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Old 01-07-06, 10:25 AM   #1
HiYoSilver
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How do you do benefit/cost analysis?

Well it's been a tad over a year of cycling, and learning about biking. Here's the problem: there are so many thingies out there that are so much better. It's so easy to get caught up in the excitement of new experiences. So much of the time it's a floating between

A__ only spend the money you save by riding versus driving and
B__ you only live once, financing is available, if it makes you feel better and have more spice in life go for it.
Even if spend $10,000 on a bike and gear, you've still spent less than a used car.

How do you all deal with these type of mood swings? Or, am I the only one who has this problem?
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Old 01-07-06, 10:52 AM   #2
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This is a good topic!!!

My main cost issue was my health. I know everybody isn't like this, but my physical self was pretty pathetic. Way overweight. Joint problems galore. Lack of energy. So, my answer is my change of focus in life more than compensates for any financial drain brought on by the biking. Not to mention, I probably save at least a couple of hundred a month not giving into former vices like eating out, etc. But, the ability to move with agility and without tiring, the feeling that people aren't judging me for my weight, the huge probable health savings down the line, the ability to function better in all aspects of my life including my ability to think clearly - priceless.
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Old 01-07-06, 11:39 AM   #3
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Like Keith- How can you put a cost on Health?

I have a mountain bike- 5 years old- not the latest spec- not the lightest around- but it suits me. Just the cost of maintenance on this and the Tandem keep me at work to pay for my hobby. In fact the amount I spend on maintaining these two in a year- I could buy a new, far better bike every year and still be quids in. Providing I did not want to get a better tyre, a set of forks that work, or a new set of wheels again, as the old ones have got scratched.

I probably spend around $200 each month on my bikes. Only thing is- they never let me down. Well rarely, So I class it as money well spent. I spend around this amount a month on other entertainment, but going to the pictures, going out for meals, or the odd gallon or 2 of beer does not really help my health. I only know that another spell in hospital and recuperation from it will hit my wallet more than my biking does.
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Old 01-07-06, 02:13 PM   #4
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In terms of how much you can justify spending on your bike, the answer is not the amount you are saving by not driving a car....the answer is the amount it would cost to buy and maintain a basic functional, reliable commuter....probably about $400 to buy a new bike every 6-10 years and $200/year to equip and maintain it. Anything you spend above that is discretionary recreational funding. But don't feel bad about spending more...after all, by giving up driving, you probably have a lot more of that discretionary money available!
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Old 01-07-06, 02:29 PM   #5
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First off, let me say that cycling is a very integral part of my life and my wife's also, and has been for 23 years. Therefore, we probably spend way more than the average family on cycling. Cycking is not something we do occasionally like going to the movies or bowling but more like something we do several times a week to maintain our bodies and minds, only more fun than say, brushing your teeth.

Having said that, I probably would never do a benefit/cost analysis on my cycling just like I would never do one on my marriage or my family.

However, I understand the question. There is only so much money to go around and it can get expensive. What I do is set priorities and buy necessary items first and wanted items second. Also, the cost does go down over time. Many bicycle items last a long time, so the first year is generally the most expensive when getting started. I'm as guilty as the next guy for buying stuff I don't need.

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Old 01-07-06, 02:39 PM   #6
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Spend what you can when you can,dont go into debt for purchases, dont become an ocp and stop worrying about it..
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Old 01-07-06, 04:39 PM   #7
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ocp????
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Old 01-07-06, 04:44 PM   #8
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Wow-your question really hit home with me and I'm not sure how to answer it. Even for myself!!

I purchase some things because I need simply need them to ride-such as tires, tubes, fluids, etc. I diligently shop for bargains on any purchases (and enjoy the pursuit of a good deal!!).

A lot if not most of all my other purchases are around the riding experience. I suppose as long as I'm getting enjoyment and can afford it then that's sufficient benefit for me??
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Old 01-07-06, 05:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
ocp????
Obsessive, compulsive poseur

As you get into more and more expensive frames and components, you are paying a high premium for a very minimal improvement in lesser weight and maybe somewhat better functioning. Probably about $1,000 per 4-6 ounces saved. And, as far as I can tell, my 105 shifts just as well and goes just as fast as Dura Ace or Record.

And, I also like to search for deals, and will wait until I find the price I want on an item.

I wanted some panniers for my 2nd roadie bike, and I just waited until I found the just right price on EBay and bought the set (brand new in a box, and manufactured by Blackburn) for $17.00. I got the rear rack on sale at Nashbar.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 01-07-06 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 01-07-06, 06:40 PM   #10
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I just think back to the time when I had to sell my 1974 full-campy Raleight Professional to put food on the table for a family of five -- after taking a risk and leaving a job of 15 years to start my own business. It was rock-bottom to watch it go out the door with someone else. Money went for food and to keep an old junker car running.

Now I'm building what I call my "victory" bike. Price is no object -- nor will I justify the cost, or answer, to anyone. When it's finished, I'll place it on top of my Mercedes Kompressor Sport car, and take a step back.

I don't know what I'll do after that. Big deal. Maybe take a ride . . . or just walk away.
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Old 01-07-06, 06:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DnvrFox
And, I also like to search for deals, and will wait until I find the price I want on an item.
This is excellent advice. I do this with tubes, tires, and even lycra shorts. I ride a lot and go through several tubes and tires a year so it's nice not to worry about finding tubes or tires in a hurry after an unexpected flat or sidewall gash.

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Old 01-07-06, 09:08 PM   #12
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I'm actually cutting back on things I own. I may go through a few more bikes before I find the right ones, but the overall bike count is steadily decreasing. I expect to end up with a single-speed, a diamond-frame tourer, and a recumbent (but this mix could change). Using the bike(s) I have regularly is more important than what sits in the spare bedroom...
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Old 01-08-06, 08:55 AM   #13
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Most of us wrestle with justifying what we spend on cycling, and even those of us who seriously bargain shop most of what we buy, can argue that we spend way more than necessary on it. It is easy to go overboard on a sport you love.

It's even worse with my other, more expensive, passion, fishing. But my thinking is this: If I bought all the expensive paraphernalia associated with the sport, then never used it, THAT would be wasted money. And there are plenty of people who do exactly that, buy lots of expensive equipment, then never use it.

But that is not what I do. I cycle 200+ days a year and fish 50+ days a year, so in both cases, what I buy sees serious use. I say if you are that passionate and serious about a sport, hey, spend and enjoy.
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Old 01-08-06, 09:05 AM   #14
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My worst nightmere is of all my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "How sensible dad was." I feel a responsibility to leave them a better legacy than that.
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Old 01-08-06, 10:42 AM   #15
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I can't think of an itemized cost/benefit analysis, however I would suggest that the analysis may be based NOT only on $ and in that case you can add an additional and probably the major cost - TIME invested in the sport. Riding for me is worth every minute.
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Old 01-08-06, 11:22 AM   #16
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If you become obsessive about biking costs you can't afford one, so walk
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Old 01-08-06, 01:43 PM   #17
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My worst nightmere is of all my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "How sensible dad was." I feel a responsibility to leave them a better legacy than that.
That would be a great legacy. If you're sensible, you'll leave them some money and teach them to enjoy life.
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Old 01-08-06, 01:46 PM   #18
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Does anyone here hide bike purchases from their spouse, or downplay how much they spent on an item?
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Old 01-08-06, 02:16 PM   #19
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Does anyone here hide bike purchases from their spouse, or downplay how much they spent on an item?
I don't know but, if they do, it might be time to start looking around for a 12 step recovery group.
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Old 01-08-06, 02:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
ocp????
See this thread.

It's humor, though a lot of folks, myself included, could be considered one.

Steve
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Old 01-08-06, 02:26 PM   #21
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Does anyone here hide bike purchases from their spouse, or downplay how much they spent on an item?
Only when it's a birthday or xmas present for said spouse

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Old 01-08-06, 02:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
Well it's been a tad over a year of cycling, and learning about biking. Here's the problem: there are so many thingies out there that are so much better. It's so easy to get caught up in the excitement of new experiences. So much of the time it's a floating between

A__ only spend the money you save by riding versus driving and
B__ you only live once, financing is available, if it makes you feel better and have more spice in life go for it.
Even if spend $10,000 on a bike and gear, you've still spent less than a used car.

How do you all deal with these type of mood swings? Or, am I the only one who has this problem?
It can be hard to justify spending as much as we do on cycling. On the one hand, if it was just about getting exercise, there are sure cheaper ways of doing it. On the other hand, I can't think of any that are as satisfying.

Anytime I feel down about the spending, I just think about the benefits (spiritual and physical) and write the check

Steve
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