My first year and half was spent on a $200 Schwinn Hybrid. I put lots of miles on it, more miles on it than most people would. It still serves its purpose. I would rather ride my Roubiax. When I CX race I would rather use my Crux. Components on a Tri-cross I purchased for my son have not proven to be substantially better in quality than what was on the Schwinn. I do not need my nice bikes to ride and I do not need my cycling specific clothing, clipless pedals and shoes either. All of the above increase my enjoyment and comfort. They also enable to put on lots of miles. $1000 is not the min required to buy a usable entry level bike.
Sir Mark, Knight of Sufferlandria
I was more taken aback by the fact that he was almost hostile that I would suggest he "waste" $500 - $1,500 on a bicycle when that price range covers a large portion of the entry level to lower enthusiast level bikes available.
Lead, follow or get out of the way
Keep up your strength training - you'll need it to pall-bear his lard-butt in a decade or so.
Decades ago... I worked in a Men's store. Once after selling a man a very pricey Hart Schaffner Marx suit I put a white shirt inside the coat and selected a new Countess Mara tie... as a suggestion to go with the suit. The man saw the $50 price on the tie and asked how could I possibility justify that price. I replied: "I don't. But that's the price... we didn't bump the price up just for you. It's a nice tie."
I am not going to justify or rationalize the price of a bicycle. The prices are what they are.
Many Americans see bicycles as toys. And they see the bicycles most of us ride as pricey toys for over-grown boys (and girls). Why would any of us care what some people think?
Back in the early 80's I commuted on a bike to the hospital where I worked. One day a doctor lost control of his car and ran over my parked bike while making a large hole in the building. The administrator told me to let him know how much it would cost to replace. I went to my bike store and got prices for the same bike (Univega Nuovo Sport), fenders, rack panniers, light and a few other things. I think it came to around $600. The administrator's response was "I wanted to buy you a bike, not a car!" You could actually buy a running car for $600 in those days.
We spend money on what is important to us.
You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.
Just as a counter story to the cheap Wallymart starter bike option. I had a coworker who wanted to start biking. Much like the OP I told him what the current average LBS price options were like. “No, no too much money” he said. He went to Wallymart and bought a bike. Long story short he went through three bikes in a couple of weeks. All had some sort of mechanical defects. Wallymart always took them back, but it basically discouraged him. Finally, I got him to listen to the “you get what you pay for” advice and he got a decent bike. I’m not saying you can’t get by with a bike from a big box store, but I wonder how many people get turned off from riding after an experience like that.
The guy I spoke of in my original post isn't a close friend. He is someone I know just enough to greet him by name in the coffee shop, that's about it. Sadly, a fair number of times in my job I end up carrying individuals who expired early due primarily to couch time and pathetic nutrition.Keep up your strength training - you'll need it to pall-bear his lard-butt in a decade or so.
When someone approaches me with an interest in getting into cycling, I try to find out just what aspect of cycling they are interested in. This individual is quite heavy, wanted a sturdy bike, and is no stranger to toys costing hundreds or thousands, so I took a guess at what he would be interested in and found out I was wrong. He wasn't even interested in new bikes at half that amount. My first real bike as an adult was a used 1990s Trek 800 that I outfitted with Bontrager H2 tires (commuter/hybrid) and rode the hell out of. My total investment was about $150 with new tires and a helmet. In other posts and in many conversations, I have recommended late 1980s - early 1990s cro-mo MTB and hybrids as solid fitness/commuter bikes for people looking to get into cycling on a budget.Good - it looked as if you told him that it would take $1000-$1500 minimum to get started and he balked at that. I'm glad you cleared that up
My bikes are many things to me; toys for recreation, fitness equipment, low cost transportation, and an outlet for my need to have something to tinker with.Many Americans see bicycles as toys. And they see the bicycles most of us ride as pricey toys for over-grown boys (and girls). Why would any of us care what some people think?
Lead, follow or get out of the way
It was another 15+ years before I decided to try it again. This time I went to an LBS and spoke not just to a salesperson, but also to the shop manager who sold me a my Trek 800 that looked like it just came off the showroom floor. It was a little too small, but with the adjustments near max, it was OK. Once I found out that riding could actually be a pleasure I was hooked and have logged thousands of miles each year since. I started volunteering at a bike co-op and learned how to work on my own bikes, traded and upgraded several times and have a small collection of bikes now. That original Trek 800 is now my wife's bike (fits her perfectly) and still looks and works like new.
I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had skipped the hardware store Huffy and sought the services of an LBS 15 years sooner? Could I have avoided the health problems in my mid-40s? Skipped a couple of decades of waddling and wheezing? Who knows, but that big box bike experience did me a huge disservice.
Lead, follow or get out of the way
Perceived value is often times misconstrued. I had the same sticker shock when I got into fly fishing. I couldn't imagine spending $600 for a fly rod. I thought a complete kit for $100 would be more than enough to do any sort of fishing. Well, I was wrong and I figured that out once I got into it and found out how the dollar value of various rods equated to quality. Same can be said for bicycles. You won't truly appreciate what your money gets you until you've gotten into it fully. That's when the real money gets spent. He could easily get a vintage mountain bike that would work for his weight for $100-200 dollars and it would be perfectly adequate. Once he sees results and wants more out of it than simply exercise, then he can get something more appropriate. Then he'll understand what the difference is between a Walmart bike and something that'll last longer than a seasons worth of riding.
Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.
I have a story that is similar, but different...
A friend of the family gave me an old Specialized Hardrock about five years ago--he apparently had won another bike in a raffle, and didn't need two bikes. The Hardrock sat in the garage until last September, when I decided to start riding. I replaced the knobby tires with street slicks, and slapped a rack on it, and now it's my commuter.
We visited them over the Holidays, and it turns out he's been having some health problems; he's had two hospital stays over the last year. And yes, he's somewhat overweight, and doesn't exercise at all. So I asked him whether he was riding at all, and he said no, because of how busy he was with work, and how he can't commute on the bike because of his daughter's school and after-care schedule, and how he can't ride on the weekends because of his other outside activities. And then he said, "I know I should start again, and that I'm probably just making excuses." So at least there's some hope that he finds the motivation to get back on the bike.
Some people are just adverse to any form of exercise. It makes them uncomfortable. It is just too hard.
This morning I had a lady who asked if the trike I was riding was good exercise. I said yes, very good. Then she asked if I could add an electric motor to it. I asked why and explained the idea behind my riding is to get exercise. Why on the earth would I do anything that would make it less exercise?
If you really want to get a strange look tell someone what you paid for a decent recumbent. That's what I got from the guy smoking a cigarette who thought the trike looked like fun and asked what one cost. I should have said, "about the same as two years of a one-pack-a-day habit" but I thought better and told him the $ cost. Maybe you should have told him to check the price of a casket these days. It is even more than a good bike.
I know this is a bicycling forum, so this isn't exactly PC; but... walking is probably a better activity for weight loss. What I'd do is encourage him to get some nice shoes and go for an hour walk 4 times a week. Along with that advice, give him a Performance Bike and/or Nashbar catalog. Who knows... he may lose weight and even come around on his attitude toward bikes.
Back in the 90's a neighbor asked what my Trek 1220 because he was looking for something to ride with his new girlfriend.
It went exactly as every one would predict,... "I can get one for $100 dollars"
And I told him the $100 dollar bikes were great to hang in the garage.
But to look at it by mileage.
I already had 2k on that bike, at best he'd put 100 miles on his bike, so mine was 1/2 the price of his.
He saw my point and bought 2 garage art bikes and no, they never will see 100 miles.
I bought an entry level road bike eleven months ago for $600. I have since been bitten by the cycling bug and have ridden it 3000+ miles. A few months after I bought my bike, I asked an avid cyclist friend what she had paid for her bike. "$4000," she told me, "but I got a great deal, it's normally a $5000 bike". I told her I was shocked, I could never pay that much for a bike.
And then last month I plunked down even more than she did on a new bike. Sometimes you can't conceive of it until you gain some knowledge & a little bit of experience.
I paid 1.00 for my car and it has needed very little.
Some of my favourite bikes have cost me as much as 50 to 100 times that amount and the most I have paid for a bike in the past 30 years was 600 times that of my car for my newest bike (a used 2006 Surly Pugsley).
It helps when you have mechanical skills to fix cars and bicycles and I might have spent $500.00 on my car in the last year and a half servicing things.
My latest bicycle cost me $7.00 for the frame and fork and I built it up with spare parts which included some handbuilt wheels of my own. It should last a good long time as it is simple and bombproof.
This is worth more than my car... and is my daily rider in nicer (non frozen) weather
For those without skills buying a decent bike quality from an LBS is a $400.00 - $500.00 proposition... my wife actually spent over $1000.00 on her Breezer after doing a lot of research and test riding and she wanted a bicycle she would not have to worry about (no mechanical skills) that was fully equipped with an IGH, fenders, and dyno lighting.
I occasionally sell used bicycles and look for nice examples of good quality and most of these sell pretty quickly for more than what you will, pay at x-mart.
Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
Live in Houston? Come to http://bicyclecommutehouston.blogspot.com/
1988 Specialized Sirrus, 1989 Alpine Monitor Pass MTB, 2007 Specialized Sirrus 700C hybrid, 2007 Schwinn Town & Country trike, 1970 "Resto-Improved" Raleigh 20, 1970 "WIP" Raleigh 20, and 1980 "WIP" Schwinn Town & Country trike