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Old 04-16-05, 04:55 PM   #1
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Titanium, Carbon, Elite, Liquid, Paper, Rock, Scissors...

It seems that cycling can be a lot like other areas of our culture here in the U.S.A. THere seems to be a lot of discussion and fascination with the high dollar bikes and accessories. It goes without saying that there are different economic classes of cyclists, but it would be interesting to hear from the minimalists.

We all know that there are tons of doctors and lawyers with $5000 bikes sitting in their garage collecting dust, but what about the guy that is a SERIOUS rider and has the bare minimum? It would be interesting to hear stories of people who have ridden a lot on very little coin.

I'm not talking about the guy that is broke and rides his bike to pick up aluminum cans for a living. I am more interested in just hearing from average ordinary cyclists who participate in the sport with very little capital involved?

Are you a minimalist cyclist? If so, what qualifies you? Or are you like the rest of us who are getting paper cuts from savagely tearing through our Performance catalog looking for our next needless purchase?
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Old 04-16-05, 05:06 PM   #2
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I start a cross country trip this week.
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Old 04-16-05, 05:17 PM   #3
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How is that thread relevant to this one?
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Old 04-16-05, 05:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krispistoferson
How is that thread relevant to this one?
Have you read the thread? It is directly relevant to the original poster's request to hear about:

Quote:
I am more interested in just hearing from average ordinary cyclists who participate in the sport with very little capital involved?
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Old 04-16-05, 05:27 PM   #5
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I bought a Trek with full Dura Ace in 1992 and except for a frame warranty exchange never touched the components until last year when I got caught up in the 'boutique' wheels fetish.

Not everyone can buy top-of-the-line like I did, but once you do that it may last you many years and stave off the urge to upgrade.

That Trek was my main bike until yesterday when I picked up a Litespeed Tuscany. Wanna bet it'll be my main bike in 2010?
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Old 04-16-05, 05:34 PM   #6
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I ride recreationally (ie transportation, excercise, and the joy of riding) on a 35 pound 1972 Schwinn Super Sport. $10 at a garage sale, plus a little over $250 in upgrades (getting it to ride well again). I love it, and all these high end, money bag cyclists on their fancy-pants carbon roadies tell me how much they love it. Plus, it cost at least 10X less than what others spend .
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Old 04-16-05, 05:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krispistoferson
How is that thread relevant to this one?
Yeah, you need to read the thread, but actually clicking on his homepage will tell you about the bike. That is where the real minimalist comes in. I remember that thread as it unfolded a couple years ago. Definitely fits the bill here.
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Old 04-16-05, 05:39 PM   #8
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That's why basketball, for instance, is very popular. It requires very little capital.
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Old 04-16-05, 05:53 PM   #9
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That's why basketball, for instance, is very popular. It requires very little capital.
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. At least I haven't been shot at for my Sidis.
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Old 04-16-05, 06:06 PM   #10
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Sorry, I just read the first page.
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Old 04-16-05, 06:08 PM   #11
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I had a Repco steel framed road bike I bought second hand for very little cash. I rode in bike shorts, an old daggy t-shirt, and bare feet. I rode year round, 15 - 25 km (depending on when) each way.

Am a little more comfortable now I am no longer a student

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Old 04-16-05, 06:15 PM   #12
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between my Road bike and my MTN bike I have about 500 dollars invested. I used to work at a bike shop as a buyer for a while and got lots of parts for free from reps who wanted me to buy stuff from them.

My road frame was a warranty that someone returned because they had been hit by a car. The fork had broken, but there was no damage to the frame. Cannondale replaced it all anyway and didn't want the frame back. I built it up with my stockpile of Dura Ace stuff from reps and bought some wheels at employee purchase price. I've been riding it for 5 years.

I got my Mtn. bike out of a sponsorship deal with another local shop. Again put all my sample stuff onto it, bought a demo fork from a rep for 100 bucks. Been riding it for 7 years.
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Old 04-16-05, 06:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonshot
I bought a Trek with full Dura Ace in 1992 and except for a frame warranty exchange never touched the components until last year when I got caught up in the 'boutique' wheels fetish.

Not everyone can buy top-of-the-line like I did, but once you do that it may last you many years and stave off the urge to upgrade.

That Trek was my main bike until yesterday when I picked up a Litespeed Tuscany. Wanna bet it'll be my main bike in 2010?
Heh, rubbish. All you need to do is take a look at a typical bike rack. Those bikes must be at least 20 years old, and they're still rideable!

People buying top of the line stuff usually use that as their excuse to .... get top of the line stuff
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Old 04-16-05, 09:11 PM   #14
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I think I'm one of them. I bought it in 1984. Besides tires and handle bar tapes, I have rarely bought anything. Aero bar, free wheel with smaller gears, straight handle bar(for road bike), which most of them went back to original state, nothing with bling factor. It's definitely not a show off bike and it's the only one I have. I grew up where nobody thinks a bicycle is something to impress somebody unless it's a brand new. I saw how people in Copenhagen rides their bikes and I thought it's quite similar.

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Old 04-16-05, 09:30 PM   #15
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My bike is pretty minimal, but that's just because it's a track bike and there's nowhere to put anything. The few components that it does have are in a constant state of upgrade, though. Soon I will run out of things to upgrade. I plan on starting on another frame when that happens.
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Old 04-17-05, 08:32 AM   #16
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My first bike was a hand me down that was low end to begin with.

My first bike as an adult was the same.

My first "real" bike I bought at a police auction for $90 which I rode side by side with guys who had spent $2000 plus for theirs.

The replacement of that first "real" bike I bought at a second hand, consignment store for $180, so I hope I get twice the mileage out of it.

You don't have to spend a lot to get a lot.

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Old 04-17-05, 08:55 AM   #17
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I bought a $300 bike in 1983 (thought that was extravagant). It was my only ride for 15 years and got 2 - 3,000 miles some years. When it started having wear issues the wife insisted that I replace it, well that was the beginning of 3 bike purchases over the next 6 years. The enjoyment of riding isn't any better but the rides themselves are safer (better braking) and faster, therefore I go longer and a bit harder. Plus I like having different bikes to choose from and some days I get one of my kids on the tandem.

Variety is the spice of life. I still have the Centurion and ride it regularly with cross tires.
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Old 04-17-05, 09:15 AM   #18
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I shelled out $600 in 1983 for a lovely lugged steel Trek. It's been my main squeeze ride ever since. Throw in spare parts and my investment has been maybe a dime a day for a lot of great times over the past 22 years.
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Old 04-17-05, 09:34 AM   #19
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My main commuter and overall favorite bike is an old Raeigh 12-speed from a thrift store with some replacements and upgrades. It's not fancy, but I put 3000 miles on it in the last year (including four centuries) and has been very reliable. No high dollar parts. Just basic stuff.
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Old 04-17-05, 11:24 AM   #20
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Quote:
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At least I haven't been shot at for my Sidis.
Good one....
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Old 04-17-05, 11:52 AM   #21
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I ride pretty minimally.. My main bike at the moment is an old GT w/ basic STX components. I just keep rebuilding them, and they just keep working great. I bought cables and housings this season, and new tires, but other than that my only expense is grease and time. I bought the bike in a state of terrible misadjustment at a pawn shop for 80$ 5 years ago, and after some work, it is still on mostly original components and doing great. I'll probably spend 70$ to put on a new drivetrain in the next few months.

Best part is, I get compliments everytime I go into bike shops. The paint has been stripped off the aluminum frame, but it isn't polished. It has a few stickers on it ("I love this bike" and "Gasoline kills", and is fairly 'banged up' looking. Somehow, just by riding it, it has achieved an asthetic that no store-bought bike can have, the, "I've been ridden to hell and back, and I'm ready for more" look. People love shiny new things (I'm certainly in that category too), but people who know bikes know that a bike that has been used, and used hard, is a cool thing to have, like torn jeans and faded doc martens. You can't buy that look, you have to earn it.

One of the mechanics saw it and told me he always likes seeing a simple bike that has been ridden rather than shiny new bikes that barely look like they've touched payment, "Do they buy them to stroke em? Or RIDE em?"

Minimal is good, and biking lets you do a lot, with very little.

peace,
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Old 04-17-05, 12:16 PM   #22
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I ride pretty minimally.. My main bike at the moment is an old GT w/ basic STX components. I just keep rebuilding them, and they just keep working great.

Best part is, I get compliments everytime I go into bike shops.
So true. Speaking of compliments, my el cheapo commuter put together with a bunch of old components gets compliments almost wherever I go. Must be that retro look...
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Old 04-17-05, 12:38 PM   #23
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I'd like to think of myself as a minimalist cyclist I'm a grad student so not too much money. I didn't have a car in college and rode my bike everywhere. That bike got stolen when I moved here for grad school. I got a new one, and started getting sick of paying the shop for expensive repairs, so I bought a $10 book and $100 Performance tool kit and started doing my own repairs. I discovered I really liked bicycle technology and cycling as a sport, and I've also come to believe in it for its environmental and social benefits as a means of transportation.

I have 2 bikes now. One is a fixed gear that I built from a $10 ten-speed I bought locally, my around town ride. My other bike is a 1990 Trek aluminum bike with downtube shifters, paid $125 for it. I've gone on a couple club rides with it and can easily pull for the 40-year-old guys on their Litespeeds and Serottas. I would like to get into racing and plan to stick with this bike. Yesterday I went to a bike swap meet here and picked up some clipless pedals and shoes, STI shifters, a cassette, new cranks, and some other parts for real cheap. The really awesome part was I rode up on my fixie, and was immediately asked by TWO people if it was for sale :-) :-)

Mostly I find that I can't afford the bike stuff I want from Performance, so I go with used parts off craigslist. Sometimes I buy an old bike cheap, then fix it up a bit and sell it for more.

I guess I am not a minimalist cyclist in terms of amount of stuff I have, but I am minimalist in the amount of money I spend. I am in the process of (slowly) building a touring bike with 105/LX drivetrain and triple-butted steel frame, and I expect to have spent less than $350 on it when all is said and done...
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Old 04-17-05, 02:44 PM   #24
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I've been commuting, touring and racing for 35 years, usually using wealthier guys' cast-off frames and components, or buying new stuff from the middle price ranges. As in so many other areas of life, there are tremendous bargains to be had relieving posers of their practically unused, unwanted toys- helping to clear space in their garages for the next distraction...........

Despite the manifest nonsense so often spoken about bicycle choice, the important variables remain rider fitness, comfort and bike fit. If you really think another cog on your cassette, or this year's top of the range brifters will win you races (or friends)you are probably beyond help.
The resurgence of interest in fixed gear riding and the growth of single speed off-road riding are welcome signs that the techie 'arms race' is futile and unneccessary, for the most part.

Less really is more.....it's still what cycling is all about.
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Old 04-17-05, 02:51 PM   #25
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Sometimes I feel like I've almost just made a big circle.

In the mid 70's I used to ride between 30 and 50 miles with my next door neighbor every Saturday. I remember after putting a water bottle on my bike thinking that I was pretty fully equipped. If one of us got a flat tire, we'd figure out how to either fix it with what we had with us (nothing) or call one of our wives.

Through the years my bikes got progressively more high tech and the amount of tools and stuff that I carried with me gradually increased. At one time I carried up to 5 inner tubes in my tandem rack pack! In my whole life I've never used more than 2 on a ride and, in every case, the second flat was my own fault.

Today I ride good (but not top-of-the-line) equipment. Besides water bottles, all that I carry with me on my road bike is the stuff that I need to fix one flat tire - no cell phone either. Traveling light reminds me of all of the good times that I had years ago riding with my neighbor, Bill.
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