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Does my bike really make me a black sheep of the community?

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Does my bike really make me a black sheep of the community?

Old 08-27-18, 11:48 AM
  #26  
Jon T
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I'm 63 yo. Been back in the saddle a year after a 20 year hiatus. What do I ride? An '84 Peugeot PH10 that I bought new in '85. Do I give a crap what other people think about my velo? In a nut shell,"Hell No". I ride for me, and me alone. If you like my c&v ride, that's ok. If you don't like my ride, that's ok too. Just ride what you have and enjoy it. Learn how to do repairs on it so you'll know what to do on your "dream bike" when it comes along to keep it road-worthy.
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Old 08-27-18, 01:02 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Labtech200 View Post
So I am entirely unsure of how to sum this up without losing important details here, but I'll try not to make this post too bloated.

I recently decided that I'd really like to get into biking...
Here's my advice for your question, cycling in general, and all other parts of your life: "Don't worry about what other people think."
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Old 08-27-18, 01:21 PM
  #28  
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One nice thing about cheap bikes is the replacement parts are cheap, too. I've gotten many many years out of a cheap department store bike with very minimal spending on maintenance parts. I still have it to use as a back up.
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Old 08-27-18, 01:31 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Labtech200 View Post
So I am entirely unsure of how to sum this up without losing important details here, but I'll try not to make this post too bloated.

I recently decided that I'd really like to get into biking / cycling as a summer past time to get me active and outside more often, and want to be able to participate in biking events in my community eventually once my strength and endurance has developed. I recently busted out my old hardtail CCM mountain bike and did my best to tune it up, but it was in a really sad state, the the bike was a good 20 years old and seriously not worth repairing. I went into my local "Bike Works" and asked about pricing, and to my dismay their bicycles start at about $500. See, I'm only 24 and my job is steady and okay, but I've got plenty of debts and bills to pay, so I won't be able to get a somewhat-decent bike from a real bike store until probably early summer of 2019 I would guess. I really wanted to get something so I could try my best to get in with what I've got, so I managed to find a Supercycle Reaction 700c on clearance for $150 (normal MSRP is $300 but this model was just discontinued) - its a big box store hybrid bike with Shimano rear and front derailleurs and Shimano-branded grip shifters.

I went into Bike Works SJ again today to talk to one of the folks I had met up with previously - I had a long discussion with him before about the state of my other bike and ways to go about fixing it, and I was hoping to get some advice about how to proceed and maybe a bit of embracing into the cycling community if I'm honest, since the people at that store seem really into cycling (as they should be) and I even mentioned that ultimately my goal was to be able to go back next year and get a proper bike from them. I tried to explain that I had tried to stick with recognisable parts from Shimano instead of going with off-brand unlabelled parts and that I was pretty excited to be able to get into it, and his responses ended up being along the lines of telling me that the bike should be fine as long as I just see it as a band-aid solution and not as a good bicycle, and that its a gateway but that they arent worth much in the long term, and pointed out some folks in the store that had 3 bicycles each - all of which were bike shop bikes and talked about how they costed a good 300 bucks a year to maintain. I know he was just likely trying to show that department store bikes arent really good and that its not a good permanent solution, but I really felt like an outsider; I kind of felt like that kid who gets told to come back when he's a bit older when he wants to participate in something.

Heck, some of my coworkers are into biking and they have bike shop bikes too, and I was really nervous about joining the forums here because of the bike that I have.

I guess my question here just boils down to; is it okay for me to participate here and consider myself as being into cycling and bikes if I don't have a good piece of kit? My budget is currently restricting me and I want to be part of the community, but the backlash against department store bicycles is so strong and universal regardless of whether it is in person or at my local bike store, so I thought I'd ask you guys directly.

Thanks folks, and please don't lynch me - I've done plenty of research, I know that just because my Bike has some Shimano parts doesn't make them good (as they almost certainly wouldn't even reach Deore level). I just tried to do the best with what I had.
You are absolutely welcome here. If you ride a bike, you are one of us.

That said, I think you may have misinterpreted bike shop guy's comments. I read that as: it doesn't make a lot of sense to invest any more than necessary to get your big box bike on the road. Make it rideable and safe, but save your money for your next bike. In the meantime, ride the crap out of what you've got. Any bike on the road is better than a pro-level bike that just sits in a garage collecting dust.
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Old 08-27-18, 02:01 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by onyerleft View Post
On the C&V subforum, they revel in low-quality components and bikes, ...

??
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Old 08-27-18, 02:02 PM
  #31  
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Being into bikes means you ride a lot. It doesn't matter what you ride. It's like people who say they love driving. You don't need a BMW to make that claim.

One huge advantage to riding an old, low-end bike is that none of the road riders will expect you to go very fast, so when you pass one of them, it's kind of fun. If you don't pass anyone, that's fine too, because nobody judges you for going slow on an old bike.
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Old 08-27-18, 02:11 PM
  #32  
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wait... why wouldnít you want to be the black sheep? Itís more fun to do what you want no matter what other people think.
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Old 08-27-18, 02:36 PM
  #33  
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I wouldn't want to be seen with you...but that's just me.
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Old 08-27-18, 02:45 PM
  #34  
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Keep in mind this is an internet forum, so decorum is not always at a level consistent with keeping good company. Some will be brutally honest when you run into problems with your bike, others will be helpful. So it goes.

Just ride the thing and enjoy every moment you have on it. I started out on a used POS bike, and now I ride really nice ones. We all start from somewhere and it is those of us that keep on rolling that arrive where we desire in due time.

If you have questions, simply ask, but be prepared for an off-hand remark or two. Just the way some folks are.
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Old 08-27-18, 02:46 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by onyerleft View Post
On the C&V subforum, they revel in low-quality components and bikes, as long as they're old. So the short answer is that you should not feel ashamed about the quality of your bike or allow it to be a barrier to participation.
Do 'they'? I consistently see a bunch of beautiful lugs, quality tubing, and top level components.

There are also threads about garbage finds, sure, but thats hardly whats predominant.




As for the OP- yup, just ride what you have like everyone has already said.
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Old 08-27-18, 02:53 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
Cycling, somewhat like American politics, is pretty evenly divided between "Freds" and "poseurs".
No people posing as Freds?
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Old 08-27-18, 02:54 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Labtech200 View Post
Thanks guys, I really appreciate the responses - although I honestly don't really understand that portland oregon post, hahah.
It's where hipsters go to get hip replacements.
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Old 08-27-18, 02:55 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
No people posing as Freds?
Takes a lot of makeup or extensive CGI.
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Old 08-27-18, 02:58 PM
  #39  
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I think sheep prefer mixtes/stepthroughs, it's hard when your legs are that short.
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Old 08-27-18, 05:09 PM
  #40  
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I have been a bike advocate in my current and former communities. Your contribution to yourself and community is clearly more than you appreciate. For yourself, you are improving your health, contact with community (by moving at human speed), and your economic standing. For the community, you are reducing pollution, traffic, crime, and more. What a great thing you are doing and the type of bike has nothing to do with it. Keep riding and trade up if/when you want. This approach is no different then your motorist friends. Ride on!! BTW, my city bike is a 1980 something Schwinn Step-thru Traveler. It was purchased second hand.

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Old 08-27-18, 05:17 PM
  #41  
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The very first thing you should do is to find a decent bike shop and never go back to the one you mentioned for a new bike when you can afford it. The part about having to spend $300 per year maintaining a good bike is pure bull$^%^&. The key is to learn basic bike maintenance and repair which you can learn online. Park Tool Company and Harris Cyclery (Sheldon Brown) are two of the best places to get information. Then buy any parts online so you never have to go back to that store even for a bike tube. Up until recently I had been riding right around 3,000 miles a year and I never spent any $300 a year to maintain my rides.
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Old 08-27-18, 05:25 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Labtech200 View Post
I guess my question here just boils down to; is it okay for me to participate here and consider myself as being into cycling and bikes if I don't have a good piece of kit? My budget is currently restricting me and I want to be part of the community, but the backlash against department store bicycles is so strong and universal regardless of whether it is in person or at my local bike store, so I thought I'd ask you guys directly.
Yes! My bikes are quite humble, yet I have always felt welcome.

"Waiting for more money" is a perfectly good reason to ride a humble bike, but having plenty of money and being satisfied with your bike anyway is another perfectly good reason. Waiting to learn more about cycling before you spring on a fancy bike is another good reason.

Also, riding any bike at all will make you a black sheep of many communities, so you might as well get used to it.

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Old 08-27-18, 06:23 PM
  #43  
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@Labtech200, your bike will be a bit more tedious to ride but that means you'll get a better workout
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Old 08-27-18, 09:06 PM
  #44  
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Old 08-27-18, 09:44 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
The very first thing you should do is to find a decent bike shop and never go back to the one you mentioned for a new bike when you can afford it. The part about having to spend $300 per year maintaining a good bike is pure bull$^%^&. The key is to learn basic bike maintenance and repair which you can learn online. Park Tool Company and Harris Cyclery (Sheldon Brown) are two of the best places to get information. Then buy any parts online so you never have to go back to that store even for a bike tube. Up until recently I had been riding right around 3,000 miles a year and I never spent any $300 a year to maintain my rides.
Wrong.

Everything the OP described the shop guy saying (bolded text) is essentially true. The cost estimate needs to be considered against how much they ride and the bikes they have etc... Three bikes = $100 each. That's only one set of mid grade tires for each. Now add a chain, maybe a cassette, some brake pads, cables and fancy chain oil. Not an unreasonable estimate for a serious cyclist.

I went into Bike Works SJ again today to talk to one of the folks I had met up with previously - I had a long discussion with him before about the state of my other bike and ways to go about fixing it, and I was hoping to get some advice about how to proceed and maybe a bit of embracing into the cycling community if I'm honest, since the people at that store seem really into cycling (as they should be) and I even mentioned that ultimately my goal was to be able to go back next year and get a proper bike from them. I tried to explain that I had tried to stick with recognisable parts from Shimano instead of going with off-brand unlabelled parts and that I was pretty excited to be able to get into it, and his responses ended up being along the lines of telling me that the bike should be fine as long as I just see it as a band-aid solution and not as a good bicycle, and that its a gateway but that they arent worth much in the long term, and pointed out some folks in the store that had 3 bicycles each - all of which were bike shop bikes and talked about how they costed a good 300 bucks a year to maintain. I know he was just likely trying to show that department store bikes arent really good and that its not a good permanent solution, but I really felt like an outsider; I kind of felt like that kid who gets told to come back when he's a bit older when he wants to participate in something.

All the rest of the quote is what the OP felt or imagined which may change as experience grows. They may even find, as confidence grows, that they feel more a "part of" and less defensive and that some of the things said make sense. The shop was right for not agreeing with the OP (if that's what happened) that the parts were fine just because they said Shimano on them. Yes it's great that they are excited to get into biking but who wants the shop to suggest sinking money into a $150 department store bike. And, they are not worth much long term. I sense the shop guy was saying the bike was "good enough" but not being so dishonest as to sugar coat it for the OP. As to having three bikes.. Besides project bikes I regularly use:
1 road bike
1 all season commuter bike
1 gravel bike
1 converted rigid mtb touring bike

Last edited by Happy Feet; 08-27-18 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 08-28-18, 02:03 AM
  #46  
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@Labtech200 Enjoy your bike and participate actively on here. You are a cyclist and you should never feel inferior in any way. I hope you get many years of enjoyable and rewarding rides from your bike.
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Old 08-28-18, 05:49 AM
  #47  
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2 wheels, pedal, carry on. One of my current rides? A Nishiki road frame, trash rescue, beat up, 2 different rim colors, 1x9 drivetrain, soma osprey bars with a tall stem. Rides awesome, its comfortable, all good.
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Old 08-28-18, 06:45 AM
  #48  
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Why would you want to be like everyone else? It's your hard earned money and as long as you are happy who cares what other people think. I'd ride with ya. It's kinda like I always say, a $2 watch tells the same time as a $2000 one.
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Old 08-28-18, 07:32 AM
  #49  
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If you can keep up with the pack on the bike you have, it's completely adequate. If you are constantly dropping behind, or having to stop to fix something, not so adequate.
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Old 08-28-18, 07:50 AM
  #50  
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Well...
As long as what you ride is road-worthy, then that's 90% of my concerns taken care of right there.
For me, that line goes somewhere around the department-store specials with the flimsy stamped-metal caliper brakes and pitiful suspension parts.
After that, it's condition and upkeep rather than original price I'll look for.
Cheap and cared for can do just as well as expensive and neglected.
If you're joining a group ride, the last 10% deals with you being able to finish the ride.
To some extent, it becomes the group's responsibility to make sure you make it all the way. OR at least to a reasonable exit point.
It isn't fun for either party if one person is always lagging behind.
That gets down to fitness, having a bike that's a reasonable fit for the rider, and a reasonable choice for the type/length of ride.
I'd feel concerned if someone rolled up to a 50 mile road ride with a mtb.
But concern isn't judgement. If that's what you have, and you're able to keep up, fine.
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