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Sun, 20 Feb 2005

What influences bike buying decisions? - 23:10
I have been reading the latest copy of Ride Cycling Review and Australian Mountain Bike today and it got me to thinking about what things really tend to influence my bike purchasing decisions. All of which I am sure are largely subjective.

First off I am a fan of steel as a frame material, also I suspect I would like titanium, though I have never ridden extensively on a frame made from this so I do not know for sure. Things I look for in a frame are reliability, strength, good build, good for the intended use. My road bike is a Lemond steel framed ultegra equipped bike. My better mountain bike is a Rocky Mountain dual 3dlink based dual suspension bike. Though Lemond is not a long running marque of road cycling such as Colnago, Bianchi or Scapin the frame is good for what I use it for, as a diversion from mountain biking for fun and fitness. (Though as Richard has broken his 3 times and I have now broken mine once, I wonder if the strength and reliability criteria is really there with Lemond). I admit when I was looking to purchase my first ever road bike in 2002 I did not put much thought into it, my criteria was, steel frame, my size, ultegra or 105 level groupset.

On the other hand I put more thought into my last mtb purchase. After breaking my steel frame in a crash early last year and being relegated to my aluminium hardtail frame I decided I should buy a dual suspension bike. Rocky Mountain has been around for a long time (in mountain biking, road cycling on the other hand is a much older sport) and they have been using the 3dlink suspension design since around 1995. Due to the longevity of the brand and the people I know who have ridden them and liked them, I had a very high opinion of Rocky Mountain mountain bikes. When I rode it and discovered I liked the ride characteristics and feel a lot more than that of the Kona Kikapu models (I rode one of them for about 1.5 months in 2003) I was keen to buy the Rocky.

If I wanted another road bike I wonder how well placed my aversion to Aluminium and Carbon Fibre is. I do not think I would ride a Carbon bike from most brands, the only one I can think of that really appeals to me is the Bianchi (and geez that white carbon looks sexy, I was sitting behind someone riding one on Thursday morning last week), and to tell the truth I really have no idea why I would like to ride this bike. One of the bikes reviewed in the latest edition of ride is a Teschner aimed at the mass market a bit more than most of his bikes. This frame, made from aluminium with carbon rear end again should not interest me so much. However this time I think I can understand why it would interest me, it is hand built here in Australia, Teschner's bikes have a really good name locally and internationally, and it would at least be comfortable with carbon front and back to take away road buzz.

Of course this diary entry was brought to you by the theory of N+1, after all we all "need" more bikes <g>.

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