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Cheap Bikes vs expensive bikes - what are the real differences?



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 12th 03, 08:50 PM
The Real Slim Shady
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Default Cheap Bikes vs expensive bikes - what are the real differences?

Hi,
I am far from an expert on these things but will offer my opinions. I have
just got a bike for 1100 -an Orbea Liege. I am absolutely over the moon
with it. I used to have a cheaper 120 "racer" a Falcon Butler or
something. All I can say is that the difference is PHENOMENAL. That
cheaper racer might have been perfectly adequate for most folks pottering
about. However, I have road racing ambitions and want to get up to speed.

For a start the Liege weighs about 8.7kg, most quality bikes will be
something similar. The other bike was nearer to 20kg !! Not much of a
difference? Over 25 miles its a big difference believe me !!! Try carrying
two 15lb Christmas turkeys around with you a bit and you'll see what I mean.
It handles much better. It flys around corners and is responsive - it
almost tells if you are not riding properly

Secondly the gear changing and ratios of those gears are like comparing a
clapped out mini to a BMW M5. In another league altogether. The gear
changing is light, crisp and immediate - no clanking around whilst it misses
the change and you lose all your momentum!! I feel much more confident with
the braking system. I was always very nervous on my old bike when
approaching a down hill bend and I would be braking at the top of the hill
practically. Now I can sail around at speed and with confidence about what
the bike will do, no problem.

When on my old bike I sometimes got mingled in with a load of road racers on
Tueday evenings when cycling out on my own. These guys would just blow me
away. Now I can easily keep up with most of them and can overtake many of
them.

I don't think you have to spend quite as much as I did but I think you will
find that in cycling like many other things in life, you really do what you
pay for. The way I looked at it was that I wanted the bike to last me two
years. Okay, an "extra" 500 for a better bike over two years is peanuts -
less than a fiver or two pints of beer a week. If I was going to be
Armstrong/Ullrich material at the end of this period (not likely for a 36
year old, admitedly) then I would spend whatever necessary. If not then I
have had the enjoyment from a lovely bike. So far it has given me great fun
and I love it.

Good luck.




"Pyromancer" wrote in message
...

First off, thanks to all who answered my Brompton questions, I'll be
obtaining one at some point in the not too distant future!

Having read quite a few threads (well, glanced through them when time
permits, anyway), I've noticed that the "wisdom of the group" appears to
be that an entry-level machine should cost between 350 and 500 quid, and
that spending well over a grand for a good upright or 'bent is perfectly
reasonable.

I've never ridden an "expensive" bike, the last one I had (which got
nicked) cost me a tenner 2nd hand, and only cost the original owner
about 80 quid when it was new. Big, heavy, clunky MTB type thing, but
solidly put together and seemed to work pretty well. Prior to that I'd
various bikes in the 100 quid range over the years, except I did once
buy a racer off a cousin which had once cost about 400, and that was
noticeably lighter than some of the others.

Anyway, the thing I'm wondering is what, exactly, do you get for the
extra money? I'm not knocking it, just curious as to what is the real
difference between a 100 quid ex-catalogue hybrid from the bike shop
down the road and the kind of (to me) esoteric hardware that gets
mentioned here?

Btw, my first bike was by a company called "Vindec" (IIRC), and was a
clone of the Raleigh Chopper. 3 speed S/A hub gears, soft fat tyres,
great fun for a teenager though! I've not seen bikes like that for
years, does anyone still make them, or did the BMX craze kill them off?

--
- Pyromancer, speaking for himself.
http://www.inkubus-sukkubus.co.uk -- Pagan Gothic Rock!
http://www.littlematchgirl.co.uk -- Electronic Metal!
http://www.revival.stormshadow.com -- The Gothic Revival.



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  #2  
Old August 12th 03, 09:23 PM
Peter B
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Default Cheap Bikes vs expensive bikes - what are the real differences?


"Pyromancer" wrote in message
...
Anyway, the thing I'm wondering is what, exactly, do you get for the
extra money? I'm not knocking it, just curious as to what is the real
difference between a 100 quid ex-catalogue hybrid from the bike shop
down the road and the kind of (to me) esoteric hardware that gets
mentioned here?


I bought my first "proper" mountain bike in '92 after previously owning a
couple of psuedo ones. I was a little bothered that it cost 800 quid but my
doubts were swept aside during the first off-road ride, a lot of it is
subjective but quite honestly it felt so much different. It sounds corny but
it did really feel an extension of me rather than something I sit on and
pedal.1
I still own that bike (some bits beside the frame are still original)
although it spends most of the time hanging in the garage as 3.5 years ago I
bought a full susser in deference to my aging body and didn't hesitate at
paying the 1300 it cost, the subsequent enjoyment I've had is beyond
costing.

As regards road bikes as a schoolboy I owned a decent one but my interest
waned and when it was re-kindled I bought a heavy gas-pipe special and
didn't ride much. Then I bought a decent bike for a bargain price and
realised why I hadn't enjoyed riding, it was the feel again.
After 9 years that got trashed in an rta so I bought another 1400 bike,
it's very, very nice but apart from the improved transmission features it
actually doesn't enhance my riding experience over the 800 pound bike it
replaced by a wide margin, the laws of diminishing returns I guess.

1 This is the main thing to me, the feel and the way the bike reacts to
your inputs, other benefits are smoother operating parts but in fairness
even budget range equipment performs well these days.
I also windsurf and have tinkered with flying things and the most important
factor again is response to my inputs, the better the response the more at
one you feel with it. All wasted on a trip to the paper shop of course :-)

Pete


  #3  
Old August 12th 03, 10:03 PM
wafflyDIRTYcatLITTERhcsBOX
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Default Cheap Bikes vs expensive bikes - what are the real differences?

Anyway, the thing I'm wondering is what, exactly, do you get for the
extra money? I'm not knocking it, just curious as to what is the real
difference between a 100 quid ex-catalogue hybrid from the bike shop
down the road and the kind of (to me) esoteric hardware that gets
mentioned here?


A world of difference in quality of ride.

I had a cheapy - an eastern european made thing in bright pearly pink that
weighed a ton. To ride more than a couple of miles was *exhausting* and any
incline was *knackering*. But it got me from A to B - but it didn't *encourage*
me to do more A to Bs and indeed try for A to C, D, E etc.

Then I got a better quality, lighter-weight hybrid. Instant doubling of mileage
without effort. The bike is still with me, in good nick, after 14 years. I
still use it occasionally.

I now have a Bianchi San Remo. To buy new these days you are looking at about
850 squid - see http://www.awcycles.co.uk/products.php?plid=1-0-21-1304 Mine is
an older model (different colour, same spec as far as I can see - but I've got
a female specific saddle, mudguards & rear rack on mine). It is a joy to ride.
Plain & simple. It doesn't just "do" it makes cycling enjoyable, fun, a
breeze....

Don't get me wrong, my old pink peril served its purpose, but the *joy* of
cycling was opened up to me in owning a "better" bike.

Just my 0.02 euros :-)

Cheers, helen s


~~~~~~~~~~
This is sent from a redundant email
Mail sent to it is dumped
My correct one can be gleaned from
h$**$*$el$**e$n$**$d$**$o$*$t**$$s$**$im$mo$ns*@a$ **o$l.c$$*o$*m*$
by getting rid of the overdependence on money and fame
~~~~~~~~~~
  #4  
Old August 13th 03, 07:17 AM
Tony W
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Default Cheap Bikes vs expensive bikes - what are the real differences?


"Peter Clinch" wrote in message
...

I'd agree that 300 is better, if you happen to have it, and also I'd
avoid spending less than ~200. But between the two there's an area
where you can get something better in just about every way than what I
paid 200 for back in '89, when 200 was worth rather more than it is
now. And that bike did me very well for the best part of a decade, just
putting on better bits as the originals wore out.


It also depends on what type of bike you want. A pretty good hardtail MTB
can be had for 250 GBP but a good, basic (disc free), mid range one will
leave little change from about 600 GBP.

For a full sus you can get a worthless clunker for peanuts or spent a grand
on a real entry level machine.

A nice hybrid can be purchased from 200 up and by 300 its going to be pretty
good.

A 'road' bike (racer/audax/tourer) probably needs 500 or so to get you
started and more than a grand would be easy to spend.

Yes, a good, basic bike can be had for 200-300 notes -- but if this is the
budget then best value will be had by going for a nice sensible hybrid --
which will do everything OK but nothing spectacularly.

T


  #5  
Old August 13th 03, 09:03 AM
Peter Clinch
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Default Cheap Bikes vs expensive bikes - what are the real differences?

Pyromancer wrote:

Having read quite a few threads (well, glanced through them when time
permits, anyway), I've noticed that the "wisdom of the group" appears t=

o
be that an entry-level machine should cost between 350 and 500 quid


It depends what area you're looking at. For someone starting off with a =

general purpose bike just to get about on I'd personally put a good=20
entry level at around =A3200, for which you can get a sound basic bike=20
that does the stuff as long as it's sensibly specced (i.e., no full=20
suspension or disc brakes at that price). In that area you've got mass=20
production economies of scale and supply competition is intense to keep=20
prices low. OTOH, if you want good sports machinery (on or off road)=20
you'd probably be better off spending the =A3350-=A3500 mentioned above.

that spending well over a grand for a good upright or 'bent is perfectl=

y
reasonable.


Yup!

Anyway, the thing I'm wondering is what, exactly, do you get for the
extra money? I'm not knocking it, just curious as to what is the real
difference between a 100 quid ex-catalogue hybrid from the bike shop
down the road and the kind of (to me) esoteric hardware that gets
mentioned here?


Everything just works better, smoother and more easily for longer.=20
Adjustments tend to be more infrequent, and when they need doing they're =

generally more painless. Things don't break off because they're poorly=20
made. The whole riding experience is a more pleasurable one, with your=20
bike almost coercing you to get out and use it.

Pete.
--=20
Peter Clinch University of Dundee
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/

  #6  
Old August 13th 03, 10:02 AM
bikingbill
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Posts: n/a
Default Cheap Bikes vs expensive bikes - what are the real differences?

Peter Clinch wrote in
:

Pyromancer wrote:

Having read quite a few threads (well, glanced through them when time
permits, anyway), I've noticed that the "wisdom of the group" appears
t

o
be that an entry-level machine should cost between 350 and 500 quid


It depends what area you're looking at. For someone starting off with
a general purpose bike just to get about on I'd personally put a good
entry level at around 200, for which you can get a sound basic bike
that does the stuff as long as it's sensibly specced (i.e., no full
suspension or disc brakes at that price). In that area you've got
mass production economies of scale and supply competition is intense
to keep prices low. OTOH, if you want good sports machinery (on or
off road) you'd probably be better off spending the 350-500
mentioned above.

that spending well over a grand for a good upright or 'bent is
perfectl

y
reasonable.


Yup!

Anyway, the thing I'm wondering is what, exactly, do you get for the
extra money? I'm not knocking it, just curious as to what is the
real difference between a 100 quid ex-catalogue hybrid from the bike
shop down the road and the kind of (to me) esoteric hardware that
gets mentioned here?


Everything just works better, smoother and more easily for longer.
Adjustments tend to be more infrequent, and when they need doing
they're generally more painless. Things don't break off because
they're poorly made. The whole riding experience is a more
pleasurable one, with your bike almost coercing you to get out and use
it.

Pete.


FWIW I'd warn against the sub-200 bikes. A friend bought one, but there
were too many 'compromises' to make it a good choice. Heavy frame,
clunky gear change, awkward riding position, dreadful saddle. Result is
it's seldom used. I feel at this price the bikes are built down to the
price. 300+ is probably a better mark for a beginner. Unless they can
find a 'last-year's model' 300 bike reduced or get something 2nd hand.
Regards, Bill
--
Cyclists are always well-balanced.
  #7  
Old August 13th 03, 10:32 AM
Peter Clinch
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Cheap Bikes vs expensive bikes - what are the real differences?

bikingbill wrote:

FWIW I'd warn against the sub-=A3200 bikes. A friend bought one, but th=

ere
were too many 'compromises' to make it a good choice. Heavy frame,
clunky gear change, awkward riding position, dreadful saddle. Result is=


it's seldom used. I feel at this price the bikes are built down to the
price. =A3300+ is probably a better mark for a beginner. Unless they ca=

n
find a 'last-year's model' =A3300 bike reduced or get something 2nd han=

d.=20

I'd agree that =A3300 is better, if you happen to have it, and also I'd=20
avoid spending less than ~=A3200. But between the two there's an area=20
where you can get something better in just about every way than what I=20
paid =A3200 for back in '89, when =A3200 was worth rather more than it is=
=20
now. And that bike did me very well for the best part of a decade, just =

putting on better bits as the originals wore out.

Pete.
--=20
Peter Clinch University of Dundee
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637 Medical Physics, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177 Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/

  #8  
Old August 13th 03, 01:47 PM
iarocu
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Posts: n/a
Default Cheap Bikes vs expensive bikes - what are the real differences?

Pyromancer wrote in message Anyway, the thing I'm wondering is what, exactly, do you get for the
extra money? I'm not knocking it, just curious as to what is the real
difference between a 100 quid ex-catalogue hybrid from the bike shop
down the road and the kind of (to me) esoteric hardware that gets
mentioned here?

Hi

I,d second the commments that for an entry level hybrid/mtb 300
is the area to start at or 300 bikes reduced. Bargain basement bike
components never work very well and need regular adjustment to keep
working. 300 quality components work well and rarely need adjustment.
Spend more and they,ll be even smoother,lighter and last longer.But
keep your old bike for nipping to the shops etc. A 300 bike will be
better quality than most of the "bikes" around and hence a target for
the light fingered and its handy having a scrapper you,re happy
parking anywhere. This is also an advantage of a hybrid set up with
mudguards and city tyres - very unfashionable appearance. The
neanderthals won,t be interested in it if its non suspension (living
near Glasgow I have to think about this unfortunatly).
happy shopping Iain C
  #9  
Old August 13th 03, 08:30 PM
bikingbill
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Posts: n/a
Default Cheap Bikes vs expensive bikes - what are the real differences?

Peter Clinch wrote in news:3F3A05AE.2090400
@dundee.ac.uk:

bikingbill wrote:

FWIW I'd warn against the sub-200 bikes. A friend bought one, but th

ere
were too many 'compromises' to make it a good choice. Heavy frame,
clunky gear change, awkward riding position, dreadful saddle. Result

is

it's seldom used. I feel at this price the bikes are built down to

the
price. 300+ is probably a better mark for a beginner. Unless they ca

n
find a 'last-year's model' 300 bike reduced or get something 2nd han

d.

I'd agree that 300 is better, if you happen to have it, and also I'd
avoid spending less than ~200. But between the two there's an area
where you can get something better in just about every way than what I
paid 200 for back in '89, when 200 was worth rather more than it is
now. And that bike did me very well for the best part of a decade,

just
putting on better bits as the originals wore out.

Pete.


I suppose my point was really that in my friend's case the sub-200 bike
was false economy as she hasn't been 'inspired' by it and has rarely
used it. I agree you can get perfectly good bikes in that range - but if
the rider is inexperienced he/she may not be able to identify the good
from the less good. Maybe I'd advise that if the budget is very tight
the inexperienced buyer should take someone along who knows a bit more
about both bikes and their likely use of one.
My LBS had a 2nd hand titanium racer [not my size :-(] for 250 earlier
this year - so there is no doubt there are bargains out there.
Bill

--
Cyclists are always well-balanced.
 




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