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  1. #1
    The bike plague MightyLegnano's Avatar
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    why do people buy new (expensive) bikes?

    I have an old mountain bike (80's) with new but cheap or recycled components and I've done with it thousands of miles loaded with fridge and sink. In times I have to use the poor thing while raining, snowing every single day. It is still in perfect working condition, the nicest bike I have ever ridden.

    The only new bike I had, was an old bmx when I was a kid. Is the joy of getting a new bike so strong?

    There are so many nice bikes out there, almost dead from obsolescence, waiting for someone to resurrect them, why buy a new expensive one? You will lose the joy of making it work as well. I don't get it.

    A good old steel road bike is so much slower than a new hi tech carbon one? I seriously doubt it.
    Last edited by MightyLegnano; 09-06-12 at 05:49 PM.
    Bicyclosis! Bike hacks, bike adventures and radical ideas >> http://bicycleobsession.wordpress.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member knurly's Avatar
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    The only guys I see riding around on expensive bikes are the same retired guys blowing around town in a newish, noisy, locomotive diesel pickup truck, with nothing in the box. You seem to be forgetting, or failing to appreciate the gap between us and them.

  3. #3
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    Loaded question. You'll get a load of responses that basically boil down to "because I can" But, I rode a $10,000 full titanium full xtr mtb the other day and I have to say... IT ROCKS! Is it worth $10,000? No, but if I had the spare cash and I wanted a light responsive super smooth bike I could see myself buying one. I would also argue that it is faster than my Aluminium mtb on climbs since it weight 7kg less. I'd say its quicker off the mark as well.

    I have a relatively expensive (for me) mtb at about $1100 and a commuter that probably cost $600. Why did they cost that much? Because I built them to the specs that I wanted and one of those specs are compatibility with new parts and duribilty. Get a bike thats old enough and it gets hard to get parts for it. I too enjoy building my bikes. So much more fun than just getting it all done for you.

  4. #4
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    I've wondered the same thing about cars, too. Good thing not everyone is like me, or they'd stop making them (cars *and* bikes)!
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
    RUSA #7498

  5. #5
    Senior Member enigmaT120's Avatar
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    The only used Fargo I saw in the area was almost as expensive as a new one, so not worth the hassle of meeting up with somebody and all that. It was paid for in advance by gas money I saved by not driving (well, very little) for 10 months, and riding my Rocky Mountain. I'd still like to find another Rocky Mountain, one that actually fits me. That sure is a nice bike.
    Ed Miller
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    2012 Fargo 2

  6. #6
    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Because they want to and can?

  7. #7
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    earlier in the summer i purchased a new and expensive (however that is defined) custom bike. had been thinking about a new bike for over a year, have an oddly proprtioned body - none of the stock bikes fit me optimally - got just the fit i was looking for. also had a few ideas about what is an optimal bike set up and components - put my money where my mouth had been.
    the finished product is perfect for my needs, glad i made the investment.

    ps- within pragmatic limits i did my utmost to select American made or sourced components - hopefully a tiny boost to the economy.
    Last edited by martianone; 09-06-12 at 07:18 PM. Reason: ps
    ride long & prosper

  8. #8
    Kitten Legion Master
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    midlife crisis.

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Ah that is why Greece is in EU bail Out, you did not buy a new bike,
    and personally kickstart the local Economy.

    You know what to do next...

  10. #10
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    I want some things which seem difficult to so easily find on CL in this area, as I see almost all mountain bikes, hybrids, and road bikes. If I buy the closest of these and make the changes, I'll end up spending at least close to what I will for the new bicycle I'm saving for.
    Wanted: A new bicycle!
    My birthday is next week. Send monies to the address below!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ozonation's Avatar
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    Probably for the same reason that people just like shiny, new things in general sometimes...

    Seriously, I live in a town where there aren't a lot of used bikes to choose from, and a lot of the used bikes are sort of the clunky, big-box, low-end, MTB, big shock bikes - which makes no sense given that the highest hill here is a reclaimed landfill site!

    So, while I was pondering if I should get a new bike, I looked to see what used ones were around, and there were not a lot (almost none) of old but good steel frame bikes to choose from. This would mean I would have to travel to get a used bike, and that would mean taking a chance because there would be no after sales support. Plus, as someone who doesn't know a tremendous amount about bikes, I wouldn't necessarily know what to look for and what to avoid.

    I could of course fix up a bike, and I'm decent at regular maintenance, but I don't have a lot of the specialized tools, and to be honest, I'm not sure if it makes sense for me to invest in them. I don't plan on overhauling my bikes on a regular basis: I don't have the right tools, the setup, etc. And this might sound like a cop out, but my day job keeps me really busy 5 or 6 days a week: I'd rather ride my bike than fix it up. As a plus, my work is about 10 minutes from a really good and trusted LBS that many of my colleagues endorse. I go there for help and service.

    Finally, I actually have the money to buy myself something "nice". I discovered Bridgestone Bicycles 20+ years ago, but as a university student, didn't have the money to buy one. I waited, and waited, hung onto the old Bridgestone catalogues for 20 years in a box. In the last month, I finally bought a Rivendell (successor to Bridgestone) Sam Hillborne, and it is a beautiful bike that fits me almost to a tee, and I love riding it. So, I let myself have this little luxury.

    And that's why I bought a (relatively) expensive bike!
    Rivendell Sam Hillborne and Hunqapillar; Brompton M6R Sage Green; Salsa Mukluk 3 FAT Bike; Nerdy Academic; Nikonian; Wing Chun; and a Patridge in a Pear Tree.

  12. #12
    Senior Member gforeman's Avatar
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    To some, one man's junk is another man's treasure. To others, one man's junk is another man's junk. When I buy cars, bikes, etc. I usually buy new. And when I sell them, they are still like new. That's just me. I'm not apologizing. I like shiny new things.
    Gary F.


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  13. #13
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyLegnano View Post
    I have an old mountain bike (80's) with new but cheap or recycled components and I've done with it thousands of miles loaded with fridge and sink. In times I have to use the poor thing while raining, snowing every single day. It is still in perfect working condition, the nicest bike I have ever ridden.

    The only new bike I had, was an old bmx when I was a kid. Is the joy of getting a new bike so strong?

    There are so many nice bikes out there, almost dead from obsolescence, waiting for someone to resurrect them, why buy a new expensive one? You will lose the joy of making it work as well. I don't get it.

    A good old steel road bike is so much slower than a new hi tech carbon one? I seriously doubt it.
    Because after you have enjoyed all the hard work of restoring a Old steel road bike into a like new condition, paint, Crankset, wheels, tires bars saddle. you will have spent almost as much as a new bike and still you will have an old bike that rides like an old bike. If that is all you think a bike is worth fine. And yes the new Hi tech bikes are better.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  14. #14
    Senior Member spectastic's Avatar
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    why don't you ask in the road bike forum?

  15. #15
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    I rebuilt an old steel bike (actually, my LBS rebuilt it for me) and have a better machine than I could have purchased new for twice the money. Personally, I think it rides better than anything new I tested. So I can't see the logic in buying new. Besides, the old bikes look a lot better to me.

  16. #16
    downhill quickly
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyLegnano View Post
    I have an old mountain bike (80's) with new but cheap or recycled components and I've done with it thousands of miles loaded with fridge and sink. In times I have to use the poor thing while raining, snowing every single day. It is still in perfect working condition, the nicest bike I have ever ridden.

    The only new bike I had, was an old bmx when I was a kid. Is the joy of getting a new bike so strong?

    There are so many nice bikes out there, almost dead from obsolescence, waiting for someone to resurrect them, why buy a new expensive one? You will lose the joy of making it work as well. I don't get it.

    A good old steel road bike is so much slower than a new hi tech carbon one? I seriously doubt it.
    I thought at first this was a troll post until I re-read the bold and actually found myself feeling sympathy for the lack of empathy the OP demonstrates. Such a small view of others and thier motivations...and to post this trait on the interweb...wow! Frankly, I would have opted to read a troll post...at least those are funny and not so sad

    I've come to understand there are people with limited perspective they can't see past their own nose. The assumptions that many of these folks make fall into the classic "what I think to be the case certainly others must think as well" ...for any subject.

    Yes, I don't doubt the fact many do not "get-it" or "understand" things past their own mind view.

    That said, I'm off to get that old steel and other such "dead" things into a proper recycling facility to help fuel the green production of our economy and my likes for shiny new things

  17. #17
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    My current bike is from the sixties. I like old bikes (and I guess old things in general), I don't understand some of the new ones that are out. There are a few brand new frames and parts I wouldn't mind having, but if I could find the same sort of thing in decent shape and 50 years old, I'd rather get that. Most of my tools were made in the fifties, some go back to the twenties. All of them work great, most are still covered with a warranty. I can't stand seeing something useful thrown away.
    It's not brake less, it's brake free.

  18. #18
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    When I started cycling again I bought a new bike from the LBS. I knew absolutely nothing about bikes, so I would have had no idea what to look for in an older bike.

    By getting a new bike, the LBS made sure I got the correct size and they set it up so that it fit me. The extra money spent on a new bike was very much worth it to me at the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    So Tom only hires people that are nutty? Is part of the requirement to be a moderator on this site is that you have to be nuts??
    Forum Guidelines *click here*

  19. #19
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    Ultimately, it's a good thing a lot of folks like new bikes. Keeps the price of the old ones quite reasonable.

  20. #20
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    Because after you have enjoyed all the hard work of restoring a Old steel road bike into a like new condition, paint, Crankset, wheels, tires bars saddle. you will have spent almost as much as a new bike and still you will have an old bike that rides like an old bike. If that is all you think a bike is worth fine. And yes the new Hi tech bikes are better.

    +1 I've been down that road before. New really is better.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonDenver View Post
    I thought at first this was a troll post until I re-read the bold and actually found myself feeling sympathy for the lack of empathy the OP demonstrates. Such a small view of others and thier motivations...and to post this trait on the interweb...wow! Frankly, I would have opted to read a troll post...at least those are funny and not so sad

    I've come to understand there are people with limited perspective they can't see past their own nose. The assumptions that many of these folks make fall into the classic "what I think to be the case certainly others must think as well" ...for any subject.

    Yes, I don't doubt the fact many do not "get-it" or "understand" things past their own mind view.

    That said, I'm off to get that old steel and other such "dead" things into a proper recycling facility to help fuel the green production of our economy and my likes for shiny new things
    Drat dude, you moved this from pure Hyperbole like my first post to reality.

    In truth it depends on what you want. I have been to forums where people deface their bikes so other people will not steal their steel bikes. But there is a reason for the law of N+1. But I discovered the hard way that the "joy" of building a bike from scratch, if it is done correctly, can cost more than walking into an LBS and dropping the cash on a good road bike or even a good MTB. My first attempt was to build a Steel Trek MTB frame into a reasonable hard tail for cross country. New cranks, shifters, bars, wheels and some suspension forks later and I had a bike about half as nice as a Giant Yukon hard tail for about the same money. And nothing was under warrantee. Something breaks and I was out of luck. My next bike was an entry level Jamis road bike. Somewhere down the line I had to upgrade the wheels and cranks. Then I got a great deal on a Scandium road bike frame. When I was done it cost me twice as much as the Jamis. When I finished my next road bike build I ended up with a bike that cost just as much as a factory bike and the only difference was SRAM Force rather than Ultegra.

    The real proof is until someone has tried a new hi tech machine they will never know the difference. Warning however, I visited the V&C forum and started looking for a Clasic older road bike. I ended up with a Klein built in 91. It was going to be my city bike, my beater. However once I got it home restoring it and upgrading it became an obsession.

    what have I descovered? No matter how much effort you put into it a pig will be a pig. But something that at one time was nice and well taken care of can be nice again. Just because some old bike is made with steel doesn't mean it is worth restoring. It can be but there were a lot of old steel pigs back in the day. A bad design back it the day doesn't improve with age.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  22. #22
    Senior Member GrandaddyBiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    what have I descovered? No matter how much effort you put into it a pig will be a pig. But something that at one time was nice and well taken care of can be nice again. Just because some old bike is made with steel doesn't mean it is worth restoring. It can be but there were a lot of old steel pigs back in the day. A bad design back it the day doesn't improve with age.
    That is so true. It sounds like you learned that the hard way. The good thing about learning by doing (the hard way) is that you won’t forget it.
    When I ride my destination is the ride itself. So I always get to where I am going.

  23. #23
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MightyLegnano View Post
    There are so many nice bikes out there, almost dead from obsolescence, waiting for someone to resurrect them, why buy a new expensive one? You will lose the joy of making it work as well. I don't get it.
    There are as many reasons as new bike owners. We can't judge others by our own budgets. What is a stretch for you if you save up for it may be pocket change for someone else. Most of my bikes are used, two were freebies, one traded for a load of wood, one bought near new on eBay, but only one wheeled out of my LBS. That one was a recumbent, my first of that style so I didn't want any surprises. It also was a celebration of paying off all the debts from my marriage and divorce, a major achievement, so I splurged.

    How much joy a bicycle will bring you all depends. I have a friend, he bought a $7K bike. It was a stretch for him but he really loved it and got a lot of use out of it... for a while. One day, on a group ride at a stop frequented by cyclists, he thought it would be safe if he just parked it with others. A few minutes later it was gone, and not covered by insurance. He was devastated.

    It's not the cost of the bike, it's whether you can afford to lose it. I once bought a nice touring bike, within a month it was stolen out from underneath me as I was riding it. I refused to give in, and the next morning was out on the bike I had gotten for a load of wood. My recumbent made me nervous at first, it's now old enough that it's depreciated and I've gotten enough enjoyment that I'm close to getting my money's worth.

    But I'm in the OP's camp. Fixing up a good bicycle is a good idea. One of my freebie bicycles has gotten over $500 in repairs and upgrades in the 11 years I've owned it and its a good solid bike.
    Last edited by Artkansas; 09-06-12 at 09:48 PM.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    People who get really enthusiastic about cycling want to have the latest fanciest stuff, and if they have the money they can certainly buy them. I've gone through a variety of bikes but my only new bike was a plain old Peugeot that I bought in the early 1980's. I moved up to a new custom steel frame about 1988 and rode it until just a couple of years ago. And actually I found a very similar bike on consignment at a local store in 1991 so I bought it too and then I had 2 frames almost identical. I gradually upgraded components until one of them was all Dura-Ace and the other was all Ultegra. Both bikes were light enough and fancy enough for me. They were somewhat distinctive and performed well. I rode them each for over 20 years. I totaled one of the frames in a crash 2 years ago and the other frame needs some work too. I'm not going to buy a new bike to replace them but when I can afford it I will either repair one of the frames or buy a used replacement frame and transfer all of my components over. An all new bike just would not be worth the cost to me.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonDenver View Post
    I thought at first this was a troll post until I re-read the bold and actually found myself feeling sympathy for the lack of empathy the OP demonstrates. Such a small view of others and thier motivations...and to post this trait on the interweb...wow! Frankly, I would have opted to read a troll post...at least those are funny and not so sad

    I've come to understand there are people with limited perspective they can't see past their own nose. The assumptions that many of these folks make fall into the classic "what I think to be the case certainly others must think as well" ...for any subject.

    Yes, I don't doubt the fact many do not "get-it" or "understand" things past their own mind view.

    That said, I'm off to get that old steel and other such "dead" things into a proper recycling facility to help fuel the green production of our economy and my likes for shiny new things
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

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