View Poll Results: Which Entry-level Bike is best suited for me?

Voters
28. You may not vote on this poll
  • 2011 trek 1.2

    7 25.00%
  • specialized allez sport

    3 10.71%
  • raleigh revenio 2.0

    0 0%
  • cannondale synapse alloy sora

    0 0%
  • cannondale caad8

    6 21.43%
  • felt z95

    5 17.86%
  • motobecane vent noir

    10 35.71%
  • fuji roubaix 2.0

    2 7.14%
Multiple Choice Poll.
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  1. #1
    Young Gunz
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    Motobecane or trek?

    Hello all!
    I have just recently been getting into cycling, and have gathered a lot from reading the forums here for awhile (lurking). Now that my (don't laugh) spalding hybrid is about at the end of its life I have planned to upgrade. The main bikes I am looking at right now are as follows, and in no specific order:
    1) Trek 1.2 (2011 model for $700, sora and tiagra)
    2) Specialized allez sport ($950 sora and tiagra)
    3) Raleigh revenio 2.0
    4) Cannondale synapse alloy sora
    5) Cannondale caad8
    6) Felt z100 or z95
    7) Motobecane Vent noir ($800 with vuelta xrp wheels and mostly 105 components)
    8) fuji roubaix 2.0



    any other suggestions are very welcome as well as what you think, especially regarding the motobecane, trek, and specialized.


    JVSVA
    "The best thing about the internet is that you can make some thing up and say that it is a quote from someone famous" -George Washington

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  2. #2
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    Treks are good bikes.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Your poll's too long for me to read. So's your list.

    First, cross off all the bikes that aren't actually available to you locally.

    Next, ride the ones that remain. I bet you end up with a much shorter list.

    When you're looking at bikes, think about what you currently do with your bike, and what you'd like to do with your bike. While a massed start road bike can be pressed into service for everything from touring to racing, it's easier and your result will probably be better if you start with something built with your use in mind.

  4. #4
    Young Gunz
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    Thanks for the quick responses and like Andrwswitch said, I would definitely like to support my LBS. That leaves the trek, specialized, cannondale and raleigh. I could most likely get some of the others (not motobecane) in a neighboring city
    "The best thing about the internet is that you can make some thing up and say that it is a quote from someone famous" -George Washington

    "Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand. Lord don't they help themselves!" -ccr

  5. #5
    Young Gunz
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    Also, price does matter and I could get the listed bikes in my size (reccomended by two bike shops)
    "The best thing about the internet is that you can make some thing up and say that it is a quote from someone famous" -George Washington

    "Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand. Lord don't they help themselves!" -ccr

  6. #6
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVSVA View Post
    Also, price does matter and I could get the listed bikes in my size (reccomended by two bike shops)
    I may be misreading this, but don't be misled into thinking that a given frame size in one brand/ model that fits you will in another brand/ model.

    For example, some 47cm Rocky Mountains meet my fit requirements, but 52's are a better match in Specialized and 54 in Treks.

    That's why it's important to work with reputable LBS's on sizing/ fit, then test ride bikes of interest.

  7. #7
    Young Gunz
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    sorry to be unclear, but i was reccomended a 60 cm in trek and 58 in specialized/raleigh
    "The best thing about the internet is that you can make some thing up and say that it is a quote from someone famous" -George Washington

    "Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand. Lord don't they help themselves!" -ccr

  8. #8
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVSVA View Post
    sorry to be unclear, but i was reccomended a 60 cm in trek and 58 in specialized/raleigh
    No problem. Glad you clarified...

  9. #9
    Road Bike Mike
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    Let's be clear. You want us to help you pick a bike based on this list...not knowing your goals, riding style, budget, body-type, personal preferences, criteria, etc.?!

    Are you really looking for advice...or are you hoping our uneducated answers will validate a decision you've already made?
    Road Bike Mike
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  10. #10
    Young Gunz
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    Hey man calm down I was more or less asking what the advantages of one might be over another. and if it helps I am edging on six foot, pretty lanky (or maybe long is the right word). and plan to do fairly short daily rides over the summer - about thirty or forty miles. and most likely some longer touring and/or road races in the not so distant future.
    "The best thing about the internet is that you can make some thing up and say that it is a quote from someone famous" -George Washington

    "Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand. Lord don't they help themselves!" -ccr

  11. #11
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by RB Mike View Post
    Let's be clear. You want us to help you pick a bike based on this list...not knowing your goals, riding style, budget, body-type, personal preferences, criteria, etc.?!

    Are you really looking for advice...or are you hoping our uneducated answers will validate a decision you've already made?
    Uh, lest you forget, this is the beginner's corner, where potential buyers/ cyclists post because they're seeking some direction/ information.

    Your questions are valid, but (IMO) should be presented in a manner that considers the 'audience'.

  12. #12
    Road Bike Mike
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    I'm calm. Not being critical but I do want to be clear that you're asking for subjective opinions on what's "best suited for you" and we don't know you nor did you provide even a glimpse for us to create opinions.

    I asked for more detail because I know what you're going through. This is a big decision and you want to get it right.
    Road Bike Mike
    Sharing the Love of Road Cycling

  13. #13
    Young Gunz
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    Well thank you for the concern. any other information that you might find helpful?
    "The best thing about the internet is that you can make some thing up and say that it is a quote from someone famous" -George Washington

    "Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand. Lord don't they help themselves!" -ccr

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVSVA View Post
    Hey man calm down I was more or less asking what the advantages of one might be over another. and if it helps I am edging on six foot, pretty lanky (or maybe long is the right word). and plan to do fairly short daily rides over the summer - about thirty or forty miles. and most likely some longer touring and/or road races in the not so distant future.
    The advantages one bike may have over another hinges on your intended uses, terrain, cycling experiences/ preferences... and you've now offered some info.

    'Longer touring'/ 'road races' are somewhat at odds with each other, and while you can race a bike you'd tour with (and vice versa) those intended uses are a little broader than what's commonly encountered.

    Given the versatility you're looking for, if it were my money, I'd probably go with a relaxed geo bike like the Felt Z series (or similar). It's race-able and will likely accommodate clamp-on racks. Not ideal, but a compromise and I suspect there are some brands/ models not on your list that might be better choices (again), given your intended uses.

    Bottom line is (still) to visit some reputable shops, discuss your intended uses, get sized/ fitted to some offerings and head out for test rides.

  15. #15
    Hold on I'm watching this
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    I'm a beginner too so take this for what it is worth.

    Get the most bike for your money; I think the Motobecane with 105 components stands above the others for $800.

    The risk you are taking is buying the bike from online, you could get lucky. Even if you understand everything about fit and set up etc. until you have actually been on the bike you wont know if it is right.

    For me I got lucky, I am 5'10 with a 30" inseam and I did all the other crazy measurements and fit calculators. I ended up buying a 53" Motobecane and it is perfect. But I'm a beginner. The cool thing about it is I got a bike with an MSRP of 5K for 2K.

    Even if you do screw up and get the wrong size, I have read that some places will exchange it if you pay shipping so there isn't to much of a loss, maybe a restocking fee.

    Anyways, I believe that being 6' and lanky puts you in the 56-60CM ballpark, once again I'm a beginner and did not sleep in a holiday inn express last night. But I have done a lot of research and reading on this sight, and I got lucky with my purchase.

  16. #16
    Road Bike Mike
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    I've got enough information to be dangerous. If I were you, I'd go with the Motobecane.

    I'm a firm believer that bikes have specifications...
    specifications are easily compared....
    and value can be easily discerned.

    Since I'm deciding for you (as me)...it's good to point out that I'm a value buyer. While the Motobecane, Specialized and Trek all rely on similar frame tech (alum w/ carbon forks), we've got to boil down to the specs...specifically, the components. In the battle of Sora/Tiagra vs. Tiagra/105 the latter wins every time. But why settle for Sora/Tiagra when you can have Ultegra for the same price?

    Forget the Vent Noir. Get the Motobecane Sprint ($1095). Before you balk at the price, realize that you won't be paying sales tax ($50-$75 for the Trek or Specialized), it comes with pedals (admittedly not the world's best but they're fine for starting out) and you won't be tempted to upgrade *much* in the future. The Sprint adds a better frame tech (carbon seat stays) and exceedingly better components with a mostly ultegra lineup.

    As you've probably noticed in your research, this type of advice is swiftly followed with "you can't pick a bike without riding it", "you need an expert helping you size the frame" and "support your LBS".

    Now tell me, how is a spin around the parking lot, even a 1 mile jaunt, going to tell you anything about the bike? Chances are your experience will be shaped more by the seat height and accuracy or inaccuracy by which the sales guy fixes the seatpost height and sends you cruising through the parking lot than it will be by the particular make/model you're riding. Ignoring comfort and focusing on ride quality, better components will improve shifting; better frame tech (i.e. carbon fork/stays) will improve road-feel.

    I love when fit-defenders point out that one millimeter can make/break a rider's comfort...at which point I like to point out that frames generally jump in 20 millimeter increments. Yes, buying the wrong frame size would be catastrophic; however, if you start with the right frame size (using on online fit calculator like Competitive Cyclist's) you won't be dozens of millimeters off and you can tweak the fit with different seat/cleat position and ultimately with a different stem...but rest assured, your fit will never be unfixable.

    Lastly, the "support your LBS" movement is a tough tide to turn as the vocal minority behind the microphone are the folks inside the industry and the industry is afraid of change. That said, I'm all for supporting the LBS. Some of the best margins are in the service you'll rely on and the consumables you'll continually purchase down the line. Bottom line, you can be a valuable customer without buying a bike from them. If they don't value your patronage because of the marquee of your rig, find another LBS.

    That's my $0.02. Best of luck!
    Road Bike Mike
    Sharing the Love of Road Cycling

  17. #17
    Hold on I'm watching this
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    Great insight and perspective Mike!

    Here is one of the great threads that led me to the Motobecane;

    Why are Motobecane bikes so cheap?

  18. #18
    Road Bike Mike
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squrkey View Post
    Here is one of the great threads that led me to the Motobecane;
    Good stuff.

    As I'm looking back, I left off the fourth comment that follows a post like my previous: "you must be a shill."

    Nope. I do like Motobecane but I like several other "online non-name brand bike brands" as much, if not more, than Motobecane. Motobecane happened to be the only consideration in JVSVA's thread.

    I'd hate to confuse matters by adding more options.
    Road Bike Mike
    Sharing the Love of Road Cycling

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I think I'd rather have a light, tourable bike with sidepulls that I stripped and raced than a racing bike that I tried to carry a load with.

    Raleigh's been trying to address that lately. Here's one to look at.
    Raleigh Bicycles Clubman

    It comes out of the box with fenders. You can pull 'em and go racing, or you can add a rack and tour. It's got the right mounts to accept a rear rack with very little fuss and the right eyelets to accept a front rack with probably a bit more fuss. 2x10 drivetrain and a really wide-range cassette.

    I think maybe Raleigh looked into their crystal ball and thought, "we need to make a bike for JVSVA." Your dealer should be able to help you order the right size, if they don't have any on the floor. I'm too lazy to figure out if there's another Raleigh it would ride similarly to.

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Come to think of it, the Specialized Secteur might be a better fit for your breadth of use too. It'll take a rear rack. Less chainstay, which does make a difference with loads, adding a front fender will be harder, and a front rack would require a new fork. All life is compromise.

  21. #21
    Cycling induced anoesis
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    Quote Originally Posted by RB Mike View Post
    I've got enough information to be dangerous. If I were you, I'd go with the Motobecane.

    I'm a firm believer that bikes have specifications...
    specifications are easily compared....
    and value can be easily discerned.

    Since I'm deciding for you (as me)...it's good to point out that I'm a value buyer. While the Motobecane, Specialized and Trek all rely on similar frame tech (alum w/ carbon forks), we've got to boil down to the specs...specifically, the components. In the battle of Sora/Tiagra vs. Tiagra/105 the latter wins every time. But why settle for Sora/Tiagra when you can have Ultegra for the same price?

    Forget the Vent Noir. Get the Motobecane Sprint ($1095). Before you balk at the price, realize that you won't be paying sales tax ($50-$75 for the Trek or Specialized), it comes with pedals (admittedly not the world's best but they're fine for starting out) and you won't be tempted to upgrade *much* in the future. The Sprint adds a better frame tech (carbon seat stays) and exceedingly better components with a mostly ultegra lineup.

    As you've probably noticed in your research, this type of advice is swiftly followed with "you can't pick a bike without riding it", "you need an expert helping you size the frame" and "support your LBS".

    Now tell me, how is a spin around the parking lot, even a 1 mile jaunt, going to tell you anything about the bike? Chances are your experience will be shaped more by the seat height and accuracy or inaccuracy by which the sales guy fixes the seatpost height and sends you cruising through the parking lot than it will be by the particular make/model you're riding. Ignoring comfort and focusing on ride quality, better components will improve shifting; better frame tech (i.e. carbon fork/stays) will improve road-feel.

    I love when fit-defenders point out that one millimeter can make/break a rider's comfort...at which point I like to point out that frames generally jump in 20 millimeter increments. Yes, buying the wrong frame size would be catastrophic; however, if you start with the right frame size (using on online fit calculator like Competitive Cyclist's) you won't be dozens of millimeters off and you can tweak the fit with different seat/cleat position and ultimately with a different stem...but rest assured, your fit will never be unfixable.

    Lastly, the "support your LBS" movement is a tough tide to turn as the vocal minority behind the microphone are the folks inside the industry and the industry is afraid of change. That said, I'm all for supporting the LBS. Some of the best margins are in the service you'll rely on and the consumables you'll continually purchase down the line. Bottom line, you can be a valuable customer without buying a bike from them. If they don't value your patronage because of the marquee of your rig, find another LBS.

    That's my $0.02. Best of luck!
    This post is so fraught with errors I don't know where to begin. Like most of this mindset, perceived 'value' is based solely on the hardware/ gear, all else (like value added services) falling a distant second.

    First off, a ride around a parking lot - or one mile ride out on the road is not a test ride. Any shop that advocates either is not reputable and not worth doing business with. Neither is one that has the 'sales guy' do a pre-ride fitting.

    Continuing... better components do not automatically mean better shifting. Proper setup/ tuning means better shifting. I can easily de-tune a DA equipped bike and dial in a Sora equipped bike to shift near perfect. And while I agree that (IME and all else being equal) a CF fork quells road buzz better than alu, CF stays do nothing in that regard.

    Re: online fit calculators, they do more to confuse than to assist. At best, offering a range of fit parameters a noob has to compare against geo numbers they don't understand. And those online 'recommendations' are based only on numbers inputted. No accounting for fitness, flexibility, cycling experiences/ preferences, anatomical issues.... A knowledgeable fitter can do better working one on one with a customer for ~20 minutes.

    BTW, you blur the lines between sizing and fit when you sarcastically mention that some here say that a millimeter can make or break a riders comfort, but frame sizes vary by 20mm's. Sizing comes before a fitting, so getting sizing right is essential in getting a good fit, without resorting to unnecessary compromises. Additionally, the reality is that on longer rides (such as the OP is planning) a fit parameter being a few mm's can make for a painful ride.

    Also, there are a number of hidden expenses to online bike purchases - services that are included with LBS purchases. Final assembly, tuning, initial fit, warranty assistance (if needed) and post purchase discounts on accessories.

    OP: I suggest continuing down the path you've started down. This being your first road bike, seek out a reputable shop (or shops), get some advice on brands/ models of some bikes that'll suite your intended uses/ goals, get the sizing/ fit assistance you need and head out on the roads, evaluate some bikes and whittle the field from there. Consider it an investment in your cycling future.
    Last edited by PJ352; 04-12-2012 at 05:09 AM. Reason: additions...

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    There seem to be two axis you're asking about here. One is style of bike, the other is manufacture/source.

    Style of bike should match the style of your riding and your physical characteristics. For example, for someone very heavy and not limber, a Tri bike might not work at all - you might have to start with something less agressive and work your way into it. Note that "style of your riding" isn't necessarily cookie cutter either. You may be doing road work when on the bike, but if you're not racing or trying to time trial it, then the features of a touring bike may be worth the balance in position/weight.

    As to manufacturer/source, that, to me, is a risk/reward question. A couple of the online bike stores have simply killer deals when you look at what you get for your money, but look closely at what you're getting. For example, something might be called out as "Schimano 105", but when you look close, it's only part of the set (say, shifters, derailers, but not brake calipers, crankset, cassette and chain). This may or may not be a bad thing, but make sure your eyes are open. You can still support your LBS very well by buying parts and service there - I find most LBS at this point have adjusted. Realize thought that you may pay them back some of your online savings in the form of higher service prices (some LBS do discounted service for bikes purchased directly from them).

    I've been equally happy buying from a LBS. I get less "bike" for the money, but I trade that for other value in the relationship, expertise buying and the like. Perhaps the biggest gain is going to be the help you'll get in trying the bike out and in basic sizing (do not confuse that with "fitting').

    Regardless of where/what you buy, realize that it is really a downpayment on what you're going to spend cycling. If you're at all serious about cycling, you'll likely spend as much on things like gear, fitting (I highly recommend professional fittings), bike rack, fuel, etc. as you spent on the bike, and then keep spending.

  23. #23
    Young Gunz
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    Thanks for all the help guys. I can understand all your points of view, but I do want to make a good relationship with my bike shop(s). I already have connections with the owner, so I will probably appreciate some future discounts, especially if I decide to join our local club.
    "The best thing about the internet is that you can make some thing up and say that it is a quote from someone famous" -George Washington

    "Some folks are born, silver spoon in hand. Lord don't they help themselves!" -ccr

  24. #24
    Road Bike Mike
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    This post is so fraught with errors I don't know where to begin. Like most of this mindset, perceived 'value' is based solely on the hardware/ gear, all else (like value added services) falling a distant second.
    I spend 99% of my time receiving value by riding my bike, 1% of my time receiving value through services. Can't imagine why I would flip/flop $ and priorities.

    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    Continuing... better components do not automatically mean better shifting. Proper setup/ tuning means better shifting. I can easily de-tune a DA equipped bike and dial in a Sora equipped bike to shift near perfect.
    My comments were made under the assumption that both bikes were properly tuned. Clearly a de-tuned gruppo will be inferior. The best fit, tune and service from your LBS will never make your Tiagra shift like Ultegra or your Ultegra shift like Dura Ace.

    Quote Originally Posted by PJ352 View Post
    Sizing comes before a fitting, so getting sizing right is essential in getting a good fit, without resorting to unnecessary compromises. Additionally, the reality is that on longer rides (such as the OP is planning) a fit parameter being a few mm's can make for a painful ride.
    Sounds like an echo of my point. We can agree to disagree on the usefulness of fit calculators. I've seen poor results from 'fit experts' and I've seen poor results from 'fit calculators.' There is no magic bullet; however, a better informed consumer can generally avoid common pitfalls; regardless of whether he pursues a local brand-name purchase or an online discount bike.

    OP's on the right track. My advice was simply offered from my perspective...your advice from your perspective. At some point, all of us find the purchase method that works best for our needs. At the end of the day, I'll be smiling from ear-to-ear (regardless of what bike OP selects) to know that a new rider is getting deeper into the sport.
    Road Bike Mike
    Sharing the Love of Road Cycling

  25. #25
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    The first time I saw bikesdirect, I assumed it was a scam. I've come to see them as offering a reasonably good value to a consumer who already knows what he's doing, just not what they claim.

    I race a bike with Tiagra shifters, front derailleur and rear hub. It's turned into a bit of a Frankenbike over the years, but the frame remains. I guess if I bought for the same money from BD, if they were offering 'cross bikes at the time, I'd have 105 shifters and FD. BFD. I'd still have had to buy my own tires, I'd probably still have decided to try a different rear drivetrain setup, the handlebars would still have sucked, it looks like the front wheel is identical to what I have and the rear is actually inferior. Similarly crappy cranks.

    On the other hand, I think that I really did get something out of the in-person shopping process. Bikes don't all ride the same. I got a chance to ride a few, and I got a chance to play with sizing. I sized down from the usual recommendation, and that's worked out very well for me. Actually that bike has come to be my reference bike for sizing others. So, I got my favorite of a few different options in my pricepoint, and I got a size that works better for me. I'd say that's worth more to me than having some different shifters.

    When I want to stretch a buck, I buy used bikes from local sellers. That's actually the last three I've bought. The most recent one is a track bike. I was considering a catalog as a fallback option, but their track bikes are mostly kind of weird. Another catalog doesn't have them in my size. Performance Bike doesn't list any on their catalog, although they can get some in-store. I talked to my mechanic about it (love having a good relationship with my shop, btw) and I'm glad I did, since track bikes aren't quite the same as road-going fixies and singlespeeds, and since I bought it to race at a velodrome, and maybe an indoor velodrome with steeper banking, it does matter. Craig's List can generate an RSS feed of a saved search. Although actually it was a lucky hit that got me my current bike, since her asking was a bit high.

    I think there's a big streak of materialism and magical thinking that supports a lot of the bike industry. After all, this is an invention that reached its near-modern form in the '50s, and while the incremental improvements since then have added up some, how well a bike performs is still a matter of how well the rider develops power and hides from the wind. That depends on a bike that fits right. The bike industry as a whole is reliant on gear-lust, which is too bad because I think it leads product managers and consumers to make decisions that negatively impact how well bikes actually ride. People's "need" for a suspension fork on the front of a mountain bike, for example - it's not good for mountain bikes with the MSRP of a good suspension fork alone. But I've figured out what makes me uneasy about a lot of catalogs. It's that they pander directly to the gear-lust. Although the fake MSRPs bother me too.

    When I remember a ride I enjoyed, I don't remember how cool my shifters were. Frankly, I was just as happy with my Acera, old 105 and Tiagra shifters as I am with the LX, Ultegra and still Tiagra shifters I have on those bikes now. I'm frustrated when a shifter doesn't work, but sooner or later, everything wears out. And I know how to cut cable housing, so my drivetrains are generally very functional until I spray mud into them. Which happens a lot... then they still work, they're just slower. I guess I don't like my Rival shifters as much, but there's another company that relies a lot on gear-lust over a desire for actual function.

    When I remember rides I didn't enjoy, I usually remember stuff like pain and bad weather. I've been riding long enough to have equipment failures. Actually the ones that stick out in my mind were both related to having people fall on top of my or my bike. I don't see that a nicer wheel would have survived the first crash or that nicer bars would have survived the second.

    So almost all of my value comes from the act of riding my bikes. I guess I also save money on not buying gas, paying for parking, or paying to ride the bus and I save time on not walking when it's my commute bike. However, local shops have always facilitated the actual riding for me. Whether it's stocking bikes so I can ride a few and get it right, selling me the right parts to rebuild a wheel, taking care of a suspension fork that I didn't have time to service myself, answering compatibility questions and ordering parts for me for my frankendrivetrain on my 'cross bike, having a community work space so I can finish my wheels nicely, or something else I've forgotten (gotta be there) they've had my back. I'm comfortable with the idea that they need to pay rent, pay their employees, and that shop owners would like to take home some money at the end of the day. I have a bit of an internet addiction, but when I want to get something actually done, I very often go to one of a couple shops near me for their help - that's how I actually take care of issues that come up and keep my bikes rolling.

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