Sunday, 29 December 2013

Setting out my thoughts on the blog and buying gear.

I need to start thinking about how the Budget Bike Racer blog is going to pan out over the next few months.  I don’t really want it to be a parade of highs and lows of my racing over the next year, but about giving out some opinions, advice and tips on being a budget bike racer.  And also for others to contribute and give their advice and tips.

One point I have thinking about is advertising, notably ‘adsense’ from google.  After searching and reading up on this it seems that unless you have a massive following then the revenue created isn’t worth the hassle.  So that’s been kicked into touch.

I will be posting up links to bargains on the net, not that I will be paid or ‘sponsored by these companies.  I suspect that this will be a far-far off opportunity.  However the budget bike racer has to look anywhere for cheap deals. I don’t like Ebay, I’ve been stung a few times with it, and I feel unless you know what you are looking for, be very careful.  And some of the prices can be high for what you are getting.  Better to buy from club mates or perhaps  from Facebook selling stuff  pages, that is local and you know something about the person selling.  Most club riders will offer rock bottom prices and perhaps you can pick up a ‘cheap’ Cervelo from the rich kid whose looking to ‘finance’ his new bike!

I often think that the ideal situation is to foster a balance between the internet shops and the local bike shop.  Although the LBS can be expensive compared to the ‘net, they are handy and available for those emergency buys and bike fixes.  My LBS, Jim Cycles in Bedlington, is really no more that a large shed, but I’ve known Jimmy for many years and he’s been good with me, discounting when I buy stuff, normally chains, brake blocks, tyres etc.  The budget bike racer need to be a good mechanic, fixing and repairing bikes yourself will keep you rolling a lot longer at a fraction of the cost of replacing parts.  Tinker with your bike, work out how parts go together and how to replace worn out parts.  In the long term it will save you a fortune.

I normally use Ribble Cycles, Chain Reaction cycles, Planet X and a few other internet shops.  They offer value and the budget bike racer has to look at the bargains to keep one going.  I have had a few frames from Ribble’s and I find them to be good value.  There is a lot of snobbery on the bike forums’ over the use of frames from Ribble and Planet X, but I usually enjoy racing on my Ribble sportive frame and beating folks on much more expensive bikes.  It’s the engine that’s the most important component in bike racing.  The Budget Bike Racer (BBR) can’t afford to be a snob! And stay away from ‘bike-porn’ photo’s they will just make you envious!  Contentment of your bike is a must for the BBR.

So in the coming months, I’ll be balancing my writing between my own tribulations and doling out some advice and support to the newbie budget bike racer.

And finally a quick view of the ‘garage’.  Messy and full of  bikes and junk.  One thing the BBR does not do, that is throw stuff away!

The Bargain Bucket

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