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How to justify a new (expensive) mountain bike…

 First, Ralph’s approach:

   Oh, this one is easy.....

  Those fabulously expensive, well build, safety oriented, mechanically advantaged machines are of course NOT for the young and strong. Obviously, saved ounces, optimized leverage systems, riding stability, smoothness of ride and consistency of performance are all wasted on the young and strong...But that is just the higher level of understanding way to think of it. If you need pure mathematical justification to back-up the above theorem, here it is below.

   Percentages of improvement for the young and strong measure out to MUCH less quantity than those SAME percentages for the "older, more experienced" rider....

    So some young stud can improve his performance 10%. Let's take Hurkey Creek for example: Young strong fools who have no worry  about future fatherhood can do the course in 50 minutes (some faster, but let's use this as a measure). Let's say that they can improve 10% through better technology. That means they save 5 MINTUES...

   Now, let's say a more "life experienced, conservatively cautious" rider navigates the course at an average of 75 minutes. Now let's say that we use the same measure of a 10% improvement. (It could justifiably be even more, but just for the sake of argument let's use 10%). That means the more "life experienced" rider reduces the precious commodity of time by a whopping 7.5 minutes!!! That is 50% BETTER utilization of the technology than the younger fool. I describe them as fools because as you can see, they are simply WASTING their money when purchasing these well designed vehicles.!!!! In fact, there is an argument to be made for NOT ALLOWING anyone under 35 from spending more than $1,000 on a bicycle.

   There is even a BETTER and more patriotic argument for purchases such as this at this time in history to help this great country of ours. What this economy needs right now is stimulus. That's you and me going out and purchasing strong, well made "durable goods," (capital spending on durable goods is good for America!!). If it happens to be custom made here in the U.S. all the better.

   Wait, there is even more.

   If the smoothness of ride makes it easier and more likely for you to go out and keep yourself healthy. And, a higher quality product reduces the risk of injury, then your improved health will help to insure that you will NOT be a drain on this fine country's medical system. The medical system doesn't need to be wasting its money old people who don't get our and take care of themselves by staying healthy. Your "nagging" pains caused by "lesser" bikes would have the potential of taking a strong worker out of the workforce. Heck, I think that I can make a case that your purchase should be tax exempt.

   Not only that, think of your family. How do you think that it will make your kids feel if they are standing around at your funeral feeling HORRIBLE because they knew that you didn't purchase that "better machine" just so they might go to a better college. Can you imagine the guilt that they will feel? How can you be so selfish???? Come on man.... You need to really understand the ramifications of fleeting thoughts of staying on that "out of date" equipment. By having the better machine that makes sure you stay in better shape, you might even be able to put that funeral off for a few more years.

   In short, I don¹t think that you should be so selfish as to stay on that old piece of technology that you are now on. Not only is it the only LOGICAL thing to do, it is also your economic, patriotic and civil duty to get the better machine.

  ...Ralph

 Now, Jeff’s approach:

 This is easy for me, since I, the owner of 4 bikes, 2 surfboards, 3 sets of golf clubs and 2 R/C airplanes - none of which are used at a level of skill or frequency to warrant their premium price - and once the proud owner of a car that had a monthly payment that exceeded my mortgage, have on occassion, had to answer that question.   My standard responses, all of them lies, in no order of preference were:

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My super-model mistress bought it for me.

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I bought it for the kids - really!

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I bought them (it) for my wife, but they're not her size.

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I plan to go pro after I fully recover from my ___ surgery.  (specify knee for bikes and shoulder for other)

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I used to ride professionally.

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It's standard team issue.  See my name is on it right there.  (requires not only name on bike, but matching pro jersey and shaved legs)

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I won it in a raffle. Lucky huh?

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I'm a certified product tester and have to return it next week.

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My brother owns a bike shop.

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Oh this?  I've had it forever.

 Hope this helps.  ;-)