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What is the difference in riding a $500 or $5000 bicycle?

There are many stark differences between a bike worth $500 and one worth $5000 other than one will cost you quite a chunk of your savings if not everything. Bikes have for a long time been used as a mode of transport with more advanced models coming with time to meet the need of speed and extreme sporting. It is also wise to note that expensive bikes are also sold as second-hand bikes at much lower prices allowing people with a tight budget to enjoy the perks of a high-end bike with as little as $1500. The only difference will be the fact that it is a used bike. The difference between these two bikes is based on quite some things. Some may argue about preference but will quickly change the tune after trying a bike that is worth more. Most people think that expensive bikes are for pro riders, but this is not accurate. You can buy and expensive bike for tours and rides around the neighbourhood if you feel like it. The fact that they are a hefty investment is what makes most people shy away from the responsibility of owning one. Most bikers you will meet will have to buy this kind of a bike as a goal.

A bike costing $500 is ideal for long rides but will not work for extreme conditions based on weather, speed and well as terrain. They will, however, do for regular riding. More will go into these differences including;


A bike that costs $500 will most likely be made from a steel frame. You may find some made of aluminium but in second-hand form. Steel frames tend to be heavier and cost the rider speed and performance. Bikes that cost as much as $500 are designed for speed and performance. The frames are mostly made of aluminium and carbon fibre which is everyone’s dream. These frames are some of the lightest in the market. Titanium frames will also be in this range but are mostly ornamental. Bikes that are worth $5000 are designed to outperform others in their fields which are why weight is everything at this point. It also makes a difference between a race lost or won.


The materials a bike is made of right from the frame to the drive train determine the pricing. Pro bikes will come with titanium, aluminium and carbon fibre frames which cost more when compared to steel. Carbon fibre is probably the most expensive with bikes often costing way more than $5000. A bike that is designed using these materials is not only faster but the most ideal when it comes to handling.


Handling is all about how easy a bike is to maneuver. Cheap bikes are often said to be stiff. This is something one may not understand until both bikes are tested. Bikes that are more expensive are made using a combination of the right materials and engineering to allow it to feel subconsciously right. Bikes that handle better are easier to maneuver especially at high speeds without losing a feeling of control on the bike.


Engineering is all about functional design. Engineers are in charge of setting up mechanisms that enhance the performance of the bike without losing the aesthetic value of the bike. This involves the gears shifts, how the drive train behaves, a braking system as well as riding positions. Bikes that cost $500 will have standard engineering make up that allows the rider to be comfortable enough to manage shorter distances. Bikes with $5000 have an interesting design where every part of the bike is built for speed or strength. The purpose of the engineer is to use a combination of the right materials and design to produce a work of art.

“The feel.”

This is one of the most complicated sense for bikes. A novice will not understand the difference unless a ride is taken. The way a bike feels while riding determines whether you will enjoy it or not. Bikes worth $500 are not designed for the feel but function. $500 bikes are designed to feel right in the hands of the rider. This affects the response of the bike to the hands while steering


Efficiency is all about the ability of the bike to perform and do so reliably. $500 bike is efficient but only to an extent. They are limited in speed, manoeuvrability, and strength which makes them inefficient in any particular terrain. It is also for these reasons that they are jacks of all trades but masters of none. Bikes worth $5000 will work on a particular trail and be good at it. They will be the fastest on the field as well as the most reliable for the particular feat.


Aerodynamics is all about the way a bike reacts to the air against it while riding. Bikes worth $500 are not designed to be aerodynamic but will be fast nevertheless. Bikes worth $5000 are designed for speed and performance. It is for this reason that the design has everything to do with cutting through the air effortlessly. The bike will have enhanced mechanisms right from narrow tires, well-shaped frames and increased sitting positions for the same.


The items used to itemize or accessorize the bike will also make a huge difference. A $500 bike will come with standard accessories. Bikes worth $5000 will have a huge array of component some on and others off the bike. These include disc brakes, a vast variety of gears, enhanced switching systems, and state of the art tires. Most of the bikes also come with harnesses and points of connecting accessories like water, cameras, and light torches.  All these go a long way to enhance the experience of the rider.

Why buy an expensive bike?


One of the main differences between a $500 bike and a $5000 bike is the durability. Bikes worth more are built with tougher material that is meant to last longer. $500 bikes will serve you for a while but will wear out sooner or later. The steel frames will rust and give in due to the nature of the build. The tires will also wear fast and loose structure with time. Pro bikes are built to beat the odds which are why the best materials and engineering are put into them. This does not mean that they are indestructible. It just goes to show that you will be riding your bike much longer than most people.

Expensive bikes are also built to specialize on a particular terrain. Cheaper bikes will work on any terrain but will be limited in all aspects. Attempting to use a $5000 bike like a mountain bike on treacherous trails will lead to devastating results some of them including broken frames. Trying to ride them fast on track will only get you more tired. The tires are not built to roll effortlessly, and the frame is too bulky for high speeds. The only way to keep a $500 around for long is by simply running errands with it. These bikes are nice around town and tours but will not be ideal for any life-changing the experience.


Expensive bikes are built to look good on the trail or track. The design is flawlessly beautiful, which is one of the reasons they are coveted. The branding is also exceptional. Most cheap bikes will not come custom made to impress but function. A little work will be put to them though it will be easy for any expensive bike to stand out beside them.

Challenging yourself

Buying an expensive bike shows that you are ready to challenge yourself. It is wise to take your riding to the next level with Pro bikes. These bikes push you to be faster, stronger and even more daring. Pro bikes are built for the world they thrive in. Taking time to save for a good bike is an excellent idea especially if you feel that you need to progress in riding.

Should I buy a $5000 bike?

You need to answer a few questions before embarking on the purchase of a $5000 bike. All these incline on your ability to work and stay on the path. Buying a $5000 bike is a big decision on your part. One of the main challenges you may have is the finances. You can get these bikes second hand at a much lower price it as a beginner as you build your skill to a pro-level. Tragedy would be buying such an expensive bike just to have to lie around. Buying this kind of bike needs careful consideration of the steps that you will take to push yourself harder. A $5000 bike is something everyone should have for the most exhilarating ride.

You will also be able to race as well as ride with most pros. The fact of the matter is that you will not have any barriers regarding levelling up in your riding skills.

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Dion Lewis
My name is Dion Lewis.

I’ve been cycling from my childhood. When I was in high school, I started racing in our local competitions.

At my college life, I took a part time job in a bicycle shop and I learned how to repair and maintain bicycles professionally.

Though I love racing, mountain biking is another thing I do frequently. My friends, neighbors, and colleagues treat me as an avid rider and take my suggestions while they plan for a new bike or a bike gear.

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