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How do you justify $1700 for a bike?

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

How do you justify $1700 for a bike?

Old 09-04-06, 04:26 PM
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clutchy
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How do you justify $1700 for a bike?

Traditionally, I would scoff at the prospect of paying that amount of money for a pretty decent cycle(Lemond Sarthe), but the more I think about it the more I'm confused by my rationalization for spending that amount of money.

Yes, it's fun. Yes, it's good for me. but $1700? I've been riding on an older bike for awhile now, and I want something with better brakes, wheels, frame.... well pretty much everything needs to work better.



Typically I'll take steps to get where I want, like a cheap trek, then a better bike, then what I actually want... but this time I really just want to get there so i don't have to spend anymore money.


Did you justify your bike purchase? or did you not even consider the cost? I'm struggling here...


UPDATE: I bought a 2006 Lemond Sarthe, used.

just the bike


brifters


rear shot


fork


top tube


saddle pic


Lemond!


and the derailler

Last edited by clutchy; 09-27-06 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 09-04-06, 04:31 PM
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If it's something you really want, you don't have to justify it.
The way you can if you're struggling is think of what else you could do with that $1700, and if it would be better to spend on something else. If you think that it's important for you to get a new bike, then do it. But if you've still got other things that need to be done before a bike upgrade, then wait.
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Old 09-04-06, 04:36 PM
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It is hard for me sometime to think about the prices that I pay for bike related things. I bought a two year old motorcycle for $3500 - seems funny to be to spend almost half that on something with far less parts and much less technical. But I like bikes and have come to accept that they are top $$$ - so I buy what I can a drool at others stuff.

Going by your thinking I am going to assume you don't have a super nice lambo or Maserati - same way of thinking kinda goes for them.
I think it is all explained by the 80-20 principle:
it is easy and cheap to get 80% but to get the last 20% is where the money just flies!
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Old 09-04-06, 04:40 PM
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It's all relative. You can spend much more on a hot rod. If you have the money to spend and want the good stuff, it's not such a high price to pay.
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Old 09-04-06, 04:42 PM
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When I got back into cycling and decided to buy a new bike, I tried to figure out the "sweet spot" in the market. As far as I can tell, $1,700, or maybe a little more, say up to $2,100, can buy you the lowest end of the high end machines. That's how I justified it: it's really a bargain!
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Old 09-04-06, 04:43 PM
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Hi,

If I told my wife I was going to buy a new bike for $1,700 she'd say, "How come so cheap?"

Seriously, how much you spend on a bike depends on a lot of personal criteria, such as:

How much are you going to ride it (a couple of times a month or a couple of times a day)?
What's your budget?
Are you going to race or ride for fun?
Etc.

A more expensive bike will generally hold up better under harder use. A bike sitting in a garage isn't getting hard use.

You could spend a lot more or a lot less on a road bike, but you knew that already.
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Old 09-04-06, 04:43 PM
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I would never try to justify a $1700 bicycle. My friends would simply have to accept the fact that I'm too cheap to buy something better. That's their problem.
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Old 09-04-06, 04:45 PM
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We consider a new bike as 'an investment in our continued good health!'
Rationalize: "How much $$$ for a heart bypass?"
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Old 09-04-06, 04:49 PM
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If you don't think it will be worth the money, maybe you shouldn't buy it. When I spent $3something on my bike, justifying the cost would have been a losing proposition. Will I ever win back the cost by winning races? Hell no. Will I get $x worth of enjoyment out of riding it? Who knows. I think that's kind of a nonsensical question. I don't approach buying a bike like a business decision. Biking is a hobby to me, so not every aspect of it has to be rationally analyzed. I figured out what bike wanted. I had the money, so I bought it.
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Old 09-04-06, 05:00 PM
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I never justify anything I buy, I just buy it.
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Old 09-04-06, 05:02 PM
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Quite easy...it is a vehicle (in more than one sense) to better health. From there go to putting over 3k miles per year on it and if you do a simple calculation you realize that the cost per mile is quite low...and the more miles you put on the bike the lower the cost per mile. Then figure in your health (or the improvement of your health in weight loss, lower blood pressure, lower stress etc) and $1700+ for the bike is all worth while.

I am not sure how it is working but my wife is buying that too...which is the only way I have pretty expensive bikes (My commuter was less than your $1700 but I don't have a car payment currently so I figure I can throw money into it anyway).

Oh yea and now that I read your post...it is going to be way cheaper to just get the bike you want now rather than take steps towards it...trust me on this one...I took steps toward it and now have a $3000 bike...would have been much cheaper to have just bought the $3k bike to begin with....I lost money on both the $800 and the $1800 bike that were steps to the $3k bike.
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Old 09-04-06, 05:02 PM
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The easy way would be to look at a $5000 bike. Then the $1500 bike will look like a deal!
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Old 09-04-06, 05:14 PM
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Well you tell yourself that it's the motor not the bike, and you can still be competitive, even though you're only spending $1700. Oh... I thought you were asking how do you justify spending so little, my bad.
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Old 09-04-06, 05:18 PM
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Don't buy a boat.
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Old 09-04-06, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
Don't buy a boat.
I was into boating and it was "A hole in the water in which you pour money into" thought cycling would be really cheap... buy a bike, some clothes and that's it.. now have 2 bikes, enough bike clothes to cycle for 2 weeks without washing.. sure it's less then boating, but by no means cheap..

Can I ride a $1000 bike, sure I can, but I can drive a used car too, or live in an smaller house, but I choose not to.. so what if the car lease and house payment is more then any sane person with my means should pay..

You only live once and you need to enjoy life before it goes by... Buy the bike!!
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Old 09-04-06, 06:04 PM
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It's cheaper than a $2500 bike?
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Old 09-04-06, 06:04 PM
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VISA helps us justify everything.
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Old 09-04-06, 06:20 PM
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1.Tell your wife it is on sale, but don't say for how much
2. Ebay your old stuff and only count the net difference
3. Spread out over a year, it is cheaper than crack
4. No course fees like golf
5. It gets better miles per gallon than your car
6. Hide it in the garage for 1 week, so when asked you can honestly "oh. I've had that"
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Old 09-04-06, 06:29 PM
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I've been trying to rationalize these ove the top prices for bikes (MTB are just as bad). I got back into cycling recently to get in some cardio for the summer. But then I got hooked, first with MTB, then doing road riding. And I see even more benefits. First I feel even better, probably from the conditioning from riding no times a week and doing only weight training to riding 5x and weight training.

Next I find my legs have taken on a better shape and more size (quads, hams and calves) and if you price out leg, ham and calf equipment or a gym membership to do legs and cardio you see the bike pays for itself many times over.

Top that off with meeting new cyclist or discovering new areas to ride around and maybe you can go for that costly bike.
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Old 09-04-06, 06:38 PM
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I'm going through the same problem right now. I already ride a titanium bike, and I am considering adding another bike to my stable. My last addition was a beat up old 1963 bike that cost me less than a couple hundred bucks to build up, but now I've got my eye on this new Bike Friday, that could set me back a bit. Hmmmmmm..... what shall I do? How much should I spend?......Sound familiar?
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Old 09-04-06, 06:38 PM
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Justify it?! I think it'd be pretty hard to justify it. Buy or don't! Other than shelter and food, you don't really NEED anything!
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Old 09-04-06, 06:47 PM
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To me, $1700 for a bike is not that much. You just start getting into quality road bikes at $1200 IMO so that is just a touch above that. I figure you might as well spend your money on something that you love and something that helps to keep you fit and healthy.

Then again my friend bought a 65" big screen TV for $3000 once. I could never figure that out. TV is what I do when I have nothing better to do. My 8 year old, 27" that I paid $300 is still working great and I have no plans to replace it anytime soon. He didn't have any problem justifying it though so to each his own I guess. I still think it's a whole lot easier to justify something like a bike then a tv because at least the bike helps keep you healthy.
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Old 09-04-06, 07:02 PM
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I know what you mean. I've been contemplating a new bike purchase in the same price range (including the sarthe) for the past six months. For me, it's less about what bike I'll be buying and more about parting with the dough.
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Old 09-04-06, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad
Don't buy a boat.
+1 Boat and pool are spelled the same as money.
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Old 09-04-06, 07:11 PM
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How do you justify $1700 for a bike?
I don't. Even though i've ridden 20,000 miles in the last 3 years.
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