Wednesday, January 23, 2008

One last post this morning. A funny story.

After discovering that I was going to need new brake pads, I had to justify the expenditure to my wife. The conversation went something like this:

"Honey? I need to spend some money on bike parts."

"What? Why? Can it wait until pay day?"

"I need to fix my brakes. I can't ride my bike the way it is. I can't stop. It's dangerous."

"How Much?"

"Cheaper than a tank of gas in the Focus and it should last me at least a year."

"Oh, okay."

In all this, though, is the lesson that you do need to set aside $50 or so on occasion for bike repairs. It sure the hell beats setting aside $600 for the random car repair. It always seems random bike failures usually result in a $40-60 expenditure, whereas random car problems end up setting people back more than $500 at a shop.

8 comments:

dvicci said...

And for most, no better reason exists for leaving the car in the garage and taking the bike out instead.

I've lamented, now and again, the expenses I've had gearing up for the winter. $25 here. $50 there. It adds up. All in all, though, it pays itself off very quickly when compared against gas prices and auto maintenance.

This is as near a perfect post as I can imagine. ;)

Apertome said...

I couldn't agree more. Every time my car needs something it's at least a couple hundred dollars. You could buy a new bike for that much!

rcraighead said...

How do you make your pads last a YEAR?! Mine never last more the 6 months.

I agree about car repairs, although since I still own a car, the repairs are still a big issue (this week's bill was $500).

Confession: I took a break and road the bus today. I was tired.

Noah said...

The pads that I pulled off were the ones that were on it at the bike shop when I bought it in November of 2006. The only way I can say they'll last a year is because this is a mountain bike and I don't use it for packing on the miles. It's a foul-weather beater and a singletrack machine only. I might take it on paved paths or on one of the slow group rides just for giggles on occasion, but this bike doesn't see nearly as many miles as my road bike does.

Doug said...

Kool-Stop salmon colored pads. That's how you make pads last a year.

One year ago I got my wife to agree to making a change in our household budget. Yes, we have a budget, we stick to it, and it works great for us. The issue, I am carless and she isn't. The problem, from my viewpoint, was that when her car needed repairs it came out of our joint household budget. But when my bike needed parts replaced or repaired, I had to pay for it out of my own pocket money. I convinced her that transportataion is transportation regardless of the mode. We renamed our automotive budget category to transportation. Now all my bike commuting related expenses and bus fares (if needed, I bicycle most days now)come out of our joint transporation expense category. Seems like a no-brainer now, but it was a major step for us.

Noah said...

We're getting there, but we don't have a strict budget right now except for what goes towards bills. Everything else is kind of mashed up and used. I'm trying to get us to a point where all forseeable expenditures are accounted for (our various vices, food, transportation, etc)

rcraighead said...

I guess the right question is "how many miles do your break pads last?" I haven't tracked that yet, but I'm guessing about 3,000 miles.

Budgeting is high on our list of priorities as well. We use a online tool called "Mvelopes".

Doug said...

I have about 7,000 miles on my current Kool Stop pads, and they're still going. That includes plenty of gritty, sloppy, winter weather and many screeching stops at the bottom of some darn steep Duluth hills.

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