Am I a bad bad person?

There's certainly an element of truth in this, that if you go for the lowest priced junk with the most features per pound, you will probably end up spending more overall than if you had gone up the quality ladder just a rung or two.
I recently bought a 1-2" micrometer, and the easy option would have been a cheapo new Chinese one as I'm only going to use it now and then, so I don't want to pay megabucks. However I bided my time until a very nice used Moore & Wright mic came up at sensible money, and bought that instead. Still in its original wooden box with adjusting tools, paperwork and it's 1" precision ground calibration disc. I'm pretty sure its pre-WW2 so over 80 years old but still better than a brand new one and its accuracy is spot-on as I recieved it. It will outlast me just like it outlasted its original owner, no doubt about it. Buy good quality, buy once.
Is it OK to admit that I now have tool envy? :blush:

There are very few more satisfying things than working with really nice tools. :okay:

Edited to add, my 1941 Singer 99k sewing machine is much the same. Even today, it's a joy to use, even though all it does is sew a straight seam. Mind you, a straight seam covers a *lot* of sewing.
 
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postman

Legendary Member
Location
,Leeds
Mrs P will agree with you.She got me second hand tarnished and broken way back in 89,she lavished care and love on me and I am still going nearly 31 years later.Things creak a little more than they did and I go a lot slower but she got a bargain.
 

CharleyFarley

Active Member
Location
Florida, USA
My foray into the cycling world began after I retired. Six or seven years ago I was thrilled to buy an aluminum framed single speed beach cruiser with a coaster brake. It didn't take me long to wish I had something with gears on it, and normal brakes. I bought a bottom of the line fat bike from a bike shop and soon began to see where it fell short. Cutting a long story short, I now have two bike shop quality bikes, both aluminum framed, a fatty and a beach cruiser with gears.

Around the same time I began to frequent a bike forum where it seemed to be necessary to keep up with the Joneses. Then came a cycling mag which only made me feel like a pauper. How was I ever to be like the big guys? Why did I want to be like them? Then slowly I began to see that much of what I was reading was B.S. probably from guys who did more bragging than riding.

I'm glad to keep things simple. My only electronic purchase apart from lights was a bike computer, just the simple kind that doesn't have street maps. I'm sure some of the elite cyclists would scorn my rides but I'm happy with them, and I have no ambition about buying better bikes. They ride very well, and I've modified them a bit but nothing expensive. And as for cyclings mags, they're a thing of the past. In all things learn to be content, then you won't have to look for happiness.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
Is it OK to admit that I now have tool envy? :blush:
There are very few more satisfying things than working with really nice tools. :okay:

Edited to add, my 1941 Singer 99k sewing machine is much the same. Even today, it's a joy to use, even though all it does is sew a straight seam. Mind you, a straight seam covers a *lot* of sewing.
Its OK to 'fess up to tool envy, I really appreciate the decent stuff even though I often use cheaper tools if they're getting left in vehicles etc. I'm of the opinion the best British stuff was made from the early years of the 20th century up until the end of the 60's or maybe just a bit later.
Good tools were never cheap, but they were made properly to last a lifetime. Pride of place in my tool shed, when I finally get it properly organised & set up, will be a 1954-ish Myford Super 7 centre lathe. It cost me almost as much used as a new cheap & nasty modern Chinese machine, but you can't compare the two. Pretty much the Gold standard for hobbyist engineers or small scale machine shop use for decades. Made in Nottingham, just like Raleigh bikes, and also outlasted their makers factory too.
 
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Its OK to 'fess up to tool envy, I really appreciate the decent stuff even though I often use cheaper tools if they're getting left in vehicles etc. I'm of the opinion the best British stuff was made from the early years of the 20th century up until the end of the 60's or maybe just a bit later.
Good tools were never cheap, but they were made properly to last a lifetime. Pride of place in my tool shed, when I finally get it properly organised & set up, will be a 1954-ish Myford Super 7 centre lathe. It cost me almost as much used as new a cheap & nasty modern Chinese machine, but you can't compare the two. Pretty much the Gold standard for hobbyist engineers or small scale machine shop use for decades. Made in Nottingham, just like Raleigh bikes, and also outlasted their makers factory too.
Oh, I totally get the "use cheaper tools in the possible presence of sticky fingers thing"

Outside of that, though... It's the same with camera lenses - good glass isn't cheap, but it does stand the test of time. The youngest of my lenses is approaching 20 years old and is still pin sharp. Most of my glass is pro quality, but the one lens where I did compromise was on a 300 2.8. I couldn't justify dropping the money on the Canon version * for something that would get the least use out of all my glass, so I bought a secondhand Sigma off a colleague who upgraded. It's nowhere near as good, but it's good to have it when I *do* need it.

* I also couldn't hand hold it, as it was simply too big and heavy... :blush:
 

SkipdiverJohn

Veteran
Location
London
Are you doing your photography purely as a hobby though, or is it part of earning a living? I'm afraid my snapping is just mobile phone quality, and instamatic back in the days of analogue & film. I'm no David Bailey! :laugh:
I do appreciate others good 35mm photos though, especially pin sharp black & white. For some reason they always seem far more atmospheric to me than colour.
 
Are you doing your photography purely as a hobby though, or is it part of earning a living? I'm afraid my snapping is just mobile phone quality, and instamatic back in the days of analogue & film. I'm no David Bailey! :laugh:
I do appreciate others good 35mm photos though, especially pin sharp black & white. For some reason they always seem far more atmospheric to me than colour.
The latter, though these days it's very much the former. :blush:
 
There's no shame in buying second hand. I've picked up many a bargain from charity shops / boot sales etc.

I go yellow stickering. That's very much sharpen the elbows and leave the dignity at the door. :laugh:
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
just sheer simplicity, not having to frett about stuff that i feel I don't need for cycling pleasure,
A bike is a complicated machine. If you want simplicity, you should walk. But for cycling pleasure you really do need a bike.

So you need to draw an arbitrary line in the sand that is your benchmark for simplicity, and say "This is complicated enough, it's the sweet spot, beyond that is too complicated". Where do you draw it? Pneumatic tyres? Fixed wheel? Gears? Cotter pins? Indexed gears? GPS? and so on. It's just a matter of personal taste.

Probably most people set their benchmark for a "simple bike" at the level of the first bike that really got them in to cycling. They can then spend the rest of their lives bellyaching about new-fangled rubbish, with the spurious cover that they are not luddites blindly dismissing things that they have never tried or can't afford, old men yelling at clouds, but are in fact searchers for zen like simplicity.

For me the sweet spot for simplicity happens to be - purely by chance ;) - the same as my first serious bike: a 70s 10 speed steel bike with friction shifters. A fixed gear or single speed is too hair-shirt. Hub gear too limiting. Indexing is an unnecessary frippery. Cotter pins may be simple but a cotterless setup is much better. The gooseneck stem is infinitely adjustable, no fiddling with spacers. All bearings can be easily serviced. No one needs more than 5 speeds on a freewheel block. Navigation can be done by writing down a planned route on a bit of paper and carrying a map. Low gears are for wimps. Toe straps are sexy. No one really needs brakes that work particularly well. I rode one for thousands of miles and it never did me any harm. If it was good enough for Eddy Merckx ...

Of course, I don't ride a bike like that. I've got one and it's a bit crap. I ride a nice modern bike with 105 R7000 because it's much better. Even if it falls a bit short in the zen-like stakes.
 
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OP
Blue Hills
Location
London
A bike is a complicated machine. If you want simplicity, you should walk. But for cycling pleasure you really do need a bike.

So you need to draw an arbitrary line in the sand that is your benchmark for simplicity, and say "This is complicated enough, it's the sweet spot, beyond that is too complicated". Where do you draw it? Pneumatic tyres? Fixed wheel? Gears? Cotter pins? Indexed gears? GPS? and so on. It's just a matter of personal taste.

Probably most people set their benchmark for a "simple bike" at the level of the first bike that really got them in to cycling. They can then spend the rest of their lives bellyaching about new-fangled rubbish, with the spurious cover that they are not luddites blindly dismissing things that they have never tried or can't afford, old men yelling at clouds, but are in fact searchers for zen like simplicity.

For me the sweet spot for simplicity happens to be - purely by chance ;) - the same as my first serious bike: a 70s 10 speed steel bike with friction shifters. A fixed gear or single speed is too hair-shirt. Hub gear too limiting. Indexing is an unnecessary frippery. Cotter pins may be simple but a cotterless setup is much better. The gooseneck stem is infinitely adjustable, no fiddling with spacers. All bearings can be easily serviced. No one needs more than 5 speeds on a freewheel block. Navigation can be done by writing down a planned route on a bit of paper and carrying a map. Low gears are for wimps. Toe straps are sexy. No one really needs brakes that work particularly well. I rode one for thousands of miles and it never did me any harm. If it was good enough for Eddy Merckx ...

Of course, I don't ride a bike like that. I've got one and it's a bit crap. I ride a nice modern bike with 105 R7000 because it's much better. Even if it falls a bit short in the zen-like stakes.
mm - i fear you are after an argument mr dogtrousers or dissing me as an old git shouting at clouds. I assure you that I have tried a fair few more "advanced" options since I got into cycling. Suspension hub anyone?

I also disagree with you in that I don't think bikes complicated - they are essentially very simple - or can be. If I can sort mine on the kitchen floor they must be.

Now your walking for instance - that is complicated - take a look at the ankle, the knee, all those tendons etc etc. Doesn't bear thinking about. Self surgery not a realistic proposition.
 

Lovacott

Über Member
I have spent a lifetime repairing mechanical things and a well maintained normal gear system just works, with no battery, remembering to charge etc involved, Di2 you press a button it changes gear, I move a lever it changes gear.
+1.

I grew up with non indexed downtube levers where you could fine tune your gearing in real time and there was no such thing as indexing your gears.

If I were going to upgrade my current gears, I'd go back in time to downtube levers.
 
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