$100 vs $1,000 vs $7,000 road bike TEST (WHATS THE DIFFERENCE???)

I took a $129 Walmart road bike, and put it through a series of tests against a $1,399 Schwinn Carbon Fastback, and my $7,000 Canyon SLX 9 with Princeton Carbonworks wheels.

I used power pedals from Assioma so the power was consistent for all of the tests. I wanted to see what the difference was between a Walmart road bike, an entry level road bike, and a full on race machine.

I talk through the tests and the results but I also go into the overall experience of each bike. Cycling is not just about speed, it’s about the whole experience. So does a $7,000 road bike actually make that big of a difference? Watch the video for my thoughts.

Also, of course there are variables that I cant control for. IM NOT PUBLISHING A PIER REVIEWED PAPER HERE DUDE. This is more for entertainment than actual science. But the bikes have enough of a difference between them that 100% of the time the results will show the same conclusion, just not down to the second.

TEST RESULTS

Flat (5.41mi)
Walmart 16:18
Schwinn 14:34 (-1:44)
Canyon 14:01 (-33s / -2:17)
Car 11:18 (-2:43)

Rollers (4.7 mi -1,782 ft 2.4%)
Walmart 15:59
Schwinn 13:51 (-2:08)
Canyon 12:41 (-1:10 / -3:18)
Car 7:33 (-5:08)

Climb (4.7 mi 3,455 ft 4.2%)
Walmart 25:03
Schwinn 23:10 (-1:53)
Canyon 20:54 ( -2:16 / -4:09 )

Descent (2.2 mi -1,660 ft 4.3%)
Walmart 6:34
Schwinn 6:07 (-27)
Canyon 5:27 ( -40 / -1:07 )

Spin to sprint
Walmart 7:22
Schwinn 6:32 (-50)
Canyon 5:12 ( -1:20 / -2:10 )

Shot climb (0.1 mi 217 ft 9.9%
Walmart .59
Schwinn .52 ( -7 )
Canyon 48 ( -4 / -11 )

Overal Loop (18.8 mi -)
Walmart 1:11:14
Schwinn 1:03:56 ( – 7:18 )
Canyon 57:58 ( -5:58 / -13:16 )

The link to buy the Schwinn Carbon :
https://www.amazon.com/Schwinn-Fastback-Carbon-Frame-Matte/dp/B01M7SMB3R/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1548282723&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=schwinn+fastback&psc=1

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Comments

Stephen James says:

Princeton Carbon Works Wake 6560’s look VERY NICE! I will add this company to the Bike Gear Rolodex:) Always good to know about these small manufacturers.

Patrick Croysdale says:

Do you not feel that on the descent you were unconsciously taking it easier and taking less risks on the cheap bike because of your unfamiliarity going at high speed on that bike compared to your canyon?
Realistically on such a short descent the minimal aero gains are unlikely to lead to a difference of a whole minute.

nickp13131313 says:

I’d like to know the relationship between bike $ investment and fitness. There are SO many masters dudes on $10K bikes here in Colorado that get their doors blown off by the local kid on his used Trek.

izmael44 says:

Your last point is really key and I would be super interested what wattage it would take to ride the same times as the Canyon.

Sometimes I feel Power is a better indication of effort when compared to time?
Like you said if you were trying to keep up with some dudes on bling.

bbbbburton says:

I am surprised the Canyon was so much faster than the Schwinn. I wonder how much of that was weight vs aero vs something else (stiffness?). Could the fact that your body has been conditioned to ride the Canyon, mean it would respond better to that bike vs the Schwinn? Man, I am just looking for reasons to stop myself from spending $7k on a bike 😉

1975lap says:

I have always thought the marginal gains factor sets in at about $3000 for a road bike and about $5000 for a mountain bike. Certainly this is not a hard and fast rule, but it seems to hold generally true. I suppose it all depends on what one considers marginal gains too.

Jimmy Vo says:

man, u r da real mvp bruh. Epic video

Frank Sorbara says:

Great vid. So interesting to see thanks

Clessius Santos says:

Awesome test. Thanks for that.

Timothy Topor says:

that bike is 14 pounds with those wheels and ultegra crank?

Chris Christakis says:

Great video Bruh! Rivals GCN Science! Props for suggesting a fixie as a cheap bike option!!

xGreatNWx says:

Makes a big difference in a race to have a bike light and responsive to the changes in group speed. My $1200 bike was no match for the $4k-$6 bikes.

Fahr Rad says:

a 1000$ cannondale caad optimo or 12 would make the difference almost negliable because of the more aggressive position….

neutered10mm says:

would love a shootout between a 3K bike and the 7K bike in similar conditions to determine the gains between 3x vs. nearly 6x the cost of the Schwinn.

Jason Parham says:

So now i’ll lobby to have my Fuji Roubaix thrown into the mix. Would love to know how someone of your caliber feels about it.

Max Williams says:

This is it.

Brad Taylor says:

I’d love to see Cost vs. Time vs. Power vs. Weight for all these efforts. I think a lot of the gains from the Canyon will be related to weight, as much as anything else.

Emilio Lopez says:

What tire width were you using with your Princeton wheels? They recommend 23s for best aero effect. Would this be good for crib racing?

lane lon says:

Starter bikes are cool if you don’t go so cheap that you have so many problems that you get bummed on the sport . I bet the percentage of people who buy department store bikes for themselves compared to those who buy them as gifts is very low .

19KingLloyd says:

Any verdict on the favero assioma pedals? They seem like great value.

leftymadrid says:

I just know that if you have a road bike that you feel comfy on and with a decent quality 1.000-2.000 bucks, you can have great rides… although we ALWAYS upgrade a few things on our bikes and the cost of bike automatically goes up In the end… Now, spending 7.000-10.000 dollars on a bike, (for those who can, or are pros) or not pros, the resale value is crap! But hell, a dream to have and ride!!! So when you buy a bike, get a decent one that will last you, the longer you have it, the more you “get to know it” and your riding experience will grow with every ride. I think it is safe to say that we all started with a cheap terrible bike. And the more you get into road bikes, the more you see that to do the amount of kilometers you want to achieve, the more a quality bike makes sense. There’s nothing worse than having mechanical problems, bike fails when you’re 150 kilometers or more away from home! Caution!!!! Once you are hooked, it’s tough to leave it! And what’s worse, your wife will NEVER understand the price you paid for your bike, and the upgrades you’ll have to sneak into the house. And the time spent on those planned fun long rides… unless you get her into the sport, the pain, and suffering, saddle sore, etc. Few are lucky and get their wifey into it, others rather NOT and are dying to get out of the house lol.
Great videos as ALWAYS bud :-) :-) :-)

Francis Mulhern says:

Great video bud

pato0114 says:

Christ, I wish I could afford a £300 bike. Hitting rock bottom sucks. Being a nurse sucks.

leslie rhodes says:

I think in the test like this you should at least give yourself a chance by making sure that all bikes have the same tires and the same seat

David Heyduck says:

Dude! Your findings are awesome here. Great detail. When you got into talking about going into a ride with some guys riding $8k bikes, I could relate to that so well. I’ve got a 2012 Specialized Secteur with 9spd Sora compenents (Yuuck)(I hate this bike now) and I went to a group ride where everyone was riding custom titanium bikes or built up Canyons, S-Works, etc. I felt like I was just as strong, but over the course of a 4 hour ride, I kept falling more and more behind, just like you were saying. I think what you found is definitely accurate. Love your vids man! Keep it up!

Calvin Schneider says:

Sick test dude thx for sharing

Ivan Lesko says:

great video dude

Hisham Ghosheh says:

Nice shout out to State Bicycle!
I love my Core Line 4130 single speed! Simple, light and sturdy!

WisXC says:

21 minutes into video is right on point!!!

The Ginga Ninja Cyclist says:

Guess I should cancel my pre-order on the Kent RoadTech. Thanks for the review. Cool video :)

Robb Chastain says:

I enjoyed your consumer report, VC, and sure, if you have the money, go go go Canyon all the way, no question. But that Schwinn ran through those time-traps pretty well, so for a thousand buckbuckbucks, that’d probably be my choice. And when you need a bike you can lock up all day without getting stolen, well, there is one clear winner and those Walmart bikes are easy to upgrade–a rack and stronger rear wheel from the get-go and a replacement bottom-bracket and such as they wear out and all in all those bikes work for low-cost commuting and riding–oh, and the basic of basics, simply ensuring those bikes are set-up properly. So many of those bikes seem like trash simply because simple adjustments were not made to brakes and wheels and derailleurs and levers and saddles and what not. And that can make all the difference between decent and trashy. Thanks again for this road test, VC, happy trails to you and your Canyon.

L Matthew Bowler says:

all things fall at the same rate regardless of weight. Take wind out and a thousand pound rock will fall at the same rate as something as light as a feather. Physics bruh #NerdAlert

kidsofjokes says:

Bro, i know you are a busy successful guy. But can i ask you a question regarding bike choice ?

Much love from london england

jay collins says:

Sweet video bro. It would be interesting to watch a comparison between a $3500 and $7000

Patrick G says:

Great video man, so much effort!

vincent martlé says:

finally a video I can show my wife for buying that 7000 dollar bike.. on a cheaper bike I have to ride more miles to have a better fitness and I really want to stay at home more with her 😉

Steven Young says:

I wonder if the real difference between the Schwinn and the Canyon consists mainly of those Princeton wheels. I imagine that even some cheap Kysriums beat the snot out of those Alex wheels on the Schwinn.

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