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Is cycling an expensive hobby?

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Is cycling an expensive hobby?

Old 03-04-19, 11:26 PM
  #126  
SpeedyBlueBiker
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Like almost any hobby, you can make it as expensive as you want it to be. To me, cycling and running are more a way of life than a hobby. I also hike, climb, and dabble in photography. I do international travel which combines some of my hobbies. Cycling is probably my 3rd least expensive hobby with hiking and running below that. I don't ride real expensive bikes but they aren't bargain basement either. I actually just spent $4300 on a new road bike today (pick up in a week) even though I have two other road bikes. One is 17 years old so I do get my use out of them. So today's purchase is actually out of the norm. I doubt I'll but another road bike for the next 10 years.
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Old 03-05-19, 05:23 AM
  #127  
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I probably have about $9000-10000 tied up in cycling in the past 10 years ($1000/year). With that investment I have 3 of my favorite bikes I’ve owned upgraded and dialed in to my liking. I can’t imagine buying more than one more bike in my lifetime. The rest is maintenance. My limited investment in bike clothes tend to last for years.

Compare that to woodworking. In the last 10 years I’ve spent over $15000 in tools, most used and would have cost another $10k new. Add in the portion of our mortgage/insurance/taxes that goes toward our 700 sq ft garage that is almost totally dedicated to shop and design studio. Plus, you can’t do woodworking without wood which gets more expensive every year.

I may be able to sell a furniture piece, get a commission or save on a contractor occasionally but it’s still mostly hobby and far from cheap. Cycling on the other hand, saves me thousands a year on commuting costs, reduced insurance costs and no gym memberships (probably healthcare and therapy costs, too!). There is no contest.

Hmmm... maybe two more bikes in my lifetime...

john
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Old 03-05-19, 05:29 AM
  #128  
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This thread reminded me of this NYT article:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nyt...-love.amp.html



john
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Old 03-05-19, 09:10 AM
  #129  
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I apologize if I am repeating something since I haven’t read all the comments. I got to the post where someone spent $400 on a set a racks, remembered the story “My First ATV” (I believe that was the title) and realized we are not talking about the same activity I consider cycling. I never considered cycling a hobby. I always considered it an activity like walking, running, swimming, or playing basketball. It is not the cheapest activity but it is not the most expensive either. You do not need to own a basketball or court or gym membership to play basketball. They have free courts around where you can practice or have a pick-up games. But to cycle, you almost have to have a bike or what you refer to as a BSO. Now this is where my different view point comes into play. My hobby is restoring and working on bicycles (cars, tractors, etc). The last bike project I bought cost $20, 1980s steel frame and double butted tubing. The saddle was some mattress type thing in excellent condition that I sold for $25. Repacked the bearings as part of my hobby. Also, as part of my hobby, I freed an oxidized seat post. I “borrowed” a seat intended for another project (nashbar source a few years ago at a discounted price). Tires were still good so the bike was used for my activity, Cycling. Keep in mind cycling is inexpensive, it is collecting the bikes and all the gear you want/feel you need that is a hobby.
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Old 03-05-19, 09:21 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
First of all, I don't think anyone actually said it can't be an expensive hobby, just that it isn't one for them. Second, the only truly dumb claim I've seen on this thread is that it's only inexpensive if you're a casual cyclist.
Sorry you took it personally, there are always exceptions to every rule. It appears that others have the same view I do, they just aren't as direct about it.
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Old 03-05-19, 09:27 AM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Sorry you took it personally, there are always exceptions to every rule. It appears that others have the same view I do, they just aren't as direct about it.

I didn't take it personally, you're just wrong, and also answering nonsense arguments that no one is actually making..
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Old 03-05-19, 09:28 AM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I didn't take it personally, you're just wrong.
Whatever you say
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Old 03-05-19, 09:28 AM
  #133  
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It's like many hobbies, as expensive as you intend to make it!

You could run with only perceived exertion and some $30 on-sale running shoes. Or you could buy a fancy Garmin Fenix triathlon watch for like $400, and own 3 pairs of uber expensive running shoes like Hokas or Vaporfly's at $250 a pop, and own super expensive clothes.

Same with golf, used clubs and balls for like $100 on Craigslist and a $600 a year membership to a dinky city owned golf course.

Same with bikes. Get a $300 bike from Craigslist, fix it up for $100, ride.

We buy $5000+ bikes and fancy kit because we want to, not because we have to. A pro or Cat 1 racer could ride a 1990's mountain bike on the A-group ride and crush everyone to pieces.

It's still good fun however you decide to take it on!
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Old 03-05-19, 09:42 AM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by burnthesheep View Post
It's like many hobbies, as expensive as you intend to make it!

You could run with only perceived exertion and some $30 on-sale running shoes. Or you could buy a fancy Garmin Fenix triathlon watch for like $400, and own 3 pairs of uber expensive running shoes like Hokas or Vaporfly's at $250 a pop, and own super expensive clothes.

Same with golf, used clubs and balls for like $100 on Craigslist and a $600 a year membership to a dinky city owned golf course.

Same with bikes. Get a $300 bike from Craigslist, fix it up for $100, ride.

We buy $5000+ bikes and fancy kit because we want to, not because we have to. A pro or Cat 1 racer could ride a 1990's mountain bike on the A-group ride and crush everyone to pieces.

It's still good fun however you decide to take it on!
Agreed. I stick with my earlier assertion--how expensive is not an answerable question except on an individual level because the amount of money one can spend on any hobby is limitless. The real question is whether inexpensive serious involvement with the hobby is possible, and that is clearly possible when it comes to biking. That isn't true of all hobbies, some just can't be done without spending enormous amounts of money.

I also think we all have different aspects that we either find fun or not fun--maintaining my bike is approximately as fun for me as doing my laundry.
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Old 03-05-19, 09:52 AM
  #135  
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I'm doing the cycling thing fairly cheaply, have less in my bike (with upgrades) than a lot of people have in a set of wheels. That being said, I've spent more in the last six months since I started biking (not just the bike, but also clothes, tools, and other gear), than I have in the last six years of running. So yes, in general, cycling is an expensive hobby. But absolutely worth it, imo.
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Old 03-05-19, 10:32 AM
  #136  
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This thread has become an embodiment of the Axiom of Bike Forums: for every person will to tell you how little they spent on cycling, there will be one willing to tell you how much they spent on cycling-- both with equal pride.

Just remember folks, trekmogul is a real guy. Can a hobby be pursued economically? Sure. Can it get out of hand? Oh, absolutely.
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Old 03-05-19, 10:57 AM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
This thread has become an embodiment of the Axiom of Bike Forums: for every person will to tell you how little they spent on cycling, there will be one willing to tell you how much they spent on cycling-- both with equal pride.

Just remember folks, trekmogul is a real guy. Can a hobby be pursued economically? Sure. Can it get out of hand? Oh, absolutely.
Also in typical bikeforums fashion people keep arguing and responding to just part of the question.
Yes on the title of the thread I ask if cycling is an expensive hobby BUT if one would read my post they would see (and some have) that I was interested in knowing how it would compare to one's own other hobbies and activities.

Yes it's obvious it can be as cheap or as expensive as one wants it to be.
Yes, for some people wants and needs are a bit different. Whats is not a NEED for you may be considered a must have for another.
BUT, as a consensus one could argue that there are many other common hobbies that make cycling look very cheap/inexpensive. Sailing, Motorsports of any kind. Scuba diving.

Again, How does it compare with your other activities? That's what I was interested in finding out.
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Old 03-05-19, 11:55 AM
  #138  
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I'm not sure this has been mentioned: The bike world is full of psychological traps that can become expensive. Clever marketing becomes a form of hypnosis. For susceptible people, it can result in a lot of unnecessary expenditure.

The same applies to subconscious peer pressure and expectations. And values that are largely picked up subconsciously.

For example, I was exposed to people who put a high value or Desirability Quotient on XTR and Dura Ace components. It resulted in my own valuations or DQ's being affected, mostly without my awareness that this was happening. Then it resulted in the creations of desires, which resulted in expensive purchases.

Similar processes resulted in other valuations/DQ's, which resulted in additional expensive purchases. Somehow I picked up a high image or DQ related to S-Works bikes and bought one. Carbon fiber, titanium, high end sealed cartridge bearings, optimal wheelsets, various tools...and many other things in the bike world.... I KEPT PICKING UP ON NEW DESIRABILITIES, new I-want-one's, which led to a series of unnecessary purchases.

Stepping back, none of it had much real value. It did very little for me at all. Very, very little. I would have been just fine, probably better and happier, sticking with a couple of moderately priced bikes and minimal gear. None of the other bikes is as enjoyable as my original Raleigh Competition. The rest have been truly unnecessary, basically non-rational, post hypnotic suggestion-induced purchases.

How does it compare with other hobbies? In recent years, bikes have been the most expensive by far.

I do seem to be pulling back from the illusions and false DQ's these days, though. And the unnecessary purchases are fewer.

Last edited by Bikesplendor; 03-05-19 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 03-05-19, 11:58 AM
  #139  
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For me, I just seem to like expensive stuff no matter what it is. Do to whatever aesthetic/customization preferences that I have. So I tend to go overboard on making sure things match whatever goal I have. Sure it is possible for me to kit out a cheaper bike to have everything I want. But it is much easier to get a more expensive one that is more suited with less work.

You can absolutely be a "cyclist" with inexpensive gear. And you can also spend more. It is up to you to decide if the more is worth whatever gain you expect out of it.

Right now I am diving in with a custom bike (even though with some looking and compromises I could get a custom build) because:
1. I want to choose everything down to small details
2. I want to learn more about the design/how it works
3. I like to support small businesses

I am super excited, because it is a cool new thing to learn. I tend to be a person who chooses a topic and goes really deep in on it.
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Old 03-05-19, 12:00 PM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
Also in typical bikeforums fashion people keep arguing and responding to just part of the question.
Yes on the title of the thread I ask if cycling is an expensive hobby BUT if one would read my post they would see (and some have) that I was interested in knowing how it would compare to one's own other hobbies and activities.

Yes it's obvious it can be as cheap or as expensive as one wants it to be.
Yes, for some people wants and needs are a bit different. Whats is not a NEED for you may be considered a must have for another.
BUT, as a consensus one could argue that there are many other common hobbies that make cycling look very cheap/inexpensive. Sailing, Motorsports of any kind. Scuba diving.

Again, How does it compare with your other activities? That's what I was interested in finding out.

Not to be too smart-alecky about it, but have you considered that it isn't really a good question? The closest things I have to other hobbies are watching old movies (subscription fees are really paid with other channels so I don't know how to quantify the expense), finding and eating at good cheap restaurants, and going to the gym. I eat out more when I'm biking because I'm out on the road all day on the weekends, so is that a biking expense or an eating out expense?

The problem with trying to rank biking is that it overlaps with too many activities as it isn't just exercise and recreation, it is transportation.
If somebody is bike touring, are lodging and food bike expenses or is it attributable to a travel hobby? If a person bike commutes, does the decrease in car use count as a credit against the expense of the biking hobby?

Not at all clear what you expected out of this thread except to find out that people do different things and spend different amounts doing it and doing other things.
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Old 03-05-19, 12:27 PM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Just remember folks, trekmogul is a real guy.
This thread should have reminded me of him. I must be getting old and slow. Wonder where he is these days. Dubai, maybe? Sri Lanka?
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Old 03-05-19, 01:07 PM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
This thread should have reminded me of him. I must be getting old and slow. Wonder where he is these days. Dubai, maybe? Sri Lanka?
Haven't seen much of him lately but I'd bet he would say that cycling isn't expensive...

...not to him at least!
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Old 03-05-19, 02:02 PM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by TheRef View Post
Also in typical bikeforums fashion people keep arguing and responding to just part of the question.
Yes on the title of the thread I ask if cycling is an expensive hobby BUT if one would read my post they would see (and some have) that I was interested in knowing how it would compare to one's own other hobbies and activities.
.
I consider anything over a 10% rate of respondents actually answering the question asked to be a BF success.
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Old 03-05-19, 02:07 PM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by Bikesplendor View Post
I do seem to be pulling back from the illusions and false DQ's these days, though. And the unnecessary purchases are fewer.
This tends to happen to me after a big purchase or two. As another poster had noted, I too dive deep into whatever hobby I get into and when my wife and I first became interested in cycling I spent every day and night researching as much as I could. We bought gravel bikes so we could go off road if we so desired but of course that wasn't enough. We had to have road bikes (when really we could have just swapped tires on our gravel bikes). Spent more and more days looking up gear, Shimano/SRAM, Trek/Giant/Specialized/Cannondale etc until we found the right bikes. Of course we weren't looking to spend as much as two new Trek Domane's cost but now that we have them the desire to keep up with all of the gear and new doohickies has gone down dramatically. It happens with every one of my hobbies. I reach a certain point where it's now time to enjoy it and not fuss over the non-important stuff. The less I look up online these day the more I'm out on my super comfortable road bike or out on a trail on our gravel bikes. Pricey up front, yes, but we have just about everything we need to enjoy finding new trails and locations to get a road ride in. That's a hobby unto itself!
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Old 03-05-19, 02:22 PM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by Bikesplendor View Post
I'm not sure this has been mentioned: The bike world is full of psychological traps that can become expensive. Clever marketing becomes a form of hypnosis. For susceptible people, it can result in a lot of unnecessary expenditure.
Eh, that is any hobby. My homebrewing setup is still a $30 scratch and dent 11 gallon soup pot, a clearance priced turkey burner I got after Thanksgiving, a mesh brew bag and some $11 food-grade 5 gallon fermentation buckets. I can (and have watched beginners) also walk into LBS (local brew shop) and drop $3000 on a three tiered fully automated brewday setup and $300 conical stainless fermenters (ok, I actually have one of those fermenters, it was a gift from the wifey, its sweet).

Hockey equipment? I use $70-90ish sticks. I could easily drop over $300 if I wanted the latest and greatest, on something that could snap in half two shifts later. Lets not even talk about how cheap my $300 skates are.

Motorcycles? I tooled around for four years on a $600 Honda and had a blast. I;ve now got pedal bikes that cost more than that, let alone what my motorcycle ran me (and what a new helmet is going to...)
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Old 03-06-19, 12:42 PM
  #146  
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If you cycle instead of driving you're saving fifty cents per mile. Apply that savings to pay for a bike and get your pleasure rides for free!😀😁
Not to mention reducing traffic, pollution, and road maintenance.
Riding to work is like getting a pay raise!
Paul
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Old 03-06-19, 01:31 PM
  #147  
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For years I have been a year-round, nearly daily bike commuter. I've never bought a parking or RT pass because it just wasn't worth it and if I have to drive I just pay the daily parking rate at a local city lot. Unfortunately, I've had to drive a lot more lately and every time I do, I think "Dang it. It just cost me $10 to drive to work today."
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Old 03-07-19, 01:18 PM
  #148  
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Get congress to take off the double 80% tax they imposed on bicycle goods coming in the country In the 1970s and bicycling can be less expensive.
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Old 03-07-19, 02:27 PM
  #149  
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Somehow the bike world manages to get some people to spend a lot of unnecessary money. Not everyone, but some.

There are certainly hobbies that are worse in this regard, and hobbies that are better. Cycling has been one of the worse ones, for me.

Jay Leno's garage hobby is considerably farther out on the spectrum. And there are other hobbies that exceed his.

Snorkeling, tennis, ping pong, swimming, and h​​​iking are other hobbies that I have felt very little pressure to spend unnecessary money on. Not true for bikes, though.

Last edited by Bikesplendor; 03-07-19 at 02:30 PM.
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Old 03-07-19, 02:32 PM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by Rick View Post
Get congress to take off the double 80% tax they imposed on bicycle goods coming in the country In the 1970s and bicycling can be less expensive.
Do you have any articles or links that would give additional information about this?
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