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C&V $$ Spending Reality Check

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C&V $$ Spending Reality Check

Old 06-09-21, 10:53 PM
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RustyJames
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C&V $$ Spending Reality Check

I sent a few Euros to Italy this AM and I wondered if this little hobby of mine is getting a little nutty. Did I really need to spend a few hundred $$ for stuff several thousand miles away “just in case” I “might need it”? Luckily, I have co-worker who doesn’t have a bike but used to ride A LOT and is saving his money for his ultimate machine. He’s saying it’s at least $12k. Now, to me, that’s A LOT of money to spend on a bike but good on him if it makes him happy.

Here’s where the reality check kicked in. I have spent less $$ on several (ahem!) bikes than what he is spending on one wheel.

I love rationalizing my life choices.
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Old 06-09-21, 11:45 PM
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Clearly you have found the right place to hang, this bunch are total enablers, clearly you have made the proper rational decision

what cool stuff did you get
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Old 06-10-21, 12:10 AM
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The prices we tolerate and the money we spend are somewhere between Fight Club and fuzzy/justifying math, IMO. As an apartment-dwelling Millennial (it's Gen Y, dang it!), I could have become a "Foodie" (lol), spending plenty of money on a "hobby" that, 24 hours later, I would, uhhhh, have, uhhh, "nothing" to show for the money spent. Just "experiences" and some knowledge. Seems like a waste (heh!) to me. But since I'm weird enough yet logical enough (my mental propaganda machine is on EPIC all the time ), somehow, I can spend $, $$, and/or $$$ and have something to show for it after a 24 hour period! I can even sell that item and get my money's worth out of it. I, too, gain experience and knowledge, but it's just so much more than that to me. I do try to keep things under control and along some self-set guidance path, and have been culling/keeping the fleet low now (more money to "focus" into each bike! I'm still winning!), but still, it ain't a zero dollar "hobby" (I think of it as so much more than just a "hobby" BTW). My '85 Trek 620 has received frame modifications and will gain a new color as well as new decals in a bid to take on the recent crop of gravel-y bikes for less etc etc etc. It'll be more than a grand (more than I'd like to maybe admit?), but far less than a new bike at the same weight, in the color and with the performance etc. I'm confident I have it handled. Yes, it could have been a $500 build, but...I'm going up against giants. New bikes. I need to come prepared. This completely justifies expenditure. You all need to know!
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Old 06-10-21, 04:07 AM
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My only modern bike is a fully built up Big Dummy kid hauler. I get a nose bleed when I think of how much it cost to feed that particular white elephant. The rest of my bikes are $40-100 bikes, and I've come to terms with that being just a down payment on the finished product. The bike I'm focused on now snuck into the garage while I was repeating the nomoreprojects mantra. Its a $100 bike and with a bit of internet bargain hunting, I'll have $350 into it, which is a lot to drop on an impulse purchase. Parked next to the Dummy, I'll still be able to say the difference is beyond an order of magnitude.
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Old 06-10-21, 05:21 AM
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Hey, they money spent also goes into self improvement and fitness. Extend your health. There are much worse things to spend on and indulge in.
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Old 06-10-21, 06:11 AM
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With C&V bikes I enjoy the chrome and polished alloy bits. The new bike "all black components" thing is rather ugly. For the prices being charged I would think that some shiney stuff would be appropriate.
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Old 06-10-21, 06:19 AM
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Cheaper than cars, boats, or motorcycles...

I get serious sticker shock when I look at new bike prices. For me, the "ultimate" C&V bike would be well under $2K.

Consider yourself enabled.
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Old 06-10-21, 06:39 AM
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Buying stuff in case I need it has not proven to be a good strategy. I've pretty much stopped that, but I'm still holding onto stuff I may never need. For instance, I broke the shell of a 1980s Campagnolo Record hub, and now I have the axle and skewer I won't need. I should sell them on ebay so someone can use them.
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Old 06-10-21, 06:45 AM
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While my experience is usually the same as the OP's, I've also spent $30 plus international shipping on a single 1" x 2" foil decal for my Raleigh.
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Old 06-10-21, 06:46 AM
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I spent more than $2k this spring buying 10 bikes. I've sold 1 and a wheelset from those purchases as well as 8 bikes from my collection so far this summer for almost $3k.

It's amazing that my wife tells me to buy most of these. After buying/selling bikes for so many years, she recognizes that I'm able to keep it a fairly "cash positive" hobby and it keeps me out of her hair.

I'm a lucky guy.
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Old 06-10-21, 07:01 AM
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Oh i understand...
Drawers of shiny Dura Ace bits and stuff
wife does not mind, i got her into CV with a Biemmezetta, Raleigh International and a Fondriest. All exept the BMZ are upgraded with parts found in these magical drawers
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Old 06-10-21, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by RustyJames View Post
I sent a few Euros to Italy this AM and I wondered if this little hobby of mine is getting a little nutty. Did I really need to spend a few hundred $$ for stuff several thousand miles away “just in case” I “might need it”? Luckily, I have co-worker who doesn’t have a bike but used to ride A LOT and is saving his money for his ultimate machine. He’s saying it’s at least $12k. Now, to me, that’s A LOT of money to spend on a bike but good on him if it makes him happy.

Here’s where the reality check kicked in. I have spent less $$ on several (ahem!) bikes than what he is spending on one wheel.

I love rationalizing my life choices.
Some of the vintage stuff is really a steal in price.
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Old 06-10-21, 07:39 AM
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What feels worse, buying it with no project ATM or suddenly needing it and the part can’t be found or has gone way up in price?
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Old 06-10-21, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
What feels worse, buying it with no project ATM or suddenly needing it and the part can’t be found or has gone way up in price?
Exactly! I have run into that with old motorcycles. I know that people get tired of looking at the pile of stuff in their garage and scrap it so I may as well pounce while I can. If I do buy something and end up not needing I’m sure somebody will.
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Old 06-10-21, 09:52 AM
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I've done that! Thought it would be a good idea to have a spare Superbe Pro RD that supports index shifting. Now I have three because I didn't check the stash!

And then there is the too emotional purchase or string of them associated with the De Rosa. Great deal on the frame, Great deal on the wheel set. But the wheel set determined the rest of the purchases. They are 10V era Record hubs in black (set the color way too), with Ambrosia Nemisis rims, and included a Campy 10 speed cassette (<$150). Italian needs Italian, have to go the 10V route with Record. Spent way more on brakes (twice, black and silver) and deraileurs (Two front ones) than I felt comfortable. Go for it or go home. Next was a couple of Ergo's (now have a spare set) that were refurbished. Had a crank set, NOS Miche post because the good deal on the Chorus aero was too short, Campagnolo cables and way too expensive Campagnolo skewers. Tires were already in the stash. Of course a new chain and the right color combination of Keo pedals.
And you would think I was done but now I want to change the stem and HB (alread purchased)!

Not much margin left if I were to sell it. That is not in the cards as it is on the bucket list of bikes to own in my size. I am afraid to add up the total purchases.

After all that you would expect it to be the best ride...... it is!
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Old 06-10-21, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
What feels worse, buying it with no project ATM or suddenly needing it and the part can’t be found or has gone way up in price?
Although I'm a big believer in 'Better to have and not need than need and not have', I can never justify spending money on parts I don't have an immediate need for. Or, put another way, immediate need is what drives me to spend hours on Ebay doing semi-redundant searches looking for the best combination of cheap and good condition. For example, the last few weeks, since I finished up a 1982 Lotus with 6200 series Dura Ace EX kit, I found myself idly looking at 7400 series Dura Ace bits. I even toyed with the idea of putting together a full groupset, then looking for a frame to put it on. But it didn't hold my attention. Then I picked up another 1982 Lotus, this time with 6200 series 600 Arabesque kit, and that drove me to scouring Ebay again, this time looking for a left crank arm, as well as the usual cables, housing, brake pads, etc. For me, it's got to be going onto something I already have in hand, or I'm just not driven enough.
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Old 06-10-21, 12:15 PM
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I think it is good to have direction for your collection. When I fell in love with the simplicity and elegance of bicycles, I sought out to purchase everything I deemed nice. Over time, it became clear that the money and time I spent provided no clear direction in personal cycling tastes.

In the past few years my purchasing of bicycles, components, and disposables has lessened. It has been easier for me to follow a distinct path and not just crowd my rooms with whatever is the nicest. Fine English bikes and American handmade for me! I tell my SO I will sell off all my Italians, Belgians, French, and the likes one day… one day…
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Old 06-10-21, 12:32 PM
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I fully confess that I fell into the spending trap and became a bit of a hoarder when it came to bike stuff. I was never totally out of control but about 6 years ago I moved across the country and it forced me to take inventory of all my stuff. It made me realize a few things. I couldn't remember how much money I had spent on everything but I realized that I had been somewhat foolish in my spending. While I had some decent bikes, none of them were all that special and I suspect that for the amount that I had paid for all of the stuff I had lying around I could have bought a couple of nicer more collectible bikes that I would probably get more enjoyment out of. So I sold 75% of my stuff and went cold turkey on the spending. About 6 months ago I looked at the stuff I still had lying around and most of it hadn't seen use in about 5 years and I went through another phase of purging and have sold about another $4,000 of bikes and parts. I'm taking 2 more bikes to the bike swap this weekend and then I will have eliminated most of my hoard.

I guess that my point is that over the last decade+ of being into C&V bikes I wish that I had just been more patient and careful about what I purchased. I would rather have 2 to 4 really nice, collectible bikes than 15 to 20 bikes that are just OK. Lesson learned and if spending a bit too much on my C&V hobby is the worst thing I ever do, I don't think that I'll have too much trouble sleeping at night. Now I'm just keeping my eye out for a couple of different bikes that I would really like and hoping to get lucky.
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Old 06-10-21, 12:40 PM
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I'm against reality checks. I just want to get that on record.

I've got a friend who like to use "hookers and blow" as an alternative against which to compare his bike spending. That can make a bike look cheap in a hurry.

My wife has a '91 Harley Fat Boy that requires constant maintenance, so I've got a big buffer before she starts complaining about my C&V habit. The bigger challenge is justifying it to myself. For that, I keep a spreadsheet where I measure the cost per mile of each bike. A few are under $1 per mile. I figure they'll all get there if I keep them long enough and keep riding.
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Old 06-10-21, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by fettsvenska View Post
I fully confess that I fell into the spending trap and became a bit of a hoarder when it came to bike stuff. I was never totally out of control but about 6 years ago I moved across the country and it forced me to take inventory of all my stuff. It made me realize a few things. I couldn't remember how much money I had spent on everything but I realized that I had been somewhat foolish in my spending. While I had some decent bikes, none of them were all that special and I suspect that for the amount that I had paid for all of the stuff I had lying around I could have bought a couple of nicer more collectible bikes that I would probably get more enjoyment out of. So I sold 75% of my stuff and went cold turkey on the spending. About 6 months ago I looked at the stuff I still had lying around and most of it hadn't seen use in about 5 years and I went through another phase of purging and have sold about another $4,000 of bikes and parts. I'm taking 2 more bikes to the bike swap this weekend and then I will have eliminated most of my hoard.

I guess that my point is that over the last decade+ of being into C&V bikes I wish that I had just been more patient and careful about what I purchased. I would rather have 2 to 4 really nice, collectible bikes than 15 to 20 bikes that are just OK. Lesson learned and if spending a bit too much on my C&V hobby is the worst thing I ever do, I don't think that I'll have too much trouble sleeping at night. Now I'm just keeping my eye out for a couple of different bikes that I would really like and hoping to get lucky.
Strategic purchasing.
NOS rims, they are not making any more of them.
I have purchased some items for, possible strategic sale later, like a NOS set of Campagnolo SL pedals for $85.
Clean used now bring that, NOS? 3to 4X.
That set of 36 hole Shimano Dura Ace EX NOS, new in box hubs with cassette, (back when they were just called cogs) $55.
did not have a project for them, but the price was just too good. I have not looked for current value, I expect a fair rate of return at some point.
Need to build that Full DuraAce bike still.

What I missed on, minor consumables that appear to bring solid prices now.
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Old 06-10-21, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SoccerBallXan View Post
I think it is good to have direction for your collection. When I fell in love with the simplicity and elegance of bicycles, I sought out to purchase everything I deemed nice. Over time, it became clear that the money and time I spent provided no clear direction in personal cycling tastes.

In the past few years my purchasing of bicycles, components, and disposables has lessened. It has been easier for me to follow a distinct path and not just crowd my rooms with whatever is the nicest. Fine English bikes and American handmade for me! I tell my SO I will sell off all my Italians, Belgians, French, and the likes one day… one day…
Very true. We discuss this very thing on watch collector forums, that your collection should have a definition, or it's just an accumulation. The definition only needs to make sense to the individual collector. So, for me, for example, each new bike should be unique in some way, not just a repeat of another bike I already have. And there should be something about it that catches my particular interest. Right now, I'm fascinated by Shimano's development during the 80s and early 90s, where they kept innovating and trying new things, not all of which worked out. 7, then 8 speeds, SIS, SLR brakes and then dual pivots, freehubs, STI on the one hand. Biopace chainrings and Dyna Drive pedals on the other.
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Old 06-10-21, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by SoccerBallXan View Post
I think it is good to have direction for your collection. When I fell in love with the simplicity and elegance of bicycles, I sought out to purchase everything I deemed nice. Over time, it became clear that the money and time I spent provided no clear direction in personal cycling tastes.

In the past few years my purchasing of bicycles, components, and disposables has lessened. It has been easier for me to follow a distinct path and not just crowd my rooms with whatever is the nicest. Fine English bikes and American handmade for me! I tell my SO I will sell off all my Italians, Belgians, French, and the likes one day… one day…
My answer was direct- Masi and Confente.
Second tier, bikes I owned and have memories of, One to go.
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Old 06-10-21, 12:47 PM
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All I can say,,Packages all the way from Italy are Always special.
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Old 06-10-21, 01:19 PM
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My reality check was that none of this is expensive. That was a little freeing. I look back on bikes I thought were "expensive" and I would buy them in a second today. I am content with all my purchases. Some I move on because they don't thrill me to ride, but I've never felt I didn't get my money's worth even if I lost a few bucks. If I didn't buy a C&V bike, I would buy something new. I think the new All City steel bikes are great - good looks, good quality, good functionality. You will be in for about $2,000 for one. I have bought C&V team bikes for less and unique hand built custom C&V for a lot less. Like anything new, the second I ride that new All City or Trek or whatever out of the store, I have "lost" money. I could lose money, make money or break even on a C&V bike. Seems I am no worse off than if I bought a new bike. In the meantime, I get to ride someone's creation, someone's work of art. That is worth something to me.

Like others, I have refined what I buy over time. I have sold a lot of bikes that I bought early on. I'd have to think, but I'm not sure I own any from my first year of buying C&V as a collection. My interests are still relatively broad, but I have passed on bikes that I would have purchased three years ago.
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Old 06-10-21, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
Clearly you have found the right place to hang, this bunch are total enablers, clearly you have made the proper rational decision

what cool stuff did you get
Let’s see…
- Legnano stem badge
- 2 rod-brake handlebars
​​​​​​- Assorted chain case covers
- Gnutti front hub
- Dynamo
- Rod-brake fork
- Regina 4 speed FW

The rod-brake handlebars are nothing like English-type so they seem hard to find in the states. The fork is different manufacturer than my bike but listed dimensions are what I needed.
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