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$++, fg bikes, and reality ...

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$++, fg bikes, and reality ...

Old 06-03-08, 08:41 AM
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jhaber
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$++, fg bikes, and reality ...

So I was reading NY bike snob yesterday and he linked to a few articles of interest for me.

Link # 1
Link # 2
Link # 3

These articles got me thinking about money spent on a fg bike. Obviously building up a fg bike is different than a tri or road bike because of the difference in parts. However the application of most peoples road ridden fg bikes is also very different. I would assume a lot of us like to lock up our bikes, ride around on the road with them, and didn't buy them with racing in mind.

That said how would that affect the amount one would spend on their bike. How much money is too much money for a bike that you would feel comfortable locking up and leaving some where?

I doubt I could tell the difference between a $2 k bike and $5 k bike or a $10 k bike for that matter. Getting a custom frame would be amazing obviously but could most people really tell the difference between levels of steel quality out there let alone the crazy ti, ti / carbon setups outside of the stiffness of the ride (which probably isn't what most of us want anyways). Why would someone using their bike to get around town want a full carbon bike that if crashed might have to be scrapped instead of steel that could be repaired.

So I guess what I am asking is, what makes sense to spend on an around town bike? What makes sense to spend if one had a lot of disposable income? How much money for a frame is realistic? Steel or ti? Custom or stock? How high end would one want their wheels if they are just getting around town?

I know the answers to these questions will very from person to person just looking for other peoples' thoughts on the matter...
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Old 06-03-08, 09:14 AM
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The right amount to spend on a bike is what you feel comfortable with. To some people, what they ride is worth spending $10k on. To some, its only worth $100. Its the same with just about everything in life.

One of my friends is all about jeans. He spends $300 for a pair of jeans every couple of months. I personally think its a waste of money, but its his hobby. I've spent more money in car parts to build up my vehicle than I spent on the vehicle itself. My dad think's im an idiot and throwing money away, but its something that I enjoy, so it doesnt seem like a waste at all to me.

People on the outside looking in dont understand why so much is spent, and never will.
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Old 06-03-08, 09:21 AM
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I think it's pretrty obvious there's a square root style graph when one compares money spent (x) vs increased performance (f(x)). So I'm saying as price increases, perhaps after $1,500 or so for a round-city track bike, performance, durability, and quality starts to even out. Spending more and more will make little difference off the track.
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Old 06-03-08, 09:29 AM
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spending money on even track parts is dubious as to the performance enhancements. the ultimate question is whether or not the placebo effect of rolling on ****** *** gear is worth the price, the answer to which can only be determined by your wallet.

i will have about $1500 into my fixed gear when done but it's not a bike i really lock up. much of the component selection was emotionally driven and not necessarily in pursuit of performance gains.
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Old 06-03-08, 09:36 AM
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It's what you can afford, it's what it means to you.

My first built fixed gear bike was my Cross Check. I had developed a real passion for cycling and commuting and wanted something that really represented my riding. So I went top shelf on the components (someday I want to swap the brakes for some nice Paul Components) and don't regret it one bit (i'm also cash on the barrel head, no debt). I figure it cost me about $13-1400 (this is 2005).


Originally Posted by
I personally think its a waste of money, but its his hobby. I've spent more money in car parts to build up my vehicle than I spent on the vehicle itself. My dad think's im an idiot and throwing money away, but its something that I enjoy, so it doesnt seem like a waste at all to me.
Last summer I spent $500 on my old Raleigh
to update the crank, bottom bracket and saddle.
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Old 06-03-08, 09:39 AM
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the first 'real' bike I bought was $2300 waaay back in 1991 (a Fat City Cycles Yo Eddy). then it got another $1300 or so in upgrades over the next few years.

it isn't with me here in Tokyo, but I am starting to dream of riding again once I am back in the States. I long ago dropped the FD but I am not quite sure it would be worth it to lose the rear. but yeah, not a bad commitment for what before too long will be twenty years of riding! all the cars I've had lasted less time. but I never would lock it outside for long stretches of time. if it was locked up it was a well-lit and highly trafficked area, better yet within sight. in college I'd often bring it into class and lean on the back wall of the room. never been out overnight. luckily, I've never had any bikes stolen either.

my last beater bar-bike was an SE OM Flyer. great bike. cheap and dirty. and I would lock it up for hours at a time (though it's BMXiness was probably more attractive to thieves in New Haven than the Yo Eddy).

now my bikes here in Tokyo are all (save the shopping bike) in the 1-2k range. though there is hardly any theft here I still lock em up where I can see them and don't leave them out all night....and I am going to be ultra careful with them when I get back to CT.

my other former daily rider/beater is a Bianchi Pista that is also in storage back home. buut....I am beginning to think an older cheapo conversion or something with more utility (racks and fenders) will be a better bet when I get back. but who knows. it would be nice to have another project!

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Old 06-03-08, 09:39 AM
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Money is a very subjective thing with bicycles, even within the same person.

For example, I refuse to spend more than 20 dollars on a headset or stem for my beater, but I won't put anything less than top of the line Veloflex tires on my race bike.
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Old 06-03-08, 09:42 AM
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whatever is left over after you've built up your racing bike.


after a certain point it doesn't make any sense to spend more on an 'around town' bike. i think i'd say about 800, but it depends entirely on

location and environment(crime, geography, weather)
personal affluence
performance needs
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Old 06-03-08, 09:47 AM
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that sounds about right, I guess we all think about these kinds of things, sometimes I have been riding my bike around and feeling, wow a set of Ultegra brakes and a nice light sub 1.5kg wheelset is in order, but then I also think that my bike is already pretty damn lightweight and the wheels stay good and true, it flies along at top speed in next to no time and I love riding it, so I swing from extremes of need to upgrade, to don't be stupid, it's just wasting money.

I understand the need of having nice components, reliability, weight, style etc, but as you say, you reach a point where it becomes meaningless to upgrade (in a city environment) What I put in my back pack, or ate for lunch negates any extra $100+ spent on new sweet parts. unless style is vital to you.

Saying that though, my other bike is a $5k full-suspension s-works all mountain bike, and I know that there certainly are times when you want to spend extra, the fork for example cost twice what I paid for my whole Langster ($1000 vs $500). When i talk about it with non-biking friends, they think that I am nuts, with the typical reaction being, my bike cost less than $100.

I guess as long as you can justify the expense with definite performance gain, vs what you can afford, then it's ok. But we are all adults and can make our own decisions about these things so I will shut up now.
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Old 06-03-08, 03:39 PM
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Personally I'd say titanium makes the most sense for around town riding if one plans on going the custom route. It's sooo rugged and indestructible...

Carbon fiber is more racey than any of the other stuff mentioned. It's about performance, whereas steel is about ride feel.

But yeah, up to about the $1000 mark I feel fine locking up my whip wherever, whenever. But I love owning a nice bike I can take for rides on sunny days and enjoy too.
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Old 06-03-08, 04:07 PM
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my vivalo has over $1300 into it
my commuter has $32 invested into it (i got everything for free on it except the panniers. when you work in a shop, you get good parts that people want to be thrown away like bars and perfectly good tires)

although here's the thing, thats about the cost for only for 2 of my bikes and i've had plenty over the years. they are the only thing that i really spend my money on
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Old 06-03-08, 04:12 PM
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+1, for car-free youngin's like me it's very easy and almost irrefutable to make a claim about putting $1500 into a bike against getting a car.
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Old 06-03-08, 04:18 PM
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Wow, reading link #3 just made me remember how much I hate yuppie scum and the very words "bike botique". Does anyone know where I can get one of those Eat The Rich t shirts with the skull and crossed silverware?
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Old 06-03-08, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post
Wow, reading link #3 just made me remember how much I hate yuppie scum and the very words "bike botique". Does anyone know where I can get one of those Eat The Rich t shirts with the skull and crossed silverware?
ah yes, what better way to fight the corporate yuppie oppression machine than with consumption.

a tee shirt will rightly put those yuppies in their place!!

"All you know about me is what I've sold you,
Dumb ****
I sold out long before you ever heard my name

I sold my soul to make a record,
Dip ****,
And you bought one"
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Old 06-03-08, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by peabodypride View Post
+1, for car-free youngin's like me it's very easy and almost irrefutable to make a claim about putting $1500 into a bike against getting a car.
I'm not a yougin' anymore, but still get a kick out of friend's reactions to how much I spent on my "nice" bike.

"Cool bike, how much was it?"

"About $600" (yeah, not a lot in comparison to some here )

"$600 on a bike?, why?"

"Because I like it!"

"Really?"

"Yup"

"Really?"

"How much did you spend on your car?"

"Nevermind"
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Old 06-03-08, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by venturi95 View Post
Wow, reading link #3 just made me remember how much I hate yuppie scum and the very words "bike botique". Does anyone know where I can get one of those Eat The Rich t shirts with the skull and crossed silverware?
That fast food job not working out for you?
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Old 06-03-08, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cc700 View Post
ah yes, what better way to fight the corporate yuppie oppression machine than with consumption.

a tee shirt will rightly put those yuppies in their place!!
thank you.
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Old 06-03-08, 04:57 PM
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Get a few blank t-shirts from a second hand store and learn to silkscreen. All the "stickin it to" with 98% less "the man" +bonus cool points for making your own clothes.
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Old 06-03-08, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
That fast food job not working out for you?
Job? who said I had a job?
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Old 06-03-08, 05:37 PM
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wow, what a rebel.
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Old 06-03-08, 05:37 PM
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Once buying stuff is called a hobby, or a potentially/once real hobby turns into buying stuff, something is very wrong.

For those with tons of disposable cash, I guess it's a slippery slope as spending hard-earned money on stuff relevant to your interests is pretty fun in limited doses. Many don't care to draw the line though and find valuable belongings more satisfying than normal human beings.

Edit: Ugh, I just read the 1st and 2nd NYT links and wish I didn't make my opinion so bland. Soulless, image-obsessed rich folks who want to make everything desirable and turn it into fashion are a cancer. There.

Last edited by bexley; 06-03-08 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 06-03-08, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by cc700 View Post
wow, what a rebel.
How did this get thread get sidetracked to an attack on me? I guess I offended somebody, which is only fair since the dumbasses of the world who come up with jems like "bikes are the new golf" and such make me want to hurl. I confess: I worked for a nationally known framebuilder for a few years and have a fairly rigid idea of what the relationship between client and builder should be. Also, I now make tons of money in a "real job" that doesn't involve the food service industry.
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Old 06-03-08, 05:57 PM
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i'm just kidding man, no hard feelings.
i'm not offeneded, **** i buy stuff all the time. if anything, you're offended.

the thing is, i don't care how many years you worked for a master frame builder. that's awesome. but it doesn't mean you can be angry at yuppies for spending money and then turn around and want to buy a tee shirt to proudly display your angst. it's petty. it's hypocritical. it's silly.

there's nothing wrong with post #3, get over it.

/hijack.
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Old 06-03-08, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ianjk View Post
I'm not a yougin' anymore, but still get a kick out of friend's reactions to how much I spent on my "nice" bike.

"Cool bike, how much was it?"

"About $4000"

"$4000 on a bike?, why?"

"Because I like it!"

"Really?"

"Yup"

"Really?"

"That's your F150 right? How much was your gas bill last month?"

"Nevermind"
fixed for you.

and to the OP, you will feel a difference between a 2k and a 5k bike.
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Old 06-03-08, 06:07 PM
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I' just kidding too. I wouldn't really eat a rich person unless they were a tri-athelte
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