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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:51 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:01 pm
Posts: 967
Location: Downtown Los Angeles, CA
I'm a bike/gear junkie, which I always find myself searching for something new or interesting to engage in. I'm sure there are quite a few like me on this board. I thought building the ultimate bike would satiate the hunger, but just like a large meal, that feeling passes and the hunger begins to grow again.

The Question
So, has anyone kicked the habit and found peace with one bike? Or, even more boldly, has anyone downgraded and stayed content?

My story
As of late, I'm sitting here with an aero bike, a light bike and a "beater" bike, trying to decide which way I want to thin out the heard. The beater bike, the Fuji Altamira, is the most curious of the bunch since it was acquired for less than $1K USD (second hand) with Rival 22 and is a really good bike in almost every regard: it handles well, is stiff in all the right places, no comfort issues on 80+ mile rides, has room for probably 30mm tires, is sub UCI legal, shifts perfectly and I have little concern about crashing it...it just lacks the cache (and is appreciably less aero than the aero bike).

The Cervelo is the uber bike, but it's also uber expensive and semi-irreplaceable. I adore it but should I crash it, I'm not finding another R5ca frameset in my size any time soon. I won't travel with it and I'll skip certain races on it because of concern for wrecking it. It's also many multitudes more expensive than the cheap bike but probably only 5% better.

On to the aero bike. This was supposed to be my do it all bike since it's comfortable, stiff and aero but something about it I don't like. I think the bars are too stiff, it's not as aero as I was hoping (at least over the R5ca) and it's not as nimble as the Cervelo. I also feel like it's a trend item that will look outdated in a year or two. Bikes are a poor allocation of cash but this has to be king of them all.

The sensible part of me suggests getting rid of them all, liquidating about a new car's worth of used bike parts and being happy with the Fuji (or replace the Fuji with an R3 since used R3 frames are cheap and should provide a very similar ride to the R5ca), but I feel like I know how that story ends...6 months down the road I'm looking for another build. I think the Litespeeds are the closest I have ever come to being fully content with a bike. A T1SL would probably be THAT bike but at $4K is a little too much in my opinion, plus I'd have to resist the urge to kit it out with a THM fork, and WW kit.

This is not a which bike should I keep thread. Just curious who else goes through these periods of thought and what gets you through them? What's your bike addiction story?

_________________
Current Stable:
The Race Machine | The Romantic | The Other One

The Ex's:
Litespeed Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | Litespeed Xicon: 5.76kg | Colnago C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg


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Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:51 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 6:44 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:04 pm
Posts: 100
I go through the should I keep it or sell it based off of how much I ride it, and I go through that a lot. My current stable includes a 2014 Felt AR, 2003 Seven Alta, 2011 Felt DA, and an Open U.P. I find that racing is my real issue, as I am always chasing speed on the DA and constantly trying to upgrade bits when I know I'm only buying seconds and I really should focus on working to get my power back up. Racing also led me to go from the Seven to a Felt FC and subsequently to the AR. The AR really is an awesome bike that is comfortable, fast, and a serious corner carver. The Seven, like your R5ca, is the "light" bike that just looks cool to have in my stable. I enjoy riding it, but due to the Felt Aero Road being so good I rarely log the miles on it anymore and tend to want to sell it. The DA, as you can imagine, is a bit of a dust collector and a single purposed machine, but it finds a place on the trainer.

What gets me through the sell or keep decision is the regret factor. I could most easily part with the Seven, but it's a bike that has been with me for a long time and the material really means it can evolve with my style/needs. The Felt Aero Road is collecting dust as a frame-set at the moment, as I pirated the cockpit for the UP after a crash at Nats left the Di2 render useless; however, the qualities I described above ensure that it will not be going anywhere and will get built back up once the cycling fund is recovered from the UP. The DA is a machine that is unique in that it allows me to hit my positional numbers, which would be almost impossible to hit on any other Time Trial bike. Add that to the fact I'm really not giving up too much time on it and it would be a very expensive setup to replace if I got the itch to Time Trial again. The UP is a silly fun and capable bike. I really don't mind just cruising on it and love the plush ride of the fat tires. It rounds out my stable nicely and provides me with lots of opportunities to diversify my riding/racing portfolio.

So how do I cope? I look away when I want to buy new/replace and realize that what I have is really just perfect for me. The desire to thin the herd is handled by knowing I will miss the rig once it's gone and cost me much more to replace than the sale will net me. But really, I could never just pick one bike to do all my riding/racing as it would be too much of a compromise.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:01 pm
Posts: 967
Location: Downtown Los Angeles, CA
Yeah, in the past these thoughts would coincide with a decrease in mileage, and I'd begin upgrading the bike rather than focusing on training again. Although, now that I think about it, it may not be so much training time but amount of racing. If I'm training and racing every weekend, the last thing I want to be doing is messing around with a new bike.

The regret factor is what is making it hard to part with the R5ca even though the Foil could accommodate all of my needs, which would give me some latitude with the wife to pick up a TT bike for Valley of the Sun next season, something that I only need for a few races...too bad you can't rent good TT bikes. I think I need to do some freelance work for a bike mag -- I'll work for free, just gimme a steady rotation of new gear to test.

_________________
Current Stable:
The Race Machine | The Romantic | The Other One

The Ex's:
Litespeed Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | Litespeed Xicon: 5.76kg | Colnago C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:13 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:20 am
Posts: 204
I have the same issue. I justify it somewhat by saying (and believing) it keeps me interested in cycling, which is turn keeps me somewhat fit. At the same time, the purchases come in batches, and is not always good, family wise. But, I like to try new things and form my own opinions. With that said, I do make a great effort to do my research and find the best deal avail for the item targeted. That way, if I sell, I may not lose as much. Also, I am OK with buying used parts, so that helps to soften the blow.

As for your stable, I figured the Fuji was your crit/race bike, the RCa was the group ride/fast ride (but not as competitive) bike, and the Foil was something new to try out.

Either way, if you have means/ability/financial capacity to try new things, I don't see it as a problem. Some are more fortunate than others, but in the end we enjoy to ride. :beerchug:


And no, I haven't kicked the habit yet. My wife and kid keep me within the guardrails, though. :)

_________________
2014 Cannondale CAAD10 (Red/Force)
2016 Lynskey Helix Pro (Red)


Last edited by nobuseri on Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm
Posts: 637
It sounds like you should keep the R5Ca and the Fuji and call it a day. Make a mental not to stop looking for new bikes if that is a problem. I say that because it sounds like you really love the R5Ca and the Fuji offers genuine utility. I don't think selling the R5Ca just because it's rare and expensive is a great idea unless you have overstretched yourself financially and need to pay off credit cards or something.

I think it also helps to think of the R5Ca as just a tool. It's just a bike. If it breaks, it can be repaired for not a lot of money.

Definitely sell off unused parts lying around the garage. De-cluttering is good IMO.

----

I'll say that I have an addiction as well though I've reached a level where I'm pretty satisfied with what I have now. I went through 5 nice bikes to figure out that the C59 is the most awesome bike I've ever ridden. I sold all the others and the C59 is my keeper. I even think of a retro-Colnago custom paint job some day - like Zabel blue with the classic Colnago white panel decals because the C59 geometric paint job is ok and looks good but it's not drool-worthy. Some would call going through 5 high end bikes in 4 years excessive but I had a lot of fun with each one and I bought each used at a great price. It gave me a nice education being able to ride a number of bikes. And I pretty much broke even or made a few bucks when I sold them off. I figure that as long as I didn't overextend myself to do this, I'm ok.

I'm in the middle of moving and I'm still seeing a bike here and there that I want. I have to force myself to back off. Some aren't even practical - like a vintage Colnago Mexico with Super Record for $1000. I want it for irrational reasons because I know my modern bikes ride better. I just saw a Parlee gravel bike in my size on ebay. It's probably one of the highest end gravel bikes you can find so it stirs the bike lust but I have to back off and say to myself, a) I'm moving and b) do you really need a $4300 gravel bike? Probably a used Crux or cyclocross bike for a couple grand will suit me mine some day.

Anyway, I go through these mental tortures on a daily basis but you know there are worse hobbies and addictions.

_________________
Colnago C59


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:37 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:01 pm
Posts: 967
Location: Downtown Los Angeles, CA
I try my best to buy everything used and keep myself to a monthly budget/allowance for discretionary spending (since I was 18 I've never had a credit card bill that I didn't pay off in full). I can usually pick things up for 50% off MSRP. In other hobbies, it's often much cheaper to keep up the cycle since the depreciation curve is fairly mild after the first owner (e.g. camera lenses). Not so much with bikes.

Regarding my stable, that's what it was supposed to be. In the middle of aero testing still but the thought that the Fuji might be incurring a 6% drag penalty over the Foil makes me hesitant to use it for that purpose. A straight up 200m sprint could come at a couple meter penalty due to choosing the Fuji. I was staring at the wall yesterday pondering the sale of the Foil since I had previously come to the conclusion that an estimated drag of 301w vs 309w for the Cervelo/Foil wasn't worth it, but after talking to a trusted friend, he reminded me of what it'd take to improve my FTP by 3% (a lot of hard work).

The Fuji may very well be the unfortunate "charming, smart, low maintenance but fat chick" of my bike collection.

_________________
Current Stable:
The Race Machine | The Romantic | The Other One

The Ex's:
Litespeed Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | Litespeed Xicon: 5.76kg | Colnago C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:11 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:08 am
Posts: 427
Location: San Diego Ca USA
Ryan it looks like you have come to a decision, tell us more

_________________
BMC TMR01 --> viewtopic.php?f=10&t=131523&hilit=tmr01

Colnago Master X Light --> viewtopic.php?f=10&t=140479


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:30 pm
Posts: 5319
Location: Bay Area
You need to get a more interesting job or other hobbies. Riding and buying bikes should be fun. If you're so stressed out by this stuff that it's causing you mental anguish, then it's not really fun and you need to focus elsewhere to de-stress. Buying things will almost never create happiness if it doesn't already exist. Look at all the forumers that have come and gone and have bought uber expensive gear just to unload it and move out of the sport. They never truly loved it in the first place.

Sounds like you're doing what most racers do and using racing as a crutch to justify some sort of unhappiness and disorder- that it's all worth it because racing.

_________________
Don't take me too seriously. The only person that doesn't hate Froome.
Gramz
Strava


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:01 pm
Posts: 967
Location: Downtown Los Angeles, CA
I've been mulling this over for the past few weeks and finally came to a decision on my drive back from Napa with a moment of clarity. I recalled with all my other hobbies, how my collection of gear evolved. I'd start off getting my toes wet with introductory gear (Litespeed Siena with Dura Ace/Ultegra 7800), then as I'd develop a passion for the hobby, I'd go through higher and higher end gear searching for the ultimate gear. In photography, I started off with a Canon G5? then progressed on to various Micro 4/3rd cameras and then I got a Canon 5D2 (I loved that camera). I'd also reel back for a while and try to convince myself I only need something in the middle ground (in photography, a Sony P&S A6000). For cycling, that was probably me going back to a Litespeed Xicon after a Parlee Z5 Sli. Ultimately I'd want to try out the best again, which in photography meant going to a Nikon Df. For cycling, that was the C59 then the Cervelo R5ca.

The thing is, with me at least, I don't like having the most expensive gear. I can afford it but I care too much about it. By having (or testing through owning) the best gear, I get a chance to really see what I'm missing out on and then can finally settle on something a tier down and be happy with it. I no longer wonder what the best is offering that I'm missing out on. For photography, I finally settled down with a Sony A7 and a manual Canon FD lens. Total cost was around $900 and I can take beautiful, shallow DOF pictures with it that rival the Df (I actually prefer the Sony colors).

On the cycling side of things, I think I'm at the point where I no longer have that curiosity of what the best is offering. I brought my Fuji Altamira up to Napa to race Winters Road Race over the weekend to vet it out. 72 miles of racing with a steep technical descent that we'd hit multiple times would help me get a better understanding of how it performs, much more so than the previous 500 miles of group rides and such. And the result? It performed exactly how I'd want a bike to. SRAM Rival to boot. The thing is, the Fuji is 98% of the bike that the uber bikes are. It lacks a little on the compliance and finish, but it makes up in spades for being comfortable with racing it in all conditions, tossing it in the back of the car and traveling with it. I'm going to spend some more time on the Scott Foil with different bars to see if maybe that should be the bike that I settle on, so at least I'm getting something that is technically advance. On the other hand, I don't know if I care about a 3% advantage anymore. I got gapped on the final few hundred meters of the climb on the last lap of Winters yo-yoing between 300w and 600w. It wasn't 3% that was my problem.

_________________
Current Stable:
The Race Machine | The Romantic | The Other One

The Ex's:
Litespeed Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | Litespeed Xicon: 5.76kg | Colnago C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:05 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:01 pm
Posts: 967
Location: Downtown Los Angeles, CA
@KWalker, I think you're taking this a little more serious than it was intended. This was supposed to be a light-hearted thread about our gear addiction. In photography and firearms, it's openly touted and referred to as GAS (Gear Addiction Syndrome) which in itself is making a light hearted joke about what we do. Going straight to mental anguish and being unhappy...common.

_________________
Current Stable:
The Race Machine | The Romantic | The Other One

The Ex's:
Litespeed Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | Litespeed Xicon: 5.76kg | Colnago C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:33 pm 
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Resident Pro

Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 9:42 pm
Posts: 2263
the only cure i find is just riding. if you have too much time on your hands, then you start to think of getting a new bike or replacing parts even if your current parts are fine.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:07 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm
Posts: 637
I reached the pinnacle of cycling gear once in the 90s when I got my Litespeed Classic with full Record. That was about as high end as you could get then ($2500 frame + top group). It was nice but it also burst the gear lust bubble somewhat because it didn't transform my cycling in any way.

Now, I'm a Campy Chorus guy. You get 99.8% of Super Record performance for $1000 less. I had been wanting to try a Colnago for ever. I probably would have bought a CX Zero Evo and been very satisfied had I ridden one but the C59 deal came along so I'm thrilled with it. I look at $2500 sets of wheels and think that it is a marketing joke played on the average joe. Zipp says I'll be 40 seconds faster over a 40Km TT @ 30mph. For my riding 40 seconds over that distance is meaningless. I'd rather have a nice $500 aluminum wheelset and the $2000 in my pocket and not worry about special brake pads, wet riding, or overheating issues. I think they look cool and hats off to those that need those 40 seconds.

I still love the gear but I also need to be realistic with regards to my cycling. I'm not riding the Tour nor even the local district championship race. I'd love to try a full aero Madone to see for myself if it makes much difference but not enough to drop $8-12K on it. Maybe my next bike will be an aero wonder after prices have plummeted?

_________________
Colnago C59


Last edited by AJS914 on Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:10 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 2:08 am
Posts: 427
Location: San Diego Ca USA
Ive always liked this.....

We buy things we don't need, with money we don't have, to impress people we don't know

Not that this is the case with you Ryan, but it is how most people live.

With advertising bombarding us from every direction that we need the latest products its no wonder we crave them.

I like to buy stuff 2nd hand at 70-80% off, but its still clear I don't need it when I get dropped by an old guy on an bike from the 80s with his shallow wheels, gatorskin tires, baggy kit, non aero helmet and backing enuf tools and spares to rebuild a bike on the side of the road.

_________________
BMC TMR01 --> viewtopic.php?f=10&t=131523&hilit=tmr01

Colnago Master X Light --> viewtopic.php?f=10&t=140479


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:30 pm
Posts: 5319
Location: Bay Area
@RyanH- which field were you in at Winters.

I like having a combo of bling and effectiveness depending on the task. It's fun building up a bike with goals, but it's too easy and tempting to sacrifice build goals because of what we are told and we think we need. I commonly do this with wheels and had some remorse when I realized that the Expert level Tarmac I was borrowing was lighter than my S-Works and felt the same.

_________________
Don't take me too seriously. The only person that doesn't hate Froome.
Gramz
Strava


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:14 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:01 pm
Posts: 967
Location: Downtown Los Angeles, CA
Cat 3. Our road racing season in SoCal ended in April so my top end fitness hasn't been there (although, my entire 2016 season didn't go as planned since I had to put cycling on the backburner Dec through April as work became an overwhelming priority). Lately, I've been doing a lot of Z3 work so I wanted to use this race as a barometer for how my endurance was doing. Putzing around at 18-20 mph then going anaerobic for the climbing section, repeat 3x, probably wasn't a good approximation of that. I think my endurance, which I used to lack, is pretty good, I just need to get my 5 min and 10 minute power back up to where it was in the previous seasons. Regardless, the course was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the race a lot. I'd love to come back up for it next year.

@KarlC, yeah, I like that phrase as well, although it's a little sad since it describes the American culture so well.

_________________
Current Stable:
The Race Machine | The Romantic | The Other One

The Ex's:
Litespeed Siena: 6.21kg | Parlee Z5 SLi: 5.9kg | Litespeed Xicon: 5.76kg | Colnago C59: 5.7kg | Cervelo R5ca: 5.09kg


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Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:14 pm 


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