Author Topic: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)  (Read 4964 times)

wealthviahealth

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Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« on: January 20, 2016, 06:33:41 AM »
I am saving up for a high end road bike and this will be my first major purchase in a number of years.
I have fought back the temptation to dip into my savings accounts to purchase this new beauty, or even to put it on a 0% apr for 18 month card and pay it off gradually.

I want this purchase to come almost exclusively from a "bike savings fund" that I set up on the side, so I don't take away from any current or future savings. I will do the actually purchase on a new CC ( to get miles since this is a lot of $)  and then pay it off same week. 

What are peoples favorite ways or best tips for a side savings account like this?
One method I have been doing thus far is that each time I resist the urge to make a counter productive impulse buy such as a spontaneous lunch out with co-workers, I immediately transfer that would be amount into my bike savings fund. This has worked well thus far as it reinforces better spending habits and it a good motivator to stick to the plan as each avoided impulse buy is bringing me one step closer to buying the bike.

nereo

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2016, 06:46:07 AM »
First off, money is fungible, so setting up 'alternative accounts' to pay for something is just mental accounting.  If it helps you stay the course and not overspend great, but it isn't mathematically any better than just buying it and using your existing 0% credit card and/or savings account.

Also - why are you (apparently) buying a new road bike?  If there is one thing that you can routinely find on Craigslist for steep discounts, it is used high-end road bikes.  Seriously, I see about a dozen right now that have Shimano-105 or better components, look brand new and are selling for about 1/3 to half what a new bike would cost.

wealthviahealth

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2016, 07:29:17 AM »
Also - why are you (apparently) buying a new road bike?  If there is one thing that you can routinely find on Craigslist for steep discounts, it is used high-end road bikes.  Seriously, I see about a dozen right now that have Shimano-105 or better components, look brand new and are selling for about 1/3 to half what a new bike would cost.

Great question. I haven't ruled out the used route yet. I check the bike section daily on CL for the bay area but my main hang up this far is that most folks are not pricing their bike at a steep enough discount.  Common example- I am seeing a lot of 2013's of particular models going for $2k when the new 2016's are at stores for $3k. Most shops in the area give you a years worth of free tune ups and maintenance when you purchase one of their bikes new which I also see great value in considering how much riding I will be doing this upcoming year. Finding my right size ( 52cm) and fit is also much harder on CL when weighing in all other variables for the correct bike selection.

nereo

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2016, 07:51:47 AM »
Also - why are you (apparently) buying a new road bike?  If there is one thing that you can routinely find on Craigslist for steep discounts, it is used high-end road bikes.  Seriously, I see about a dozen right now that have Shimano-105 or better components, look brand new and are selling for about 1/3 to half what a new bike would cost.

Great question. I haven't ruled out the used route yet. I check the bike section daily on CL for the bay area but my main hang up this far is that most folks are not pricing their bike at a steep enough discount.  Common example- I am seeing a lot of 2013's of particular models going for $2k when the new 2016's are at stores for $3k. Most shops in the area give you a years worth of free tune ups and maintenance when you purchase one of their bikes new which I also see great value in considering how much riding I will be doing this upcoming year. Finding my right size ( 52cm) and fit is also much harder on CL when weighing in all other variables for the correct bike selection.

Speaking as someone who loves to bike, learn to do the tune-ups yourself... it's really not hard at all.  Bike shops love to offer "tune-ups" because it's a chance for them to sell you everything from clothes to components, plus a $50 "tune-up" requires little more than brushing away gunk, lubing the chain and adjusting brakes and shifters. 

As for the 'steep enough discount' - saving $1k isn't enough for you?  I concur that getting a bike that fits is very important, but a 52cm frame isn't an unusual size. 

Another question  - why do you seem to be focused on late-model bikes?  A 2013 is still brand new in bike terms.  I wouldn't shy away from a good frame built in, say, 2003.  Heck, I wouldn't turn my nose on a frame from 1993.  My former roommate, who co-runs a bike co-op, has a favorite bike that's a steel frame from circa 1985.  He turned it into a touring bike nad rode from Portland, Oregon to Cabo San Lucas, Baja a few months ago.

EDIT:  don't forget to include taxes in your calculation of buying new vs. used.  In California you could end up paying an extra $275 in tax at a bike shop.  You won't pay sales tax to someone on craigslist, and you can often get them to drop their price 10-20% if you offer to pay in cash.  Suddenly the equation becomes: $3250 new at a bike shop, or $1800 almost new on CL.  All for basically the same quality bike.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2016, 07:59:58 AM by nereo »

GuitarStv

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2016, 07:53:35 AM »
I don't do separate accounts for purchasing something.  It's a false way of looking at your finances.  All your money belongs to you.  Every purchase you make takes some of that money away.  If you really want to buy something, have done your research on it, have considered all the ways to reduce the price of the item (similar items, used, sales, etc.) just get it.

As an aside, bike maintenance isn't hard . . . and the more you ride your bike the more sense it makes to do your own maintenance.  It doesn't just save money (although it is far cheaper than taking your stuff in to the shop), but it saves you an awful lot of time and gets you back riding faster.

kendallf

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2016, 06:28:11 PM »
Another vote for used!  I often see ~5 year old high end carbon bikes for sub $1k prices on our local CL.  Another thing to look for are things like high end wheelsets included with a bike.  Often the cheapest way to get excellent components is to buy a complete bike and sell what you don't use.

For the truly mustachian option, you might consider riding high end vintage steel road bikes.  One of my current favorite bikes is a beautiful Fuji that I bought for $40 on CL, ugly and crusty.  Some powdercoat and left over Dura Ace parts, a set of carbon wheels, it's the prettiest bike on any ride.  :-)

Purple Fuji

Here's another I did a couple of years ago; somebody gave me this bike with pretty much all of the components you see here.  It's been cleaned, polished, powdercoated and repro decals applied.  <$150 total.

Raleigh

fallstoclimb

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2016, 07:25:59 AM »
For what it's worth, I bought 3 of my 4 bikes new and I feel a little silly about it now (although I ride a 48, which IS hard to find used).  There are some great deals in the used bike market, especially if you are anywhere near a high COL city.  I follow two facebook "used bike marketplace" groups, one for each of the two nearby cities -- check around and see if there are any of those near you.  I've found it to be a better marketplace than craigslist. 

A 52 may be a little harder to come by, but some should pop up, depending on how you define "high end."  I'd say the market in my area is pretty full with midrange bikes as people try to upgrade - true high end bikes are a little more rare, but do pop up as well (although those are never discounted as much).  You really, reallly, really do not need a truly high end bike unless you are racing, though.

What bikes are you looking at?  If you're not sure, you could test ride at local shops, and then look online once you know exactly what you want.

Also:  people are probably overpricing because they anticipate some negotiating.  Don't be afraid to lowball.

Rubic

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2016, 08:21:18 AM »
Another +1 vote for buying used.  Even in my pre-mustachian days, I favored used bicycles over new.  Once you've taken your new bike out for a few rides, it's effectively "used" anyway.

GuitarStv

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2016, 08:58:36 AM »
I have no problem buying an older steel frame, but is there anything you have to worry about with the carbon fiber ones frames (is just checking for cracks enough)?  How durable are they, and what kind of longevity can you expect to get from one?  I've seen an awful lot of pictures of broken carbon fiber online.

Rubic

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2016, 09:13:45 AM »
I have no problem buying an older steel frame, but is there anything you have to worry about with the carbon fiber ones frames (is just checking for cracks enough)?  How durable are they, and what kind of longevity can you expect to get from one?  I've seen an awful lot of pictures of broken carbon fiber online.

Which is a good reason to avoid to avoid carbon fiber altogether (IMO) unless you're a pro racer.  I have a 1973 Nishiki lugged steel frame (bought used, of course) still going strong, on loan to a friend.  At first she didn't want to ride an older bike, but when she took it to the shop for a new saddle, everyone went gaga over it and now she's totally into the retro look.

kendallf

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2016, 02:30:17 PM »
I have no problem buying an older steel frame, but is there anything you have to worry about with the carbon fiber ones frames (is just checking for cracks enough)?  How durable are they, and what kind of longevity can you expect to get from one?  I've seen an awful lot of pictures of broken carbon fiber online.

I don't think anybody knows absolute lifespans, and there's too much variability in carbon frame design to put a general number out.  Having said that, my brother is still riding my Calfee frame from ~1995 with absolutely no issues. 

Typical failure points are at lugs/tube junctions, the bonding for BB shells, and dropout attachment.  Inspect these areas carefully.  Also, if the fork has a carbon steerer check the area where the race presses on.  I would personally avoid early BB30 frames as my anecdotal experience with friends who own bike shops is that a bunch of these had warranty issues for creaking/separating at the BB shell.

I have broken carbon frames three times; two were minor attachment issues (one brake bridge, one cable stop) and one was a criterium crash.  Calfee will repair almost any damage and the frame will be stronger than before.

wealthviahealth

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2016, 05:50:04 PM »

What bikes are you looking at?  If you're not sure, you could test ride at local shops, and then look online once you know exactly what you want.


I am currently looking at the Trek Emonda Sl6 and the Specialized Roubaix. I have test riden both and love them, leaning slightly more towards the Emonda.

I am all about going the used route- cars, watches, tech, furniture etc.. there is just something about this Bay Area bike market that has be turned off on the used side. Prices are barely marked down ( even after negotiating) and I have this feeling ( likely irrational) that if I do pull the trigger on a used model, I might soon after find out that repair work is needed and suddenly I am out several hundred on repairs.

Thanks for the tip on the used biked groups on Facebook- this will likely be even easier to keep tabs on that craiglist. 

nereo

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2016, 06:03:06 PM »

What bikes are you looking at?  If you're not sure, you could test ride at local shops, and then look online once you know exactly what you want.


I am currently looking at the Trek Emonda Sl6 and the Specialized Roubaix. I have test riden both and love them, leaning slightly more towards the Emonda.

I am all about going the used route- cars, watches, tech, furniture etc.. there is just something about this Bay Area bike market that has be turned off on the used side. Prices are barely marked down ( even after negotiating) and I have this feeling ( likely irrational) that if I do pull the trigger on a used model, I might soon after find out that repair work is needed and suddenly I am out several hundred on repairs.

Thanks for the tip on the used biked groups on Facebook- this will likely be even easier to keep tabs on that craiglist.
I hope we've at least answered your question "best way to save for an exciting purchase" (A: there's no special account or financial gymnastics that will amke it 'better'- just make sure you can afford it and buy it like anything else).

If you're going to go and buy that new road bike I wish you the best of luck.  Just note that you've got a lot of dedicated cyclists here all urging used.  As for the bay area - I lived there for 8 years before recently moving, and it is a gold mine for high preformance used bikes.  So much money sloshing around and so many cyclists.  It's true that you might not get as great a deal as you would in, say, Portland ME (where I bought my last bike) due to seasonality and other factors, but $1k saved is $1k saved.

Regarding buying a bike that needs work - that really shouldn't be a concern.  Bikes are simple mechanic things, and you can see every working part (unliek with a car).  A 5 minute test ride should ensure that everything moves smoothly.  If you haven't already, check out Sheldon Brown's posts about how to check chain wear, sprokets and other components that wear down.  You should know these things even if you do purchase new from a store.

Cheers and happy cycling!

GuitarStv

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2016, 06:15:11 PM »
Those are lovely bikes, but quite different.  The Roubaix would likely be a lot more comfortable on longer rides . . .

humbleMouse

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2016, 06:34:03 PM »
Get an empty wine bottle and stuff random dollars in it whenever you know you have a spare few $$.  Do this for a few months then break it open.

kendallf

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2016, 06:44:02 PM »
Those are lovely bikes, but quite different.  The Roubaix would likely be a lot more comfortable on longer rides . . .

This is true.

To the OP, I would almost break down and tell you to buy new on the Roubaix just because you can now buy a Di2 hydraulic disc version.  That's an awesome drivetrain.  I love, love my disc brake bikes, especially compared to the braking on my carbon rim race bike. 

LLCoolDave

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2016, 07:40:16 PM »
There is something to be said about delayed gratification and just setting up a second savings account. "Achievement is the death of desire" after all. Set up an online savings account with Ally and transfer $250 per month, or whatever amount you want. Make it an automatic transfer and you won't even miss it. When you have the money then buy it. Done!!!

wealthviahealth

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2016, 08:56:06 PM »
There is something to be said about delayed gratification and just setting up a second savings account. "Achievement is the death of desire" after all. Set up an online savings account with Ally and transfer $250 per month, or whatever amount you want. Make it an automatic transfer and you won't even miss it. When you have the money then buy it. Done!!!
This is essentially what I was getting at. It allows me to build a new side pot instead of taking away from existing.
Yes its all from same place at end of day but for me this compartmentalization is a huge help. Esp in regards to reinforcing skipping bad $ choices by putting that would be expense into the side pot.

kaetana

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2016, 12:16:11 AM »
I see a few people knocking the separate fund idea, and I'll chime in here to support it.

This wanting to set up separate funds is exactly why I started to use YNAB. I had many different accounts, each one for different purposes, but it got to be too much trouble to have as many accounts as I wanted. Instead, having YNAB and separating your money out into categories (buckets, if you will), meant that I could put all the money in one physical account and then just have the divisions clearly spelled out virtually in the app.

Some people (including MMM and a lot of Mustachians) are okay with not having this. Do whatever works for you. I just know that *I* work best when I know exactly what each dollar's "job" is. If I were saving for a bike, I would want to know that it isn't affecting the usual amount of money I would put towards maxing out my retirement accounts, investment, etc. It's just a different way of looking at it. If you do want to go this route, you don't necessarily have to use YNAB (although it's awesome). You COULD just use a spreadsheet to keep track of how much your Shiny Bike fund is doing.

markbrynn

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2016, 12:55:53 AM »
Quote
Great question. I haven't ruled out the used route yet. I check the bike section daily on CL for the bay area but my main hang up this far is that most folks are not pricing their bike at a steep enough discount.  Common example- I am seeing a lot of 2013's of particular models going for $2k when the new 2016's are at stores for $3k

Maybe you're already doing this, but to find the bike that you want at the price you want (used), you could widen your search area considerably. The cost to drive/fly out and pick up the bike could be made back by the savings pretty easily given the price of these bikes. Consider checking Portland area or even all the way up to Seattle, if finding a suitable bike in Bay Area isn't working.

fallstoclimb

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2016, 07:11:02 AM »
If you are looking at the Roubaix and the Emonda, I'm going to pipe in and suggest you don't rule out a CAAD 10 (or 12, but you won't find that used). I test rode a ton of entry level carbon bikes, including the women's version of those two, and ended up much preferring the high end aluminum to the dead feeling of entry level carbon. YMMV.  It's a buyers market on uses CAAD10s right now though...

nereo

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2016, 07:28:03 AM »
If you are looking at the Roubaix and the Emonda, I'm going to pipe in and suggest you don't rule out a CAAD 10 (or 12, but you won't find that used). I test rode a ton of entry level carbon bikes, including the women's version of those two, and ended up much preferring the high end aluminum to the dead feeling of entry level carbon. YMMV.  It's a buyers market on uses CAAD10s right now though...

I really love my CAAD 10 - happy to see someone else recommend it.  My sense when I got it was that many cyclists were being tempted by carbon framesets and were dumping their aluminum bikes at steep discounts. 

fallstoclimb

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2016, 12:45:12 PM »
If you are looking at the Roubaix and the Emonda, I'm going to pipe in and suggest you don't rule out a CAAD 10 (or 12, but you won't find that used). I test rode a ton of entry level carbon bikes, including the women's version of those two, and ended up much preferring the high end aluminum to the dead feeling of entry level carbon. YMMV.  It's a buyers market on uses CAAD10s right now though...

I really love my CAAD 10 - happy to see someone else recommend it.  My sense when I got it was that many cyclists were being tempted by carbon framesets and were dumping their aluminum bikes at steep discounts. 

Agreed.  In reality I think hardly anyone needs anything "nicer" than a CAAD10 w/ 105s.  It's a fun fast bike and I have no complaints.   

nereo

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2016, 12:54:50 PM »
Agreed.  In reality I think hardly anyone needs anything "nicer" than a CAAD10 w/ 105s.  It's a fun fast bike and I have no complaints.
Woot!  you just described my exact setup!  Absolutely no problems churning out the long rides, and more comfortable than a lot of the carbon frames i test rode.

Merrie

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Re: Best way to save for an exciting purchase? ( Road Bike)
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2016, 12:59:22 PM »
I see a few people knocking the separate fund idea, and I'll chime in here to support it.

This wanting to set up separate funds is exactly why I started to use YNAB. I had many different accounts, each one for different purposes, but it got to be too much trouble to have as many accounts as I wanted. Instead, having YNAB and separating your money out into categories (buckets, if you will), meant that I could put all the money in one physical account and then just have the divisions clearly spelled out virtually in the app.

Some people (including MMM and a lot of Mustachians) are okay with not having this. Do whatever works for you. I just know that *I* work best when I know exactly what each dollar's "job" is. If I were saving for a bike, I would want to know that it isn't affecting the usual amount of money I would put towards maxing out my retirement accounts, investment, etc. It's just a different way of looking at it. If you do want to go this route, you don't necessarily have to use YNAB (although it's awesome). You COULD just use a spreadsheet to keep track of how much your Shiny Bike fund is doing.

I agree with this. I do the same thing. When we want to make a larger purchase, we start putting more money in that category in our spreadsheet. When we were saving up for a large bike-related purchase (box for cargo bike), watching what happened when we allocated money to that fund vs. burning it elsewhere helped my husband get more into the idea of budgeting.