Author Topic: Bike experts. Help me pick one. How to spend fitness credit  (Read 4092 times)

Maya

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 240
  • Location: Canada
Bike experts. Help me pick one. How to spend fitness credit
« on: April 11, 2015, 06:19:56 PM »
Work gives me $600 for fitness related purchases. I want a new bike and running shoes,

Work is slow and layoff may be coming do I want to spend the credit quickly.

I need a recipt so can't buy used and save. I also want a good bike that I could use to bike 30 k each way to work occassionally. That would save me $7 in train tickets.

I also want it light enough so I can pull the chariot behind me with 55 lbs of kids in it. I dream about leaving the car at home and biking around the neighbourhood instead.

Looking at the trek 7.3 which would be $800 with taxes

I think the 7.2 might be around $600.

Is it MMM approved to spend $200 out of pocket to get a better bike, or should I lower standards and try to find a $500 bike and keep $100 for runners I need too.   

It's really a wwyd?  Could you justify spending $200-400 (with accessories) for the great bike and use the car less or do you settle and get a cheaper model that works out to basically free. Before I heard of this credit my bike budget was around $300-500.

Rubic

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1062
Re: Bike experts. Help me pick one. How to spend fitness credit
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2015, 08:16:33 PM »
Used is your best value for a bike.  Can you not submit a receipt for a used bike?

BTW, I raced the Furnace Creek 508 on a used Trek bike I bought for $200 (and later sold). 


Ramparts

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
Re: Bike experts. Help me pick one. How to spend fitness credit
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2015, 09:34:03 PM »
Being in a similar situation a few months ago (I had a $850 use-it-or-lose-it credit), I went with the trek 7.2 for ~$550, and got a trailer to go with it (~$220 I think?). I also tested out the 7.3, but I didn't notice enough of a difference to make it worthwhile for me. I'm hardly a bike expert though, since I've only been biking again since August, so YMMV :). Although a used bike might be best in most circumstances, if you have a use-it-or-lose-it work benefit that you have no other use for, I don't think you should feel guilty about getting a new one. Though keep in mind these types of benefits typically count as taxable income, so even if you pay $600 and get $600 back from your employer, you'll still effectively be paying your marginal tax rate on the bike.

10dollarsatatime

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 653
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Utah
Re: Bike experts. Help me pick one. How to spend fitness credit
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2015, 11:53:53 PM »
Not a bike expert by any means, but I just bought the Diamondback Calico from Nashbar on clearance for about $400, and stacked a sale on top of that so I got it for $350ish.  It's a very nice bike for the price.

Maya

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 240
  • Location: Canada
Re: Bike experts. Help me pick one. How to spend fitness credit
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2015, 08:40:31 AM »
Thanks everyone. If it was my choice I would hunt down a used bike but unless I can find it in a store And get a recipt I'll not be able to claim it.

I think I'm going to try out the 7.2 and will likely downgrade because honestly I likely won't notice a difference. My goal was a $500 bike or so. Good enough that I'll enjoy it without breaking the bank. And then still have a bit left for part of my shoes anyways.

Rubic

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1062
Re: Bike experts. Help me pick one. How to spend fitness credit
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2015, 10:49:24 AM »
Don't forget to buy a floor pump with your bicycle.  You'll need it to keep the tires inflated.  You should probably also spring for a couple of spare tubes and tire levers for flats.

mschaus

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 140
  • Location: Chicago
    • blog
Re: Bike experts. Help me pick one. How to spend fitness credit
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2015, 09:52:29 AM »
Don't forget to buy a floor pump with your bicycle.  You'll need it to keep the tires inflated.  You should probably also spring for a couple of spare tubes and tire levers for flats.

Agree, basic tools are important and will pay for themselves immediately (I'd add a patch kit and multi-tool if you don't already have allen keys). Also remember a lock, lights, and helmet!

merula

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1218
Re: Bike experts. Help me pick one. How to spend fitness credit
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2015, 10:00:10 AM »
Do any bike shops around you sell used? Pretty much all of the ones near me do. They're more expensive than Craigslist, but they've been recently serviced and you'd get a receipt, so it'd probably work out.

I'd at least call around to see if anyone sells used.

You could also buy a new bike and then return it after submitting the receipt and use the cash to buy used. I'd only do that to a big box store with a set return policy and the means to absorb the return cost. Admittedly an ethical grey area.

mskyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 693
Re: Bike experts. Help me pick one. How to spend fitness credit
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2015, 10:28:03 AM »
I have a 7.3fx and would highly recommend either the 7.2 or the 7.3 - they're both excellent all-around bikes. Good for fitness and you can easily put a rack on them for commuting or light hauling.

jzb11

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 139

Maya

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 240
  • Location: Canada
Re: Bike experts. Help me pick one. How to spend fitness credit
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2015, 01:22:08 PM »
Went to another store that sells Giant bikes and liked the price of the alight 2 ($500) better than the comparable 7.3 trek. Think I'm going to test drive that one and hope I like it. Giving up the idea of the carbon fork for now. I'm unlikely going to bike farther than 20-30 k at a time so not sure it's worth spending roughly $200 more.

Jeremy E.

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1946
  • Location: Lewiston, ID
Re: Bike experts. Help me pick one. How to spend fitness credit
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2015, 01:47:10 PM »
I would look into a bike from Bikesdirect.com.  I recently got a Motobecane Fantom CX from there for under $500, if you went this route you could also get some running shoes and bike accessories, without spending anything.  A cyclocross bike is probably your best bet too.

otter

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 105
Re: Bike experts. Help me pick one. How to spend fitness credit
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2015, 02:48:27 PM »
Investigate whether there are any bike co-ops in your city. (e.g. like Working Bikes in Chicago.) If you prefer to buy used, that would give you an opportunity to buy a used bike that did not need further work upon purchase, and would come with a receipt. Also, some bike shops (at least where I live) do also sell used bikes.

I stopped by my nearby REI for their garage sale this weekend. In it, I saw a Novara Randonee that was probably a couple of years old that had, apparently, been returned because the purchaser was unhappy that some parts had worn out after 1500 miles. This sounded totally wacky to me, and I marveled that they even accepted it (there were even odder stated reasons for returns on some of the gear tags) but they did. They replaced the worn parts and it had a tag on it for $250. New retail on this bike is close to $1000. This is just to illustrate that if similar circumstances can be found where you live, similar cities may exist.

Your spelling suggests that you may live in Canada - MEC may have an analogue (ha! :) ) to REI garage sales.


Maya

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 240
  • Location: Canada
Re: Bike experts. Help me pick one. How to spend fitness credit
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2015, 06:13:47 PM »
Yes, in the montreal area. Definitely going to look into seeing if I can find a good used bike wih recipt. Would much rather getting more for my credit and not going over! It'll go great with my used double chariot to pull the kids!