What’s A Bike Cost*
I was reading this post over on World Wide Cycles’ blog about the very reasonable prices you can pay for a second hand bike that’s been ridden by Lance Arstrong.
At the moment, I’m thinking about building up a tri-bike for next year. I’ve identified a carbon frame in clear lacquer, and I’m starting to sniff around for components. If I do build it, the finished article (Dead Poets’ Bikes’ project codename: Blake) will probably run to £1,200 - £1,600.
But this sort of goes against the grain - I like bikes to be fun to ride, but they should also be a cheep form of transport. The best value bikes for "utility cycling" (dreadful phrase) are second-hand ones. For something around the cost of a flat-pack piece of junk, you can get something that’s outstanding.
More importantly, if you’re new to cycling, they represent a far sounder investment. If the bike you buy isn’t quite right, you can sell it on for pretty much what you paid for it.
I’ve bought four second-hand bikes:
- 1989: Raleigh Record Sprint. £70. This bike lasted me as my only ride until about 2005, though there were about ten years in which it sat in the shed unused and unloved. I converted it to a fixed-wheel training bike in 2007. The frame finally gave up earlier this year. Price per year: £3.50!
- 2008: Wife’s bike, Lilac. £35. A lady’s bike through and through. Not quite as classy as a Pashley perhaps, but Wife loves it. Price per year: £17.50
- 2008: Pashley tandem circa 1978. £50, plus a lot of re-building - £250 total. But look - it’s a bright yellow tandem for just £250!
- 2009: Replacement frame for the fixed-wheel training bike. £35, plus £20 to paint it black. Wonder if this one will last 20 years . . . ?
So second hand bikes . . . worth the investment?
The title of this post is linked to the first joke I learned from my father:
News reports are coming in about a terrible accident betweena lorry and a tellycost.
What’s a tellycost?
About £200 for a small LCD one, or starting at about £500 for a larger plasma screen.
sorry to inflict that on you.