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  1. #1
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    Why all the cheap guys.

    I know several people who are committed riders, have toned up, lost weight and are approaching 3500 - 4000 miles in the saddle over the last 3 to 4 years. Yet they still won't commit to good equipment. They insist on getting everything cheap, through craigslist, cast offs, garage sales and the like. What gives?

  2. #2
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke
    I know several people who are committed riders, have toned up, lost weight and are approaching 3500 - 4000 miles in the saddle over the last 3 to 4 years. Yet they still won't commit to good equipment. They insist on getting everything cheap, through craigslist, cast offs, garage sales and the like. What gives?
    They have caught the DG bug but it has not developed into any thing more serious.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke
    They insist on getting everything cheap, through craigslist, cast offs, garage sales and the like. What gives?
    Do you mean the equipment they ride/use is inferior - or they just didn't pay retail for it - preferring to purchase good but previously owned equipment?

    If you mean the latter case, then, I would not call them cheap at all.

    Caruso

  4. #4
    Coyote!
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    >>> people who are committed riders. . won't commit to good equipment. . .craigslist, cast offs, garage sales . . .What gives?

    Personal economics occurs to me.

  5. #5
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    I think there are several reasons. Demographically, I'd think that many 50 plussers are retired or reaching retirement and not all have the income at their disposal to buy the rides or equipment they'd like to own. Others support multiple families or have other commitments that don't allow the spending.

    Then there's the group that doesn't necessarily feel that newer is better. I personally suscribe to this group. Under 20 pound bikes go back to the 1800's. Track speeds of over 40 mph go back to the early 1900's. Shoot, they were riding high-wheelers around the world in the 1800's. Marketing often drives bicycle development, not necessity. In sales, you need newer flashy--bling.

    Too, there is good equipment available used--at garage sales and on Craigslist--even at some bike shops for considerably less than new. People trade up, people get in over their heads and liquidate, people buy and don't ride. Not everything is junk.

    Then there's a group that basically feel that it's none of your bleeping business They ride because they want to ride. A modern carbon fiber featherweight isn't going to make them faster, stronger, better looking or more attractive to the opposite (or same) sex. Many can afford anything they want, they just don't want what everyone else has. They want to ride.

    Armstrong said it best when he named the book: it isn't about the bike. It's about the men and women who ride them. That's what I love about this forum--it's more about people who ride bikes, not the bikes themselves.
    "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."
    George Bernard Shaw

  6. #6
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    +1 old99

  7. #7
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    When I was a younger racer, I wanted to get the latest stuff that the Euro pro's used, and I usually bought what I could afford. I had Campag sidepulls like most pro's used, and Mavic retrofriction shifters like Sean Kelly, and Campag Shamal wheels like Indurain.

    When you reach a certain age, you usually attain a certain level of maturity, and you realize that you don't need to use the stuff the pro's use, and for good reasons:

    - The equipment is priced not at what it's worth, but at what the market will bear, which means hideously expensive

    - The pampered pro's get the stuff given to them

    - If you buy the stuff, you are helping to subsidize the pampered pro's getting the stuff for free

    - Given a choice at this point in my life, I'd rather they not give the stuff to the pro's for free if it means they can lower the price to realistic levels for ordinary consumers like me

    For example, I would never buy a pair of Nike Air Jordans because a large component of the selling price goes to Mr. Jordan. I figure he's rich enough to do without the premium on my shoe purchase, so I'll buy the cheap ones that work the same and represent greater value. Plus there's no pressure amongst my peers to be seen in Air Jordans.

    I would only buy Record-level equipment if I can get it for what it's really worth, and this value is better represented on an open exchange such as eBay rather than Campagnolo's suggested list price. If the price is still inflated on an open market, I'm mature enough that I can get over using Centaur-level stuff, which represents greater value (and is merely 3-yr-old Record stuff with different graphics)

    I think that some MBA out there should do an analysis of marketing to 50+s. This segment has got the most discretionary income, and we're not easily conned (although the odd Nigerian might get to us). How do you sell to us?

    - L.

  8. #8
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Old99: good answer. And I guess the question can be flipped around and directed back to the OP. I'm a professional, and I spent $300 in purchase cost and upgrades to ride a used bike manufactured in 1984. I'm toying with the idea of buying a new $1000-$1500 folding bike because that is the only way I can get one that meets my specs: hub gears, airline checkable, lightweight...but if I could find something that suited me and was available for $250 used...why would you have a problem with that?

  9. #9
    lunatic fringe Dogbait's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke
    ..................They insist on getting everything cheap, through craigslist, cast offs, garage sales and the like. What gives?

    This is my newest bike. It is a 1987. It has about 50 miles on it. I couldn't find one in the stores around here so I had to buy the parts for cheap on ebay, craigslist and the like and build it myself. The front hub is a Suntour XC Pro. It has grease fittings and the smoothest bearings one could wish for. They don't make them any more so I had to get it from a fellow in Nicosia, Cyprus. With shipping, it was less than the local price for a mediocre quality "modern" Shimano 105 hub..... And so on.



    Dogbait

  10. #10
    first ATB
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    Why cheap?

    I have [in a good natured manner] routinely blown away some riders that have multi thousand dollar bikes on my 15 and 20 year old machines. i am curtious and always offer to help or advise "novice' riders but I do not have the latest and greatest gear because t is the knowledge an ability more than the bike.

    I used to own two bike shops and of course I loved the customers that came back time after time for every new little widget. But in general, unless they were Pros there was no good justification IMHO.

    I have been riding and racing for 45 years and have learned a few things along the way. I now take pride in what I can do with less expensive gear arather than pour money after the hobby.

    Out here in the West the "real"cowboys have a saying they use for the newly landed "westerners' that are moving in from all over. They refer to them as "All hat and no cattle". I sort of feel that way about novices that would hound me to do it their way and with the latest most expensive gear.

    Slim

  11. #11
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhbernhardt
    When I was a younger racer, I wanted to get the latest stuff that the Euro pro's used ... Mavic retrofriction shifters like Sean Kelly....
    LOL....I'm still using those Mavic retrofriction shifters not to mention Superbe Pro, etc..............which is one reason I don't have to buy Record or D/A....although if I did not have college tuition help and other obligations that 50Plussers have accrued, voluteered for, fallen under, feel passionate about, or simply barely have income for.............I would happily ride D/A.

    Maybe I'll just wait for the Mavics to wear out, though I suspect I'll wear out sometime before they do.

    Glad we don't sort people here on whether they have titanium cable ends or ride a Schwinn Varsity.

  12. #12
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbait
    This is my newest bike. It is a 1987. It has about 50 miles on it. I couldn't find one in the stores around here so I had to buy the parts for cheap on ebay, craigslist and the like and build it myself. The front hub is a Suntour XC Pro. It has grease fittings and the smoothest bearings one could wish for. They don't make them any more so I had to get it from a fellow in Nicosia, Cyprus. With shipping, it was less than the local price for a mediocre quality "modern" Shimano 105 hub..... And so on.



    Dogbait
    Dog...that is a sweet looking bike.

  13. #13
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Some of us just like to look for good deals! Simple as that. It is a fun part of "the game of life" for me.

    Also, my bike(s) seems to work just fine for me. I put my shoe or whatever on the pedal and it goes forward. Who could ask for anything more than that?
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  14. #14
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old99
    Then there's a group that basically feel that it's none of your bleeping business They ride because they want to ride. A modern carbon fiber featherweight isn't going to make them faster, stronger, better looking or more attractive to the opposite (or same) sex. Many can afford anything they want, they just don't want what everyone else has. They want to ride.

    There is a lot to what old99 said, and frankly I prefer old steel lugged frames... the new welded frames don't look right to me and CF just doesn't appeal to me.

    Call me cheap... but in any other "market" I would be a "collector."

  15. #15
    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhbernhardt
    I think that some MBA out there should do an analysis of marketing to 50+s. This segment has got the most discretionary income, and we're not easily conned (although the odd Nigerian might get to us). How do you sell to us?

    - L.
    I personally think it is a market wholly overlooked. I have been trying to do cell phone designs aimed at this market for a long time, but can never get past the 30 somethings in the marketing department that think flash and color are the only appeals. ("what's the killer app... " "Uh, voice only phone calls." "Oh.")

    Of course the 30 somethings don't realize the large demographic lump of baby boomers that are passing into the 50 something market and don't give 2 cents for flash and color. It is amazing how pragmatic we become in our years of wisdom.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
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    Some times the old stuff just works.

    My wife rides a 1984 Austro-Daimler Vent Noir. Beautiful bike. Black chrome Reynolds 531. It's too small to fit me, but I take it for short test rides after making repairs. I have no idea why, but that bike has the smoothest ride. She paid big bucks for it in 1984, and it has stood the test of time.

    Getting a little hard to find parts though...

  17. #17
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genec
    Of course the 30 somethings don't realize the large demographic lump of baby boomers that are passing into the 50 something market and don't give 2 cents for flash and color. It is amazing how pragmatic we become in our years of wisdom.
    Cough, uh, well, I wish I could say that I'm never attracted by the flash and color. Maybe with a bike it's because you spend so much quality time with it. It becomes an old friend.

  18. #18
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    Some of us have expensive children.....

  19. #19
    Senior Member turtleguy54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dauphin
    Some of us have expensive children.....

    Oh so relevent dauphin. I have a wedding coming up in August. Picture "Father of the Bride" done by Stephen King.

    I think we have just learned how to enjoy our activity without looking for affirmations from the crowd. I still have Tiagra dr and inexpensive brakes that work. Heck the most expensive thing on the bike, beside the frame is the saddle.

    Vitus, Raliegh, Motobecane, Gloria...had them and loved them, but they were still just bicycles that took me down the road.

  20. #20
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Another part of it is there is reverse status in playing the "I got it cheaper, nah, nah" game. Where is the bragging rights of buying a good bike? Our age group is not impressed by how much the bike cost.

    I look for best buys which are NOT the cheapest, but the best bang for the dollar. Sometimes I just have to hold my nose and buy the overpriced stuff because it's exactly what I need. For example, I paid about $90 for a jersey. Why, not because it had great graphics, or was a brand name. It simply was the only SPF 50 jersey I could find. Another example, my cyclometer went bad and I had to get a new one. I got one 4 time as expensive. Why, not because of the cost, but because it was wireless and I was tired of tying down wires and the sensor is one instead of two and less like to fall off like the last one. But mainly because the display is a tad larger and will be easier for me to read without having to buy perscription bike glasses.

    Where I am torn is what is the best buy for my next bike. I know from my riding that a touring bike is not what really excites me now. I need a tri bike. I don't trust the CF bikes holding up for cyclesdales and don't want the hassle of carefully checking the bike for fatigue signs before each ride. So it's a matter of having to choose between an Al frame with it's harsher ride, or a TI frame with it's high acquisition cost. I'm not retired yet so the TI is a possibility. I'm still unsure if it's a best buy though.

    Now all that being said, I did decide to web order and save $15 on the cyclometer. Not consistent, but it worked this time.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  21. #21
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I ride old bikes because:
    1) I have lots of Scottish DNA.
    2) I like the look and ride quality of lugged steel frames. (See my Capo photos under Classic & Vintage.)
    3) Once I set up a bike the way I want it, it can serve my needs for many years.
    4) I like riding something unusual that John Q. Public can't buy off the shelf at the local bike shop.
    5) I don't trust reduced-spoke wheels. I don't trust carbon fiber forks. I don't like front derailleur indexing, and I don't need rear derailleur indexing.
    6) I don't want a superstiff road racing bike with barely enough clearance for 23mm tires. I don't want a hybrid or a comfort bike.
    7) I relish the thrill of the chase at a yard sale or on eBay.

    It all comes down to value, i.e., bang for the buck.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  22. #22
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Some of us just like to look for good deals! Simple as that. It is a fun part of "the game of life" for me.
    Ditto here. My dad was a scrounger (by necessitiy), and so am I - I learned form him. Now, I'm pretty comfortable in life, and can afford most any bike I fancy. I'd just rather scrounge for deals....

    And if I woke up a billionare tomorrow, I'd still hit the thrift shops looking for good bikes on the cheap. But, I might have a few custom built, as well.....
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  23. #23
    Senior Member Fredmertz51's Avatar
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    I guess I'm just not the gearhead I usta be.

  24. #24
    Been Around Awhile I-Like-To-Bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by old99
    Then there's a group that basically feel that it's none of your bleeping business They ride because they want to ride. A modern carbon fiber featherweight isn't going to make them faster, stronger, better looking or more attractive to the opposite (or same) sex. Many can afford anything they want, they just don't want what everyone else has. They want to ride.

    Armstrong said it best when he named the book: it isn't about the bike. It's about the men and women who ride them. That's what I love about this forum--it's more about people who ride bikes, not the bikes themselves.
    Best post (i.e. expressing my sentiments) I ever read on this forum.

  25. #25
    Senior Member SingleSpeeDemon's Avatar
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    For some of us it's the same reason a person drives a classic car when a brand new Honda is just as accessible. Nevermind. I can't explain what I mean. When I was a teenager in the mid 1980's nothing was prettier than a Capy equipped, Italian lugged steel frame. Nothing made today can rekindle those feelings. Someday, I'm going to have a 1986 DeRosa, Pinarello, Merckx (OK, Belgian--I know) etc...
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