Cheap simple cycling.

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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easyroller
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby easyroller » 30 Mar 2013, 3:44pm

Up until recently I'd never spent more than £250 on a new or second hand bike. Always perfectly happy. If somebody had talked to me five years ago about spending £1000+ on a bike I would have thought them mad! Now I'm the madman. I partly blame flicking through too many cycling mags in WH Smith, haha!

Even a high end BMX can cost four digits now...

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RickH
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby RickH » 30 Mar 2013, 5:21pm

It is a bit relative - I still wince at the number of fairly ordinary cars advertised that cost as much, or more, than we paid for our house :?

In MTB circles back in the late 80s/early 90s it always used to be said that the lowest price for an entry level MTB was £300. These days it is still £300 but in RPI terms that is about half the value of then.

It got me thinking so I had a look at the cost of bikes I've bought compared to RPI & average UK income (I used the info from here which I've no reason to doubt unless anyone else knows different).

in 1977 (I think) I paid £125 for an off-the-peg Sun badged Raleigh 10 speed with no name tubes, my first new bike. Average earnings then were £2,894 (~£56 per week) so my bike cost 2.3 weeks wages.

In 2008 I bought a Kinesis Racelight Tk built to my spec with a Campag Centaur/ Comp triple group for ~£1200. Average earnings for that year were £23,019 (~£441pw) so my bike was 2.7 weeks worth. Slightly, but not hugely, more expensive but IMHO a much better bike.

I got a Muddy Fox MTB in 1986 for £300 which was 2.1 weeks wages equivalent then. £300 in 2011 (the latest year the above site give figures for) is 0.6 weeks average pay and would almost certainly be a better bike.

In RPI terms my 1977 £125 bike would have been £565 in 2008 - £650+ now (or, conversely, my 2008 £1200 bike would have been £266 in 1977) so the fact that you can get perfectly rideable bikes for around £300 or less is good value compared to previous decades by either measure.

Just a few musings for those interested.

Rick.

PH
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby PH » 30 Mar 2013, 8:27pm

Some good points RickH.
I have a 1987 Freewheel catalogue and many of the prices were not a lot cheaper than they are now. The fact that enthusiasts are prepared to pay a fair chunk of their disposable income is nothing new.

hjd10
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby hjd10 » 31 Mar 2013, 12:26am

PH wrote:Some good points RickH.
I have a 1987 Freewheel catalogue and many of the prices were not a lot cheaper than they are now. The fact that enthusiasts are prepared to pay a fair chunk of their disposable income is nothing new.



I think we pay too much money for bikes in the UK. I purchased a MTB from this site and payed $1000 for a SLX/XT 30 speed full suspension bike, I'm considering one of their disc brake cyclocross machines to use a touring machine. In real terms a good quality bike can be purchased that is better value than one purchased years ago, one thing however is that lbs can't compete on pricing. If your like me and not interested in the latest and greatest expensive brands then you can find cheap alternatives!

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/zilla.htm

Regards,

Howie

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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby Vorpal » 31 Mar 2013, 9:11am

hjd10 wrote:If your like me and not interested in the latest and greatest expensive brands then you can find cheap alternatives!

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/zilla.htm

Regards,

Howie



And how much is shipping to the UK?
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hjd10
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby hjd10 » 31 Mar 2013, 7:05pm

Vorpal wrote:
hjd10 wrote:If your like me and not interested in the latest and greatest expensive brands then you can find cheap alternatives!

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/zilla.htm

Regards,

Howie



And how much is shipping to the UK?


Sorry forgot to mention, I'm living in the USA for a couple of years and shipping is free to the mainland States. I've not actually looked at shipping costs to the UK, but as you can see we are paying too much in the UK!

Regards,

Howie

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horizon
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby horizon » 1 Apr 2013, 10:53pm

To be fair to the OP, this was about cheap, simple cycling, not cheap, simple bikes. Most MTB riders would have to take into account the cost of a car, a roof rack and parking charges. So would many road bike owners. Cycling (and life) becomes cheap and simple when the bike becomes practical.
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Si
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby Si » 16 Apr 2013, 9:11am

Going back to the theme of cheap simple cycling, I see that the main bike test in the June/July issue of Cycle will be "budget priced roadsters"*.

Although to balance that they are also reviewing the Ice Sprint recumbent trike, and doing some cargo trailers.


* but I don't know what the budget is that they are working to!

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby [XAP]Bob » 16 Apr 2013, 4:30pm

Si wrote:Going back to the theme of cheap simple cycling, I see that the main bike test in the June/July issue of Cycle will be "budget priced roadsters"*.

Although to balance that they are also reviewing the Ice Sprint recumbent trike, and doing some cargo trailers.


* but I don't know what the budget is that they are working to!


Looking forward to the sprint review.
If they want anyone to review the vortex ... :D
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hamster
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby hamster » 16 Apr 2013, 6:56pm

al_yrpal wrote: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


Actually the same trend is happening in MTBs with retro and single speeders seeking simple cheap machines. Any sport like ours attracts gear fetishists.

cycle tramp
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby cycle tramp » 17 Apr 2013, 9:20pm

This year i will be wearing bamboo fibre tights and jersey... supplied as 'thermal undergarments' from the company Dickies.. each piece cost £15, making a £30 quid total... can't be sure how long they'll last (will the knees go baggy?)... but it was worth a shot... i'm also now using 'hair scrunchies' from boots as tourser clips when riding...
i'm pretty sure that with everyone's collective experience of cycling, there's a book to be written about cycling on a shoe string budget..:)

boris
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby boris » 17 Apr 2013, 9:38pm

'hair scrunchies' from boots

we have obliging posties who drop red rubber bands all over the footpaths, or there are strips of inner tube knotted, or the tops of old socks. buying scrunchies is just more bling.

This may have been said already, but I think there is entry-level for riding in the club, which is about £350 (eg decathlon triban3 with mudguards lights and saddle bag) or for someone who just wants to ride round the block or trails at w/e , about £200. Then there are the bargains. I have recently bought a bike for 660 that is usually listed at 960. My son has a raleigh hybrid that I got for 200 from the raleigh warehouse sale and it would be fine for ctc riding and touring and makes a brilliant commuter.
Ebay second hand might be good . If you know how to maintain a bike you have more freedom to take a chance on a cheap deal. I suppose most beginners should really go to a bike shop .
I stopped buying cycling plus years ago because they are clearly in thrall to the manufacturers of top-end gear that I never have thought of buying and fascinated by silly exotica.

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fatmac
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby fatmac » 3 May 2013, 2:54pm

Well now, cheap simple cycling used to be an old raleigh single speed, did a few miles on that as a kid.

Went the handbuilt route when I could afford it, must admit it was a nice ride, but at twice the cost of an 'off the shelf' bike of equivalent specs, decided that I was 'average' & that an 'average' bike would do next time.

After being away from 'serious' cycling for some years, I now ride £600 machines, they do all right for my capabilities, however, one of my 'fleet' is a single speed & I can't wait to get my fitness level up so that I can 'ride' it properly (i.e. hoping to get back to the occasional 100 miler).

So whilst not particularly cheap, it will certainly be simple. :D
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Giles Pargiter
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby Giles Pargiter » 27 May 2013, 10:57pm

Well going back to the original post...

Cycling certainly can be enjoyed on nearly nothing. The bike that I actually do the most miles on was "junk" out of the back of a shed and cost me £30 for tyres and about £60 for lights, which are very satisfactorily driven by a bottle dynamo - I use it a lot after dark, all year round really. Just about all the rest of the kit on it comes from skips.

On a 115 mile commute over five mountain ranges that I do from time to time it takes about thirty minutes longer overall than my 531 Carlton Corsair; which is much lighter and more expensively equipped. Both bikes have similar gear ranges (24"-105" on one and to 110" on the other)

It is an ancient example of the much maligned Raleigh Activa. It has its original STI derailleurs (first indexed gears) which I have worn three sets of jockey wheels out on, and I mean worn out - right down to spikes. It is in touring guise. The dropped bars carrier etc all come from skips. It is every bit as reliable and more than many a new bike and has never in thousands of miles let me down on the road.

One of the greatest pleasures it provides me is after miles of reeling in types on breakfast cereal bikes is watching them overtaking again and then see their eyeballs popping out because they don't think bikes like that should be in front.

Expensive kit absolutely does not equate to reliability or superior operation most times out of ten but does equate to fashion victims.

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jezer
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Re: Cheap simple cycling.

Postby jezer » 27 May 2013, 11:25pm

I rarely buy cycling mags these days, but on the odd occasion that I do I am staggered by adverts from certain suppliers asking £150 or more for bib shorts. Why do people pay so much for simple items that can be bought elsewhere for a fraction of that :? And have you seen the prices charged for sportifs, which often attract hundreds of riders :shock: The annual subscription for our club membership is £15, and you get a whole year of club runs for that. Much better value I think :D
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