Author Topic: What price of kit is too expensive?  (Read 1170 times)

Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2017, 07:27:38 am »
We value speed and bling above all else. Reliability and longevity is so boring dahhhling.
Sic transit and all that..

Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2017, 08:15:33 am »
A bit OT, but bear with me.

I play the alto sax, and my music teacher advises that I need a different neck strap (because I have a cervical spinal cord injury) - specifically the alternative strap is like the rear half of a pair of braces (so they clip to the top of your trousers at the back) and go over your shoulders to a hook, which clips to the sax.  So, no weight on the neck.

Half a pair of braces and a plastic hook.  Nothing more.



£70!!!!  And one company sells one at £170!!  For half a pair of braces and a plastic hook.....  They are taking the p*ss.

I reckon my DHB bib longs are good value at £70......

T42

  • Old fool in a hurry
Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2017, 08:26:39 am »
I'll pay for mid-range Assos shorts but not top-of-range or Rapha.  As far as the rest of the kit goes, if it's functional I don't much care. Apart from jerseys - mine are all from events or organizations I'm a member of.
I dare eat all that may become a man.

But hold the oysters.

Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2017, 08:46:58 am »
Free company car park. Cycling's break even for me with the car when you factor in how we use it for other things than commuting. Weekend car hire, bike maintenance at the lbs (you'd not trust our skills with a spanner neither), etc.

Before you question car hire, we're an active family and at least once a week spend it in the lakes near us. That is impossible to by bike with a 5 year old or public transport. We aren't ready to give up the activities we do just yet so the car is only option.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2017, 09:44:57 am »
I don't mind paying more something decent that will last and isn't made by slaves. Or an Apple computer.

Like everything, I think for a lot men, buying blinding bikes, the equipment, and kit is the usual oneupmanship. They don't go any faster, I'm sure. I've actually seen some of them go backwards up Anerley Hill.

But equally, if it makes them happy. Judgement will come in the next life (when they have to ride a constantly falling apart Apollo MTB up a never ending-mountain side).

Like with most things, beyond a certain price, you're either paying for the brand or design, or the law of diminishing returns.
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Karla

  • car(e) free
Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2017, 10:13:06 am »
But equally, if it makes them happy. Judgement will come in the next life (when they have to ride a constantly falling apart Apollo MTB up a never ending-mountain side).

You've been reading too much Philip K Dick.  Mercer is riding up the hill with you, right?
Latest tour journal: Bucharest to Berlin

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2017, 10:16:26 am »
Before you question car hire, we're an active family and at least once a week spend it in the lakes near us. That is impossible to by bike with a 5 year old or public transport. We aren't ready to give up the activities we do just yet so the car is only option.

I've often contemplated the probability that even regular car hire would still work out cheaper than car ownership.

To answer the original question, I try to only buy stuff I need so price isn't really a factor - things cost what they cost, and if I need it, I need it. If money's tight and the need isn't urgent, I'll postpone the purchase. I currently need a new 11-speed cassette. The existing cassette is Ultegra but there's no way I'm forking out £65 for a replacement when I can get a perfectly good 105 cassette for under £30. A Sora 8-speed cassette would be even cheaper but obviously that's not much use to me. Maybe I should sell the bike and swap it for something with cheaper components? Nah, don't think so. I'm still reluctant to even spend the £30 for 105, so for the time being, I'm just wringing as much life as possible out of the existing cassette.

Haven't bought any new clothing for a while apart from the club's special anniversary jersey. When I do buy kit, I tend to go mid-range (Castelli, Vermarc, Sportful) and often scour sites like PBK for bargains - you can get some great deals as long as you don't mind wearing pro team colours. I've got various bits of Rapha kit, which are excellent (especially the Brevet shorts), but some of my favourite stuff in my wardrobe is from the likes of Altura and not expensive at all.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2017, 10:29:36 am »
I'm curious about how much ppl spend on cycling kit. It seems from several cycling forums that ppl have money and a lot of it to spend on kit. I don't. That makes me hold off on buying kit because I think it's just too expensive.

We're talking about the amount of money you need to spend on kit to leave you worrying if you've spent too much. For me I hesitate in 3 digits my bike is less than 4 digits and whilst I needed it I doubted whether it was too much. I mean I could get a serviceable bike for £300 so why spend £650?

Clothing I buy Aldi or Aldi sort of price. Lights £40 for main light and I think it's too much.

I don't earn a lot which explains my views but even if I earnt ten times as much I'd still not spend £6500 on a bike, indeed I'd possibly bail at £2000. I think it's within me not to feel comfortable spending a lot even if I could afford it.

So do you have a limit? Even if you had the disposable to spend anything on bikes would you still have a limit?

I am just curious about the spending mindset of fellow cyclists.

I'm young(ish), single, and have no dependents, so everything I'm not spending on food, shelter, and internet is basically available for me to spend on bike stuff. Since I started my new job a few months back I've spent far too much on bike parts. It's a running joke at work now when a package arrives (daily), what bike part is it this time? don't you have enough parts to build a second bike? etc... But after years of earning next to nothing, having a salary controlled diet, I'm happy spending money on quality stuff. I am a major fan of the Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice. And am happy to spend money if it's something that will last. In building my bike I spent over half the cost of the bike parts just on tools, as I will use them again, and most of them last a life time[1].

But with all this said. The idea of spending 2k on a bike? Maybe for a custom made one of a kind bike. But for some factory carbon... nah. Would I spend 500 on some wheels? Probably not.

But then I don't race, so I'm not looking at the €200 marginal gains from the latest carbon widget...

I spent €27 on a rear bike light. My colleagues think I'm nuts. It's perhaps the upper limit of what I'd spend tho.

Ultimately for many bike related things you get what you paid for, but only upto a point, where you start to get diminishing returns.

Perhaps if I was racing and that €200 euro widget could be the difference between being on the podium or not, maybe I'd have a different view. But for the riding I do, it's about having something that works, will work for a long time, and is a joy to ride.

Now back to looking at merino cycling jerseys...

J

[1]Tho I'm slightly miffed I spent €49 on a crown race setting tool, only to discover on build day it was the wrong size and I had to bodge things with some pvc pipe...
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quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2017, 10:36:19 am »
I think it's quite easy for cycling-for-transport stuff to be cost-neutral.  It's when you're doing it for other reasons that it gets expensive.

This is something I've struggled to explain to Dutch colleagues. Why did I spend €1200 plus all the tools to build a bike to ride to work that I'm too scared to lock up anywhere. Something with derailleur gears, without a chain guard, and currently without even mud guards. Why didn't I spend 100 euro on a second hand bike? And they are right, it would pay for itself in just over a month in saved metro fees, I wouldn't have to worry about where I lock it up. But ultimately, I rode 18k to work today, rather than the usual 7.5k, because it was a joy to ride, and it's good exercise, and it saves me the gym membership... in terms of savings over public transport, it's going to be about a 15 month pay back (€84 a month to take the tram to work), but the bike gives me so so much more than this.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Ben T

  • Viable.
Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2017, 10:37:04 am »
I do know that when I've spent money on a new piece of kit I do feel the need to go for a ride when I might not otherwise have done just because I feel I ought to use it.
I'm definitely right over this.

LEE

  • "Shut Up Jens" - Legs.
Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #35 on: December 06, 2017, 11:01:20 am »
Cycling accessories, like most hobbies' accessories, are subject to the law of diminishing returns.

There's a huge difference between a £200 bike and a £900 bike and yet only marginal difference between a £3200 bike and a £3900 bike.
The trick is to find the "sweet-spot" where you get the most bang-for-the-buck within your budget.

Then you need to consider the difference between "expensive" and "over-priced".

For example: I consider my Rapha gear expensive whilst some people (mostly those who never actually owned any) consider it over-priced.  I don't mind paying a lot for high-quality stuff and Rapha is high-quality and extremely well thought-out.  I never sent any back (which is the test of Over-Priced).

For example: I've paid £9.99 for some Aldi cycling jerseys and wore them only once.  Even at £9.99 I considered them cheap BUT over-priced (Their stuff is much better now).

The most I've paid for a bike is £2600 (on a £3300 RRP bike).  It's a creamy-smooth Luxo-Missile.  Bloody gorgeous, comfy and fast.  It combines those 3 elements like no other bike I've ever owned.

£2600 is my sweet-spot.  I've ridden the high-priced models (Ultegra instead of 105..etc) but I couldn't spot a difference for the extra £2K.

Having said that I love riding my £599 Genesis Single-Speed.  It's made from heavy steel tubing, has almost no subtleties, flair or refinement (or speed actually)...it's a basic winter hack....but it does a job in a bomb-proof sort of way.  Cheap but I'd want more "flair" if I'd paid £900 for it.

So I'd say that "Too Expensive" is the same as my definition of "Over-Priced".  That's when something doesn't do what you thought it would/should, regardless of price. 

My £2600 bike exceeds my expectations so it was expensive, not too expensive.
My £9.99 Aldi top was a poor fit, had an awful zip and looked like crap after one wash.  It was too expensive. It became a very expensive polishing rag.
Some people say I'm self-obsessed but that's enough about them.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #36 on: December 06, 2017, 11:11:02 am »
I've often contemplated the probability that even regular car hire would still work out cheaper than car ownership.

I did the maths, if I were to hire a car for one weekend every month, it would cost me less per year, than just insuring a car. That's not including buying it, putting fuel in, MOT, etc... Just the insurance cost. But then I'm not in the middle of nowhere, so for me everything is either a short cycle ride away, or a short tram/metro ride away[1]...

This does mean I'm rather dependent on my bikes, hence why at least one bike has spiked tyres fitted during the winter, the only reason not to cycle is if I've been hit by the latest office flu...

J



[1] Apart from the DIY store, which seems to be nowhere near public transport, and is not an area I want to lock up any bike... Which is a pain as I need a new tap...
--
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Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #37 on: December 06, 2017, 12:42:58 pm »
In one of the motoring threads, I went through all my car club and Electric Highway receipts.  I worked out that I've been paying about 40p/mile on average for car use.  Which isn't far off what it cost when I last owned a one-step-up-from banger small car.

I've effectively traded thinking more carefully about whether I actually need to use a car for a given journey for being able to chose a more appropriate vehicle for the task in hand, drive newer, shinier, more environmentally-friendly cars, and not have to worry about the constant risk of vandalism from on-street parking in a drunken student hotspot.  And MOTs and insurance and repairs are SEP.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #38 on: December 06, 2017, 01:06:38 pm »
I'm sure our car isn't near cost-effective at fewer than 1,000 miles/year but expense isn't an issue and the convenience of having it saves having to faff about hiring one on the few occasions we need one.

My most expensive bike cost about £450 but I mostly bumble about on a brothed-up £130 machine that refuses to die. But then I'm mostly a utilitarian cyclist and I want something I can lock up at my destination without worrying about it being nicked or getting dirty.

My main expense is trousers owing to the shiny arse effect.
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Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #39 on: December 06, 2017, 02:34:02 pm »
We did a very quick costing on getting rid of our car. The only way it wouldn't work out more expensive was if we changed our lifestyle and stopped doing the things we liked to do. It was the weekends that caused the issues. We hop in the car and go to a nearby town for stuff we need. We go walking or cycling in nice and safe areas for our 4 year old son. Riding out with him from here isn't really safe enough for my partner. Holidays, etc. All with enough kit to fill a big mpv.

When our car got hit whilst parked up we got a hire car of equivalent or larger size to  what we run. It cost the insurance a fortune for those two weeks. Add in bike rack hire, etc I think the annual two week summer holiday would cost more than the insurance and mot for the year. Add in another week and as many weekends as possible camping.

As we decided the decision isn't about cost but about lifestyle. What do we want out of our life. As bad as it sounds, do we want to save the planet or not? We decided to be part way between those answers. We've cut right back on car use during the week and to some extent at the weekends. However we still use it a lot at the weekend. For that it's still needed. Public transport isn't good enough, not really fit for use in many ways.

Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2017, 03:35:47 pm »
We live in London, which obviously skews the public transport issue, and helps ensure that insurance for anything vaguely sensible for our needs would most likely be £800-£1300 for the first year, let alone the costs of purchase, servicing, tyres ...

On cost, there's really no question - last time we went away for a weekend, we had a Passat estate for four days, and it cost £53. I've just picked up a BMW 320 for a day, and it's under £25. We're contemplating getting a Focus or equivalent for ten-ish days over Xmas, and it's looking likely to be £110 or so. Next time we want a three-day weekend, I've got a voucher for a free hire of a Golf or similar. Excesses are stupidly high, but an annual policy to take them to zero was £32.

Now, all of those prices are a result of being *very* price-sensitive and shopping around, and of joining loyalty schemes, and of being happy to ride some distance to a cheaper outlet where appropriate. We need to plan ahead. We can't just decide to go somewhere, and five minutes later hop in the car and go. We can't practically fit a bike rack. But at the moment, that convenience isn't worth a couple of grand a year to us.

Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #41 on: December 06, 2017, 04:05:42 pm »
As we decided the decision isn't about cost but about lifestyle. What do we want out of our life.
That's it, you've got it precisely, except where you've applied it to having a car, I've applied it to cycling.  I make no claim that one choice is better than another, other than that mine suites me, but where I'm unquestioning about your choices, you've started a thread about mine.
I did the whole spreadsheet thing when considering not having a car, taxis, public transport, hiring... I made the mistake of thinking I'd have the same transport needs and have to find other ways to meet them.  It's worked out the other way round, I have this transport available - this is what I can do with it,  it's not necessarily better, but it certainly not worse.

Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #42 on: December 06, 2017, 09:04:50 pm »
I've started a thread about what sort of price for stuff makes you worry that you've spent too much. Not a thread questioning ppl who have given up a car. Someone started talking about bikes being only transport and saving on cost of car. I pointed out that for us owning a car was cheaper than hiring cars or using public transport.

If you think by stating that we would have to give up our lifestyle completely or spend more than owning a car to go carless is a criticism of your choice then I think you're being a bit too sensitive.

Back on topic, do you have an annual budget on bike related purchases? Or do you only buy what you need and when you need it, spending as little as you can get away with? The latter with me. I try not to spend anything but if I need something then I'll shop around to get a good deal. I buy budget to mid range on clothing but also use clothing bought for other outdoors activities which can be found for less than cycling specific. However for things like tyres I'll spend more than budget / mid range for example marathon plus tyres if I want tough tyres. I think it's worth spending on tyres personally.

Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #43 on: December 06, 2017, 09:33:36 pm »
For me, cycling has nothing to do with transport, but a lot to do with recreation/sport with a bit of social on the side.
My buying decisions are more to do with what I will enjoy owning, more like buying art perhaps. I don’t need the number of bikes etc I have, but I enjoy having them. I have an immaculate Hetchins that  I haven’t ridden for 10 years, but I still enjoy it.
So, what price is too expensive? I’d say it is when the spending impinges on the essentials of life, like bills, Council tax, heating etc.

Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #44 on: December 07, 2017, 07:36:42 am »
Quote
So, what price is too expensive? I’d say it is when the spending impinges on the essentials of life, like bills, Council tax, heating etc.

Surely this is the question for all hobbies and the same question will get asked on golf, kayaking and all other forums.  In factI suspect that was the source of the argument between Brutus and Caesar.

I am blessed with a job which asks me to work stupid hours but pays well.  I currently have no dependents as my wife earns for herself.  I give what I consider to be a morally correct amount to charity and the rest gets put in a bank or spent on my hobbies of cycling and photography.

I find the actual amount I spend is variable.  I will spend a lot on a really good light as that is a safety aspect.  I do like Assos but that was after trying everything else on the way up.  Surely this question has no definitive answer and just has to be answered in the light of our own circumstances and morals.

Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #45 on: December 07, 2017, 09:34:18 am »
I've started a thread about what sort of price for stuff makes you worry that you've spent too much.

While these days I belong in the happy company of those who can mostly afford things if we want to, I haven't always. However, I have never regretted paying for decent bike gear. Or, for that matter, decent anything over the cheaper equivalents. If you can afford the more expensive version, while it can't be guaranteed, overall you are likely to pay less and be more satisfied. That doesn't extend to paying for the sake of having the more expensive version, like the Ultegra vs 105 cassette, where the weight saving for me is meaningless, or paying a premium for a brand label without the quality behind it.

I've often found a happy home in Sportpursuit ( https://www.sportpursuit.com/join/Ham <- if use this link to join if you aren't yet a member, I get £5 credit if you buy, if you have a friend that's a member, get their link to give them the credit) as they often carry premium brands from other countries looking to explore the UK market. I would advise researching what you're buying carefully and trying to identify just that sort of product. Mostly, where they carry UK brands they are cheap, but not necessarily compulsively so. But for example, I've had bib shorts that appear to be close to the quality of my Assos F1 for a fraction of the cost. Of course, you can do similar by using the online retailers' sales, but they can be limiting. Also, SP is best for planned purchases, when you can look over a period than stuff you need there and then.

On the bike front, I was only musing the other day about the unique nature of cycling: I'm as happy (in a way) pootling to the shops on my old beater as much as I enjoy riding my top end bikes.


frankly frankie

  • I kid you not
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Re: What price of kit is too expensive?
« Reply #46 on: December 07, 2017, 11:13:42 am »
One thing I don't do is allow myself to be activated by offers or sales.  Neither do I shop around, much.
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