What got you spending the cash?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Luigi De Guzman, Apr 21, 2003.

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  1. in the vein of all the recent new-bikie threads...

    I got a phone call from my friend S the other day:

    "Hey. Are you in-country this summer?"

    "Yeah. I'll have to stick around London, though; I'll be writing-up the thesis...."

    "Oh. I was wondering if you wanted to ride from Lands' End to John O'Groats.."

    S has recently decided that riding a bike is actually great fun, & wanted to know if I could
    recommend a bike that could carry panniers...and I told him. Of course, what I told him was a bike
    that would cost on the order of UKP 400. "Oh. he said. I was hoping 200 or so.."

    That got me thinking. What got me to the point where I was willing to drop USD 500 on a bicycle?

    I suppose it was easy for me; I already liked bicycles a lot, & I had a a pretty good idea of what I
    did and didn't want. I lucked out at the pawnshop with the old raleigh...& when that broke, I took
    the advice of the local used-bike dealer: "You're a strong young lad. Go buy yourself a new bike!

    Do we all have to go through a cheap--i'm thinking USD 70 or so--bike before we decide what we want?
    & when we give new bikies buying advice, do we really advise them or are we really buying for
    ourselves in the past tense? Is it really about the bike?

    I've seen people doing surprising distances on POS bikes. I've seen bicycles costing many times the
    worth of both of mine combined ridden by incompetents. When did the equipment make it more fun?

    No answers, no axe to grind. Just wondering.

    -Luigi
     
    Tags:


  2. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Luigi de
    Guzman) wrote:

    > in the vein of all the recent new-bikie threads...
    >
    > I got a phone call from my friend S the other day:
    >
    > "Hey. Are you in-country this summer?"
    >
    > "Yeah. I'll have to stick around London, though; I'll be writing-up the thesis...."
    >
    > "Oh. I was wondering if you wanted to ride from Lands' End to John O'Groats.."
    >
    > S has recently decided that riding a bike is actually great fun, & wanted to know if I could
    > recommend a bike that could carry panniers...and I told him. Of course, what I told him was a bike
    > that would cost on the order of UKP 400. "Oh. he said. I was hoping 200 or so.."
    >
    > That got me thinking. What got me to the point where I was willing to drop USD 500 on a bicycle?

    You decided you liked the sport.

    > I suppose it was easy for me; I already liked bicycles a lot, & I had a a pretty good idea of
    > what I did and didn't want. I lucked out at the pawnshop with the old raleigh...& when that
    > broke, I took the advice of the local used-bike dealer: "You're a strong young lad. Go buy
    > yourself a new bike!
    >
    > Do we all have to go through a cheap--i'm thinking USD 70 or so--bike before we decide what we
    > want? & when we give new bikies buying advice, do we really advise them or are we really buying
    > for ourselves in the past tense? Is it really about the bike?

    I think this is close to true. For most people dipping a toe into cycling, the idea of committing
    $500-1000 on a bicycle and related equipment is ludicrous. What you do is ride what you have or can
    scrounge. A lot of people do this and...nothing. They become non-cyclists in a matter of weeks. My
    dad has bike-commuted on and off for years, but he's back into it seriously again, and I like to
    think that the half-decent bike I gave him (a garage-sale find, but like the best garage-sale bike
    ever, except maybe for Dave's Pinarello) helped.

    For those of us who keep riding, it's a matter of using that bike to figure out what isn't working.

    > I've seen people doing surprising distances on POS bikes. I've seen bicycles costing many
    > times the worth of both of mine combined ridden by incompetents. When did the equipment make
    > it more fun?

    The equipment takes care of annoyances. These can be simple but keenly felt, like the wrong saddle,
    or obvious failures, like worn-out parts or bad French shifting.

    In my case, I decided that this year I would go racing. In choosing to do so, I figured that within
    reason bike weight and quality were not going to make a big difference (trans: race the $10 Mikado),
    but trying to friction-shift DT shifters would piss me off at every race, because I'm not very good
    at it and there's a good, recent technological solution. (trans: buy brifteurs).

    So I went out and bought a bike with a Sora brifteur on it. It was cheap, and it works. And hey,
    I've won one race on it, so there ya go!

    Of course, then I went and bought a carbon fork for this bike, but there my special excuse was that
    the carbon fork is weatherproof, and the chromed fork was pitting badly! See how it works? The 250 g
    saving is, of course, immaterial.
    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.sfu.ca/~rcousine President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
     
  3. B. Sanders

    B. Sanders Guest

    "Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > in the vein of all the recent new-bikie threads...
    >
    > I got a phone call from my friend S the other day:
    >
    > "Hey. Are you in-country this summer?"
    >
    > "Yeah. I'll have to stick around London, though; I'll be writing-up the thesis...."
    >
    > "Oh. I was wondering if you wanted to ride from Lands' End to John O'Groats.."
    >
    > S has recently decided that riding a bike is actually great fun, & wanted to know if I could
    > recommend a bike that could carry panniers...and I told him. Of course, what I told him was a bike
    > that would cost on the order of UKP 400. "Oh. he said. I was hoping 200 or so.."
    >
    > That got me thinking. What got me to the point where I was willing to drop USD 500 on a bicycle?
    >
    > I suppose it was easy for me; I already liked bicycles a lot, & I had a a pretty good idea of
    > what I did and didn't want. I lucked out at the pawnshop with the old raleigh...& when that
    > broke, I took the advice of the local used-bike dealer: "You're a strong young lad. Go buy
    > yourself a new bike!
    >
    > Do we all have to go through a cheap--i'm thinking USD 70 or so--bike before we decide what we
    > want? & when we give new bikies buying advice, do we really advise them or are we really buying
    > for ourselves in the past tense? Is it really about the bike?
    >
    > I've seen people doing surprising distances on POS bikes. I've seen bicycles costing many
    > times the worth of both of mine combined ridden by incompetents. When did the equipment make
    > it more fun?
    >
    > No answers, no axe to grind. Just wondering.
    >
    > -Luigi

    A very good question, Luigi. This one has a lengthy answer.

    When I was about 7 or 8 yrs old, my Dad bought a pickup truck load of old bikes from a neighbor for
    $5. I put together as many Frankenbikes from that pile of scrap as my imagination could configure.
    Not being allowed to weld or use power tools, I was limited to "Tinkertoy" customizations. I did
    build a super-radical chopper with an 8-foot-long fork; but it bent in half on a hard landing. Those
    early years of tinkering galvanized my love for bikes of all types at an early age. I had a BMX bike
    before BMX was really a sport, and used to dirt jump and race my friends every single day until I
    outgrew my 20" bike.

    I bought my first good bike - a Schwinn LeTour - in 1978, for $120. I rode that LeTour (which was
    too big for me) as often as I could, in any weather, for over 5 years. Then I bought a beautiful
    silver Fuji road bike for $350 in 1984. That was over a weeks pay for me at the time (1984). The
    Fuji was stolen, and I bought a red & white Miyata 512 in 1988. Great bike. Paid $400 for that one.
    I actually *wanted* BioPace chainrings - even though they weren't fashionable at the time.

    It wasn't until I discovered mountain bikes that I started really spending the money. I remember
    talking to a local offroad biking enthusiast about his new Bianchi hardtail in 1992. He told me he
    spend $950 on his bike. Nine hundred and fifty dollars??!!! I thought he was nuts. A few short years
    later, the same bug that had bitten him also bit me. After that, I thought very little of spending
    $850 to $900 on a *used* bike (carbon, titanium, full XTR). That's when the "jones" really hit me. I
    wanted to try every kind of bike I could find, especially high-end mountain bikes. They're so
    versatile for so many things, and not limited to paved roads or trails. Once I had a couple of good
    mountain bikes, I wanted to try more: Carbon, titanium, steel, aluminum, rigid, hardtail, full
    suspension, XTR, XT, etc, etc.

    For me, it has always been about the bikes. Riding is for me a Zen experience: I ride to ride. I am
    entirely in the moment, sailing along under my own power. I belong to a cycling club, and it's a lot
    of fun; but I still prefer the solitary riding experience most of the time.

    I'm finally designing with the intent of building one or more entirely custom recumbent low racer
    bikes. This is the logical arc for me. I'm going back to my tinkering roots; but this time I have
    the power tools and the welder.

    Now, if I just had a garage...

    Tailwinds,

    Barry
     
  4. Garmonboezia

    Garmonboezia Guest

    "B. Sanders" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > "Luigi de Guzman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >> in the vein of all the recent new-bikie threads...
    >>
    >> I got a phone call from my friend S the other day:
    >>
    >> "Hey. Are you in-country this summer?"
    >>
    >> "Yeah. I'll have to stick around London, though; I'll be writing-up the thesis...."
    >>
    >> "Oh. I was wondering if you wanted to ride from Lands' End to John O'Groats.."
    >>
    >> S has recently decided that riding a bike is actually great fun, & wanted to know if I could
    >> recommend a bike that could carry panniers...and I told him. Of course, what I told him was a
    >> bike that would cost on the order of UKP 400. "Oh. he said. I was hoping 200 or so.."
    >>
    >> That got me thinking. What got me to the point where I was willing to drop USD 500 on a bicycle?
    >>
    >> I suppose it was easy for me; I already liked bicycles a lot, & I had a a pretty good idea of
    >> what I did and didn't want. I lucked out at the pawnshop with the old raleigh...& when that
    >> broke, I took the advice of the local used-bike dealer: "You're a strong young lad. Go buy
    >> yourself a new bike!
    >>
    >> Do we all have to go through a cheap--i'm thinking USD 70 or so--bike before we decide what we
    >> want? & when we give new bikies buying advice, do we really advise them or are we really buying
    >> for ourselves in the past tense? Is it really about the bike?
    >>
    >> I've seen people doing surprising distances on POS bikes. I've seen bicycles costing many
    >> times the worth of both of mine combined ridden by incompetents. When did the equipment make
    >> it more fun?
    >>
    >> No answers, no axe to grind. Just wondering.
    >>
    >> -Luigi
    >
    > A very good question, Luigi. This one has a lengthy answer.
    >
    > When I was about 7 or 8 yrs old, my Dad bought a pickup truck load of old bikes from a neighbor
    > for $5. I put together as many Frankenbikes from that pile of scrap as my imagination could
    > configure. Not being allowed to weld or use power tools, I was limited to "Tinkertoy"
    > customizations. I did build a super-radical chopper with an 8-foot-long fork; but it bent in half
    > on a hard landing. Those early years of tinkering galvanized my love for bikes of all types at an
    > early age. I had a BMX bike before BMX was really a sport, and used to dirt jump and race my
    > friends every single day until I outgrew my 20" bike.
    >
    > I bought my first good bike - a Schwinn LeTour - in 1978, for $120. I rode that LeTour (which was
    > too big for me) as often as I could, in any weather, for over 5 years. Then I bought a beautiful
    > silver Fuji road bike for $350 in 1984. That was over a weeks pay for me at the time (1984). The
    > Fuji was stolen, and I bought a red & white Miyata 512 in 1988. Great bike. Paid $400 for that
    > one. I actually *wanted* BioPace chainrings - even though they weren't fashionable at the time.
    >
    > It wasn't until I discovered mountain bikes that I started really spending the money. I remember
    > talking to a local offroad biking enthusiast about his new Bianchi hardtail in 1992. He told me he
    > spend $950 on his bike. Nine hundred and fifty dollars??!!! I thought he was nuts. A few short
    > years later, the same bug that had bitten him also bit me. After that, I thought very little of
    > spending $850 to $900 on a *used* bike (carbon, titanium, full XTR). That's when the "jones"
    > really hit me. I wanted to try every kind of bike I could find, especially high-end mountain
    > bikes. They're so versatile for so many things, and not limited to paved roads or trails. Once I
    > had a couple of good mountain bikes, I wanted to try more: Carbon, titanium, steel, aluminum,
    > rigid, hardtail, full suspension, XTR, XT, etc, etc.
    >
    > For me, it has always been about the bikes. Riding is for me a Zen experience: I ride to ride. I
    > am entirely in the moment, sailing along under my own power. I belong to a cycling club, and it's
    > a lot of fun; but I still prefer the solitary riding experience most of the time.
    >
    > I'm finally designing with the intent of building one or more entirely custom recumbent low racer
    > bikes. This is the logical arc for me. I'm going back to my tinkering roots; but this time I have
    > the power tools and the welder.
    >
    > Now, if I just had a garage...
    >
    > Tailwinds,
    >
    > Barry
    >
    >

    I got a little Homer Simpson voice that says things like "Colnago C40 with B Stays. Mmmmm B Stays."
    :p And don't even get me started about Seven or Serrotta.

    My bike progression was similar to yours, even down to the too big Schwinn Le Tour. I remember
    riding my Sears Free Spirit until it died. That bike carried a lot of groceries. My first "nice"
    bike was a Specialized Sirrus with all Shimano 105 It had that steep 80's geometry, (74 head and 74
    seat)and ,uh, Biopace. I saw the ads in Bicycling and I thought I had arrived, heh. It was stolen
    after two years. Since then I've ran through about eight bikes, some new, some kit bashed.

    I think I've always been this way.
     
  5. Luigi de Guzman wrote:

    >in the vein of all the recent new-bikie threads...
    >
    >I got a phone call from my friend S the other day:
    >
    >"Hey. Are you in-country this summer?"
    >
    >"Yeah. I'll have to stick around London, though; I'll be writing-up the thesis...."
    >
    >"Oh. I was wondering if you wanted to ride from Lands' End to John O'Groats.."
    >
    >
    >-Luigi
    >
    >
    If you do want to ride from Land's End to John o'Groats take these directions.

    Land's End: Join the A30 at Trevescan: Continue on the A30 past Penzance (watch out for pirates) :
    Join the M5 at junction 31 south of Exeter: Join the M6 at W. Bromwich towards Stafford and Stoke on
    Trent: Leave the M6 at juction 44 Carlisle North and join the A74: Join the A74(M) at junction 22
    near Gretna: The A74(M) becomes the M74 at junction 13 near Abington: Continue on the M74 until
    junction 4: Join the M73 north: At junction 3 of the M73, join the A80 east towards Cumbernauld and
    Falkirk: Leave the A80 at junction 4, and join the M80 north: Leave the M80 and join the M9 towards
    Perth: At junction 11 join the A9 and continue north: Turn onto the A99 at Latherton: Continue past
    Wick, Keiss and the Stacks of Duncansby: John o'Groats. Roughly 835 miles, 1343 kilometres, 6680
    furlongs and 267200 rods.

    --
    Cheers Damian Harvey

    This space reserved for standard disclaimer, witty quote, plug for own business in caps and large,
    bad ASCII art.
     
  6. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >Do we all have to go through a cheap--i'm thinking USD 70 or so--bike before we decide what we
    >want? & when we give new bikies buying advice, do we really advise them or are we really buying for
    >ourselves in the past tense? Is it really about the bike?

    I think we are trying to share our experiences with bicycles, both what we have observed with our
    own experiences and by watching others.

    My view is that it is best to start with what I term a "decent bike" which translates into a Bike
    Shop entry level bike or something slightly better, stainless steel spokes and a real seat post are
    probably the two waterlines for
    me.

    >I've seen people doing surprising distances on POS bikes. I've seen bicycles costing many times the
    >worth of both of mine combined ridden by incompetents. When did the equipment make it more fun?

    I personally enjoy hopping on my Eddy Merckx or my Paramount and going for a ride. Those bikes (and
    others like them) are just really a kick to ride. This is fun. Doing some single track on my MTB is
    fun. These are things that got me spending the cash.

    Breaking down, wobbly wheels, broken spokes, brakes that don't work in the rain or on steep
    hills, seat posts that slip, seats that won't stay in the right place, index shifters that won't
    index, stems that slip, bottom brackets that creak and groan, bikes that just don't fit, these
    things are not fun.

    It is my view that equipment ought to be reliable, comfortable and safe, beyond that, the rest is
    just frosting on the cake.

    It is probably true that some people ride POS's long distances but it is rare in my experience. The
    vast majority of riders I see riding long distances are riding decent bikes.

    I ran into a fellow while we were camping by the Colorado river who was doing a 1000 mile self
    supported tour of California deserts. He was riding slightly above entry level rigid forked MTB.
    Looked to be a good bike for this. This of course is not a POS but a decent bike.

    Had a friend who computed about 35 miles a day on a 15 year old Specialized Stumpjumper, again not a
    POS, but rather a bike that was ideal for the task. Probably be hard to buy a new bike today that is
    as good a commuter as that StumpJumper was. 26 inch wheels, a near road type fit, no suspension
    forks or suspension seat post, had the eyelets for a rack.. nice lugged frame, just a great bike for
    hauling stuff and not breaking down.

    Decent bike, that all one needs.

    Jon Isaacs
     
  7. Art Harris

    Art Harris Guest

    Luigi de Guzman wrote:
    > Do we all have to go through a cheap--i'm thinking USD 70 or so--bike before we decide what we
    > want? & when we give new bikies buying advice, do we really advise them or are we really buying
    > for ourselves in the past tense? Is it really about the bike?
    >
    > I've seen people doing surprising distances on POS bikes. I've seen bicycles costing many
    > times the worth of both of mine combined ridden by incompetents. When did the equipment make
    > it more fun?

    I started out at about age 6 on various single speed, coaster brake style bikes. By the time I was
    12, I was doing occasional rides of 50+ miles with my friends on bikes like that. Then one of my
    friends bought a ten speed (circa 1962 - I think it was a Gitane "Tour de France") for the princely
    sum of $100. I was green with envy, but kept on riding my old clunker.

    In the mid '70s, I bought a low end Fuji ten speed for $120 and loved
    it. That's when I started reading about bikes and studying the various catalogs. Since then,
    I've had four more road bikes (three of which I built up from bare frames). None of them
    cost more than $1000. (The most recent one was built up two years ago on a NOS frame I got
    on eBay for $130.)

    People who haven't bought a bike since their youth tend to think bikes should still cost what they
    did 20 years ago, and they suffer severe sticker shock when they walk into a bike shop today. On
    the other hand, "serious" cyclists often put too much emphasis on the bike and spend far more than
    they need to.

    Is it really about the bike? Well, yes and no. Once you have a bike that's reliable and
    appropriate for what you want to do, you probably won't increase your enjoyment much by spending a
    lot more money.

    Art Harris
     
  8. Damian Harvey <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<3EA4F7D3.

    <snips useful directions>

    ...sounds scary. Besides, aren't cycles prohibited from motorways and A(M) roads?

    -Luigi
     
  9. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    Jon Isaacs wrote:

    > Had a friend who computed about 35 miles a day on a 15 year old Specialized Stumpjumper, again not
    > a POS, but rather a bike that was ideal for the task. Probably be hard to buy a new bike today
    > that is as good a commuter as that StumpJumper was. 26 inch wheels, a near road type fit, no
    > suspension forks or suspension seat post, had the eyelets for a rack.. nice lugged frame, just a
    > great bike for hauling stuff and not breaking down.

    Marin has a few bikes like that in its "urban" category. A simple workhorse for commuting and urban
    street riding:

    http://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/urban/spec_novato.html
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/
     
  10. Hunrobe

    Hunrobe Guest

    >[email protected] (Art Harris)

    wrote in part:

    >People who haven't bought a bike since their youth tend to think bikes should still cost what they
    >did 20 years ago, and they suffer severe sticker shock when they walk into a bike shop today. On
    >the other hand, "serious" cyclists often put too much emphasis on the bike and spend far more than
    >they need to.
    >
    >Is it really about the bike? Well, yes and no. Once you have a bike that's reliable and
    >appropriate for what you want to do, you probably won't increase your enjoyment much by spending a
    >lot more money.

    I confess to being one of your >"serious" cyclists that spend more than they need< I'm not now nor
    will I ever be rich. OTOH, I manage to pay my bills and firmly believe that you can't take it with
    you. I would never advise a new rider, "Buy only the top line stuff." both because the prices of the
    top line gear would discourage new riders and because "best" is a subjective judgement. What I
    *would* advise anyone is to identify and buy the best they can afford. Bikes that break down, wheels
    that snap spokes, derailleurs with adjusting screws that strip out, chamois pads that aren't
    comfortable, jerseys with no pockets (AKA- tshirts).... would all make cycling less enjoyable. I
    don't mean that you *must* buy Record or DuraAce if you prefer. My own road bike is mostly Chorus
    with a few Record touches but let's not go too far the other way. I don't know anyone that has ever
    regretted buying the best they could afford.

    Regards, Bob Hunt
     
  11. Harris

    Harris Guest

    Hunrobe <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >[email protected] (Art Harris)

    > wrote in part:

    > >Is it really about the bike? Well, yes and no. Once you have a bike that's reliable and
    > >appropriate for what you want to do, you probably won't increase your enjoyment much by spending
    > >a lot more money.

    > I confess to being one of your >"serious" cyclists that spend more than they need< I'm not now nor
    > will I ever be rich. OTOH, I manage to pay my bills and firmly believe that you can't take it with
    > you. I would never advise a new rider, "Buy only the top line stuff." both because the prices of
    > the top line gear would discourage new riders and because "best" is a subjective judgement. What I
    > *would* advise anyone is to identify and buy the best they can afford. Bikes that break down,
    > wheels that snap spokes, derailleurs with adjusting screws that strip out, would all make cycling
    > less enjoyable.

    I have no problem with someone upgrading to Record or Dura Ace if they want to, though I doubt they
    would have any less fun using Centaur or Ultegra.

    But often the most expensive "stupid light" stuff (e.g., frames, wheels, bars) is less durable than
    more moderately priced equipment.

    Note that I used the words "reliable" and "appropriate" in my original post as the main criteria.

    Art Harris
     
  12. Sam Yorko

    Sam Yorko Guest

    Jon Isaacs wrote:
    >
    > >
    >
    > >Do we all have to go through a cheap--i'm thinking USD 70 or so--bike before we decide what we
    > >want? & when we give new bikies buying advice, do we really advise them or are we really buying
    > >for ourselves in the past tense? Is it really about the bike?
    >
    > I think we are trying to share our experiences with bicycles, both what we have observed with our
    > own experiences and by watching others.
    >
    > My view is that it is best to start with what I term a "decent bike" which translates into a Bike
    > Shop entry level bike or something slightly better, stainless steel spokes and a real seat post
    > are probably the two waterlines for
    > me.
    >
    > >I've seen people doing surprising distances on POS bikes. I've seen bicycles costing many
    > >times the worth of both of mine combined ridden by incompetents. When did the equipment make
    > >it more fun?
    >
    > I personally enjoy hopping on my Eddy Merckx or my Paramount and going for a ride. Those bikes
    > (and others like them) are just really a kick to ride. This is fun. Doing some single track on my
    > MTB is fun. These are things that got me spending the cash.
    >
    > Breaking down, wobbly wheels, broken spokes, brakes that don't work in the rain or on steep hills,
    > seat posts that slip, seats that won't stay in the right place, index shifters that won't index,
    > stems that slip, bottom brackets that creak and groan, bikes that just don't fit, these things are
    > not fun.
    >
    > It is my view that equipment ought to be reliable, comfortable and safe, beyond that, the rest is
    > just frosting on the cake.
    >
    > It is probably true that some people ride POS's long distances but it is rare in my experience.
    > The vast majority of riders I see riding long distances are riding decent bikes.
    >
    > I ran into a fellow while we were camping by the Colorado river who was doing a 1000 mile self
    > supported tour of California deserts. He was riding slightly above entry level rigid forked MTB.
    > Looked to be a good bike for this. This of course is not a POS but a decent bike.
    >
    > Had a friend who computed about 35 miles a day on a 15 year old Specialized Stumpjumper, again not
    > a POS, but rather a bike that was ideal for the task. Probably be hard to buy a new bike today
    > that is as good a commuter as that StumpJumper was. 26 inch wheels, a near road type fit, no
    > suspension forks or suspension seat post, had the eyelets for a rack.. nice lugged frame, just a
    > great bike for hauling stuff and not breaking down.
    >
    > Decent bike, that all one needs.
    >
    > Jon Isaacs

    I also think that my Trek 930 Singletrack, ca 1992, also fits that description.

    Sam
     
  13. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Art Harris" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > People who haven't bought a bike since their youth tend to
    think bikes
    > should still cost what they did 20 years ago, and they
    suffer severe
    > sticker shock when they walk into a bike shop today. On
    the other
    > hand, "serious" cyclists often put too much emphasis on
    the bike and
    > spend far more than they need to.

    It seems to me bikes are cheaper than they've ever been, adjusted for inflation and all that. The
    big difference is that even cheap bikes work pretty well. A decade ago, you had to spend at least
    $500 to get a mountain bike that wouldn't fall apart. Now a $300 bike has equipment that's as good
    as a $500 bike was back then. Go back a few years more, and those original Stumpjumpers, etc. were
    like $800, in 80s dollars. And they really didn't work all that great -- with lousy shifting and
    braking compared to a $300 bike today. You could get a solid touring bike then for about
    $400-something. Adjusted for inflation, a Fuji Touring or Bianchi Volpe is probably cheaper today,
    but also works a lot better -- out of the box. Back then, you almost always had to replace stuff to
    get the bike to work as it should. At the very least you'd want to redo the cables and retension the
    wheels. They always skimped on something. That's not true anymore.

    > Is it really about the bike? Well, yes and no. Once you
    have a bike
    > that's reliable and appropriate for what you want to do,
    you probably
    > won't increase your enjoyment much by spending a lot more
    money.

    This is true. Once you get something that fits and works and doesn't fall apart, it isn't about the
    bike anymore. Years ago that was a challenge itself -- look at all those old hyper-geek articles
    about gearing and whatnot. You don't have to worry about any of that today -- most bikes work well
    enough for most people, right out of the box. Perhaps this is the real reason for the downfall of
    bike magazines -- there's nothing *about bikes* for them to write about anymore.

    Matt O.
     
  14. Luigi de Guzman wrote:

    >...sounds scary. Besides, aren't cycles prohibited from motorways and A(M) roads?
    >
    >-Luigi
    >
    >
    God only knows, I bought Schott's Original Miscellany the other day and remembered seeing something
    about John o'Groats, I had to look up the atlas after I posted to find out exactly where I sent you.
    Turns out to be from bottom to top of Britain. www.miscellanies.info

    --
    Cheers Damian Harvey

    Remember, It's only illegal if you get caught.
     
  15. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Jon Isaacs wrote:

    >
    > Had a friend who computed about 35 miles a day on a 15 year old Specialized Stumpjumper, again not
    > a POS, but rather a bike that was ideal for the task. Probably be hard to buy a new bike today
    > that is as good a commuter as that StumpJumper was. 26 inch wheels, a near road type fit, no
    > suspension forks or suspension seat post, had the eyelets for a rack.. nice lugged frame, just a
    > great bike for hauling stuff and not breaking down.
    >
    > Decent bike, that all one needs.
    >
    > Jon Isaacs

    On the one hand, I'm in near total agreement, on the other hand, if your above statement is true,
    how did you acquire a garage stuffed with bikes? Best regards, Bernie
     
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