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Am I Being Cheap?(16 posts)

Am I Being Cheap?liu02bhs
Mar 20, 2002 9:03 PM
Okay, one of my friend keep on calling me cheap. I just want some opinions on whether his accusation is justified.

Here is my situation. I am a high school student with no job and only about $1500 of saving in my bank account. I always purchase my biking accessories online, because it's almost always more than 50% less than what the shops charge here in Houston. I buy aftermarket products because I believe I get more bang for the buck this way. Needless to say, I get absolutely no parental support for this sport. So all of the expenses comes out of my pocket.

My friend on the hand has very supportive parents. He purchases all the new products like Giro Pneumo, USPS Trek 5900 (he has two of these), Zipp 404(2 pairs), Michelin Axial Pro(3 pair), etc. This is not to mention all of his "old" stuff like Rolf Vector Pro, Sesterier, Ritchey WCS DS wheels, Cannondale R1000, Giro Boreas and Eclipse, etc.

Now, am I being cheap or is he just spoiled?
it doesnt matterSpirito di Finocchio
Mar 20, 2002 9:14 PM
just beat him every time you ride with him and then ask him if all the extra money spent was worthwhile.

ahhh..... you will piss him off but its good to have a little rivalry.

you cant buy a good heart and a fast set of legs.
re: Am I Being Cheap?KurtVF
Mar 20, 2002 9:41 PM
No, you are doing the right thing. There is nothing wrong with being thrifty. You will be better off in the long run. He may be spoiled but you can't say you wouldn't take the stuff if someone gave it to you,that's life, sometimes you're up, sometimes you're down. Live with it.
encouragement....SteveO
Mar 21, 2002 4:18 AM
there's no better feeling than beating someone on their $3500 rig with my dinged-up old fixie (net worth about 100 bucks).

make the most with what youve got...and enjoy it.
You're smartpmf1
Mar 21, 2002 5:40 AM
and he's lucky. I hope his dad doesn't lose his Enron job. I hope you dust him every chance you get.

Why would anyone have two very expensive bikes that are exactly the same?
No, just like most of us ...tarwheel
Mar 21, 2002 5:49 AM
I had a friend like that in high school. His parents bought him a motorcycle, then a brand new Cougar, and then a Nissan (Datsun then) Z-car right after they came out. I worked all through high school and college, buying my own clothes and my own motorcycle, as a matter of fact. I also paid for most of my college expenses. Much of this was out of necessity because I was the 7th of 8 children, but my parents believed in instilling a sense of independence in us. In the long run, it has paid off.

However, you will continue to run into people like your friend all through life. There are lots of married adults whose parents still buy them cars, even houses -- how do you think they afford all those $50,000 SUVs and Lexus's? I'm 48 and still have to watch the budget, but my wife and I have much of our home paid off, two cars paid off, and a comfortable amount saved for retirement already. I bet a lot of these people who've been spoiled by their parents haven't even started saving for retirement.

Anyway, having the latest, greatest ti/carbon equipment isn't really going to make you any faster. As Eddie Merckx said, if you want to get better at cycling, just ride more. I rode a steel Bianchi for more than 15 years and just upgraded last year to a newer steel frame (Gios) with Chorus. It was a lot of money (for me) to spend on a bike, but I had saved up the money and paid cash, and the whole bike cost no more or less than a ti or custom steel frame alone would have cost. A lot of cyclists obsess over having the lightest, most expensive equipment but I think they're missing the point. Perhaps they just have a lot of money to spend. Most of us have families to support, mortages to pay, or college tuition. So we buy what we can afford and just enjoy riding.
think of it this waylonefrontranger
Mar 21, 2002 6:28 AM
Does your friend truly appreciate what he has? I bet you actually care about your stuff, cheap or no.

I've been racing for ten years. In the early years, I barely made enough to pay the rent, much less buy bike parts. So I raced on an old creaky POS, and enjoyed the heck out of it. My teammates helped me out a bit by loaning me stuff like good wheels for important races and so on, but for the most part I made do by cannibalizing parts from everyone else's second- and third-hand junk boxes. Hey, it mostly worked, and that was good enough to get me to the finish line. Sure, my stuff was never first-rate, but I never actually suffered a mechanical that meant I couldn't finish. And boy did I ever learn how to wrench, which meant I could get a job at a bike shop, so that I could actually ENJOY not earning enough to make a decent living, AND be able to afford some decent parts for a change (employee discount dude, it's the way to go).

Now that I'm a thirty-something financially secure yuppie geek, I have a couple Colnagos, some nice wheels (yes, a pair of Zipps), a custom TT bike and a garage full of swanky accessories. Let me tell you something about that. Having a really nice new rig also means you have to live up to it, too. Now I have no excuse for getting my butt kicked, except that I'm old, fat and slow.

I raced crits and road races for a couple entire seasons on a beat up old POS Redline 'cross bike that weighed 26 and a half pounds, and was worth (at a stretch) about 200 bucks. It was my commuter as well as my racer, so I often didn't remember to remove the light mounts, it was covered in mud, and usually had weeds hanging out of the canti bridges (I actually ride my cross bike offroad). Lemme tell you, I got the biggest sense of accomplishment out of winning races on that horror. It also irritated the devil out of the folks on the fancy unobtanium wonder bikes to finish behind a wreck like that. I got fifth at the Colorado state championships crit on that rig last summer, and finished pretty far ahead of a big pack of very talented riders. Regardless of how I do on all my new fancy bikes, I bet I'll remember that race for the rest of my days.

I agree with the other poster. Kick his butt and smile when he calls your stuff crap. Yeah, sure but it's FAST crap!
Kick your buddies Arse!mikebikr
Mar 21, 2002 7:08 AM
I've never had somebody on a worse bike beat me at a race. I'm not fast, my bike is just that bad. It's a sorry piece of crap, but I love her. Use your lack of the swanky things as an inspiration! It's not the bike, but the motor.

Your parents might be more supportive than you think. When stuff is given its not appreciated. Earn it and you'll love your bike even more or anything else for that matter. (You won't get any of this till after college.)

Lonefrontranger has a good point, get a job at a bike shop. That way you'll have some extra scratch and discounted/good used parts.

Good luck.
Cheap? If you had the moneyonespeed
Mar 21, 2002 7:41 AM
and the seemeingly endless access to the bank account that your friend has, you would probably have the same amount of gear. Just because you "have not," doesnt mean that your friend isnt allowed to "have."

Just ride.

Quit obsessing.
You may still be too young to know it, but you already won. nmmorrison
Mar 21, 2002 7:41 AM
He's goodliu02bhs
Mar 21, 2002 8:08 AM
I appreciate some of your inputs. I think he deserves most of his equipments. This dude work his ass off and is really good. Not that I do not, but genetics plays a important part. He has been the the #1 rank age-group triathlete for a few years now. He bought the 1st 5900 for the Junior National Triathlon Championship where he came in 2nd in his age group. The second one was after he broke his first 5900 after a crash with his dad. Then he sent the first frame back to Trek and got it fixed. So now his has two 5900.
He's goodharlett
Mar 21, 2002 9:36 AM
this shouldn't be about someone having something better or whether there is satisfaction in beating someone on more expensive equipment--
in cycling (like life) doesn't real satisfaction come from simply achieving personal goals.fitness and endurance, personal best records, new mechanical abilities and understandings, the saving for upgraded equipment (don't upgrade ride up grades.merckx), etc..
genetics determines how quickly we reach some physical goals-- material possessions and goals are gathered slower in some lives-- we need to do our best with what we have-- the strength, knowledge and satisfaction we receive from reaching goals is free, individual and more important than winning or losing or what others may have--
SteveO
Mar 21, 2002 10:15 AM
re : 'we need to do our best with what we have',

in many cases, we need to be satisified with what we have (imo).
He's goodtb123
Jan 8, 2003 6:57 AM
Liu02bhs,

Please contact me, I have an opening for a part time position in the clear lake area.

tb
Local bike shop
tb_8@hotmail.com
Your not cheapRayBan
Mar 21, 2002 9:42 AM
That's not being cheap, what your doing is getting the things you want to get according to your reality. Your friend doesn't have to be creative to get what he wants, and thats neither good nor bad its just the way it is.
Hey, why don't you drop him on a climb for some - "silent satisfaction" ;)
You're living smart.Quack
Mar 21, 2002 12:57 PM
Considering you are still in high school and actually have a bank account with a balance, you are on the right track. You will really appreciate the lessons you are learning now when you get older. The transition from childhood to independent adult will be much easier for you than it will be for your buddy as your standard of living will pretty much remain the same. His standard of living, on the other hand, will most likely change dramatically. The parental money pool usually dries up after college. You are learning discipline that will help you survive on your own later in life.

As far as buying online versus from a local shop, I would say that you will reach a point in your life someday when you'll realize the value of your local bikeshop and start giving them your business. But for now, buy online and build that savings account. A lot of bike shops out there are worthless, but eventually you will come across one that's run by true cycling enthusiasts that want nothing more than to see cycling grow and make a little money in the process. These are worthy of your retail business.

On a side note, I used to dumpster dive the local bike shop for old parts when I was a kid to build bikes with. There's nothing more gratifying than smoking your friends' asses on some rat bike you built out of a dumpster. Take pride in knowing that you earned your ride.