Worn through your tyres on the turbo trainer over winter? Convinced yourself that it is the bike rather than the extra pounds acquired over Christmas that are making the hills more difficult? Looking for that extra motivation to complete a 100, the Étape or just your first Sportive? Well, the great news is that this seems to be the perfect time to buy a new bicycle!
Manufacturers tempt all cyclists out of the Winter hibernation by showing them pictures of shiny new bikes, drawing lustful looks and an inadvertent collection of appreciative noises. Pictures are passed around and drooled over at cake stops, finances are recalculated and specs are pored over and compared.
Its that last point that brings me to my title, it really is the best time to buy a bike. For all of the glossy marketing and new paint jobs, the manufacturers need somewhere for these bikes to go and that means the retailers clearing out the previous year’s models. For those of you with more money than you know what to do with, stop reading now. For those who like a bit of extra bang for their buck, keep reading. Usually there is very little difference between models year on year, sometimes a newer version of a groupset and/or a new paint job is all that separates them, but the prices are wildly different.
The below shows the differences between the Cannondale Supersix Evo Ultegra Disc road bike, with 2017 on the left and 2018 on the right
I apologise for the small print within the image but, in essence, the only real differences between them are the paintwork, the updated R8020 disc brakes and the inclusion of the new, updated Ultegra R8000 groupset. The R8000 benefits from the ideas and design behind Dura Ace and can accommodate a 34 tooth sprocket but the 6800 is still an excellent option that will suit most casual cyclists, certainly those upgrading from Shimano’s 105 range. The real difference is in the price, the new model carries a RRP of £2,699 but after shopping around I have found examples of the 2017 model for £1,649, some £1,050 cheaper! For the differences in play I know which model I would go for.
So there it is, go and buy a new bike but shop around and don’t be afraid of last year’s model! Remember, as the old saying goes…..
The correct number of bikes to own is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned