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
 
K

K.A. Moylan

Guest
In article <>, "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, the same type of
> tyres and amount of gears, why can I go faster with a high quality
> bike?


You left out:
* quality of bearings (a bit less effort to push);
* smoothness of gears & brakes
(it all works properly & you need not worry that they will keep
working);
* for the same weight, the parts will last longer,
so you will spend less time fixing them.

These are the reasons I'll buy a more expensive bike than a cheaper one.
They last longer & work nicer.

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


HTH,

--
K.A. Moylan
Canberra, Australia
Ski Club: http://www.cccsc.asn.au
kamoylan at ozemail dot com dot au
 
J

Joel Mayes

Guest
On 2006-11-07, 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.


<SNIP>

> 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?


On top of the better bearings already mentioned, the quality of the
frame build can make a difference, I've seen a lot of K-Mart bikes with
poorly aligned frames i.e. the wheels don't track the same line. I've
also seen more then one Huffy were the joins of the tubes are
mis-centred by a couple of millimetres.

All this adds up to a bike which requires more effort to balance and
ride in a straight line, let alone at speed.

Cheers

Joel
 
T

Terryc

Guest
Ken Aston wrote:
> why can I go faster with a high quality bike?


Self delusion?

Seriously, unless you are riding them day about in a blind test, there
is no way you can know if ths is true.

But, assuming you buy a complete bike,then you might expect the more
expensive bike to be better assembled.

Wheel bearings and properly adjusted & lubricated hubs are the most
important factor, then trueness of the wheel, then it really comes down
more to the rider and technique than anything else.

I've outcoasted "quality/expensive" bikes because my hubs and wheels
were clean and well adjusted, aka, the wheel turns when you blow on the
spokes.

But no matter how well my bike is adjusted, plenty of people will still
be a faster rider than me.

I was looking at a $3,250 bike today. Well, not really, I was merely
showing swmbo the various combo brake indexed gears and asking if she
want to try them instead of thumb shifters. SWMBO was horrified at the
price, but I preferred to think of the stable of various bikes that that
amount of money would buy.
 
T

Travis

Guest
Ken Aston wrote:

> 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?


Weight is significant only during acceleration and hill climbs, on a
flat road it doesn't make much difference to cruising speed.

>From personal experience, having in the last year traded up from a

fairly cheap old racer to a more modern one, I can name several points
where there is a really noticeable difference.

For a start there is the ergonomics of the thing. More comfortable
seat, bigger handlebars that fit my hands better with a good wrapping,
the integrated shifter/brake levers are really nice and I miss them
terribly when I hop back onto my other bike, as I do from time to time
when I'm going to be parking it somewhere dodgy.

Secondly there is the ride. Its just smoother and more comfortable.
It goes around corners a bit better too I think, but for all I know
that's just imagination or greater bravado since I feel more
comfortable on my new bike...

You can get decent ergonomics and ride in any mid priced quality bike,
especially with a few minor upgrades. (Seats and handlebars of course
are upgradeable)

The real question you want to be asking is whether expensive bikes are
better than mid priced bikes. How is a 105 better than a Sora? How is
Ultegra better than 105? How is Dura Ace better than Ultegra? Is the
next frame up worth the extra $500?

Hard to say, but from what I hear around this newsgroup a fair bit,
non-professional bike riders would often struggle to notice much
difference between Ultegra and Dura Ace, and maybe the difference
between the top of the line frame and the next one down isn't much to
write home about either.

There is a huge cost increase and only a modest performance increase
when you go from a reasonably priced bike to a $5,000 or $10,000 bike.


But a regular non-professional cyclist usually can notice the extra $
spent going from a $1,000 bike to a $2,500 bike, and once you're used
to either of those you'll never want to ride a $200 bike again. The
**** people sling on Kmart bikes around here might seem arrogant and
haughty to newcomers, but once you get used to having brakes that work
and wheels that turn easily and silently and stay true for more than a
month or two, its hard to go back.

That said, a fit cyclist on a **** bike will always beat an unfit rider
on a bling bike.

Travis
 
V

Vincent Patrick

Guest
Terryc wrote:

> Ken Aston wrote:
>> why can I go faster with a high quality bike?

>
> Self delusion?
>
> Seriously, unless you are riding them day about in a blind test, there
> is no way you can know if ths is true.
>
> But, assuming you buy a complete bike,then you might expect the more
> expensive bike to be better assembled.
>
> Wheel bearings and properly adjusted & lubricated hubs are the most
> important factor, then trueness of the wheel, then it really comes down
> more to the rider and technique than anything else.
>
> I've outcoasted "quality/expensive" bikes because my hubs and wheels
> were clean and well adjusted, aka, the wheel turns when you blow on the
> spokes.
>
> But no matter how well my bike is adjusted, plenty of people will still
> be a faster rider than me.
>
> I was looking at a $3,250 bike today. Well, not really, I was merely
> showing swmbo the various combo brake indexed gears and asking if she
> want to try them instead of thumb shifters. SWMBO was horrified at the
> price, but I preferred to think of the stable of various bikes that that
> amount of money would buy.



I would add that a $3,000 road bike will most definitely be lighter than
(say) a $300 bike, or at least at this price you can choose between a very
light bike with very good components, or a slightly heavier but still
reasonably light 'touring' bike. Spending $300 on a bicycle is less likely
to give you the option of drop bars (a strong personal preference of mine),
and the quality of the saddle is likely to be higher, making the bicycle
better for longer rides. Moving parts such as wheels will be lighter, and
hopefully stronger. As mentioned before, the frame/fork quality should be
higher in an expensive bike, which can improve the ride and feel, and the
transference of peddle energy to the ground. Even the type of pedals, if
included, can make a difference in comfort, enjoyment and transference of
energy.

The result of spending more should be should be faster acceleration, and a
more 'lively' bicycle, faster road speed, slightly more comfort, and a
combination of tiny improvements (like in gears etc) which makes the riding
more enjoyable.

Not that I know by shelling out the funds (yet). My road bike cost less
than $1,000.

Cheers,

Vince
 

ritcho

New Member
May 24, 2004
934
0
0
Terryc said:
Ken Aston wrote:
> why can I go faster with a high quality bike?


Self delusion?

Seriously, unless you are riding them day about in a blind test, there
is no way you can know if ths is true.

[snip]

Blind testing bicycles??? :D

I think I could tell the difference between my "free to good home" fixie and my rather more pricey road racer. The fixie weighs a tonne (especially when loaded up with baggage). I acknowledge this is an extreme situation... I doubt I could tell the diff between a $1000 and a $2000 bike either.

Ritch
 
B

Bleve

Guest
ritcho wrote:
> Terryc Wrote:
> > Ken Aston wrote:
> > > why can I go faster with a high quality bike?

> >
> > Self delusion?
> >
> > Seriously, unless you are riding them day about in a blind test, there
> > is no way you can know if ths is true.
> >
> > [snip]
> >
> >

>
> Blind testing bicycles??? :D
>
> I think I could tell the difference between my "free to good home"
> fixie and my rather more pricey road racer. The fixie weighs a tonne
> (especially when loaded up with baggage). I acknowledge this is an
> extreme situation... I doubt I could tell the diff between a $1000 and
> a $2000 bike either.


Between $1k and $2k there's a big difference, between $5k and $10k
there's not so much.
Dimimished returns!
 
A

Artoi

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, 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.


Speed is not the only issue b/n $200 and $2000. For more bucks,
typically you get the following benefits,

- Lighter: Makes those hill climbs easier and easier to carry up and
down the stairs.
- Better bearing: In the wheels, in the crank etc. The bike will roll
smoother and have lowered friction. Hence less energy on you.
- Better wheels: Stiffer wheels would mean better transfer of your leg
energy to the ground. So it's less wasted.
- Better brakes: More secure and just performs better under all
conditions. So it's safer.
- Better Frame: Better ride quality and potentially safer if used a lot
or used under adverse conditions.
- Works better: Better quality components just works better and smoother
and are typically more durable.

So if you ride a lot, you'll sure appreciate these benefits after your
upgrade.
--
 
B

Bean Long

Guest
Bleve wrote:
> ritcho wrote:
>> Terryc Wrote:
>>> Ken Aston wrote:
>>>> why can I go faster with a high quality bike?
>>> Self delusion?
>>>
>>> Seriously, unless you are riding them day about in a blind test, there
>>> is no way you can know if ths is true.
>>>
>>> [snip]
>>>
>>>

>> Blind testing bicycles??? :D
>>
>> I think I could tell the difference between my "free to good home"
>> fixie and my rather more pricey road racer. The fixie weighs a tonne
>> (especially when loaded up with baggage). I acknowledge this is an
>> extreme situation... I doubt I could tell the diff between a $1000 and
>> a $2000 bike either.

>
> Between $1k and $2k there's a big difference, between $5k and $10k
> there's not so much.
> Dimimished returns!
>


I agree Bleve. Between 1 and 2 k is where I've certainly seen the major
difference. This is where you'll see some frame differences between
models and complete component changes. The $1k (or maybe less) bike
might have the Shimano Sora groupset for example and a more basic
(perhaps heavier) frame and lower level hubs/wheels, usually without
clipless pedals. The next model up will have mostly Tiagra and so on,
perhaps a bit of carbon thrown in, probably clipless. It's a sort of
step ladder in this range and you put the $1k bike next to the $2k bike
and you've essentially got an intro level bike lined up against
something that might have been in Le Tour a couple of years ago. By the
time you've found a Dura-Ace bike with a complete carbon frame you're
shelling out big bucks... but you'd probably be happy (and just as
quick) with a light weight bike with Tiagra. Once you get to that level
it's the rider that is the limiting factor (IMHO).

--
Bean

"I've got a bike
You can ride it if you like
It's got a basket
A bell that rings
And things to make it look good
I'd give it to you if I could
But I borrowed it" Pink Floyd

Remove "yourfinger" before replying
 
T

Terryc

Guest
Vincent Patrick wrote:

> I would add that a $3,000 road bike will most definitely be lighter than


but is the weight that signifcant compared to the abilities of the engine?

And at what lower price does this comparison start to be unclear? $500?,
$750?, $1000? ...........

> Spending $300 on a bicycle is less likely
> to give you the option of drop bars


but it does give you $2,700 worth of customisation.


> and the quality of the saddle is likely to be higher,

lol, Nothing beats a brooks leather <like shooting apples in a barrell
really {:)>
 
D

Duncan

Guest
Please don't ignore the second hand market,.... there's bargains to be
found in other peoples' bling-bling castoffs.

Duncan... who had no problems passing lots of bling on the hills
recently in the 'gong race using a sub-$500 second-hand steed.
 
B

Boostland

Guest
"Terryc" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]com.au...
> Vincent Patrick wrote:
>
>> I would add that a $3,000 road bike will most definitely be lighter than

>
> but is the weight that signifcant compared to the abilities of the engine?
>
> And at what lower price does this comparison start to be unclear? $500?,
> $750?, $1000? ...........
>
> > Spending $300 on a bicycle is less likely
>> to give you the option of drop bars

>
> but it does give you $2,700 worth of customisation.
>
>
>> and the quality of the saddle is likely to be higher,

> lol, Nothing beats a brooks leather <like shooting apples in a barrell
> really {:)>
>


I am racing a bike I got from Aldi for $199 I race in A grade at the
Newcastle veterans club and B grade at my club at kooragang.

I won a NSW state masters C grade event earlier this year after only getting
back into racing in May after a 16 year break, and I only started training
for it a few weeks before I started my first race.
I was put in C grade for my first race as I was a A grade club level rider
and a B grade state track rider 16 years ago, I got dropped on the first lap
of the 8 km course as I stupidly chased down 3 attacks rather than just sit
back and let the others do it, so the next time I raced they put me in D
grade I managed to stay with the pack the whole race but this time I was not
doing any chasing I was sitting in most of the time and would do a turn when
I got to the front.

So now several months later and around 500 + km a week training I am back in
A grade vets and getting close to A grade at my club on my $199 Aldi bike.

When I won the state masters race the guy I beat in the sprint was riding
next to me on the way home and some one was asking how much his trick deep
rimmed carbon wheels were worth, he replied $1500 each at that point I said
"and here is me riding my $199 Aldi bike" he glared at me then looked back
to the front and did not look at me or the other guy again and said nothing
:p

Here is me dragging the pack along and up to the hill on my Aldi bike.

< http://kooragangcycling.asn.au/client_images/103852.jpg >

One thing to note is that I have put the parts from my wrecked 1990
Pinarello on to the Aldi frame, the only original part is the frame / forks,
seat and downtube gear levers.

I am using Campag C-record crankset, Chorus brakes, Cinelli bars and stem,
600 Ultegra hubs with Campag lambda clincher rims, and when I won the state
masters race I was using Suntour superbe pro hubs with wolber singles rims
and using 18 year old continental comp 240 gram singles @ 160 psi ( these
tyres were worth more than the whole bike cost me ).

So it really in the end comes down to the quality of the nut on the saddle
:p
 
B

BT Humble

Guest
Boostland wrote:
> I am racing a bike I got from Aldi for $199 I race in A grade at the
> Newcastle veterans club and B grade at my club at kooragang.
>
> I won a NSW state masters C grade event earlier this year after only getting
> back into racing in May after a 16 year break, and I only started training
> for it a few weeks before I started my first race.
> ...
> So it really in the end comes down to the quality of the nut on the saddle
> :p


*applause!*


BTH
 
B

blah

Guest
Boostland wrote:

> One thing to note is that I have put the parts from my wrecked 1990
> Pinarello on to the Aldi frame, the only original part is the frame / forks,
> seat and downtube gear levers.
>
> I am using Campag C-record crankset, Chorus brakes, Cinelli bars and stem,
> 600 Ultegra hubs with Campag lambda clincher rims, and when I won the state
> masters race I was using Suntour superbe pro hubs with wolber singles rims
> and using 18 year old continental comp 240 gram singles @ 160 psi ( these
> tyres were worth more than the whole bike cost me ).


This is a pretty big thing "to note". Your Aldi bike is an Aldi frame
and fork with all of the (I assume at $199) **** stuff taken off it and
pretty bloody good, expensive (how much do the cranks go for? (does "c"
stand for carbon?)) stuff put on it.
I mean, respect, but it sounds like it ain't a $199 bike, quality-wise.
 

cfsmtb

New Member
Apr 11, 2003
4,963
0
0
Boostland said:
So it really in the end comes down to the quality of the nut on the saddle
:p

As a nutless individual I do realise the point you're attempting to make. Can elaborate if you wish, but prefer moi to change the subject? ;)
 
B

BT Humble

Guest
cfsmtb wrote:
> Boostland Wrote:
> >
> > So it really in the end comes down to the quality of the nut on the
> > saddle
> > :p

>
> As a nutless individual I do realise the point you're attempting to
> make. Can elaborate if you wish, but want to change the subject now? ;)


So you're more of a quick-release type of chap then?


BTH (with the innocent look)
 
B

Boostland

Guest
"blah" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
> Boostland wrote:
>
>> One thing to note is that I have put the parts from my wrecked 1990
>> Pinarello on to the Aldi frame, the only original part is the frame /
>> forks,
>> seat and downtube gear levers.
>>
>> I am using Campag C-record crankset, Chorus brakes, Cinelli bars and
>> stem,
>> 600 Ultegra hubs with Campag lambda clincher rims, and when I won the
>> state
>> masters race I was using Suntour superbe pro hubs with wolber singles
>> rims
>> and using 18 year old continental comp 240 gram singles @ 160 psi ( these
>> tyres were worth more than the whole bike cost me ).

>
> This is a pretty big thing "to note". Your Aldi bike is an Aldi frame
> and fork with all of the (I assume at $199) **** stuff taken off it and
> pretty bloody good, expensive (how much do the cranks go for? (does "c"
> stand for carbon?)) stuff put on it.
> I mean, respect, but it sounds like it ain't a $199 bike, quality-wise.
>


Here is the C-record groupset that shows the cranks and brake levers I am
using.
< http://www.campyonly.com/images/catalogs/1991/91record.jpg >

I think the crankset alone was worth around $1000 when new, but now they can
be got a lot cheaper than that on ebay.

And here is the chorus brake calipers I am using.
< http://www.campyonly.com/images/catalogs/1991/91chorus.jpg >

The other bits of the C-record groupset were not compatible with the Aldi
bike so I have given them away to a mate with a 1988 vintage custom built
Masi, as he had the earlier Super Record groupset and some of his parts are
worn out or broken.

I got the groupset on a 2nd hand Pinarello I bought of a commonwealth games
cyclist back in 1990 that I used to race and train with.

I wrecked the bike in 1997 when a car did a right hand turn into my path, I
was paid around $4500 insurance to replace the bike, so I opted to keep the
bike for parts and just used my other bike for training when I recovered
from the injuries a few years later.
I ended up snapping my old bikes frame so when Aldi had the racers on sale I
got two of them and used all my parts on them.
I have a heap of spares now, I have 5 sets of road wheels and 3 sets of
track wheels, and several sets of cranks and cinelli stems and bars.

I plan on getting a better road bike some time down the road, I will
probably get a track bike first as I prefer to race on the velodrome over
road, as it is a lot more fun and you don't need gears or brakes and the
racing is closer and safer.
 

Similar threads