Price, Quality, and Aesthetics

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by JustCycle, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. JustCycle

    JustCycle New Member

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    I'm in the market for a new road bike, and I want some advice from those who know what they are talking about.

    There's no question that quality trumps aesthetics, but too often I see people paying for a brand name or the shiny factor that comes along with a new product -- bicycles are no exception. Certainly, quality is sometimes reflected in the aesthetics and vice versa, but that is not my concern.

    If at all possible, I actually WANT an ugly bike without compromising quality in any way. Does such a bike exist? I have a bad history of bikes getting stolen. From that perspective, I want something that looks like $100, but in reality is worth closer to $1000. I am an engineer, so performance, durability, maintainability, and quality-of-ride are what I'm interested in. That also means I do not solve my problems by throwing money at them.

    I suppose DIY is an option since that gives me the most control. Though, to be honest, I am not very knowledgeable about bike gear, and I have limited time to do research/construction before I need to have a ride.

    Is there anything on the market that would fit this kind of demand? I am a skinny, 6'2" guy so I prefer an XL frame. My last bike was a 2009 Novara Strada, and -- as my introduction to road bikes -- I loved it. It was perhaps slightly flashy in it's paint-job, but not nearly as bad as some bikes I've seen, especially after replacing the horribly uncomfortable seat. It was also very light-weight with a carbon fork. I occasionally did 20/40/60 mile rides around the foothills and mountains of Boulder, CO.

    I will be moving to San Antonio, TX for my job, so that could change my riding dynamic completely, but I plan to at least commute daily a very short distance.
     
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  2. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    If I was in your situation, I would buy a cheap ugly bike off of eBay or Craigs List for my commuter bike and then get a nice new shiny bike for my weekend rider. If you get a cheap bike off eBay, you can scratch it or paint sections with rust colored paint or pretty much deface it as much as you want to make it look undesireable, but you can also make it as mecahnically sound as you want it. Although it can get expensive, you can also update or upgrade some of the components. For this, I would probably go to eBay and get some good functioning but not the best looking parts. Also you want to get mid to lower end parts. Any thief who knows anything about bikes would be willing to steal a junk looking frame for good high end parts and wheels.
     
  3. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Get yourself the bike you want or need along with a good quality lock. Bike theft is mostly a crime of opportunity. Two bit bike thieves for the most part are acting on snatch and run.
     
  4. JustCycle

    JustCycle New Member

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    Thanks kdelong! I didn't even think of defacing my own bike. Though I could see that working against me in certain situations. Congested bike racks at my university often led to people being careless with other people's bikes, and a crappy looking bike might be more prone to real second-hand abuse -- though people who are in a rush or pissed off don't tend to discriminate. I guess I just have to make a compromise, but I do like your idea of buying a separate bike for commuting. I'll just have to wait and save up for the weekend rider.
     
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