Can Anyone Explain Differences In Bikes Between Price Levels?

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Catsyo, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. Catsyo

    Catsyo New Member

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    As my other thread in this section points out, I'm in the market for a new bike. I'm currently thinking about getting the 2015 Kona Dew because I liked how it felt when I took it on a test ride. To make sure I'm making the right decision, I was wondering if someone could educate me on the differences in quality between a bike in the $500-$600 range and one in the $900-$1000. I've already got an indication of the difference between a Walmart bike and a $500 one. Is it a similar jump in quality or do the differences between the list ranges become more subtle?

    My next bike will likely be my main mode of transportation for awhile. I can definitely save up an extra few hundred dollars if I need to. I just want to make the most educated decision.
     
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  2. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

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    The Kona website actually makes this really easy!
    Go to this link:
    http://www.konaworld.com/compare_road.cfm?compcol1=dew_plus
    Then pick the Kona Dew(600) to compare to the Kona Dew Plus(800)
    The major differences are:
    Dew plus has a better fork with disc brake mounts. So the Dew has V brakes and the Dew+ has disc
    Dew plus has a better cassette with a larger gear ration range.
    Dew+ has all around better drivetrain components,
    Dew+ has stronger wheels and hubs.

    This is your best bet when comparing bikes, pick two models and look at what they have. Might take some time and research but when you are done you will have learned something!
     
  3. Jcycle

    Jcycle Active Member

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    I'm going to break with common consensus and say that you can't really shop by price level alone. More money does not always equal a better bike.
     
  4. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Member

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    I think it is different materials and designs really. Sometimes difference in tyres but I don't think it's something major that will obligate you to buy expensive ones.
     
  5. Catsyo

    Catsyo New Member

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    Thanks,I actually already have checked out that site. I think I may have worded my original post poorly since I'm pretty new to riding. While I knew that the upgraded models had better parts, what I meant to ask was is this something I'll be able to notice while riding? Does a more expensive Kona ride better than the basic? Is it more durable?

    I know I shouldn't blindly follow price tags but I like to educate myself to know what the extra money is going. At the end of the day, I know I should hit up some shops and try some bikes.
     
  6. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

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    Ahh gotcha.
    Well it's really up to you. I think in the grand scheme of things you will be fine with just a Dew.
    You might notice a big difference in breaking power between disc and V, but it will not be a deal breaker.
    I don't think it will be any more durable.
    As long as you are not buying a Wal mart special, you should be just fine.
    I am a pretty cheap type of person so I always suggest spending less. Especiually if you are new to the scene, I say buy a cheaper bike and ride it hard. Then when you stop in @ the LBS and do some test riding, you will know first hand if the expensive bikes ride different than the cheaper models.
     
  7. Catsyo

    Catsyo New Member

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    I was thinking a lot of the same thing. The regular Dew seems like a good value. I'll definitely be riding a lot, but it's not like I'm going to be commuting on trips in the double digits very often. I just wasn't sure if a nicer bike might last longer in the long term or something. I do agree that's probably prudent to start out on a decent bike than a super nice one. If anything, it's probably better just because I don't know how much I'll get into this hobby. Right now I'm just using it as a form of transportation that I enjoy, but down the road, I might wanna start riding longer distances just for the sake of doing so.

    I mainly didn't know how much better a $1,000 bike would be than a $500, but it might not matter at this experience level.
     
  8. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Member

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    I would tell you to pick the cheapest that suits you, I don't think it matters much really, it's just some popular brands are out there.
     
  9. Catsyo

    Catsyo New Member

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    I've heard you can only ride so many miles on a frame before you have to replace it. Do you tend to get more miles out of the higher end models? It appears like with the Dew that the frames are the same, but with other parts upgrades. If that's the case, then I'd probably just opt out of the higher end models for my first good bike. I just know that I'm excited to get a better bike. I really like riding, but I think I'd do it a lot more with a bike that didn't come from Walmart.
     
  10. BobCochran

    BobCochran Well-Known Member

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    For me it was all quite simple. I wanted to ride long distances. I started out with a lower priced bike. It was okay but it felt heavy. I didn't like it much but I tolerated it because it got me from point A to point B, and I did get pleasure from the riding. It still rode a lot better than my 1970s department store 10 speed. But not at all as good as my 1980s fat tube Cannondale.

    Then I asked a friend what he thought was a better bike for my goal of long distance cycling. He suggested a specific brand and model. I rode a similar model at a local bike shop and instantly noticed the ride was much better than my old bike offered and the lighter weight was a real blessing. I was sold. I put down my money and ordered the better bike. That is the one I'm using today.

    Eventually, I will want to move up to an even better bike -- a real touring bike. I expect it will cost me a bundle, but since I'm starting to see real health improvements for myself, and I'm driving my car so little even now, I'm fine about the cost. By that time, I'll have more riding experience, too.

    So I think you'll need to understand that a bicycle is not a one-time purchase any more than a car is. I've had a few cars by now, and I've had a few bicycles. You too will have a few bicycles. You buy a bike, no doubt the one that is correct for your budget, and ride it for a while. Then you move on to the next bike. There will be a natural progression of I-want-a-better-bike if you keep on riding. It is normal and happens to all riders. I wouldn't ride the "10 speed" I had in 1975 today when there are much better quality bikes out there.

    Bob
     
  11. Catsyo

    Catsyo New Member

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    Hey Bob,

    That was a really good write up so thanks for posting. I think I was kinda going into it with the wrong kind of thinking. I was thinking of a bike like a car where I'd get one thing to do various different activities. I'm a guitar player so I'm used to having different guitars for different styles which makes me understand how I'd likely want more than one bike. I'm thinking that Kona I was talking about will be perfect for me for now. Just being able to ride a nicer bike will make riding easier. I could totally see myself buying a touring bike down the line but I'm so new to riding that the Dew will be great for me.
     
  12. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Depends on what you want and how far do you want to ride your bike. If you're getting a first time bike and are new to any physical type of sport I wouldn't spend more than $500 for a bike! Why you scream? because most newcomers to any physical activity like cycling, weight training, running, etc will drop out of the sport after about 3 to 6 months, and in the case of cycling or weight training you end up with expensive garage art! If you do a lot of riding already and thus are looking for a step up but not into racing or training to race I would find a medium component level bike that offers Shimano Tiagra components and go with that. The problem with spending $1000 is that most offerings with Tiagra in that price range is aluminum and I hate aluminum, it has about a 10 year lifespan give or take 5 years, mine lasted 2 years, so I would try to find a steel bike. Jamis makes a really nice comfortable bike called the Aurora, it is a touring bike but even if you don't use it for touring it is capable of running 28 to 34 mm tires (comes with 32mm) which is idea for commuting and long rides; this bike sells new for under $1,000. Another is the Bianchi Volpe but this bike is about $200 to $300 more than the Jamis. Nashbar has a branded steel cross bike with Shimano 105 for just $750, see: http://www.amazon.com/Nashbar-Steel-Cyclocross-Bike-50/dp/B00DJDDR32%3Fpsc%3D1%26SubscriptionId%3DAKIAJEZV5MZO7MGYMFKA%26tag%3Dbikesmrts-20%26linkCode%3Dxm2%26camp%3D2025%26creative%3D165953%26creativeASIN%3DB00DJDDR32 There are other good low priced steel bikes like the Fuji Tourer and the Kona Sutra that have a compact frame style and offer a lot of bike for the money, more so then the Jamis or the Bianchi.

    Of course like anything said in matters like this is just all an opinion.
     
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  13. ABNPFDR

    ABNPFDR Member

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    I am largely in agreement with Froze (excellent write-up of the typical entry into cycling) except on the point on Aluminum frames. Frames can last quite a while. I see 15+ year old aluminum frames roll into the shop all the time and they are perfectly road worthy. I know customers that have put upwards of 50,000 miles on aluminum frames with no issues. I don't like the way aluminum FEELS on the road. And while advances in frame technology in recent years has improved the feel of aluminum bikes... Specialized Allez with Smartweld, Trek Emonda ALR, BMC AC03... it's still aluminum. I'd rather ride my 80's steel bike than aluminum. Might be a tad heavier and a bit slower on the climbs but oh so silky smooth.

    BTW - I'm not trying to totally bash aluminum frames. I rode one happily for many years. But now that I have so much more to compare it to (on both sides of the spectrum) it's not something I would spend my money on again.
     
  14. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

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    You would be surprised at how long a decent frame will last. I personally only feel that you would have to be riding 20 hours a week for year/years to wreck a frame. Components sure they will wear out, but as long as you maintain it's not going to be a deal breaker.
     
  15. Catsyo

    Catsyo New Member

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    I'm definitely not planning on spending much more than $500 right now. I was just trying to get an idea of what I could expect upgrade-wise. I've been riding a crappy bike for a couple months and I really like it, so I'm fairly certain I'll stick with riding for awhile, especially since I don't own a car. If I stay around that price range, I could likely afford a new bike out of my next paycheck which will be good.

    I didn't know all that about the general reliability of frames. I was under the impression that they didn't last very long so you needed to get a new bike semi-frequently. I guess people just want new bikes frequently, which makes sense. I'll definitely make sure it's maintained so I can get the most out of it.

    I guess I should just go to a couple shops around here and try which bike feels best in that price range. Thanks.
     
  16. BobCochran

    BobCochran Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry so much about price and differences -- that will stop you from the joy of riding and getting those miles in. Go to a shop, get a bike style that you want and which you can afford, and start riding.

    When you ride, and get those miles in, the uncertainty melts away as the riding experiences themselves and your mind and body all tell you what you want in the next bike. Every bike is really a stepping stone to the next bike.

    Bob
     
  17. kylerlittle

    kylerlittle Member

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    I agree with you Bob, also the best way he can know is by tying one in a shop.
     
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