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First post: downside of buying now?

SmoothfooteSmoothfoote Posts: 9
edited October 2009 in Road beginners
Just joined this forum but I've been reading it behind the scenes for a while now and found it really helpful.
About to buy a first time road bike, the usual kind of beginner's budget: about £500 for the bike, looking at things like a Giant Defy 4 or the equivalent Trek etc.

Anyway my question is not "which bike should I buy?", I hate that kind of question. But I've noticed reading past posts that people have said that now isn't a great time to buy new bikes because of (a) exchange rates on imported components and (b) the newer ranges from companies like Trek being de-specced compared to last year's ranges (perhaps for the same exchange rate reason).

So the question is:
- Are new road bikes in the £500 range significantly worse value now, or are we talking just a few quid over what they used to be?
- Should I wait, or just get on with it!?




  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 8,640
    I would think if you're buying a 2009 model right now, rather than a 2010 model - you're actually getting a better deal as the prices are usually lower than when they first came out.

    Spec usually improves year to year - doesn't get worse.

    If you want a bike now - BUY a bike now. Simple really.

    Only question is - do you get a 2010 model and pay more - or go for a 2009 model and pay less (but possibly get a slightly lower-spec model).

    In that price range - you're not losing value or money no matter how you slice it.

    If you were looking to spend £5000 - different ball game altogether.

    Welcome and good luck with the purchase!
  • kfinlaykfinlay Posts: 763
    edited September 2009
    I would have said now is a good time to buy as you can get a choice of 2009 and 2010 bikes so you can do your own comparision on what would suit you - although many 2010 bikes have been de-specced compared to the 2009 models - probably due to the current financial situation.

    There are some good discounts to be had online and at LBS's especially as you don't seem stuck on one particular model. For some the only downside of buying now would be it's coming into winter and that puts many people off even though it needn't - just wear the right clothing and you can still go out and have a blast

    Summer Bike: Colnago C60
    Winter Bike: Vitus Alios
    MTB: 1997 GT Karakorum
  • pickledpickled Posts: 439
    The spec can definitely get worse.
    Quite a few 2009 bikes that I looked at had lower spec components than their otherwise identical 2008 counterparts.
    The ever increasing cost of materials coupled with bad exchange rates saw to that.

    I'd buy now regardless. You might get a deal now on a 2009 bike, but if you wait until spring there won't be many left.
  • I've played the exchange rate waiting game a few times and I seem to have got it right only about 50% of the time so it works out to zero savings in the long run and plus the fact that I could have been out riding a new bike instead of waiting. If you want a bike now search the internet for the best deals and go to the LBS with that as a bargaining tool to see if they can get close to those prices and still give you the LBS service. You're not going to lose a tremendous amount of money on a 500 quid bike with a bad exchange rate and it could get worse rather than better.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Now is the time to buy!*

    *Warning - this is my philosophy at all times of the day, every day of the year.
  • "Now is the time to buy"

    Thanks all, that kind of confirms what I thought. I'd rather get something, ride it, learn to love it / hate it, understand more about what I need in a bike and then worry about good deals in a few years time when I risk spending serious money!

    Thanks for the speedy responses. I'm off to buy me a bike.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    Good man!
  • bicebice Posts: 772
    Now is a very good time to buy ... secondhand from people in the sterling area, because our currency is not worth much outside it. If I were exporting Treks, say, from Taiwan, to France and UK, I would try to put cheaper stuff on the UK range because I would just get back lousy pounds rather than nice euros.

    My 2008 Trek 1.7 has some better quality bits than the 2009.
  • Agree totally. BUY NOW! and get a 2009 model. It seems that most of the major players are increasing prices and down speccing. Especially on the entry models.

    Good luck and let us know how it went
    Bianchi. There are no alternatives only compromises!
    I RIDE A KONA CADABRA -would you like to come and have a play with my magic link?
  • Yep will let you know what I go for. Will look for 2009 models but I imagine they are getting harder to find. Also kind of want to buy from a local dealer so I have somewhere to take it to if there's a problem, tempting as the internet is.

  • Yep buy now like the man said! But make sure you dont compromise on getting the right fitting bike.
    "Let not the sands of time get in your lunch"

    National Lampoon
  • The upside of buying now is that you're riding now! Or is that just my impatient streak showing again?
  • BUY NOW! and get a 2009 model.

    I agree. Alternatively, see what you local bike shop already has in stock regarding frame choice, size etc and maybe they'll be able to do something for you that fits you just right with current-price parts.

    That's what I did last winter when considering a new bike. It's a Van Nicholas Chinook and I rode it for the first time in winter setup in early December. The whole bike cost about £1600 all in. But WHY did I buy when I did?

    Because if I'd waited for the following spring and thought "let's buy a carbon Scott/Dolan etc JUST for summer" it would have cost at least the same as the Chinook did, and maybe the spec wouldn't have been as good, because the 2009 models were both more expensive and not as good as the 2008 bikes. Sadly, 2010 looks to be even worse.

    Bottom line: DON'T be put off by the cold weather, buy today! The people at my club who said I should have waited until summer 2009 to buy the 162nd generic carbon Ribble/Dolan etc (and keep the Giant OCR as a winter hack) are now the ones moaning that they didn't spend earlier and are now having to fork out another £300+ for their dream carbon exotica.
  • personally for that money I would buy second hand and get a better spec bike.
  • Don't worry I'm sold on 'buy now'.

    My nearest local shop is a Giant store and they showed me their Defy 3 and Defy 4 (2010 models - sold out of 2009). The 3 is £50 more than the 4, and apparently the only difference is that the 3 has (a) carbon forks instead of aluminium and (b) a triple instead of a double gear set.

    Can't see the point in getting a triple gear where I live in Cambridge, the highest 'peak' here is where the pubs are on Castle Hill and they're about 200m above sea level! And I can't imagine that the weight saving from the carbon forks, especially when offset against the heavier triple gear, will be noticeable to a beginner like me.

    So my reading is that at least for the 2010 models, there's no point in spending the extra on the Defy 3.

    Take the point about second hand - no doubt I'd get a better specced bike for the same money. Suppose it's risk vs reward - at least you know what you get (and have a decent warranty) when you buy new.

    OT: does anyone know if the Bike to Work scheme applies equally to second hand bikes?
  • I would pay for carbon forks over aluminium...

    aluminium forks will really kill the front end of the bike.
  • nickwillnickwill Posts: 2,735
    Go for carbon forks every time. It's not the weight that makes the difference, but the comfort. Aluminium forks will be much harsher, and you will end up changing to carbon in the future anyway!
  • Interesting, didn't realise it would be that noticeable with the carbon forks over Al so good advice, thanks.

    Basically carbon forks are more flexible so behave like shock absorbers is that right?
  • bicebice Posts: 772
    Basically carbon forks are more flexible so behave like shock absorbers is that right?

    Yes. Older aluminium bikes often had steel forks. Steel is good but heavier than carbon although a top class steel bike is probably same weight as aluminium frame and carbon fork combo. All carbon is lighter though.

    Road rumble is an issue. My steel bikes just seem to absorb it, while my alumnium/carbon fork bike more sort of flexes and bounces over the rough surface. Both are comfortable and mean you can ride all day.
  • dennisndennisn Posts: 10,523
    As for what time to by I agree with "NapoleonD". NOW. Here in the states it seems that I get a couple of Emails a day about bike sales. I haven't bought a complete bike(well, maybe I have) but am well stocked up on tires, got a couple of new saddles, spare bottom bracket and headset, new seat post, chain rings, cassettes, etc., etc. All at very good prices and it's all stuff I will actually use. So look for the sales(they shouldn't be to hard to find in this economy) and go for it. I doubt prices will this competitive and low in the coming months and years.
  • I know you've been convinced to buy now but just watch out as I've just splashed out on some new TT wheels, I was going to wait as I'll get little or no use now this year, but being American I'm told they wil be more expensive next year and the 2010 stuff is all quite a lot more. Even the old stock is all going up in October. As already mentioned with the exchange rates being as they are I can only see prices rising. I usually buy stuff in January as prices are normally at their lowest-I'm not sure this year. I was "informed" yesterday that we are likely to see the pound worth as little as .9Euro. Probably total rubbish but it has been steadily going down just recently so new stock from Europe or America can only get more expensive and maybe quite soon.
  • dilemnadilemna Posts: 2,187
    Bikes have definitely been de-specced and risen sharply in price as have components. I bought a Trek 1500 SL Race light ali frame with all Ultegra groupset in 2004 for £800. The same bike now would cost £2000+. In '08 I got a new Kona Kula in the end of season sales for £675. These are now approx £950 a year later.

    But if you don't have a bike, don't delay buy a bike now, but obviously get the best deal you can.

    AFAIK C2W only applies to new bikes not second hand :roll: .
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • gtitimgtitim Posts: 225
    I hate reading threads like this - it makes really, really want to buy a new bike!

    OK so, I don't hate reading these threads but, they are bad for my bank account/wife
  • LochyLochy Posts: 70
    All this talk of new bikes, reminds me...........

    I'll be picking my new Kuota Kharma up tomorrow from Paul Hewitt's in Leyland - Happy belated birthday to me!! :D
  • othelloothello Posts: 577

    I'm 'buying now' but as I'm buying a 2010 model (a Bianchi) I'm having to wait until mid-November before it arrives! The price of ordering a new model I suppose...
    Blogging about junior road bikes
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    I would also recommend a carbon fork but I would strongly un-recommend getting a triple. To be honest, if your only local retailer is a Giant seller and they don't have an ideal bike in stock anyway, I'd use of the internet retailers (as long as you have a good idea of your dimensions) and take advantage of their returns policy - Wiggle have a 7-day no quibble return for bikes that don't fit etc.

    E.g - much better spec than the Defy 3, and only a little dearer: ... 360037598/ ... elID=30569 ... e-ec018089

    Around the £500 mark: ... e-ec019365

    Or cheaper than the Defy: ... elID=35967
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