Probably the very first bicycle-related experience that anyone has is shock at how much bikes cost. If you hang around a bike shop long enough, you will undoubtedly hear new shoppers screaming in alarm or laughing hysterically at the prices, whereas the veteran racers and enthusiasts will merely be quietly sobbing as they hand over their wallets. Because of this, some enterprising folks make bicycle-shaped contraptions out of the very cheapest materials they can find and then sell them at much more reasonable prices in department stores.
So, the question is “Given that one has limited resources and a desire to own a bike, is it better to have a cheap bike that is heavy, prone to break, and likely to be harder to fix when it does break, or spend more money than you’ve seen together in one place since the world economy defecated on itself and then caught fire sometime in 2008?”
On the one hand, as my friend Rob from Intown Bikes asserts, surely a cheap bike is better than no bike, but what if someone buys a crap bike and then has a crap experience on it? They might decide that cycling as a whole sucks, when really they just bought a sucky bike.
This is question that one faces in other facets of life as well. Is it better to keep seeing someone who will have sex with you but is prone to saying dumb things loudly in public, or to just break up with them and hope someone better comes along? It is a question that I certainly faced with Cheryl, but she broke up with me before I came to any conclusions. Son of a bitch!
The long version is that I think each of us must decide for himself. I’ve already made my decision, which is why I am fiercely planning and scheming ways to come up with enough money to buy a racing bicycle that will cost more than my car is worth.
Yes, it is too late for me. Save yourself!