How to Distribute my Budget?

What bike and bike bits should you buy?
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How to Distribute my Budget?

Postby dukepaulus » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:11 am

Not so much a what bike for "X" amount but more of a where to spend the most type of question.
I've been back enjoying my cycling for about 18 months now and am currently riding an early 90's steel framed Holdsworth which has served me more than well since I picked it up, but the time is rapidly coming where I feel justified in splashing out on a more modern piece of kit. My bike shop can put together something for me around my budget but this will give me choices to make.
My question, then, is this.
How do I distribute that budget? Do I spend big on a great frame but compromise on the drivetrain etc with a view to upgrading those parts later? What about wheels? Again do I go for quality here but compromise elsewhere?
Is there any rule of thumb or accepted wisdom for this situation?
I ride ( train ) about 4 or 5 times a week, covering 30 to 40 miles most times with some longer distances thrown in for good measure, and have been enjoying riding the weekly TT's with my local club. I'm not looking for a focussed TT bike though.

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Re: How to Distribute my Budget?

Postby arran77 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:40 am

Certainly a decent frame will be a good platform to upgrade from in the future so I would probably look for a better quality frame at the expense of certain components although wheels would probably not be one of them.

Good wheels will probably make the single biggest impact on the way a bike feels.

In conclusion then, good frame with the best wheels you can, all the rest can be upgraded as it wears out :)
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Re: How to Distribute my Budget?

Postby diamonddog » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:44 am


alan sherman
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Re: How to Distribute my Budget?

Postby alan sherman » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:37 am

I'd say it depends on the sort of budget and whether you expect to be spending a lot of cash upgrading in the future - or just want to buy a bike and enjoy riding it.

Most of the bike brands seem to spec underwhelming wheels on bikes in order to hit a price point, which means more cash to be spent later on. If your local shop is flexible then swapping some parts at the time of buying can make a difference.

E.g. a mate has a Specialized Allez, alu frame, 105 kit, but the wheels were heavy (Alex rims, non-butted spokes, generic hubs) with heavy and sluggish tyres. About £200 gets a better wheelset, and another £50 for tyres give a bike for all uses (then you can buy some tri bars to clamp on)

To be honest once you can afford a decent aluminium frame/ carbon fork, 105 kit, with a decent pair of 32 spoke handbuilts with double butted spokes you are set. Budget above that basic spec sees much lower gain per pound spent. Performance gains on groupsets and finishing kit is negligible above this "club-racer" level.

So I'd say for the more entry level budget weight the money on the wheels and tyres. On the higher end budgets weight the spend towards the frameset, then wheels and tyres.

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Re: How to Distribute my Budget?

Postby The Jackalcp » Fri Oct 04, 2013 15:12 pm

I'm a believer in buying the very best frame you can get. Wheels come second then start off as basic as you can and upgrade in time. Personally I would buy a frame/fork package then spend a little time buying some quality (or super cheap) second hand bits that will get you up and running.

Part of the enjoyment of cycling is the kit (at least for me it is).

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Re: How to Distribute my Budget?

Postby maddog 2 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 15:20 pm

as a guide I'd say, on a £2k new build

F&F £500 (25%)
wheels& tyres £500 (25%)
gruppo £600 (30%)
contacts/bars/etc. £400 (20%)

You could go more on the groupset and less on the bits, especially if you already have the bits (saddle/bars/seatpost etc.)
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Re: How to Distribute my Budget?

Postby cougie » Fri Oct 04, 2013 15:23 pm

You'll probably get better value for money by getting a bike off the peg.

Buying seperately might get you just what you want, but you'll pay extra for it.

Blimey Maddog - what bars and posts are you getting for £400 ?

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Re: How to Distribute my Budget?

Postby blinddrew » Fri Oct 04, 2013 15:54 pm

I'm guessing he's including saddle and pedals there as well.

My only addition to the above would be that it's worth spending a bit of cash on a saddle that works for you - you'll have to try a few out, but in terms of how much you enjoy sitting on the bike for long periods, i reckon it's worth the investment.
Music, beer, sport, repeat...

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Re: How to Distribute my Budget?

Postby Welsh_sheep » Fri Oct 04, 2013 19:06 pm

Personally I prefer to spend a large chunk of money on the groupset. I know parts wear but the groupset can completely change your experience on a bike, no matter how good the frame is, a poorly functioning groupset will become so frustrating. It's the mechanical, temperamental and fiddliest part of the bike, if you spend a large portion of your money on it then you are less likely to be spending your time on the bike staring down at your chain and less time off the bike wasting valuable ride time adjusting and swearing at your shifters, rear derailleur etc. That in mind, a good frame and forks are incredibly important aswell. So..
30% Frame and forks
35% Groupset
25% Wheels
10% finishing kit. You don't need to spend vast amounts of cash on bars, stem, saddle etc. Go second hand or search around for good deals online.

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Re: How to Distribute my Budget?

Postby maddog 2 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 20:22 pm

bits include

plus any specific stuff like Garmin mounts etc.

maybe £400 is a tad high - depends how trick/light you want to go. A trick carbon-railed saddle is 100+, ditto carbon bars. On a £2k build that's not completely bonkers. But you could do it for £200 I guess, and spend the extra on choice upgrades elsewhere.
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