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· your god hates me
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I shoulda seen this one coming. My wife (herself an avid cyclist, albeit one who does not give the proverbial rat's ass about new gear) has been encouraging me to get a new bike all Spring. So I started reseraching it, and I got the major Gear Lust, and I started researching more & more, and I finally narrowed it down to 3 or 4 models...all in the $3000 ballpark.

The way I arrived at that dollar amount was by looking at which bikes had the features I wanted, which of those got good reviews (both online & in print), which of those were from companies that offered commendable support, and finally which of those were carried by my LBS. The ones that were left over were all between $2400-3200.

Mrs.Ross freaked when she heard that. She had gotten it into her mind that a new bike ought to cost $1500. The way she arrived at that dollar amount was because 10 years ago she got a really nice bike for $800, and six months ago her friend got a really nice bike for $1200. Therefore, "really nice bikes" must cost less than $1500, and anything in the $3000 neighborhood must be a "really insanely overkill much-too-good-for-you bike".

So, ever the diplomat, I told Mrs.Ross that my choices were all based on research, & until I test ride these things it's all hypothetical; if I can't tell the difference in feel (comfort, acceleration, handling, performance, etc) between a $3000 bike & a $1500 bike, I will happily save our money! I may be a gear junkie but I'm not a total idiot!

So here's my question: What differences (if any) can I expect to notice when comparing a $1500 bike to a $3000 bike?

I hesitate to specify a particular model, which I realize makes this question so abstract as to be almost unanswerable, but throw me a bone here, please. Say, within the Cannondale line (or Specialized, or Bianchi...) what tangible, palpable differences will stepping up from a $1500 model to their $2400-3000 model offer?

Thanks.
 

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lol, my wife and i go through this with stereo equipment, cars (espcially cars - she doesn't see any difference between her civic and my loaded VW v6 Passat!), bikes, and an array of other items. you'll have to navigate this with a lot of thought to succeed. can you play the designer clothes card? would she enjoy a Target brand pair of jeans over the new whatever brand they're into these days? could she tell a difference between them in fit and feel?
 

· Banned forever.....or not
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The answer is simple....
You can (a) either bury the body in the crawl space, or (b) buy the $3000 bike with the $1500 alotted + $1500 from your "rainy day" stash, and tell the wifey that the bike cost $1600.
 

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Bob Ross said:
I shoulda seen this one coming. My wife (herself an avid cyclist, albeit one who does not give the proverbial rat's ass about new gear) has been encouraging me to get a new bike all Spring. So I started reseraching it, and I got the major Gear , and I started researching more & more, and I finally narrowed it down to 3 or 4 s...all in the $3000 ballpark.

The way I arrived at that dollar amount was by looking at which bikes had the features I wanted, which of those got good reviews (both online & in print), which of those were from companies that offered commendable support, and finally which of those were carried by my LBS. The ones that were left over were all between $2400-3200.

Mrs.Ross freaked when she heard that. She had gotten it into her mind that a new bike ought to cost $1500. The way she arrived at that dollar amount was because 10 years ago she got a really nice bike for $800, and six months ago her friend got a really nice bike for $1200. Therefore, "really nice bikes" must cost less than $1500, and anything in the $3000 neighborhood must be a "really insanely overkill much-too-good-for-you bike".

So, ever the diplomat, I told Mrs.Ross that my choices were all based on research, & until I test ride these things it's all hypothetical; if I can't tell the difference in feel (comfort, acceleration, handling, performance, etc) between a $3000 bike & a $1500 bike, I will happily save our money! I may be a gear junkie but I'm not a total idiot!

So here's my question: What differences (if any) can I expect to notice when comparing a $1500 bike to a $3000 bike?

I hesitate to specify a particular , which I realize makes this question so abstract as to be almost unanswerable, but throw me a bone here, please. Say, within the Cannondale line (or Specialized, or Bianchi...) what tangible, palpable differences will stepping up from a $1500 to their $2400-3000 offer?

Thanks.
You're going to be able to purchase a good quality steel/carbon frame for your ballpark figure vs an aluminium frame - depending on the manufacturer you'll notice a difference in ride quality, aluminium having a tendency for being harsher.

Typically - you'll get lighter and better quality componentry which will last longer (this sales pitch can sometimes backfire if your wife knows you don't stick with a product for long).

If I were you (and I used this tactic fairly recently to good effect), I'd try and find something on sale or closeout towards the end of this year and use the "better to ask for forgiveness than permission"/"it was a bargain I couldn't pass up" ploy. In my wife's case it is a ploy she has used effectively on me before.
 

· Banned
Bianchi Nuovo Alloro, Lemond Etape
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divorce under $600

basically, to factor this in, you need all available info.

I got a divorce for under $600 including family law lawyer fee and court fees.

It was "uncontested" which costs a lot less than "contested."

So, if that cut into your $3000, it would leave you with $2400 or more for a bike - not bad.
 

· Shirtcocker
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PJay said:
basically, to factor this in, you need all available info.

I got a divorce for under $600 including family law lawyer fee and court fees.

It was "uncontested" which costs a lot less than "contested."

So, if that cut into your $3000, it would leave you with $2400 or more for a bike - not bad.
Just get Chorus instead of Record...done deal.
 

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mine didnt either, I went and ordered my $2800 Six13 anyway. She got back at me and bought a few thousand worth of Dior bags/purse. I guess we're even now and it's better then her being pissed, I'm glad she wasted money on her purses. I dont understand women and their high dollar purses and bags, they dont do anything, the bags just sit there, cant move or anything, women are odd
 

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Srexy said:
You're going to be able to purchase a good quality steel/carbon frame for your ballpark figure vs an aluminium frame - depending on the manufacturer you'll notice a difference in ride quality, aluminium having a tendency for being harsher.

Typically - you'll get lighter and better quality componentry which will last longer (this sales pitch can sometimes backfire if your wife knows you don't stick with a product for long).
thats about it. alu or alu/carbon frame vs. steel, carbon, or alu/carbon. "lesser" componentry such as 105 vs. ultegra or dura-ace (or campy if thats your thing). also lower model bars, stems, saddles (which u would likely replace anyway), seatpost, tires, wheelsets....
 

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This post is hilarious!

If she rides then she MUST understand what better equipment does.

The diff between $1500 and $3000 in a bike, is the componentry goes up one level (Ultegra to duraAce) and the frame usually goes from aluminum to carbon.

I've been passed by guys on both types. :)

I think the ploy of doing your homework and saving your money would be better.

Better yet, my financial advice is to set up your own funds for each of you, that way if you want to spend $3000 in bikes or purses, it's your choice, and your money that you have to save. Negotiations avoided, everyone's happy and you'll learn how to save and appreciate your purchase even more.
 

· Alien Musician
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Geez. It's a tough road being married sometimes.

My wife insisted on buying me bikes but I had no time to prepare and I
ended up with some nice stuff but if I had all of that money today I would
have likely done something different.

Back to the original poster:

Remember - it's HER idea that you should get a new bike so she brought it
on herself! You could show her your research.

How long do you plan on riding that bike? If it's a high dollar primo ride over
10 years (optimistic at the outside) we're talking about $300 a year. Most
people spend more $ on eating out. Just a thought.

The issue is: she's basing her expectations on flawed conclusions: what
was "pretty nice" ten years ago at $800 and what was "pretty nice" last
year at $1200 is a moving target - inflation happens. Also, the high end
is pulling the low end up (just like with computers) so what you buy for
$2000 this year is what you could have bought for $3000 or more just
four or five years back.

My guess - the $1200 bike was an aluminum roadie with Shimano 105
or a mix of 105/Tiagra/Sora and maybe a carbon fork. Workable but not
ideal. My roadie is a full 105 bike that cost $1399 two and a half years
ago. Now you're starting to see rides at that level are mostly carbon with
full 10 speed Ultegra just for a bit more.

And those bikes your wife mentioned were likely middle of the road in
terms of quality at the time of purchase - maybe just under middle of
the road.

Not to mention "$1200" was probably low-balled by her friend to have
your wife not go to her friend "Why did you spend $1200? I got a great
bike 10 years ago during the Boer Wars for $799". Her perceptions are
colored by time and also expectation.

The designer label is one thing. Can you be happy riding a Target special
or do you want something nicer? Do you want to look back in the future
going "why did I spend so much time riding that not-so-good bike?"

There's ways to get the price down but it will be a "you have to be in the
right place at the right time" type thing - you can look at "last years
closeouts" but sizes and quantity will be limited nor can you expect
proper sizing. You will have to be a canny alligator-like bargain hunter.

There's also the "health card" - does she want to see you with a big gut
and a walking heart attack waiting to happen or does she want you to be
happy? Does she buy a lot of purses/shoes/clothes? If she's a bit like
my wife she rarely buys extravagances but little stuff that adds up. I'd
rather have one or two big great things than lots of little not so great
things.

If you don't buy a lot of other stuff and you work hard and get a decent
salary, one expense like that isn't going to kill you in the long term - it's
if you don't have a bike and are sedentary that is the big issue in this
country.

I guess the other thought is that if your current bike isn't useable as a
trade-in then you will have to do some careful shopping/research.

Maybe there's a way to get something nicer than she is thinking of but
maybe not as nice as what you were hoping for that could be suitable.

But if you have your mind set on something and riding it is like "THAT
is the one!" then that's the bike to get. Good luck!
 

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$3000 now is less than $4500.

You've done your part...you used your prominent analytical-side of the brain. Mrs. Ross "thinks" $1500 buys a good bike nowadays. Maybe for others, but surely not for you. Buy the $3000 bike because if you buy the $1500 bike now, you're still going to buy the $3000 bike. Next year. See how spending more actually saves you money?
 

· Fini les ecrase-"manets"!
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Personally, I'd play the "why didn't you tell me there was a price limit on this?!?" card. It seems a little unfair to press you about getting a new bike but then retroactively putting a limit on what you can get. If she wanted to choose your new bike for you, she should have run out and got it for you as a surprise.

Well, that is, I would say these things if my wife ever gave me grief about what I buy, which she doesn't. She might tease me later if it turns out to have been a bad choice, but that's about it.

It's nice to have separate bank accounts.

Realistically, and even more unhelpfully, you're not likely to feel a whole lot of difference between a $1500 bike and a $3000 one. Frame material, as others pointed out, is the biggest difference. I found very little difference in feel or function between Tiagra equipment and Ultegra in the course of riding, and I am not in the "I can feel every extra gram" camp, so I figure you could probably save some money on components with any given frame and be just as happy.

Would downgrading your group save the requisite amount? Maybe not, but it might earn you some compromise points and get the deal closed. Also, you should let, no, make, her test ride a $2000+ bike. That might make her realize that a $800 10-year-old bike is not a fair comparison. But it also might mean you spend $5000 instead of $3000.
 

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What Else?

What else are you into? Are you a guy who's only big ticket item is bikes? Or are you a guy who's into bikes, home theatre equipment, musical instruments, cars or any other big ticket items that you buy only for your enjoyment or benefit (because wifey could care less if you have the latest big plasma screen tv; my girlfriend is just as happy watching a movie on VHS on a 13" portable tv as a surround sound home theatre DVD on a 40" wide screen plasma)? If it's just bikes, tell her that not buying the more expensive bike after you have done all this research will just end up pissing you off and in a year, you'll be upgrading parts (since your wife rides, she'll know anyway).
 

· Shirtcocker
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This reminds me of my next door neighbor. His wife refuses to let him spend money on a new bike frame so he is currently riding his GT cross bike. His strategy seems to be to buy everything but a new frame. So far he's bought a carbon fiber post for it, a new Fizik saddle, a wheelset (from me)--I keep telling him eventually he'll have to buy a new frame to put all that cool stuff on.
 

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Or you can play the underhanded route...ride a few, find what you like, then sink $1800 on a decent frame. Transfer as many components as you can from your current ride. Then over the next 12 months, upgrade part-by-part. The bills coming in then would be smaller and incremental so as to not raise any red flags. Sure, you'll end up paid 5k for your end product, but it'll be just the way you want it.
 

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Do not even try convincing what the difference in the quality of bicycles. Use a clothing analogy.

Why do you need to buy Donna Karen or other designers, Kmart makes good clothing and while you are wearing it you can not tell the difference. She will then understand.

I also told my wife look at what you are spending on clothing and shoes, in a years time my bike is cheaper, and in terms of cost/mile a better bike is cheaper because you will ride it more.
 

· Squirrel Hunter
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Lease

Lease yourself a pair and tell her you are buying what you want.

Be sneaky, it will cost more in the long run but buy yourself a really high end frame and then put crap components on it. Then every couple of weeks buy another component and put it on. Soon you will have a high end frame with high end components. Buying this way cost a lot more, but she made the rules.

Treat it as an investment rather than an expense. That is how I always justify expensive items to myself. Show her it only cost $300 per year or only 10 cents a mile or...

Barter, buy her something she really wants.

Mad Money - I learned this from my dad. He always had a wad of cash in his pocket. He would do some work on the side and squirrel the money away for stuff.

Tell her you do not really need a new bike as you are getting bored with riding. Start drinking beer by the 12 pack and go to the strip club on your way home from work each evening. Be sure to get the girls to smear you with sparkles and cheap perfume so your wife knows where you were. Be sure to refer to the girls by name in conversation like you are good buddies with them.

Beg!
 
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