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Quickly Compare Bikes by Spec Level

sjalexsjalex Posts: 26
edited June 2019 in MTB buying advice
https://99spokes.com is a hobby project (no ads) we put together to make it easy to compare bikes from multiple manufacturers in a single location. We just finished a new feature that we’re really excited about, making it super easy to see at a glance how the bikes in your comparison stack up against the rest of the market with respect to spec and cost.

Basically, we break down everything we know about a bike’s specs-- frame, fork, wheels, groupset components, brake type, suspension system, features like dropper posts, etc. and assign weights to each component or feature based on the intended use of the bike. We use this to estimate the overall “spec level” of the bike, which we can then use to find bikes that look like good deals. Of course, we can’t capture every unique detail or feature that makes a bike awesome, nor can we capture personal preferences. So bikes that land low on the scale are not necessarily bad bikes or bad deals. We’d love to hear your feedback if you find cases where we may have missed the mark on scoring a particular bike or feature.

Here’s an example comparison of three different Enduro bikes (rear travel 150-170mm) in the $4k range - https://99spokes.com/compare?bikes=trek-slash-9.7-2018,specialized-enduro-elite-29-2019,cannondale-jekyll-29-3--2019

The chart below plots the bikes in the comparison against other 2019 Enduro bikes. The Cannondale Jekyll (green) really stands out as a good value here with the highest spec value at the lowest price. You can see why if you glance at the summary table -- the bikes all have very similar specs, the main difference is the Cannondale has a Fox Performance Float front fork.

Screen+Shot+2019-06-14+at+8.58.29+PM.png

Another interesting exercise is to drill into the grey dots in the chart. Hovering reveals the bike name and clicking will take you to the bike’s detail page. Looking at the dot to the left of the Cannondale we discover a CUBE that has a slightly better spec level than the Cannondale for less money.

Screen+Shot+2019-06-14+at+8.57.50+PM.png

Of course, we can’t capture every unique detail or feature that makes a bike awesome, nor can we capture personal preferences. So bikes that land low on the scale are not necessarily bad bikes or bad deals. We hope a tool like this is useful to the community and would love to hear your feedback if you find cases where we may have missed the mark on scoring a particular bike or feature.

Posts

  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,250
    Good geometry beats spec, pretty much every time. The bike mags are full of reviews that show the truth of this.

    But it is easy to be critical or negative, so I acknowledge the energy and skill you have put into this. It will be useful to many to maybe create a short list. If the user could alter the prices to take into account what happens towards the end of the year that might be useful too.

    All we need know is an app that does the same as the above but shows the geometry. In fact I'm pretty sure that someone has already done that, or trying to do so. Wasn't it on here last year?
  • loudogloudog Posts: 136
    Nice website I've been playing on it for some time. But now ive made it freeze haha
    It matters not, win or lose, it's how you ride the bike
  • bonzo_bananabonzo_banana Posts: 256
    As ever different people prioritise different things on a bike so it can only be one person's interpretation. I guess you could do something like a component price total on each bike, so it scans the spec and gives a component price vs complete bike comparison so you can see the value of what you are getting but beyond that it is difficult. Here in the UK often the best value bikes are shop brand bikes as they buy directly from the factory and sell under their own brands directly in their own stores. These can sometimes be half the price of the big US bike brands who may actually be made in the same factories so the US brands would score very badly on a component price vs full bike comparison.
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