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Old 05-02-12, 11:17 AM   #1
FormerFF
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Buying a new bike and feeling guilty about it

First, a little background info: I started riding seriously in high school. My sister, who is only an inch shorter than I am, had a Raleigh Super Course that she had been badly injured on and didn't want to ride. I rode that until my senior year, when the plastic rear derailleur collapsed into the rear wheel and stopped it, tossing me over the bars.

I didn't take a bike to college, but when I got back, I started riding on another of my sister's cast-offs, a low end bike boom 10 speed whose maker I don't remember. After I got a place of my own, I bought a Trek 610, and that has been my road bike ever since. I rode it heavily until I moved to Chicago. Because of the junk on the city streets, I got too many flats, so I bought a Trek 950 to use as a city bike. I moved out to the 'burbs a couple years later, and used the 950 as a commuter and the 610 for fun rides. Moved back to Atlanta, starting riding dirt on the 950, and still using the 610 on the street. Got married, bought a new house, had children and quit riding for a few years. Once my children were old enough, bought a Burley Piccolo trailerbike and used the 950 to tow it. The 950 had gotten ratty, and bought a Cannondale Bad Boy to pull the Burley and use as a grocery getter. That was about six or seven years ago. Last year, I gave the 950 away.

I got a new boss a couple of years ago who is an avid triathlete. He kind of challenged us to do a sprint tri, and I accepted the challenge, so I dusted off the 610 which hadn't been ridden in eight years. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed riding that bike and used it for the tri, then continued riding it after the tri was over.

Last fall, I drew up a ride that involves going from my house down to the Chattahoochee River, up from it, then back down to it, then back up to my house. Now, the 610 has the typical limited gearing of its day, the lowest gear is around 38 gear inches. Coming up off of the river some of the hills are moderately steep, and I had to do what I'd call a "stand and stomp" to get up them. About three quarters of the way home my knee started getting sore, and later than that day it was hard to go down a set of stairs. I spent most of the winter getting that knee back in shape, and it seems to be OK now.

I'm wanting to do another tri, this time an Olympic distance one. The one closest to my house that is at the right time of year is in a hilly area. Since I don't want to reinjure my knee, I'm thinking I need lower gears to deal with these hills, and a new bike is in order. But, I'm feeling guilty about buying another new bike. It's not like the money I'll spend on the bike is going to make someone else in my family do without, and my wife is supportive of the idea. I don't spend a lot of money on myself, I drive a 10 year old Focus that I do most of the repairs on, cut my own grass and rarely hire out a home repair project, but somehow I feel like buying a new bike is excessive. It's not like I won't ride it, I'll probably ride it for the next 15 years, but for some reason I have this little nagging voice telling me not to do it.

Silly, isn't it?
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Old 05-02-12, 12:15 PM   #2
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If you can afford it... Buy it! You will get over the guilt feeling.
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Old 05-02-12, 12:18 PM   #3
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Silly, isn't it?
Yes. But knowing that obviously doesn't change anything. If you're looking for someone to tell you it is OK to buy a new bike, I'll be glad to. Buy a new bike! I'm sure many others here will be glad to add their voices to mine. And don't get rid of your current bike if it fits you well and you like riding it. One bike is never enough, you need N+1.
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Old 05-02-12, 12:20 PM   #4
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Mental and physical health are important. You should be able to find a compact double with a larger cassette or a triple-equipped bike for a pretty decent price, either used or new. Go for it!
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Old 05-02-12, 12:30 PM   #5
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Just don't go overboard like me and get Two.

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Old 05-02-12, 01:29 PM   #6
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You don't have to spend a fortune to get a good bike, but you shouldn't feel guilty--especially since you don't spend on yourself often and the wife supports your desire. Do get one that can last a while.
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Old 05-02-12, 01:49 PM   #7
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If you enjoy cycling then indulge yourself. There is a standard that most will agree is worth going for and that is 105 Drivechain-weight of less than 20lbs and in a colour and size that works. Saying that I recently bought a Tiagra drivechained bike and I am happy with it.

In comparison to your Trek 610---There is no comparison. Modern machinery is good providing you don't buy rubbish.

The awkward part will be finding the right LBS (Local bike Shop) There are many shops that sell bikes but you have to find the one that is going to treat you right.
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Old 05-02-12, 02:04 PM   #8
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Everyone has pretty much agreed and I'm throwing my hat in with theirs. As long as you will not do without something that is essential in order to buy a new bike, buy the bike. Besides, your wife is all for it, as was mine when I bought my second new road bike in 13 months.
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Old 05-02-12, 02:13 PM   #9
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...my wife is supportive of the idea.
There you go. She's let you off the hook, now let yourself off.
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Old 05-02-12, 02:19 PM   #10
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Gee, get over it and buy the bike

Even a sour puss like me would go for it. You sound like someone who will ride the wheels off the thing. Convert the price into "bike-miles" and depreciate the whole thing over five years. It will almost be like getting the bike for free.

BTW, the 360 Cycling podcast this week talks about the considerations of buying a tri bike. Give it a listen.
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Old 05-02-12, 02:25 PM   #11
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You should definitely feel guilty if you DONT ride it.
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Old 05-02-12, 03:05 PM   #12
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Veloacquisophobia- n. the irrational fear of obtaining a new bicycle or bicycles. Characterized by worry and, in some cases severe anxiety or depression.

You have all the classic symptoms but have come to the right place for social support and therapy. In fact veloacquisomania is all too common here... but I digress. I suggest you begin your therapy with following positive self-talk: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, people like me, and doggone it I deserve to have a new bike." After that you should rehearse being near new bikes by regularly visiting places where new bikes are purveyed. You may have to begin by merely riding or driving by these places at first. Combining the positive self talk with rehearsing the removal of your credit/debit card from your wallet may also be helpful.

If none of this works, well, there is always the more radical "group intervention" strategy to consider...

(I've ridden up from the river in Roswell and most anyone would need some gears for that. How much is hard to say.)

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Old 05-02-12, 03:31 PM   #13
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veloacquisomania is all too common here...
Glad to know there is a clinical name for what afflicts me.

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Old 05-02-12, 08:36 PM   #14
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Life is short. Enjoy it while you can. No time for guilt. It's self-inflicted.
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Old 05-02-12, 08:58 PM   #15
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Veloacquisophobia

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Old 05-02-12, 09:17 PM   #16
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If you are feeling guilty about buying a new bike, don't do it.

Instead get a 2 wheeled health promotion device.
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Old 05-02-12, 10:51 PM   #17
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Veloacquisophobia

This is no laughing matter, my friend. It's a serious disability!
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Old 05-02-12, 10:53 PM   #18
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I have said it before and will say it again. This is not a rehearsal, when this life is over, it OVER! Go for the gusto.
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Old 05-03-12, 02:49 AM   #19
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If you can afford it... Buy it! You will get over the guilt feeling.
Ditto! Also, there will be less guilt than if buying a car OR a big screen HD TV
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Old 05-03-12, 03:21 AM   #20
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You can afford it and you want it. Just do it. You won't be sorry.
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Old 05-03-12, 04:52 AM   #21
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\ But, I'm feeling guilty about buying another new bike. It's not like the money I'll spend on the bike is going to make someone else in my family do without, and my wife is supportive of the idea. I don't spend a lot of money on myself, I drive a 10 year old Focus that I do most of the repairs on, cut my own grass and rarely hire out a home repair project, but somehow I feel like buying a new bike is excessive. It's not like I won't ride it, I'll probably ride it for the next 15 years, but for some reason I have this little nagging voice telling me not to do it.

Silly, isn't it?
FormerFF - change wife to husband and change Focus to Element and this could have been written by me!! I know exactly what you are going through.
My mountain bike is 10 years old and has always served me well, but there is a Yeti ASR 5 at the bike shop that is just beyond wonderful. And, because I work at the bike shop, I could get a super deal on it.
But, I have that same darn little nagging voice saying, oh no! what would happen if you spend the money and then (fill in the blank) happens?! Actually, I know part of the reason why the voice is nagging at me. My parents are at the stage in their lives where they are needing more and more help and my Mom greatest worry is they will out live their money, so I hear this worry from her and I get to thinking about it too, and then I start clipping coupons that just end up cluttering up my purse.
But, all of the replies make sense, and if that awful fill-in-the-blank thing happens, I guess I could sell the bike, right?

So FormerFF, should we just go for it?
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Old 05-03-12, 06:05 AM   #22
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If you enjoy bicycling, as it seems you do, your wife supports the new bicycle and you can afford to buy it what is stopping you? You aren't being irresponsible by buying something that will help your physical and mental health as much as riding a bicycle will. This is the wrong place to ask if you should buy a bicycle anyway. N+1 is the rule and our way of life.

BTW, I am biased since I just bought a new Cannondale CAAD 10/4 in January.

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Old 05-03-12, 06:24 AM   #23
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I'm going to go against the grain and here and say don't buy a bike until you get things straightened out with yourself. Your words indicate you have a problem spending money on things, even though there doesn't seem to be a finanical problem or adequate resources. My guess is if you buy a new bike, you will fret over and be miserable.

My first advice is sit down, go over your income, list all your debts and financial commitments, and see what's left over. If you see there's enough money without negative consequences, then buy a new or used bike, but only if you are comfortable. If you still are stuck, consider counseling. Something just doesn't sit right with what you said - maybe it's your admission you will feel guilty
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Old 05-03-12, 09:11 AM   #24
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FormerFF - change wife to husband and change Focus to Element and this could have been written by me!! I know exactly what you are going through.
My mountain bike is 10 years old and has always served me well, but there is a Yeti ASR 5 at the bike shop that is just beyond wonderful. And, because I work at the bike shop, I could get a super deal on it.
But, I have that same darn little nagging voice saying, oh no! what would happen if you spend the money and then (fill in the blank) happens?! Actually, I know part of the reason why the voice is nagging at me. My parents are at the stage in their lives where they are needing more and more help and my Mom greatest worry is they will out live their money, so I hear this worry from her and I get to thinking about it too, and then I start clipping coupons that just end up cluttering up my purse.
But, all of the replies make sense, and if that awful fill-in-the-blank thing happens, I guess I could sell the bike, right?

So FormerFF, should we just go for it?
I think there are (yet another) two types of people in the world, people who regret having done things, and those who regret not having done (and bought) things. Sounds like we are in the second category.

To StanSeven's point, I have one debt, a home mortgage that should be paid off in 4 and a half years. We have retirement savings and college savings, and I do have the money to buy the bike. If one of my daughters or my wife needed something that cost similar to what the bike will cost for their sport or activity, I would get it for them. Fortunately what they do doesn't require much in the way of equipment. This would be the fourth bike I've bought in my lifetime, and for some reason, that seems self indulgent. Bicycling has been a constant in my life, and if I'm going to continue, I'm going to need a drop bar roadie with more gears than I have now. The flat bar bike is fine for short rides but starts to hurt after an hour. Trying to update the 610 isn't the better option as is has so many vintage parts on it that I'd need to replace almost everything except the frame, fork and bars.

I say we go for it. I'm going to wait a month or so, since I'm very focused on running until I get up to 6 miles. Then it's time to work on the ride and swim as well.
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Old 05-03-12, 09:30 AM   #25
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It's not about the bike. As long as you don't over do it, it's OK to spend some money just to enjoy life.
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