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  1. #1
    shining bright
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    Question about the cost of bikes and opinions

    This is gonna sound crazy, but I know that many people have experienced this exact same thing.

    Real, well made bicycles are expensive. People that are into riding and people just coming into the sport know this. However it seems that people who have no interest in bicycles and/or people who are uneducated (ignorant) don't know this. Their frame of mind is that you can get the exact same bike at a dept .store for a fraction of the price. These same people think that we are idiots for what kind of $ we put into a bike.

    I usually don't really give any thought to what people think about me, but when my own friends/family start calling me stupid for spending alot for a bicycle I don't really have much recourse. If I try to explain to them the difference in a good bike and a cheap one, they just won't hear it.

    How have some of you approached this?

  2. #2
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    You know what they say about opinions(...'everybody has one). I started this sport with a rather pricey, 2004 Gary Fisher. What it did was make me appreciate good parts and turned me into a meticulous bike mechanic. Sure, I could have easily gone with a Walgoose....but I would NOT be the rider I am today - some, four years later.

    That GF made me want to know how to fix it and make it ride even better. Yes, it was heavy(33lbs hardtail) - but it rode smoothly and was "fast" for its' caliber. It was the bike that made me confident enough to tackle stuff I never imagined I would ever do on a bicycle.

    Fast forward four years, and now I am an obsessed weight weenie. When I finally realized a light bike made the ride so much easier and faster...I was completely HOOKED. In fact, I refuse to ride anything else heavier now:

    Hardtail: anything below 20lbs
    Full Suspension(XC): anything below 23lbs

    Sure, we ride because of the ride experience. But the hidden element that KEEPS the experience all the more interesting....would have to be the BIKE....all I say is make what you ride count!
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  3. #3
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    Don't even try...

    the typical "non-cyclist" simply will not or will refuse to understand. They have NO clue of what they speak, and have no clue what you are talking about either. They have no idea of the demands that an avid mountain biker or road rider place on the bike. They also have no clue that in many cases were you to go to Wally World and by that "exact same bike" that you'd likely kill yourself doing what you normally do on your bike. The bottom line is, they don't or won't understand because they're not cyclists.

    I have a friend that I used to ride with quite a bit until he moved to another state. He was the same way. To him it was just stupid to pay that much for a bike! Then one day he decided he wanted to try out mountain biking, so he went to Walmart and bought a $129 Next full suspension "mountain bike", yeah right! He then proceeded to hit the trail with it. After about a week the rear suspension link broke at a weld, the wheels were so out of true that they wouldn't clear the brakes, and the welds on the fork where starting to crack. He brought the bike to me to see if I could fix it, which of course was impossible. I then proceeded to show him the warning sticker on the top tube that said the bike wasn't designed for off road use. He wanted to ride that weekend, but had no bike, so I lent him one of my hardtails and went with him. He was absolutely amazed at the difference in the ride, light weight, performance and comfort of the bike. He's since moved to another state, as I said previously, but he now owns a $3000+ FS bike and rides as often as he can. NOW he understands!

    Anyway, the point is they never will understand. What I usually do is find something that the person giving me grief over my "bike budget", really likes to do that is expensive, and dish it right back at them. As an example, my boss is into snowmobiling. He's got 2 sleds at over $7000 each, a $5000 trailer to haul them in, and a $30,000.00 pick up to hook it all too. I've got about $8000 worth of bikes and gear, and I can ride almost all year and don't have to drive somewhere else to do it! So, who's being stupid here?!?! But if there isn't anything then I just give them a "Well I guess I should give up my riding and start smoking crack huh?" That usually shuts them up. Otherwise just ignore it.

    So feel sorry for them. They don't understand, and they don't know what they're missing.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  4. #4
    local trails rider
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    When people do something as a hobby or sport, the better equipment always costs more than the cheap stuff.

    Fishing? Golf?
    People will pay a lot for a good pair of running shoes. Shoes!

    ... anyway, people may be surprised if they find out what my bikes cost, and I don't even have any truly expensive ones, or all that many. So far, they have not felt the need to call me stupid because of it.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  5. #5
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    A cheap bike's components will fall apart quickly doing any real trail riding. If you're just occasionally riding smooth hardpack walking trails, a walmart bike is fine. Over roots and obstacles, a cheap frame could actually break and you could end up with a serious injury. So it really depends on what you're planning to do.

    You can get an entry-level bike with a solid frame for not that much more than a walmart bike - $300 or so from the likes of Perf Bike, etc -- put together by trained mechanics vs the guy who just put together your gas grill :-). You don't have to spend $500+.

    Now, if you catch the bug and want a "good" bike, you might have some 'splainin to do. Come back then and we can help you with tricks and strategies for dealing with skeptical wives/gf's - most of us have been there :-).

  6. #6
    Picture Unrelated
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    Like perttime, I try and find out what their interests are and compare it to what they do. If you're into skiing, you don't normally want to ski on $100 skis you bought from Sports Authority. But I have little comback when they realize I spent more on my bike than I did my car, or for that matter their car.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  7. #7
    WI. Big Boy MTBer
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    When my wife heard that I used to race a DBR V8 that in 1998 set me back $2500 otb (not including mods) she just rolls her eyes and shakes her head. I am just getting back into the sport after over a decade of not riding. I picked up a DB Response Sport online on clearance for $300! Just had it delivered yesterday, built it up and am tweakin brakes today.. but wow!
    Whata a great bike for the cash... and a awesome frame to upgrade as stuff breaks!

    You do NOT have to spend thousands to get a great bike shop quality bike that you can have tons of fun on playing in the dirt!
    TREK X CALIBER 6, MOTOBECANE USA MIRAGE SLX

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fattybikejones
    When my wife heard that I used to race a DBR V8 that in 1998 set me back $2500 otb (not including mods) she just rolls her eyes and shakes her head. I am just getting back into the sport after over a decade of not riding. I picked up a DB Response Sport online on clearance for $300! Just had it delivered yesterday, built it up and am tweakin brakes today.. but wow!
    Whata a great bike for the cash... and a awesome frame to upgrade as stuff breaks!

    You do NOT have to spend thousands to get a great bike shop quality bike that you can have tons of fun on playing in the dirt!
    Very true a specialized hard rock, giant boulder, or trek something or other are all more than capable bikes on the trail.

    At the same time high end components, ultra light frames and such are just nice. They do funtion better too
    __________________________________________________ _
    I don't like carbon bikes becasue you can't put them in the camp fire.

  9. #9
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    No one where I live gets why I dropped $2,500 on a FS FR rig that had to be shipped in out of area. Its a wallyride sort of town if people even ride at all. My friends, neighbors, wife, and skeptical parents have gotten a little better about it over time though since they know I ride every single day 1-2 hours unless the weather's really bad.

    Until you take doubters (whose opinions you actually care about) out on one of your loaner rides on a trail they can handle, then show them the more techy stuff you normally ride, they'll never understand why you need decent equipment.

  10. #10
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    My family gets it. They think it's a lot to spend for a bike, but they also see how much time I spend riding them, how good it has been for me and they get that quality stuff costs money.
    :wq

  11. #11
    powered by peanut butter.
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    Ask if they understand why 16 oz of Spam costs less than a 16 oz t-bone steak. I mean, they're both meat, right? They both fill you up, right?
    "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by J S Machine
    This is gonna sound crazy, but I know that many people have experienced this exact same thing.

    Real, well made bicycles are expensive. People that are into riding and people just coming into the sport know this. However it seems that people who have no interest in bicycles and/or people who are uneducated (ignorant) don't know this. Their frame of mind is that you can get the exact same bike at a dept .store for a fraction of the price. These same people think that we are idiots for what kind of $ we put into a bike.

    I usually don't really give any thought to what people think about me, but when my own friends/family start calling me stupid for spending alot for a bicycle I don't really have much recourse. If I try to explain to them the difference in a good bike and a cheap one, they just won't hear it.

    How have some of you approached this?
    Take them on a ride with their dept store bike, and make sure its rough singletrack that will kill the bike. They'll understand, if they're still ignorant to it, tell them to go phuck themselves... plain and simple.
    Last edited by wickerman1; 09-18-2010 at 12:07 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wickerman1
    Take them on a ride with their dept store bike, and make sure its rough singletrack that will kill the bike. They'll understand, if they\'re still ignorant to it, tell them to fo phuck themselves... plain and simple.
    Now, that's a plan we can all get behind!

  14. #14
    Professional Speed Bump
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    Quote Originally Posted by heartland
    Ask if they understand why 16 oz of Spam costs less than a 16 oz t-bone steak. I mean, they're both meat, right? They both fill you up, right?
    SPAM IS MEAT???

    I always thought Spam was like from a 6th food group...

    BTW, Spam and egg sandwich rules!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by captainjoon

    BTW, Spam and egg sandwich rules!
    You know it!

  16. #16
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    SPAM is actually leftover pork shoulder meat and....ground-up head and snout parts. Yum!
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  17. #17
    DynoDon
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    A friend that used to race motocross with me in the 70's, thought that I was nuts, then I went up to northern Michigan to see him and I took along a couple of bikes, HE was drooling, he said man even the factory MX bikes weren't this trick in the days we raced, and I doubt if they are now, lets go out and look at them trick ass bikes again!!! I rested my case..

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    SPAM is actually leftover pork shoulder meat and....ground-up head and snout parts. Yum!
    Just to further derail this thread....

    Not that I'm a big fan of spam... I ate it as a kid and have eaten it camping and it's OK. But having lost a bet in the past on the ingredients, SPAM is simply shoulder meat and about 10% ham -- along with a bunch of salt. Unlike a lot of other canned meats, it does not contain any organ meat, and the USDA does not allow noses, lips, tails, or noses in any canned meat.

    If I must eat canned meat,which hasn't happened in long time, I'd rather eat pure-flesh-spam vs. some haggis-inspired liver/kidney/lung/tripe concoction.

    I have further useless trivia knowledge on hand, depending on how far this thread meanders

  19. #19
    WI. Big Boy MTBer
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    TREK X CALIBER 6, MOTOBECANE USA MIRAGE SLX

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by J S Machine
    However it seems that people who have no interest in bicycles and/or people who are uneducated (ignorant) don't know this. Their frame of mind is that you can get the exact same bike at a dept .store for a fraction of the price. These same people think that we are idiots for what kind of $ we put into a bike.

    If I try to explain to them the difference in a good bike and a cheap one, they just won't hear it.
    The quote could just as well be on The DIY Audio Forum where I also hang out; just substitute Ipod for "bike at a dep't store".

    This is an amplifier that outputs 1.8 watts with 75 year old output tubes and over $1200 in parts. I long ago gave up trying to convince anyone else that the sound is worth my time and money to build it. (BTW, the power supply feeds those tubes 450Volts DC)

    IT'S CRACKERS TO SLIP A ROZZER THE DROPSY IN SNIDE

  21. #21
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    Spam? Please, here in Pennsylvania scrapple's the real deal - PA Dutchies eat the whole pig except maybe the oink and we'll try to eat that too if given half a chance.

  22. #22
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    I told my wife and I tell my friends this, if I spent any less on a bike would not last a season on the trails I ride.

    How can you argue with that?
    i'm not joking, posting is scary

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 450VoltsDC
    The quote could just as well be on The DIY Audio Forum where I also hang out; just substitute Ipod for "bike at a dep't store".

    This is an amplifier that outputs 1.8 watts with 75 year old output tubes and over $1200 in parts. I long ago gave up trying to convince anyone else that the sound is worth my time and money to build it. (BTW, the power supply feeds those tubes 450Volts DC)
    450VoltDC's camelback (earbuds not shown):


  24. #24
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    nice.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  25. #25
    Wēk Ss
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    Quote Originally Posted by 450VoltsDC
    The quote could just as well be on The DIY Audio Forum where I also hang out; just substitute Ipod for "bike at a dep't store".

    This is an amplifier that outputs 1.8 watts with 75 year old output tubes and over $1200 in parts. I long ago gave up trying to convince anyone else that the sound is worth my time and money to build it. (BTW, the power supply feeds those tubes 450Volts DC)

    Nice tube amp. I've done similar, but not as expensive, and for headphones. I also spend a ton on tooling on my cars.

    OP, tell em to f off. Ignorance is bliss. They don't know any better, however, even for those in the game/sport, there are cut off points. Not all of us crave XX parts, and Ti and carbon for everything, for example. For some, the parts exceed their technical capability anyway, and they get it out of pure desire (not that I'd ever do anything out of want!!!) as each person's point of diminishing returns are different. Anyhow, just enjoy your stuff.

  26. #26
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    Yeah, generally someone so ignorant as to have an opinion like that is someone who's opinion I don't care about, but family can be weird. I've gotten through to some people by pointing out things they spent more money than they had to. You know a Hyundai is the exact same thing as a Honda, and costs $20,000 less, right?


    Here's another thing that gets me: I've talked to a couple older guys in my roadie group that think that since they bought a mid-range bike in 1983 for $400, anyone who pays more than that now is a fool. Never mind the fact that everything else costs 4 or 5 times what it did then...

  27. #27
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    Some of the guys at work freaked when I told them how much my bike cost. I quote what they said "We can go to Wally world or Dicks and get one for under $500 and still ride the same trails you do." I just smile at them and just say call me when you get ready to ride then.

    But as for family thats a totally different story. Dad fusses at me but then I remind him that he did go out and buy a $1800 Benelli shotgun, only to use it onced and then trade it off for a cheaper made gun. He just turns red and conversation is over with! He he. He still kicks himself in the ass for doing it.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    When people do something as a hobby or sport, the better equipment always costs more than the cheap stuff.

    Fishing? Golf?
    ^ ^ ^ This ^ ^ ^

    People usually "get it" right away when I make the analogy to golf gear, or to guns. Lots of hunters where I live. They totally understand the desire to have more than one of whatever you are passionate about.

  29. #29
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    I got into biking 6 month ago and love it, before biking I use to go shooting a lots. Ammo cost a lot and I alway buy new tactical gear that I can not use in public . I am happy That i found a new sport/hobby that give me better health.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by J S Machine
    How have some of you approached this?
    Simple: "You get what you pay for."

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny?
    I got into biking 6 month ago and love it, before biking I use to go shooting a lots. Ammo cost a lot and I alway buy new tactical gear that I can not use in public . I am happy That i found a new sport/hobby that give me better health.
    Me too. If only there was a way to shoot stuff while riding a bike, eating a pizza, and getting a Filipino "massage," I'd be a happy camper.

  32. #32
    Still surfin in my 60's.
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    I started a post on Spam if anyone is interested. It is in Passions, which I felt was appropriate.
    So you think you can jump!

  33. #33
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    I love SPAM thinly sliced, cooked in frying pan with some steemed white rice!

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