Cheap Bike Vs. Super Bike | What’s The Difference?

Cheap Bike Vs. Super Bike | What’s The Difference?

– How much difference
does spending money make to the performance of your bike? – Well, we’re going to find out in “Cheap Bike vs. Super Bike”. – Ding, ding! – Two bikes at the opposite
ends of the spectrum. Firstly is this, Canyon’s Aeroad bike. Lightweight, carbon fibre,
moulded into aerodynamic shapes, but not at the expense of comfort. And on board, We have Shimano’s latest
and greatest R9170 groupset. And that means electronic
shifting and hydraulic brakes. And also we have Shimano C40 wheels, so low weight and aero too. – Yeah. And then, we’ve
got this a Raleigh, which we bought on eBay, for 90 pounds. To be fair to it, it is
actually an awful lot of bike for the money, but how much of
a handicap is it going to be? You know what mate? I actually think it’s all right. Apart from the bar tape, that’s not white, but the rest of its all right. – Yeah. It’s pretty
much spot on this side. Round number one. – It’s simple on this one, climbing. Man and machines, against this. Which is actually a particularly
uncomfortable climb. Just shy of 2 km long, an
average gradient of 11%, which I always think is weird because most of it feels
like its above 20%. It’s a tough one. Ah, I’ll just grab that
one for now shall I? – No, no, no, no, this
is mine after all Si, so I’m going to have first dibs on this. For the first ascent, if that’s okay? It’s all right mate. – Yeah, it’s all right,
’cause you will be tired then when you will be riding this one. And that one will feel better. Okay, that’s fine mate, if you want to do it that way ’round. It’s your call. – [Matt] Oh, and have we mentioned, we’re going flat out? Now the major difference
between these two bikes when climbing, it their weight. The Super Bike is a lean and mean 7.3kg, with a Wahoo Elemnt attached. Remarkable, when you take into
consideration that it’s an Aero bike, with disc brakes. And our cheap bike, is a
rather weighty 11.95kg, a difference of over 50%. – All right, Si you go first, I’m going to give you a minute. – Okay. – But I’m not overly hopeful to catch you. You know what to do? – Yeah, alright, wish me luck. Off we go! – Look at that! Poetry in motion. – Beep, beep, beep, boop! The first time, whoa hoa! – Aaahhh, I hate that climb!
I absolutely hate that climb. To be fair though, I do like this bike. That felt cool! Most importantly of all up
there, big range of gears. I ended up using my lowest,
which is 34 at the front, and 30 at the back. So we’ll see how it goes on the other one, with racier gears. He loves it doesn’t he? He loves it! – Well, that’s my first
proper hill climb for a long, long, time but I
didn’t even need to think about the bike, it worked a dream, it’s just me that’s a little bit lacking, but I certainly emptied the tank, went a bit steady early on,
but when that steep bit, pitched up I just had to give
it everything just to get up. – Yeah, you can see how hard I went mate, ’cause I got a patch of
snot on my leg warmer, that I cant’ get off. – I got a little bit on my sleeve as well. – Yeah, British hill climbs eh? – [Si] Run number two then,
after a quick bike swap. As well as the weight, there’s
also the issue of the gears, pedalling doesn’t feel
particularly different. It has to be said. Even cheaper gears are
remarkably efficient. As a design, chains and
sprockets are fantastic. Just as long as you keep them clean. Which as you know, I do
mention from time to time. The gear range of the two
bikes is broadly similar. Even if our Super Bike has
22 and our Cheap Bike has 16. And although the Canyon is
an out and out race bike, the new Shimano DURA-ACE
has allowed us to fit an 11 to 30 cassette, which
is just as well, up here. – Okay, run number two,
I’m looking forward to this actually, weirdly enough. – Super Bike time for
you, Cheap Bike for me. – Go on Si, give it all you got mate. – Oh, will do mate. Off you go. Look at that, sweet as a nut. – Wah hoo! Yeah! Oh my goodness me that feels good! Like stiff, responsive, I’m
intrigued to know the results. But, purely based on perception, this is another world I’m afraid. – Here we go, cheap bike time! First time. Well, here we go, run number two, and the bike doesn’t
feel too much different. Feel the weight a bit, positions a bit different. But even the cheaper gears
are remarkably efficient and that was design,
the chain and the cogs, well it’s just great, especially
if you keep them clean. As not all of us presenters do. – Whoa. I hate to say it, but that was, that was like night and day. That was very different. Although, less so in the
steep there actually. The biggest difference
was when getting out of the seat and accelerating. And I managed to stick it in
the big ring over the top. Which you see at times. Well to paraphrase, three
time Tour de France Champion Greg LeMond, it doesn’t hurt
any less, you just go faster. The question is, how much faster? And the answer is actually
quite a lot wasn’t it? Nearly a minute, for both Matt and myself. Which corresponds to just
about 10% time difference. – Yeah, what about the feeling? ‘Cause that’s pretty important too. Well for me, obviously,
this bike, the Canyon, the Super Bike, did feel faster. Far more responsive and I must admit, I spent a lot more time out of the saddle, I felt the power was
transmitted far better. This bike, I felt more
comfortable sitting down and applying the power in a
slightly different way. It just felt generally, a
little bit more sluggish. – [Si] Round number two, with the climbing out of the way for today,
we’ve got a simple, but very important test. Braking. – These Shimano hydraulic
breaks are the absolute bomb, when it comes to performance. They’ve got all the power you need, but with added modulation. Meaning, you can use that
power to stop, far quicker, rather than skidding down the road. And the tyres? Well they’re gold standard as well. Continental Competition, 25 mil, tubulars. – [Matt] It’s a pretty
simple test, riding at 40kmph, downhill, and then trying to stop as quickly as possible. – Woof, the weight distribution,
that was impressive. – Thanks mate. – That’s all right, went well. 5.4, well 5 and a half,
5.4 so 5 metres 40, 5.40. – So the markers been laid down, how is our cheap bike gonna fare? Well, on the positive side,
the cables are super smooth. Loads of life left in the pads, and I have spent time setting them up. However, you’ll see if
I squish on the lever, there’s quite a lot of flex
actually in the calliper itself, meaning that you can lose a bit of power, and you’re going to lose modulation. And, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion, that these pads are really hard compound. Meaning that they’re going
to last a super long time. But, they’re not actually going to slow us down very quickly. Still, I’m going to give it a good go. – Ooph. – Just keep that bike steady please, Si. – Sorry Matt, sorry. – Thanks Mate. – 10 Bang on, 10.5. – 10.5, so we have 5… – 10.5 metres – So we have 5.4 and 10.5, ahhh… – Yeah so, roughly stopped at
double the stopping distance. Wow Si, the results are in. And I can tell you, there’s
nearly 100% difference in the stopping distances
of the two bikes. I mean, let’s be fair. The Raleigh, it stopped safe enough – Yeah, yeah. – But the stopping power of the Canyon is mightily impressive. – Yeah. There was a
significant difference. Admittedly, this is
quite a controlled test, so there’s not going to
be that many occasions where you’d be doing an
emergency stop in real life. Well, hopefully not anyway. But you’ve go to wonder, haven’t you? That if that difference over
the course of the whole ride, even just coming up to
junctions and on descents, and things, you’d have
thought that would have quite a big effect, wouldn’t you? Or will it? – Challenge number three. Descending. Now armed with our braking knowledge, just how are these
bikes going to stack up? Will the added confidence of
better braking make us faster? Will the improved
aerodynamics help as well? – Yeah. It’s going to
be interesting isn’t it? Now you know that we don’t
exactly have any Alpine descents on our doorstop, but this one is pretty good. 3 km long, an average gradient of 5%. All right, stop laughing at the back. It’s the best we’ve got okay? We’re not going to go flat
out because it’s open roads and we are of course getting
old, but nevertheless, I think we should see how we get on. – But significantly, I get to
go on the Super Bike again. See you in a bit Si, hee hee. Okay, Super Bike run, downhill. Here we go, oh no! I’m not clipped in! – Okay, here we go. A descent I know well. On a bike I’m not very familiar with. Poor brakes, but let’s give it a nudge. – 25 seconds. – I cannot believe that. Literally. – Well, lets have a little
look at this bike though, aerodynamics have got to play a big part. – Yeah. Yeah. – Okay, on that descent. There’s no… And there was a bit of a
headwind on the descent. But, disc brakes. So much power, they give
me so much confidence going into those corners. I could brake, relatively
late compared to using normal calliper brakes. And even in these wet conditions as well. So, yeah, aerodynamics and these wonderful, powerful brakes too. – Yeah. I still can’t believe 25 seconds. There were a couple points
where I, I ran out of gears so I just free wheeled. – And I did pedal. I’ve
got bigger gears than you. We need to add that into the mix as well. – Yeah, yeah, you do. But….25 seconds! I was not expecting that mate. I was not expecting that. That’s right. It’s another brutally simple test. Ride 10 km as fast as we possibly can. Now so far, the differences
between these two bikes have been significant, but
not, I think, insurmountable. But I just have a hunch
that maybe the Super Bike, is just going to land the
killer blow on this one. – Although, you’ve got a 1.5 watt saving, on your Elemnt Bolt there. – Yep, that’s not to be sniffed at. Pulled 1.5 watts back. – It could be closer than we think. Why do I have a hunch that this is going to be a big one then? Well, firstly, it’s going
to be the longest challenge so the gaps are likely to be larger. But aerodynamics are incredibly
important in cycling. Much more so than bike weight. In almost all instances in fact, except for really steep climbs. The rider admittedly makes up the largest component of total aerodynamic drag. And I can actually get
into a really good position on the Cheap Bike, so that’s not something you have to pay for at all. My clothing is also the
same, super aero in fact. However, the difference
in the bike is still hugely significant. The shallow wheels and 32 spokes,
cause a lot of turbulence. The round tubes too, punch
a hole through the air and it doesn’t smooth air
flow around it at all. – Beep, beep, boop. You missed a beep! That was only four! – Oh, sorry! – Anyway, he’s off! – Okay, here we go.
Beep, beep, beep, boop. First time again. – I’ll tell you what… – You look like you went deep. The funny thing about all of this, is actually the thing
that bothered me the most. Let it out mate, let it out. The thing that bothered me the most, was I couldn’t get the right gear. ‘Cause it’s only 8 speed. I know it sounds stupid,
but I was either pedalling too slowly or too fast. And like, it’s not a
biggie, but it does wear on you mind a little bit when you… Full of gas? – Yeah, but… I went pretty much flat out there mate. That one, but there’s no… The bike, I didn’t really
have to think about the bike. The gear ratios are fine. Bottom of the block, just felt
good, and it felt, I’m not particularly quick these
days, but this bike is pretty quick and it felt
like it was doing the job, so. – So mate, can I have a
go please? I’m desperate. – All right. – [Matt] If the Cheap
Bike shallow wheels and numerous spokes cause a stack of drag. What’s the secret of the Shimano C40’s? Well, there are fewer spokes, just 16 and 21 on front and back. But the main reduction in
drag, stems from the rims. Deep sections are made out
of carbon fibre to allow for the specific wind sheeting shape. The rim is 28 mm wide,
so that there’s minimal disturbance of air as it transitions from the tyre to the rim. And the shape of the rim
itself is called toroidal, that means its aerodynamic on both the so-called leading edge but then also on the trailing edge, so as the air meets the second side of the wheel. – You ready mate? – Go for it mate! – Okay. – Beep, beep, beep, boop.
He’s in again, first time. – Time trial is horrible it? – It is isn’t it. But at least it was over
quicker on this one. I don’t actually know exactly
what the time difference was. But just looking at the Wahoo, it looked like, it was between
about 3 and 5 km per hour difference at all times. Which is massive isn’t it? Let’s face it. – Yeah. I didn’t have a
problem with the gears, I just tended to hoof the big one around, around that dodgy corner, that was, it just took me awhile
to get this one going. From the turn, and from out of those bends we have to slow down, that’s
a little bit sluggish, but once you got dialled into position, it was a quick as it could go, but clearly not as beautifully sculpted and
shaped as the Canyon, but… – So, you’re not going to
talk about my legs then? – Oh no, they are pretty,
beautifully sculpted… – Yeah thanks. – Yeah, but no, pretty
good work horse this. – It is, yeah, I mean… Like, I don’t know about
you but I think my average is about 40 km per hour. – That’s still pretty
respectable in a 19 pound bike. – Yep. that turned into quite
tough day didn’t it? – It certainly did. – Right. Results then, unsurprisingly perhaps, we’ve just seen a clean sweep of victories for our Super Bike. It climbed faster, it braked
faster, it descended faster and it time trialled faster. Which though do you think
was the biggest area of improvement in percentage terms? – It was actually the braking. So in just a handful of seconds, and in just a few short
metres the Shimano hydraulic disc brakes out perform the
regular calliper brakes, by a rather whopping 100%. That’s not just a significant
increase in percentage, but from a performance perspective, that could actually save your life, or at least get you out of
a very difficult situation out on the road. – Do you need to spend
loads of money though? To get great braking performance? I don’t think you do. In fact I strongly suspect that a bike with Shimano Sora callipers
on would close the gap to those DURA-ACE hydraulic
discs quite significantly. So actually if you do
have cheaper callipers, then spending a little bit to replace them could well be a really,
really intelligent upgrade. – Absolutely. So Si, what is next? Aerodynamics, well both
descending and timed trial the performances were
pretty illuminating but, for me, the descending did catch me a little bit by surprise. – Yeah, there was a 15%
difference on average, between the Super Bike and the Cheap Bike. Now, on the descent, of
course, as we’ve just seen, the brakes will have been
responsible for a chunk of that time, but down
to the aerodynamics have an effect and certainly in
the time trial they did. – The bad news I’m afraid
though, is that aero wheels and aero frames don’t come cheap. So in this instance, the Cheap Bike was at a
real distinct disadvantage. Although, in it’s defence, if
it’s speed that your craving, on that bike, don’t do TT’s. – No exactly, if you
want to race, then race bunch events instead like a road race. Because if you’ve got some shrewd tactics and some strong legs. Then the disadvantage of
riding an un-aerodynamic bike will be lessend really significantly when you’re riding in a peloton. So work on your body position, maybe even tail your
cycling kit, if need be, and you will be able to fly. – So what about the climbing then? So in that short rather
brutally, steep climb that we did our tests on. The difference between the
two bikes was around 10%. So it just shows that over 4.5 kg, makes a massive difference. – Yeah, it does and it’s also
worth saying, isn’t it, that those two bikes felt like
completely different animals. Like chalk and cheese. And so you can really see
why people get obsessed about lightweight. If you like steep climbs. It does make a difference. You know what mate? If we’re being completely honest, I genuinely was hoping that the difference between these two bikes
wasn’t going to be quite so significant. But the fact is, the Super
Bike is in a different league. It’s just faster, period. – True, so what should
we look at next then. Well how much do you think
it’s going to cost to start to really narrow that gap? 500 euros? – $1,000.00? – $2,000.00 pounds? Yeah. – Before we do get on to that though. I think there is one
last important point that we should address, and that
is that our Cheap Bike, is still a great little bike, isn’t it? It takes two fundamental points. Firstly, it’s safe to ride and secondly, being a road bike, it’s just great fun. – Yeah, it was a lot of fun to ride. So you shouldn’t get
disheartened about this at all, if you have a cheaper, entry level bike. It shouldn’t always be about the bike. – Yeah, that’s absolutely right. We are all part of the same
tribe no matter what we ride. So, on that note, do make
sure you subscribe to GCN. We’re all part of the same tribe. To do so, just click on the globe, it’s completely free. – Now for another, sort
of science-y video about how important weight is,
how about clicking, just down here when me and
Dan did that very test in Andorra. – Yeah, wearing your fat rucksacks. – It was fat rucksacks. – Yeah, or to see a little bit more about Matt’s Super Bike, and in
particular his Shimano, DURA-ACE 9170, groupset,
click just down there. – And don’t forget to like and share.

100 thoughts on “Cheap Bike Vs. Super Bike | What’s The Difference?

  1. Looks like average Joe Spending thousands on a push bike is completely wasting his money. There plenty of you dumb fucks out there well done 👍

  2. A bike that rolls is really all you need unless you're a professional and that extra 10% makes the difference between a win or second place.

    For the average biker, cheaper obviously doesn't mean ridiculously lower quality.

  3. These knuckleheads don’t have enough sense to ride on the right side of the road…..unbelievable.

  4. The really interesting test would be cheap bike vs super bike with the weight difference carried on the expensive bike… most hobby cyclists could lose the weight difference themself if they wanted to.

  5. What is the prices range for a cheap bike and what the price range for a Expensive bike can you try to give a ball park range for the bikes

  6. Absolutely no mention of front fork rake which plays a significant role in bike performance and rider dynamics.

  7. I have a Scott custom made racing bike a friend made for a girl who raced but didn’t need. It has Shimano gears and I absolutely love it! My husband has all Colnago bikes — we purposely don’t have electronic gears, he doesn’t like how they fail when you need them most. They aren’t necessary and sometimes a bike is 10k and up without all the newest electronics. Bike value has more to do with quality and comfort for us than the latest “super bike” 😁

  8. Excellent video. Essentially shows that an inexpensive bike is fine unless you are competing at a high level.

  9. I love passing plebs on their 5k superbikes with my mtb that just haas thinner tires. The motor is what is most important, not what you paid for the bike.

  10. They bought it on ebay? it's not a 90 quid bike. What was it new? buy a 90 quid mountainbike from NEW, Now there's a test.

  11. Id prefer to be on a gradual stopping bike than an abrupt stopping bike. The dude almost flipped on a flat road by stopping quickly- imagine going down hill. But thats just me.

  12. a bike needs hydraulic brakes and electronic shifting like a bore hog needs a set of tits. Can any of you understand a word either of these bastards said?

  13. I had a $79 mountain bike, friend had a $700 Diamondback, we rode it and raced it wasn't close at all. So I said his bike was the advantage. So we switched bikes and the results are still the same.

  14. I ride a 1974 Schwinn that weighs about 30 pounds. Unless you are 22, in perfect condition, and think you are good enough to be a professional. You ride a bike to stay or get into shape, why do you think you need something that weighs 10 pounds with an aluminum frame? My steel frame will never crack, nor will anything else ever break.

  15. What did I just watch besides to guys wearing FAKE BALL SACKS in their bike shorts – 1:10 — And they say Big Trucks are Compensation Tools???

  16. I personally have a Giant TCR roadbike, and it's really a comfortable ride… you're insightful video really makes you're videos extremely enjoyable…

  17. Somewhere on YouTube there is a video of a man riding across America on a Walmart bike. Alot of what the bike industry sells us is pure bunk. Marketing. And yes I fell for it too.

  18. Put a fearless MTB'er on them in full gear and do it again. People afraid of crashing are never gonna prove anything.

  19. Start with yourself… in other words, don't spend big bucks on a good bicycle until you are in good shape yourself. What do I mean by 'good shape'? It means that you should be able to ride a bicycle for at least 10 miles non-stop over fairly flat terrain without feeling winded. If you are overweight, eat sensibly, and slowly reduce to the weight that your doctor says you should be at. After you have prepared yourself adequately, reward yourself with a good bicycle, and then ride, ride, and ride some more. It has been said… "Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades". Hills and wind are your friends! A lesson I learned very early on was… don't strain on your gears. In other words, don't ride a higher gear like the pros do if you can't maintain a fairly fast and steady pedaling cadence; all you will accomplish by straining on your gears is putting an early halt to your bike ride. Be sure to hydrate properly, especially on hot and humid days. Before you know it, you will be knocking out longer and longer rides with minimal, if any, residual strain. Happy cycling!!

  20. Oi! My Raleigh was not the cheapest bike in the shop. Thank you very much! And I bet it has been said here before. A used old bike is not really a cheap bike. Buy a new cheap bike and compare that to your monster. That would really be interesting.

  21. I think the true difference is in durability: all the bikes if just lubed and set up are perfect, it's just matter of how long it lasts

  22. I want to see the $900 v. The $3,000.00 bike. Maybe not cheap vs expensive but affordable quality vs expensive. Us riders have a different idea of a cheap bike.

  23. I have a cheap masi touring bike and I'm keeping it. I'm not a competition rider so that's plenty. Masi is the same bike Costner's had in American flyers.

  24. Buy a used bike for like $50 -100 then fix it up. It will be cheap to repair and you will learn valuable bike maintenance and repair skills and only need basic tools. I used to have $3000 mountain bikes that of course got stolen in the city. Now I have a fixed/single ex-drug dealer bike for $0 and $100 in parts, including a massive u-lock for it. Best bike I've ever had!

  25. I work with men buying expensive bikes. And cycle 1 day in the weekend for 4 months a year. Until they get bored. Complete waste of money.

  26. You Brits are weird. Where l am from it's about fun and health. Nobody cares about the bike(!!) aerodynamics or if the bikes is kilo or three heavier, because we all carry a fairly big backpacks with gear, blankets, beer and other stuff to enjoy life. We can also do 100km, but we take double the time because we actually stop to enjoy the view, chat, have a drink. Nobody really tried to measure if we save 10% of climbing time.. I don't get this obsession with stats.. My leg muscles are probably stronger because l carry more weight..

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