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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was in Shedhorn Sports a week ago and saw a x-country bike for a cool $3999... seriously? Besides @Swimmy , anyone else own one of these and, what possibly makes them worth that kind of coin? The sales lady said they have a few models that are twice that amount. I picked up a used, like new Specialized trail bike some years back and it works great. What type of terrain do folks ride these new ones on?
 

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That's kind of cheap for my liking. :D I bought mine used, but it was a $5500 bike new. $4000 is about mid range in "good" mountain bikes actually. Carbon frames, complex and expensive suspension, hydraulic disk brakes, hydraulic adjustable-height seat posts, carbon wheels, and everything lighter (more carbon). It's the same as how many on here have $1000 fly rods, $500 reals, etc. and any non-fly fisherman would look at you like you're crazy.

Just like fly gear, buying a better bike won't make you a better rider or even mean you'll have more fun. However, for experienced riders that spend a lot of time on their bikes and have the skills to appreciate them, the difference is huge.

Also like motorsports, the technology is driven by competition where cost is not the primary factor. This technology starts in those $8-10k race bikes (whether it's cross country, downhill, or anything in between) and slowly trickles down to the lower models. Just like cars though, this means the "lower-end" models are really good now, but also cost a lot more than they used to.
 

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The comparison between bicycles and fly fishing tackle is a good one. My old $200 Diamondback hardtail (with no front suspension either) works well enough to self shuttle my river float trips, but I couldn't even begin to keep up with my SIL who rides a carbon frame dual suspension with top end Shimano groupset through the Berkley hills.

I've seen several high end road bikes that retail for over $10,000. Fortunately my skill and comfort level is fully satisfied with bikes that cost less than half that.
 

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That's kind of cheap for my liking. :D I bought mine used, but it was a $5500 bike new. $4000 is about mid range in "good" mountain bikes actually. Carbon frames, complex and expensive suspension, hydraulic disk brakes, hydraulic adjustable-height seat posts, carbon wheels, and everything lighter (more carbon). It's the same as how many on here have $1000 fly rods, $500 reals, etc. and any non-fly fisherman would look at you like you're crazy.

Just like fly gear, buying a better bike won't make you a better rider or even mean you'll have more fun. However, for experienced riders that spend a lot of time on their bikes and have the skills to appreciate them, the difference is huge.

Also like motorsports, the technology is driven by competition where cost is not the primary factor. This technology starts in those $8-10k race bikes (whether it's cross country, downhill, or anything in between) and slowly trickles down to the lower models. Just like cars though, this means the "lower-end" models are really good now, but also cost a lot more than they used to.
I think I understand what you're saying, about making things lighter. That is, it's a heck of a lot cheaper to take the weight off my frame than off a bike's frame.

And after looking a some of these better bikes last spring, I decided that it would be a heck of a lot cheaper to fix up my old Cannondale than to buy a new one. So that's just what I did.
 

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I think I understand what you're saying, about making things lighter. That is, it's a heck of a lot cheaper to take the weight off my frame than off a bike's frame.

And after looking a some of these better bikes last spring, I decided that it would be a heck of a lot cheaper to fix up my old Cannondale than to buy a new one. So that's just what I did.
Sure I've said and done all those things too. Again, just depends on what you want and how much you value the sport. Personal preference. By no means do you have to spend $4000 to have fun biking. Each person has their own values, financial situation, and preferences. I was just explaining why they are more expensive and why it's worth the cost to me.

As for the weight thing....obviously everything is easier when you're lighter, but it's still not the same as making your bike lighter. Sure while sitting and pedaling up a fire road you won't notice a difference between lighter bike vs lighter person, but as soon as you have to start aggressively maneuvering that bike up and over obstacles for hours at a time, it makes a difference. But it's also a percentage thing. If you weigh 250 lbs you're not going to notice a 5lb lighter bike as much as someone who is 160 lbs. Also, while it might be CHEAPER to take weight off your frame, I find that it's a lot EASIER to buy it off of my bike :p

Like Salmo hinted, sometimes your quest for better equipment is driven by who you ride with. I started riding with a bunch of racers who constantly kicked my ass, and I always felt like an anchor. These were ultra fit, ultra technical riders with ultra light bikes. First order of business was getting in better shape, then improving my skills, and finally getting a better bike (all over the course of a number of years). That's a pretty good progression. If I just rode by myself on lazy trails and that's all I wanted to do, I probably wouldn't have ever been pushed up to the next level. YMMV
 

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I've always had a love for bicycles, and you definitely get what you pay for. It's true that today's low to mid level bikes are fantastic, thanks largely to trickle-down technology. No need to spend cubic dollars to get around, but there is something really satisfying about top end hardware.
I'm old enough that I no longer crave the latest and greatest; fortunately, because the price keeps going up. So does the performance. My almost 20 year old road bike (bought w/ REI employee discount) and 10+ year old mtn. bike (bought used) were were each about $3500 new, and by god, they still function perfectly every time despite plenty of use. They're going to outlast me.
 

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I used to rebuild old road bikes that had decent frames that fit me, using recycled components and parts. It kept my road cycling cheap. I still have the last one I concocted, a complete rebuild of a 1975 Motobecane Mirage (was a light chrome moly frame), except without the cheap derailleur trash...its now a single speed, which is all I need for the local backroads and cruising Westport, because its flat around here. I think I have $90 into it, total, including the new tubes and new Vittoria 38mm x 700c tires (tubes and tires were about $65). I was happy with this bike for a number of years.
Then, after taking a spin on a friend's fat bike, I was ruined. I bought a Surly Pugsley (fat bike) frame and built up a custom fattie with an 8-spd Shimano Alfine internally geared rear hub. I set the input gear ratio pretty low with my choice of chainring and rear sprocket sizes. Doesn't go very fast, but crawls pretty good. Now I really enjoy cruising the beach and the dune trails. I am NOT a mountain biker. I'm just an old fart cruising around on a fat bike. I love riding my custom Pugsley on the beach and lowland trails. You just can't beat fat tires for the beach and soggy lowland trails.
Then, I had a second set of wheels made for it... on Surly's Rabbit Hole rims, which are slightly skinnier for tires 3" wide, and stand taller with 29" diameter.... called "29-inch Plus" wheels...They make you feel like you can almost roll over anything in your path, which might be a potentially disastrous delusion, but I love it! I used a smaller rear sprocket on this wheel set, to increase the input gear ratio to the hub, to make the high gearing higher. Been riding this setup lately, on local roads and trails, but now with the increasing wave action re-arranging the beach regularly, its time to start beachcombing again with the fatter tires.
I just looked at my old single speed road bike, and I think I should top off the air in the tires and take 'er for a spin around the dock area and on the paved Westport dune trail, to blow the dust off, and then go hang her up in the garage.
 

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It really does not get much more outrages, than what some people are doing with this technology, some are living on them, pushing the limits, with each years new advance, here is a great article of that evolution, and how a few are choosing to use it, if you like 29+ and lean towards fatties, this guy and his " mates " are creating the leading edge on two wheels.
http://lacemine29.blogspot.co.uk/
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's just the start Fat tire bicycle 10k + for a good one with all the latest parts
Holy smokes! And I thought the $125 ($740 present value) I forked over for a new Schwinn Super Sport was expensive. I recall subsequently selling that bike at a garage sale, in the 90's, for darn near what I paid for it.
 

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That's kind of cheap for my liking. :D I bought mine used, but it was a $5500 bike new. $4000 is about mid range in "good" mountain bikes actually. Carbon frames, complex and expensive suspension, hydraulic disk brakes, hydraulic adjustable-height seat posts, carbon wheels, and everything lighter (more carbon). It's the same as how many on here have $1000 fly rods, $500 reals, etc. and any non-fly fisherman would look at you like you're crazy.

Just like fly gear, buying a better bike won't make you a better rider or even mean you'll have more fun. However, for experienced riders that spend a lot of time on their bikes and have the skills to appreciate them, the difference is huge.

Also like motorsports, the technology is driven by competition where cost is not the primary factor. This technology starts in those $8-10k race bikes (whether it's cross country, downhill, or anything in between) and slowly trickles down to the lower models. Just like cars though, this means the "lower-end" models are really good now, but also cost a lot more than they used to.
The bicycle industry is a take off of the Pro cyclist what they are riding I would say half of the 5k up bicycles sold are to people that think light makes them fast, where if they would drop 30lbs they would be just as fast on a minus 5k bike. The pro cyclists that ride these bike weight 170lbs top and has a heart rate when sleeping 50bpm or below with a max 150bpm at 24mph riding
 

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The bicycle industry is a take off of the Pro cyclist what they are riding I would say half of the 5k up bicycles sold are to people that think light makes them fast, where if they would drop 30lbs they would be just as fast on a minus 5k bike. The pro cyclists that ride these bike weight 170lbs top and has a heart rate when sleeping 50bpm or below with a max 150bpm at 24mph riding
I agree and I addressed that in a later post. But I'm talking trail bikes which is certainly different because you're lifting your bike over obstacles as you ride as well as accelerating from low to high speeds far more often than road bikes. Put all that aside and some people just like having good equipment. With my bike I KNOW that I am the weak link, and if anything is holding me back it is me and not my equipment. That's how I prefer it because it allows me to perform to the maximum extent of my abilities.

I also agree with you that the $4-6k bikes pretty much perform at the same level as the $8-10k (pro class) bikes with the main difference being weight. Not much reason for the average guy riding for recreation to go past the $4-6k range unless they just like having the best available.
 

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I've been exploring the slower end of the game. Sometimes when I'm searching for beach agates in low gear, I'll bet that from a distance, it looks like I'm just practicing track stands. I'll bet that I can go slower than you!
 

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Here's my latest ride, 2015 Salsa bucksaw, totally state of the art, ( for the moment ) $6500 +, interchangeable tires, 3.5", 2.3", 2.5", tires interchange in about 2 minutes, slide right into dedicated slots, no disc brake/wheel alignment, tubeless/ punctureless tires, a dream to ride, paid $2500, could probably get $3500 for it, but don't think its going anywhere for awhile
Given what ever generational slot you fall into, and if your distant memory bank keeps clicking up, Huffy, Shwinn, Montgomery Wards, in the pedal department, you owe it to yourself to go back down to your lbs ( local bike shop )throw your leg over a fattie, if you still can, and take one for a spin, I guarantee a smile will form on that old wrinkled face, and you'll think you've been time machined back to when you were twelve, and what's the price of that. Oh yeah, i remember...priceless
 

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