As I mentioned a couple of posts back, a little while ago, I’ve signed up to do the BHF cycle ride from London to Brighton.
So, I’ve been looking around for a new bike.
I’ve actually got one in the garage, that has been there a while. It’s an old road bike that my mate Danny gave me a while back. The frame had sat in his fir tree for a number of years and he had a couple of very rusty wheels tucked behind the garage. The rest of the bits – crank; pedals; various bits of gearing; inner tubes; etc, he gave to me in an old Tesco carrier bag. It was – in essence – a bike in a bag. With some bits missing.
I decided I would do it up, but it was obvious from the outset that it would need some money spending on it. The tyres had all but perished; the wheels were rusted beyond what any metal polish could fix; the brakes needed completely replacing and the mould on the saddle wouldn’t come out no matter how hard I scrubbed.
The first thing I bought for it was a new chain. I was surprised at how expensive it was (only two and six, in my day!), which got me to looking at how much it was going to cost to rebuild it.
Lots, was the answer. I figured it probably wouldn’t cost much more to get a new one.
And so I looked online to see how much a new one would cost. Halfords had the biggest range and prices started at about 140 to 150 quid for their Apollo range. Not too bad. 150 sovs would be about the most I’d want to pay. No point in spending too much when I don’t know for sure if my knees will hold out. It might end up spending most of it’s life in the garage. So, yep, 150 will do. No more than that.
So, during the week, once I’d made my mind up I was definitely going to get one, I checked online again, only to see that Halfords were selling a particular bike - a Carrera – for half price. It had very good reviews and at 200 pounds, was still inside my budget, because, let’s face it, we always pick a maximum price and then fully expect to pay a bit more. Don’t we? Or is that just me? Anyway, 200 quid was the absolute max that I wanted to go to. Absolute. No more.
Anyway, our local shop had fully sold out, but the Hemel store had one left in stock. I reserved it and Mrs Masher and I headed over to check it out.
We were shown to it by Megan. Resplendent in her black & gold uniform, she seemed to know her way around a bike. “Too small,” she said, as soon as I planted my ample backside on the saddle. “You need a bigger frame”. Mrs M nodded in agreement.
“Oh well, that’s that then”, I said dejectedly. “It’ll have to be the Apollo, because I’m not going to spend too much on a pushbike.”
Megan wheeled over an Apollo and I sat on it. It felt horrible. Well, not really horrible, but horrible compared to the Carrera. Not as comfy. Cheaper gears. Mrs Masher could see my disappointment. “Here’s a Carrera. It’s a bit more expensive, but just try it for size,” she said.
I tried it. I liked it. I bought it.
So much for setting myself a budget.