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Old 04-17-05, 02:55 PM   #26
TomM
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Although I have a brand new Trek 5000, I consider myself somewhat a minimalist. Yes, I invested a little more than $2000 on the bike but I will keep the bike for years. I was riding a 15 year old Cannondale road bike that I bought new in 1990. I commute on a 1988 Peugeot Alpine Express with the original BioPace chainrings and componets installed. The small chainring has been broken for years. I just hope that the 5000 will last 10 years. Only time will tell how the carbon frame will holdup.
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Old 04-17-05, 03:04 PM   #27
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One more thing why, except for my light tourer, I don't run computers on any of my bikes.
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Old 04-17-05, 03:17 PM   #28
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I promised myself not to turn cycling into a money pit before I got started, and so far, I think I'm doing ok. I think forums are part of my problem. I see others decked out bike and think I have to have one as well. But all I've managed to keep it simple so far- just throw some water and Gatorade in a backpack, put my bike in the car, and go. I'm getting the itch for a BMX and a road bike now however.
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Old 04-17-05, 05:00 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomM
Although I have a brand new Trek 5000, I consider myself somewhat a minimalist. Yes, I invested a little more than $2000 on the bike but I will keep the bike for years. I was riding a 15 year old Cannondale road bike that I bought new in 1990. I commute on a 1988 Peugeot Alpine Express with the original BioPace chainrings and componets installed. The small chainring has been broken for years. I just hope that the 5000 will last 10 years. Only time will tell how the carbon frame will holdup.
Uhhhhh, I'm sorry sir but i don't think owning a $2,000 bike qualifies you as a minimalist, regardless. I'm afraid we have to disqualify you. Come back when you donate that bike to charity (or me) and purchase a bike at Goodwill.
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Old 04-17-05, 05:16 PM   #30
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This thread brings to mind a post I made a while ago to rec.bicycles.misc...

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From: khuon@BOGUS.DOM (Jake Khuon)
Newsgroups: rec.bicycles.soc,rec.bicycles.misc
Subject: Re: What a loser!!
Date: 3 Jul 2001 19:27:18 GMT
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### On Tue, 03 Jul 2001 11:59:27 GMT, ebab...@care2.com (Eric Babula) [EB]
### casually decided to expound upon rec.bicycles.misc the following
### thoughts about What a loser!!:

EB> So, you're commuting home from work, and you see this guy on a bike, 
EB> trying to do the same.  You are decked out in your cycling clothes, and 
EB> he looks like a slob.  You are cruising along on your road bike, at 
EB> about 22mph, as you fly past him.  What goes through your mind?
EB> 
EB> This guy:
EB> 
EB> Age:  mid-30s.
EB> Bike:  Trek 800 Sport MTB (under $300 for the bike) w/ knobbies, 
EB> Blackburn rack on the back, with a green backpack strapped to it with 
EB> bungie cords.
EB> Clothes:  Giro helmet, Bell gloves, Target-brand cheapo sunglasses, 
EB> Nashbar cycling shorts, old white volleyball t-shirt, and Vans sneakers.
EB> Speed:  about 16mph on a flat stretch.

That was me at age 20 on my Nishiki Ariel (okay... a little more than $300
pricetag but that matters not... it was still not ultra high-end) in college
going from one class to the next.  Or it was me a little younger at age 16
on my Specialized HardRock going home from school.  Or it was me a little
older going to get groceries.

As a matter of fact, it's been only recently that I've been able to afford
higher end cycling gear.  And you know what?  I used to ride my bike way
more back then than I do today.  I never kept track of miles or times or
whatnot.  Why?  Because I was simply attempting to ride... whether it was to
get from point A to point B or to ride for fun.

I didn't care that my helmet was pretty much the equivalent of a chunk of
styrofoam from the bottom of a refrigerator carton with a lycra cover and
virtual no ventilation.  I remember having to beg my parents to buy me a
helmet which I ended up paying for myself (this was years before most people
regarded helmets as necessary cycling equipment).  They didn't think it was
necessary because I wasn't a racer.  I felt it was necessary and to me,
that's all that counted.  I was glad I had a helmet and was quite happy with
what I had.

My cycling gloves were thrown in by the bikeshop when I bought my
Specialized HardRock as an incentive to get me to buy more accessories.  I
estimated their value at the time to be about five bucks retail.

Sunglasses?  I just wore my regular glasses... didn't even think to look
into buying cheapo sunglasses although I probably should have.  They can
make just about any size and shape prescription lens as long as you have the
frame.  Both my regular prescription glasses and my prescription sunglasses
now are built using standard cheaper aviator sunglass frames which is great
if one of them breaks since everything is interchangable.

My riding shorts (semi-baggy non-lycra) were purchased on closeout and I
talked the salesguy at the shop down in price because he couldn't move small
sized men's cycling gear... especially ones that didn't have team logos and
weren't really professional-looking riding shorts.  For a long time, these
were the only pair of dedicated cycling shorts I owned.  So oftentimes, when
they were dirty and, I just wore regular shorts.

Much like my cycling shorts, I only had one jersey for a long time.  Jerseys
were and still are expensive and t-shirts were and are plentiful.  I still
sometimes ride with a t-shirt today if I'm not doing anything extensive.  I
still don't do laundry often enough to keep my cycling apparel ready at all
times.

My cycling shoe selection started out with $12 Payless "tennis shoes" mated
to platform pedals.  They worked fine.  When I tried toe-clips, the laces
would get in the way so I picked up an ourageously expensive (read: $40)
pair of Avia cycling shoes with the smooth tongue flap on closeout.  They
also worked fine but I got a lot of comments about them when I wore them off
the bike.  When clipless MTB pedals came along, I waited about a year for
prices to come down and picked up a closeout set of Shimano M100 shoes for a
whopping $60 along with M535 pedals (also about $60).  I still have the
M100s today although the soles have worn a little thin but they're good
backup shoes in case my Sidis haven't completed dried out the next day.

My cycling budget although a large portion of my living budget was nearly as
large is it is today but I do believe it offorded me adequate happiness.  I
didn't have the over-$1000 bike or the flashy jersey and shorts with
European team colours but my riding experience was nonetheless enjoyable. 
Does that mean I was not a serious cyclist?  In my book, any serious cyclist
is one who gets out and regularly rides either because they have to or they
want to.  It doesn't have to be for any particularly reason.  It doesn't
have to be for any reason at all.


EB> So, what do you all think of a guy like this, when you see him?  
EB> Complete loser?  Nice bike (sarcasm)!  Man, I blew by him!  Can't he go 
EB> out and buy himself some real clothing, like a Cannondale jersey (or 
EB> other brand) and bicycling shoes?  And, what's with the MTB tires, if 
EB> you're using that piece of junk to commute to work?  And, for God's 
EB> sake, get yourself some panniers for that rack!

I think, "I hope he's having as much fun riding as I am."  The only time I
feel sorry for another cyclist is when it's obvious they are not having fun
or are not enjoying the ride.  It may be because they're not happy with
their cycling equipment either because it's not performing well or thdey're
just not comfortable on it but that's a whole nother issue.  Bottomline, if
they're not happy, that's sad because cycling should be a happy experience. 
As long as they're happy, all is right in that corner of the world.


EB> Or, do you give him a nod, and praise him for at least being out there, 
EB> giving it a try?

I praise him for being out there... no "least" or "giving it a try" involved.


EB> Would you even associate with this guy, if he were to show up at a 
EB> bicycling function, like a (name of city) Bikes to Work Week event?  
EB> What do you think of guys like this?

I once stopped off at a pathside park to munch on an energy bar and watch an
inning or two of a little league game.  Sitting at the edge of the fence was
another cyclist who seemed to be doing the same.  He looked exactly like the
guy described above.  He asked me about my jersey because he wanted to know
if it was good for the varying climate we get around here.  I told him I had
only been out for a few hours today but that usually if I ride with it in
the morning, the short sleeved jersey is a bit cold at first but as the day
warms up, it is fine.  He asked me where I got it and I told him I ordered
it from gear.com because it was cheap and they had good deals on other
things.  He said he didn't have a computer but knew some people who did and
would check it out.

After talking with him some more, I found out that he has no family.  He
lives on a relatively small but sustainable income.  He bikes to work and
back.  He can't afford a car so instead concentrates on equipping himself
and his bike with not necessarily the best but adequate equipment.  And he
rides from dusk till dawn anytime he's not working.  Cycling is his freedom
just as it is often to me.  He takes a fishing pole with him and fishes
along the rivers when he gets tired of pedalling.  He described his regular
routes to me and from what I gathered, this guy must put in around 500 miles
per week if not more.  This guy wasn't homeless... he wasn't really a slob
either... he was however a happy cyclist.  He even offered me some smoked
salmon he had purchased earlier that day from a local grocery store.  Just
then the cellphone in my camelbak rang.  It was my wife asking me where I
was because she was hungry and wanted to go out to dinner.  The sun was
starting to set and I was already an hour late (yes, he did have lights -
not a klieg status dual-beam setup or anything but I'm sure they worked
fine).  I bid the man goodbye and wished him a happy ride.  He thanked me
for the conversation and said he had another couple of hours to go until he
got home.  And as I rode home myself, I just hope he praised me for at least
being out there, giving it a try.


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Old 04-17-05, 06:25 PM   #31
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Those were exactly the stories i was after. That was a nice read. I think i will read it again later, because it is exactly what I envy. I know that i would probably never be happy living like the minimalist who basically did nothing but ride but damn it is fun to romanticize and fanticize about it. Thanks for the story.

It sort of sums up life in a very real sort of way. You can have the best of everything and still not be as happy as the guy who really knows how to be happy. It is really hard to not get caught up in being a Materialistic Cyclist. I am glad that i can afford a reasonable amount of cycling gear but have always tried to stay aware of the fact that i think cycling lust can kill cycling for me.

There is so much talk about, better, faster, more, on these forums and everywhere else that it is virtually impossible to ignore. I have always tried to tell myself that it is simply about the ride and what it offers. Stories like the one you posted helps to keep me grounded.

Last edited by Portis; 04-17-05 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 04-17-05, 10:20 PM   #32
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I just picked up my old Colnago that my ex-gf was storing in her shed for the last 4 years. I had to shift it to the small cog to take the rear wheel off, and the C-Record RD w/ Retro Friction shifters worked flawlessly. I really love that old bike, and am glad it works just as well as my Record Ergo equipped Eddy Merckx. Back when I was riding more, I used to take it out once a month or so, just to remind myself of how easy cycling could be, and still be enjoyable.
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Old 04-17-05, 10:31 PM   #33
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I think part of being "minimalist" is knowing how much to spend and on what. I've been around cycling long enough to have a pretty good idea what pouring money into frame, derailleurs, etcetera does. I know when spending more equals greater quality, and I know when spending more equals lighter weight. They're NOT mutually inclusive! Somebody with a large wallet and no clue might laugh at my 1980's Schwinn with 600 components that I paid 100 bucks for, while he rides a $700 uncomfortable aluminum frame with Sora. I'll bet he misses more shifts and doesn't enjoy the ride as much, though. My point is that being well informed can save you a lot of money.
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Old 04-17-05, 10:36 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krispistoferson
I'll bet he misses more shifts and doesn't enjoy the ride as much, though.
IMHO, those two concepts aren't mutually inclusive either.
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Old 04-17-05, 10:41 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khuon
IMHO, those two concepts aren't mutually inclusive either.
Didn't mean to give the impression that they were, nor was my intention to "bash" Sora, I was just throwing out examples of my point.
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Old 04-17-05, 10:49 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krispistoferson
Didn't mean to give the impression that they were, nor was my intention to "bash" Sora, I was just throwing out examples of my point.
Okay... well can I bash Sora? Just kidding.

Actually my point is that money does not necessarily buy happiness nor does it necessarily buy sadness. The person on the $6000 carbon fibre rig can be having as much fun as the person on the $60 refurbished dumpster treasure. Investing a lot of money or not investing a lot of money does not automatically entitle someone to enjoying cycling.
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Old 04-17-05, 11:52 PM   #37
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My rides, in order of expense -

Mid-Eighties, Steve Bauer 18sp. MTB/Tourer? My husband picked it up for me out of the Buy and Sell for fifty bucks. I put $10.oo plastic fenders on it, replaced one inner tube and got a set of bottom of the line panniers for Christmas.

5sp Venture Caprice. Picked it up last Wednesday during Recycling week. It's in very good shape. I put a five dollar inner tube in the back tire this morning and rode it to church.

'74 Triumph single speed. I picked up a rear fender and rack for it during the reycycling festivities, but so far it hasn't actually cost me anything. A co-worker's mother kicked it out of their garage and he gave it to me.

That's all about as cheap as you can get, but I'm on one or the other of 'em every day. I can hardly call my ride to work a '"commute", since it only takes fifteen minutes or less, but I don't drive so I also use 'em to shop etc.

The Triumph is probably my favorite. I can beat my sixteen year old son with it when he's riding the Bauer! Uphill!!

I'd be afraid to actually go out on a bike that cost more than my rent. I've had new or near new bikes a couple of times and of course they got swiped. I'm really a lot more comfortable with my oldies. I like well used things, with personality.
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Old 04-18-05, 02:13 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khuon
Cycling doesn't require a lot of capital either. It's just that many of us choose to invest a lot into it. Remember that basketball shoes can be every bit as expensive or more than cycling shoes.
Hell, basketball shoes cost as much as some bikes!
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Old 04-18-05, 02:21 AM   #39
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Hell, basketball shoes cost as much as some bikes!
Yep. I saw a pair that looked like some cycling booties but had a pricetag approaching $400.
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Old 04-18-05, 07:47 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranger
It sort of sums up life in a very real sort of way. You can have the best of everything and still not be as happy as the guy who really knows how to be happy. It is really hard to not get caught up in being a Materialistic Cyclist. I am glad that i can afford a reasonable amount of cycling gear but have always tried to stay aware of the fact that i think cycling lust can kill cycling for me.
As usual, Ranger's wisdom shines through. It's not about the bike; it's about CYCLING.

Like many Forum members, I own a nice road bike with some fine hardware onboard. There are times when that bike really impresses me. However, I'm equally (if not more) happy when I'm riding my old $100 Schwinn that I bought in my first parish in 1982. It may be heavier and slower than my "good" bike, but when I ride it I remember all the good times and beautiful days we've had together... and that is worth a lot to me.
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Old 04-18-05, 10:31 AM   #41
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I think the real inspirational story about minimalist biking is Heinz Stucke - he's been touring for close to 45 years, and the first 40 of those he spent riding a 50-pound steel clunker... I doubt there's anyone on the planet with as many miles on ANY kind of equipment!
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Old 04-18-05, 10:42 AM   #42
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There are an awful lot of cyclists who find a bike they like and stick with it for a long, long time. Typically these are good quality mid-range bikes, nothing fancy but not too cheap.

Something to ponder: the essence of cycling -- pedal, go fast, get satisfaction from distance covered -- has not changed since the Wright brothers were tooling around the streets of Akron. When Mark Twain, HG Wells or John F Kennedy wrote about cycling, they were sharing the same experience that I had on my morning commute today. Sure, we've got kevlar tires, aluminum wheels and indexed shifting, but these conveniences don't really change the experience.

This is a terrible problem for manufacturers of bicycles. There is a substantial population of cyclists who rarely if ever buy new bikes. As a result, new bikes are targeted at people who buy new bikes -- newbies and gadget freaks -- which explains why it's so hard to buy a decent quality no-frills bike.
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Old 04-18-05, 10:52 AM   #43
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Quote:
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This is a terrible problem for manufacturers of bicycles. There is a substantial population of cyclists who rarely if ever buy new bikes. As a result, new bikes are targeted at people who buy new bikes -- newbies and gadget freaks -- which explains why it's so hard to buy a decent quality no-frills bike.
Hear, hear. That's why you've got to build your own, thus making you... uh... even more of a gadget freak
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Old 04-18-05, 03:28 PM   #44
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I'm a minimalist expense-wise, but I have lots of bikes - The present stable:

1990 ish Steve Bauer Boreas 12 speed 105 grouped road bike - paid $200 for it from the classifieds from a guy who liked it, but bought a $1500 Bianchi and was really surprised that the Steve Bauer was almost as light as the Bianchi.

1992 Norco Katmandu MTB - paid $90 at police auction about 10 years ago, rode it occasionally, then commuted for 3 years including 2 winters - it's waiting for conversion to a S/A 3 speed because drivetrain is shot.

1990ish Bianchi Poggio 12 speed - SunTour Arx - bought for $17 at thrift store 3 years ago, invested in new tires and tape - This is now my cottage road bike.

For the past year, I've been lucky enough to participate in a "bikes rescued from landfill and sold for charity donations project". So far my $100 donation has given me:

1990 ish Velo Sport Appalache 15 speed touring bike - my present commuter, I've added panniers and lights and new tires

1995 ish Norco Bigfoot front suspension MTB - my racer and bigtime investment, spent $200 on a new front fork, $100 on tires.

It's amazing what people throw out, I don't think I'll ever have to buy a new bike!
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Old 04-18-05, 04:40 PM   #45
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I definitely qualify as a minimalist. I ride a good-quality rigid mountain bike that I bought (brand new) in a pawn shop for $100. I ride for at least 60 minutes a day, 7 days a week in all weather here in Michigan. In nice weather I frequently ride much much more. My motto is, "I don't ride as fast but I do ride farther." (Although I am actually pretty fast for a 50 year old on a mountain bike,) I certainly do not look down on those with great expensive bikes, nor do I envy them. I admire those who train seriously on road bikes as a hobby, but I kinda despise those who spend more than $1,000 dollars on a bike, then ride for only 3 or 4 days a year. They should give their bikes to someone who will really appreciate them--like me!

I think the real distinction of minimalists is our way of looking at cycling. To us, it isn't a hobby, it's a way of life. It is both basic transportation and recreation, and the only thing we really want to do. That said, I aspire to a great bike, and now that I'm no longer paying for a car, I will be able to afford one soon. However, I don't think that I will ever buy an ultralight, fragile cycle. I want to spend my time riding, not repairing!
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Old 04-18-05, 06:45 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Roody
I definitely qualify as a minimalist. I ride a good-quality rigid mountain bike that I bought (brand new) in a pawn shop for $100. I ride for at least 60 minutes a day, 7 days a week in all weather here in Michigan. In nice weather I frequently ride much much more. My motto is, "I don't ride as fast but I do ride farther." (Although I am actually pretty fast for a 50 year old on a mountain bike,) I certainly do not look down on those with great expensive bikes, nor do I envy them. I admire those who train seriously on road bikes as a hobby, but I kinda despise those who spend more than $1,000 dollars on a bike, then ride for only 3 or 4 days a year. They should give their bikes to someone who will really appreciate them--like me!

I think the real distinction of minimalists is our way of looking at cycling. To us, it isn't a hobby, it's a way of life. It is both basic transportation and recreation, and the only thing we really want to do. That said, I aspire to a great bike, and now that I'm no longer paying for a car, I will be able to afford one soon. However, I don't think that I will ever buy an ultralight, fragile cycle. I want to spend my time riding, not repairing!
i don't know enough to know if i'm a minimalist biker or not. one of the things that i've noticed about cycling is that everyone seems to have a motto. it can change over time but it's always there, at least for me and from what i can see from others. cycling offers such a wide range of possible mottos: fastest, longest, cheapest, most expensive, tinkerest, tranportationist, extreme technical ridingest, environmentalist, i don't see you when it's rainingest, etc. the thought processes i have while biking are way different than driving. perhaps those interested in getting more people to ride instead of drive should focus on getting people mottos that they can use.
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Old 04-19-05, 01:59 AM   #47
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just a few light touring pics, commuting 365/ year on a Sora component all aluminum trek (recently retired), the same trek on Loveland pass during the 130 mile Triple Bypass (one day ride/ mild support)
then a cheap Lemond touring from San Jose to Santa Cruz to San Fransisco with a pair of panniers...


http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...id=27866&stc=1
http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...id=27867&stc=1
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http://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...id=27869&stc=1
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Old 04-19-05, 05:23 AM   #48
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There are an awful lot of cyclists who find a bike they like and stick with it for a long, long time. Typically these are good quality mid-range bikes, nothing fancy but not too cheap.

Something to ponder: the essence of cycling -- pedal, go fast, get satisfaction from distance covered -- has not changed since the Wright brothers were tooling around the streets of Akron. When Mark Twain, HG Wells or John F Kennedy wrote about cycling, they were sharing the same experience that I had on my morning commute today. Sure, we've got kevlar tires, aluminum wheels and indexed shifting, but these conveniences don't really change the experience.

This is a terrible problem for manufacturers of bicycles. There is a substantial population of cyclists who rarely if ever buy new bikes. As a result, new bikes are targeted at people who buy new bikes -- newbies and gadget freaks -- which explains why it's so hard to buy a decent quality no-frills bike.
Actually, the Wright Brothers were from Dayton, Ohio.
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Old 04-19-05, 05:41 AM   #49
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I have broken it all down to the simplest possible. Both my bikes are stripped down, light, and fast, and I have maybe $700 in both of them. My mountain bike currenty runs a front suspension fork, which will soon be changed, and my road bike runs a front brake only. Both are single speeds, both are meant to be ridden fast. If you keep it simple, you will spend less money and have more fun. Less is more in cycling.
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Old 11-25-06, 01:12 AM   #50
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regretting investment?

I'm in Montreal where bike theft is so common there's a stolen bike sale every week at the same place during good weather. (At least they seem stolen: they're dirt cheap, it only happens after dark, the guy sells them so fast it's impossible to check...) So even though I commute every day, go on long trips outside the city, and ride through snow and salted roads in winter, I haven't had any desire to invest in something special. Until recently...

In the past I've tried to go cheap when it comes to bikes. My first was a Peugeot MTB (didn't even know they made MTBs) I got for $20 from some guy on the street who actually told me it was stolen, where he stole it from, and what drug he needed the money for. I know, terrible ethics to buy stolen, but I was so impressed with his honesty I paid him for it. I always planned to take it down to the neighbourhood he got it from, see if some poor kid recognized, but it was stolen from me before I got a chance.

My next was a blue velosport vintage road, my first road bike ever. $60. Rams horn drops, 700x23c tires, very different from MTB, but great for summer and so much faster. But when the bottom bracket started to disintegrate, I popped a tube, and the winter started coming...

I bought an EcoVelo MTB. EcoVelo is a nice Montreal framemaker, known more for their niceness than quality. But good name, nice colors, $150 brand new with 1-year warranty. I just gave them my Velosport for being so nice.

I've had that bike for two years now, been through two winters, even got taken by the city when they cleared the bike racks and I rode it back from their warehouse in BFE. It's been tuned up twice, cleaned once, runs like a young donkey, reliable and doesn't blink when you kick the bejeezus out of it. Loaded it up and rode for 36 hours down to Vermont on it. AND I'VE NEVER ONCE HAD A FLAT. Not once. The back wheel goes out of true once a year from jumping off curbs, but I fix it pretty easily, replace a couple spokes, and it keeps on truckin'.

But recently, I got seduced by the fixed gear craze. Found this local shop that specialized in building them. Paid $650 for the sweetest bike of my life - vintage Cyan/Yellow Peugeot frame with all new parts, Miche hubs, Alexrims G6000, Sugino cranks, Nitto bullhorns, all decked out. I didn't know what any of that was, but I trusted the builders and got rewarded. My first ride on that thing and I reached a new level of pedaling ecstasy. Now I go out on solo rides at night and go so fast I can't believe I used to get by on MTBs.

Then one morning I woke up after a long ride, and my tire was flat. Pumped it up and took to the shop where I got it. Lifetime warranty on this thing, so they replaced my tube at no cost, plus tightened my chain, straightened my stem (I had pulled it loose from so much sprinting), and tuned the front brakes. In about 20 minutes. Wasn't even late for work.

Now, two days later, I'm inside my friend's house for about 3 hours, I come out and the front tire is flat again. Two flats in two days after no flats in two years!

Suddenly I'm unsure of my investment. I'm also just not used to the stress of leaving a nice bike on the street for any length of time. Luckily with the vintage frame it doesn't look too too nice, but I'm still nervous in a way I never was with other bikes. Scared to ding it, hit a pot hole, bang it with my big u-lock, run it into something. I used to throw around my ecovelo just for fun! Now with the speed and the nice parts comes stress.

I'm sure the shop can fix it. But I'm also sure I'm going to get more flats, and taking this thing on any distance, I'll need tools and extra tubes in a way I never have before.

I think it's rewarding. And I'm still 'minimalist' on a single fixed gear compared with racing derailleurs. But I miss my ability to kick my bikes around and have them run consistently mediocre.
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