Author Topic: Guilt on recent cycling purchases  (Read 7839 times)

poorboyrichman

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 106
Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« on: October 13, 2014, 05:35:45 AM »
I have been cycle commuting for 4 months now, I'm prepared and ready to cycle through the winter (excluding when it's really really bad weather due to safety concerns, drivers in this part of the world are terrible). I went from using a junker MTB/hybrid that was technically too small for me to purchasing a 550 road bike, buying so much cycling clothing(lycra this, lyrca that), repair stands, tools and even went as far as picking up GPS unit (albeit secondhand on ebay) for 160.

I have just totted it up and I have spent in excess of 1100 on cycling in 4 months. Now, I knew I was spending a lot more than I liked to admit to myself, but frankly I'm shocked by the initial outlay! I do keep track of my spending, and I have curbed it these last couple of months, but it's going to take a whole 12 months (based previous fuel spending) of cycling without another purchase to make the bike really pay for itself. I think part of the spending problem is I really really really enjoy cycling. It has become my weekend and evening hobby, it has got me in shape fast, it has made me sexier, smarter and I perform better in work. Yesterday I rode 100 miles for charity, burning 3600 calories and today feels like any other day, just I'm a little more awesome.

But cripes, 1100 on cycling in 4 months, had to pinch myself!!! it's worked out a lot more than I thought... On the plus side, I know have some serious know how, tools etc so I can do most of my own bicycle maintenance, and aside from a decent warm winter coat, have all the seasonal wear I need. Hopefully will be able to stomach closing down my car lease (costing me 230/month) in January when the early termination fee drops from 999 to 333. I seem to have moved from one financial mess (spending too much on a car) to another (1100!!!).

Did any of you struggle with reigning in your spending when you started cycling? How are you keeping costs down???

Quick edit, this spend also includes fixing up the junker and fitted pannier rack and bags so I can do my shopping, done this 3 times already and now I look forward to visits to the supermarket!!!
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 05:43:39 AM by poorboyrichman »

alsoknownasDean

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2193
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2014, 06:22:30 AM »
I don't think that's terrible. Yes, it's a lot of money, but most of it is once-off, you're saving money every time you ride, and you're improving your health.

Enjoy it :)

Although the above is particularly voided if your hair is aflame and you put it all on credit. :)

Sparafusile

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 336
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Indiana, USA
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2014, 06:34:38 AM »
You can't start a thread about this without posting pics for the rest of us to drool on!

Seriously though, what's your break even period? Add up the cost of petrol, wear and tear on your car, buying bigger clothes for your non-exercising butt, etc over the course of a year and see if it's more than what you spent here. If it is, and I'm sure it is, you made a sound investment. If you're still worried about this just remember all the health benefits of cycling.

usmarine1975

  • Guest
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2014, 07:06:34 AM »
I agree with above poster, pictures to drool over needed.  I have been biking about the same amount of time.  I LOVE IT.  I try to find  a reason to ride.  I have been a little more fortunate on the bike end as all of my rides are free.  Just picked up a new frame over the weekend (new to me)  I have been able to procure about a dozen different bikes in the four months that I have been riding for nothing.  7 came from a family member, they had a pig roast and I happened to notice some bikes laying against a shed in such a way they hadn't been touched in years.  The kid's helped me load them up.  I had to ask.

That being said your spending doesn't seem to be out of line especially in that you bought a bike.  I have spent just over $300.00 on accessories for my rides.  I am done for a while.  Look for a bike co op in your area or a recycle bicycle.  I also agree with above in time you will get back the money you have spent not to mention your health improvement which can not really have a price tag attached.

poorboyrichman

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 106
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2014, 09:11:30 AM »
Pictures coming soon due to popular demand :)

I have been savvy for most part, I have bought cheap/avoiding cycling specific gear where possible, e.g. opting instead for running tights to pull over padded shorts (rather than buying cycling specific padded tights as winter gear).

The only anti-mustachian purchases I can really feel guilty about are the GPS unit (although I need that on my country rides if I'm not going to be stopping at every junction on a long ride to pull out an old fashioned map!) and some cycling jersey's and cleaning brush sets which I didn't realllllllly need. As you guys say, I suppose the health benefits are worth it alone in long run, and cycling of all pleasures is an expensive one but fruitful in the long run.

Well considering running a car is costing me 360 a month minimum (expensive lease was a silly mistake), in theory it would pay for itself in just 3 months, but this is all on top of a car lease which is why I feel guilty. Once the expensive termination fee on the lease drops, I'll be going car free until I am out of debt and can afford to buy my own (sensible) car.

I guess most of the guilt is coming from explaining these purchases to my girlfriend, she doesn't yet believe I will be going car free so see's it all as additional and necessary expense. Can't wait to prove all those non-believers wrong!!!

usmarine1975

  • Guest
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2014, 09:16:43 AM »
I am old school and when I had a girlfriend if she complained about my expenses I just laughed it off.  Now I have a wife and we share our finances so I have to be more conscious of her thoughts.  As a single man it was my money and I did with it what I wanted or didn't want for that matter.  Just my opinion.  Granted if you are looking at a long term relationship & or marriage that would change the view point.  But only you can know that.

skunkfunk

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1057
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Oklahoma City
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2014, 09:33:42 AM »
I'm about 8 months in to cycle commuting and maybe a bit more than $400 into it.

That said, I look kinda dumb cycling to work in my tennis clothes (with long johns underneath in the cold), on my cheapest fuji I could find, with my flashlight and cheap backlight to light the path, and my $20 ebay rack and bag.

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2014, 10:52:14 AM »
From what I've read, the first year is the worst. I've spent $1700 across 5 bikes since January but the vast majority of that spending is one-time purchases. Maintenance costs do exist, but they're a fraction of the set up. Compare that to the ongoing expense of a car and bikes usually regain the cost per mile advantage within a year and quickly widen the gap thereafter.

If I separated out just my own personal bike spending, I was ahead after only a few months.

zoltani

  • Guest
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2014, 11:01:46 AM »
How long will this stuff last and what will be the final cost per use?

If you actually use this stuff everyday then the cost per use will be so low, and a lot of cycling gear can last years depending on riding conditions. Plenty of people have $5k road bike sitting in their garage that never get ridden, very high cost per use. They should feel guilty, not you!

megaschnauzer

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 322
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Pensacola, FL
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2014, 12:17:04 PM »
when i spend a lot of money on a bike i figure someone has spent that much money on a tv.

Oldsmobile

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2014, 03:13:05 PM »
First bike when I started cycling as an adult was a ~$30 Free Spirit.  No longer have it, because of upgrades, but I'm glad I had it.  It got me exercising and put me on a much better path for commuting, saving money, less need for car, etc.  I then bought a Giant hybrid for about a hundred bucks, and put lots of miles on it.  Enough miles that I decided I wanted a new bike decked out exactly the way I wanted it, and I bought a Breezer Uptown 8 city bike.  That was ~$1500, I think.

Then came the Surly LHT after a couple more years. 

Money spent on bikes is well spent.  It's a damn sight better than spending them on tv or dumb shit.  Your bike teaches you repair skills, reduces or eliminates your need for a car, gets you out, gives fun and exercise...  What else gives you this kind of personal return?  Damned if I know.

Enjoy the bike.  Remember, though, that where N is the number of bikes you own, the correct number to own is N+1.  Don't fall into that trap.  :D

kaetana

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 432
  • Location: the Netherlands
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2014, 03:36:53 PM »
Oh boy, I can definitely relate to this thread. I learned to bike last December (I never learned as a child), and have since spent about $5000 on two bikes and accessories, mainly because one of the bikes was a Brompton and cost a lot. The really facepunchy part is that I still haven't completely stopped using the car. As a new cyclist I scare easily when it rains. I've done about 800km on my bikes so far, though, and I intend to bike even more as my confidence improves.

I try to console myself by banning any further expenditure on bikes (since I have everything I think I'll need now), and by thinking of it as spending money on my fitness.

Beric01

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1156
  • Age: 30
  • Location: SF Bay Area
  • Law-abiding cyclist
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2014, 05:13:20 PM »
Sorry guys, but I can't pull the facepunches here. Bicycling is supposed to be cheap through muscle power, not cost as much as owning a car!

  • Lycra/spandex - you don't need them! I bike in t-shirt and shorts just fine (10-20 mile distances too). When it gets colder you switch to jeans (with ankle elastic straps to stop chain rubbing) and a coat (or multiple coats)/ear warmers/etc. Nothing you wear on your bike should be anything different than what you would wear in the normal weather conditions, accounting for the fact that your are exercising. And personally, I love meeting cycling "pros" dressed in spandex at the stoplight who underestimate me, and then I pass them wearing shorts and a t-shirt. :P
  • GPS: Are you kidding me? Take 1 minute before you leave your place to look up the directions on Google Maps (they even have bicycling routes!). Memorize the directions (or print them if they're really complicated). You do not need dedicated GPS or even a smartphone to get somewhere via bike.
  • Expensive, fancy, light racing bikes: what's the point - make your bike even lighter so you don't have to work as hard? Bicycling is supposed to give you exercise! Don't be a wimp - build up some muscle!

My bike is my only form of transportation, and the only things I am considering purchasing right now are:
  • Better lights - I probably shouldn't scrimp on safety. Should able to get a powerful&rechargeable front and rear one for $50 combined based on my preliminary research.
  • Reflective green cycling vest - for better visibility. Cost: <$10.
  • Waterproof panniers - unfortunately my current ones are water resistant only. But I can't find any waterproof panniers under $100. Debating if I need this one.
  • Collapsible bike trailer - would be very useful if I want to start going to Costco. But not on craigslist and cost around $100 - I'm hesitating on this one as well.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2014, 05:15:34 PM by Beric01 »

darkadams00

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 395
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2014, 06:32:18 PM »
Car: $ per mile is high, at least $0.20 for most drivers, ignoring purchase price
Bike: $ per mile is almost negligible, well under $0.05 for my last two years, ignoring one-time bike and equipment purchases

Even if the purchase price of a fancy pants bike equals the purchase price of a beater car, the $ per mile wins on paper and the health benefits win in the doctor's office. Of course, I wouldn't buy a fancy pants bike unless I had a prevailing reason, e.g. if racing or long-distance enduro rides were my passion. So don't sweat a bit of cash outlay in the first year. Three years ago, I spent $1300 on a single car repair. Compared to that, the $1650 I've spent on two bikes, miscellaneous equipment, and clothing for my wife is pretty insignificant. She has been more active over the past two years than in the previous fifteen years, and it shows.

For full disclosure, including purchases, maintenance, and repairs, my total cost for the last two years has been about $0.95 per mile. But that figure starts to drop like a rock when you quit buying the one-time purchases and just ride. Just for fun, keep up with your costs and mileage and see how fast the rate drops.

Terrestrial

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 296
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2014, 07:40:25 PM »

  • Lycra/spandex - you don't need them! I bike in t-shirt and shorts just fine (10-20 mile distances too). When it gets colder you switch to jeans (with ankle elastic straps to stop chain rubbing) and a coat (or multiple coats)/ear warmers/etc. Nothing you wear on your bike should be anything different than what you would wear in the normal weather conditions, accounting for the fact that your are exercising. And personally, I love meeting cycling "pros" dressed in spandex at the stoplight who underestimate me, and then I pass them wearing shorts and a t-shirt. :P


This is hands down my FAVORITE part of wearing normal running shorts and and T-shirt to bike.  Dusting people in the full get-up is fun.

I will confess i'm guilty of spending too much on bikes though.  Just the bikes/components though, not replica pro cycling jerseys and ball-huggers.

NoraLenderbee

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1254
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2014, 09:37:14 PM »

  • Lycra/spandex - you don't need them! I bike in t-shirt and shorts just fine (10-20 mile distances too). When it gets colder you switch to jeans (with ankle elastic straps to stop chain rubbing) and a coat (or multiple coats)/ear warmers/etc. Nothing you wear on your bike should be anything different than what you would wear in the normal weather conditions, accounting for the fact that your are exercising. And personally, I love meeting cycling "pros" dressed in spandex at the stoplight who underestimate me, and then I pass them wearing shorts and a t-shirt. :P

It's great if that works for you.  For some people proper bike shorts are the difference between a fun ride and a torture session. If I had to ride in jeans, I'd be in tears within 5 miles and by 10 I'd have quit cycling forever. Everyone's different.

Edit: fixed quoting.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2014, 11:43:55 AM by NoraLenderbee »

Beric01

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1156
  • Age: 30
  • Location: SF Bay Area
  • Law-abiding cyclist
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #16 on: October 14, 2014, 12:12:15 AM »

  • Lycra/spandex - you don't need them! I bike in t-shirt and shorts just fine (10-20 mile distances too). When it gets colder you switch to jeans (with ankle elastic straps to stop chain rubbing) and a coat (or multiple coats)/ear warmers/etc. Nothing you wear on your bike should be anything different than what you would wear in the normal weather conditions, accounting for the fact that your are exercising. And personally, I love meeting cycling "pros" dressed in spandex at the stoplight who underestimate me, and then I pass them wearing shorts and a t-shirt. :P

It's great if that works for you.  For some people proper bike shorts are the difference between a fun ride and a torture session. If I had to ride in jeans, I'd be in tears within 5 miles and by 10 I'd have quit cycling forever. Everyone's different.

Are you talking about being saddle-sore? The trick is to get a firm (NOT soft) seat and just ride it. You will feel sore for 1-2 weeks riding, but after that you will feel perfect. The problem with the soft seats is they don't let you rest just the bones of your rear end - you actually sink your entire rear into the seat. This ultimately makes you LESS comfortable.

poorboyrichman

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 106
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #17 on: October 14, 2014, 05:34:12 AM »
Yes the GPS unit was frivolous, but planning long trips into the countryside with no knowledge of the roads is a massive head ache. It's a massive luxury I know, as you say you could just print off google maps, but were not really addressing the problem of stopping at every junction! I love the ability to log long rides and upload to Strava, using a phone for logging long rides and using maps for 3hrs+ means dead phone battery which is not practical when so far from home, massive potential for being stranded and all that!

Main reasons for wearing lyrca are:

I have tried wearing jeans, but the rubbing/stiffness drove me mad.

I sweat, a lot. Lycra is quick drying and therefore comfortable for the ride home. Cotton/polyester tshirts and jeans can make you cold when wet, and a regular coat/waterproof overlayers can have you sweating buckets, in the winter riding with non-technical fabrics leaves you wet from sweating and you end up shivering despite the layers. Naturally, you could get around this by wearing a good technical base layer (or just manning up). But for comfort, on my +1 hour commute, jeans and cotton t shirt can't cut it.

That said, I only really own 3 jerseys, (2 short sleeve, 1 long sleeve) and one pair of padded shorts and all are budget/discount supermarket brands like Altura/Aldi for those in the UK. When the temp dropped, I bought a pair of running shorts for 7 and wear merino wool underneath to stay toasty. So total spent on clothing is ~160. Really most of my regular clothing is not suitable for biking in the winter and don't want to get chain oil all over my best (and only) two pairs of jeans!

I'd be really interested to see the cost per mile, think I will be doing some maths tonight  when I can check my accounts :)
P.S. Haven't forgotten about those photos :)

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 16069
  • Age: 39
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2014, 07:24:25 AM »

  • Lycra/spandex - you don't need them! I bike in t-shirt and shorts just fine (10-20 mile distances too). When it gets colder you switch to jeans (with ankle elastic straps to stop chain rubbing) and a coat (or multiple coats)/ear warmers/etc. Nothing you wear on your bike should be anything different than what you would wear in the normal weather conditions, accounting for the fact that your are exercising. And personally, I love meeting cycling "pros" dressed in spandex at the stoplight who underestimate me, and then I pass them wearing shorts and a t-shirt. :P

It's great if that works for you.  For some people proper bike shorts are the difference between a fun ride and a torture session. If I had to ride in jeans, I'd be in tears within 5 miles and by 10 I'd have quit cycling forever. Everyone's different.

Are you talking about being saddle-sore? The trick is to get a firm (NOT soft) seat and just ride it. You will feel sore for 1-2 weeks riding, but after that you will feel perfect. The problem with the soft seats is they don't let you rest just the bones of your rear end - you actually sink your entire rear into the seat. This ultimately makes you LESS comfortable.

My commute to work is just over 11 miles each way.  In colder weather (10 degrees C and below) I can get by with regular underwear and sweat pants.  I like a very hard saddle with little padding.  Doing this ride in jeans is extremely uncomfortable regardless of the hardness of the seat.   In warmer, humid weather particularly (36C and humid), the combination of fabric moving and seams means the inside of my thighs get rubbed raw in regular underwear and shorts . . . to the point of bleeding and infection after a few days . . . which then means I can't ride for a couple weeks.  There's a difference between saddle sore, and saddle sores.  Stupid clothing choices lead to the latter.  Although I fought it as long as possible, buying a couple pairs of bike shorts was the best cycling purchase I've ever made . . . and I'd certainly recommend bike shorts as a good use of money to anyone who is regularly doing distances of ten miles or more.

Rosbif

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 77
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2014, 07:29:53 AM »
Yeah, funnily enough, not all cyclists wear lycra because they enjoy walking round in junk-hugging shorts. I hate how lycra looks, but it's functional on longer rides. I just wear jeans on my town bike (journeys all <5miles).

OP, don't worry about spending that much on getting set up, getting decent gear motivates you to use it, makes it easier to ride for longer (both per day, and in life), and is still cheaper than the alternatives. If you add externalised costs in motoring (excess deaths from pollution, from noise, general decrease in quality of life, etc.) the car doesn't stand a chance ;)

NoraLenderbee

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1254
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2014, 11:52:48 AM »

  • Lycra/spandex - you don't need them! I bike in t-shirt and shorts just fine (10-20 mile distances too). When it gets colder you switch to jeans (with ankle elastic straps to stop chain rubbing) and a coat (or multiple coats)/ear warmers/etc. Nothing you wear on your bike should be anything different than what you would wear in the normal weather conditions, accounting for the fact that your are exercising. And personally, I love meeting cycling "pros" dressed in spandex at the stoplight who underestimate me, and then I pass them wearing shorts and a t-shirt. :P

It's great if that works for you.  For some people proper bike shorts are the difference between a fun ride and a torture session. If I had to ride in jeans, I'd be in tears within 5 miles and by 10 I'd have quit cycling forever. Everyone's different.

Are you talking about being saddle-sore? The trick is to get a firm (NOT soft) seat and just ride it. You will feel sore for 1-2 weeks riding, but after that you will feel perfect. The problem with the soft seats is they don't let you rest just the bones of your rear end - you actually sink your entire rear into the seat. This ultimately makes you LESS comfortable.


For me, chafing was the big problem, plus pain from the pressure after long rides. I do have a good saddle and the bike fits me well. I do long rides for fun and exercise, and functional clothing definitely serves a purpose for me.

skunkfunk

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1057
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Oklahoma City
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2014, 01:40:58 PM »
I was out of commission for 2 weeks with a chaffing problem. I got a sore in, uh, a really bad spot and it was just not feasible to bike.

Also, I don't have a bike GPS but I can vouch for being lost on a bicycle being not such a good thing.

Runge

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 219
  • Location: TX
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2014, 02:58:27 PM »
Lots of good comments from all sides here.

I'll add my two cents. As others and OP have already mentioned, a cost per mile analysis would be great. I bought a kayak back earlier in the summer, and I've been doing a $/hour tracking on it. Since I can really only use my kayak as an entertainment + exercise device, I'm treating it as such. I'm comparing the $/hour to that of say...going to the movies, going to the gym, etc. Eventually it'll get below that, and that'll be your "break even" point.

You could also do the same for your bike. Do a $/mile in regards to transportation, and also a $/hour in regards to entertainment/exercise. Definitely interesting numbers to analyze.

As for all the lycra and GPS stuff. I say...if it helps you get your butt in the saddle, don't feel bad. Just ride ride ride, and eventually once things need replacing, you'll be able to decide if you actually need it to be replaced, or if your needs/desires have changed.

If I can suggest some shorts, I bought some Columbia Global Adventure shorts a while back and fell in love with them. They're now my go-to multipurpose short for normal day activities and biking. I don't do any group road rides, so I don't go with the lycra crowd (no culture that I have to conform to); so I just use those shorts on all my rides, and they are simply fantastic. Biggest things is butt-sweat is NOT visible!

Anyway, happy riding!

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3402
Re: Guilt on recent cycling purchases
« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2014, 03:19:23 PM »
You won't get any facepunches from me. I have a similar setup.

The only caveat is to do a little research in advance on replacement parts. Road bikes can be delicate little flowers. Do not crash or drop that bike!

Our weather here is similar to the UK and the wet gritty roads are brutal on your chain and gears. I recently figured out that my 10 speed rear cassette and chain are way more expensive to replace than a comparable 9 or 8-speed. 10-speed chains are also thinner and therefore break more easily. Guess what I'll be switching to when the current gears wear out?

Keep the old mountain bike to ride to work on the days it snows.