High End Bike Components - Are they worth the money?

This is a very common question, and only you can answer it (after reading this article of course).

You're probably wondering if it's worth spending an extra £200 to get the next level up on a bike. It all comes down to a) your budget b) your mentality. I'll tell you right now, if you put a professional cyclist on the bottom of the range road bike, and you on the £20k feather light carbon machine, they're still going to beat the snot out of you in a race. No question.

So what's the point in having a better groupset?

1) Lighter - It's nice to have a light bike.

2) Smoother Operation - You'll often find the higher end components tend to shift/brake/operate more smoothly than the lower end equivalents.

3) More Durable - In my experience, higher end stuff tends to be a touch more durable (though not massively). It's also usually easier to repair as the manufacturer allows you to take it apart (to replace bearings etc).

4) Better/More Adjustable Features - The higher end groupsets usually have the latest technology. This eventually filters down through the years, but it's not uncommon for the top end groupsets to have new features that you won't see at the bottom for 3-4 years at least.

Personally, I tend to buy middle of the range or possibly one up from that. For road bikes that means Shimano 105/Ultegra, and for mountain bikes that Deore/XT (don't forget SRAM also make excellend groupsets, I'm just not massively familiar with their range at the moment).

Going for XTR/Dura Ace is great if you have the cash, but you really only get a weight advantage. Nice to have but in no way do they offer anything essential.


Q. Can I mix/match components from different groupsets?
A. In theory yes, but it can be a bit of a minefield. You obviously can't use a 9 speed shifter with a 10 speed cassette. Always check with your local bike mechanic as they'll be able to tell you.

Q. Does weight really matter?
A. If you're racing, maybe. If you're pootling around simply enjoying yourself, no.

Q. So I'm wasting my money buying a higher end groupset?
A. Not at all. Higher end groupsets are like buying a Ferrari. You buy it because you want it, and it's nice to have nice things.

If you've found this page useful, feel free to click on the link below and buy something. It keeps the lights running over here. Chain Reaction often have some spectacular deals on last years bikes, so keep an eye on them.



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