Fashion, names and Bikes ?!?

by trikeman   May 3, 2012  

Right, what about a chat all about 'Bike Fashion' etc etc etc.

What started all this off down here was one of the lads (who normally rides the likes of Colnago C's and S-Works) went into Halfords and bought a Carrera Virago, full carbon jobby with 105 etc which he duly handed over just shy of £900, "a pitance bit of a bonus" he says Crying .

Now, he's not a guy to mince his words and to be quite honest he would have 'skipped' it and kept the 105 kit if it was rubbish, however he is over the moon with it and (except for the wheels he says) rides and performs like others twice, or maybe three times the price. He has experienced a little Sick from the 'Rapha/assos/Pinnarello' style guru's, but in his normal answer he just leaves them standing, a sort of silent but hard hitting answer. This little bike is a diamond in his eyes, doesnt look too bad and to the mere mortal's of 90% of us (and de-badged) do we believe we could tell the difference between one of these and a £3000 bike? In fact how much quicker over, let's say, 25 miles would you be on a top flighter over
this carbon Carrera.

What's the defence/justification either way and is it
possible to justify prices???

Example....
I have had a similar debate over watches, Aldi electronic, deadly accurate, tells the time and gives the date = £5.99,,,,, If it's to tell you the time and date why would one buy a £9,000 Rolex, you could NEVER substantiate it if it was purely for its function of telling the time - along those lines I mean.

Batten down the Bunker,,,,, Devil

Regards

Trikeman. Wink

11 user comments

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Maybe you go quicker if you know you've got an expensive bike.

That's what I'm telling myself when I'm on the winter beast, battling through gale force winds Devil

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1728 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 18:56

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I can't say I am surprised by his finding really. It's often the case.

I have been impressed with TDF my son has which is, of course, at the other end of the scale.

I would comment further but my battery is about to die!

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 19:04

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Mind me asking why he bought if he can normally swan about on such posh kit?

Maybe I'm just too cynical but the first thing I thought of was a Walter Mitty character making out that he gets a huge bonus/drives a big car, when the truth is rather different. Sorry if I've completely misinterpreted.

So back on topic, there is the matter of diminishing returns. So for example, how many of us could tell the difference blindfolded between Dura-Ace and 105?

There is the fact that people like nice things; my wife bought me a TAG watch for our first wedding anniversary, it doesn't tell the time any better than a cheap watch, but I love it.

There's also the question of what you become accustomed to. I've been trying to buy a new suit, but a bit more cheaply than previously. I've ended up biting the bullet and buying the same brand as usual, because I just couldn't find a cheaper suit that fitted or felt as good, or indeed made me feel as, well, special- it feels like its been tailored to me. If you feel good, you look good, you feel confident etc. This can make you ace that job interview or ride a PB and it becomes self-fulfilling. Success begets success.

My bike is near equivalent to that Carrera, and I've no idea what difference I'll notice when I get round to upgrading.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2942 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 21:24

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No, certainly not Walter Mitty, though a good 'misinterpratation'. Smile
I believe he bought it basically on a whim and something he could use during the rough weather, but it really is a good un.

I think that with the top draw kit he also rides (along with thousands of other cyclists) there WAS a great difference between the top and middle cost bikes. Now I think, other than the ££ charged, bikes are getting closer as regards ride, quality, kit etc.
This could be the spread of bike making, copying and popularity of the sport worldwide. Years ago only the top manufacturers had the speand power for research & development - thus the resultant charges. Now far Eastern co's can buy a top frame and mold off it and build far cheaper (quality issues asside) and sell them to a growing audience that couldn't afford the 'classy' heavily invested in marques.

Not too sure if the above is right, but I can remember when Boardman bikes came out and loads were buying them, robbing all the kit and putting it onto named frames and away to go, cheaper route to the bike they wanted,,, but is this fashion or do people of the normal cyclist ilk actually get any 'better' due to spending more. I too like my present of a special birthday watch - telling the time is one thing, but cuddling it is another. Big Grin

The plot thickens.

Regards

Trikeman. Wink

Grunt, puff, pant and groan goes the old man - but he gets there in the end. ;o)

trikeman's picture

posted by trikeman [348 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 22:54

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the classic example is the ribble stealth vs the de rosa rs28. essentially your paying £1000 extra for paint and stickers. rapha vs torm. same sort of stuff,

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 23:02

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and yes i do have some rapha and some torm. im a slight brand slag but not terribly

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
3rd May 2012 - 23:03

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russyparkin wrote:
the classic example is the ribble stealth vs the de rosa rs28. essentially your paying £1000 extra for paint and stickers. rapha vs torm. same sort of stuff,

That was one of the points I wanted to make. In fact at the Road Show I was told the de Rosa was made in same factory as Spesh.

I had gone with a mind pretty set on a Pinarello. What changed it to a less glamorous brand (Spesh) was the comment about frames yet knowing the warranty difference.

Also, on subsequent conversations about the Pina and how it compared to the Tarmac Expert, a lbs salesman ducked the question by comparing the Pinarello with the Tarmac Comp. Stating that the Comp was comparable yet my £500 was getting a Pina. However the Comp has less spec and an SL2 frame. The Expert had an SL3 frame with complete ultegra not ultegra / 105 mix. That said to me I wanted to know why he didn't compare like for like. I asked again but question was ducked.

Add in comments from owners here plus the bargain I got and it was clear to me the route I'd take.

Really, as my first post said, I am not surprised at all. The 105 kit is great and the frame is no doubt from a source that supplies many.

The name does worry me about the one from halfords but not the Carrera bit! Smile

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
4th May 2012 - 9:36

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I prefer the shifting of old cheap shimano, 105 and even Tiagra to my 7900 DA stuff. The brakes are better on a decent groupset and I think the chainsets are better (stiffer)although its sometimes difficult to know whether that is down to the frame. The weight is obviously very different if thats important to you. Expensive wheels can feel nicer too.
When it comes to the frames it can make a big difference. I dont even know how many road bikes I have ridden, of various materials and at different price points. I find that a lot of it is personal pref. I did not like a couple of the uber-bling I tested, while I quite like my caad 9. Also sometimes the qualities of a bike might not suit the type of ride you want. I massively prefer my best expensive bike to my old alu one though.

However I have found that if the position is ok, then any proper road bike gives me good time. Also I find there i no real speed difference which can not be accounted for by position or different rubber. The only exception is a tt bike but even that is mostly about position.

posted by ilovemytinbred [164 posts]
4th May 2012 - 10:29

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Super Domestique wrote:
In fact at the Road Show I was told the de Rosa was made in same factory as Spesh.

Be careful though, 'same factory' doesn't mean to 'same spec'. The factory supplies the robots, manpower, tooling, skills etc. That's just legwork in the end (important though it is).

Carbon of a particular grade is just that, and ought to be the same whichever factory you asked to make your firm's products, provider of the raw material notwithstanding.

The gap here though is in the specification which is requested by the customer (i.e. the bike brand) - tube shape, wall thickness, monocoque (or not), layup directions, cable routing, aero properties. All this is intellectual capital that needs to come from the brains at RnD. Spesh spend a lot on RnD, so I don't doubt the quality of your new kit. De Rosa - dunno - looks like a lot of money without knowing where it's going.

Pinarello talk up their wiggly tubes a lot, but I reckon one of the main reasons for them is simply to avoid being the same as other bikes, and therefore accused of 'coming from the same mould'.

Think of it like the Chinese firm Foxconn - they make most (all?) of Apple's kit, as well as stuff for other manufacturers, but we don't think of Apple's hardware as being the same as Samsung's, even if both use some common components.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2942 posts]
4th May 2012 - 12:29

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Good point on the factory. I should have been clearer. I was talking purely in bling/wow factor terms.

posted by Super Domestique [1592 posts]
4th May 2012 - 15:27

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Im not expert I have only been cycling a couple of years following years of pounding the Fells. Mr limited experience is all based around the Boardman range.

I had a C2W voucher for a £1000, i had my sights firmly set on a Dolan mythos, following them failing to return my emails and phone calls. I reluctantly took a pop with the new Carbon virgao, Purely reluctant based on the negative press mainly from cycling forums.

I have to say im well impressed, the bike is smooth, comfortable, fast and it feels planted to the ground. The frame seems to pur and ooze class. The 105 groupset is smooth and precise, I far more prefer it to the sram apex.

Performance wise, im a fit type of a guy but I have no problems on the front and taking the best clubs riders on with it.

Ok its poor totty on the eyes or the mind should i say.... but i have to say its a great bike. I would recommend it to anyone. Big Grin

posted by engy [4 posts]
9th May 2012 - 23:17

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