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Cycling is not for the cheap!

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Cycling is not for the cheap!

Old 08-12-06, 06:54 PM
  #1  
efrobert
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Cycling is not for the cheap!

I have a friend, who is the cheapest person you'll ever meet. I can't even beging to tell you about some of the things he does to save a penny... and he's 37 too, it's not like he's a kid. Anyway he's been talking about buying a mountain bike for years. A LBS had a big tent sale this weekend, so I ask him if he wants to check it out. We get there and we first walk by the road bikes and he looks at some of the prices and his jaw hits the ground. He starts saying how you'd have to be crazy to spend that much on a bike... Then we go to the entry level mountain bikes. They had a few Trek 3700 for about $250, he starts going off on how expensive that is, so a salesman comes over, and my friend keeps asking him if they can do better on the price, the sales guy say no, it's a clearance price, it's the best they can do, but my friend keeps asking. Then my friend asks if they can throw in a helmet, pump and a couple of water bottles to "sweeten the pot" as he put it. The sales guy just looks at him and says no. My friend says "come on, if I'm going to be dropping that kind of cash, I expect to be taken care of". At this point I just walk away, it was embarrassing. The ride home he keeps saying how he can't understand how that place stays in business, he just couldn't understand that in the bike business, a $250 bike is not a huge sale, that the sales guy is going to jump threw hoops and throw in $100 Worth of free accessories for.
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Old 08-12-06, 07:28 PM
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Many (most?) members of the general non-cycling public regard bicycles as toys, and the marketplace doesn't really help provide distinctions (price a few bikes at WalMart and other big-box stores and you'll understand what I mean). Your friend probably shot himself in the foot by broadcasting to the sales rep that price was his over-riding concern; it's possible that, had he asked thoughtful and intelligent questions about the bikes and demonstrated a genuine interest in riding, the sales guy might have been more open to a deal. As it played out, he likely assumed he was talking to a boorish 'tourist' who knew not the first thing about bicycles or cycling and who would without doubt, even if he did purchase a bike, let the machine languish in his garage once he found he needed to do a little work to enjoy himself.

I wouldn't make a very good bicycle sales clerk. No doubt they have to deal with this sort of thing more often than they like.
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Old 08-12-06, 07:39 PM
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You would not enjoy being a salesperson. For a few months,years ago, between real jobs I had a part-time "position" at Radio Shack. And I like Radio Shack. Sometimes there is no other place to get small widgets when I am homebrewing another lighting system. It caused me mental pain when I knew what the person wanted could be had at a different store at a better price. The policy was "If we do not have it, do not send them somewhere else." I was saved by Rodney King and the second LA Riots; The store was stripped bare and trashed. I found another job.

Sorry Tandy Corp. but your stuff was a bit flimsy.
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Old 08-12-06, 07:49 PM
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I wouldn't make a very good bicycle sales clerk. No doubt they have to deal with this sort of thing more often than they like.
+1

You get what you pay for.
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Old 08-12-06, 07:59 PM
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Why don't you buy a garage sale mountain bike and give it to him?
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Old 08-12-06, 08:05 PM
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When I first got into cycling I had no idea how much things were. But now that I've had my bike for almost 2 years, the prices out there are just normal to me. Besides the way gas prices are going, bikes get cheaper by the minute.
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Old 08-12-06, 08:16 PM
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Compared to any new car, a new bike at any price is quite a bargain.
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Old 08-12-06, 08:49 PM
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When I first started cycling I went as cheap as I could. After the cheap stuff kept breaking I decided to spend a little more for something that will last. Lesson learned. Sometimes being extremely cheap doesn't pay off in the long run. I still shop around for the best deal possible (gotta love Nashbar) and have established a good relationship with an LBS...I'm not always thrilled with their service, but they do give me good deals when I shop there.
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Old 08-12-06, 09:22 PM
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+1

There's a difference between cheap and inexpensive. Paying more for better quality is almost always a better value.
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Old 08-12-06, 09:29 PM
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Would he lie at the Salvation Army to get a 10% Senior discount?
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Old 08-12-06, 09:48 PM
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Dont hang around him anymore, I cant stand people like that. Does he go through the drive through, reach in back pocket and say "aw, you know what? I forgot my wallet" and then sits there to see if they will just give it to him?

I knew a guy that would do that, I never rode with him in the car.
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Old 08-12-06, 09:50 PM
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Bikes arent much more expensive than other toys like Ipods, Xboxes or Playstation3s.
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Old 08-12-06, 10:01 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by efrobert
I have a friend, who is the cheapest person you'll ever meet. I can't even beging to tell you about some of the things he does to save a penny... and he's 37 too, it's not like he's a kid. Anyway he's been talking about buying a mountain bike for years. A LBS had a big tent sale this weekend, so I ask him if he wants to check it out. We get there and we first walk by the road bikes and he looks at some of the prices and his jaw hits the ground. He starts saying how you'd have to be crazy to spend that much on a bike... Then we go to the entry level mountain bikes. They had a few Trek 3700 for about $250, he starts going off on how expensive that is, so a salesman comes over, and my friend keeps asking him if they can do better on the price, the sales guy say no, it's a clearance price, it's the best they can do, but my friend keeps asking. Then my friend asks if they can throw in a helmet, pump and a couple of water bottles to "sweeten the pot" as he put it. The sales guy just looks at him and says no. My friend says "come on, if I'm going to be dropping that kind of cash, I expect to be taken care of". At this point I just walk away, it was embarrassing. The ride home he keeps saying how he can't understand how that place stays in business, he just couldn't understand that in the bike business, a $250 bike is not a huge sale, that the sales guy is going to jump threw hoops and throw in $100 Worth of free accessories for.
You know, after working in bike shops for as long as I did, these kind of people not so much aggravated me, but it was really a good opportunity to try and educate the customer on just what it is they're actually buying. Now, on an off day, I might have shown this guy a $3000.00 bike and then inquired as to what they thought about "dropping that kind of cash". And I certainly would have offered a free helmet with that kind of purchase. Perspective can be a useful thing to have. But, I think I only did that maybe once or twice . Really though, most people who are totally new to cycling sometimes think that buying a bike is like buying a car and that a dealer is "making a killing" on a new bike, when in reality bikes have the smallest amount of markup of anything sold in the shop. If your gonna complain about something, try bringing up the fact that a cable that cost the shop MAYBE 50 cents sells for $2.95. Now THAT'S a profit!!
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Old 08-12-06, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by efrobert
Then my friend asks if they can throw in a helmet, pump and a couple of water bottles to "sweeten the pot" as he put it. The sales guy just looks at him and says no. My friend says "come on, if I'm going to be dropping that kind of cash, I expect to be taken care of". At this point I just walk away, it was embarrassing.
Keep walking away - your friend is obviously a clueless jerk. I'm tighter than the skin on a golf ball, but I don't act like that when shopping. There is nothing wrong with bargaining, but you have to have something to bargain with. Being rude and pretentious is not a good bargaining position. If I were a regular customer of the store I would go back (alone) and apologize to the sales person.
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Old 08-12-06, 10:39 PM
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My coworker is in to motorcycles (he is trying to convence to get one, very tempting). Anyway we were talking about counter steering, and it lead to the prices on motorcycles. He was very suprised to find out I spent almost the same on new bike and racing wheels as he did on his used motorcycle. He was also suprised when I told him that stuff he does to turn his bike at high speed also applies to bycicles.
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Old 08-12-06, 10:59 PM
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I've said it before, and I'll say it again. You can buy a lot of used bike for under $250.
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Old 08-12-06, 11:00 PM
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Actually, cycling is for the cheap. They are all hanging out in the 50+ forum and they really got huffy when I called them on it. There are a lot of people out here who will not pay more than $200.00 for a bike because 'it's simply not worth it'. I am not ashamed to not be one of them. bk
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Old 08-12-06, 11:46 PM
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Hell, I got an early 90s cannondale for FREE and that is a decent bike. I wouldn't have a new bike if I didn't get it through Felt's employee purchase program.
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Old 08-13-06, 12:00 AM
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OTOH, the guy probably has a million dollar bank account.
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Old 08-13-06, 12:40 AM
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Cycling can be for the cheap. I ride only department store bicycles.

But if you want to fit in the fashion crowd or organized cycling groups, it becomes much more expensive.
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Old 08-13-06, 12:51 AM
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Compared to taking part in other sports cycling is rather inexpensive. Take golf for example. The green & cart rental fees can be astronomical. At least when we ride it doesn't cost unless we are taking part in an organised event. And even then we usually get a meal & t-shirt included depending on the event.
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Old 08-13-06, 01:38 AM
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I dunno about expensive.... I'm saving around $80 a week by riding my bike. That money adds up in a hurry!

Hrmm... at this rate I'll save over $4,000 in gasoline costs alone in a year. (That's assuming, of course, that gas prices don't go up much .... probably a pretty bad assumption to make)

That's a lot of bike parts!

I'd use $60 a week just to go to work and back... Even if I bought a gatorade and a powerbar at a convenience store each way for every trip( I don't), I'd STILL be spending half what I was on gas.

Very good investment for $350, if you ask me! (that's the total I've spent on my bike, tools, equipment, and parts so far)
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Old 08-13-06, 07:04 AM
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Show that guy the nearest Salvation Army, Goodwill or thrift shop and be done with it!!! When he has to buy tires, cables lights etc and it starts adding up, he'll wish he went with the better buy from the jumpstart, especially since he doesn't appear to really be into cycling yet.
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Old 08-13-06, 07:23 AM
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I find that cycling, as a hobby of my wife and I, as being very inexpensive. We like to ride all day on the local bike paths. Golf, tennis, swim clubs, tickets to sporting events and concerts, would run us so much more. After the initial investment, the maintenance is really not too much.

We had NFL season tickets for over 10 years- now that is expensive!
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Old 08-13-06, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by randya
Compared to any new car, a new bike at any price is quite a bargain.
Compared to an airplane a new bike is even cheaper, but so what? 99+% of people who shop for/or ride bikes (and shop for/drive autos) know that bikes are not cars, know that bikes and cars do not/cannot perform identical functions, and do not make such a comparison when shopping for either.

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