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Old 09-30-08, 08:49 AM   #1
hnsq
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new cyclist - always funny

I used to be a runner, but about a year and a half ago I switched to cycling due to a foot injury. I am not made of money, so just ride what I can get.

After a month or so, I started to really like cycling. I have an older hybrid (700x32 tires, no drop bars, NOT the fastest bike out there), have a rear rack on it and use it to get groceries, run errands, get to/from work, etc. I am not claiming to be in the best shape or anything, but I find it amazing what people do with bikes. I see people every day with full spandex, a bike that looks like it is worth more than my house, yet they are just not in shape. I never thought of dropping thousands of dollars on a new bike because I figure it is riding that gets you in shape, not what you ride. Anyway, I am sure this isn't anything new for all of you experienced people, but it is just really amusing to see people pull their bikes off of a car to sprint back and forth on a bike path, when I am still faster than them on my POS bike after riding a couple dozen miles between work and errands.


Don't want to offend anyone here, I am not sure what type of people are on this forum, but what drives someone to take out a second mortgage on their house to get all this equipment, but still not be in shape?
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Old 09-30-08, 08:54 AM   #2
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Some folks have a lot of money, so spending $2000+ on a starter setup is no big deal. Also, there are folks that maybe know about cycling, used to cycle a lot, stopped, got out of shape, and are coming back to it. But I think the latter is the most common.
If I made 150k + a year, I would drop the cash for a nice setup independent of my physical condition.
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Old 09-30-08, 09:06 AM   #3
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If you're biking to get in shape, it seems that a heavy bike with rubbing brakes, poorly adjusted bearings, and a rusty chain would be desirable, right?

(hnsq, I'm not implying you have those things)
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Old 09-30-08, 09:17 AM   #4
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i purposely keep my tires flat to get in better shape.

but seriously, I know what you are saying. I do understand, it is just a little funny as someone who has been an avid runner for years, the same as the overweight man running with no shirt on.

I have nothing wrong with having the gear, you just better be able to back it up with ability...


and mike_s, no offense at all. It has been a losing battle to keep this bike in a ridable condition without replacing parts (or all of it). Who knows, maybe this is just jealousy of better bikes
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Old 09-30-08, 09:19 AM   #5
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I used to agree. I bought a $450 hybrid and was very happy for a while. But now that I better understand the type of riding I like to do, I want something that's off-road capable. I regret not getting drop bars, and my bike's gearing is unnecessarily wide. I really want a cyclocross bike and am tempted to blow 2x - 3x the amount I spent on the hybrid, because that's what 'cross bikes go for.

I also thought it was silly to drive your bike to the MUP, and then drive it back home. I ride 7 miles to get to the park, ride the MUP 7.4 miles up, 7.4 miles down, and then 7 miles back home. Driving there would kinda suck. But, hell, who am I to judge? If they want to avoid biking on the streets and drive straight to the park, good for them for even doing anything at all.
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Old 09-30-08, 09:45 AM   #6
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There are a lot of bad drivers behind the wheels of Jaguars and BMW's.

It just so happens you can buy the cycling equivalent for 1/10th the price.

Knowing how to ride it has nothing to do with it.

I generally outride most everybody on my commuter. I take it because I still get a workout. Riding the race bike with them would be like coasting downhill all day.
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Old 09-30-08, 09:45 AM   #7
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I agree with you that it's not the bike that makes the rider, but it does make sense that you need a bike geared toward the riding you want to do. If fast road rides are your thing, you need a decent road bike. If you're a commuter, a road bike is not necessarily the best choice (although that's what I use because that's what I have).

I do sometimes get a kick out of the guys (or gals) out there on high dollar bikes dressed in full kits who obviously aren't in the best of shape, but if that motivates them to get off their butts and do something, more power to them.

I also question my own sanity once in a while because I commute in cycling shorts and jersey, when most of the other commuters I see are wearing street clothes or gym shorts and t-shirts. Then, I remember that I wear what I do because it's the most comfortable stuff I have to ride in and stop worrying about it.

I try to not worry about what others have or are doing and just ride!
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Old 09-30-08, 10:04 AM   #8
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Perhaps you're confusing "being in shape" with "getting into shape".

One of my regular ride partners dropped a nice chunk on his bike in 2005--when he weighed 280. He bought a nice bike because he thought it would give him more incentive to ride, since nice bikes are, well, nicer to ride.

Took him three years, but he's down to 180 now. Still riding the same bike.
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Old 09-30-08, 10:10 AM   #9
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bikes are not that much. you can get a brand new $2,000 bike every 2 years if you only save $83.00 a month.

i know many people who pay as much or more for a gym membership and have nothing to show for it afterward. and tons of those people are not in any kind of shape.
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Old 09-30-08, 10:37 AM   #10
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This is no different than most any other hobby. People drop cash on expensive equipment just because they can and makes them feel good. Nothing wrong with that.
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Old 09-30-08, 10:38 AM   #11
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For commuting, honestly, I wish I had a lot of money to drop on a bike. I ride to get where I'm going. I don't want to be all sweaty in my work clothes any more than I have to. Yeah, it's good exercise too, but if I want more exercise I'd rather ride farther spinning than ride a short distance grinding. Anyways, a poorly-adjusted and poorly-assembled bike is wearing its own parts down.

My ideal commuter bike, if money was no object, would have quality parts put together properly, a comfortable riding position and a good saddle, 21 speeds, metal fenders and a chain guard, and a frame that is light enough to carry up stairs but strong enough to not fall apart over potholes and park trails and maybe even pull a trailer. All that stuff adds up, money-wise. That bike would not be cheap.

The closest things I've found that are comparable are the commuters and comfort-MTB hybrids from Giant, which range from $400-$700 US.
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Old 09-30-08, 10:41 AM   #12
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This is no different than most any other hobby. People drop cash on expensive equipment just because they can and makes them feel good. Nothing wrong with that.
Coming from an amateur astronomy background, I imagine there are two kinds of expensive bike buyers just like there are two kinds of expensive telescope buyers. One works out what the perfect instrument is for their own personal needs, and saves up for it; the other one dives in head first and buys the most expensive toy without much analysis. Usually the former ends up getting a lot of use out of the new purchase, while the latter doesn't use it as much as they thought they would.
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Old 09-30-08, 10:45 AM   #13
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Don't want to offend anyone here, I am not sure what type of people are on this forum, but what drives someone to take out a second mortgage on their house to get all this equipment, but still not be in shape?
So answer me this: What type of people devote their time to observing what kind of bicycles other people ride and worrying about if the other people deserve such a high end bike? Why do you care?
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Old 09-30-08, 11:16 AM   #14
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So answer me this: What type of people devote their time to observing what kind of bicycles other people ride and worrying about if the other people deserve such a high end bike? Why do you care?
how shallow of me...I am so sorry.

I guess in the two hours a day I am on a bike I need to close my eyes so I don't notice other riders.

What was I thinking???


Retro - when did I say anything about what someone deserves? I just said it was funny...If you ever see me riding down the street on a rusting hybrid, you are welcome to laugh as hard as you can.
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Old 09-30-08, 11:20 AM   #15
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For commuting, honestly, I wish I had a lot of money to drop on a bike.
I did. $1500 on a fair weather cyclocross commuter. $1300 on a foul weather tourer commuter.

Given the current conditions, I don't regret it one bit. I still drive three days per week but I know I can go completely car free if the need arises.
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Old 09-30-08, 11:25 AM   #16
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I will admit that it seems odd to see someone who does not look to be in great shape on a bike that you would expect to see in the TdF but if you are motivated to get into shape and have the money, why not get the best bike you can afford ?

It will make that getting into shape that much more enjoyable.

Then there are the guys who look like they're in good shape that have the uber $$$ rigs that can;t hold my back wheel... and I don't ride anything special.

We call those people poseurs.

I am always happy to see people riding bikes no matter what they are wearing or what they are riding.
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Old 09-30-08, 11:59 AM   #17
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Hey OP - I think I work with you - you certainly have the same attitude as the guy I see at the bike rack who makes fun of my "fancy bikes". Reverse snobbery is still snobbery.

Whether you ride a rusty piece of crap, or a fancy blingy bike, there will always be someone else to criticize your choice.

I like my bikes, they make me happy. I enjoy riding them. In fact, if I wasn't at work, I'd be out riding one of them right now.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:04 PM   #18
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Coming from an amateur astronomy background, I imagine there are two kinds of expensive bike buyers just like there are two kinds of expensive telescope buyers. One works out what the perfect instrument is for their own personal needs, and saves up for it; the other one dives in head first and buys the most expensive toy without much analysis. Usually the former ends up getting a lot of use out of the new purchase, while the latter doesn't use it as much as they thought they would.
I agree. And funny you brought up astronomy. I wanted the best I could comfortably afford. I started out with great binoculars and a very nice short tube refractor. Within the year, after spending many hours at local star parties I was hungry for more aperature......so I kept on buying more equipment.

In fact, I've been on Astro Physic's waiting list since 1999 for a particular scope. Never heard from them. But meanwhile, since astronomy took so much time out of my weekends, my cycling started to suffer. I eventually sold most all my astro equipment but I hung onto a few binoculars, including a couple of giant binos for those occasional back yard star gazing nights.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:10 PM   #19
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I know two people who don't ride or ride very little and they collect bikes. I think they both like mechanical devices and bikes are relatively inexpensive to collect.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:50 PM   #20
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This is no different than most any other hobby. People drop cash on expensive equipment just because they can and makes them feel good. Nothing wrong with that.
I totally agree. Every hobby tends to have a kind of uniform, from fishing to car collecting. A bicycle kit is not much different from what happens if you join a weekend baseball club or team. In fact sometimes the best deals on the cloths you were come from buying a kit all at the same time. It is just what some people prefer. I know baseball fans that donít even play baseball but they have the hat, jersey, jacket and sometimes more just to go watch a game. At least if someone is riding they have an excuse for the riding gear. Just because some out of shape person is wearing a swimsuit or trunks when they swim doesnít mean they feel they are Michael Phelps. They are just more suited to swimming than cut offs.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:51 PM   #21
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why not get the best bike you can afford ?
How about why not get the best bike you can justify?

I have no problem with a slow guy on a $5000 bike when he rides 5000 miles per year. Anybody who rides and rides and rides can justify being on any bike they **** well please.

There are poseurs everywhere though. Look for the spandex clad ones with 1000 miles on their odometer after three years of sitting next to their $5000 bike outside the local coffee shop. Look for those in full body armor on six inch travel trail bikes that walk every rock garden.

Shall we move on to skiing poseurs? They're even more ubiquitous.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:54 PM   #22
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I have nothing wrong with having the gear, you just better be able to back it up with ability...
And why is that?

I think that anyone can ride whatever they choose as long as they can afford it. If some fat old guy wants to put on full team kit and ride a $5000 bike at 5 mph on the MUP, so what? If he wants to buy the same bike and hang it on the wall that is his prerogative too. He isn't under any requirement to "back it up with ability".

Personally none of my bikes are real high end and I stay in pretty good shape for my age. I rode coast to coast carrying all my gear last year, ride regularly and at a decent pace, and can ride a reasonable pace on a century ride, but I don't see where your or my opinion about what someone deserves to ride is relevant. They certainly are under no obligation to "back it up with ability".
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Old 09-30-08, 01:08 PM   #23
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I have nothing wrong with having the gear, you just better be able to back it up with ability...
Most people who own and drive Ferraris are non-professional, average drivers too.
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Old 09-30-08, 01:39 PM   #24
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i purposely keep my tires flat to get in better shape.

but seriously, I know what you are saying. I do understand, it is just a little funny as someone who has been an avid runner for years, the same as the overweight man running with no shirt on.

I have nothing wrong with having the gear, you just better be able to back it up with ability...


and mike_s, no offense at all. It has been a losing battle to keep this bike in a ridable condition without replacing parts (or all of it). Who knows, maybe this is just jealousy of better bikes

You use tires... Heck I ride right on the rims... and I keep the brakes locked all the time.
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Old 09-30-08, 02:05 PM   #25
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I don't see the negative. People buy what they can afford. I ride with a few people that have spent 5X then I, but I keep up with them and even out preform them. Just keep riding and enjoy the fact you don't need the top end stuff to excel.

BTW: Spandex is lousy for cycling. Lycra is better for muscle support and more durable. Jerseries are made from polyester. Once you get a pair of real bike shorts, you'll never ride a bike again without a pair on.

To quote Lance, "It's not about the bike."
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