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until a week ago i knew nothing about bike tech and now i find myself asking 'mtb qr skewer / stunt pegs compatability?' many / most of the posts in the  road.cc forum are tech related in an obscure way which everyday folk wd find impossible to understand.  and yet many of these people will ride bikes. so is there a bike hierarchy in which geek cyclists exist separately from the majority of regular cyclists and how does that manifest itself for each group? the separation of groups, as well as being based on levels of involvement and knowledge, wd also seem to be based on income. biking can be an expensive, socially exclusive business. £1300 wheel set anyone? while i'm on the road for £45.

 

in a related way you cd also surmise that there is a kind of class war going on between many drivers and bikers. some drivers seem to be just plain hostile to cyclists even when theyre not on the road like a kind of 2 wheel racism. young to middle aged chavs wd seem to be the main culprits. it doesnt seem to me to be just about drivers thinking cyclists badly affect traffic it's also about their perceptioons of people who cycle and of themselves. if theyre a white van man a cabbie a truck driver or a twenty something chav who loves his motor they will be aggressive petrol heads who dislike cyclists for their perceived wimpy middleclass green agenda. it's class war.

17 comments

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redrobot [24 posts] 1 week ago
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a related question - what percent of biking kit is a markup for elitist consumerism? i mean if you pay £100 for a jacket that cost £5 to make is £50 of the profit made on the exclusivity factor? make a few and sell them expensive rather than pile em high and sell em cheap. it seems to me that cycling is a leisure interest significantly aimed at the affluent who like paying for expensive things other people cant have.

 

let's do a quick survey - how much have you spent on cycling kit in the last 3 years?

 

 

 

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hawkinspeter [3598 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes

.

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redrobot [24 posts] 1 week ago
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i'm not a communist in any historical sense. stalinism was bad, post stalinism was bad, pre stalinism was bad. i can still point out the evils of consumerism. affluent commuter belt types tearing round the countryside on £3k bikes at the weekend doesnt seem right somehow. the athleticism / eco statement etc is fine. the economics, not.

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Dingaling [89 posts] 1 week ago
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Bike kit in the broadest sense? Bikes, tools, accessories, clothes - I've just done a quick check - €18450.

 

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ktache [1575 posts] 1 week ago
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I'm hoping your LBS had a proportion of that?

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Dingaling [89 posts] 1 week ago
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Not really because the LBS's main business is ebikes. I had to go much further afield for the Colnago C60. The latest addition, Genesis gravel/tourer was closer to home but the BS owner made such a cockup on the build I wish I had done it all myself. But, in fact, most of the money (75%) did go to two bike shops. Beyond that I do all my shopping on-line and do my own maintenance.

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Mungecrundle [1447 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

I average out spending around £1000 a year on cycling. Cycles, maintenance, parts, clothing, club membership. Every 10 years or so I buy a really good bicycle. My current bestie stands me at over £6.5k, but I look after them meticulously and each of my bicycles are as good or better as the day they rolled out of the bike shop.

For my £1000 a year I get transport to work, exercise and on Sundays I get to dress like I know what I'm doing, lycra and all. As for technical, well I do understand how to strip and maintain most of the parts that come on my bikes, but my main concern is that they are shiny and in good working order. I couldn't explain the difference between a BB30 bottom bracket and a BB8 astrodroid but I appreciate that there are "geeks" out there who have an encyclopedic knowledge of bicycle stuff and that they are generous enough to share that wisdom for free on internet forums, always happy to help out with any technical question.

Don't get hung up on the cost of clothing. Sticker price isn't what most people pay. I have some nice Castelli stuff, but when it is last year's unfashionable end of line discounted stock and Tesco's are offering 3 for 1 clubcard points for EvansCycles it would be rude not to. For the most part expensive kit is at least partly expensive because it is good unlike a lot of fashion clothing.

Pleased to hear that you are on the road for £45. Many cyclists started out on the cheap. My first proper bike was £5 from the local tip. Now I can afford better and I'm not jealous of those who can afford to spend more. One of the things you will learn is that no matter what you think someone might be like because of what they drive, ride or how they dress, how rich or poor they are, for the most part they will be decent people and as a cyclist you are probably more likely to have someone stop and offer help if you need it. Cycling is one of the most inclusive activities available, it is most certainly not the preserve of the "middle class" even though I am most distressingly the stereotypical one of those at this stage of my life.

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Zigster [28 posts] 1 week ago
4 likes
redrobot wrote:

i'm not a communist in any historical sense. stalinism was bad, post stalinism was bad, pre stalinism was bad. i can still point out the evils of consumerism. affluent commuter belt types tearing round the countryside on £3k bikes at the weekend doesnt seem right somehow. the athleticism / eco statement etc is fine. the economics, not.

Why pick on cycling? People spend 10x that on cars without blinking. So why does a £3k bike get your goat but a £30k car not?

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Griff500 [364 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes
redrobot wrote:

i'm not a communist in any historical sense. stalinism was bad, post stalinism was bad, pre stalinism was bad. i can still point out the evils of consumerism. affluent commuter belt types tearing round the countryside on £3k bikes at the weekend doesnt seem right somehow. the athleticism / eco statement etc is fine. the economics, not.

Who the he££ do you think you are judging people by how they spend their hard earned cash? My £3k bike does 5000 miles per year and will still be going at 10 years old.  During that time the average golfer will spend £10k on membership fees alone.  

And don't give us the crap about equality - your average teenager from a working class background these days is equipped with a £600 iphone, plus contract, and subject to replacement every couple of years, not to mention £80 a pop trainers - because that is the choice their family make. 

I choose not to spend £120 per month on Sky TV subscription, I choose not to buy the latest ultra HD ZLED TV, I no longer go to music concerts at £60 plus per ticket, I choose not to take beach holidays, I choose not to burn money smoking, and I am writing this on a 10 year old laptop that cost me £300.  What gives you the right to question my spending choices?

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fukawitribe [2822 posts] 1 week ago
1 like

Just ignore it.

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hirsute [821 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

And the cost of renting a car for 2 or 3 years is ?

"Over £30 billion in new credit was issued by auto finance dealers in 2016 alone"

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BehindTheBikesheds [3156 posts] 1 week ago
2 likes

"tearing around" eh, unlike the millions of £20,000 plus motors that tear around the  country killing and maiming.

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Xenophon2 [40 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes

Ballpark figure I spend about 3.5-4 k Euro/year on cycling (bike, gear, clothing, maintenance...) and recover something like 1.6k from that (employer pays 0.23 EUR/km for the commute).  But -not that any justification is required, the cash is mine to spend and I pay the equivalent of a nice Mercedes in taxes every year- I don't own a car.

My neighbour rides a 12k Euro bike but only during the weekends provided the weather is just right (neither too hot nor cold, not too much wind, no rain or -god forbid- snow or sleet).  He spends more time researching the latest Meilenstein wheelset than riding his bike.  I say more power to him and I hope he enjoys his rides, just like I hope that the 22 year old fitness maniac living down the road who can whip my arse on his 400 Euro clunker enjoys his.  

 

 

 

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Municipal Waste [262 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes

I spend my entire salary on cycling, including not eating and living in a tree.

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hawkinspeter [3598 posts] 1 week ago
4 likes
Municipal Waste wrote:

I spend my entire salary on cycling, including not eating and living in a tree.

You'd be surprised how much free food you can find on the ground around trees. The only problem is how to keep a stockpile of it safe to see you through the winter.

 

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CygnusX1 [1145 posts] 1 week ago
3 likes

One thing redrobot missed on his other forum post/rant about the content on road.cc was the amount of bloody squirrels! Little feckers.

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OldRidgeback [3139 posts] 1 week ago
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I've had cheap bikes in the past. We still have a couple in the family fleet. I'm not sure how much I spend on cycling/year, but what with BC membership, club membership and race fees on top of maintenance (plus a new race bike for my son), it'll all add up. 

You can buy a decent bike secondhand for not much money. It doesn't have to cost the earth.