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Am I crazy?(38 posts)

Am I crazy?JetSpeed
Jun 16, 2003 10:04 AM
I know all of you are crazy about road riding and so am I, but I have a problem.

I have been riding my Specialized Carbon Epic for 10 years now and I really want to get a new bike. I still have downtube shifters and even my original Look shoes. I ride on average 100 miles a week, but they are hard challenging rides.

I test rode several new bikes, but the one that spoke to me most was a Merckx "Race" w/Chorus and Kysirum(sp?) wheels.
I tried Ultegra and Dura, but LOVED the Chours for some suprising reason. I rode a Trek 5200/5900 and liked it, but not like I loved the Merckx. That's the bike I want. Complete it's $3580 w/o the new shoes I want/need (extra $200). I'm not wealthy but,I have the money for it, but I'm having heartache parting w/that much money all at once.

I guess I'm looking to see if: 1. I'm crazy and should settle for something a bit less expensive, but not exactly what I wanted or: 2. How can you all help me rationalize this possible insane purchase.

I could really use some constructive advice/help. Thanks.
You been riding that Epic for TEN years???biknben
Jun 16, 2003 10:09 AM
Riding the same bike for ten years has saved you a ton of cash. It's about time you spent some of it. BTW: $200 for new new shoes every ten years is pocket change.

You feel better yet???
yes, you are crazy. but,JS Haiku Shop
Jun 16, 2003 10:11 AM
if you have the means and feel you've "earned" it (sounds like you have), you're *really* crazy not to do it. don't settle, for if you do, you'll always have reservations.

honestly, it sounds like you've already made the choice, and just want us to all tell you that we're crazy, too. that goes without saying.

please post pics when you get her. i'm a merckx addict.

-J
Keep the Merckx for 10 yearsDave Hickey
Jun 16, 2003 10:17 AM
$358 per year sounds like a good deal to me. A health club membership costs a lot more than that.
yupgtx
Jun 16, 2003 10:25 AM
Much easier to justify when you plan to keep it and ride it a lot. Shop around and you can probably improve on the price of that Merckx w/Chorus. Try gvhbikes.com
agreed...JS Haiku Shop
Jun 16, 2003 10:41 AM
i'd guess $3100 or $3200 delivered to your door by fedex from gvhbikes.com. not sure what the upgrade charge for ksyriums would be (over open pros w/chorus). of course i highly recommend doing business with gary hobbs.
No, but you're paying too much for what you're getting...BergMann
Jun 16, 2003 10:33 AM
Test ride a Giant TCR carbon. Best bike for the money on the market, IMO. ($1400-1500 for the frame, fork, & headset)

Although I regard Merckxs as overpriced in general, it sounds to me like you are paying too much for what you're getting.

Depending on your level of technical competence, you can save a lot of money by shopping around for parts and then building the bike yourself.

Even if you're a big believer in buying at your Local Bike Shop, or can't do your own work, you can still do some comparison shopping and then go into your LBS and lay your cards on the table. If they can't meet someone else's offer, maybe you can meet in the middle.

Here are some good places to start:
www.comparisonpricing.com - for the cost of a Campy/Shimano groups & build kits
www.qbike.com - to search for Merckx frames / dealers
www.wisecyclebuys.com - a great place to buy parts. They'll match prices, ship free of charge, and are good, honest people!
(The LBS doesn't have a monopoly on the ethical high-ground in bicycle retail!)

Good luck!
It's only money...you'll make more!(nm)merckx56
Jun 16, 2003 10:49 AM
That was one of the first questions I asked on this forumFrith
Jun 16, 2003 10:55 AM
How do you rationalize these kinds of purchases? Among the answers were:
It's easy to rationalize a purchase that benefits your health.
It's not all that much when you luck at things like golf and boating.
But what sealed the deal for me was what a poster called grzy said: "enjoy life. If you die with anything in your bank account then you f*cked up!"
could be interpreted two waysgtx
Jun 16, 2003 11:06 AM
to me grzy quote would mean don't bust your @ss working just so you can buy expensive stuff. I'd rather be cheap, buy less expensive bikes and other items, and work less/retire eailier and ride my bike more... Also, for the price of that Merckx you could buy a Surly Pacer with Ultegra, plus plane tix and spending money to ride in Italy for a few weeks...
could buy versus passionJS Haiku Shop
Jun 16, 2003 11:23 AM
second guessing is all good and fine for "rational" decisions, but this is a "passionate" issue, not a rational one. re-reading the original post, he's still riding the same bike as the last 10 years, in his original shoes.

naturally he has new bike lust--it's june. everybody on earth has new bike lust in june/july. but, this guy's ready to pull the trigger. a trip to ride in italy may last a few days/couple weeks, and the memories will last forever. but, riding a shiny new merckx may well last him 1-3 or more hours every day for 10 or more years. plus, it (probably) satisfies his bike lust, which is really the issue here.

quit drooling over the merckx and buy it. eddy would be so proud!

i've had mine for over a year, put several thousands of miles on it, taken it on rides from 5 miles to 200, kept it in the bedroom when my wife was out of town :) , and like to get some beer and stare at it when i'm not riding. and i'm buying another one. it's calling you. answer the phone!

-J
could buy versus passionJetSpeed
Jun 16, 2003 11:49 AM
All good info. folks, but after having spent several hours w/these guys asking questions and riding several bikes, how can I beat them up over internet prices?

The guy matches Colorado Cyclist prices and he can do things the internet can't. For example, initial fitting, service, and the good feeling you get knowing if there's a problem you have a good group of roadies you can go to for help. Not to mention the fact they won't dog you for not buying from them.

Maybe I should/could ask for some money off? Can't hurt-may work!??
It's worth asking themDave Hickey
Jun 16, 2003 11:54 AM
But with your track record, buying locally from an LBS you trust is going to cost you only $78/yr more.
smart thinkingtheBreeze
Jun 16, 2003 11:59 AM
I agree that building good karma with a local shop is worth paying extra. But $1k extra? A polite request to lower the price a few hundred night be received well. But don't be surprised if it's not.

My shop just let me out the door with a new bike when I put down 75% of the cost in cash. I'll pay the balance when I get my paycheck next week. Heck, they would have let me out of there for nothing. But then they know where to find me!

Think I'll go ride it. OH shock, oh horrors, it's a MOUNTIAN bike! :0

Ha, ha, I think I'll go ride it. See ya' in the dirt! ;)
everybody works for a livingJS Haiku Shop
Jun 16, 2003 12:05 PM
keeping in mind that he works for a living, so i assume do you. who would you rather have your money?
Colorado Cyclist has that bike for 2800 bucks!the bull
Jun 16, 2003 11:19 AM
PLUS YOU GET PROTON WHEELS!!!If there are still doing that deal.
GET IT AN THANK ME FOR SAVING YOU 1000 DOLLARS!
The only thing dumber than spending $3600 on a bike isbill
Jun 16, 2003 12:18 PM
spending $3,000 (or $2,800, or whatever) and still wishing you'd bought what you really wanted. That's $3,000 frigging wasted.
In the scheme of things, you can buy a killer, world-class, pro-level, there-may-be-as-good-but-there's-none-better bike for several hundreds of dollars (okay, maybe ten hundreds) more than a mid-level bike. That's the coolest.
Rock out. Get what you want.
i'm with bill. rock out, yo. nmJS Haiku Shop
Jun 16, 2003 12:23 PM
Absolutely crazyContinental
Jun 16, 2003 12:22 PM
Will riding a $3500 bike be any more enjoyable or better for you than getting a new $1500 bike? A $1500 bike is 99.9% as efficient and probably more durable than a $3500 bike.

Over the past 25 years I have made tens of decisions that saved thousands of dollars, hundreds of decisions that saved hundreds of dollars, and thousands of decisions that saved tens of dollars. I now have no debt, own a nice house free and clear, and have healthy savings and retirement accounts. I enjoy riding my $500 bike more than I would a $5000 bike. If you change your philosophy towards money you can achieve financial security and freedom.

If you think things like $3500 bikes, Rolex watches, and BMW's are the path to happiness, have at it.
If it doesn't blow your skirt up, well, then it really is nutsbill
Jun 16, 2003 12:48 PM
to spend a dollar more. But I can tell you that I've never regretted spending on something that I used as much as my bike.
It went out in bits and pieces, so I have to think about how much my Pegoretti cost. Like $3300-$3500, counting Record drivetrain, wheels, stem, bar, pedals, saddle -- everything.
It's a great bike.
Is it better than your $500 bike? Well, I don't know what you have, and maybe you have some killer used bike or something, but, you know what? Yeah, I'm pretty confident that it functions better than your bike (doesn't mean that I'm faster than you on my bike or that I'm even faster than me on your bike; but I like it more -- the excellent function gives me added pleasure). Does it function six or seven times better than yours? Well, no, however such a thing can be measured I'm sure that it doesn't. Am I glad that I spent that extra money? Hell yes. Many times over (six or seven times?) hell yes.
BTW, I have a 1991 BMW that cost maybe 10% or 15% more than some comparable vehicles but that, 13 years later, is repaying me by my not wanting to sell it 13 years later. Compare that to two or three new cars in the meantime.
In the words of the Buddha.....cdale02
Jun 16, 2003 1:00 PM
Wealth = (Your ability to satisfy your desires/Your Desires).

So there are two ways to be weathly....1)increase your ability to satisfy your desires, or 2)decrease your desires.

for me - I guess I'm somewhere in between.... I bought a used ti frame on line, built it up with new components and a spare wheel set and have a ride that I like a lot.

Now the question is....did this used/new decision cost me thousands of dollars or save me thousands....? both are true!
Let me guess, CPA?noveread
Jun 17, 2003 6:50 AM
True, sound financial advice, but some of us are a bit more passionate about our riding than to think of our bikes in terms of mere $$$. That's the way you look at yours, that's fine. If that's the way he looks at his, that's fine too. And maybe he does, that's why he asking the question.

But not me, and not so for a lot of others here as well!

I save money elsewhere. Like I take a lunch to work every day. Maybe you do to. But I consider that money saved at lunch time BIKE MONEY!

Now where is my latest performance catalog?! :)

Noveread
No, if it make YOU happy...txcross
Jun 16, 2003 1:02 PM
then go for it. When I bought my current, first and only road bike it was not because of the components or frame material. When I walked into my LBS and saw that beautiful orange frame I just smiled, it reminded me of the 10spd my dad had when I was a kid. I looked around but that orange stead just kept calling me back. I found less expensive bikes with better components, but none of them spoke to me like that orange bike did.

Now every morning I walk out and see it in the back of my truck I smile, every day at lunch when I go out to ride I smile, every weekend when I go out for a long solo ride I smile. Isn't that what riding is all about, making OURSELVES happy???
re: Am I crazy?JetSpeed
Jun 16, 2003 1:24 PM
Don't get me wrong. I HAVE looked for used bikes form friends, local bike shops, riding cluds, ebay, and this classified listing. I need a size 53, and so far, no luck on the 1-2 year old Merckx end.

If I could find a used frame I'd build it up w/all new equipment and save several hundred and I wouldn't even have posted this question--I wish . . . . . .
re: Am I crazy?xcandrew
Jun 16, 2003 2:04 PM
Consider getting Centaur parts instead of Chorus. They should feel virtually the same, and weigh an unnoticable 1/3 lb more. The parts look good. You could also save tons of money by getting a pair of standard wheels built up that weigh the same or even less than those K-wheels. (start with the light Centaur hubs, go with 15-16-15 spokes, a light rim like the Aerohead or a deeper one like the deep-V, brass nipples for reliability on those eyeletless rims...) I think the appeal of those wheels is mostly visual (though if that's the appeal for you, it might be worth it...) - though they are generally though of as well built.
Buy, buy, buy, buy, buy...mapei boy
Jun 16, 2003 2:02 PM
The bike speaks to you. It's not as if you're buying it unridden or sight-unseen, like so many cyclists unfortunately seem to do. You've felt it. You know it. Test-ride a few more bikes if you can, but don't be deterred by the penny-pinchers and naysayers. If your pocketbook can take the hit, take the plunge. Avoid the 'might have beens.'

By the way, I'm like you. I buy a bike once every ten or so years. But I make sure it's a good one. It's a good way of avoiding upgrade-itis.
That bike is practically new ...Humma Hah
Jun 16, 2003 2:10 PM
... Mine cost $90 new and is 32 years old this month.

I'm not helping, am I?

OK how 'bout if this cheapskate says the reason I ride my old thing is that it is the one bike that I'm really happy with? And if the one you would be really happy with is the Merckx, then, face it, anything under $4 grand is not really all that bad. Too much to pay for wall art, not too much to pay for a really good bike you'll adore and USE. Maybe for another 10 years? Maybe for 32?
I tell my kids..........Len J
Jun 16, 2003 2:44 PM
if you want to enjoy your inheritance,,,,,,,,come on over & look at what I just bought!

All kidding aside.....only you can decide if this purchase is crazy or not. Even though every answer to your question is very valid, remember that the advice on this post says as much about the posters as it answers your question.

What does your heart say?
Will you be depriving your family of anything they need?
Will you use it?
Does it fit?
Will it make you smile every time you look at it or not? (If Continentl bought this bike, every glance at it would remind him of what he didn't save, it wouldn't be joyful, JS on the other hand, One glance might turn an otherwise awful day into a gift. It's all what you bring to the decision!)

Me, I justify it because.....
-It makes me healthy,
-It makes me happy,
-It brings balance to my life,
-My kids are well taken care of,
-My wife likes me better after I ride (Or dislikes me when I'm not riding).
-It's a gift that I give myself (& I need to learn how to give to myself, as my daughter said when I said I felt a little guilty after I bought the bike.......Dad, it's not like you wouldn't drop everything & spend it on us if we needed something, it's about time you did something for you! What a gift)
-I can't take it with me!
-It's not like it's going to collect dust. If I average the milage I did over the last 4 years for 4 more years, it costs me less than $0.17/mile or around $3.00 per hour. What else can I do that's as good for me and this cheap (That's legal).

Trust your own instincts.

Enjoy

Len
Trade offs....Lone Gunman
Jun 16, 2003 4:25 PM
The heart and sole of the bike you want is the frame. Save a few bones by selecting a different wheelset, but put the money into the frame. You might also do some additional research on framesets by comparing geometries of Merckx to other geometries, look on the Repartocorsa.com(sp?) site. Might see something you like there, then see if GVH has it cheaper or can get it!!!
In a word, Yes.Charlie Amerique
Jun 16, 2003 7:40 PM
Think of it this way:
You can't take it with you, bike OR money,
You're not going to be out on the street because of this purchase,
You will be getting a good value/cost,
You're dead a long time so enjoy your life!

Be... no, BUY the Bike.
re: Am I crazy?JetSpeed
Jun 17, 2003 3:14 AM
Thanks again for all your replies, it's 6:30a.m., and I'm out for a 35-40 mile ride to think all this over.

I checked GVH bikes, no Merckx Race in a 53cm . . . I think I'll give him a call today and see if just maybe
he does have one in stock.

It's funny how easy it is for me to give advice like, "can't take it w/you, only live once," etc., but to listen to yourself sometimes is difficult.

The last few replies really made good sense as well as all the others.

I guess as I type this I'm thinking, "what the hell am I waiting for?" To turn 50, 60, years old THEN put on the mileage I'm doing now? I think @ 30 years old, now is the time. That way maybe at 60, I'll be in enough shape to keep riding? The other thing I'm thinking is get off this computer and go ride!

Later guys! I'll keep you posted, you keep giving me advice.
another perspectivetarwheel
Jun 17, 2003 4:59 AM
Another issue to think about, although I hate to start another frame materials war. Have you ever ridden an aluminum frame for a while? Coming from a carbon frame, the Merckx Race might feel kind of harsh. There are lots of cyclists who claim that frame material doesn't matter, that an aluminum frame can be just as comfortable as other materials. I don't believe it. I have ridden steel frames for years and bought a fairly high-end aluminum Bianchi several years ago -- my first new bike in 15 years. It lasted 6 months before I sold it and replaced it with another steel frame. Although I liked the lighter weight of the aluminum frame and didn't notice any discomfort initially, over time the additional buzz and vibration really got to me.

The reason I point this out is that the Merckx Race, as the name implies, is a racing frame. I assume it is light and very stiff. The geometry might suit you just fine, but it probably will not provide the comfort you are used to. I ride a Merckx Corsa and it's on the stiff side for a steel frame. Now, you might really like a stiff frame. However, if comfort is at all important to you, I would check out some of the lightweight steel and titanium frames available. For the amount of money you are talking about spending, you could buy a very nice custom steel bike or stock ti. If you like Merckx, the Majestic titanium is about the same price as the Race and not much heavier. The Majestic doesn't have the pretty paint job of the Race, but it is definitely the sort of frame you could ride another 10 years or more.
re: Am I crazy?ochsen
Jun 17, 2003 5:33 AM
Spend the money. Enjoy your bike. Don't look back.

Repeat every 10 years.
re: Am I crazy?mackgoo
Jun 17, 2003 5:50 AM
You could try to get what you want used, and save a ton of cash.
It's not the $3580 that you have to justify.Turtleherder
Jun 17, 2003 6:22 AM
You have found a bike that has gotten under your skin and you want to know how to justify it? The cost of the bike divided by ten years equals $358.00 per year. Big deal. you probably spend more than that a year on coffee. But the real issue is not the total cost of the bike. Because you are going to purchase some type of bike, the money you have to justify is the difference between the bike you want and the bike you think you might have to settle for. In this case what is it? A grand? Break that number down over ten years and it equals pocket change. Get the bike you really want or you will always wonder what if and regret it.
re: Am I crazy?brian n
Jun 17, 2003 6:22 AM
buy the merckx. if you don't, you will still have fun, but you will always be thinking "what if...." this is not a feeling you want when you are spending 2-3000 on any bike! besides, if you buy the merckx you will be more motivated to ride it because 1) you like it more, and 2) you will want to justify the cost.

-brian
re: Am I crazy?aliensporebomb
Jun 17, 2003 7:37 AM
Let me help.

BUY THE BIKE!

I waited four years to get the road bike I wanted due to
financial necessities (i.e. responsible adults pay bills
before buying luxuries).

In a way, the waiting made the acquisition that much
sweeter.

So just get it, okay? And post pictures when you do!
lots of people have given interesting and constructive advice...velocity
Jun 17, 2003 1:02 PM
I understand and sympathize with what you're going through. Only you can decide if the Merckx Race is the right bike and whether or not it justifies the expenditure.

I know that when I turn my current satisfactory main bike into a rain bike and purchase my big ticket dream bike, I want the one I lay BIG money on to be THE ONE, to really feel that it's worth the $$$$. But is that too much to ask of a bike? In the meantime, though, I'm enjoying riding AND dreaming about The Bike.