I know it's the Indian not the arrow but...

RandG
RandG Posts: 779
edited May 2013 in Road beginners
As the title suggest, I know it's the Indian and not the arrow when it comes to cycling but, would buying a £3000 bike help me ride better/easier than say a £1500 bike.

Take doing climbs for example, yes it's still me on top I know but what difference would a bike twice the price make to the ride ?

Comments

  • Cool4catz
    Cool4catz Posts: 76
    I got myself a Cannondale Synapse at around 1500' it's a much better bike than I am a cyclist, another 1500 would make no difference to me. If I ever outgrow the bike I'll be an awesome cyclist.
  • nawty
    nawty Posts: 225
    As long as the £1500 bike fits you and is set up properly then there is little a £3k bike will add, other than bragging rights in the car park. You really are in the realms of diminishing returns by then.

    If I owned a £1500 bike and wanted to upgrade it I would look at the wheels and tyres.
    Cannondale CAAD 10 Ultegra
    Kinesis Racelight Tiagra
  • pilot_pete
    pilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    RandG wrote:
    would buying a £3000 bike help me ride better/easier than say a £1500 bike.
    simple answer is no. It is not going to help you ride 'better' or 'easier'. To do that you need to invest hour upon hour on cycling. Build a strong base having done regular long rides and then if you want to climb better, do lots of climbing! Alongside this shed any excess pounds off your body and you will see impressive results. Ride a £1500 bike up a hill today, followed by a £3000 bike tomorrow and I doubt there would be much difference in the time it takes you to get to the top. The £1500 bike 'may' be a little heavier, but not necessarily. The shifting may not be quite as slick, but not to any real detriment, the brakes may not be quite as good, but perfectly acceptable. The wheels on the £1500 bike will almost definitely be heavier and possibly not as stiff, but actually neither bike will have great wheels as standard and the tyres will be cheap and not great on both as well.

    So, get the best 'package' you can get for £1500, perhaps a sale bike or last years model etc and as has been said, spend £300-500 on some nice handbuilt wheels suited to the riding you do/ your weight etc and this will make the next biggest difference to riding more and getting stronger! That will give you £1000 to spend over the next few years on nice gear, maintenance and/ or possibly a cheap winter bike......!

    PP
  • charlie_potatoes
    charlie_potatoes Posts: 1,921
    RandG wrote:
    Take doing climbs for example, yes it's still me on top I know but what difference would a bike twice the price make to the ride ?

    Despite the fact that you have acknowledged the 'indian/arrow' thing this thread will soon be filled with posts telling you that its all about you and not the bike. Indeed I see that they have already started :D

    It's obviously impossible to give a definitive answer but a lighter stiffer bike with lighter stiffer wheels will get you up hills faster than a heavier bike. It will also accelerate faster.

    A 4 min 30 sec hill is nearer to being a 4 min hill when I am riding my best bike.

    Okay I know that this is a subjective comment but current scientific thinking does not support the 'bike makes no difference at all and it's all about you' theory. Or perhaps its does? :lol:

    The better acceleration and easier hill climbing can be of great benefit to a novice rider. For me it can make the difference (on a club ride) between hanging on to the back of the group or riding in the group and being able to take a few pulls up the front, particularly towards the end of a ride.

    I am not sure why people come out with the ' I am not good enough for a £3,000 bike' quote. Perhaps they are suffering from low self esteem :D


    I am off to work now fully expecting my ears to be burning all day :mrgreen:
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • zardoz
    zardoz Posts: 251
    Interestingly I had a Specialized Roubaix and then bought a Trek Domane 4.5 and I ride about 10% faster on the Trek and with less effort than on the Specialized. I have no idea why but it was pleasantly suprising. I had a retul bike fit on the Roubaix and so the Trek was set up using those measurements so its not the fit so it must be the bike.

    I met a really good Blues Guitarist a while back who had the absolute best (and very expensive) amps and guitars, his justification was "If it doesn't sound good, well I can't blame the equipment can I ?"
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    Is this you starting to think about upgrades now RandG? You’ve well and truly got the roadie bug ;-)

    IMO you’ve got a good bike at the moment, but you might want to think about binning the stock wheels/tyres and moving up the ladder a bit.
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    A 4 min 30 sec hill is nearer to being a 4 min hill when I am riding my best bike.

    Okay I know that this is a subjective comment but current scientific thinking does not support the 'bike makes no difference at all and it's all about you' theory. Or perhaps its does? :lol:

    Depends what you mean by best and second best. I suspect a 4 minute hill on my best bike (£3.4k) would only stretch to a 4 min 30 second hill if I was riding my MTB with slicks on. On the other hand, the same hill on my second best bike (£1.2k) would be 4 min and 2 seconds. Or 4 min and 1 second if I used the wheels off the best bike. Really, within limits, the bike only really makes a difference if you are worrying about gaining seconds or a few minutes over a day. Not many of us really are.

    It makes little practical difference. The best bike is a bit lighter than no2 and that I think will be reflected in condition at the end of a long ride (rather than something very short and sweet like a 4 minute hill) - but more than that there is an intangible extra pleasure in riding a bike like my Look rather than my Ribble excellent though that bike is. But how much that is just down to the Look being a special occasions bike and not a multi purpose commute and everything bike I don't know.

    If you want to improve your times, rather than buying a 3k bike, it's a lot cheaper and more effective to only go out when it isn't windy! The weather makes a far bigger difference than the bike..........
    Faster than a tent.......
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    It would be very very marginal.

    If you have 3 grand burning a hole in your pocket - buy a decent bike and then spend some on a trip to the Alps. Take in the tour - ride the classic climbs. That will make you climb better - and I suspect that you'll train harder if you know you're going there.

    Also - lose weight if you can. Its easy - eat a little less - work out a little more.
  • rich164h
    rich164h Posts: 433
    Assuming all of the size/fit issues are the same you won't notice a speed difference in terms of a scientific comparison, but you might quite simply be happier on the more expensive one (or the cheaper one!) as it feels a bit more special, better built, sweeter shifting etc and I'd suggest that whichever one you prefer the most will inspire you to push that little bit harder and got for longer rides or even cause you to ride more often. That will get you faster and show meaningful results. But bear in mind that an increase in cost (and hence higher quality components) might do that, but then again it might not. It may be that you just prefer the way that the cheaper bike feels when being ridden and that might be the critical thing that gets you out more.

    In other words, buy the one you like most.
  • pilot_pete
    pilot_pete Posts: 2,120
    The biggst difference for me has been 3 years of cycling. First ride was 20 miles and it was a bit hard. Soon built up to 30 hilly miles though and was knackered after that. 50 on the flat was achieved without too much drama and within a year a hundred, which incidently wasn't flat! 2 years later, mid 40s I am now a club rider, I did 75 miles last week as a 'warm up' (as it was blue skies and too good to wait until the evening!) before going out with my mates for a hilly 35, making 105. I still felt strong at the end of that.

    My longest ride is about 160 miles, I went to the Pyrenees last June and cycled coast to coast - 450 miles and 66,000 feet of climbing in the week. I started time trialling last year and won our club championship at the first attempt (no, I'm not that good, just we are a medium sized group with not many youngsters!), have a PB of 22:40 for an 'undulating' 10 and this year have targetted going sub 22 mins (which would be relatively simple on a flat course) for the 10 and sub hour on my local undulating course for a 25. Both of these will be eminently achieveable.

    I have a (very) heavy winter bike and the difference between that and my best summer bike is immense. But if I bought a £1500 best bike I reckon I could get close to the weight of my summer bike (which is a really heavy Pinarello :wink: ) and the difference would be minimal.

    I am lucky in that I earn a good wage and get away with spending what I like on my hobby. I bought a second hand TT bike (Scott Plasma) with Zipp Disc/ 808 and the difference is again very measurable for me, compared to a road bike, but it would be wouldn't it?! I spent £2k on that (about a £5.5k bike new) and just know that I would be no quicker on a Pinarello Bolide..... :cry:

    I am doing plenty of base miles (like last year) plus interval turbo sessions (didn't do these last year) to get my LT up and to bring my TT times down. 3x 10s and a 25 so far this season has seen a PB for the 25 and a course PB for last weeks 10, just 13 secs off my 10 PB. No changes to the bike since last year, its all been changes to me!

    So, it really is diminishing returns. Buy a £3k carbon framed bike and you will notice the difference over a £500 aluminium framed bike. Stick Bradley on the £500 bike and he will still beat all of us (unless it is descending, as he was shitting himself on a £12+k bike the other day :lol: ) Buy a good £1500 bike and you will get close to the feel of a £3k bike. As others have said, swap the wheels for the best quality you can afford, suited to your predominant riding routes and this will make a big difference. I suspect it would put your half descent £1500 bike very close to a stock £3k bike, for about £2k.

    Ride a £5k+ bike and you will feel very little difference between that and your £3k bike with descent wheels on it. Once you get above £3k you tend to be just getting better wheels as standard and lighter/ slightly better kit. You are now paying for less.... :wink:

    So, really it comes down to money. If you have it, can afford it, spend it and enjoy it. But the biggest (note biggest, not only) gains are to be had by riding more, losing weight and getting fitter for the riding you want to do.

    Have fun

    PP
  • RandG
    RandG Posts: 779
    Is this you starting to think about upgrades now RandG? You’ve well and truly got the roadie bug ;-)

    IMO you’ve got a good bike at the moment, but you might want to think about binning the stock wheels/tyres and moving up the ladder a bit.


    I still remember you mentioning wheelsmith, and it's still a consideration, also reading this topic and your advice it seems the best and most practical way forward. I got michelin pro4 sc tyres on now, so guessing that's a step in the right direction ?
  • saprkzz
    saprkzz Posts: 592
    I have made the mistake of thinking i would be a pro rider by spending money.. Went from a £2k bike to a £7k bike, and actually i ride as strong if not stronger on the cheaper one. I have since sold the expensive one at a loss and have replaced it with a cheaper bike.. I = Happy now! :)

    Like other have said, get a decent bike fit, upgrade stuff like wheels and groupset.
  • t4tomo
    t4tomo Posts: 2,643
    RandG wrote:
    Take doing climbs for example, yes it's still me on top I know but what difference would a bike twice the price make to the ride ?

    Despite the fact that you have acknowledged the 'indian/arrow' thing this thread will soon be filled with posts telling you that its all about you and not the bike. Indeed I see that they have already started :D

    It's obviously impossible to give a definitive answer but a lighter stiffer bike with lighter stiffer wheels will get you up hills faster than a heavier bike. It will also accelerate faster.

    A 4 min 30 sec hill is nearer to being a 4 min hill when I am riding my best bike.

    Okay I know that this is a subjective comment but current scientific thinking does not support the 'bike makes no difference at all and it's all about you' theory. Or perhaps its does? :lol:

    The better acceleration and easier hill climbing can be of great benefit to a novice rider. For me it can make the difference (on a club ride) between hanging on to the back of the group or riding in the group and being able to take a few pulls up the front, particularly towards the end of a ride.

    I am not sure why people come out with the ' I am not good enough for a £3,000 bike' quote. Perhaps they are suffering from low self esteem :D


    I am off to work now fully expecting my ears to be burning all day :mrgreen:

    Charlie can you fit me in for an emergency filling please? :D
    Bianchi Infinito CV
    Bianchi Via Nirone 7 Ultegra
    Brompton S Type
    Carrera Vengeance Ultimate Ltd
    Gary Fisher Aquila '98
    Front half of a Viking Saratoga Tandem
  • hatch87
    hatch87 Posts: 352
    Winter training made quite a bit of difference to me, knocked 5 minutes off a regular 19 mile ride already this year without changing a thing. That was on my Trek 1.1 which is an 8 speed ally. I've now upgraded to a carbon bike but waiting for the wind to sod off to find out what the difference is but comfort has greatly improved over rough surfaces. If you already get carbon, I can't see there being much more of an upgrade
    http://app.strava.com/athletes/686217
    Come on! You call this a storm? Blow, you son of a bitch! Blow! It's time for a showdown! You and me! I'm right here! Come and get me!
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512

    I am not sure why people come out with the ' I am not good enough for a £3,000 bike' quote. Perhaps they are suffering from low self esteem :D

    I think its more a case of - why spend X amount on a bike when it's not noticeably faster or comfier or easier ? Just because a Professional rides it - doesn't mean its the best for my purposes.

    (drives off into the sunset in his F1 car.....)
  • charlie_potatoes
    charlie_potatoes Posts: 1,921
    I am off to work now fully expecting my ears to be burning all day :mrgreen:

    Back from work now and I must say that you lot haven't slated me half as much as I expected. Thanks for that chaps :D



    t4tomo wrote:
    Charlie can you fit me in for an emergency filling please? :D

    Sorry Tomo but I dig holes for a living......... Unless it's a few of those you need filling? :D
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • stueys
    stueys Posts: 1,332
    My winter bike (Spesh allez) is about 2.5-3 kg heavier than my summer/dry bike. You can feel the difference in how they ride, the lighter bike rolls and accelerates faster. I genuinely enjoy riding it more and it also stops a lot better due to the improved group set. Summary is it feels like a faster bike when riding.

    Having said that when I upload my results onto Strava I'm always surprised by how close the difference is, especially on climbs. On Sunday I got a PB on one of my tougher training hills on the winter bike.

    Summary for me is that the expensive bike (£2,500 with 700 of upgrades) has been worth it for me as riding it is a lot more fun and feels faster. The reality is that the expensive bike is faster but only if you're into counting seconds on each climb, really it's 95%+ rider in terms of performance.
  • RandG
    RandG Posts: 779
    Cheers for all the replies guys.

    You have me convinced there is no need to buy a new dearer bike, so upgraded wheels , less pies and more hill hill work will be the way forward.
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    RandG wrote:
    Cheers for all the replies guys.

    You have me convinced there is no need to buy a new dearer bike, so upgraded wheels , less pies and more hill hill work will be the way forward.

    Your title would seem to say that you knew the answer before the question was over.
    And that reminds me I think I'll have a slice of that strawberry pie my wife just made.
    I've yet to be as convinced as you. :oops:
  • RandG
    RandG Posts: 779
    dennisn wrote:

    Your title would seem to say that you knew the answer before the question was over.
    And that reminds me I think I'll have a slice of that strawberry pie my wife just made.
    I've yet to be as convinced as you. :oops:


    you're correct, I just wanted it confirmed by more experienced riders than myself.
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    RandG wrote:
    dennisn wrote:

    Your title would seem to say that you knew the answer before the question was over.
    And that reminds me I think I'll have a slice of that strawberry pie my wife just made.
    I've yet to be as convinced as you. :oops:


    you're correct, I just wanted it confirmed by more experienced riders than myself.

    Confirm what? That riding or pie is better? Oh hell, have both. Life's too short. :wink:
  • bill57
    bill57 Posts: 454
    zardoz wrote:
    Interestingly I had a Specialized Roubaix and then bought a Trek Domane 4.5 and I ride about 10% faster on the Trek and with less effort than on the Specialized.

    Was the Specialized glued to the ground? I think Scotty from Star Trek has a favourite phrase for this.