To buy a new lower end or old higher end?.. with specific examples

by timmaler1   July 29, 2014  

Hi all,

I am buying my first decent road bike - and I think I have pretty fundamental question: is it better to buy lower end new or higher end older?

After some research/searching considering location etc, I have it down to three options for my first decent road bike:

1) Btwin Alur 700 (alum with carbon forks, shimano 105 specs, etc) for 900 euros.

2) Btwin Mach 700 (full carbon, basically same specs as Alur) for 1200 euros.

3) Six year old De Rosa Macro with pretty impressive specs I believe and in very good condition (Campagnolo wheels etc)..

So my questions are: is the Btwin Mach worth the extra 300 euros for the carbon frame (only weights around 0.4k less I believe)? Or……. should I opt for a higher end (was 4000 euros originally) but six year old bike? No warranty, and older parts (though I've been assured in great condition)...

Any advice would be great and much appreciated!

Thanks,
Tim

7 user comments

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I'd be hesitantly inclined to go for the older bike, as bikes tend to devalue in monetary terms much faster than do they do in terms of actual quality, and people can be keen enough to get The Next New Thing (or upgrade - there's always room to upgrade) as to part with something perfectly functional and decent.

However, I'd be wary about the components being worn, or other bits being in need of replacement, as individual parts are generally quite expensive, and much cheaper if bought with an entire bike.

I also have a soft spot for things with a bit of history behind them, and I'm sure there's a bike snob somewhere in me that's instinctively drawn to the swankier Italian brand, so those should be taken into account.

Another disadvantage of the De Rosa is you can't pick your size, but if you're sure it fits that won't be an obstruction.

Those are my impressions, but I hope other people can lend theirs too!

posted by Quince [145 posts]
29th July 2014 - 20:52

2 Likes

Unless you are very experienced in assessing the condition of the bike and preferably able to replace most if not all components yourself I would definitely buy one of the new bikes.

Components on high-end bikes are generally built to be light ... but not necessarily built to last for thousands of miles.

With trickle-down technology, as new models come out each year, many of the expensive high-end features of the 6-year-old bike in its day will be commonplace on cheaper bikes nowadays.

posted by Joeinpoole [259 posts]
29th July 2014 - 21:09

3 Likes

Easy decision - ride all three bikes. The one the feels the best is the one to buy, subject to the De Rosa not being worn out.

posted by wellcoordinated [81 posts]
30th July 2014 - 7:43

4 Likes

Thanks all! Appreciated

posted by timmaler1 [5 posts]
30th July 2014 - 9:14

1 Like

Personally, a top name frame is something to aspire to, my opinion is:

1) buy a 'cheap'(er) frame and you may find yourself still attracted to the big names top end stuff and wanting an upgrade.
2) buy a used high end frame and just slowly upgrade components, finishing kit, wheels to the latest spec over the years.

I run classic frames, typically with older high end (record, cinelli etc.) kit, all of which appreciates rather than depreciates, as long as it doesn't wear out!

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [537 posts]
30th July 2014 - 9:35

2 Likes

Sorry, I don't know much about btwin so I can't really comment on their quality, carbon has a very different feel to aluminium though so try them both.

I would avoid anything 6 years old without a warranty also Campagnolo can be awkward with the thumb shifters. Just get something which suits your current skills and as you improve and work out what you don't like you can up grade accordingly.

posted by realdeal [21 posts]
30th July 2014 - 20:45

1 Like

I wouldn't choose second hand, you don't know just how worn the groupset is. New groupsets just feel nicer.

Both the BTwin's have had some good write ups for the price. Aluminium generally feels a bit more rattley over the bumps, carbon mutes the bumps a little bit. Thats quite a generalisation but what I've found regardless of frame quality.

They had a grey / blue version of the Alur at the Etape event village. It was very nice!

posted by mtbtomo [62 posts]
30th July 2014 - 21:27

1 Like