Friday Group Ride #296

Friday Group Ride #296

I have hesitated to write this FGR before, because the question I am going to pose can raise a lot of classist issues of affordability, scale and exclusivity. Money is one of those third rail topics you generally don’t want to touch and certainly not among your bike friends. The idea of a bunch of riders sitting around talking about what their bike costs isn’t one that makes me want to ride.

But.

The prices of bikes have shot through the roof, and not just “high-end” bikes but middle-tier as well, the whole $2800-$3800 space. Of course, any discussion of price is really a discussion of value. The Model T and the Tesla Model X are both cars, but one just might deliver more value than the other (he said, conspicuously not saying which one).

I am fortunate to own some nice bikes, mainly because I’m in the bike business. All but one of them would cost, at retail, in excess of $5,000, which I mention not to boast (the feeling is for some reason closer to embarrassment), but rather to say that I have experience of bikes at every price point and still don’t know the answer to today’s question.

Value is so subjective.

I have ridden and loved wobble-wheeled cruisers that were as fun to ride as any other bike on the planet, junkers you wouldn’t pay $50 for. And yet, the high-end (and “middle-end?”) rides you can get at bike stores across the world have something far more refined to offer, not just the ability to roll in great swooping arcs, but stability and versatility and personality that is as perceptible as a headwind on a climb. There is value to spending more than $50 on a bike, but where is the point of diminishing returns?

This week’s Group Ride asks, how much is too much to pay for a bike? I’m not sure I’ve read a review of a $5k+ bike without seeing a subsequent comment about how the bike costs more than some cars. So what? Some cars suck. It’s also true that some people appreciate nuance that others miss. I’m thinking of wine connoisseurs and their ability to ferret oak and ash and fruit from the acidic swirl on their tongues, while others just taste high-test grape juice.

Value is so subjective.

Image via goldgenie, bike price £250,000

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44 comments

  1. Fuzz

    15 years ago my riding buddies and I used to make fun of fat old white guys with too much money on $5K bicycles. This year I plan to become a fat old white guy with too much money on an $8-10K bicycle. The irony is not lost on me. On the flip side, I had my previous road bike for 19 years, and my current ride for is coming up on 17.

  2. Dan

    My Parlee Z5 probably has a replacement value of around 7K but I transferred my gruppo and wheels over from my last bike and was on board for around $3,000 total. Dropped about 5 lbs from my old steel IF and have loved every mile I’ve ridden it.

  3. michael

    my bikes, luckily, have come through working in outdoor retail/bike industry for the last few years. as such, I won’t offer what I paid, but I will say all of those bike would have been in the $5000-8000 range or so at full pop.

    now that I am no longer involved in said industries, I am choking at the price of the bike i’d really like to have to replace the one whos frame just broke beyond safe repair.

    i’ll have to save up for a couple of years to reasonably afford it.

    thankfully, I have an old steel frame Marinoni that I can ride in the meantime, which i purchased at a yard sale for $300. yes, $300. the poor folks selling it had no idea it was easily worth $1500 at the minimum.

    i am unwilling to call said Marinoni a downgrade 😉

  4. michael

    i’d also add, now that I have to pay full retail for something, and that I have a rather pedestrian annual salary and have other priorities in life to fund as well moving forward, the next bike will be a forever bike. so I am saving up for my dream Titanium bike.

  5. Andrew

    Funny you should bring this topic up. Having recently purchased a new steel frame, I decided to insure my bike for travel purposes, so I had to come up with a replacement price for it. $6000. I’m kind of stunned- I really never thought that’d I’d own a $6000 bike. And that’s with generic Chinese carbon wheels on there.

  6. Bart

    At this point in my life there two kinds of bikes I look for:

    1) Less than $1000 for full rig either used or new. These are ridden in the winter and with the kids and to see if I like different kinds of riding. An example is that last year I bought a gravel grinder used for $800 to be my next winter bike. In the fall I used it for a couple of non-paved events and loved the experience. This year I’m planning to do 4-6 gravel rides and I’m saving my pennies to buy a dedicated gravel bike that would fit in category 2 below. This summer I want to try some cross country mountain biking so I’m looking for a good used bike for around $1000 just to get a taste. I know that this makes some people cringe, but I HATE the idea of buying a $5000 mountain bike just to discover that I don’t really like that type of riding very much.

    2) High end bikes that are last years model. I don’t have the connoisseurs ability to discern minute differences. Either the bike feels good to me or it doesn’t. Before buying my most recent top-end road bike I test road about 15 bikes. I was surprised how many of them I DIDN’T like. It was often something very specific like the skin on my inner knee/thigh would stick to the top tube if it touched because of the width of the top tube and the paint finish. That was simply a no-go. I finally got on the bike I purchased and it just “felt” right. It was part of me and I didn’t have to think about it. I was very happy to see that it was a bike from the manufacturer’s demo fleet and I got it for about 40% off full price. Came with full warranty and it’s been fantastic.

    I’d rather be a bit economical with the bike and spend more on clothing, accessories, event registrations and travel.

  7. Gene Sanders

    As a weekend warrior a few decades ago, I rode a $225 Ross with toe clips. Prior to a biathlon (duathlon?) I borrowed a friend’s $1500 Cannondale with clip in shoes. During the three weeks with the high$$ bike, I could find no appreciable difference in top end speed nor total energy expended over a 40 mile ride. I admit to subjective measurement of E expended, but even a half mile per hour difference over 40 miles wouldn’t have affected my enjoyment, fitness, nor ability to hang with my usual group.
    I suspect that what low end riders perceive as minuscule, and therefore insignificant, differences become much more important for high end riders, because there’s a much wider range of abilities at the low end than there are at the high end. In other words, a few seconds may be crucially important for serious bike racers, but won’t change much for a weekend fitness-n-fun rider.
    Those few seconds, though a fraction of the ride time, can cost twice, six, or dozens of times more than the purchase price of a serviceable low end bicycle.
    I might attribute all the purchasing of expensive bicycles to a conscious assessment of the value of those few seconds, except for the large number of middle-aged entry riders who spend exorbitantly for their first bicycle without understanding how little extra performance they’re getting at their speeds and distances.
    A final analogy: if my body is my speed limit, my buying a high end bike is like someone buying a Lamborghini that can cruise thrice the highest posted speed limit. There’s gonna be a lot of unused capability.

    1. Pat O'Brien

      I also agree with Gene. My top price for a bike these days would be about $2K. But I would only pay that if it was exactly what I wanted. And that doesn’t happen with OEM bikes from the major brands anymore. I like group sets, not necessarily high end but matching. My last bike purchase had 105 for everything possible, and Shimano for things that weren’t, like long reach calipers.

  8. Chris K

    Done the high end, super light, hi-mod carbon bike obsession and do love them but now spend half my time riding my $2-3k steel bikes (Brompton, Bike Friday NWT, and Jamis Quest Elite). They don’t have the very last bit of light and flighty sensation or the speed, but I’m not racing and most of my enjoyment comes from just being outside on a bike.

  9. Elizabeth

    It’s an interesting question. I have a $3000 carbon bike (Trek Domane 5.2), a $1000 aluminum hybrid (Trek DS 8.5), and a fat bike (Surly Pugsley) that I just bought during Surly’s flash sale ($900). The Pugs and Domane each do what they do really well. I don’t see where an $6K Trek would improve the ride enough for me (middle aged woman) to notice. I did wish I could buy a U.S. made Trek in the price range and did think about custom. The truth is, though, that a 54cm off the rack bike fits me fine and carbon plastic is fun to ride. I couldn’t see spending $2K more just because.

    Now…I would like a high zoot cross-country or trail bike. I’m looking Pivot and recognize that means spending more on it than on the other three combined. Whether I’ll actually do that, I don’t know. Watching for sales helps me feel better about purchases of this type, but it also can make me buy that which I do not need (DS)

  10. Shawn

    When I upgraded 5 years back from a low-end road bike to a second tiered model (listed at $4000 at the time and equipped with Ultegra), the difference in terms of acceleration and comfort was amazing. I’m not sure why but I’m doubtful that the jump to a top tiered model would be so palpably better and, thus, I have a hard time justifying the additional expense. Of course, I have avoided trying one for fear that I’m wrong (and I’m perfectly happy with my bike).

  11. Scott

    Years ago, I was halfway up Ink Grade during the Napa Century on my aluminum Cannondale, wearing all the right gear, when I got passed, smoked that is, by a heavily bearded older gentleman riding a mid ’70’s Schwinn Varsity that desperately needed some Teflon lube. His kit: cutoffs, T-shirt and tennis shoes. Bike cost and condition was clearly transcended by talent. Lesson learned – you can’t judge a rider by his rig or kit.

    The ultimate values in cycling have little to do with equipment. Oh, it’s nice to ride a bike that climbs well, descends on rails, and accelerates like a scared cat. But for me, the real value comes in having a magic carpet to extraordinary places. It’s being able to share my experience (mostly crashes, bonks and heat exhaustion) with new riders to help accelerate their learning curve. It’s in attaining that “flow” state lauded by Padraig. For me, value comes in having a bike that gets me there and (most importantly) back again.

    Spending significantly more to get fractionally faster for a club ride, or commute, is just stupid. I have ample room to improve myself, lose weight, and train smarter. Reality is, I can tap joy on almost anything that rolls (says the guy with the Trek Domane 6.2).

  12. Miles Archer

    How much is too much? I can’t answer that question, even for myself.

    I don’t lust after the best bikes. I started riding on the road about 15 years ago on a 1980s Cannondale I bought from a buddy who was moving. I rode that until the derailleurs fell off. Ok, It was just the pulley, but I was rather stranded. This was about 10 years ago. I bought a new Trek aluminum with some carbon bits – I don’t remember exactly what it cost but it was around $1500. Shifting was much easier, but ride quality, weight, etc wasn’t much different. Really if I want the bike to be lighter and faster, I should concentrate on the engine and not the frame.

    I’ve never ridden a real high end bike. Maybe it would be amazing and I’d need to buy it. If it made that much of a difference, I could pay $5k for it. But I really doubt it would make a substantial difference to my ride experience.

  13. Jason

    I have a couple of road bikes and a mountain bike. Two of these bikes (road 1 and mtn 1) are in the $1000 to $2000 range and they are perfectly fine bikes. That said, I had ridden pricier bikes and could see a difference. My experience tells me that anything over $4000 or $5000 difference is pretty negligible with one exceptional thing which is wheels. A really excellent set of wheels on any price point bike makes a difference and often when you get above $5000 a lot of the extra dough goes into wheels.

    BTW the other bike is a full custom Seven evergreen that is loaded (including an amazing set of enve wheels) and cost me about $10,000. Fortunately, I had a couple good things go my way one year and I was able to go all out. I am sure that I could have gotten something that is just as good (since I am pretty close to a stock 54 size wise) for a bunch less. But it is quite simply the best thing I have ever bought. Above the 5K range it’s either you need that tiny bit of performance (I don’t) or it’s pure indulgence (that’s me :-).

  14. Chris

    A few years ago, I was on vacation in Maui and wanted to fit in a few rides so brought my shoes, pedals and helmet. I looked into renting and found a mid-range Ultegra equipped bike, which would have been an upgrade to my own bike at the time, was about $350 for the week. A Sora triple crank Trek was less than $100. I opted for the Trek and it was not particularly inspiring. It shifted sluggishly, was heavy, accelerated slowly, and was jarring on bad roads. But you know what? I was riding a bike in a beautiful spot and was grinning ear to ear every moment.

    My view – if you can afford it, buy a bike your dream bike (just be careful not to buy someone else’s dream bike). If not, $1000 will get you out riding, which after all is the point.

  15. Quentin

    I like to measure the cost of my bikes in dollars per mile ridden. My benchmark for “getting my money’s worth” out of bike is to ride enough miles to get the cost below a dollar per mile. I don’t begrudge anyone their $10K bike if they are likely to put 10K miles on it, but someone who buys that bike and rarely ever rides it paid too much.

    It used to be that spending extra money got better shifting and braking, but things have “trickled down” to the less expensive component groups quite a lot in recent years. I’m using 11-speed 105 on one bike, and it is pretty impressive. Anything above about $3000 now mostly just buys lower weight and aerodynamics, with some incremental improvements in ride quality. Most of us don’t actually need the first two of those, though I’m sure it’s fun if you can afford it.

  16. rashadabd

    This is a question I have given some serious thought to this year since I have been in the market for a new bik (or stable) after selling things off before a cross country move. I went back and forth and after owning a fairly expensive Cervelo R3 previously, I really didn’t see the point of just spending to spend anymore. I felt like I had learned too much to fall for all of the marketing hype after riding alonside (and sometimes behind) cyclists on much older and cheaper bikes. Fitness, skill, and riding position trumps almost everything else and I just can’t escape that reality anymore. At the end I decided to build up really nice, but much more affordable Caad10. I found a brand new 2015 frame for a killer deal. I have already added a nice carbon SWorks seatpost, carbon bars and stem, and Ultegra Di2 to the mix (all found at significantly reduced prices on eBay or elsewhere online). It will have a nice set of Reynolds Assualt or new Giant SLR1 wheels by the time I finish. It’s not going to cause anyone to gush and awe, but I have come to realize that this is more than enough bike for me at 42 years old and truly can be used to ride with anyone anywhere. I may also build up a Supersix Evo Hi Mod in a similar fashion at a later date to have in order to be able to switch up for super long gran fondos and/or really tough climbing days, but I know that I don’t need it if I am honest.

  17. Cash

    Do you see golf magazines bemoaning the price of that sport? You don’t. I think cycling and cyclists needs to adopt a similar mentality. Pay what you want. There are fine bikes at every price point. The sport doesn’t have to be egalitarian. I’m not sure why cost is so much a topic of conversation.

    That said, I am somewhat perplexed by the cost disparity between top end FS mountain bike frames and road frames. To my eyes an FS frame is a far more complicated device than a road frame and yet the road frame is generally the same price or more.

  18. Luigi

    Have worked very hard for very long in a difficult profession and am thus lucky enough that I can afford any bike I want and as many of them as I want. Despite that, I can’t get past the reality that the ‘latest and greatest’ doesn’t make me any faster or increase my enjoyment of riding and racing. I have one custom (ti cross) purchased at full retail (about 8500 all in) and am nearing the end of a long wait for a bespoke lugged steel , also to be paid at full boat. My other bikes are either modest and well used ($3000 road bike with 50,000 miles, 23 year old MTB still with 7 speed LX), fixie from a dumpster with $80 invested), or bargains I picked up used on the cognoscenti forums ($1750 near new Parlee Z5 frame, $1800 near new Moots PsychloX RSL frame). No reason to deny myself things I’ve sacrificed to earn, but no need to p**s away money either. YMMV of course.

  19. Girl

    My custom Ti road bike provides blissful, all-day comfort. I know I’m nothing special as a rider, but being able to do something I love on a truly special bike makes it worth every penny. I just feel fortunate to have been able to make the investment in such a quality machine. Every ride is such a treat!

  20. ScottyCycles

    I went custom Steel at the end of the Summer in 2014. 11,000 miles later I am glad I spent north of $3000 (frame and fork). The difference in ride is incredible compared to my previous bike (approx $1000 frame and fork). Sometimes you get what you pay for but when it’s a bike go custom when you go bigger bucks.

  21. AC

    IMO, diminishing returns become apparent somewhere between the 105 and ultegra level. But I spend more anyway. Custom ti, ultegra di2 and november rails are wel worth it to me. I do realize I could likely be nearly as happy for roughly $3500.

  22. John Kopp

    I presume that the photo of the Goldgenie is the upper limit of what you would pay for a bike at $375,000. This is more that most cars. Only a bout a dozen super sports cars are more than this.

    But seriously, my first 10 speed was a C Itoh bought in 1974 for about $150. Rode my first century ride on it. I was shamed into upgrading 4 years later by some serious riders. Got a Trek 530 touring bike for about $400. It was a much better ride. Bought a Trek 950 frame set in 1982 with Columbus tubing. Cost about $450, and components to built it was another $400. Avocet cranks and hubs, but nothing special for the gears and derailers. Index that to inflation, and that’s about $2000 for a frame set and another $2000 for components. If I were to purchase today, I would get a custom frame, which would be around $2000, and components would be another two grand, though I have no clue what they would be. So for me, anything over $5,000 is too much. I feel that carbon fiber plastics are not durable enough for that kind of money.

  23. Gummee!

    I like Dura Ace. Works better. Lasts longer. Lighter.

    I’ve been in and out of shops for 20+ years. When I’m not working for a shop, I’m searching online for deals. I’m working trades. Doing everything I can to avoid paying full retail.

    When I AM working for a shop, I’m searching online for deals. I’m working trades. Doing everything I can to avoid paying full retail including EPing stuff.

    I have XTR/XT mix mtn bikes, CX bikes with Ultegra or Ultegra/D/A mixes, and road bikes with D/A mix groups on them. Haven’t paid retail for any of it whether I built the bikes during a shop time or not. Someone would look at this olde pharte and assume that I’d paid lots more for what I’m riding than is actually the case.

    Do I *need* D/A? Nope. It makes me happy, so I buy it

  24. Bruce

    This discussion should include thoughts on actual value for the money. One can buy a very nice motorcycle with a four-cylinder engine, which requires precision machining and metallurgy in the engine and transmission for $10,000. USD. I’m not implying any cyclists take up motorcycling, but wondering why a fairly large production, Taiwanese molded carbon-framed bicycle with Dura-Ace components should cost the same amount.

  25. hubcap diamondstar

    The average 40 yo has about 30k of discretionary income a year…so perhaps it’s not surprising that a chunk of that goes to a bikes every few years. Pretty reasonable to spend 25% of your left over cash on your hobbies….and cycling is my only one, so I’m over getting hung up on bike costs. It is a thrill to get a deal, or to love the hell out of the bargain bike, ride it hard and don’t worry and I do that on my $1000 Caadx, and the $700 Jamis road bike I store at the mother-in-laws. But then again, my Ibis Ripley is the best bike that’s every been made anywhere in history, and worth every penny of the $7k. Not sure I’ll ever get to the dollar a ride mark since I ride several bikes throughout the year…that does make me cringe.
    I guess I haven’t answered the question. 12k. anything over 12k is too much to pay for a bike in my opinion.

  26. Grego

    Well, my problem is going to be that the NAHBS is coming back to my area in just over a month. “Discretion” and “discretionary” are interesting words, no?

  27. RM2Ride

    One thought in response is: “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it.”

    🙂

    Another is to note that even if you buy a high-end bike, if you ride a lot pretty soon the price per mile comes down, and the difference between a $10,000 bike ridden for 10,000 miles and a $3,000 bike ridden for only 3,000 miles over a couple of years is $zero. And once you get down to the pennies/mile, what does it really matter any more anyway? I bought one of my bikes for the pricey-to-a-college-student $670 in 1987. I bet it’s got 40,000 miles on it. The fact that I’m still riding it (occasionally) is, to me, priceless. I hope to be doing the same in 15, 20 or 30 years with this lovely bike (http://rkp.wpengine.com/2013/08/seven-cycles-622-slx-part-i/) that I shelled out a whole mid-life crisis for. (And that is still much cheaper than a sports car!) Again: priceless.

    The last way I’d think about it is this: you’ve paid too much for a bike if you are riding it – on day 1, or on day 100, or on day 1000 – and you’re thinking about how much you paid for the bike instead of thinking about the ride.

  28. Creeping Tortoise

    It’s function rather than weight or speed that drives me.
    When I bought my last road bike (in 2005) I went Dura-Ace because it was functionally better than Ultegra in a substantial way. I doubt I’ll ever buy above Ultegra now as the function gap has closed and it’s really only the weight that differs between the two group sets.
    On the other hand I do some loaded touring and I’ll buy a Tubus rack over something like a Topeak every time even though it costs three times as much. Again it’s function driving me. Tubus racks can handle the strain – they just don’t break without some sort of trauma involved – and it’s a ‘bad thing’ when your rack breaks in the middle of nowhere. Topeak (et al) are great for lighter loads so if I was just commuting then I’d go for those. Function driven.

  29. Hoshie99

    I bought a top end Scott addict 8 years ago and it is still going strong. Most of the group has been replaced but the frame and fork are still going strong.

    Even though the price was high, the value is hard to argue with. My personal limit on what to spend is just that, personal as I look for value / quality nexus that. At not match others. But the best bike is one you’ll ride.

    On the opposite end , we just got my daughter a Dutch style bike with internal gears. It’s amazing the quality and fun you can get between the $500 to 700 mark.

    J

  30. mike

    I stopped buying new bikes. My last three were used and all less than 50% of new. My C50 was 1/3 of new cost by buying a used pro bike. It is now 8 years old and I have never crashed it but the guy who raced it sure did. That said it is still solid and safe.

  31. Jackie Gammon

    Another custom ti person here. AS for prices in the industry, they have gone way too high. But then again, so has everything else in our lives. The reality is this: buy what you want, and RIDE it! It’s as simple as that…. and “yes” I work in the bike industry as well.

  32. Jimmy

    This year I opted to build up bikes for some neighbor kids instead of upgrading my rain bike with a new group set. While I averaged a bit more than $50/bike, my parts pile and old clothes are now a 5 strong peloton anxious to conquer the world. DT shifters and toe clips don’t even register, the kids just want to ride.

  33. Jay

    I am a 60 yo earning above the average of $50K. That said I have serious reservations about purchasing a bicycle that is in the $7000 or above range. I have three bikes at present: a Trek 7.3, a Specialized Roubaix, and a steel frame Spectrum. The cost of the three ranges from $750 to just over $5000. I like all three of the bikes. Each has a specific niche for which I find them useful. The Spectrum is custom and the most expensive of the three, but rather than go crazy I worked with my builder to keep the budget modest (the frame was the biggest chunk of the total). I still have a certain level of buyer’s remorse (or guilt) over what I spent on the Spectrum. I felt selfish thinking of spending that on a bike. I discussed it with my wife; she felt that I should go for it (after all, I had put two sons through college and had waited 35 years to get a custom bike).

    I guess the point that I am trying to make is that regardless, everyone has to weigh a variety of factors to determine how much is too much when purchasing a bicycle. Another thing to consider is what you value in terms of the the bike you ride, i.e., do you need Dura-Ace or would Ultegra or 105 perform well enough to satisfy your demands? There is no one right answer, but there is a right answer for everyone.

  34. Ransom

    I’m surprised how many comments seem to suggest justifying in terms of speed. It seems like that gets into marginal gains *really* quickly compared to more subjective differences affecting only how much you like riding it. I mean, outside of the few folks for whom grams and tiny bits of drag can result in changes to results that result in changes to paychecks, but that’s not the vast majority of us.

  35. Dan Murphy

    What timing. I’m in the market for a new bike and am contemplating spending semi-big-bucks on one, maybe $6-7K (and yes, Seven is in the running). I’m turning 62, just took an early retirement package from work (I do plan on working again, maybe), and well, like my neighbor says, “You’re going to be dead a long time”.
    At 62, I certainly don’t need high performance. Hell, I’ve never needed it. I really like ti, though, having had a Merlin for 18+ years.
    So, will it be a splurge? Yeah, you could say that. I could easily get what I want for half of a new one. We’ll see what happens.

  36. chasing backon

    At 45 years I finally sprang for my first custom bike. It’s not at all about speed but instead comfort and style since my racing days are long gone. A lugged, steel frame rando build with 650bx42c tires, front loaded with a handlebar bag, fenders, dynamo, the whole deal. I work in the industry and got a mild discount on the frameset from a classic american builder who i respect immensely. The delux parts kit was sourced from new and used where possible. That said, the entire bike still came in over 3K, which is by far the most expensive bike i’ve ever owned, even at roughly half of retail.

    I love riding this bike every single time I get on it, even if most of my riding is under 20 mph and feel it was worth every penny. In addition, i expect to have it for many many years and ride the proverbial crap out of it.

    I feel this bike has personality and character and don’t feel the same about a popped of the mold carbon bike, even if those bikes are crazy efficient for their intended use. I like the idea of big bucks on a custom bike just for a specific person, not just an off the shelf carbon frame with fancy bits.

  37. Earle Young

    When I worked in bicycle retail, and somebody would talk about how expensive a bicycle is, I would suggest this strategy to them: Buy a $1,500 bike. Then each time you ride it for a couple of hours (either in one shot, or collectively), find an ad for your local golf course. Look at the greens fee for 18 holes. Put that money in a coffee can. Do that EVERY time, as if you had dug in your pocket for a round of golf. When the $1,500 bike is worn out, take the coffee can to your LBS and spend it all on your next bike. Chances are, you will have taken a couple hundred rides at $20 apiece, and you can get a very nice bike. Keep putting your “greens fees” into your coffee can. When this bike is worn out, having outlasted first bike by at least 2 to 1, you now have enough in the coffee can to go to your favorite frame builder and order a custom bike. When you compare a lifetime, or even a cycling life starting at age 35, riding the good stuff is relatively cheap.

  38. Ryan

    I am convinced there are expensive bikes that are worth it, but not all expensive bikes are worth it.

    I will happily spend several thousand dollars on a bike that fits perfectly and will last a decade (think custom steel). I will not spend that much money on a bike that next year will have the “wrong” sized wheels, axle spacing, or a suspension design that is no longer fashionable.

    The giants of the bike industry are going in an unfortunate direction right now. I want bicycles that are reliable, easy to get parts for and at least no harder to service than last year’s model. Bottom brackets are probably the best example of industry foolishness. 68mm threaded BBs worked great, then we got all that press fit crap and instead of admitting it was a bad idea we got a new threaded standard. That was dumb.

    To answer the question directly. I’ll happily spend $6k on a bike that fits and lasts a long time. I won’t spend $1 on a bike that might need a firmware update at some point.

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