Old higher end OR New lower end Road bike



roachman

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Jul 12, 2010
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Hello All!

I've been a mountain bike enthusiast for the past few years, that is until my bike was stolen last month. :mad:

I've decided to get into road biking and was wondering what I should get. My goal here is to be able to use the bike for commuting to work when the weather isn't too hot (about 11 miles each way) and possibly for getting into shorter sprint distance triathlons.

I was hoping to sell my mountain bike to fund the road bike, but unfortunately that is no longer possible.

My question is: Would it be better to get an older higher model bike OR a newer lower model bike?

Just as an example:

2002 Giant TCR 2 vs 2009 Giant Defy 1

Both have aluminum frames, carbon forks, and 105 components. Why should I pay more for the newer lower model bike vs the older higher model one? Has there been great advances in technology to the point that older higher end models are equal or inferior to newer lower end models?

I hope I'm making sense here. Looking forward to any help.

Thanks!
 

alienator

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2004
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The two bikes have slightly different frame geometries, so it's not exactly an even comparison. Is the 2002 bike new? There have been significant changes to 105 since 2002, so getting the latest version can be worth the coin.
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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roachman said:
I've decided to get into road biking and was wondering what I should get. My goal here is to be able to use the bike for commuting to work when the weather isn't too hot (about 11 miles each way) and possibly for getting into shorter sprint distance triathlons.

My question is: Would it be better to get an older higher model bike OR a newer lower model bike?

Just as an example:

2002 Giant TCR 2 vs 2009 Giant Defy 1

Both have aluminum frames, carbon forks, and 105 components. Why should I pay more for the newer lower model bike vs the older higher model one? Has there been great advances in technology to the point that older higher end models are equal or inferior to newer lower end models?

I hope I'm making sense here. Looking forward to any help.
Sorry to hear about your bike being stolen ...

IMO, neither bike you present as examples are higher end or lower end ... with 105 components, both bikes are mid-range with apparently different specs (I'm not going to bother to look up the specs to see how different the specs may-or-may-not actually be because the head tube angle is often dependent on the frame size more than the classification of the frame).

As alienator has suggested, 2002 & 2009 bikes would have different generations of the 105 components (i.e., 9-speed vs. 10-speed) unless the former were updated/upgraded.

As far as the frames, while it could be suggested that there has been a signficant change in frames which are entirely fabricated from Carbon Fiber, the difference between an Aluminum frame frame from 2002 & 2009 will probably not be considered to be significant unless one frame were fabricated from Scandium and the other "regular" Aluminum alloy.

When in doubt, let your budget be your guide ... or, adjust your budget!?!
 

TKOS

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Oct 6, 2004
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If the older 2002 bike is used, I would just go with the newer bike. components won't be worn, and you will be more assured that the carbon fiber fork is in tip top shape.

I used to race on a Trek 1200 with a triple crank and tiagra components for years.Trust me, having a strong pair of legs and a well working bike are all you need for the occasional Sprint distance Tri. We have guys that do the Sprint distances on fixies and do well.
 

konasunset

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Oct 13, 2009
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Nowadays you can get a great lower end bike which rivals an old higher end bike... except for the fact that it is new and not used which in my opinion makes it much better. You are alot less likely to experience complications or part failure. I would go for a Specialized or Giant. They are likely to be made in Taiwan or China... but are very sturdy and a great deal. It is now possible to buy a decent bike for around $600 or less. Ohh the beauty of technological advance...:D
 

roachman

New Member
Jul 12, 2010
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Thanks for all the replies!

I get your points about advances in technology. Perhaps I will wait a bit and save until I can buy a brand new bike (even if its a "lower" model). I'm anxious to hit the road again though.
 

roachman

New Member
Jul 12, 2010
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konasunset said:
Something like this will be a great road bike for you and rivals many higher end bikes of yesteryear. Still a bit pricey for someone on a budget but not a bad deal at all. Worth every penny I am sure :)

2010 GT GTR Series 4 Road Bike - Bikes/Frames

Thanks for the specific suggestion.

I have one concern though. I know that I shouldn't be caught up too much on components and stuff at this point, but I also don't want to buy a bike then outgrow it in a year or so. I'm willing to spend more on a bike that I will be able to keep for years to come and will allow me room to grow.

Do you think this bike will work for that? :confused:
 

konasunset

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Oct 13, 2009
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I think it will definitely work depending on how much you ride and how you treat your equipment. I think if you are easy on your equipment and learn how to keep it properly adjusted at all times... it will last you a long time. GT is an amazing company. I think it's an excellent deal... but if you want to spend more you have many more options of course. The more you put into your bike initially the better quality you may get... but at this price range you are getting a sturdy bike that will last you a long time. I have been riding bikes all my life and I would buy this bike. But I would also buy a Specialized or Giant in a heartbeat. Great bikes for the money :)

http://www.bicycling.com/gear/detail/0,7989,s1-16-95-2137-0,00.html

http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/latest-bikes/road-bike/specialized/PRD_290725_5668crx.aspx
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
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I'm going to play the odd duck here...I usually do anyways!

What's wrong with buying the older bike other then some minor techno differences? If the older bike was ridden very little and is in excellent condition then why not the older bike? Your not going to gain $800 (assuming the bikes are $800 difference in price) worth of techno gain! You might gain $100 worth with a new bike but nowhere near $800. And some of the older techno may be at the most 100 grams (3.5 ounces) heavier but it will last longer then newer stuff because companies cut weight by going with more plastic, thinner AL parts etc., and by doing so cuts reliability...sometimes. Regardless is 3.5 ounces worth $800 to you?

Assuming the older bike is in mint condition except for some storage scratches I would buy the older bike if I was on a limited income.
 

Hammond Egger

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Jun 11, 2010
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After spending three months trying to deal with the crooks and scam artists on eBay and Craigslist I ended up buying new; a decision I don't think I'll regret.
 

Froze

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Jul 13, 2004
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Hammond Egger said:
After spending three months trying to deal with the crooks and scam artists on eBay and Craigslist I ended up buying new; a decision I don't think I'll regret.

That's what happens when your inexperienced about bikes and or older bikes and their components, you could get screwed. Just like buying classic cars you need to know your product and you need to know what your looking at.

Edit; E-Bay is a different bred of animal, you can't go see the bike unless by odd chance you live near it. E-bay is about trust, and seller feedback needs to be many. A person selling a bike and has never sold a bike on E-Bay could be a rip off or could be completely legit, problem is you don't know so don't buy it. But a person selling a bike that has done it many times with all positive feedback then your going to be ok. Also you need to ask the seller questions, if he doesn't answer you or beats around the bush then don't buy it.
 

TKOS

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Oct 6, 2004
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Hammond Egger said:
After spending three months trying to deal with the crooks and scam artists on eBay and Craigslist I ended up buying new; a decision I don't think I'll regret.

That's great news. What did you buy?
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
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Hammond Egger said:
After spending three months trying to deal with the crooks and scam artists on eBay and Craigslist I ended up buying new; a decision I don't think I'll regret.
I have bought several bikes on eBay and only had one that was not what I expected, some internal corrosion issues that were discovered only after it was disassembled for overhaul. That is one thing, if you buy an eBay bike, protect yourself by disassembling the bike all the way to look for hidden problems that the seller might not have been aware existed.
 

steelguy

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Aug 1, 2010
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I'm not sure anyone has spoken to the characteristics of the specific frames you mention. The Giant TCR was a great road bike in its day, and a good climber. Like the contemporary Trek 5200, it is probably a pretty stiff bike by today's standards. Also, 2002 is a fairly early year for a carbon bike. Early carbon frames were somewhat overbuilt by today's standards, but you want to think twice about racing a carbon bike that old. If you are a recreational rider and like a stiff bike with good steering, the TCR might be a fine bike to have even today. The Defy range are more recent distance and comfort bikes, not really made for racing but not far behind race bikes either. Their main benefit is a more vibration-free ride, which is a lot less tiring than a racing bike on rides of two hours or more. The Defy also has the benefit of seven more years of development. The important thing is what kind of frame you want. Shimano 105 is a reasonably good gruppo but you can upgrade components one by one later on if you need something better. A rave review of the 2003 TCR Once Team bike appears in Cycling Plus for October 2002 - this is a British magazine. You may be able to find the test on bikeradar.com. Good luck.
 

steelguy

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Aug 1, 2010
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steelguy said:
I'm not sure anyone has spoken to the characteristics of the specific frames you mention. The Giant TCR was a great road bike in its day, and a good climber. Like the contemporary Trek 5200, it is probably a pretty stiff bike by today's standards. Also, 2002 is a fairly early year for a carbon bike. Early carbon frames were somewhat overbuilt by today's standards, but you want to think twice about racing a carbon bike that old. If you are a recreational rider and like a stiff bike with good steering, the TCR might be a fine bike to have even today. The Defy range are more recent distance and comfort bikes, not really made for racing but not far behind race bikes either. Their main benefit is a more vibration-free ride, which is a lot less tiring than a racing bike on rides of two hours or more. The Defy also has the benefit of seven more years of development. The important thing is what kind of frame you want. Shimano 105 is a reasonably good gruppo but you can upgrade components one by one later on if you need something better. A rave review of the 2003 TCR Once Team bike appears in Cycling Plus for October 2002 - this is a British magazine. You may be able to find the test on bikeradar.com. Good luck.

Oops, sorry, both of the bikes you mention have aluminum frames, as you say. The TCR carbon-framed series started in 2003. Not sure how much my comments apply. Good luck.
 

atlantis

New Member
Sep 19, 2010
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Hi !

This is a query regarding the lockout suspension nob on the 2010 model. The blue nob which sits on the right side of the fork. i suppose the model of the fork is Spinner 300 for the 2010 trek 4300.

1. What I wished to know is does the nob rotate smoothly or does it have a click- click- click option ?

2. if it is smooth is there a lot of play or a gradual glide?


The main reason I ask this is, I saw a bike the other day, which had an extremely loose nob, which just didn't seem right !
 
Could you please enlighten me !
 

Crocosis

New Member
Jul 18, 2010
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Why yes, yes I can!! I just got mine about three weeks ago as an early b-day gift, the lockout knob does not have a clicking motion but rather moves smoothly from the lock to unlock position and vice versa. When it is unlocked it pointed toward the front and when it is locked it is pointed toward the back of the bike, and you can feel it tighten. I was also told when I got mine that it is designed that if you hit a hard enough drop in the locked position it will automatically unlock for you so you will not damage it, I have not had to test this yet. Hope this helps.