Author Topic: Bike dilemma  (Read 2489 times)

Imma

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Bike dilemma
« on: January 11, 2018, 04:16:30 AM »
My bike was stolen at the grocery store yesterday evening. I use my bike a LOT, as I don't have a car. I ride about 3000 km a year, every day of the year, through all kinds of weather. I live in the Netherlands, where biking is a lot more common than in other countries. Sadly, bike theft is also a relatively accepted part of life, although I've been pretty lucky so far. I owned the bike that was stolen last night for 10 years. I bought it when it was about  3 years old and always took good care of it. I was planning on replacing it with a new bike in 2020.

I've borrowed an old beater for the next couple of days so I don't have to make a big purchase in a hurry. I've been to a few shops this morning and looked around on the internet, but there's a dilemma now.

I was looking for a young, good quality second bike. This is what I used to have - a Gazelle Impala, bought when it was 3 years old. Something like this ( http://darlovelo.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/gazelle1-e1318075387873.jpg  but without the basket) . I really loved this bike, very good quality, super comfortable etc. It seems these kind of young, secondhand bikes are very hard to find these days. It used to be tax deductible to buy a new bike every 3 years to commute to work. This was ended years ago and ever since there has been a much smaller supply of good quality secondhand bikes. The demand is still big, so prices have gone up massively. If I were lucky enough to find such a bike, they go for 450-500 EUR.

The second option is buying brand new. I'd love to buy a brand new bike and I can afford it. I have always had secondhand bikes, I'd love to go to the store and choose a bike that's the most pretty and the most comfortable, not just whatever reasonably ok bike I could find. I have fallen in love with this bike ( http://kayabike.nl/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/BC100199_H_C.png  ) but it's EUR 800. I can maybe get that down to 750 if I'm lucky. Full insurance would be 75/year, that's another dilemma. This bike is extremely comfortable and it meets every requirement I have. Plus it looks lovely.

Then there's my sensible voice that tells me to buy a beater at EUR 50-100. Something like this ( http://i66.tinypic.com/jgigs5.jpg  ) . I had those kind of bikes for years. There's a lot of work in maintaining those bikes. I used to have several and would take the parts off one bike to the next. They work, and they can be made safe if you fix the lights, the brakes and the gears. The basic frame of a bike hasn't changed for the last half a century, but those old bikes are just never as comfortable as newer ones. But then again, cars with heated seats are more comfortable, but no one needs that level of comfort.

I know what I want: I want that super shiny red bike, and I can afford it. As long as it's not stolen, it would last for about 15 years. In that time, I expect to ride at least 40.000 km on it. I deserve a good bike if I don't own a car. But I also don't want to be a consumer sucka. Old bikes are old and need maintenance, but they're cheap and they work. Most people ride around on bikes like that in my country.

So, MMM community: can I buy that shiny new bike? Or should I just suck it up and go with the old beater like everyone else?

onemorebike

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 05:31:20 AM »
Well, you are asking the right guy. I'm sure you will get plenty of reminders that you are not retired, and therefore the difference between the nice bike and the utilitarian bike should be invested. Important perspective. That said, this is your primary transportation, much less expensive than it's alternatives, and sometimes sticking to the bike requires you to own a bike that you love and look forward to riding every day and everywhere. I think you already have the answer in mind (and heart) but I'll.just say it out loud: buy the red bike.

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Sun Hat

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 07:22:24 AM »
As much as I love thrift, I'm also a fan of spending money when it adds more to your quality of life than it costs. I think that you should buy a new bike, either the red bike or a new version of the one that you had before. You'll love riding it, and won't have as many incremental maintenance costs.

I'm not familiar with insuring bikes though. 75 Euro/year, or 1/10th the cost per year sounds astronomical! Would your plan be to only get insurance for the first few years, while the value is still high? There must be a point in the depreciation where it's better to just run the risk of theft in order to save the insurance fee.

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nereo

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 07:25:16 AM »
Quote
So, MMM community: can I buy that shiny new bike? Or should I just suck it up and go with the old beater like everyone else?

Other than saying you can affford it, you've given us little in the way of your financials.  But for practical purposes I'm going to assume that you have no high-interest debt hanging over your head and that you have a cash surplus each month.

Buy the bike you want. The purposes of the MMM way of life is not to deny yourself every luxury but to maximize your happiness, health and the environment through your decisions.  Spending money on a bike you really want does all three.
Now there's always the used-vs-old bike dilemma, but you've been beating that dead horse around.  From a financial standpoint that new bike will probably last you another decade (you said 15 yeasr, but this makes the math more conservative).  Even with insurance (people insure bikes??!!) that's <150Euro/year, or about 12/mo.  Very reasonable, and far less than what most on here spend on their phones, internet packages or restaurants.   Put another way, does it bring you 10Euro of "joy" each month over a crappy beater bike?
Health-wise a bike that fits is important. If you're riding 3,000km/year on a bike that isn't comfortable it does bad things to your body.
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FLBiker

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 07:39:01 AM »
Good advice -- buy a bike you'll enjoy riding.  You're already making a lot of good financial decisions, and spending a reasonable amount of money to improve your quality of life is a good decision.

Sibley

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 08:58:01 AM »
Also make sure to buy appropriate anti-theft devices. :)

nereo

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 09:14:04 AM »
Also make sure to buy appropriate anti-theft devices. :)
Good point.  A $40 U-Lock with 4' Cable (properly used) will eliminate most thefts, and probably do you more good than paying 70euro/year for insurance
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frugaliknowit

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 09:41:21 AM »
The benefits of biking (versus driving) is SO great that Euro 50 versus Euro 800 (assuming you're not up to your eyeballs in debt) is really unimportant over a long period of time. 

I know what you mean about trying to find a good used bike (assuming you value your time...). 

GuitarStv

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 10:13:04 AM »
Also make sure to buy appropriate anti-theft devices. :)
Good point.  A $40 U-Lock with 4' Cable (properly used) will eliminate most thefts, and probably do you more good than paying 70euro/year for insurance


+1


It reminds me of the old joke that all bikes weigh the same.  A 20$ beater is 40 lbs, but nobody wants to steal it.  A 2000$ racing bike is only 15 lbs, but you need to carry around a 25 lb lock to keep it safe.
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Imma

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 10:59:59 AM »
Also make sure to buy appropriate anti-theft devices. :)
Good point.  A $40 U-Lock with 4' Cable (properly used) will eliminate most thefts, and probably do you more good than paying 70euro/year for insurance


I have never seen a lock like that in my country. The most common lock in here (and what I used) looks like this   .  It's in the same price range as your lock, there's a hardened steel chain inside. This, combined with the regular lock on your bike, is what insurance companies require for a payout. But this won't stop thieves, as I now know for sure.

Bike insurance is actually pretty common in here. I'm considering insuring for the following reasons:
- The probability your bike will get stolen at some point is nearly 100%.
- Insurance premiums are generally about 10% of the value, policies are often for 5 years. This is for a theft-only insurance. The insurance pays you whatever you paid for the bike + a bit more for inflation, so you can buy the same bike when yours is stolen. That's a lot of money. There are also insurance policies where they pay you just the value of the bike, but it seems those aren't significantly cheaper. I'm only considering insurance for the first 3 years.
- High insurance premiums and the fact that bike insurance is common, indicate how big of a problem theft is in the Netherlands.
- I have never insured a bike before. I have also never owned a shiny new bike before. When I bought my last bike, it was only 3 years old so still relatively new - looking, but I lived in a very rural area with a low crime rate. I now live in the city. While my own neighbourhood has a very low bike theft rate, and many people leave their bikes outside of their homes (locked, of course, but not in a shed or garage) other parts of the city are more risky, and I'm not sure a brand new expensive bike is safe in my own neighbourhood.
- Bikes are always excluded from contents insurance, even when you have a very good contents insurance policy because your s/o is musician by occupation and your home is full of expensive music gear. Again, this indicates how big of a problem bike theft is.

As for my financial situation: I am not FI and not close to that either, and at the age of 27, RE is not a huge priority. I have a savings rate of about 50% and no debts besides a 5-figure mortgage at 2,25%. I've been expecting to purchase a new bike (although not this soon) and I'm willing to cut back on travelling this year to compensate. My old bike was getting expensive in maintenance - I actually spent about €150 on replacement parts in 2016 thinking this way it would last until 2020 :( :(  A new bike will come with 3 free check-ups, a 2 -year warranty and probably very low maintenance for the next 5 years except for tires.

I know what I want, and it seems everyone agrees with me... I had expected a few face punches tbh. I'm just having a hard time making the actual decision because even though I know it will be worth it, it's still a HUGE sum of money. I've just returned from visiting three bike shops, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to regret buying a bike in the 400-600 new price range. I've come across precisely one good quality used bike, but the frame turned out to be 49cm and I need a 56.

nereo

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2018, 11:49:55 AM »
Wow.  From your descriptions the netherlands are bordering on bike-anarchy.  How exactly are bikes stolen when they are locked up?  Do the thieves cut through the lock itself?  With power tools/hydrolic cutters?
The advantage of the U-Bolt style locks is they are much harder to cut through than even hardened steel chains.  The added 4' of 3/8" steel cable (also harder to cut than steel chain) lets you lock both tires and frame to a stationary object (like a bike rack) with a bunch of different configurations.
Many people here use the chain-locks you described, but for those that are in high theft areas or have really nice bikes (see GuitarStv's joke) the u-lock is much more secure. 

...But maybe thieves are using powertools and hydrolic cutters, in which case all bets are off regardless of what you do.  I've never been there  - but hope to visit.  ONly now I'm worried about bike thieves.

Back on topic - the point I and others here are mkaing is that 800euro is NOT a lot of money for a quality bike you really want, especially if oyu have a 50% savings rate. I don't even think you should cut back on travel this year to "make up" for it.  It might be the biggest expense you've made yet, but it needs to be averaged over the duration of use (120-180 months). That makes it cheaper than the cheapest cell phone contracts.

Final thoughts - if you aren't thinking about "RE" at age 27, when will you think about it?  Because eventually it will be too late, and all you can do is "R".
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meghan88

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 12:34:01 PM »
I'm going to fly in the face of convention here and suggest that you buy a decent beater, at least for now.  If bike theft is that bad, and you'd be leaving your bike outside a lot, then IMO you'll sleep a lot better at night.  You can always keep an eye out at all times for a decent used bike.

A shiny new bike is a thief magnet.

Edit to add:  no matter what bike you buy, get a great U-lock.  You can buy online.  The fact that they are not common in NL might be a good thief deterrent.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 12:35:45 PM by meghan88 »

Imma

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 01:02:27 PM »
Bike anarchy might be a good description :D We are a very orderly country, but no rules or morals apply when it comes to Dutchies and their bikes. Cyclists also ignore all traffic laws. There are more bikes than people and bikes are more or less public property.

As for theft: most thefts are opportunistic and they use small tools, but with a bit of skill and a decent bolt cutter you can cut most locks. Occasionally you hear about professional thiefs and I'm sure they're using all possible tools. They probably target the more expensive bikes. I can safely park my bike at home and at work, and there are secure bike parking areas in the city center, so that's 80% of my rides. So far I've always parked my bike in the front yard like everyone else, but if I owned an expensive one I could take it indoors. I think grocery stores are the main 'dangerous' location, because they have dark, secluded parking areas and no one really pays attention to other people. I could maybe get a beater or use my s/o's beater for those trips.

The downside to owning a beater is that they seem to attract vandalism and, well, they tend to fall apart. I know basic bike maintenance and I hate it. Also, the less reliable, the more often I'm going to take the bus.

A friend told me about a shop in town that apparantly sells newer secondhand bikes, so I'm going to take a look there tomorrow or Saturday before I make the final decision.

Imma

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 01:10:16 PM »


Final thoughts - if you aren't thinking about "RE" at age 27, when will you think about it?  Because eventually it will be too late, and all you can do is "R".

My plan is to move out of the city to a LCOL area at around the age of 40 and quit working at around 50. I'm not sure 50 is R or RE, but that's the plan and I'm on track. I don't necessarily want to retire asap. If FIRE asap was the goal, the beater would be the only obvious option.

You are right that this would be the biggest purchase of my life with the exception of my house.

etselec

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 06:52:48 AM »
+1 for U-lock and cable lock — use the U-lock for your frame and rear wheel, and the cable lock for the front wheel and any other easily detachable pieces (for example, my old bike had a quick-release seat so I'd thread the cable through part of the seat mounting).

The fact that they're not common will definitely be a good deterrent, plus U-locks and cable locks require totally different strategies/sets of tools to break, and thieves are less likely to have both sets of tools (and less likely to want to deal with the hassle).

Your bike doesn't have to be un-stealable. It just has to be harder to steal than someone else's (equally nice) bike.

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2018, 07:05:19 AM »
The amount of money we’re debating isn’t huge. Go with the one that truly fits you and doesn’t burn up as much of your time keeping it running.
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meghan88

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2018, 10:34:47 AM »
Some creative anti-theft tips here:  https://www.welovecycling.com/wide/2015/11/06/5-creative-ways-to-protect-your-bike-from-theft/

I'd go for the snake in #3.  Though I've had a lot of success with #1 (uglification), and it's a tad more practical.  A season of winter riding can uglify a bike in no time.

I've also read that it's better to park your bike in the middle of a bike rack rather than at the end.

And have you thought of a theft alarm (https://www.vouchervandaag.nl/Fietsalarm-fiets-bromfiets-korting?nb=1&utm_source=e-ngine&utm_medium=e-mail&utm_campaign=Bamboo+kussen+-+Erectiepillen+-+Waist+trainer+-+Sweater+jurk+-+Fietsalarm+-+eropuit) or GPS tracker (http://www.vindmijterug.nl/fiets/)?

hoping2retire35

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2018, 10:57:50 AM »
Sounds like a choice between badass and consumer sucka!

Kwill

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2018, 12:33:07 PM »
Are there any discount new bicycle sellers around? Or maybe there's an online source if you are good with your own maintenance and don't need a shop to put the bicycle together. I bought a new bicycle at the end of November for the equivalent of about 200 euros. It was on sale, but it was also at a bargain bicycle shop rather than at a fancy bicycle shop.

BikeFanatic

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2018, 05:06:10 PM »
I vote for buying the new bike. For starters you can afford it.  I find new bikes last for years without any maintainance , and are a pleasure to ride, thus are ridden more. We are not talking alot of money here. AT Work I leave two locks, I feel that my bike is less attractive with two locks to pick.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2018, 11:02:37 PM »
You need a bike that:

1. fits you well
2. meets you needs for speed/distance/cargo for your rides
3. you can afford
4. you enjoy owning

You noted you can afford all the options so it comes down to the other 3 factors. For obvious reasons don't compromise on #1 and #2. I personally wouldn't compromise on #4, but then I both enjoy nice bikes a lot and find beaters really irritating to ride.

As far as security goes I am usually locking up a nice bike so I use a lock one level harder to beat than is typical where I live. That means a typical thief doesn't have the correct tools to defeat it and there is usually another bike nearby that's easier to steal. I also have great insurance on my bikes, but it's very cheap here as part of my home insurance. I've never had a locked up bike stolen using this technique.

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2018, 11:17:47 PM »
Occasionally you hear about professional thiefs and I'm sure they're using all possible tools. They probably target the more expensive bikes

So is the nicer bike nice enough to increase that risk? Personally, right after my bike was stolen is not when I would be looking to drop extra money on a shinier and equally steal-able replacement. Admittedly, I am not very familiar with bike insurance. Would you be getting it for either bike, or only if you bought the new one? Would the new one cost more in insurance? Calculate that into the price.

Realistically, how much long-term joy is the shiny bike going to bring you?

Imma

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2018, 02:30:24 AM »
Are there any discount new bicycle sellers around? Or maybe there's an online source if you are good with your own maintenance and don't need a shop to put the bicycle together. I bought a new bicycle at the end of November for the equivalent of about 200 euros. It was on sale, but it was also at a bargain bicycle shop rather than at a fancy bicycle shop.

The problem with discount brand bikes is that they are usually very poor quality. I'm currently borrowing a bike like that - I wouldn't even want to own it if was free. I am absolutely certain I want a quality brand. I want a frame that's strong enough that a second adult can ride on the back, for example. I want at least 7 gears (3 just isn't enough for me, I've tried) and as I'm a bit taller with long legs I want a bike that's high enough too. I'm just trying to the determine if it should be new or 20 years old. It's such a shame that good quality, newer second hand bikes are so very hard to find. My preferred bike would be a good quality brand, 2-4 years old. I've looked on the internet and visited 3 shops so far, and I'm going to visit 2 more shops today before making my final decision over the weekend. I'm strongly leaning towards new, but if I can find a good used bike for a decent price, I'm going to buy it.

I can do my own maintenance, I've always owned beaters and have always done my own maintenance. I'm just extremely tired of it. You always need to own several back-up bikes, because beaters tend to break down. I hate arriving at work with black stained hands and clothes because my chain fell off, I hate having to fix gears and brakes all the time (this seems to be a big problem in old bikes) and after a certain age of the bike it's almost impossible to get a smooth and comfortable ride. I don't have a garage so when I'm working on my bike I'm outside my house on the pavement and I hate all the meddling neighbours. This also makes bike maintenance more difficult in the winter, which is generally the season when most bikes break down. I have a chronic illness and I can't always find the energy to just deal with this kind of stuff. I know these are all excuses and this really isn't badass, but over the last couple of years I've started to resent old bike maintenance (my bf is bad it this kind of stuff, so I maintain his crappy bike too). I'm not going to quit cycling because I don't even have a driver's license - it's really expensive to get one in here - but it hasn't been as fun lately as it used to be. 

I loved my bike that was stolen, I had it for 10 years  - so, while theft is a big problem in here, it's absolutely possible to keep a bike for a longer period of time, you just need to be really careful -  but over the last 2 years it had become really expensive in maintenance. I spent 150 EUR in parts 1,5 years ago and I also had some work done on the gears. It's cheap to buy an old bike, but you need to keep buying parts or sourcing old bikes to take parts from.

Spruit

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2018, 02:46:34 AM »
As a fellow Dutchy: have you asked around about a new bike? I purchased my Gazelle Medeo from the grandma of an acquaintance that had a hardly used bike and decided to part with it for my sake. Cost me 250 five years ago.
But I get what you are saying about availability now. How far away are you willing to go; you can get bikes a lot easier/cheaper outside city areas.

Also yes to a U shaped lock (I know a few people that use them), but most of all: combine different types. Most thieves don't carry all the tools all the time.

Me personally; I'd go for an older but still decent bike that fits properly. Especially in the city where theft is more of an issue. I'd fret too much about the bike getting stolen and the difference in comfort is not that big to me (as long as it has 3+ gears. A decent saddle makes all the difference).
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Imma

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2018, 06:18:18 AM »
As a fellow Dutchy: have you asked around about a new bike? I purchased my Gazelle Medeo from the grandma of an acquaintance that had a hardly used bike and decided to part with it for my sake. Cost me 250 five years ago.
But I get what you are saying about availability now. How far away are you willing to go; you can get bikes a lot easier/cheaper outside city areas.

Also yes to a U shaped lock (I know a few people that use them), but most of all: combine different types. Most thieves don't carry all the tools all the time.

Me personally; I'd go for an older but still decent bike that fits properly. Especially in the city where theft is more of an issue. I'd fret too much about the bike getting stolen and the difference in comfort is not that big to me (as long as it has 3+ gears. A decent saddle makes all the difference).

I've looked around & asked around about used bikes over the weekend, but haven't found any that were still decent. No one wants to get rid of a good bike. I ride 10km a day to work, through all kinds of weather. I've used a borrowed bike for the last couple of days and in this kind of weather, a good bike really makes all the difference. I've looked around in the surrounding villages as well (I live in the city and work in a nearby village) but I didn't travel to the very rural areas of the province because of practical difficulties.

But I've found the solution! There used to be a tax incentive where you could buy a bike and have the payment deducted from your gross wage by your employer. This was abolished by the government a few years ago, but it turns out my s/o's employer still offers this as a perk and I'm allowed to use this to buy my bike. This means the red bike now costs EUR 450, which is roughly the same as a decent second hand bike. This has made the decision a lot easier. I'm going to order the bike tomorrow and I hope to get it by the end of the week! :) And I'm asking around if anyone needs to get rid of a free beater as a back-up bike for grocery store trips etc.

meghan88

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2018, 12:59:03 PM »
That's great news!!  And remember please to get a good lock.  I strongly recommend a U-lock+cable.  https://www.abus.com/eng/Mobile-Security/Bike-Safety-and-Security/Locks/U-locks/Facilo-32-Cobra and I'm sure you can find this, or something like it, on Amazon.

mustachemountain

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2018, 08:10:30 AM »
congratulations on finding a way to get the bike you want at a better price than retail.

I'm going to take this opportunity to rant a bit on your thread, sorry if I'm rude but i am.

sometimes mustachianism goes too far. the the aim, for me, is is to reduce ridiculous unnecessary expenses, not to put on the hairshirt and whip myself.

if you are buying a $5000 "racing" bike that can't carry your groceries, and only riding it 5 miles every other weekend to a fancy cafe and stuffing your face with donuts, yes, facepunch.
but a buy it for life bicycle is worth every penny.

a cheap bike is miserable to ride, usually slow, lacks versatility to be a cargo carrying workhorse, and when things start to wear it's better to just let them fail and then trash the whole bike. voice of experience speaking here. the beancounters figured out that people who buy cheap bikes ride them 300 miles a year and then put then in the garage never to be used again, and they are engineered to that level.

if the goal of mustachianism is reduce waste and frivolity, then those cheap, poorly engineered "disposable" bikes are also facepunch worthy, atmo.

i convinced a friend to get a (rugged, steel bike brand, with lots of ergonomic features like track mount points, fender mounts, simple but rugged gearing, etc) ($1000++) instead of his crappy **** hybrid. initially resistant, he loves it now. his speed and efficiency have increased greatly as a result of a better engineered bike. the bike is a joy to ride and even though he was already commuting, he has extended his range and riding conditions because the bike is a pleasure not a slogfest. as the bike ages the components will hold up better and remain functional and adjustable and replaceable as need be.

i hope your new bike will give you the same joy and ease of use as your former one for years to come!

Imma

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2018, 09:58:28 AM »
That's great news!!  And remember please to get a good lock.  I strongly recommend a U-lock+cable.  https://www.abus.com/eng/Mobile-Security/Bike-Safety-and-Security/Locks/U-locks/Facilo-32-Cobra and I'm sure you can find this, or something like it, on Amazon.

I see this specific U-lock is only a security level 7, which is lower than I'm looking for, but I've seen a U-lock in the store that's level 15. I do wonder how you actually lock your bike using this kind of lock though, because it's pretty small. I can see how it works in the pictures in an area that's otherwise empty, but it seems more difficult to use in real life. But I've got a few more days to think about that.

@mustachemountain  I know you're right. I'm never going to buy one of those really cheap crap bikes, but I was tempted by the idea of a used good quality bike. I've never spent this kind of money on a single object except for my house. Even at EUR 450 it's the most expensive thing I've ever bought. The only thing that comes close is my EUR 300 laptop. I'm just not used to spending a lot of money even when it's a sensible purchase. I am on a spending spree now though, I've added a small white fake leather saddle bag that matches the bike and I'm going to buy a bike computer too! I've always thought those are really cool and I only just found out how cheap they are.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2018, 10:03:18 AM »
Thieves have specific tools for specific kinds of locks so you can make your bike a hassle to steal by using two different kinds of locks. So maybe a u-lock and a hardened steel chain lock. This doesn't prevent theft 100%, but the thief would need to carry two sets of tools and conduct two separate lock attacks. As long as there is another bike in the general area that's easier to steal your bike should be fine.

I would only bother with this approach for really high risk areas like you describe at grocery stores for example.

meghan88

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2018, 11:51:44 AM »
That's great news!!  And remember please to get a good lock.  I strongly recommend a U-lock+cable.  https://www.abus.com/eng/Mobile-Security/Bike-Safety-and-Security/Locks/U-locks/Facilo-32-Cobra and I'm sure you can find this, or something like it, on Amazon.

I see this specific U-lock is only a security level 7, which is lower than I'm looking for, but I've seen a U-lock in the store that's level 15. I do wonder how you actually lock your bike using this kind of lock though, because it's pretty small. I can see how it works in the pictures in an area that's otherwise empty, but it seems more difficult to use in real life. But I've got a few more days to think about that.

Since I buy older bikes (e.g. my current bike is a 15-20 year-old Trek), I never even noticed the different security levels.  So absolutely, you'd want to get a better U-lock for a new bike.  If all you have is a u-lock, that's enough to lock the back wheel and frame to a post or bike rack.  You'd then need another lock, or cable, to lock the front wheel to either the frame, a post, or (preferably) both.  They take some getting used to, if you're used to a cable.

CrabbitDutchie

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2018, 01:08:08 PM »

But I've found the solution! There used to be a tax incentive where you could buy a bike and have the payment deducted from your gross wage by your employer. This was abolished by the government a few years ago, but it turns out my s/o's employer still offers this as a perk and I'm allowed to use this to buy my bike. This means the red bike now costs EUR 450, which is roughly the same as a decent second hand bike. This has made the decision a lot easier. I'm going to order the bike tomorrow and I hope to get it by the end of the week! :) And I'm asking around if anyone needs to get rid of a free beater as a back-up bike for grocery store trips etc.

Another fellow dutchie here.
I'm so glad that you found a decent solution because I was about to start with the face punches (most I've ever spent on a bike is about €100). Back up bike for trips to the shops/train station sounds like the best anti-theft solution if you can find it - much better than fancy locks. Also means you can just run into the shop without worrying. One of the things that annoys me most about cycling in the UK (where I live now) is the huge amount of time and effort it costs to find a suitable place to park the bike and lock it (using a D lock and cable). It actually puts me off cycling short distances because I just cannot be bothered with the effort of locking it up and I choose to walk pretty much every time.

Back on track - a new shiny red bike will stand out more than anyone (with the exception of Spruit) could possibly even imagine so enjoy it and keep it safe for the cycling to and from work ;) .   

Spruit

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2018, 08:31:17 PM »
Quote
Back on track - a new shiny red bike will stand out more than anyone (with the exception of Spruit) could possibly even imagine so enjoy it and keep it safe for the cycling to and from work ;) .

Oy, what's with the singeling out?? ;)
Now, granted, I did own some interestingly colored bikes over the years (lime green, yellow, fuchsia - with, butterflies painted in it, no less). That said, I now live in a town where a crappy bike would stand out much more than a nice red one.
Yay, out of debt... now, GROW!
My current journal

Imma

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2018, 02:09:54 AM »
It's really funny, the lady at the shop just kept pointing out beige and gray bikes to me. I saw some bikes in nice colours in the corner and went to have a look, and she said "oh, but those are girls bikes!" I guess I'm not a girl anymore. After that she called me Miss all the time, which is pretty unusual these days. I haven't been called like that since I was a teenager. It wasn't meant in a demeaning way, I just think she thinks she guessed my age wrong.

mustachemountain

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2018, 01:52:34 PM »
you've never spent €450 on anything?
that's baaaaadassssss!
<bows deeply>

mustachemountain

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2018, 02:11:48 PM »
oh, and a further comment about bike insurance. never heard of it in the usa (some homeowners policies may have it, but from what i know about insurance, they just raise your rates if you try use it)
for such a small item i think you are *far* better to self insure: put €80 a month in a jar, after 10 months you can stop using the bike lock hahaha

Imma

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Re: Bike dilemma
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2018, 03:15:29 PM »
you've never spent €450 on anything?
that's baaaaadassssss!
<bows deeply>

I never owned a car, I think that's the most expensive thing many people own. I'm not exactly a gadget fan, so my phones and laptops have always been cheap. And except for a few cheap Ikea cupboards, all my furniture and appliances are inherited / gifted / bought secondhand for next to nothing. I don't have expensive hobbies either. I like sewing, but my machine was a wedding gift to my mother in 1980. It's not even because I'm intentionally frugal, I have literally no idea what I could spend my money on.