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Justifying a new bike?

Old 11-27-10, 01:05 PM
  #1  
RunningPirate
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Justifying a new bike?

Good Morning to Everyone on the Board -

I have a sort of philosophical issue that I am pondering. In short, I think I'm suffering from the "N+1 rule" (The perfect number of bikes is one more than what you already have.)

I currently have a ~40 y/o English Touring bike (Dawes Galaxy, refurbished last year) that I use for commuting, some distance riding and general tooling around. It's a pretty bike, there's nothing wrong with it, I enjoy riding it and I plan on keeping it a long time.

Now, I'm looking at something lighter and faster. Mind you, I'm well in to the Clydesdale category, so ounces really don't matter. For that matter, the bikes I'm looking at aren't all that super light (for reference it's down to the Raleigh Record Ace or the Masi Gran Crit' - but that's not important now), so it's not like I'm planning on going super crazy fast, either.

The problem: I'm having a hard time justifying a new bike. I mean, I don't need one; I want one. I feel like a child - pointing, drooling, licking the window (OK, maybe not that last one, but you get the gist). Buying something new would not break me, nor land me in the street or in divorce court (one of the advantages to being single).

Logically, I think that I should take a couple of deep breaths, forgo the purchase and do something responsible with the $$. On a different note, I reckon that $$ would be of help to my LBS on general principles.

Of course, I realize that using logic to deal with emotions rarely works out well, if at all.

So, I ask the Jury - have any of you experienced this dilemma, and if so, how did it shake out?

(As a parenthetical aside, I realize that - considering the current global economic and political situation - this is a silly problem, and that I am fortunate in that this is the top issue bothering me on a Saturday morning.)

Thank you for your time.
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Old 11-27-10, 01:40 PM
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Well, isn't a new bike its own justification?

Actually, there are several decent ones. Anything you use quite a bit will pretty quickly "pay" for itself. If you ride regularly such as every weekend, you can probably justify the cost of a bike pretty quickly. If your bike is just going to sit in the garage, it is a waste of money no matter how inexpensive it is. Since you commute, I kind of reckon that on a usage basis, you can justify virtually any bike your little heart desires.

Secondly, bikes are cheap compared with other recreational money pits. How much does golf end up costing per round? Have you ever priced a bass boat? Motorcycles are far more expensive, burn fossil fuel and give you zero exercise.

A decent road bike right now goes for around $3,000. If you ride it 50 times per year and keep it for 6 years, you are talking about $10 per ride. Of course, you have to add in the cost of accessories, clothes, tires, tubes and so on. But you are talking less than $20 for a day of cycling (which is also good for you because of the exercise). Compared to many forms of recreation, cycling is cheap, it gives you decent exercise and it is even "green". It is hard to come up with a recreation that beats it.
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Old 11-27-10, 01:47 PM
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If buying a bike isn't "responsible", what would be?
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Old 11-27-10, 01:52 PM
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Pat, I think you've just made up my mind for me as I was suffering from the same decision as RP above.
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Old 11-27-10, 03:35 PM
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The difference between a 40 year old bike and a new one is tremendous. I know the Galaxy is not a bad bike and never has been but the latest Galaxy's are a world apart from your one. It is only the components but frame materials and geometry have changed a lot. The ride on a more modern bike will be so superior that you will wonder why you haven't "Upgraded" before now.

Then there are the benefits of having two bikes. Set them up for two different kinds of ride. One for the Commuting with Mudgaurds and lights and the other for the distance riding. And the other benefit- 6am in the morning- or just about to set out on your Sunday ride with the mates- and you have a flat- or the wheel is out of true- or some other malady has hit the bike you intend to ride. No problem- just pull out the other bike- check the tyres and off you go with a minimal delay. In fact I can't see how you can survive with only one bike. You have either been lucky or you have a long delay in getting out riding occasionally.

So why are you delaying? No thought required- just get the N+1 and to be honest- why stop there. Plenty of other types of riding you could do. There must be some offroad that could be tackled if you have a suitable bike and then there is the beater bike required for popping down to the LBS for the spares required to keep all your bikes running.

I don't think you require N+1. more like N+5 to get the full experience out of riding.
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Old 11-27-10, 06:17 PM
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How do you justify eating if you're just going to crap it out the next day?

How do you justify living if you're just going to die eventually?

Buy the bike.
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Old 11-27-10, 06:47 PM
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A fairly serious rider with one 40 y/o bike is not over invested. The health benefits alone justify a new one. Get what you want. bk
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Old 11-27-10, 07:01 PM
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If I follow your logic correctly it seems to me that you would only have sex when you wanted another child.

My worst nightmere is all of my children standing around my coffin and talking about how "sensible" dad was. I feel an obligation to leave them a more interesting legacy than that so I'm not to let that happen. The last check out of my checking account is going to pay the undertaker and it's going to bounce.
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Old 11-27-10, 07:04 PM
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You seem to have a firm handle on wants vs. needs, and the scope of the issue in the grand scheme of things.

Buy a bike. Or two.

Disclaimer: I own two commuters and two weekend/club/century bikes.
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Old 11-27-10, 07:11 PM
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I had only one bike for a long time, and liked it that way. Then I accidentally bought another one from someone's garage. With one set up with racks and fenders, there was some difference, although not a huge one. I had an old frame knocking around--it used to be my dad's ten speed--built it up into a fixie, and found that I really enjoyed that difference. Since the other bikes were fairly similar, I gave one to a friend. Two seems right for me. I also recently was given my mother's mixtie, which I set up as a five speed. It's a little small, so I'll pass it on to one of my children when they're bigger. (My wife doesn't like drops and won't ride it.) And I have a tandem now too. And like you, I'm thinking of possibly buying another one--a loaded tourer. But I probably won't, unless I divest myself of one of the bikes I have already. Two bikes are really enough for me.
Yes, it was a bit rambling.
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Old 11-27-10, 09:57 PM
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I ride bicycles because it is exercise that is fun. Something that makes it more fun is a good thing. So buying another bike, a better bike, a cool older bike, or something just because it is different is a fine thing. Helps the economy, too, so you're being patriotic.
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Old 11-27-10, 10:50 PM
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Please buy a new bike.
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Old 11-28-10, 12:14 AM
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If we let you buy the bike, you have to post pics of it. Pinky swear the pics and then go get your new bike.
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Old 11-28-10, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by RunningPirate View Post
...I currently have a ~40 y/o English Touring bike (Dawes Galaxy, refurbished last year) that I use for commuting...So, I ask the Jury - have any of you experienced this dilemma, and if so, how did it shake out?...
All the "help the economy/save the lbs" arguments are silly rationalizations. But, you nailed it when you said commuting. If you commute, then you should not have to feel guilty about spending some of the money you saved on gas.
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Old 11-28-10, 08:19 AM
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"Everything not forbidden is compulsory." T.H. White
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Old 11-28-10, 08:31 AM
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Life is short! Buy the bike and enjoy yourself. This is an urge that can be indulged. It is healthy and good for the planet. Enough justifications?
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Old 11-28-10, 11:43 AM
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Thank you, all!

Good Morning, Everyone -

Thank you for the clarity. A new bike, it shall be.

Cyclokitty - I pinky swear that I will post pics of the new bike when I get it.

Thank you, everyone.
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Old 11-28-10, 11:59 AM
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If you'd like to feel better the motorcycles I own cost three times the building they live in.
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Old 11-28-10, 12:07 PM
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If you want to be talked out of buying a new bike you came to the wrong place! It's like asking a heroin addict if you should shoot up today....

When I want to make such a purchase I tend to give it time, really evaluate if I want what I am about to purchase. Try to let the initial want die down, and if it doesn't in a few months then I make the purchase. About 6 months ago I wanted to build up a ssfg cross check, but I gave it time and thought about it a lot. Finally I did but the bike a few weeks ago and couldn't be happier. I am really glad I waited too....
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Old 11-28-10, 12:09 PM
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BTW after I purchased the components and everything to build my bike I felt a bit guilty about how much I spent. Then the company I ordered the wheelset from sent me a wrong order by mistake, campy bora one wheels, which cost more than my whole build. That made me feel a bit better about my purchase.
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Old 11-28-10, 12:50 PM
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I usually can justify a new bike purchase when my commuting needs call for it. My last bike purchase was to replace a older front suspension bike with one with a solid front fork.
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Old 11-28-10, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by zoltani View Post
When I want to make such a purchase I tend to give it time, really evaluate if I want what I am about to purchase. Try to let the initial want die down, and if it doesn't in a few months then I make the purchase. About 6 months ago I wanted to build up a ssfg cross check, but I gave it time and thought about it a lot. Finally I did but the bike a few weeks ago and couldn't be happier. I am really glad I waited too....
Good advice here- Look at what you want out of the new bike- The material or the price range. Get the sizing right- surprising how many get a "54" because that is the size of the old bike--Only to find you have been riding the wrong size for years. Look at the alternatives to the make you are thinking of- see if there are any "End of Year" models at a discounted price.

And most important of all- get out and test ride as many of the bikes that interest you as you can. One will stand out as your new bike.
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Old 11-28-10, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by RunningPirate View Post
Good Morning, Everyone -

Thank you for the clarity. A new bike, it shall be.

Cyclokitty - I pinky swear that I will post pics of the new bike when I get it.

Thank you, everyone.
Well, you're welcome.

Originally Posted by zoltani View Post
If you want to be talked out of buying a new bike you came to the wrong place! It's like asking a heroin addict if you should shoot up today....
This was exactly my thought when I read the OP.

Nothing like a new bike for motivation to ride.

Be sure to post pictures.
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Old 11-28-10, 10:58 PM
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If a new bike will not break you, not make you use borrowed money to buy it, then its really discretionary spending.
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Old 11-29-10, 11:07 AM
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I use bikes for commuting so it's fairly easy for me to justify several bikes. I need to have a backup bike in case I have mechanical issues with one of the bikes which I may not have time to fix immediately.
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