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Bike Purchase or Buying Stock?

Old 02-21-08, 04:10 PM
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Bike Purchase or Buying Stock?

This is half joking/half serious. I'm fairly new into the working world and have some extra money outside of my 401k, emergency, and everyday funds. I'm trying to decide between buying my first modern road bike, or investing in a few stocks to take advantage of some of the deals in the stock market appearing during our "economic slowdown".

I commute almost everyday on a nice 1972 Gitane road bike converted to a 82gi fg/ss with slowish 28c commuting tires. I love riding it but I'm thinking that if I want to keep up on club rides (crazy 25+mph avg), or doing triathlons, track, road, and adventure races I should think about getting a road or tri bike. I can avg above 20mph now for 20-50 miles but I'm guessing that a new bike in the 1000-1500 range would be a significant performance improvement.

So what do you all think? Should I stick with the current bike and focus on HTFU? Invest the money now so I can buy an awesome bike in a few years? Only buy a new wheelset/tires? (Since I think that's what's really slowing me down?) Or should I upgrade to a bike younger than I am? Maybe even one that has multiple gears?

A photo of the bike is attached. Quite a bit has changed. I finished stripping off the paint, and now it has a pretty clear coat. Also, there are conti contacts on both wheels and the rear rim has changed after the last one was vandalized. New seat too, 200g from 1996.
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Old 02-21-08, 04:15 PM
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How do you know your average speed?

Anyway, most road races (I think) won't allow you to ride fixed. You can get a lot of bike for your price range, so if you really want to get serious about riding, I say go for it.
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Old 02-21-08, 04:58 PM
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I vote to get a new bike with 105 or ultegra, should be about a thou and you will like it. That is if you are riding regularly....if it is just for fair-weather weekends, then don't bother as you would not get much utility out of it. Test ride a few bikes and see how you like them compared to the one you have now, I suspect you will want a new one.(this is coming from someone who rides a 22 year old bike, but mine is not a fixie).
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Old 02-21-08, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by littledjahn
How do you know your average speed?

Anyway, most road races (I think) won't allow you to ride fixed. You can get a lot of bike for your price range, so if you really want to get serious about riding, I say go for it.
According to sheldon browns calculator, with 52x17 at 90rpm I'm going 22mph or so. So thats how I guesstimated my average speed.

I ride either fixed or singlespeed. Do road races allow single speed? I'd like to think I'm fairly "serious" about riding given that I push myself everytime I'm on the bike and do approx 150 miles a week. Most of that is commuting so I dont know if it counts as "serious" training. I just like riding bikes and am starting to think that my bike might be holding me back from more competitive pursuits.
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Old 02-21-08, 05:59 PM
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Buy the bike and enjoy it, also get yourself a cycle computer while you're at it.
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Old 02-21-08, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas
I vote to get a new bike with 105 or ultegra, should be about a thou and you will like it. That is if you are riding regularly....if it is just for fair-weather weekends, then don't bother as you would not get much utility out of it. Test ride a few bikes and see how you like them compared to the one you have now, I suspect you will want a new one.(this is coming from someone who rides a 22 year old bike, but mine is not a fixie).
I like doing my own wrenching so I would probably build up a bike myself to get the best bang for the buck. However, I've never been on a road bike less than 20yrs old so I have no idea what I like. I'll talk to my LBS to see if I can do some test rides.

My current bike would remain my all weather bike for commuting and around town riding. The new bike would be my "high-performance" bike for group rides, racing, etc so it kinda would be for weekend warrioring.

I've always tried to do more with less and I started this thread to have you all convince me that the bike is holding me back too much and that its time I stopped being obstinate and got a nice bike!
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Old 02-21-08, 06:23 PM
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Very few people on this forum will suggest that you skip the new bike and invest the money.

Do what you want. But do be informed: at this stage of your life, any money put into retirement investments will (if wisely invested) end up as quite a lump sum later in life, while the stuff you could have purchased will no longer be with you.

My advice: get a nice bike if you can afford it, but steer clear of the one big waste o' money: flashy new cars. That'll free up a lot of funds for investing.
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Old 02-21-08, 06:35 PM
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there are fewer "deals" in the market than you might think. Just think about it. it'd take 20k and a guaranteed >5% return over the next year to save enough money to hit the bottom of your budget. Meanwhile, at 150 miles a week, over that same year you'll have the satisfaction of a new bike at less than 13 cents a mile.
I think that A. that 5% return might be very tricky over the next 9 months and B. 13 cents a mile is the best damn money you can spend.
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Old 02-21-08, 06:39 PM
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Well, it seems whether you invest money in the market or in a bike, you are more than likely to lose it, so why not get a bike, and invest in your health and safety (a 26 year old bike might not be the best thing to ride on in a group ride in case of part failure/crash...). plus buying bikes is soo much more exciting than buying stock.
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Old 02-21-08, 06:40 PM
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Why that's easy. The more sensible thing to do, hands down, is to invest your money in stocks.

My worst nightmere is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "How sensible" dad was. I kind of feel an obligation to leave them with a more interesting legacy than that.
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Old 02-21-08, 06:42 PM
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The market is not safe country at the moment.

I wouldn't necessarily say that there are "deals" that are easy to find these days. Even the professionals are having a hard time dealing with the equities and debt markets in what is a very unprecedented climate of panic and instability. Just some things to consider...
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Old 02-21-08, 08:27 PM
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Invest the money in tax free municipal bonds. You can never save enough. Only at the point where you can consider yourself independently wealthy should you be spending over $1K on a bike.
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Old 02-21-08, 08:29 PM
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what'll make you happier?
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Old 02-21-08, 09:11 PM
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Whats with so many well-reasoned responses? I suppose if I had wanted comedy I should have posted in FGSS.

Since my bike is only 36yrs old and has been in only one accident that steepened my head tube by .5deg, I think I'll keep the bike. This way, whenever I get dropped I can silently blame the bike, or if I should ever compete and do well, I can stride about with the bravura of an underdog triumphing over the unfair advantages of others. Or they'll go easy on me out of pity.

For faster stuff I think I'll buy a set of Mavic Ellipses from the LBS and put some zippy tires on em.
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Old 02-21-08, 09:18 PM
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Why don't you just put new parts on this bike?
If the frame fits well, just keep it...

That being said, you can buy/build a quality bike for about or a little over a grand. CAAD9's are 1300 with 105. Great bang for the buck and the frame will never be holding you back. The groupset won't either...

You could probably spend 500-800 bucks and upgrade the bike you have now to a 8-10 speed. Or just build it up with older parts and downtube index shifters.
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Old 02-22-08, 01:24 AM
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I would have said invest the money but really, one also needs to have something interesting in life.
And the money you put in a bike can also be considered an investment, just not a financial one (not directly anyway), but an investment in health.
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Old 02-22-08, 05:53 AM
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50% tinto Oil services funds. Schwab or equivalent low-cost broker. 50% into a money market bike fund. Once you get the bike, stop putting funds into the bike fund for 3 years. Then start putting a fixed low amount in every month. $50 or something. At year 5 you can get another bike.
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Old 02-22-08, 06:20 AM
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I'd get a pony. Seriously. They're going on CL for like $300 anymore (: Yes my advice is useless, but you came asking a bunch of bikers if you should buy another bike, knowing full well the equation for new bikes is n+1, where is n is the number you have now.
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Old 02-22-08, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Enthusiast
Whats with so many well-reasoned responses? I suppose if I had wanted comedy I should have posted in FGSS.

Since my bike is only 36yrs old and has been in only one accident that steepened my head tube by .5deg, I think I'll keep the bike. This way, whenever I get dropped I can silently blame the bike, or if I should ever compete and do well, I can stride about with the bravura of an underdog triumphing over the unfair advantages of others. Or they'll go easy on me out of pity.

For faster stuff I think I'll buy a set of Mavic Ellipses from the LBS and put some zippy tires on em.
OK, I'll do it.

If you keep riding that crappy old bike you're probably going to crash and die and the value of your investments won't matter anymore.
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Old 02-22-08, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mandovoodoo
50% tinto Oil services funds. Schwab or equivalent low-cost broker. 50% into a money market bike fund. Once you get the bike, stop putting funds into the bike fund for 3 years. Then start putting a fixed low amount in every month. $50 or something. At year 5 you can get another bike.
Not bad advice. You could even track depreciation.

I'll still vote for the pony though.
(Back in the '90's they were shooting them in Shetland as pests. You could buy one for the cost of the fuel it took someone to go catch one. If you were savvy with livestock export regulations, you could make massive income selling them in the south. Not anymore though, especially with limitations on livestock movement these days.)

Or have a look at oil service companies involved in leases in the West Shetland basin. Big things will be happening there shortly.

(though by 'shortly' the returns will probably only get good after five to eight years or so)
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Old 02-22-08, 08:20 AM
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Normally I would think investing the money would be the wiser move, but I really don't care much for your fixie. Get a decent used road bike, then start saving the money.
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Old 02-22-08, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Why that's easy. The more sensible thing to do, hands down, is to invest your money in stocks.

My worst nightmere is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "How sensible" dad was. I kind of feel an obligation to leave them with a more interesting legacy than that.
One of my nightmares is not being able to help my kid get a solid college education and/or becoming an old man who is financially dependent on his adult child -- don't laugh, I know people my age and younger who have to help support their parents because they squandered their money. I love my kid more than I love my toys. I'm on a bike that most BF members wouldn't think is worthy of being called their "beater" ride, but my kid's college fund is creeping toward mid-five figures and my retirement savings is equally strong.
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Old 02-22-08, 09:01 AM
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Some key points: money "should" not be an ends but only a means.
Investing: there are two things on investing: risk tolerance and time line. Neither one we know here.
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Old 02-22-08, 09:02 AM
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Since you stated that you have "extra" money outside of your emergency funds/savings then I suggest that you buy the bike. Personnaly I would look around for some kind of nice vintage/classic steel bike with nice components. IMHO a $1200 vintage steel bike will have ten times more personality and style then a brand new $1200 Trek/Giant/Felt/Etc.

A friend of mine with a serious heart condition gave me some good advice recently. He told me to save up some emergency money, put together some sort of retirement plan and blow the rest!
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Old 02-22-08, 09:56 AM
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150 miles a week on a fixed gear is a lot. I'm guessing you're in good shape. Maybe you'd enjoy riding a new bike, maybe you'd spend $1200 and find out that the world didn't just become faster and your new bike isn't magical.

You can't race on that bike, but you certainly can enjoy life. You can probably build yourself a 9-speed 105 aluminum bike off ebay for $500 or so. You'll enjoy building it and save a bunch of money.

Off-topic, but I'm going to be in New Orleans the 2nd week or March. How is the weather this time of year? Anywhere specific I should check out?
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