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Cycling Is Getting Expensive!

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Cycling Is Getting Expensive!

Old 02-12-05, 06:20 AM
  #1  
trmcgeehan
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I keep a detailed account of all expenses on an Excel spreadsheet. On reviewing my 2004 expenses, I was shocked to find I spent $1,250 last year on my two road bikes. One is a 1985 Ross, the other a 1980 Univega. Most of the money was spent at my local Trek dealer, who is a little on the expensive side, but does great work. I made it a point to tell my LBS I spent all these bucks with him, and he started treating me with new respect. Come to think of it, I could have bought a new Trek 1000 for less than $1,250! Did I do wrong keeping this old iron rolling?
The $1250 included two major overhauls (cleaning, lubing all bearings, new Shimano head set, etc), tires, tubes, new lights, and a couple of bags. So in 2004, cycling cost me over $100 a month, which is much higher than I thought. I rode the two bikes 1,750 miles. Cycling is still a lot cheaper than golf -- this is what I tell my understanding wife.
For 2005, I won't need the overhauls, so I expect my outlay will decline significantly.
By the way, having two road bikes has alot to say for it. When one needs cleaning, I can keep it apart for a few days during the cleaning process, and ride the other bike.
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Old 02-12-05, 06:37 AM
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the best measure will be the cost over several years. like you said, you won't need new bikes every year. i've gone an entire year without needing major purchases, while in other years it was more costly.
just a pair of good tires will cost you over $50 easily.

in 6 years i rode my bike 20,000 miles. before buying my new bike (out of want, not need) i spent nearly $5,000 on accessories. $1K for each 4K miles. quite reasonable, no?
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Old 02-12-05, 06:42 AM
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For the cash you outlayed, you could afford to get yourself a good tool set and bike stand. Of course you have to like working on your bikes. TO me keeping old bike rolling along is part of the fun. But having a new bike every so often is a nice think. The Trek 1000 is a good solid all around bike. You can always change out the components as they wear out.
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Old 02-12-05, 07:00 AM
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That does sound like a lot to keep two old bikes going. I have 2 old steel roadies, and both are higher-end bikes than yours, and I wouldn't put money into either of them, or at least not on anything that wasn't portable.

For 1250 you could've gotten a fairly nice modern bike, maybe with Ultegra, that wouldn't need any maint for a while, and had all the amenities the new components offer. You could still keep one of the others in rideable condition, but I can almost guarantee you wouldn't use it once you have a new ride.

Of course convincing your wife that laying out 1250 at once is a better deal than spending $100 here and there can be tough. Try this, put $100 aside every few weeks this year, tell your wife you spent it on bike stuff, and then buy the bike you want when you have enough cash stashed away. (I didn't have to resort to this, luckily.)
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Old 02-12-05, 08:21 AM
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Add in all the money you will save paying the doctor because you will be much heathier than if you played golf.

ps I used to live in London and my wife worked for the schools in Somerset.
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Old 02-12-05, 09:18 AM
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This is good motivation to learn to do some wrenching.

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Old 02-12-05, 09:19 AM
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For chrissakes, one round of golf will set you back $100, and you still have to invest in equipment as well. My cable bill is $100.

Personally, I don't think $100 a month for cycling is too much!
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Old 02-12-05, 09:22 AM
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Cycling isn't getting expensive, it's always been expensive. As for old versus new, I have a 1979 Colnago that still runs like new - actually, better than new; carbon fork, bladed wheels. Could I have bought a better bike with the money I've put into it since then? Absolutely. Bikes are like cars; the advances made in the last 20 years are more than window dressing, they're quantum. They're safer (you can shift and still keep your hands on the brakes in a paceline), lighter and, with sealed bearings, lower maintenance in the overall.
If you really want your dealer to love you, test-ride a 2005. If the difference is huge, buy it and keep the others for beaters. If it's not, keep maintaining the old ones at your current level. You're out an average $1,000 a year, regardless.
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Old 02-12-05, 09:26 AM
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WoW! $1250.......I was thinking you upgraded to STI for that price also, but you didn't?

Getting good at wrenching can save you $$$ two ways....

1. No more labor costs
2. Mail order parts are always cheaper (cassette and chains are good example.)
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Old 02-12-05, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by trmcgeehan
I keep a detailed account of all expenses on an Excel spreadsheet. On reviewing my 2004 expenses, I was shocked to find I spent $1,250 last year on my two road bikes. One is a 1985 Ross, the other a 1980 Univega. Most of the money was spent at my local Trek dealer, who is a little on the expensive side, but does great work. I made it a point to tell my LBS I spent all these bucks with him, and he started treating me with new respect. Come to think of it, I could have bought a new Trek 1000 for less than $1,250! Did I do wrong keeping this old iron rolling?
The $1250 included two major overhauls (cleaning, lubing all bearings, new Shimano head set, etc), tires, tubes, new lights, and a couple of bags. So in 2004, cycling cost me over $100 a month, which is much higher than I thought. I rode the two bikes 1,750 miles. Cycling is still a lot cheaper than golf -- this is what I tell my understanding wife.
For 2005, I won't need the overhauls, so I expect my outlay will decline significantly.
By the way, having two road bikes has alot to say for it. When one needs cleaning, I can keep it apart for a few days during the cleaning process, and ride the other bike.
I think you likely got severely reamed ,and ought to consider doing alot of stuff yourself. 80s vintage bikes can be kept running for next to nothing. I probably have 20 bikes and don't spend near that. My major expense is tubes and tires.
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Old 02-12-05, 09:27 AM
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I have to admit, I am so cheap when it comes to other people doing owrk for me. I need a new water pump for my Suburban, and it bugs me that I don't really have the ability or time ot get it done on my own this weekend, so I'll fork over a whopping $350 to have my mechanic do it.

It bothers me to have my LBS do anything to my bike, with exception to truing the wheels. I am willing to spend $3000 on my ride, but not a $50 service fee. That's why I spent a measly $75 on a tool kit, which allows me to do just about everything on my own.
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Old 02-12-05, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by phillybill
For the cash you outlayed, you could afford to get yourself a good tool set and bike stand.
You don't even need a stand to work on bikes. It just makes it easier.
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Old 02-12-05, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Gomez308
Add in all the money you will save paying the doctor because you will be much heathier than if you played golf.

ps I used to live in London and my wife worked for the schools in Somerset.
Huh?!! Maybe if every time you play you dole out for the cage of the course, the golf cart. If you walk 18 holes w/ 25lbs of clubs and stuff on your back, that's a pretty good workout. Granted, it's not as good as riding 20-30 miles, but walking with a load for maybe 5-6 miles (that's about how long it is if you walk) isn't in any way bad for you that you would need to see a doctor.

I think the health problems with golf start with the requisite beer and cigars on the course
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Old 02-12-05, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by sydney
I think you likely got severely reamed ,and ought to consider doing alot of stuff yourself. 80s vintage bikes can be kept running for next to nothing. I probably have 20 bikes and don't spend near that. My major expense is tubes and tires.
Yeah, but you know how much tune-ups cost? $55 and that's something that doesn't take a lot of effort once you know what you are doing.

All is takes is 4 of those a year for each bike (tune-up every 3 months) and you already spent $440.Ouch

Honestly I just wonder what he got out of the deal. I bet you he got a helmet, clipless pedals, shoes, frame pumps, etc. So maybe it wasn't as bad as it would seem.

But Honestly I would be curious to see how he dinged for that much.
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Old 02-12-05, 09:42 AM
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I don't think bikes are all that difficult to work on. On my own, I've learned to take apart my bike almost down to the frame.

The cassette, bottom bracket and headset require a few special tools which are available as a kit from Performance at a very reasonable price. A few things are technical, like derraileurs, cables, etc. And a few things can be screwed up if done wrong.

And thanks for reminding me that cycling is cheaper than golf. I'll point that out to my wife who's best friend's husband is an avid golfer.
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Old 02-12-05, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Brett 12
Yeah, but you know how much tune-ups cost? $55 and that's something that doesn't take a lot of effort once you know what you are doing.

All is takes is 4 of those a year for each bike (tune-up every 3 months) and you already spent $440.Ouch

Honestly I just wonder what he got out of the deal. I bet you he got a helmet, clipless pedals, shoes, frame pumps, etc. So maybe it wasn't as bad as it would seem.

But Honestly I would be curious to see how he dinged for that much.
You are just making this up without really knowing.Anyone that gets 4 tuneups a year on early 80s vintage bikes has certainly been severely reamed,because if the vintages are corect they would be friction shifting,and there is really no tuneup involved.Maintenaince is so basic,that literally any knumbskull or the mechanicall disenfranchised could likely handle it.
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Old 02-12-05, 10:49 AM
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So, is this amount just for maintaining your bikes? If so, it does seem high. If it includes other gear, clothes, etc., then that may be another matter. I just spent $100 on assorted gear - new frame pump, tubes, cyclocomputer, some clothes - and it was all on sale too. It adds up quickly.

Is there a local cycling club that can get you discounts? Mine gets me 10% off at the LBS here, and that's helpful. I definitely make the money back from the membership fee, plus I meet other cyclists at rides, etc.
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Old 02-12-05, 11:01 AM
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Although I view cycling as a way of life and a hobby, cycling is relatively cheap compared to other things I've been involved with in the past... I keep tabs on many other expenses, except cycling goods and my wife's wild spending habit.
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Old 02-12-05, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by trmcgeehan
I keep a detailed account of all expenses on an Excel spreadsheet. On reviewing my 2004 expenses, I was shocked to find I spent $1,250 last year on my two road bikes. One is a 1985 Ross, the other a 1980 Univega. Most of the money was spent at my local Trek dealer, who is a little on the expensive side, but does great work. I made it a point to tell my LBS I spent all these bucks with him, and he started treating me with new respect. Come to think of it, I could have bought a new Trek 1000 for less than $1,250! Did I do wrong keeping this old iron rolling?
The $1250 included two major overhauls (cleaning, lubing all bearings, new Shimano head set, etc), tires, tubes, new lights, and a couple of bags. So in 2004, cycling cost me over $100 a month, which is much higher than I thought. I rode the two bikes 1,750 miles. Cycling is still a lot cheaper than golf -- this is what I tell my understanding wife.
For 2005, I won't need the overhauls, so I expect my outlay will decline significantly.
By the way, having two road bikes has alot to say for it. When one needs cleaning, I can keep it apart for a few days during the cleaning process, and ride the other bike.

You ought to be writing this off at tax time. They do have write offs and deductions with the hobby tax!

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Old 02-12-05, 11:34 AM
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I used to race automobiles (volkswagens) for years when I was younger but for reasons I stopped. If you break 1 part it can cost you 500 - 600+ to replace (by yourself). Think turbo, fuel injectors, brakes. One year I did 16 legal drag races and I probably sent 1300 in parts easily (most tires and clutches and transmission). The motor has 10000 dollars in it, the tranny almost 3500. With everything else we are talking 20k+.

With entry fees and other expenses (like towing to races) yearly costs could be 3000 plus. Of course life events made me give it all up. Oh I wish I still had my 350 HP VW bug...

I now am training for a different type of racing, the legal kind on a bicycle. Yes I have spent over 1k last year on parts but that is not a reaccuring thing. I estimate it runs 500 per year to be a cyclist. Of course this is much cheeper over the long run looking at costs from clothing, etc making the vast majority of the total cost.

Meaning of the story, looking at cost of other sports and activities cycling can still be cheeper if not right up there...

BTW many of my friends who still race can dump 5k in the cars yearly... does not take long for a 400 HP honda motor to wear... (or blow up from too much NOS)
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Old 02-12-05, 11:48 AM
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When I first got back into bikes, I read several books on "taking care of your bike". They suggesting regreasing and adjusting the headset, the bottom bracket, and the wheel bearings at least once every year. I took a couple of my old bikes to a good LBS, and had all that stuff done and the wheels trued. Got the bill. Yikes.

So, being a cheapskate, I learned to do some of the really easy stuff myself. And, I "feel" and "listen" to the headsets, and crank, and hubs, check the wheel truing, and then take them in for service ONLY if and when I detect an actual problem. No more "annual" tune-ups.

My riding over the past ten years has been spread among about twenty bikes. In a typical week, I ride about five or six different bikes. That means none of my bikes gets many miles. By waiting until something truly needs fixing or replacement, I will avoid spending a single penny on some of my bikes this year.

And, I stopped added up the bills. I kinda/sorta estimated what I have spent related to bikes over the past ten years and it was a BIG number...so now my policy is "I don't want to know".
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Old 02-12-05, 11:54 AM
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I do think it is nuts the amount of money you spend cycling, but I look at it this way. I would spend a lot more on a gym membership, golfing or something else. I think we tend to get hit hard up front in terms of cost layout, but in the end, it all works out to be around the same cost layout. Plus, the side benefit - I am healthy and happier then I have been in years. I have made a ton of new friends being out on the road, and I have a passion for something else other then work, kids, work, kids and all the other stresses in life. I do not think you can measure that in terms of cost.
 
Old 02-12-05, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by sydney
You are just making this up without really knowing.Anyone that gets 4 tuneups a year on early 80s vintage bikes has certainly been severely reamed,because if the vintages are corect they would be friction shifting,and there is really no tuneup involved.Maintenaince is so basic,that literally any knumbskull or the mechanicall disenfranchised could likely handle it.
We'll your right, I just can't figure out how they got him for $1250 in one year.

You know they have bicycle classes where I live....that's how I figured out a lot of stuff, along with this forum, Park Tool website, and some books I wish I didn't buy (park tool website is better than any bike book). Actually, I take that back about one book.....Bicycle wheel book by Jobst Brandt was worth it.

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Old 02-12-05, 01:43 PM
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The joy of riding, IMHO, is priceless!
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Old 02-12-05, 01:56 PM
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