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  1. #1
    Dream it, Do it.
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    How do you guys (and gals) afford to buy new bikes?

    With starting prices for a decent bike starting around $2500 or so, how do you afford to buy new (or even used) bikes?

    I ask this as someone who makes decent money. But with two kids, it's hard to lay out at least $2-3K for a new bike, let alone $5-6K for a bike. It is crazy how much bike prices have skyrocketed in the past 10-15 years.

    In the past, I generally switched off upgrading a frame and then 2-3 years later the drivetrain & fork, but with young kids in the house I have put off upgrading my drivetrain for about 10 years now. So, I am now looking at complete bikes.

  2. #2
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    submit to credit card debit and join 90% of the rest of Amerika.



    (My signature was all purchased in the last year… I make decent money and so does my wife, the secret is no kids and high credit card limits.)
    Front Range, Colorado

  3. #3
    I didn't do it
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    Get a job and make decent money. Looks like you did that already. So then I would say budget and save. You got two kids so priorities change.
    Let's eat Ted
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    Remember, commas save lives

  4. #4
    AZ
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    If all else fails, Midget Porn.

  5. #5
    Perpetual n00b
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    I assume most people rely on credit cards. But keep in mind the number of people buying new bikes is significantly lower than the number of people not buying new bikes. It's just a very vocal minority.

    Personally, I have to pay cash. I was lucky enough to get a bonus this year for coming through on an emergency project. Got the wife and I a pair of used FS 26ers for less than 1k. Had to sell the 29ers though since we don't have the room to keep a quiver of bikes.
    Last edited by dgw2jr; 12-21-2013 at 06:19 PM.
    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

  6. #6
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    Opening a bicycle department next to my Motorcycle business sure helped. :P

  7. #7
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    Work in the bike industry. If I didn't I'd probably still be riding my hardtail from the late 90's and my wife kids wouldn't be riding.

  8. #8
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    You really need the adventure of Craigslist. The only challenge is patience. I have seven bikes that total about $12,000 retail, and have actually paid less than $2,000 for ALL of them combined. They are all in nearly perfect condition. It's good to know what you want, before you get started....do a "Craigslist Search" and have at it. Learn to tinker...to service bearings, replace forks, tune up the deraillers....and you'll be singing while you save. I go onto Craigslist nearly every few days (not that I need anymore bikes, but a bug is a bug.) The only problem with Craigslist, is that if it is not close to home, rarely do they ship the goods....it's for local pick-up only. Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuttttt..... if you make it easy for them (tell them to take it to the LBS and have them crate it and ship it (that's only about $75 for anywhere in the US). They just might bite on the easy of it. Good luck....be stingy. Smile.

  9. #9
    Climbs = necessary evil
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    How do you guys (and gals) afford to buy new bikes?

    My friends with kids buy 2-3 year old models from CL or through friends.

    I buy during the winter for deep discounts.


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwbikur View Post
    Get a job and make decent money. Looks like you did that already. So then I would say budget and save. You got two kids so priorities change.
    Yep. I don't have kids and bikes are a priority for me. I give up some other things I'd like to have and save up to buy bikes and bike stuff.

  11. #11
    Keep on Rockin...
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    Pick a favorite healthy hobby (mountain biking of course) and don't waste your money on other trash.

    Live simply otherwise.... modest home, vehicles, vacations, etc...

    Work hard and choose your profession wisely.

    Realize that while mountain biking is an expensive hobby, it does a great deal for your health. Few things are more important. Every day I care for sick, dying people. Sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, obesity - the plagues of America. I hope to stay healthy long enough to not be forced to retire. Biking is a big part of that plan. I'd like to work part time for many years after moving from full time.

  12. #12
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    I mean.... just think about it. Nearly every singel garage in the United States has one or more bicyles in it. 90% of those get ridden, almost NEVER. Times are harder than ever since the great depression....people are selling everything they don't use.
    There are DEALS everywhere, when the monthly mortgage is due. Just wait, lurk, search.... you will FIND what you want.

  13. #13
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    I buy last years model.. I saved 1k on my MTB and 3K on my roadie!

  14. #14
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    I go on CL and look for bikes that used to be 5-7k for 2.5k-3k. Typically you don't get a warranty on those but I've been lucky that I don't ever have issues with the bikes I buy. You can always wait for end of year sales to get that warranty. Some times, sellers of used or new parts online can offer those warranties if you worry about breaking anything.

  15. #15
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    I saved up for 13 months for the major parts, (frame,fork,wheels) and through out the year I would look for sales for the smaller parts. It may or may not cost more then buying a finished new bike but for me it's more fun. Your fortunate to have kids because my wife & I weren't able to so we spoil ourselves.

  16. #16
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    Ebay. I bought my SB95 for half the cost, almost perfect condition. My Horsethief was way under MSRP as well. Bought a Xcal as a demo for half off. Jenson USA probably hates how much I price match.

    Credit cards. Find a good 0% interest rate card, and pay it off before the rate expires.

    I do hate where the industry is going. I'm currently looking at forks and they are so overpriced. $1000 for a Pike, which is bad enough, but $1300 for a Fox 34. That's as much as replacing all the struts on your car. WTH! Then they only have a 30hr life before you need to do an oil change. /rant off

    Never pay retail, unless you are in a bind.

  17. #17
    Dream it, Do it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptsube2002 View Post
    Ebay. I bought my SB95 for half the cost, almost perfect condition. My Horsethief was way under MSRP as well. Bought a Xcal as a demo for half off. Jenson USA probably hates how much I price match.

    Credit cards. Find a good 0% interest rate card, and pay it off before the rate expires.

    I do hate where the industry is going. I'm currently looking at forks and they are so overpriced. $1000 for a Pike, which is bad enough, but $1300 for a Fox 34. That's as much as replacing all the struts on your car. WTH! Then they only have a 30hr life before you need to do an oil change. /rant off

    Never pay retail, unless you are in a bind.
    What I find to be crazy is that I imagine that I am squarely in the bike industry's target as an ideal buyer other than having kids and being married. Maybe single guys who work in bike shops are the only people buying $6k bikes (at a discount!)?

  18. #18
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    dont want to insult anyone but i will tell you this. i have moved to usa some 8 years ago and i still cant believe how much unnecessary crap people buy here. seriously, when my neighbours open up their garages, there is stuff up to the ceiling that they dont use. my colleges complain how poor they are while making same money as i do while i can afford to get anything i want (be realistic here), while having kid and mortgage.

  19. #19
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    I am in agreement with everything with that has been said here.
    Except AZ... unless you were inclined prior to taking up cycling.

    My experience has been to purchase from various sources, but I have always been patient and set my price beforehand. Let curiosity lead you on a treasure hunt, be open to what comes along and be lucky.
    I don't know why,... it's just MUSS easier to pedal than the other ones.

  20. #20
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    I'm single no kids, so I probably have more expendable income. However, I refuse to pay retail on anything.
    I don't get how people drop $6k on a bike either. I haven't spent more than $2500 on any of mine. Patience is the key. It took a couple months on eBay each time I have bought a bike. You have to know what you're getting into, though.

    My uncle owned a shop growing up, and we paid cost. It wasn't a very big discount. I don't even think guys working at shops get great deals.

    Right now is a great time to buy. Tree Fort Bikes has great deals on 2013 Salsa's. Most shops are trying to get rid of their old stock. Look around as much as you can. It is possible to get a $4-6k bike for $2-3k. If I didn't already have a Horsethief, I would get the HT 2 for $1700 or the 1 for $2300. You really can't beat 50% off on a new bike.

  21. #21
    turtles make me hot
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    I've cut back on coffee and the subway. If I ride the train to and from work, it's 5 bucks a day. I used to drink over ten bucks a day in coffee. I also try to remember to bring lunch to work. it all adds up.
    Then... I don't buy complete bikes for retail. I'll purchase a frame and if I can find it on sale, so much the better. I Ebay, swap meet and constantly search sales on parts.
    I also got a second job building bike wheels to help support my bike habit. Almost done workin' off my fat bike.
    Next thing I need to do is go through all my old parts and hot rod stuff I never use any more and get it on Ebay and make some money.
    I like turtles

  22. #22
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    Simple, I can't afford them. Both my bikes are sub $1k, one was a cheap hardtail and my CX was given to me. I can't wait to finish graduate school!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ View Post
    If all else fails, Midget Porn.
    That's a more expensive hobby than MTB'ing

  24. #24
    007
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    Two words: Sugar. Mamma.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  25. #25
    Big Gulps, Alright!
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    Quote Originally Posted by brankulo View Post
    dont want to insult anyone but i will tell you this. i have moved to usa some 8 years ago and i still cant believe how much unnecessary crap people buy here. seriously, when my neighbours open up their garages, there is stuff up to the ceiling that they dont use. my colleges complain how poor they are while making same money as i do while i can afford to get anything i want (be realistic here), while having kid and mortgage.
    What you're saying is true. We buy a lot of stuff. We're encouraged to do so and we gladly oblige.

    Bikes are the only hobby I spend any significant money on.
    Axle Standards Explained

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  26. #26
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    I hear you OP. I am still saving, I am hoping to have about 2k put away by the end of 2014 to buy an end of year bike on sale. I have 3 kids myself and being the only income it takes time to save up. Currently I am riding a hand me down 2003 bike that was given to me, I replaced most of the small parts and wheels on it using parts I bought on clearance here and there, it should hold me over until then .

  27. #27
    Chris Bling
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    For me, a few things have saved me thousands of dollars. First off I worked in a shop for a number of years and learned nearly everything there was to know about fixing, repairing, servicing and otherwise taking care of your bike. I have never bought a new bike (other that when I worked at the shop ) and have always bought used. No big revelation here.

    That being said, when I do buy parts, I also buy them used and make sure that are extremely nice. Something my dad taught me was to buy the good stuff or you would end up buying crappy stuff and then replacing it with the good stuff you wanted in the first place. I have a pair of Chris King hubs I bought over 5 years ago and they are still going strong. I rebuild them a few times a season and rebuild my wheels as needed. It has worked out for me very well and I love the hunt!!!!!!!!
    The obsession of wheels fused with the passion of cycling
    Affordable Custom Wheels

  28. #28
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    I'm in the I don't camp. Nor do I think you can't get a decent bike for fairly cheap. I have an entry level hardtail, but that isn't what keeps me from going fast. I'm not a minute slower on a downhill stretch (slower than the fastest in strava that is) because of my bike. That is on me, my skills, my limitations.

    I am within 5 ten seconds of the guy I ride with who is riding a fs and had many more years experience. The bike could go faster and survive it just fine. So the bike is decent enough. And cost $600.

    I am sure one my skills and confidence improve, the limitations of y the bike will become more apparent but really since I am not racing, those limitations don't matter unless they keep me from have fun. At which point I will change whatever piece is limiting me the most.
    2014 Devinci Troy Carbon XP

  29. #29
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    No kids. If having kids, saving for their college and retirement, etc, is your priority, more power to you. Those are the choices we make.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  30. #30
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    Work all the overtime you can, and save. That is what I did
    when I worked.

  31. #31
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    It's a hobby man. We all spend what we feel comfortable with. Myself, I retired at a pretty young age so I have a pension. I'm lucky. I love cycling and bikes, and still wanted to work part time, so I went to UBI and now work as a mechanic in a shop. I don't drink, party, eat-out, or otherwise blow any of my discretionary income. I would rather spend it on my hobby. The poster that mentioned having high quality components is right on. I just posted a thread about spending a bit of money to stock up on and hoard my favorite nine speed stuff. My parts travel from frame to frame when One needs replacing. Otherwise, I'm extremely happy with my bike, and don't feel the need to get a new one every year like some do.

  32. #32
    used to be RipRoar
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    Credit Cards? Huh....use the CC to leverage a quick flipper investment (be wise), pay off CC immediately, take profits, save, buy bike....

  33. #33
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    I work for the australian public service. last pay and conditions negotiation somehow a bike advance scheme was introduced and accepted. i guess to encourage us to be more green. result was an interest free loan that is deducted from your pay over 12 months. quite a few took up the offer

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    With starting prices for a decent bike starting around $2500 or so, how do you afford to buy new (or even used) bikes?

    I ask this as someone who makes decent money. But with two kids, it's hard to lay out at least $2-3K for a new bike, let alone $5-6K for a bike. It is crazy how much bike prices have skyrocketed in the past 10-15 years.

    In the past, I generally switched off upgrading a frame and then 2-3 years later the drivetrain & fork, but with young kids in the house I have put off upgrading my drivetrain for about 10 years now. So, I am now looking at complete bikes.
    This isn't for everyone, but I buy 15-20 year old mountain bikes off of Craigslist for very little and then upgrade/rebuild them to my specs. Of course, I still end up shelling out about $2K when all is said and done, but I usually have a runner long before I've shelled out that much.

    Of course, it really helps that my tastes run to the geometry of this era bikes and that I don't like modern geometry, and have no interest in 29ers, and have been content with cantilevers so far.

    YMMV

    It certainly helps that we don't have kids and my girlfriend likes to mountain bike and cycle in general.
    ISO: 22" GT Rebound frame, year 2000 model

  35. #35
    Mulleticious
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    In the UK new bikes and kit is often 50% more expensive than in the US, so you guys are lucky! Here, it's eBay and winter double-discounts only...

    But rest assured it's a good investment: A triple by-pass costs a lot more than a new bike

  36. #36
    Keep on Rockin...
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptsube2002 View Post
    I'm single no kids, so I probably have more expendable income. However, I refuse to pay retail on anything.
    I don't get how people drop $6k on a bike either. I haven't spent more than $2500 on any of mine. Patience is the key. It took a couple months on eBay each time I have bought a bike. You have to know what you're getting into, though.

    My uncle owned a shop growing up, and we paid cost. It wasn't a very big discount. I don't even think guys working at shops get great deals.

    Right now is a great time to buy. Tree Fort Bikes has great deals on 2013 Salsa's. Most shops are trying to get rid of their old stock. Look around as much as you can. It is possible to get a $4-6k bike for $2-3k. If I didn't already have a Horsethief, I would get the HT 2 for $1700 or the 1 for $2300. You really can't beat 50% off on a new bike.

    Two sides...

    Paying retail sucks. No doubt. I rarely do. But consider this... Spend hours looking for a deal online, ebay, where ever... that is time. Buy something used and it malfunctions that is time and frustration. Buy something from ebay and you get it and it is not as advertised. Again, time and frustration, in addition to the money.

    Every get really burned by a "deal" online or on ebay? A lot of folks have.

    If you have more time than money, then scrounging (and I don't mean that in a derogatory way) for deals is OK. That is what I did till I hit about 40. However, if you work hard at the job you like, make good money, and have two kids and a working wife then time becomes more of a limited resource than money...

    Axioms...

    You can always make more money. Not more time.

    A bike is cheaper than a trip to the cath lab.

  37. #37
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    Wifey and I do not buy brand new cars or carry credit card debt.

    I recently bought a new 29 Giant for about $2800. Last bike was a 2008 Giant.

  38. #38
    Ride More, Work Less
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    How do you guys (and gals) afford to buy new bikes?

    It is simple, I work for it. Always have.
    Craigslist & MTBR --free ads for all

  39. #39
    Kick Start My Heart
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    I've bought my mountain rigs new, '94, 04, 13. All cash saved from bonuses and so on. Between news upgrades are scrounged, Cl, eBay. My roadies are basket case '89 Centurion, and 2009 Fisher frameset built up. None of these happened overnight. Lots of scrimping and saving. It's a hobby. I don't fish, carouse, street race, vacation 2x year, or anything. I ride. My focus is my family, work, and bikes. Sometimes they change position a little.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk

  40. #40
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    I have most components from deals that have come up over the last 2 years. Building your wheels helps.
    With that I wanted a frameset for my next build. Because it isn't available, I'm going with the lowest model and my lbs is open to swaps at a good discount. I worked a Black Friday discount on the bike and paid cash for 3% more on something he can get in with a future order. No special shipping. Negotiating goes in stages.

  41. #41
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Pick a favorite healthy hobby (mountain biking of course) and don't waste your money on other trash.

    Live simply otherwise.... modest home, vehicles, vacations, etc...

    Work hard and choose your profession wisely.

    Realize that while mountain biking is an expensive hobby, it does a great deal for your health. Few things are more important. Every day I care for sick, dying people. Sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, obesity - the plagues of America. I hope to stay healthy long enough to not be forced to retire. Biking is a big part of that plan. I'd like to work part time for many years after moving from full time.
    +1 on this
    I have a 6 Berth Motorhome that I rent out . It is based in Tauranga, New Zealand

  42. #42
    2006 Yeti AS-X
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    Strap a mattress to my back and wait at the busy intersection.....

    Just kidding.... Credit cards and a good job. Paying on my second bike as we speak.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  43. #43
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    What I find to be crazy is that I imagine that I am squarely in the bike industry's target as an ideal buyer other than having kids and being married. Maybe single guys who work in bike shops are the only people buying $6k bikes (at a discount!)?
    I'm not in the bike industry but have big $$ bikes.

    I just like them & as sad as it seems it is the cheapest hobby I have ever had.

    I know rich people that just wouldn't be happy on a big $ bike & people that don't have a lot of money that go without a lot to have a good bike.

    I am careful with the deals I buy so I don't loose to much when I upgrade. I just like nice gear.

    After all there are people that blow more than $6000 as they drive there new car out the showroom door for the 1st Time & that money is never to be seen again.
    I have a 6 Berth Motorhome that I rent out . It is based in Tauranga, New Zealand

  44. #44
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    I built up two decent bikes using CC's with 0% interest rates. I only had 1 kid when I built my first bikes but now the wife stays home and my family is growing. I don't want to risk putting a new bike on a CC so I just search for killer deals on parts which are far and few between...
    Killing it with close inspection.

  45. #45
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    How do you guys (and gals) afford to buy new bikes?

    Don't think I ever bought a complete bike. Usually I replace parts as they wear out and eventually replace the frame when it breaks or after 5 years or so. I always go for previous year frames when they're blowing them out. Not buying the latest technology can help save $ too. A few months back when my 2008 Titus broke, I found the best deals were on 26" frames. Got my Carbine SL for half price because no one wants 26ers anymore. Transferred most of the parts over and only had to buy a bottom bracket and headset. Kept my eyes on craigslist and eBay for a fork.

    The craigslist apps are great. Helped me find a used fat bike for a good price.

  46. #46
    Carbon & Ti rule
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    A couple of times in the past I have screwed a good deal out of a bike shop for 2 high end bikes & stripped 1 & sold it as parts & half funded the 1 I will be ridding
    I have a 6 Berth Motorhome that I rent out . It is based in Tauranga, New Zealand

  47. #47
    squish, squish in da fish
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    get good at growing medical grade and sell to dispensaries. it will benefit you in a couple ways

  48. #48
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    Education

    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    With starting prices for a decent bike starting around $2500 or so, how do you afford to buy new (or even used) bikes?
    Stay in school, get a good education and grades, get a good job that pays decent money, and be careful how you spend your money.

  49. #49
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    Stock market.

    1. Stay in school or learn a trade.
    2. Don't have kids till you you have some money in the bank.
    3. Don't buy shit you don't need to impress people you don't like.
    16 Focus o1e
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  50. #50
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    Earn decent money while saving money.

  51. #51
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    Ride a $5,000 bike, drive a $1,500 car

  52. #52
    Keep on Rockin...
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    I'd like to add another axiom....

    #3. Marry wisely.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    I'd like to add another axiom....

    #3. Marry wisely.
    I'm guessing you read the book "The Millionaire Next Door."
    Killing it with close inspection.

  54. #54
    blet drive
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    Save save save save. Mow your neighbors gras for cheep. Collect and sell diff you get for free. Scrap metal.
    Save a tree & wipe your butt with an owl.
    Thank your local Sierra Club.

  55. #55
    Retro on Steroids
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    I have one word for you: sponsorship.

    No way I could afford the bike habit I get to indulge in.

  56. #56
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    savings. plus i had a raise. so i got just enough money to buy me a decent bike.

  57. #57
    9 lives
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    Marry up

    Work hard, do without some luxuries and don't live beyond your means
    F*ck Cancer

    Eat your veggies

  58. #58
    Keep on Rockin...
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    Quote Originally Posted by FireLikeIYA View Post
    I'm guessing you read the book "The Millionaire Next Door."
    Never heard of it.

    Speaking from experience.

  59. #59
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    People want the 5000$ full suspension bike, but most people don't even need it. hell many people I see with badass bikes out here don't even have the skills for a bike like that, they just wanted the bike! as a guy that spent 1000 bucks on a bike and another 500 on upgrades, I can tell you that unless you are on your bike non stop or a hardcore mountain bike beast, you don't need an expensive machine. don't kid yourself. you just want it
    Rockhopper 29er

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  60. #60
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    I put my Epic on a 0% cc and paid it off before I had to pay any interest. I worked every hour of OT that I could get to pay that bike off! I paid full price for it and bought it because I wanted it. Now it is mine.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams_805 View Post
    People want the 5000$ full suspension bike, but most people don't even need it. hell many people I see with badass bikes out here don't even have the skills for a bike like that, they just wanted the bike! as a guy that spent 1000 bucks on a bike and another 500 on upgrades, I can tell you that unless you are on your bike non stop or a hardcore mountain bike beast, you don't need an expensive machine. don't kid yourself. you just want it
    Very good point,
    Hence the reason for 50 car dealerships in 10sq miles across USA(maybe off a few, just think how many corvettes would be not be sold if they had to have skills to get it)
    Nobody needs a 5k bike or a 2k bike, or even a 1k bike then upgrade, with the exception of pro-riders or the top 1%amatuer. I have a bike I wanted, and paid for. Skills has nothing to do with any purchase equations at local LBS or the impulse buy do to pictures and promises on web.
    We all buy things for what we want, want to be, dream to be. Nothing wrong with getting a bike you have no business being on as long as you can afford it without a C.C. !
    As for OP, there are a thousand bikes to choose from within your means under 2500 and have everything you need.

  62. #62
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    The last bike I bought was a used demo bike. Fortunately I ride an XL and those demo bikes don't get nearly as much mileage as other frame sizes. I sold all the components and wheels on it for about $400 and put brand new (but last year's) components and wheels that I found on sale. So I ended up with a sub $2k 29er with full XT and Arch wheels. I will now ride it for the next 3-4 years while I save up for a replacement bike. When the time comes I'll hopefully sell this bike for around $1k and have another $1k or so saved up to spend.

    I have a decent job with a master's degree but also support a wife and two kids. Occasionally I do side computer jobs and can easily make an extra $1-200 a week. I also ride the bike to work and save on gas money. We don't take extravagant vacations and drive ten year old vehicles, very little debt but we still live comfortably.

  63. #63
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    [QUOTE=ptsube2002;10888938]Ebay. I bought my SB95 for half the cost, almost perfect condition. My Horsethief was way under MSRP as well. Bought a Xcal as a demo for half off. Jenson USA probably hates how much I price match.

    Credit cards. Find a good 0% interest rate card, and pay it off before the rate expires.

    I do hate where the industry is going. I'm currently looking at forks and they are so overpriced. $1000 for a Pike, which is bad enough, but $1300 for a Fox 34. That's as much as replacing all the struts on your car. WTH! Then they only have a 30hr life before you need to do an oil change. /rant off

    Never pay retail, unless you are in a bind.[/QUOTE

    ].

    Yep, I found my F34 Talas 29 120-140 as a brand new take off for $500 and got the 2014 fit cartridge for $75. Soooo happy
    2017 SPOT Brand MAYHEM (incoming) 2016 Spot rollik557, 2016 SPOT Brand Zephyr Adventure Bike 55c, Heller 27.7+

  64. #64
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    It was only yesterday that I saw a brand new $5,000 bike on the back of an old $800 Toyota truck.

  65. #65
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    Re: How do you guys (and gals) afford to buy new bikes?

    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    It was only yesterday that I saw a brand new $5,000 bike on the back of an old $800 Toyota truck.
    I see that everytime I see my vehicle and my bike...

  66. #66
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jams_805 View Post
    People want the 5000$ full suspension bike, but most people don't even need it. hell many people I see with badass bikes out here don't even have the skills for a bike like that, they just wanted the bike! as a guy that spent 1000 bucks on a bike and another 500 on upgrades, I can tell you that unless you are on your bike non stop or a hardcore mountain bike beast, you don't need an expensive machine. don't kid yourself. you just want it
    I do bike nonstop and I am a hardcore mountain bike beast.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  67. #67
    Yappy little dog!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    With starting prices for a decent bike starting around $2500 or so, how do you afford to buy new (or even used) bikes?

    I ask this as someone who makes decent money. But with two kids, it's hard to lay out at least $2-3K for a new bike, let alone $5-6K for a bike. It is crazy how much bike prices have skyrocketed in the past 10-15 years.

    In the past, I generally switched off upgrading a frame and then 2-3 years later the drivetrain & fork, but with young kids in the house I have put off upgrading my drivetrain for about 10 years now. So, I am now looking at complete bikes.
    I've strung off buying new cars. Why bother? They just take you to the place you can ride your shiny new bike .

    How much are you putting away for retirement? Is it a good plan that is over-funded? Remember, when your retired (probably 72 by the time I am ready), bikes won't seem like your main interest. Enjoy it while you can.

  68. #68
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    I don't buy new bikes at MSRP. That alone makes the passion much more worth it. I first learned all about PARTS, before ever buying a bike off the showroom floor. I used this knowledge to build-up my very first bike, a 2006 Cannondale F2000SL. Every part was hand-selected and I even bought used. You'd be surprised how well high-end parts are pampered, by people. The BEST THING is....they are the ones eating ALL the depreciation off retail!

    Thanks to MTBR - I was able to read-up on literally every component, before buying. I am now an EXPERT in bike component valuation...not to mention I have engrained in my memory the approximate weights of each current component in use today.
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  69. #69
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    All in life is about priorities. You save money from one place and you spend them on another. Personally for the past 6 years I have a company car (with everything covered) and phone so all the money I save from them I can spend them anywhere I want including bicycles.

    Personally I believe that the bicycle market is overpriced overall but most hobbies are usually overpriced anyway. Usually you don't need a really expensive bicycle but you want it. Also most of the time you spend a lot of money upgrading your bicycles.

    For me my mtb is my hobby and personal reward for all my work and family efforts. It may sound silly but it keeps me in balance.

  70. #70
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    get rid of cable and cut your cell phones back to minimal levels.
    There, I already probably saved you enough to pay for a bike a year, or can't your kids live without a $100/month cell phone plan?

    Don't waste your money on crap like cars or tvs.

    It's all about priorities.

  71. #71
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    I can't...........

    Since I retired a couple of years ago, I have to make intelligent decision on where to spend money. Right now, keeping a perfectly good 26" FS going makes more sense than buying a new 27.5" or 29" bike. Also, buying a lower end model of a good design can save lots of money at the cost of a few extra pounds. A $1000 hardtail can be just as much fun as a $5000 carbon FS anyway

  72. #72
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    As I and others have mentioned before you save from one place to spend it in another.

    In my case the company car saves me around 3.500 euros per year at least.

    1. 2.000+ per year the car value that is usually lost (20.000 for a new car / 10.000 resale value after 5 five years and I am generous)
    2. 1.000 for petrol paid by the company
    3. 250 for road taxes paid by the company
    4. 250 for anual service paid by the company

    Also:
    - The company mobile phone saves me at least 500 euros qnd I don't buy a new one every year
    - I have changed my the cable package and saved another 400 euros
    - I buy baby diapers etc online and save at least 500 euros
    - Etc.

    So if you add up all the I can buy a new bicycle every year which obviously I don't.

  73. #73
    I fix choppers
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    Patience, grasshopper...

    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J View Post
    Live simply otherwise.... modest home, vehicles, vacations, etc...

    Work hard and choose your profession wisely.
    Ditto. This is the most intelligent thing written in this thread.

    I also live by the mantra, "Retail is for schmucks and Xmas shoppers". I am in the process of building new bike currently. If I went out and paid for everything prêt-à-porter my bike (a 27.5 Heckler) would go for over $4K. Yes, I am building it myself and not buying a package deal. I have found deals a'plenty on eBay, through friends, CL and some bro-deals such that I will end up spending less than $2K. Actually, it will be around $1500. The most expensive thing I had to buy was the frame and this is because it is brand new so no deals are out there. I could wait for another six months and get one used, but the time riding will be more valuable.

    In addition, it is wise to have a second bike. Ideally get something that is simple and low maintenance thus you always have something to ride. In my case, I have a Surly Instigator 1.0. I scored the frame via a barter (also a good way to save some kale) back in '02. I have kept it built up with basic parts often hand-me-downs from whatever else I was riding at the time. I have had it built up every way to Sunday, from urban, to rigid, singlespeed, DH and trail. Single speeds are great as a second rig, but is nice to have the option to toss some gears on too.

    Happy hunting and good luck
    .
    "Everything popular is wrong." -Oscar Wilde

  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I do bike nonstop and I am a hardcore mountain bike beast.
    +2


    I think 6000 miles of trail per year qualifies.
    16 Focus o1e
    15 Yeti ASR-c
    14 Yeti ARC
    16 Bianchi Specialissima
    15 Echo Big Deal

  75. #75
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    cut expenses , my cell phone 11.00 amonth/ no tv or high speed connection at home/ insulate and save on heating costs / pay bills off ,dont pay interest etc
    long island,ny

  76. #76
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    Keep in mind that these forums can give you a pretty skewed view of the bike world: $600 "budget" wheelsets, top end drivetrains, boutique frames, etc. If you're not racing to put dinner on the table, then a three figure hardtail can probably do anything you can realistically ask of it (or spend some more if you really think you need full sus). Yeah, it'll weigh north of 30 pounds, and maybe have X5 or something, but neither of those factors will meaningfully affect your ride if you're just out to have a good time.

    My answer? I buy and sell mid level frames, usually used, and do all my own work. I track my costs so I can manage them, and in the end I get to try a lot of different bike builds for not much money. Sometime when I'm making an order, I'll pick up some blowout component if it's really cheap, in case I might need it some day--it's much cheaper to pull a $15 derailer out of my parts bin than to run to the LBS and pay $65 for whatever they have in stock, if I need something quick.

    If I had to buy a complete bike now, it would be something like the Salsa El Mar at Treefortbikes (~$1000) or the Fuji or Spearfish full sus bike (~$1500) (actually, I would get the El Mar, no question). Absolutely no need to spend more than that.

    I have three kids, mortgage, etc, so even on an engineer's salary, I still have to be somewhat careful how I spend my toy money.

  77. #77
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    You Only LIVE Once...

    Never scrimp on these 3 things in life:

    1) Your Health
    2) Your Family
    3) Your Passions/Hobbies

    Cost is NO OBJECT, with the above three things. Otherwise, I'm cheap, cheap, cheap. Yeah, I don't need a 22-pound, $7400/MSRP full-suspension carbon race bike - but it brings me WAY MORE JOY than the other two....LOL
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  78. #78
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    You can always work a busy corner turning tricks, you just gotta make sure you're not infringing on someones' territory. If you're lucky, one of those clients could turn into a sugar momma.

  79. #79
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    Become a freakishly good rider, make yourself known by winning a few high profile races and a local bike shop might sell you parts at cost. If you don't have genetic make up to become an elite rider, you could sell blood plasma or become a lawyer or a ceo of a bank. But if you are like me with a less than average I.Q. and work in a mediocre job without hope (pity party!), then we are stuck either going into debt or skipping the bar, refusing to pay for cable, eating rice and beans, letting others pay for the check, letting the dogs eat pigeons, turning off the a/c, flushing the toilet once a day, showering once a week, and saving our money for a long time. Life is hard.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by stickman83 View Post
    Ride a $5,000 bike, drive a $1,500 car
    I love my 99 corolla, paid cash for it.
    Marry a smart computer tech with great legs.
    Get a 15 year mortgage, 2 years left.
    My last new bike was a Cross check frame, swapped parts.
    Got a new 2013 enduro for a great deal from my LBS, told him I was going down the street, he convinced me otherwise.
    Painted my house this summer, saved $ 5-6,000.
    Live simply
    I biked 2,160 commuter miles this year, add that in gas @ $3.50 gallon
    Save some money.

  81. #81
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    Besides all the great advice on how to save, I would add that you should try to be as rational about your purchasing decisions as possible. What I mean by that is to be as clear with yourself what it is that you (and not marketers and people on forums) want. What is that worth to you.

    A 20 pound bike is sexy as hell. My 30 pound 29er is 50% heavier. Big difference until you remember that a bike is one relative light part of the total bike system. That includes the bike, you, your clothes, water, and any other supplies. So, for me a 20 pound bike makes the difference between 210 and 220 pounds of total riding weight. A 5% savings. To me, the amount of resources it would take to get that advantage just isn't worth it right now. I am doing this for fun and going a little faster might not even be noticeable. I am better off finding a geometry I like than worrying about weight.

    I rode numerous bikes with different levels of components. I could tell a big difference in quality until about half way up both the Shimano and Sram product lines, after that it became far less noticeable in terms of performance. I also found that a slightly better Read derailleur was more important than a better FD or even shifters. After a certain point the performance gains I could feel were minimal so it would be back to weight considerations which are not a priority for me.

    So I found a bike that met the specs I was looking for in terms of geometry and component level. For me that turned out to be a mid level model in an entry level line of bikes from a smaller manufacturer. I don't need the best bike out there. I need a bike that is a bit better than me. As my skills improve, I will update the parts that most effect the ride. First up is a dropper post. Then I will convert to 1x9. Then a better front shock, by which point I am sure I will have altered/honed in my riding style and I will want a frame that more closely matches it.

    "Know Thyself" will help you get the right bike for you, which may not be the most expensive bike out there. Of course it also might be.

  82. #82
    mtbr member
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    I was actually having this exact conversation with a buddy this weekend. He's newlay married and working on a family.
    Sounds like you have your priorities right....when my kids were young, I rode an 80s hardtail and made it last. Now that they're out of college, I can afford to build up nice bikes a piece at a time.
    Don't pay retail, don't lust after the latest and greatest and work your butt off.

    Besides a nice bike is way cheaper for me than therapy and meds...

  83. #83
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    i afford new parts by being honest about how much i don't suck(at the moment). i do this by still riding bmx.

  84. #84
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    interesting thread, but i think the question should be: How do you guys (and gals) afford to buy new bikes, while still keeping enough time for your passion. now this is much more challenging question for me.

  85. #85
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    Even a really nice single speed rigid costs less than a geared suspended rig...

    SPP
    Rigid.

  86. #86
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    work hard, take chances and have good employees, also don't have kids.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    also don't have kids.
    DING-DING-DING !

    Kids cost a LOT OF $$$$.

    SPP
    Rigid.

  88. #88
    turtles make me hot
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    But my son is my best riding buddy.
    I like turtles

  89. #89
    squish, squish in da fish
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowPokePete View Post
    Even a really nice single speed rigid costs less than a geared suspended rig...

    SPP
    what!? oooh kkkay? i guess thats fact, if you're comparing apples to oranges like you are doing. a boutique ss to a china fs, oooh kkkay. you make no sense to me.

  90. #90
    squish, squish in da fish
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowPokePete View Post
    DING-DING-DING !

    Kids cost a LOT OF $$$$.

    SPP
    they do, but i'd trade a bike for a kid any day. where it sounds like pete might need to wear a helmet no matter where he goes.

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    But my son is my best riding buddy.
    I have got to agree. I take my daughter to a big park in my town and we ride "Mountain Bikes" together on the gravel/dirt paths. The rolling "downhill" parts freak me out but she makes it every time and has a blast.

    To address the OP, I bought a Trek/GF Cobia initially. I wanted the best suspension my wife would let me afford. I walked out with a pretty nice bike for $1350. I slowly put more money into it replacing things with upgrades as I found them wanting/needing replaced. To date I have a really nice Kona Honzo that I swapped most parts over to "build" my first bike from the frame up. It was fun and learned a lot. The only thing XT on my bike is the cassette for the carrier. I want XT shifters though. SLX/Zee will take of me.

    Before I went out and bought the Cobia my wife and I went crazy financially for 2 years. We eliminated all debt in our household. The only thing we have agreed on going into debt for is a house.

  92. #92
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    I've been down the path of most here. unable to afford a good bike due to family. so rode a 300 dollar lbs cheapy for communing. got divorced and saved for my first bike. a sub 2k hard tail GF hoo hoo e koo. rode that for a while and discovered my back hates bumps. then upgraded to full squishy and rode 2.5k bikes. problem was that where i lived in sydney people had a habit of nicking them as well. Got lucky with the work deal and was able to take advantage of a awesome change to get a carbon xc race bike 2 year old for an unbeatable price. sure its second hand but riding it is pure and utter joy. could i afford it again. probably not, but i intend to have it for a while. just replace the worn out and broken bits as i go along. probably with cheaper bits. 350 dollars aus for a cassette when a 100 aus dollar one will do the same is a no brainer. im not a weight weenie so can afford a few grams lol

  93. #93
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    Cash out your kids college fund and tell them to study up and get a scholarship

    Sent from my HTC One S using Tapatalk

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by 41ants View Post
    Cash out your kids college fund and tell them to study up and get a scholarship

    Sent from my HTC One S using Tapatalk
    This past summer we showed the difference college was going to cost my daughter. She studied her but off for the ACT and now has almost a full academic ride from her school of choice.

    As for buying a bike, we pay cash for everything. We use craigslist and look for sales. I just got an El Mar this past summer (looked at it for over a year) with cash in hand and got 30%+ off of it.

    We have 4 kids, one income family and we make it work. Make a budget and stick to it.

  95. #95
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    I make average $ and have a decent MTB....
    Single income household and we homeschool our two boys. (9 & 17)

    The key for us - no credit cards, no department store cards, no cable, no dish, no car payments. We pay cash for everything - usually cheaper that way. Like brianW. said - make a budget & STICK TO IT.

    Ride a crap cheap bike while you save up some cash......buy last year's model, or find that guy on ebay/craigslist that bought a nice MTB to "get in shape" and rode it twice....now he just wants it out of his garage.
    I asked God for a bike, but I know he doesn't work that way so I stole a bike & asked for forgiveness.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishwrinkle View Post
    what!? oooh kkkay? i guess thats fact, if you're comparing apples to oranges like you are doing. a boutique ss to a china fs, oooh kkkay. you make no sense to me.
    I'm comparing one high end build to another.

    Not apples and oranges.

    Like basically my old Ellsworth Evolve...



    Costs twice as much as my Highball rigid SS...



    even though most components are at the same level.

    So what don't you get?


    SPP
    Rigid.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishwrinkle View Post
    they do, but i'd trade a bike for a kid any day. where it sounds like pete might need to wear a helmet no matter where he goes.
    Dude what the hell's your problem.

    Nothin' like having somebody piss you off first thing in the morning on Christmas Eve day.

    SPP
    Rigid.

  98. #98
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    Egg Nog time for you buddy Ehh, we'll see what we can do to add some expense for you when we convince you to get a fattie too

  99. #99
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    Re: How do you guys (and gals) afford to buy new bikes?

    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    It was only yesterday that I saw a brand new $5,000 bike on the back of an old $800 Toyota truck.
    That was me. Lol. I don't like to leave my nice cars places so I drive my 1996 Monte Carlo around with a carbon road bike that costs 5x what the cars worth. Lol.

    Sent from my XT1058 using Tapatalk

  100. #100
    mtbr member
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    Re: How do you guys (and gals) afford to buy new bikes?

    Budgets are fine, but paying yourself first is more important. You should set aside a certain amount every paycheck for savings, retirement, and kids' education. Act like it's not there to spend.

    Invest even more when the market is down and everyone's scared. The power of compounding gains is amazing. Doubling your money every few years without trying is also amazing. Time is an powerful asset that few people use.



    Sent from my Z10 using Tapatalk 2

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