Cheap simple cycling.

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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meic
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Cheap simple cycling.

Postby meic » 28 Mar 2013, 11:48am

I have just been thumbing through the latest Cycle magazine and realised that we have seriously gone way over the top.

Now I am more guilty than most on this score but I do think of myself as an exception rather than the norm, however looking through the Cycle mag it appears that the exception is the norm. All the emphasis seems to be on very high expenditure.

The equipment advertised and the prices involved have just gone too far. As has the complexity of equipment "needed" to cycle.

I know that a couple of years ago, lip service was paid to cheap simple cycling with a £50 bike challenge article.
On this forum you can get recommended to spend £50 on just a tyre! Well the forum could be expected to be populated by the most extreme of cyclists, however compared to the image in the magazine we are possibly moderate.

To a newcomer to the world of cycling what happens when you open the mag to reviews of £150 front lights, £150 shoes, £2500 MTBs, SON powered electronic box charged navigation systems, £175 locks and £35 arm warmers.

I certainly dont object to extreme enthusiasts buying quality gear for their main joy in life (a fraction of what a motorised hobby would cost) though I wish I could show a bit more control personally. :oops:

Cycling though can actually be enjoyed on nearly nothing but this just doesnt get "air time" and we seldom hand out advice to just give it a clean, oil it and ride it, it is more likely advice to replace items with good quality (and to our minds good value) reliable new components.
Yma o Hyd

Mark1978
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby Mark1978 » 28 Mar 2013, 11:59am

You make a good point. Back in the late 1990's. I went and bought a hybrid bicycle. And just went out and rode the hell out of it for 4 years until I stopped having time for it.

There wasn't the thing I have now, of wanting to upgrade components, different tyres, different wheels, wanting an entirely new bike etc etc. I just went out cycling and considered little else. Good times :)

But then I put that more down to lots of time to surf the internet when I'm not cycling and not enough time cycling ;)

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 28 Mar 2013, 12:05pm

Part of the issue here is the way in which questions are asked.

Brucey certainly has a tendency to describe how to fix things, but in this day and age that is a skill which is falling out of fashion. MickF sometimes tries to take it too far (see the recent split freehub), but the reality is that it is often cheaper to replace than mend...

Personally I spend money where I perceive a benefit.

I'l currently weighing up whether I can improve my gearing range, but am finding that the manufacturer already has a good system.
I've replaced tyres when they are through to the canvas, and tried a few options (wearing each down) before settling on my current tyre (£30 each, or £90 for a full set)
I have put a significant amount of money into my primary form of transport - but less than most of the people in my office (many of whom are seeing annual depreciation on a greater magnitude as my capital spend), and less than I used to spend on a second car for the family...

I spent a lot on a dynamo hub and lights, but it does also support my navigation/trip logging (existing smartphone) and a two camera CCTV system (£40)...
The reason I spent so much was for a specific form factor...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

kwackers
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby kwackers » 28 Mar 2013, 12:11pm

I must admit to spending money if it means I can 'just ride the bike'.
Cheap bikes ime require more maintenance than more expensive bikes (within limits), they rust and go out of adjustment faster. My tourer cost £1200 and apart from the occasional wash has worked well for about 4 years now with little more than a spray of oil.
Similarly I've fitted a Son hub and lights. I don't even bother turning them on and off anymore, just get on and ride (with a quick glance over my shoulder to make sure the back is actually lit).

Convenience is more important to me than cash.

However there is a lot of expensive tat sold on the back of nonsense...

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meic
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby meic » 28 Mar 2013, 12:15pm

There is no denying that not needing a car can be used to justify considerable expense on your passion, I justify mine on the grounds of just the diesel that I havent burnt.

Somebody could commute on a twenty year old Raleigh though.

There are others who are not ready to give up their car and want to cycle in addition to it.

I am not arguing for disapproval of those of us with a more extreme dedication but for more notice and support of cheap, simple cycling.
Yma o Hyd

karlt
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby karlt » 28 Mar 2013, 12:24pm

It's the same everywhere. Photography magazines review high end kit costing thousands for a lens. Walking magazines review £300 cags and £200 boots, sleeping bags costing £200 and so on. Newspapers review restaurants where two people won't see change from a ton, and have recipes for beef fillet that workout at a tenner per person and use ingredients that you have to sell your granny for if you can get them at all outside Islington. Guitar magazines write off anything costing less than £500 as a toy.

The people who write these magazines live and breathe whatever the topic is. They have to, or they'd run out of material. They review the high end kit that they would buy.

It's actually a pain, because it makes it harder to sort the bargains from the dross at the lower end of the market. In cycling, it's responsible for the existence of the BSO.

kwackers
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby kwackers » 28 Mar 2013, 12:26pm

meic wrote:I am not arguing for disapproval of those of us with a more extreme dedication but for more notice and support of cheap, simple cycling.

The problem with cheap simple cycling is that there's no money in it.
(If you were the owner of a LBS what would you stock?)

Cycling can be very cheap - virtually free if you know what you're doing and I guess 'knowing what you're doing' is the crux of the issue.
A couple of days ago I took note of all the bikes parked up at the station, for the most part they were all decent makes with just a couple I didn't recognise. One thing I did notice though is that probably 90% of them had rusty brown chains...

The problem is that despite all the shouting people are wealthy and even expensive/mid priced bikes are 'disposable'...

Ayesha
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby Ayesha » 28 Mar 2013, 12:32pm

karlt wrote:It's the same everywhere. Photography magazines review high end kit costing thousands for a lens. Walking magazines review £300 cags and £200 boots, sleeping bags costing £200 and so on. Newspapers review restaurants where two people won't see change from a ton, and have recipes for beef fillet that workout at a tenner per person and use ingredients that you have to sell your granny for if you can get them at all outside Islington. Guitar magazines write off anything costing less than £500 as a toy.

The people who write these magazines live and breathe whatever the topic is. They have to, or they'd run out of material. They review the high end kit that they would buy.

It's actually a pain, because it makes it harder to sort the bargains from the dross at the lower end of the market. In cycling, it's responsible for the existence of the BSO.


The people who write these magazines are getting advertising revenue from the equipment manufacturers. What equipment manufacturer would advertise in a magazine who don't review their top-line product, or give it a bad review?

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meic
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby meic » 28 Mar 2013, 12:37pm

Thorn Cycles :?: :mrgreen:
Yma o Hyd

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meic
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby meic » 28 Mar 2013, 12:45pm

The three posts (prior to my facetious post) make good points about commercial magazines and enthusiast's groups. However CTC is a charity, Cycle is its magazine and its role is to support the charity aims, isnt it?
This forum is a collection of individuals with no vested interest (except possibly protecting the value of our assets)
Yma o Hyd

tatanab
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby tatanab » 28 Mar 2013, 3:19pm

meic wrote:I certainly dont object to extreme enthusiasts buying quality gear for their main joy in life (a fraction of what a motorised hobby would cost) though I wish I could show a bit more control personally.
Me too.

To me Cycle is the club magazine and it is a club of enthusiasts, just like the club magazine of the Triumph Owners Club for example (motorcycles). If a newcomer is looking for basic or introductory information then these club magazines are not the place to find it. That sort of information resides in the non competitive cycling magazines in newsagents. The enthusiast tends to spend more on their parts because they expect more of them. Should the newcomer become interested then they will also probably take to higher priced parts as they develop their own sense of worth which would undoubtedly be guided by enthusiasts around them and their specialist magazines. Look at the camping threads here and all the discussion about the comparative worth of a Hilleberg versus a Millets bargain tent.

A few weeks ago I spent £50 to buy a complete but poor condition machine. I could have simply put on tyres and chain, made a few repairs, and have something to ride. As an enthusiast I did not do that. Instead I replaced all the tatty old steel rims, cranks etc. Even buying second hand or comparatively cheap stuff I still spent £400. But as an enthusiast that is the way my brain works.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 28 Mar 2013, 3:58pm

Is there therefore a place for an "inexpensive transport" page or section on the inter tubes.

Possibly even on the CTC section of those tubes?
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

kwackers
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby kwackers » 28 Mar 2013, 4:01pm

It's the same with any hobby.

Pick up the related magazine:
Drool over the uber-expensive gear on offer in the ads then nod in agreement at the letters page as someone asks why it's all so expensive, asks what went wrong and then explains how they do it on the cheap.

I think my problem is not that people spend the money, it's that they pay good money for quality stuff and then don't look after it.
Makes me sad because I know there are people out there that would love that unloved BSO-to-be...

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al_yrpal
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby al_yrpal » 28 Mar 2013, 4:21pm

MTBers are the worst, when you go out with a group they all goggle at one another's steeds and seem fixated with gear. There are much worse mags than Cycle, Cycle Active is a prime example. As others have said different folk are turned on by different aspects of a hobby. For some its doing it, for others its expensive gear. Unnecessarily expensive tent purchasing seems even worse than expensive bikes. The bike shop in Windsor looks like an expensive Jewellers, with bike bits on plinths. When I parked my tourer against the window and wandered in I was studiously ignored! It takes all sorts...

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

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NUKe
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby NUKe » 28 Mar 2013, 4:35pm

The £50 bike article was really annoying and seemed to be the equivalent of a top gear stunt. They seemed to set out to prove the bikes were rubbish rather than prove that £50 cycling could be done.
I know the magazine has to apeal to its readers and the vast majority do ride flash bikes, but as Meic says we seem to have turned it into how much can I spend . A few articles looking seriously at low price pointswouldn't go amiss.

just out of interest what do people thing is a suitable price point for entry level ?
NUKe
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