Why are expensive bikes better than cheap ones?



K

Ken Aston

Guest
Recently, I have been using my bike more and more and by now I almost
stopped using any other way of transportation. It's a lot of fun and it
made me think about buying a really nice bike. Right now I am just
using a cheap discount bike which is quite heavy.

What I still don't understand is, what are the advantages of
sophisticated, expensive bikes? Parts last longer, the weight is lower,
I understand that. But besides that, why can I go faster with a 2,000 $
bike than with a 200 $ bike?

I read that it responds better because it is well built. Of course, if
it really has more gears, that makes a difference. But if gears are the
same, it's gonna be the same energy I put in, so why should I get a
higher speed out of it?

To come down to the point, assuming the same weight, the same type of
tyres and amount of gears, why can I go faster with a high quality
bike?

If you have any ideas, please share your thoughts with me. Thank you so
much.

Ken Aston
 
J

Jonathan Schneider

Guest
"Ken Aston" <[email protected]> writes:

> To come down to the point, assuming the same weight, the same type of
> tyres and amount of gears, why can I go faster with a high quality
> bike?


Well that's the answer isn't it. The same type of tyres (in my case
maybe £50 a pair) will cost nearly as much a as cheap bike. As for
the weight being the same.

Much of it is in the mind though. It's a lot nicer pushing power into
something that is nice and smoooooth and feels as if it's on rails and
has slick gears.

Jon
 
J

Jon

Guest
Ken Aston wrote:
> <snip>
> What I still don't understand is, what are the advantages of
> sophisticated, expensive bikes? Parts last longer, the weight is lower,
> I understand that. But besides that, why can I go faster with a 2,000 $
> bike than with a 200 $ bike?
>
> I read that it responds better because it is well built. Of course, if
> it really has more gears, that makes a difference. But if gears are the
> same, it's gonna be the same energy I put in, so why should I get a
> higher speed out of it?
>
> To come down to the point, assuming the same weight, the same type of
> tyres and amount of gears, why can I go faster with a high quality
> bike?
> Ken Aston


An expensive one worth the higher price (they are not always!) might
offer advantages such as having less friction between moving parts
(different materials, more accurate machineing) and less tendency for
parts under strain to deform (e.g. rims and spokes), but one of the
main advantages is, as you say, weight - lighter bikes tend to use more
expensive materials.

Jon
 
T

Tony Raven

Guest
Ken Aston wrote on 07/11/2006 12:29 +0100:
> Recently, I have been using my bike more and more and by now I almost
> stopped using any other way of transportation. It's a lot of fun and it
> made me think about buying a really nice bike. Right now I am just
> using a cheap discount bike which is quite heavy.
>
> What I still don't understand is, what are the advantages of
> sophisticated, expensive bikes? Parts last longer, the weight is lower,
> I understand that. But besides that, why can I go faster with a 2,000 $
> bike than with a 200 $ bike?
>
> I read that it responds better because it is well built. Of course, if
> it really has more gears, that makes a difference. But if gears are the
> same, it's gonna be the same energy I put in, so why should I get a
> higher speed out of it?
>
> To come down to the point, assuming the same weight, the same type of
> tyres and amount of gears, why can I go faster with a high quality
> bike?
>
> If you have any ideas, please share your thoughts with me. Thank you so
> much.
>


The bike is lighter, the frame is better so has less flex and vibration,
the hubs, tyres etc are better so it rolls better, the gears are better
made, change better and last longer, the brakes work better. It will be
much more enjoyable to ride so you will ride it more and be fitter and
therefore faster. However as you go from $200 to $1000 you will notice
big differences; as you go from $1000 to $2000 there will be differences
but much much smaller. The knack is to try a few out and choose one
that is good enough for your needs without being OTT.

--
Tony

"Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using
his intelligence; he is just using his memory."
- Leonardo da Vinci
 
P

Peter Clinch

Guest
Ken Aston wrote:

> To come down to the point, assuming the same weight, the same type of
> tyres and amount of gears, why can I go faster with a high quality
> bike?


Not a smart set of assumption though. Some of the money goes on
lowering weight, so you can't reasonably assume it's the same weight.
Some of the money goes on better tyres, with lower rolling resistance.
It's not just the number of gears, it's the ratios, how well suited they
are to the riding in hand and how well they operate: you're not going
that fast if you've just thrown the chain on a big change.

"High quality" means that the things you've assumed are the same
generally won't be. And that's part of how you can go faster.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
 
T

The Blue Frog

Guest
Don't forget the higher quality bikes have Aheadset steering which is a
better design and much easier to maintain. I'd go for a second hand quality
brand (Marin/Giant/etc) rather than a new one--then it's worth replacing
parts with good quality as they wear out.




"Peter Clinch" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
> Ken Aston wrote:
>
>> To come down to the point, assuming the same weight, the same type of
>> tyres and amount of gears, why can I go faster with a high quality
>> bike?

>
> Not a smart set of assumption though. Some of the money goes on lowering
> weight, so you can't reasonably assume it's the same weight. Some of the
> money goes on better tyres, with lower rolling resistance. It's not just
> the number of gears, it's the ratios, how well suited they are to the
> riding in hand and how well they operate: you're not going that fast if
> you've just thrown the chain on a big change.
>
> "High quality" means that the things you've assumed are the same generally
> won't be. And that's part of how you can go faster.
>
> Pete.
> --
> Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
> Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
> Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
> net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
 
P

Peter Fox

Guest
Easy!
Cheap bikes are made for a price.
Better bikes are made for a purpose.

When moving from £100 to £400 expect:
o an instant 15% speed increase
o brakes in a different league
o braze-ons etc for adding bits
o 3+ times component life

--
PETER FOX Not the same since the cardboard box company folded
[email protected]
www.eminent.demon.co.uk - Lots for cyclists
 
P

Peter Clinch

Guest
The Blue Frog wrote:
> Don't forget the higher quality bikes have Aheadset steering which is a
> better design and much easier to maintain. I'd go for a second hand
> quality brand (Marin/Giant/etc) rather than a new one--then it's worth
> replacing parts with good quality as they wear out.


Somewhat spurious: there's no shortage of very good bikes out there
without aheadsets. It certainly doesn't make you go any quicker, and I
don't see much point in retrofitting aheadset to an older bike.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
 
R

Rob Morley

Guest
In article <[email protected]>
Ken Aston <[email protected]> wrote:
> Recently, I have been using my bike more and more and by now I almost
> stopped using any other way of transportation. It's a lot of fun and it
> made me think about buying a really nice bike. Right now I am just
> using a cheap discount bike which is quite heavy.
>
> What I still don't understand is, what are the advantages of
> sophisticated, expensive bikes? Parts last longer, the weight is lower,
> I understand that. But besides that, why can I go faster with a 2,000 $
> bike than with a 200 $ bike?
>
> I read that it responds better because it is well built. Of course, if
> it really has more gears, that makes a difference. But if gears are the
> same, it's gonna be the same energy I put in, so why should I get a
> higher speed out of it?
>
> To come down to the point, assuming the same weight,


Why? A better bike will be substantially lighter, so better uphill.

> the same type of tyres


Why? Good bikes have good tyres, cheap bikes have cheap tyres.

> and amount of gears


More gears does not equal faster cycling. Having the right ratios and
being able to select them quickly will make you faster if you use them
properly.

> why can I go faster with a high quality bike?


You might not if your technique is rubbish.
>
> If you have any ideas, please share your thoughts with me. Thank you so
> much.
>

Stiff balanced wheels with smooth hubs and supple tyres.
Smooth fast-shifting gears and chain.
Stiff smooth cranks and pedals.
A frameset that doesn't absorb energy by flexing in the wrong direction.
Suspension that absorbs bumps without absorbing pedal effort.
Better brakes and handling so you're safer going faster.
 
P

Peter Clinch

Guest
Rob Morley wrote:

> Stiff balanced wheels with smooth hubs and supple tyres.
> Smooth fast-shifting gears and chain.
> Stiff smooth cranks and pedals.
> A frameset that doesn't absorb energy by flexing in the wrong direction.
> Suspension that absorbs bumps without absorbing pedal effort.
> Better brakes and handling so you're safer going faster.


Plus the rider in a happier, more comfortable state better able to keep
turning the pedals.

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
 
R

Rob Morley

Guest
In article <[email protected]>
Peter Clinch <[email protected]> wrote:
> The Blue Frog wrote:
> > Don't forget the higher quality bikes have Aheadset steering which is a
> > better design and much easier to maintain. I'd go for a second hand
> > quality brand (Marin/Giant/etc) rather than a new one--then it's worth
> > replacing parts with good quality as they wear out.

>
> Somewhat spurious: there's no shortage of very good bikes out there
> without aheadsets. It certainly doesn't make you go any quicker


The Aheadset design makes it easier to produce a stiff light stem, which
should give a performance advantage.
 

permajeo

New Member
Sep 21, 2004
99
0
0
60
How about geometry that's got some science/research behind it and not just a bunch of tubes welded together?

I rode as many makes of bike I could find 'til I found one that suited my body shape/reach/leg length etc.

P
 
S

sothach

Guest
Peter Clinch wrote:

> Plus the rider in a happier, more comfortable state better able to keep
> turning the pedals.


I don't think drugs are the answer.
 
P

Peter Clinch

Guest
sothach wrote:

> I don't think drugs are the answer.


Lots of professionals might disagree... ;-/

Pete.
--
Peter Clinch Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net [email protected] http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/
 
C

Chris Smith

Guest
Chris Smith wrote:

>
> That's a good article - but I really wish they'd finish the other
> article "How to get a good bike on a budget" referenced in the first;
> just to help drive the point home.



Apparently it might be online in month or two. I was quoting that
article so often I e-mailed the shop to praise it and ask when the next
bit will be up.
I take it the author is letting running his bike shop get in the way
of writing it :)
 
S

Simon Brooke

Guest
in message <[email protected]>, Ken
Aston ('[email protected]') wrote:

> Recently, I have been using my bike more and more and by now I almost
> stopped using any other way of transportation. It's a lot of fun and it
> made me think about buying a really nice bike. Right now I am just
> using a cheap discount bike which is quite heavy.
>
> What I still don't understand is, what are the advantages of
> sophisticated, expensive bikes? Parts last longer, the weight is lower,
> I understand that. But besides that, why can I go faster with a 2,000 $
> bike than with a 200 $ bike?
>
> I read that it responds better because it is well built. Of course, if
> it really has more gears, that makes a difference. But if gears are the
> same, it's gonna be the same energy I put in, so why should I get a
> higher speed out of it?


Well, there are some reasons, but the differences in speed will be fairly
small; the differences in aesthetic appreciation are much bigger. But: a
stiffer frame transmits power better; more precisely made components
(especially bearings) are easier to drive; and lighter weight is simply
less work.

> To come down to the point, assuming the same weight, the same type of
> tyres and amount of gears, why can I go faster with a high quality
> bike?


My feeling is 'yes', but it would be marginal. The reasons you would are
largely down to bearing drag.

--
[email protected] (Simon Brooke) http://www.jasmine.org.uk/~simon/
; gif ye hes forget our auld plane Scottis quhilk your mother lerit you,
; in tymes cuming I sall wryte to you my mind in Latin, for I am nocht
; acquyntit with your Southeron
;; Letter frae Ninian Winyet tae John Knox datit 27t October 1563
 
I

Ian Smith

Guest
On 7 Nov 2006, Ken Aston <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> To come down to the point, assuming the same weight, the same type of
> tyres and amount of gears, why can I go faster with a high quality
> bike?


It's a bit like saying "assuming they're the same price, which is the
most expensive".

Assuming they are just the same, you won't go quicker on the more
expensive one.

regards, Ian SMith
--
|\ /| no .sig
|o o|
|/ \|
 
D

David Martin

Guest
A new bike built out of poor quality components will initially ride
just as well as a good quality bike built out of good components all
other things being equal (OK, they aren't. get over it).

But one month down the line the cheap bike will be a right pain and a
maintenance hog. The good bike will be just about nicely run in.

Almost every time I have bought cheap I have regretted it later. It is
a bit like buying something on credit - you pay more in the long run.

...d
 

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