Decisions Decisions... Aero or Lightweight? Upgrade or New?

November 05, 2015

Join our panel of industry experts as they answer your cycling questions to help make your ride a little bit smoother.

The BikeExchange Bike Panel

So who's in this series' panel?

Brand Manager for Shimano Cycling Australia, Toby Shingleton

Pro rider from Specialized Securitor Women's Team, Verita Stewart

Owner of 'The Angry Butcher', Bruce Howard

The Love Test

In this segment, the experts reveal their preference for aero or lightweight bikes and talk us through the 'love test'.

When is the time for a bike upgrade?

"N+1 - You always need a new bike".

Verita agrees with the Velominati rule of always needing (or should that be wanting) a new bike. The tipping point for Verita is when you spend more on upgrading your current bike than it would cost you to buy a new bike.

Toby is of the opinion that as long as you have a good quality frame, "you can keep upgrading parts forever". As the Brand Manager for Shimano Cycling Australia, there is no one more qualified to talk about upgrading your bike. Toby explains the industry "hasn't reached the point in the technology cycle" whereby an older frame can't accommodate new technology.

Bruce explains his philosophy when it comes to the question of upgrading your current bike or purchasing a new bike - Does it pass the Love Test?

"When you are no longer in love with that ride, it's time to move on"

Which would you choose? An aero bike or a lightweight bike?

"It was all about stiffness, and then it was all about lightweight, and then suddenly this aero thing came up"

Toby provides an insight to bike industry trends he has observed and breaks down the three categories of bikes - aero, lightweight and comfort. Toby has also come up with the ideal situation - "one of each!" In the end Toby's choice would be an aero bike, based on the advantage it provides at all times, despite the weight penalty.

Bruce and Verita both select the lightweight bike option, but for two very different reasons.

"I like going up hills" Verita says.

While Bruce has a different, but equally valid reason for choosing a lightweight bike, "I'm old and the body fatigues. Let the bike do the work for me."

Watch the full episode of the BikeExchange Bike Panel where the team offers specific buyer advice and chews the fat on plenty of topics we riders often struggle with ...

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