Author Topic: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!  (Read 6263 times)

commodore perry

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Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« on: August 21, 2014, 08:21:13 AM »
What's a 51 year old doing borrowing against 401k to buy a $20,000 bike?!?

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-rise-of-the-five-figure-bicycle-2014-08-20

dycker1978

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2014, 09:09:59 AM »
at 51 he is too young to retire.  He deserves the bike. He works hard...

Elderwood17

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2014, 10:27:36 AM »
That is absurd!

FIreDrill

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2014, 10:39:53 AM »
Well that is just crazy....

enigmaT120

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2014, 10:54:45 AM »
Funny.  I paid a tenth of that for my Fargo, but I saved it in advance with gas money I saved by commuting on a Rocky Mountain that somebody from work gave me.  I sort of lusted after a CoMotion Rholoff Divide, but those run around $5,000. 

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2014, 11:06:06 AM »
I'm an avid cyclist with multiple bikes, including a custom-built steel bike designed for me, and I totally understand why someone would spend a lot of money on a bike rather than buy a beater off craigslist. But it would be hard to spend *that* much unless you covered it with gold leaf. I would love to see the specs on this 20K bicycle.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2014, 11:17:40 AM »
I don't really believe that you should be allowed high-end road bikes unless you have almost no body fat (said tongue-in-cheek: of course adults can do whatever they want).  Which this guy might have, at 150 miles a week, but then again he may very well not!

Pretty absurd to have a bike this expensive just to impress the Saturday morning group ride crew.

Dollarbill49

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2014, 11:48:23 AM »
You'd think for that price it would come with pedals and water bottles.

Jomar

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2014, 05:09:09 PM »
Funny.  I paid a tenth of that for my Fargo, but I saved it in advance with gas money I saved by commuting on a Rocky Mountain that somebody from work gave me.  I sort of lusted after a CoMotion Rholoff Divide, but those run around $5,000.

If you like the CoMotions, check out Van Nicholos bikes... drool...

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2014, 09:16:12 PM »
$20K and it's only got Ultegra??? What a maroon!

BlueMR2

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2014, 10:10:08 AM »
$20K and it's only got Ultegra??? What a maroon!

Ouch.  My wife's bike is all Ultegra and she only spent $1200.  Mine is all Dura-Ace and is still a quarter what he spent.  They're a couple years old now, being back from our spendy days, but still, I can barely get to 10K today sitting with a parts list and going all out with everything I could possibly want!

okashira

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2014, 03:00:30 PM »
a 15 lb roadbike for 20,000?

I bought my MTB brand new, cost $900*** and it clocks in at 20lbs after a couple upgrades. And it's a MTB with front suspension.


***purchased before discovering MMM

fallstoclimb

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2014, 07:43:04 AM »
Wait, 15 lb and Ultegra?  I don't understand.  Why was this bike worth 20K?  It doesn't even have disc brakes!

BlueMR2

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2014, 03:26:41 PM »
Wait, 15 lb and Ultegra?  I don't understand.  Why was this bike worth 20K?  It doesn't even have disc brakes!

Disc brakes are heavy, and therefore not used for high-end road bikes.  They're more for mountain bikes and hybrids.

skyrefuge

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2014, 05:40:38 PM »
$20K and it's only got Ultegra??? What a maroon!

No. That's just a stock photo from Baum's website that the WSJ grabbed, not that guy's $20k bike. Since they're custom frames, they're also fitted with a custom component set, which I'm sure varies for each customer (though since I'm sure no one actually gets a bike with Ultegra, I'm not sure why they'd show it at all in their photos). There's a photo of his actual bike in the WSJ version of the article, but (thankfully!) my eyes can't identify the components from the low-res photo.

skyrefuge

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2014, 05:51:14 PM »
Disc brakes are heavy, and therefore not used for high-end road bikes.  They're more for mountain bikes and hybrids.

Funny you mention disc brakes, since, in an article filled with dumbness, there's a paragraph of extreme dumbness that really stands out. Not sure if it's the WSJ writer or Giant's global senior product marketing manager who have no idea what they're talking about:

Quote from: WSJ
The brand's top road bike has a $10,300 sticker price, which Mr. Juskaitis acknowledges is "stratospheric." But he says high development costs mean slim profit margins for such top models. An electronic-shifting system, which changes gears at the touch of a button and minimizes chain wear, can be three times as costly as a traditional shift system. And hydraulic disc brakes, which offer more stopping power, can add 15% to a bike's price over traditional clamp brakes. Mr. Juskaitis says Giant expects to sell a few hundred of these high-performance, or "halo," bikes a year.

Ah, yes, disc brakes are priced as a percentage of the total bike cost, so on this $10,300 bike (a time-trial bike that has nothing to do with disc brakes), they apparently cost $1545 to add. Which I suppose makes sense, since you'd have to remake the frame.

And the reason I should spend 3x more on an electronic shifting system is because it "minimizes chain wear"?! WTF?

skyrefuge

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2014, 06:12:24 PM »
The worst thing about articles like this is not the few antimustachian idiots who buy these 'halo' bikes, it's the psychological and monetary effects that they have on the rest of us.

One major purpose of 'halo' products, whether in bikes, cars, handbags, watches, clothing, etc. is to shift peoples' price expectations ever upwards. So yes, no one is really dumb enough (ok, apparently a few are!) to actually buy the $20k bike, or a $200k car, or a $10k handbag, or a $2k sweater. But after they hear that $20k bikes exist, the next time they're shopping for a bike, they might say "hmm, $3k for a bike? That sounds kind of crazy, since the bike I had as a kid cost $20 and was awesome. But, it's a tiny fraction of that $20k bike, so I guess that's really a pretty good deal I'm getting. Sure, I'll take it!"

So this "article" is really just another brilliantly evil form of diffuse marketing designed to affect our brains without us even being aware of it.

And the money quote from the article about the sad effectiveness of such schemes (super-ironic LOL-points for the fact that this particular sucker is himself "a strategy director for a marketing company"!):

Quote from: WSJ
Avid cyclist Alan Taylor, strategy director for a Sacramento, Calif., marketing company, vowed not to spend more than $3,000 when he went shopping for a mountain bike in the spring. But he wound up paying $5,000 for a carbon-fiber-frame bike that, at 25 pounds, weighed about 5 pounds less than a comparable aluminum model.

"You kind of amortize the price of your bike over miles ridden, and it gets pretty cheap after a while," says Mr. Taylor, who kept his last bike for 12 years. "It's 'smileage,' not mileage, and I am really happy with my bike."

Ugh, just think how much more 'smileage' you could have gotten if you invested that extra $2000 instead, allowing you to work less and spend more time riding your real-man aluminum bike up a mountain rather than that pussy-shit carbon thing.

AH013

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2014, 04:54:03 AM »
...

And the reason I should spend 3x more on an electronic shifting system is because it "minimizes chain wear"?! WTF?

Clearly you don't understand.  At the $20k bike level, the chains used on the bikes are made of mythril, and forged in the fires of Mount Doom.  Do you KNOW how much it costs for a mythril chain from there?  The electronic shifting system pays for itself after just 1 chain replacement.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2014, 06:39:20 AM »
Quote from: WSJ
Avid cyclist Alan Taylor, strategy director for a Sacramento, Calif., marketing company, vowed not to spend more than $3,000 when he went shopping for a mountain bike in the spring. But he wound up paying $5,000 for a carbon-fiber-frame bike that, at 25 pounds, weighed about 5 pounds less than a comparable aluminum model.

"You kind of amortize the price of your bike over miles ridden, and it gets pretty cheap after a while," says Mr. Taylor, who kept his last bike for 12 years. "It's 'smileage,' not mileage, and I am really happy with my bike."

Ugh, just think how much more 'smileage' you could have gotten if you invested that extra $2000 instead, allowing you to work less and spend more time riding your real-man aluminum bike up a mountain rather than that pussy-shit carbon thing.

LOL.  Fav quote of the day. 

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Borrow against 401k to buy a bicycle?!? WTF!
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2014, 01:30:31 PM »
$20K and it's only got Ultegra??? What a maroon!

No. That's just a stock photo from Baum's website that the WSJ grabbed, not that guy's $20k bike. Since they're custom frames, they're also fitted with a custom component set, which I'm sure varies for each customer (though since I'm sure no one actually gets a bike with Ultegra, I'm not sure why they'd show it at all in their photos). There's a photo of his actual bike in the WSJ version of the article, but (thankfully!) my eyes can't identify the components from the low-res photo.

Ah, that makes more sense (though it spoils the fun a bit).