Author Topic: Establishing a budget. Can you review my list? Suggestions??  (Read 3157 times)

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Offline imemorizedpi

I have thought that rebuilding a bike from my basic touring frame, a Gary Fisher Aquila (http://i.imgur.com/Qp0E3Je.jpg), will be more affordable than buying an entirely new bike. Though, in trying to establish a budget for repairs and parts, in addition to other requirements for a tour, I'm pretty lost. Therefore, I have a few questions, and I'm wondering if you could check my list of estimates. (I apologize if this topic has been covered elsewhere - if you're willing to point me in the right direction, I'd be happy to proceed there.)

To note, I hope to tour for at least 3500 miles, though I would like to travel indefinitely.

My first question would be, where should I purchase gear? What's the most reliable and what's the most affordable? REI seems to have decent equipment, but it's not as cheap as stuff from Nashbar. Do you have any experience in dealing with either of these distributors, and would you recommend looking anywhere else??

Second, my initial budget will likely be ~$1500, and I'll receive a final paycheck from my current job after I've been on the road (another ~$700). Is this possible??

Here are my estimates...

Gloves - $25
Helmet - $50
Front Panniers - $160
Back Panniers - $180
Handlebar bag   - $60
Handlebar - Find USED
Fork   - $100
Pedals - $100
Shoes (w/ cleats) - $150
Socks - $25
Clothes - $220
Brakes & Cables - $140
Tires   - $100
Spares (chain, tubes, etc) - $25   
Saddle - $60
Shift Cables - $20
Derailleur   - $100
Rack - $45
Tools - $135
Locks - $100
Chain Lube - $8
Water (CamelBak) - $40
Food - ???
Maps - $151
(TOTAL: $1,994)

Am I close to having appropriate estimates? As you might notice, my budget is over my available funds. I'm hoping some of these costs are more on the liberal side of expectation.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Offline John Nelson

Re: Establishing a budget. Can you review my list? Suggestions??
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2013, 12:48:20 pm »
If you have time to wait for sales, you can probably do better on many items. And there is no one place to get all this stuff. Different places will have different sales on different items at different times. REI has their several times a year 20% off one full-priced item sale which I use to buy big stuff that doesn't usually go on sale. But it might take you two years to acquire stuff with one coupon at a time.

Gloves - $25 I get my summer gloves for under $10 at Performance.
Helmet - $50 I've never spent more than $35.
Front Panniers - $160
Back Panniers - $180
Handlebar bag   - $60
Handlebar - Find USED
Fork   - $100
Pedals - $100 Performance sells SPD-compatable pedals for $20 to $45.
Shoes (w/ cleats) - $150 Cleats come with the pedals, not the shoes. You can get Shimano MTB shoes for $30 to $70 at Performance. Forte brand MTB shoes can be had for even less.
Socks - $25
Clothes - $220 That may not be not enough, but it depends on what's included and what you already have.
Brakes & Cables - $140
Tires   - $100 If you get tires suitable for long-distance touring, you may need to spend a bit more.
Spares (chain, tubes, etc) - $25   The spare chain alone will probably cost you $25. Tubes about $4 each. "Etc" could cost a lot more.
Saddle - $60 Saddles are available in whatever price range you want. The Brooks B-17, favored by many but not all touring cyclists, is around $100.
Shift Cables - $20
Derailleur   - $100
Rack - $45
Tools - $135 You can spend this much on tools, but I recommend you don't take $135 worth of tools along with you on the ride. That would be way too heavy.
Locks - $100 Way, way too much. A $100 lock will be ten times too heavy. A $10 lock is as much as you want to carry.
Chain Lube - $8
Water (CamelBak) - $40
Food - ???
Maps - $151


Offline indyfabz

Re: Establishing a budget. Can you review my list? Suggestions??
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2013, 01:17:54 pm »
+1 on the pedals, shoes and cleats. E.g., My Shimano MT-33L MTB shoes were probably around $50 a few years ago. Got a disocunted paid of Shimano SPD pedals earlier this year for around $50.

Why carry a spare chain? Learn how to make temporary repairs and bring the necessary tool and extra links to do so. In all likelihood, if you start out with a new chain I don't see much of a chance of any problems. I crossed the country with 12 other people. That represented over 55,000 bike miles. Not one broken or damaged chain.

+1 on the "locks." A fairly light cable and small lock are all you need to deter oportunistic theft. And keep in mind that a u-lock doesn't come in that handy outside the urban setting. I personally think many people have an unrealistic notion of the risk of theft. When I carry a lock I find I rarely use it. During my last week+ tour (10 days) I used my lock 3 of the 7 nights I spent outside. Would have been 2, but the Missoula KOA seemed somewhat accessible to the general public.

I see a budget for fron and rear panniers but only one rack. Four panniers requires 2 racks.

Come up with a budget for clothing and things like gloves based on where and when you will be travelling. Nothern Tier in May? You are going to want/need cold/wet weather gear.

What tools are you considering? I have never toured with more than a chain tool, tire levers, spoke wrench, a set of allen wrenches and the screw driver and knife in my Swiss Arm knife.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Establishing a budget. Can you review my list? Suggestions??
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2013, 02:53:44 pm »
Front Panniers - $160 - Nashbar or Performance Waterproof often on sale for under $40
Back Panniers - $180 - Nashbar or Performance Waterproof often under $50
The above panniers have worked well for me for a coast to coast trip and some other long trips.  That said you only list one rack.  If using 4 panniers you will need 2.

Socks - $25 - I usually use Underarmor low cut poly socks 4 pairs for about $14 (the poly ones).  I take two pairs three at most.  I have found that for me they work better than cycling socks. 
Spares (chain, tubes, etc) - $25 - Chain?  Why would you ever need a spare chain unless going somewhere really remote for a long time.   
Tools - $135 - Sounds kind of high.  It varies with the bike though.  
Locks - $100 - I usually tour with a $12 lock.
Water (CamelBak) - $40 - I'd skip the camelbak

Offline DaveB

Re: Establishing a budget. Can you review my list? Suggestions??
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2013, 06:05:04 pm »
The one thing in your list that caught my attention was "Handlebar - Find USED".  NO.  Of all the things on a bike that you NEVER want to compromise, handlebars are on top of the list.  Buy good quality new ones. They aren't that expensive. 

Offline Charlie Parker

Re: Establishing a budget. Can you review my list? Suggestions??
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2013, 09:57:59 pm »
Honestly, I havent even left for my trip yet and I've already spent around $2800... but I bought about 80% of my gear from REI.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Establishing a budget. Can you review my list? Suggestions??
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2013, 08:45:36 am »
Honestly, I havent even left for my trip yet and I've already spent around $2800... but I bought about 80% of my gear from REI.

Nothing wrong with that if you like the stuff you bought and have the money.  I am tighter with the cash and bought a new bike, new panniers, some camping gear, and airline ticket to the west coast and did the Trans America including daily expenses for about that much or a bit less.  I did already own some of the camping gear and all of the clothing though.

Offline bobbys beard

Re: Establishing a budget. Can you review my list? Suggestions??
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2013, 06:42:11 pm »
agreed with most of the others, this is far more of a budget than you'll need.

tools: i always take an allen key and swiss army knife. that's it.  this is all you need to change cables, tighten nuts and bolts, service brakes and gears etc etc. 

spares: you don't need a whole chain. you can buy individual chain links that just clip on without any tools. these are great and probably cost about a dollar over there.

the rest is down to preference i guess, but you can easily cut down on most of your list without even thinking about compromising quality.

...... so you have more money to spend on champagne and caviar when you start your trip :P

Offline imemorizedpi

Re: Establishing a budget. Can you review my list? Suggestions??
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2013, 03:14:53 am »
Hey, all - thanks for the advice. The tips are definitely helpful.

First, I think one of the main causes of overestimation can be traced to the fact that I was using only REI to get an idea of the cost for different items, but, apparently, REI isn't the best place to search while on a budget. I was unaware of "Performance," which I take to be http://www.performancebike.com/ , and I suppose Nashbar will be a good place to check, too.

In the end, I'll drop the chain, some tools, make sure to get two sets of good racks (I have one, but it's old and shabby), and hit the suggested sites for cheaper panniers and clothes. Whatever I can save on these things could be put toward tires and a nice saddle :)

Seriously, thanks to everyone, again. I'll keep you updated with the progress in my planning.

Cheers!

Offline imemorizedpi

Re: Establishing a budget. Can you review my list? Suggestions??
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2013, 09:17:50 am »
By the way, these are the tools I'm considering purchasing.

Frame pump
Multi-tool equiped with allen wrenches, screwdrivers, spoke wrench, chain tool
Leatherman multi-tool (pliers, wire cutter, scissors, knife)

and maybe a mini-cassette removal tool...

Did I miss anything?

Offline John Nelson

Re: Establishing a budget. Can you review my list? Suggestions??
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2013, 09:52:31 am »
Some people swear by their Leatherman, but before you buy and carry one, ask yourself exactly what maintenance on the bike requires one. Very little to none. Yea, sure, there are some theoretical things you might do with it, but most are unlikely and you can figure out other ways to do those things.

Offline DaveB

Re: Establishing a budget. Can you review my list? Suggestions??
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2013, 04:30:59 pm »
Some people swear by their Leatherman, but before you buy and carry one, ask yourself exactly what maintenance on the bike requires one. Very little to none. Yea, sure, there are some theoretical things you might do with it, but most are unlikely and you can figure out other ways to do those things.
+1  the Leatherman and it's copies are both heavy and have a lot of unnecessary tools for bike travel.  A middle range Swiss Army Knife will have all of the useful tools (knife, small screwdriver, scissors, and even the essential corkscrew.) with much less bulk and weight.

Offline imemorizedpi

Re: Establishing a budget. Can you review my list? Suggestions??
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2013, 06:58:45 pm »
Huh, OK. Not carrying unnecessary tools within the leatherman (and not spending the extra money!) does make a good bit of sense.

Thanks for that!

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Establishing a budget. Can you review my list? Suggestions??
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2013, 01:42:41 am »
+1 on the "locks." A fairly light cable and small lock are all you need to deter opportunistic theft. And keep in mind that a u-lock doesn't come in that handy outside the urban setting.

I guess I'm the "dissenter" when it comes to locks as I bring the same locking system (U-Lock plus cable) that I do in the city. For one, it's in the same spot(s) it would be for around town riding. And because its always a part of the bike, I don't think about removing it. I realize that yeah it weighs more than a fairly light cable lock, but I'm more for peace of mind than weight reduction with this one item. It's also worth considering where exactly one is touring. Through rural areas I don't always lock my bike (or sometimes I just "hobble" it.) But my tours tend to incorporate some cities so I like that security. And it doesn't always have to be big cities, sometimes college towns are pretty notorious for bike theft (Eugene, OR for example.)

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Establishing a budget. Can you review my list? Suggestions??
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2013, 11:27:30 am »
I can recomponent a bike frame for $250.00, and some more if you are looking for new cranks and rings. I do it just about every time I do a transcontinental cycling trip. The $250.00 will get you lower level quality components. You can get brake cables and deraileur cables and housings for eight or nine dollars at Wally World that will easily get you 8000 miles depending on the number and steepness of hills for the brake cables.