How to Justify Your Next Bike

09.25.2007 | 3:04 am

A Note From Fatty: My second weekly BikeRadar piece has just been published. It’s called “How to Justify Your Next Bike.” Here’s a preview:

We cyclists are simple folk. We don’t need much to keep us happy. Really, all we need are clear skies and a road or trail to make us happy.

And a helmet, of course. And gloves. And shorts with a special antimicrobial chamois insert. And form-fitting shirts. And very stiff-soled shoes, preferably Italian-made. And specialty sports drinks, with an incomprehensible combination of carbohydrates, proteins, electrolytes, and a lemon-lime flavoring that for some reason makes one think of furniture polish.

Oh, and we need bikes. More specifically, we need another bike. Always. And that means we need to pay for another bike.

Now, it’s not the paying per se that’s difficult. We can always find a way to get the money we need for bike stuff — take a second job, sell a kidney, money laundering, whatever.

What’s difficult is justifying the expense of yet another bicycle, whether it be to our wives, our parents, or to our own nagging conscience.

Sometimes we fail in our justification, and then where are we? We’re in the Purgatory of No New Bikes, that’s where we are. That’s a bad place. A bad, bad place. We should never have to be in that place.

And if you will follow the following techniques, you will never be in that place again.

Click here to continue reading “How to Justify Your Next Bike” on ….


  1. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 09.25.2007 | 3:20 am

    Ooh you big Tease. So is it a one article per week gig. So far so good. Changing the subject will we ever here if Sue had a great birthday with Fc staying home?

  2. Comment by Mike Roadie | 09.25.2007 | 3:45 am

    Justify……we don’t need no stinkin’ reasons!!!!!!!!

  3. Comment by buckythedonkey | 09.25.2007 | 3:48 am

    As one who builds my own bikes, I think that the easiest technique for getting a new bike in secret is to do so bit by bit. All that’s needed is patience and, if you’re subtle, you can get away with murder. I mean, who in my house is going to notice the Hope Mono Minis my bike is going to get for Christmas? Well, me and nobody else that’s who.

    It helps if you commit to one frame colour. Black is good.

    It sort of reminds me of prisoner of war movies where the hapless POWs shift dirt by the spoonful. Sooner or later they end up with a pukka tunnel, complete with baked bean can air con. You just need to be of a mind to play the long game…

  4. Comment by Boz | 09.25.2007 | 4:18 am

    I’m with BTD, build it piece by piece. And of course, use my old standby – the Jedi mind tricks. ” Pay no attention to the box from Colorado Cyclist “, or ” I didn’t order anything from Ebay”. Also, if the other party isn’t really into bikes and doesn’t pick up on what you ride, have it shipped to work. And use your off shore account to pay for the stuff. No wonder I sleep with one eye open.

  5. Comment by Boz | 09.25.2007 | 4:24 am

    One could also do what Doug over at MN Bike Commuter did, and sell your truck and commute fulll time in Duluth, Mn year round. He has a bunch of cool stuff, clothes, all condition bikes, clothes, and more coming all the time. He has pulled it off in fine, if not low-keyed style. Beeing a gear nut, I could write all day. So I’ll stop now.

  6. Comment by Craig | 09.25.2007 | 5:06 am

    + 2 on piece by piece. And once you get to 5 bikes or so, you can start to not even worry about the color. It is difficult to keep track by then.

  7. Pingback by » Links Of The Day: 25 September 2007 | 09.25.2007 | 6:54 am

    [...] How to Justify Your Next Bike [...]

  8. Comment by John | 09.25.2007 | 7:05 am

    I heard this from a friend I worked this a few years ago. It is so fantastic that I have only told a few people about it, as not many people could appreciate its pure, understated genius.
    Then I read the comment from Boz and realized two things:
    1. This is NOTHING compared to Jedi mind tricks; and
    2. The entire FC audience will get and embrace this.

    So my friend was a little older, had been married for a long time, raised two daughters, so I consider a page from “Marriage 901.”
    He loved bikes and weight lifting equipment, and had a garage and basement, respectively, full of nice stuff. That he really did use. The problem is obvious: how to get that perfect bike into the house.
    He put the bike on lay-a-way.
    Paid it off.
    Had the shop call the house and leave a message stating that he WON!!!!! the contest for a free bike. Yes, WON!!!!!!!!

    I write this as I am kowtow to my friend and his true genius.

  9. Comment by Miles Archer | 09.25.2007 | 7:15 am

    I guy I work with bought an expensive bike. He’s into buying the top of the line stuff in general and for his bike it’s no different. Anyway, I heard at one point his wife asked him how much it all costs.

    He said – “Would it bother you if I told you that it was $9000?”
    long pause
    “Well, it was less than half that”.

  10. Comment by JeremyJ | 09.25.2007 | 7:18 am

    As Fatty continues to write for Bike Radar – I wonder how long it will take before they remove the “Humour” designation at the beginning of his articles? Has the world gotten so controlled by lawyers that we need to preface his articles with a “Warning – the content you are about to read may result in smiling or uncontrollable laughter. Read at your own risk” statement!

  11. Comment by Miles Archer | 09.25.2007 | 7:20 am

    Rats. I just read the article and this technique is in there (kind of). Eldon, did I comment on it some other time and you embelished it, or did you think of it all by yourself?

  12. Comment by mark | 09.25.2007 | 7:42 am

    Appreciate all the tips, but my wife reads this blog, too. I’m considering the “guy from Duluth” approach–selling my truck and going bikes only. Not so much because I want new gear but because I am inspired by sans auto and also jealous of the fact that he weighs 140 pounds. I’d be content to get down to 160.

  13. Comment by Al Maviva | 09.25.2007 | 7:52 am

    Listen to you guys. Funny.

    I told her the new Zipps were a kind of frisbee. “Who’d put anything that ridiculous looking on their bike? Not me…”

    The cross bike? “It’s for commuting, mainly. And I can ride cross on it.”

    The multiple road bikes? “Well, this is my good one. It’s so nice, I’m afraid to break it. So I only train on it. The cheap bike [$1200, a third the cost of the other] is to ride in races and stuff where I crash a lot because I’m sure it’s going to get broken, and I would cry if I broke my nice bike.”

    The mountain bike – “Well, this is so I can ride off road during the winter for training. I know how nervous you get when I’m out on the road bike and there’s snow on the roads.”

    See? Perfect excuses. They work really, really well. I don’t think she has a clue what I’m up to.

    Now if I can only make some room in the bedroom for my bike clothes. Ever since I started riding, we seem to have all these jewelry boxes kicking around.

  14. Comment by Donut | 09.25.2007 | 8:17 am

    I had one of these exact arguments with my wife two weeks ago. I wanted to get a new fs mountain bike to go with our new house at the foot of the Denver area foothills. We argued for an hour, and I pointed out that I have been very supportive of her going to med school and hadn’t batted an eye at the money she had spent in doing so. She came back to me with some argument about how the money she was spending now would come back to us when she got some fancy high paying job. That was when I pulled my “how am I supposed to win any mountain bike races and bring home the beau coup bucks that come along with winning mountain bike races if I don’t even have a mountain bike!” Needless to say, I got my bike!

  15. Comment by | 09.25.2007 | 8:28 am

    Bucky: Piece by piece, eh? I like it!!
    John: HA! That might just be the greatest idea EVER! And ANY shop would do for it!
    Jeremy:That or Caution: This advice may result in divorce.
    Al: Not only do I have all of my bike clothes in the bedroom, but I have my ROAD
    BIKE in there too! *I don’t know how I did it either

  16. Comment by Canadian roadie | 09.25.2007 | 8:43 am

    I feel blessed being a woman – I can pretty much buy whatever I want and all I get is an eye roll. I think my husband’s just happy that I’m not high maintenance. Little does he know! I just told him that I need to get a mountain bike because a. it’s safer in the winter and b. I don’t want to destroy my more expensive road bike. I love appealing to male logic.

  17. Comment by cheapie | 09.25.2007 | 9:35 am

    i know that nobody here is looking for a real answer to this dilemma but my wife and i have a pretty good system. we each have a “blow” fund that had money automatically put into it every payday. if there’s money in it, i can spend it on the most ridiculously overpriced gadget i want without having to explain it. on occasion, i have gotten the, “you wasted how much on that? oh well, it’s your money.”

    the bad thing is that she occasionally uses her blow money on ridiculous items such as plane tickets for the family, curtains, furntiture, etc. kinda makes me feel bad for spending all mine on me. =(

  18. Comment by pipebaum | 09.25.2007 | 9:43 am


    I know that you don’t probably care about things like this, but…

    Congrats on having the two most commented articles on Bike Radar. They actually show that as a statistic. Your Passing Grade is numero uno with 28 comments. The Bike Upgrade is second with 7.

    Items 3, 4, & 5 have a combined seven comments. If you are not careful you are going to crash their servers with your comments.

    I get my new bike when I reach my goal weight. 15 down, 10 to go. I may resort to Fatty’s Yogurt Diet Plan to get rid of the last ten, but I will make it.

  19. Comment by Boz | 09.25.2007 | 10:36 am

    Cheapie – My wife has a blow fund – her purse, equipted w/ credit card and check book. I don’t have one, as I was told they are for women only. How on earth did you manage to get one ? Let me know.

  20. Comment by | 09.25.2007 | 11:03 am

    Pipebaum: Hey… may I suggest Sprokets Muesli that he raved about in the food section of forums. That and Matisse & Jacks’s energy bars have helped me a lot! I have a feeling you could truly eat the Muesli six or eight times a day and still drop pounds.
    The wife tells me I need to pull, like, six figures before I get another bike. Sorrow.

  21. Comment by MAJ Mike | 09.25.2007 | 12:10 pm

    Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, objects to bike purchases while luxuriating in a pool filled with nutella.

    I don’t even think they CAN.

  22. Comment by roadrash | 09.25.2007 | 4:22 pm

    I’ve used another techinique to justify a new bike purchase that is very, very risky and should only be used if all else fails… Crash your old bike, crimp a seat stay, taco both wheels…

    Note: Your spouse may be suspicious if you’re not sporting at least a few flesh wounds.

  23. Comment by IndoorRolyPoly | 09.25.2007 | 4:31 pm

    the one I like the best came from a local Radio show hear in MN

    The 48-Hour Rule or “You Had Your Chance”

    Any fellow may make up any story he wishes after 48 hours regarding the acquisition. In other words, she gets 48 hours to notice the purchase and complain. If she misses her window, you are home free.

    “This old thing,’’ you might say, when, after a week, she finally does notice, “that thing has been here since July.’’
    I unfortunately never get to the 48 hour mark to see if it really works….

    the other one I like (and have really used)

    Me “honey, I’m off to get a new seat post”
    her ” why do you need a new seat post?”
    Me “I don’t like the suspension seat post on my bike”

    hours later

    her “that’s a new bike!”
    Me “I did, It just came with all these other parts attached to it”

  24. Comment by LanterneRouge | 09.25.2007 | 5:24 pm

    Pipebaum, 2 words for you. Pink. Grapefruit. You’ll have a new bike by Thanksgiving.

  25. Comment by seth | 09.25.2007 | 5:52 pm

    A great approach is the “Health” approach. All you have to do is put down on a piece of paper two columns. One with the cost of the new ride, the other with the accumulated costs of diabetes, heart disease (and the double quadruple bypass that comes with it), obesity, hyperlipidemia, osteoarthritis, congestive heart failure, COPD, depression, death, etc…the list may go on to include what ever disease you may get by NOT riding your new bike. Present this list of the costs of the doctors visits, surgeries, medications, days lost from work, and so on to the person to be convinced and say “what do you think is better?” It’s smooth sailing from there…

  26. Comment by Born4Lycra | 09.25.2007 | 5:54 pm

    Al – the cross bike for commuting and you can ride cross on it – Brilliant! My wife would analyse the hell out of that and by the time she worked out what she thinks I really meant she would have forgotten the bike.

  27. Comment by Gordon in Melbourne | 09.25.2007 | 6:01 pm

    I found that by by calculating the cost per hour (total Kms/average speed etc) of your last bike when compared to a good restuarant/wine, then throw in the health and environment benefits helped me last time around …. but didn’t do the job fully.

    What got me over the line was sulking around like a sad puppy. My wife is a sucker for dogs (and plenty of friends reckon I look like one and my wife reckons smell like an old dog after a ride)

  28. Comment by El Animal | 09.25.2007 | 6:39 pm

    Fatty: We would leave more comments if Bike Radar fixed the comments section, tell them Fatty.

  29. Comment by fatty | 09.25.2007 | 9:13 pm

    el animal – i’ve told them. i get the sense that the people in charge of the content of Bike Radar don’t have a lot of sway with the people in charge of web development.

  30. Comment by TheLurker | 09.26.2007 | 12:25 am

    How can anyone be so unfaithful to their bike as to want to buy another? Don’t you know they have feelings? I mean that’s worse than… oh I don’t know … having an affair!

  31. Comment by Regina | 09.26.2007 | 3:22 am

    I just started riding last year, my bike buying excuse is I’m just getting my inventory up to my husbands inventory level. I have my winter road bike, my nice weather really sweet road bike, my fs mtb, and just purchased my first hardtail singlespeed mtb. He can’t complain becuase he still has more bikes than me and wants to buy even more!

  32. Comment by Ian Hopper | 09.27.2007 | 8:18 pm

    Here’s my technique: I take in lots of bike that other people are throwing away, fix them up and either sell them for cheap or give them away. My wife is now so used to seeing different bikes appear and disappear from the garage that all I have to do is camouflage the new bike with a few old beaters in need of fixing. The main problem is cooking the books.,.. cash works well.

  33. Comment by mary | 09.28.2007 | 3:28 am

    2 people in our household NOT smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day = about $6000/year. Usually that covers our bike purchases. When it doesn’t, we resort to not having cocaine habits.

  34. Comment by Gary | 09.28.2007 | 11:08 am

    I start talking about how it would be nice to have a motorcycle again…

  35. Pingback by Biking Circle - Today’s Top Blog Posts on Motorcycle - Powered by SocialRank | 10.1.2007 | 1:18 am

    [...] How to Justify Your Next Bike [...]

  36. Pingback by Biking Circle - Today’s Top Blog Posts on Motorcycle - Powered by SocialRank | 10.1.2007 | 1:18 am

    [...] How to Justify Your Next Bike [...]

  37. Pingback by Biking Circle - Today’s Top Blog Posts on Motorcycle - Powered by SocialRank | 10.1.2007 | 1:18 am

    [...] How to Justify Your Next Bike [...]

  38. Trackback by socks servers | 10.21.2007 | 10:00 pm

    socks servers

  39. Trackback by site | 10.29.2007 | 11:17 pm


    great post

  40. Trackback by Reboxetine. | 07.13.2008 | 7:05 pm



  41. Comment by Keydrick | 04.14.2011 | 11:45 am

    IIX6ML That’s way the bssetet answer so far!


Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.