7:29 AM
Serious question...

I starting riding road bikes about a year ago as training for mtb racing. I bought a basic aluminium frame 105 equipped bike off Ebay for about $550, upgraded the saddle to something tolerable, and started riding. I soon found myself riding the road more than I'd ever dreamed of, and subsequently looking at nicer road bikes.

My current bike has been flawless over the past year. The fit is good and I like the looks of it. It is a little heavier than some of the nicer bikes (probably 20-22lbs ready to ride), and it does have a triple crank, which garners some funny stares at some group rides, but otherwise it has performed admirably, especially given the low investment.

I don't race road, but do plan to start in the new year. I live in a moderately hilly area and I like to climb. I average around 120-140 miles per week when the weather is good.

What would a new bike do for me? If I were to invest $2000 in something better, what benefits would I see? Will I be faster? Would I be better served by upgrading my existing bike with lighter components? Am I just lusting over shiny new metal and letting the disdain of triples cloud my common sense?

Thanks for your advice.
re: What would a new bike do for me?koala
Dec 20, 2002 7:34 AM
It may make you ride more and train harder. when I got my new bike I rode more, especially when conditions were marginal.
re: Yessir, a bike for rainy days is a good thing.dzrider
Dec 20, 2002 9:15 AM
Imho, the biggest benefit of a second bike is encouraging different kinds, and therefore, more riding. If your bike with the triple has eyelets for racks and room for fenders and bigger tires you could have a fine ride for commuting, touring, and rainy weather.

Since you have a bike that you're content with, I'd suggest spending some time defining the new ride you want and waiting for a good deal on one that will please you.
re: Yessir, a bike for rainy days is a good thing.dzrider
Dec 20, 2002 9:15 AM
re: What would a new bike do for me?geeker
Dec 20, 2002 7:43 AM
I'm in a similar situation, having bought a used (cyclocross) bike in late 2001, averaging slightly more miles per week in a hillier area. Considering purchasing a new road bike (up to c. $2000), or staying pat and making a few improvements to the current ride.

I think that spending $ on a new higher-tech bike will essentially shave off a couple of pounds of weight. The performance/speed improvement is very small. Nonexistent on the flats (rider position and aerodynamics dominate), and a slight gain on hillclimbs. It's interesting to use to calculate just how much faster you'll climb for a pound or 2 savings!

That said, a new bike might provide motivation and get you psyched to ride more/faster, which would be worth it. I haven't been able to make up my mind...
Getting a new ridejtolleson
Dec 20, 2002 7:57 AM
If you want it, and you can scrape together the cash, there is nothing that produces more joy for a roadie than a new ride. The latest componentry, a little extra shine, a few shaved grams.

That being said I don't think it is realistic to expect a bike to substantially change how fast you ride. You may be more comfortable (though sounds like you already are), or may gain additional gears (if your on 8 spd. 105?), may get a better fork (feel better on the descents)... hard to say.

If you are looking for a performance-specific reason to replace a bike that you sound perfectly happy with, I don't think you'll find one. But that doesn't mean you can't buy if you want. You know that you're fully into the sport so you'd get good use of top notch components and wheels...

Let us know what you decide.
You will win the Tour de Francemohair_chair
Dec 20, 2002 8:02 AM
A new bike will do nothing for you unless it has better components or different frame materials or a better fit. If you are riding 120-140 miles a week, you will almost definitely appreciate better components.
That's the heart of the question...HillRepeater
Dec 20, 2002 9:11 AM
If you are riding 120-140 miles a week, you will almost definitely appreciate better components

That's what I'm looking for. The 105 stuff has been fine. It's a little annoying with chain drag on the FD in some gear combos, but I shouldn't be using those cross chain combos anyway - and I think some chain drag is to be expected on a triple, right? What would moving to Ultegra or Dura Ace or some of the Campy stuff do for me?
it's all about shiftingmohair_chair
Dec 20, 2002 10:05 AM
Go all the way up to Dura Ace and you'll notice much crisper shifting and much smoother operation compared to 105. DA is better made with tighter tolerances, so it feels better to use, too. There's no slack in the levers. I have never used Ultegra, so I can't compare that to DA.

I doubt you'll notice huge differences from 105 in brakes, hubs, BB, cassette, etc., so if cost is an issue, spec Ultegra or stick with 105 for components not in the drive train.
Depends.Len J
Dec 20, 2002 8:09 AM
On what kind of riding you currently do & what you will do in the future.

I'm sure you know that a new bike does nothing directly to improve the engine, however, as someone else pointed out, it can give you the motivation to ride more which will improve the engine. In addition:

1.) For $2,000 you can probably drop around 4 lbs off the weight. This will help especially in climbing. I find it helps Psycologically, and since any competitive activity is 50% mental, it can help the rider.

2.) Comfort may be improved, it sounds like you are comfortable but you have no frame of reference as to what is possible.

As to upgrading, You can usually get better components at a lower price by buying an entire bike (Due to the purchasing power of the MFGR>). In addition, if you go used, you can get a really good bike for $2,000. Check some of the Bikes on RBR classified for an idea.

At the end of the day, yes you are probably lusting but as long as your not taking food off the table, who cares. You will be doing something that you enjoy & that is good for you. Why not.

You didn't mention...KEN2
Dec 20, 2002 8:16 AM
whether you actually use the triple. If you never use the granny there's additional motivation to buy a new ride with a double, rather than changing out components on your present ride.

Also you don't mention what wheels you have--those are the most popular upgrade and likely to give you the best performance increase for the money. Again, if your present wheels are relatively heavy or otherwise marginal, and you can substantially upgrade them at the $2000 new bike level, more motivation.
Almost never...HillRepeater
Dec 20, 2002 10:13 AM
There are a couple of stupid steep hills around here (15% + grade) that I'll use in training rides sometimes. I'll use the triple on those. I -think- I could get up them if I had a 39/25 combo - it'd be a little taller than my lowest gear now, but I think it'd be doable.
re: What would a new bike do for me?PEDDLEFOOT
Dec 20, 2002 8:48 AM
I found myself in the same exact situation except for the raceing plans.I decided to have a custom steel built because I really enjoyed doing century rides and long distance training .I think if you decide to go with a new bike you should be very honest with yourself regarding the type of riding you like and your abillities.I don't meen you shouldn't try to improve your performance but be realistic in how much better you get and in what areas.

Once you take stock in that then think out or get some good advice in just what bike would fit that style.I went for steel because I received alot of good feedback from people who said it would suit my abillities and style.Don't worry about having a tripple either.The ones who give you the funny stares don't have to pedal for you.

Above all, take your time and make sure you feel comfortable with your choice.Good luck.
For me it was...DINOSAUR
Dec 20, 2002 10:01 AM
For starters it was just plain lust of wanting a new bike. The main thing for me was fit and frame material. My new bike was fitted and makes my riding much more enjoyable. I can put in more miles and time in the saddle as I feel more comfortable and my fitness level has improved. I thought very carefully about just updating my old ride, but by the time I got finished with price I was only a couple of a hundred dollars short of a brand new bike so I went and did it.

It's also nice to have more than one bike to ride in case one bike is down waiting for repair or parts and you still have a bike to ride. I still ride my old bike a couple a days a week, it saves on wear and tear as you are not riding the same bike all of the time, especially on tires and driveline parts.

What I did think about was I did not like about my old bike (mainly it was too big for me) and I desired a bike of a different material as it did not make sense to own two al bikes. Which might or might not make sense, as my next bike (if that ever occurs) will most likely be steel, same as my "new" bike. Perhaps foco, because the owner of my LBS will give me a big break on nice Italian custom foco frame.

For me it was fit, frame material, newer/nicer components and being able to hand pick what I wanted slapped on my bike.

I found it usually take a couple of years until you find what geometry works for you and you go from there.

My $.02 anyway....
Be very careful here.Spoke Wrench
Dec 20, 2002 10:15 AM
A new bike, especially one in the $2,000 price category will be fun to ride. You will love riding it.

The other thing that buying a new bike does is it gives you an old bike to play with. You'll love working on it and modifying it.

It doesn't make much sense to have two bikes that are virtually the same. Most guys convert the old bike into a rain bike, commuter bike, hill climb bike, grocery getter, time trial, single speed, fixed gear, cyclecross, bike path bike, cross country tourer, bicycle polo, whatever.

Now here's why you have to be careful. I think that they breed. Special purpose bikes tend to breed more special purpose bikes. Once you have two, they just seem to accumulate until you find yourself building an addition onto the house.

Have fun.
if you guys have bike polo in st. louis, i'll consider moving nmJS Haiku Shop
Dec 20, 2002 2:10 PM
Totally off topic, but JS, how did you know he's from St.Louis?BowWow
Dec 20, 2002 4:18 PM
I've seen in other postings by you and others, references to places that aren't mentioned anywhere in the posting that I can see... St. Louis, Toronto, San Francisco, etc. Where are you-all getting this info? Or do you just know a LOT of people???
i've been here since dirt and...JS Haiku Shop
Dec 23, 2002 5:49 AM
have talked with many posters via e-mail, including mr. wrench.

A few things...Fez
Dec 20, 2002 10:40 AM
1) Don't worry about what others think. There's nothing wrong with a triple. If you routinely climb steep stuff, a triple does come in handy. If you plan on racing hard, or if you spend a lot of time in the flats, then maybe think about a double for your new bike.

2) Did you consider upgrading your current bike? You didn't say what you have now, or if your current 105 is 9speed. But you can get some gains by upgrading the wheelset, tires, and the fork to carbon threadless if it isn't already.

3) Ultegra and DuraAce doubles will shift better, but don't expect perfection; they still have some chainrub on some gear combinations.

4) But if you decide to get a new bike, it may provide you with extra motivation to ride more often, longer, and harder. And if you keep the old bike, you now have a 2nd to ride when the weather is bad or if the other is out of commission.
Maybe plenty, maybe very little.djg
Dec 20, 2002 11:21 AM
Certainly you can get a lighter bike than the one you describe. How much you'll notice this depends partly on you and partly on your riding conditions. It should help, but don't expect a night-and-day difference in your speed. Although you're pretty comfortable now, it's possible that you'll get a better fit on a new bike (or not). And it's possible that you'll prefer the ride of the new bike, perhaps much prefer it (or not). The new components you get should last longer than what you have; on the other hand, as the old ones are not worn out this is hardly a reason to switch right now.

The thing is: at your price range you can look at some very nice production bikes that are often available on show room floors and lent out for test rides. Why not go ride some and see what you think? If you want a new bike, go buy one and enjoy. It's fun to get a new ride. But if you don't notice that 2k gets you what you want, then walk away. Maybe get a set of race wheels and save the change.
DO ITFrith
Dec 20, 2002 12:33 PM
If you're anything like me, then the only reason you posted this topic was becase your looking for justification to do what you really want to do.
I think it was grzy that said or quoted "if you die with anything in your bank account then you f*ked up"
I believe that.
And if you really need any justification then how about this... Simply put... you will like your new bike better.
here's another....two bikes are better than one.
and one more if only slightly less accurate... shiny=fast.

go for it.
I've always believed...The Human G-Nome
Dec 20, 2002 1:57 PM
that there's no such thing as a bike that's "too good" for you. if you can afford it and it speaks to you, buy it. you don't have to justify the purchase to yourself, nor to anyone else for that matter. look at it this way....

to some people the following will be true:

if you're riding Lance's TREK, you're a poser.
if you're riding a Colnago, you're a yuppie poser.
if you're riding a Cannondale, Bianchi, Fuji, Giant, Lemond, etc., you're just riding generic.
if you're riding some rare italian frame, you don't deserve it.
some exotic lightweight aluminum? you're a weight weenie.
old lugged-steel? you're just a too stubborn traditionalist living in the past.
if you have too much drop (seat to bars) for your ability, you could be hurting yourself physically long term.
not enough, you risk the ridicule of the fashion police.

face it, in others' eyes there is way too much to live up to and and life is too short to ride a crappy bike or one you're not happy with for any reason. if the ONLY reasons you like your bike are because it's "pretty" and comfortable, then it's already justified. the rest is secondary.
re: What would a new bike do for me?mapei boy
Dec 23, 2002 3:42 PM
When I replaced my old bike with a $3500 new one, I was instantly several miles per hour faster. I was more comfortable. My rides became longer. I was suddenly having a lot more fun. I haven't regretted my purchase for an instant. Don't discount the importance of the frame, either. No matter what the material, when they get better, YOU get better. The only vital consideration is proper fit. By the way, I run a Campy 13-29 rear cluster. It gets me up 20% grades. It made the notion of a triple a non-issue.