Do you have to earn your equipment with skill?

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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eric
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Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
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by eric

"have to"? No. Is top level equipment a waste under a slow fat wobbler? Yes. But I am not going to say that to anyone because it would be rude. And that argument is a slippery slope: how good do you have to be before it's not a waste? What if you're temporarily slow because you've been sick or injured?

The most important thing is to enjoy riding. You don't need a top level bike to do that; you need to get out and ride. A bike you can ride today is worth more than a better quality bike you don't have yet.

As a new road rider I recommend getting a decent but not top level bike to start. A $3-4000 bike is about 95% as good as a $10000 bike. Ride it for a year or two and then get your fancy top level machine. As you get experience road riding your taste in bikes and your position on the bike will change. Your dream bike now might not be your dream bike, or even fit right, in a year or two. You will also need to buy a ton of road specific gear- helmets, shoes, lots of clothes, etc. When you get the new bike the old bike becomes your rain/backup bike. If you're serious you need one so you don't miss a ride. This is assuming that you have a normal amount of disposable income. If you're wealthy buy both bikes now.

by Weenie


Skorp
Shop Wrench
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Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 12:54 am

by Skorp

I started off this year on a 300$ Cannondale Caad7 just to try out this road thing and to get some excercise for the other disceplines.
I quickly found out to my surprice that this was really fun and challenging. Blasting on country roads at great speeds, riding with my mates.
Pushing yourself on the uphills and downhills. My heavy weight and previous bike handling "skill" makes me unbeatable downhill...Altough a different story going up!
It was alot easier to have some control over my training aswell. I had my route and challenged myself to raise the average speed up!

The 300$ Cannondale was a beaten up old racer with a really bad fit to me. I have used around 1000$ to upgrade all the stuff that was broken, and now its a really decent bike which i enjoy riding on. Altough, everytime i try one of my friends bikes, i can feel how bad the Cannondale's fit is..
Upgrading only the frame has been considered, but i get more for my cannondale as a whole bike than just a bunch of parts.

I found this bargain Scott addict 2008 frameset for sale in my size, a barely used Red groupset is beeing sold by a local team for less than half price of CRC (which is allready cheap)
Some china carbon tubulars and i have a bike that is exactly 3kg lighter than my fastest mates bike..

I will start building soon!
Thanks for all the answers! :)

allabouttheWs
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:37 pm

by allabouttheWs

You can buy and ride what you want but that doesn't mean people aren't going to make fun of you :lol:

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Valy
Posts: 152
Joined: Tue May 29, 2012 11:16 pm

by Valy

dha wrote:Yeah buy what you want. Ignore what other people say.

I was on a club run in the summer and someone asked if I raced, I said no I don't. His response was "well why have you got dura ace and an s-works then". I decided not to respond.
frankly the idea is laughable that you need to have da / carbon wheels /frame to race. @ cat1 yeah it probably becomes more important as the margins get smaller, but anything up to then is simply not looking at things straight.

Personally get whichever bike feels the best for your budget. There is the thing is being able to savour higher end after bring on lower end stuff, but it's mostly down to how the bike feels overall and you simply get used to whatever it is you are riding - be it a pair of 1kg tubs or 1700g clinchers.

SpinnerTim
Posts: 170
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2010 11:36 am

by SpinnerTim

"The 300$ Cannondale was a beaten up old racer with a really bad fit to me. I have used around 1000$ to upgrade all the stuff that was broken, and now its a really decent bike which i enjoy riding on. Altough, everytime i try one of my friends bikes, i can feel how bad the Cannondale's fit is.."

Whoa, be careful with that. If you can, go out and get a bike that fits right now (did you buy the Scott?). Don't wait. Fit problems this obvious can end your riding career before it starts and even cause off the bike quality-of-life issues that will linger forever. I've seen too many back, knee, and hip problems start with bad fit. This alone is a mandate to upgrade your ride.

-Tim

mattr
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Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

He's not wrong there.
And make sure whoever does your fit, knows what they are doing. I see a lot of ex mtbers who seem to think that road bikes should have their saddles so high that you can't reach the pedals and the bars so low that you need arms like a gorilla to reach them.
The "tweaks" that you have to do to make this basic fit remotely usable are laughable, and make the bike uncomfortable and all but unrideable.
A good Road shop would be worth visiting.

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showdown
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:48 pm

by showdown

Buy whatever the hell you want.

That said, only race what you can afford to replace.

davidalone
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Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:27 pm

by davidalone

I would say you don't have to earn what you ride, but you'd be wasting lots of money if you went out as a new rider an bought latest and greatest. When you first learn to drive you don't buy the ferrari. You buy the beat up old Chevy so you can trash it around. Same thing with bikes. Not saying you can't have a nice bike, but a decent level one can be had without spending too much.

Not all high level racers race on high level equipment. A local conti team uses Sram force gruppos to save $ and can still regularly get under 6.8 easily. The real gnarly unsponsored, experienced racers race on ultegra/105/ rival /force gruppos. Whatever is cheap, replaceable, and works.

nyoda
Posts: 25
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:33 pm

by nyoda

When I first started riding, I was given my uncle's Centurion LeMans from 1987 with Shimano 600. I rode this bike for over 2 years, doing 100 mile training rides and several century charity rides. My favorite moment with that bike was when some douche on a brand new project one madone told me to get out of the group ride because my bike was a "danger to the other riders." I was completely insulted by this stupid remark considering that I treated that old steel piece of crap as if it were brand new. I responded by attacking the group and dropping his sorry ass. The rider makes the bike. Period. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

Skorp
Shop Wrench
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Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 12:54 am

by Skorp

I know for a fact that a 105/force groupset would be the correct for my level. I have the 105 5600 on the cannondale.. A new casette, chain, new wires and some new pulleys and i was extremely happy with the performance. :)
The Red just looks nicer, and for the price i get it its really just too cheap not to buy.

Skorp
Shop Wrench
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Joined: Thu May 30, 2013 12:54 am

by Skorp

The build have started. Did just buy the Addict :)

nathanong87
Resident master of GIF
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by nathanong87

you will be judged no matter what you buy.

tinozee
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Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:53 am

by tinozee

I agree with most here, just buy what you want. Don't worry about what other people think at all, no way. Just get on it and go balls out until you are good.

I like to get the best I can afford rather than upgrading later, and I have never regretted that. I tend to go all in with my hobbies though, and I find that I always end up taking it to the extreme or the end of my abilities. It may be partly a mental thing, but knowing I have the best stuff, I can forget the equipment and focus on improving results. I find that I can source parts extremely well on ebay, and do all the wrenching at home, it's all a pleasure.

Welcome to road biking and enjoy it.

Zigmeister
Posts: 921
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:09 pm

by Zigmeister

My opinion is, get the best you can afford, and if that means the best available on the market, so be it.

Here is the downside to that, I have NO excuses but myself now. Cant blame the equipment.
Last edited by Zigmeister on Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

by Weenie


PJCM
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:44 am

by PJCM

If riders had to earn their equipment then I doubt it would be feasible for the bike industry to produce top-end gear. The reality is that loads of great equipment is used by not-so-great cyclists and if it makes them happy, then great.

The performance benefits are obviously marginal compared with mid-range equipment but this stuff is nice to use and just enjoy the ownership of.

Biking, and related purchases, is as much emotional as it is rational so just go for it.

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