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Cycling is expensive but is it worth it? Let's examine.

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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

Cycling is expensive but is it worth it? Let's examine.

Old 09-08-13, 07:16 AM
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Cycling is expensive but is it worth it? Let's examine.

You would not believe the responses I get when I reveal to people that my personally fitted Cannondale 6-13 with Kyserium SI wheels, Dura Ace hardware, Most compact crank, and Joule 2.0 computer system set me back about $3,500 in 2008. Ok, I went nuts when I purchased it. I even have carbon fiber water bottle holders to save weight. I also have a Cycle Ops pro 300 indoor trainer which my wife and I only used a few times because it is too much like a real bike and extremely boring to ride. I need to unload it so I can buy a recumbent model with a bucket seat that will be close enough to regular cycling but more comfortable. Is this too expensive? Let's look at the alternatives.

I quit smoking to become a serious runner in 1973. As I recall, a pack of smokes in 1973 was about $.035. Today the price ranges from Alabama: $5.27 to New York: $11.90. So the average price is about $8.60 a pack. $8.60 X 365 = $3,139. I bought my Cannondale five years ago so $3,500 / 5 = $700 so far. I'm too lazy to keep researching these calculations but let's consider that I do not drive my Jeep Liberty while I'm on my bike so I'm not using gas or putting wear and tear on it. I have few health issues because I eat to maximize my performance on the bike so my weight is in the ideal range for height/weight charts. I currently have over $10,000 in my Health Savings Account because I sparsely use it. By the way, I'm 66 years old. Ok, I went for gold when I bought my bike but the beauty is that you don't need to. Just getting a good bike for about a grand will last you for years if you take care of it by keeping it clean and stored inside. There is much more I could say but the point is clear. At least I hope it is.
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Old 09-08-13, 07:30 AM
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I like the "personally fitted" part!
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Old 09-08-13, 07:33 AM
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Bikes.....

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Old 09-08-13, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
I like the "personally fitted" part!
Hey, he said he went nuts when he bought it!
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Old 09-08-13, 07:38 AM
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People piss away $$ on all kinds of stuff. Going out to eat constantly, drinking at bars, insane amounts of clothes, watches, jewelry...you name it...

i catch flack for my bike too...which is well over $3K like yours (not including kit...LOL). The thing is...I have no other hobbies. I don't hunt, I don't drive a fancy car, I rarely eat out, I don't drink or smoke. I know people that will spend $150-200/week eating out and drinking. That's a rough shot number of $10K/year. That's not counting the guys I know who smoke a $8 pack of smokes a day...

At least my hobby is healthy and like you, being in better shape has many physical and financial benifits.

im not posting this to hammer how spend their $$...because its theirs to spend. BUT...when someone makes a snide comment about my cycling, ill be quick to point out how they spend theirs. My boss was poking fun at my bike when I pointed out his $3K TAG watch...that ended the conversation pretty quick. I love a good watch but a watch is just that, besides looking nice it really doesn't do much.
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Old 09-08-13, 08:02 AM
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Capitalist swine indulging in crass consumerism. So our society has come to this. Pro cyclists are starving (or so it looks like) and rich old people are buying expensive bikes. Shameful. Where is justice? Where is fairness?

The paragraph above is a parody, but people who actually believe it will weigh in shortly, I'm sure.
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Old 09-08-13, 08:06 AM
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If you don't bike you're required to smoke? Huh, I never knew.
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Old 09-08-13, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Dudelsack
Capitalist swine indulging in crass consumerism. So our society has come to this. Pro cyclists are starving (or so it looks like) and rich old people are buying expensive bikes. Shameful. Where is justice? Where is fairness?

The paragraph above is a parody, but people who actually believe it will weigh in shortly, I'm sure.
Funny!

To the OP, enjoy your hobby. Better to spend your money in cycling than on blow and *****s.
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Old 09-08-13, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Ray9
to New York: $11.90
Go NY!
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Old 09-08-13, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by youngbeginner
Go NY!
On my first trip to NYC (while scouting out an eventual move there), I overheard an LGA convenience store conversation that went something like this:

Customer: pack of Camel Lights, please.
Clerk: Sure - $9.15 (this is when a pack was around $3.50 in MN)

The customer then expressed some kind of shock/disgust, but I was laughing too hard to hear it.
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Old 09-08-13, 08:18 AM
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Go quality, once you have that it becomes a very cheap hobby. My total yearly costs are under 200 dollars. The bike I bought and still ride in 1976, in todays dollars would be around 8 thousand dollars. A beauty that still works like a charm. My shoes are nine years old, my winter clothes at least 5 years, my regular clothes are going on 4 years.
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Old 09-08-13, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia
Funny!

To the OP, enjoy your hobby. Better to spend your money in cycling than on blow and *****s.
Hmmmm, let's think about that one awhile......
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Old 09-08-13, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by surgeonstone
Go quality, once you have that it becomes a very cheap hobby. My total yearly costs are under 200 dollars. The bike I bought and still ride in 1976, in todays dollars would be around 8 thousand dollars. A beauty that still works like a charm. My shoes are nine years old, my winter clothes at least 5 years, my regular clothes are going on 4 years.
I wish I could say the same...

i try to get a new bib/jersey set each year...easily $200-250. This year as well I'm going to bite the bullet and get a nic e pair of riding shoes...probably $400 or so...
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Old 09-08-13, 09:06 AM
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The thread makes an attempt at a relative argument nothing more. You can make points about the inherent dangers of cycling that could counteract the health benefits. Every rose has it's thorn. In mid winter I look at my Cannondale and dream of angling off a gentle hill past a golf course and smelling the sweet aroma of freshly mowed grass. It's a relative thing. I came. I saw. I enjoy.
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Old 09-08-13, 09:06 AM
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What surprises me most is that at 66 you're troubling yourself with such sophomoric ruminations.
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Old 09-08-13, 09:10 AM
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Who cares what other people think - its your money so spend it on what YOU like! That's the only justification you need. There are a couple of cheapskates at work that buy the cheapest pre-made lunch item at the Quickie-Mart, but drop $1000 per year on their hunt club membership. A bit penny-wise in my opinion, but that's how they operate and I don't hassle them (maybe some over the lunch choice). Though, since I tie up my money in other hobbies I hunt on "free" land. I get the same reaction as the OP when I recommend someone consider cycling. "Oooohhh, bikes are so expensive!" Same people probably usually don't do much of anything.
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Old 09-08-13, 09:10 AM
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The most expensive bike is the one that is not ridden.
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Old 09-08-13, 09:13 AM
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Cycling is expensive but is it worth it? Let's examine.

For a couple hundred bucks a bike, I ride on quality hand made bikes. Vintage bikes are an outright steal these days. Full 531 lugged steel with top line components. Add a pair of quality tubular tires and you have a ride that is hard to beat. And it all adds up to $300-500.
Clothing, used jerseys and shorts keep me in budget. And my "kits" are very unique. Only thing I buy new is shoes. I usually use used tires. Buying new tires is a real treat.
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Old 09-08-13, 09:23 AM
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Compared to golf, skeet shooting, boating and flying your own plane(s) cycling is cheap.
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Old 09-08-13, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Looigi
What surprises me most is that at 66 you're troubling yourself with such sophomoric ruminations.
What's surprising? Unless you're rich you have to weigh budgetary decisions your whole life.

I do the same thing, consider how much money I saved by quitting smoking, then it makes a big purchase guilt-diminished. (guilt-free takes time lol)
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Old 09-08-13, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by BillyD
What's surprising? Unless you're rich you have to weigh budgetary decisions your whole life.

I do the same thing, consider how much money I saved by quitting smoking, then it makes a big purchase guilt-diminished. (guilt-free takes time lol)
I think the other poster's point was that most people by the time they're in their 60s have the money part pretty well taken care of because many of life's major expenses are behind you (kids' college, paying for a house, etc.). If you don't, it's hard to play catch up at that point. For those who do have money taken care of, many feel it's time to start enjoying that because you can't take it with you.
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Old 09-08-13, 10:11 AM
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Eh, it's less expensive than fixing up old cars or racing motorcycles or shooting guns or cigar smoking but going hiking in the woods or playing soccer or reading a lot of books is probably a lot cheaper.

Also you forget consumables like chains, tires, cassettes, tubes, extra food (you have to eat those extra 2000 calories you burned on your ride), race fees and transportation for those that don't just ride from their front doorstep.

In the end it isn't that expensive.. but I am sitting at home barely able to walk, and will have to pay for my hospital visit/xrays because I fell during a time trial. It isn't the safest hobby either.
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Old 09-08-13, 10:12 AM
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"Health Savings Account"? Is that a metaphor?
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Old 09-08-13, 11:12 AM
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I'm thinking that you don't need to reveal the cost of your bike to anybody if you don't like what they are going to say. I've never met you and I know how much your bike costs, what kind of car you drive, your age, health, how much money is in your health savings account, and your marital status. Just sayin'.
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Old 09-08-13, 11:26 AM
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To my mind, the benefits in reduced stress and well-being far outweigh the $ on a spreadsheet.
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