# Benefits of newer racer bikes over older ones?

10 Years ago, when I was 14, I got my first road bike. It costed around 1000 € (~1350$), and I have been using it every year. I have cycled at least 1.000 km every season. Now, I have started to ask myself: should I buy a new road bike? The only carbon my current bike has is the carbon fork. But beside that, you can see the bike below. My question is: Comparing an average ~1000 € road bike from approximately 10 years ago, to a 1000-1500 € road bike today, what kind of differences would there be? What kind of technology has developed during this time, that leads to an improvement on the bikes? Also, after 10 years of use, will there be some wear of the bike that you can feel if you buy a new bike? Pictures of my bike: • If you haven't done it already, at 10km the chain needs replacing and likely the rear cluster, and the bike is probably in need of a tune-up. Otherwise, it doesn't matter much whether a bike is 10 months old or 10 years old. The only advantage of a new bike is that you might ride it more because you'll feel guilty about spending all that money. – Daniel R Hicks Jun 9 '14 at 10:54 • @DanielRHicks so you are not giving me a good reason to spend 1500 €? Come on! :D – Lars Holdgaard Jun 9 '14 at 10:55 • (Well, if you got the bike when you were 14 it may be too small for you now. That would be the only compelling reason to get a new one.) – Daniel R Hicks Jun 9 '14 at 10:56 • Plus, if you've decided already to spend the money, do you really need a good reason? I think I'm up to 5 bikes now... – PeteH Jun 9 '14 at 11:35 • We're talking about road bikes here. – Daniel R Hicks Jun 9 '14 at 16:10 ## 2 Answers TL; DR: There is going to be a lot of difference. A 1500 Euro bike today would probably be comparable to a 6-7000 Euro bike from 10 years ago. Elaboration: There are going to be quite a few improvements in the bike due to technology advances and research and development. Some of the base models will not be radically different from your frame, although even there, there are some differences. First is frame composition, in that quite a few (even entry level) racing bikes are now all carbon. This is enabled as when a bike is first created, there are a lot of research and development costs that have to be offset. After a few years, that is offset, and the "top" model often becomes the "middle" model as a new frame is developed for the high end of the scale. Here are a couple of rides that are fairly similar in shape, and are entry level road bikes. Note the Giant has the cutout (1500 Euro), and the Specialized Allez does not (1250 Euro). The Allez is aluminum, the Giant is carbon. Second is the frame shape and tube shapes. For the entry level, you may not see a lot of difference (Especially in the known name brands), but almost all still have top tubes that slope downward towards the seat tube, and a few have smaller cutouts for the rear wheel. When you move up the price ladder, tubes start changing shape, and aerodynamic considerations become much more dramatic. As you can see in the Specialized Venge below, the top tube slopes away from the headset, and the seat tube is notched much more than the entry level rides to accommodate a tire being closer and more protected, which increases aerodynamics. The tubes are also more oval/wing shaped, rather than round. If you want to step up in price, you can look at the Cervelo S5 (Cervelo is arguably the best bike company around for understanding aerodynamics), which has a much more protected rear wheel, the forks more integrated with the frame, and much cleaner lines throughout. The final area is the trickle down technology in the groupsets, which consists of your derailleurs, brifters (brake/shifter combination), brakesets. The Shimano 105 and SRAM Force groupsets, which you typically find on the more entry level bikes are comparable to the Dura Ace and Red groups of 4-5 years ago, and as the top levels advance, the technology of the former top groups starts falling down to the next tiers below. In bikes, you can have light, cheap and reliable. You get to pick any two from that list. • The Cervelo S5 is a$5000 bike, not a $2000 one (1500 euros). An example of a$2000 bike would be a Trek Madone 3.1 which looks a lot more like an older road bike than it looks like a Cervelo S5. Sure it still has a full carbon frame, but the look and shape is mostly the same. – Kibbee Jun 9 '14 at 17:30
• @Kibbee - I didn't note prices, but I have added more detail and some of the entry level to show the differences at that price point as well as the progression as you step up the  scale. – JohnP Jun 9 '14 at 17:47
• "In bikes, you can have light, cheap and reliable. You get to pick any two from that list." I love this quote... – Zeus A. Jun 11 '14 at 12:18

Your current bike has decent wheels and reasonable components. If they have been maintained well I don't think you'll see much difference there other than 10spd gearing. The big change to a new bike in that price range will be the frame.

It is much easier now to get a frame that actually fits your riding style, I see you have an adjustable angle stem. Since carbon frames allow a lot more design freedom and riders have come around to the idea that the typical rider does not need a "racing" bike unless they are actually racing, it's much easier to get a frame that actually fits you and your riding style.

The new bike will be lighter and you'll feel like it's faster, but it won't be that much faster in a typical ride. Humans are very low power engines so even a little loss in bike weight will make the bike accelerate faster, but you'll still get to the same limits in top speed. Climbing will be a bit easier, but not much.

Bikes have gotten much more expensive in the last 10 years, 1500 euros is entry level at this point. You can get a nice bike in that price range, but some of the components will not be a nice as the ones you currently have. If you like the gearing and the way the shifters work on your current bike, you might consider upgrading just the frame.

You should demo a current bike and decide if you like the shape and fit of the middle range Shimano and SRAM brifters. Having a bike that is comfortable and fits well far outweighs any minor gains in lost weight.