Thursday, December 30, 2010

Saving Up for Bikes

Hubby and I hit up the local bike shop yesterday to check out some options.  The sales guy was super helpful and I not only learned a ton, but have a good idea of what we need.

See, we recently lost a car in an accident (long story, not my fault, overpass still destroyed the car, only liability insurance).  So we had to suddenly evaluate our car situation.  There is no way we could add another loan payment to our monthly obligations.  Second, we're tired of getting used cars that don't last long or come with hidden problems.

Luckily enough, we're in a position to only need one car right now.  Though Mike will be starting up classes, they're either at night or on the weekend.  Second, we live right on a bike trail, which not only goes downtown where Jennie works, but literally right behind her building.

So bikes it is (with careful planning until then so Mike isn't stuck home every day...).

Like most people, we've gone the cheap route on Wally World bikes.  Twice.  I estimate we've probably spent $500 on bikes in the past 8 years.  Cheap bikes are exactly that: cheap.  They'd break, be uncomfortable, or be easy to abandon.  Which I shamefully admit we have done.  Long-term planning + college students ... well, you get the picture.

So this time around, I want a serious bike.  Which also means a serious pricetag.  I want something that will get me to work, get me exercising, and provide something Mike and I can do together.   

Based on the models we looked at, we're looking at spending approximately $900 on 2 new bikes.

Trek 7100 Hybrid Bike Path Bike: $420 (ish) + tax

That's a cheap used car! 

But I have to tell myself, these ARE in place of a cheap used car.  This equipment is promoting entertainment, health, and environmentalism all in one.  That's a good combo for nouveau hippies like us :)

So to purchase these bikes circa April, when I'm hoping the snow will melt, we have to squirrel away around $225 a month into savings.  Sigh, particularly when we've been averaging $60 a month, and that in itself has been steep. 

Of course, we are going to look at some more options, particularly national chains like Dick's or Scheel's.  A friend also suggested checking out pawn stores, which is a fantastic idea.

Regardless of getting the money together, I am excited about this venture.  It's perfect in so many ways.  And the best part: we've both resolved to not buy a second car until we can do so upfront, no loan, gently used. 

Any other suggestions for getting a good bike?


  1. You could try checking out classified ads, or try placing an ad yourself with a price range for the bike you are looking for.

  2. You need to make sure that the bike fits or you will not be happy or comfortable. I think a used bike is fine, but you may want to see if you can take it in to the bike shop to see how much to fix it up. For example I have a really nice Trek but it needs about 350 worth of work. Now the question is it worth fixing it up? I decided to go for a new bike...turns out they have made a lot of changes since I bought that bike..changed the gear shifter to a handier place, I think improvement in the quality of the parts, lighter , etc. But...I still wouldn't rule out a used bike...sometimes people buy bikes cause they are going to "get in shape" then it turns out they don't use them etc... So that bike may not have hardly been riden..but like I said in the beginning they need to be your size if they had the bike properly sized.

  3. @ d'Artagnan: great ideas and prompts me to start trolling CraigsList, which should have been an obvious option

    @ Micalea: thanks for the pointers! "Barely used" would be fantastic :)