Are you having a mid-life crisis?

Wolfman

Speeding Up
Jul 31, 2007
631
18
38
Suginamiku
#1
The Guardian feature an article suggesting that middle aged men, or men between the ages of 30 and 50, who buy expensive road bikes may perhaps be in the midst of a mid-life crisis.

It says that "Expensive road bikes are replacing fast cars for men overcoming the midlife crisis" according to a consumer survey performed by Mintel.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/aug/11/midlife-crisis-bikes-cars

As I turned 35 earlier this year, this article is somewhat worrying.
 
Sep 2, 2009
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#3
This tends to be the general consensus with a lot of the bike mags and people in the bike media / retail world.

In Japan at least, cycling (road bikes especially), seem to be in a state of constant growth, despite other areas of the economy suffering badly.

Going by the sales data, the rise began in it's current form (in Japan) around the start of 2005, and has not suffered from the usual slump of interest after the honeymoon period that most sports do (apart from running) in Japan.

According to one source, there is a non-insubstantial link between this and the media's portrayal of 'Meta-Bo'.
 

trad

Maximum Pace
Dec 4, 2006
393
30
48
Tokyo
#5
being on the upper end of the age spectrum mentioned, i can say definitely yes.

In my book, its also the "smarter" mid life crisis. You blow off stress, get healthier, hang with like minded people, and it LOTS cheaper and more fun than the traditional crisis - expensive cars, boats, or cheating on your spouse with a trophy xx. Had a buddy lose about $125k USD recently when he traded in an English sports car in about 1.5 yrs. Many other similar stories during the Lehman shock. Turns out I put in far more km's on my main bike during the same period my buddy had on his car - by far. Ever talk to a buddy that sank a ton of frogs on a sail boat/yatch? Guaranteed to sink $100-$500 on each sailing. Consequences of an ill advised trophy hunt is probably 2-3x worse and goes well beyond money.

In California (Silicon Valley and So Cal), cycling is considered to be the new golf (vs mid life). Next time you are in Palo Alto/Silicon Valley - check out Page Mill road or Skyline drive at about 7 am or during lunch - HUNDREDS of cyclists - EVERY SESSION. Makes Oi Futo look tiny. Told this is happening in Boston, NY, etc...

Mid life/new golf - however its labeled, its all good .
 
Jan 14, 2007
2,514
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83
Noda
japanichiban.com
#6
Met an old friend the other day telling me about his swimming pool in Australia.
Says it has probably cost him about $1000 for every swim he's ever taken in it....

My son was complaining about how much I spent on my last bike but if you convert the mileage on the bike into gasoline not spent on the car you soon get the bike for free.

My son still doesn't buy that... will wait till he has his mid lifey and remind him.
 
#7
I don't think I'm quite trophy material, so I can't speak for everyone but someone who is fit and fast will surely impress over someone with a shiny car. That said, just having the bike isn't enough-- you have to be able to ride it to acquire hotness

(I'm not in the flagging zone yet am I ? ):p
 

Mike

Maximum Pace
Sep 24, 2007
1,066
9
58
Kanagawa
#8
Intersting post lee. Let me think about this one........

1. I'm 38 y/o and spent a wad of cash on my dream bike

2. I broke up with my girlfriend the moment I finished building up my bike coz I just didn't want anyone coming between us (me and my bike that is).

3. I often find myself drooling over it and am doing so as I type this

4. I kiss it goodnight, every night.

5. I am now completely obsessed by cycling, and my social life outside of cycling comes 2nd every time.

Mid life Crisis? You bet. Does it bother me? Not one bit. Cycling ROCKS:p
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#9
Kori.....the mouse was hovering the flag button, but as there was no mention of 30km TT's I let it slide :D

To be honest I think its nonsense. Papers are looking to put a spin on the cycling boom that they have been slating for the past 3 years.

Many reasons why people are buying bikes, economy and inner-city parking fees. Petrol prices on the rise and the fact that cars are so damn expensive. More people, especially men are becoming more informed regarding male health issues like diabetes and heart disease and doing something about it.

Then the Brits doing so well in the Olympics and the launch of the first British Pro Tour Team and the list is mirrored overseas like the US where the polarising character of Lance has encouraged many to take to the bicycle.

Finally with men being men (or boys) we love to compete and cycling not only offers that in a mechanical sense but also actually putting yourself up against 120 other riders in a race.

Like I said ...... just the British papers looking to put a stigma on something that is good.
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,512
639
133
Kanazawa
#10
My road bike is now in it's 5th season, the other one is still good and is probably in its 15th or so.

I'm 58, so I'm past all that 30-50 stuff and am just glad they're not talking about late-life crisis.
 

TimKendall

Speeding Up
Dec 28, 2009
129
0
36
Nagoya
#11
For sure it's a mid-life crisis.
Almost 20 years away from the bike, and had resorted to running 5k and 10k races... with reasonable success, but my heart was most definately elsewhere.

Didn't spend 100万 on a bike either, but that was purely becuase I was being reigned in. I certainly would have done!

Totally loving it... breathing again!
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#12
Being over 50 , I love kicking mid-life crisis ass on my p.o.s. hacked up fixed gear muletto. And when I get my ass kicked - at least I have an excuse. They don't! Gearitus just shows one thing - the person is diverting attention from that which is real ... their legs.
 

Deej

Maximum Pace
Oct 13, 2007
1,018
149
83
Setagaya
#13
Pain? Oh, I know pain.

at least I have an excuse. They don't! Gearitus just shows one thing - the person is diverting attention from that which is real ... their legs.
We get it, man. Fixed is hardcore, as Henri Desgrange would no doubt agree. But do you really think we gearheads don't suffer?

Perhaps to broaden your perspective, you should hop on a geared bike, climb Mikuni-toge and then report back telling us how easy it was to spin to the summit. ;)

Deej
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#14
Perhaps to broaden your perspective, you should hop on a geared bike, climb Mikuni-toge and then report back telling us how easy it was to spin to the summit. ;)
Or do 250km, 4,000m all-day climbing excursions, perhaps even with most of the climbing on gravel... The only thing we will not suffer from are destroyed knees.:p
 

trad

Maximum Pace
Dec 4, 2006
393
30
48
Tokyo
#15
fixed s/s is on my top 5 next buy on my mid life (aka bucket) list, but for me the legs needed to come DOWN a mountain w/o brakes after climbing is a bit more daunting. bunch of us saw it done on Wada and were simplly amazed. wouldn't be surprised if it takes nearly the same energy to come down the hill as up.. As for this mid lifer, the suffering I endure on the hills with gears is enough and I'm happy just make it to the top (hate hills) :warau:
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#16
My comment is intended more towards those who simply pose their acquisitions as conspicuous consumption. I have nothing but respect for anyone hammering up (or down) a mountain - regardless of the kit. And TCC members top the list of my respect 'props'. It will be quite some time (if at all) that I can hang on to level effort you guys put out. The kit is just the tool - not the engine.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,659
477
103
Japan
#17
Like I said ...... just the British papers looking to put a stigma on something that is good.
This. Looking at incomes, thirties and forties is when men have the most in a lot of cases. There is a very simple reason young folks don't buy high end bikes, they can't afford to. throw away newspaper spin.
 
Nov 9, 2006
303
0
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Yokohama
#18
Bikes and Mid-Life

I`m 46 and have had my present bike 10 years now. I won`t be getting a new one until circumstances render this bike inoperable - then I can justify the expense with the Finance Minister. This occured 10 years ago when my last bike was left on the pier in Saipan (I had transfered and my "buddies" forgot to bring it back aboard). This enabled me to get a better bike.:D
 
Aug 17, 2007
121
0
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Yotsuya, Tokyo
#19
Let's really hope it is MID-life...

Mid-life crisis? Maybe. I’m 43, and I can tell you that I’ve always loved the gear: Cars, road bikes, mountain bikes, scuba, back-packing, even running shoes with internal cervo motors that control stiffness (no jokes, please)! Yes, it’s always been partly about the gear for me. But I think Kiwisimon has a valid point: Before 35, I never had much disposable income, so I simply bought what I could afford - the cheap stuff. And I’ve always loved the competition, too, even when it was simply a matter of pushing myself to an extreme.

What about women? Do they have “mid life meltdowns”, or whatever the PC term is these days? And do they buy Merc station wagons, expensive designer jewelry, and screw the milkman (usually in his sixties)?

More interesting would be a canvas of personality types who buy expensive bikes. Many Type As, I’m guessing.

By the way, what constitutes an expensive bike? How many man do you have to fork over before you’re counted among the elite? Cars are somewhat different. Even a knob who can’t tell the gear stick from the handbrake recognizes the inherent quality and status worth of a BMW. And I see people driving z4s on the expressways at 60 kph...

I drink more martinis than I used to. Is that linked to questioning my success and prolonging my youth, or is it simply that I love the beautiful blend of science and ritual in the making of a perfect drink?

Here’s to all you out there who dropped a bundle (whatever that is to you) in pursuit of one of mankind’s most astonishing pieces of mechanical engineering!

P.S. I couldn’t get uxorial permission to buy a 335i, so I had to settle for blowing a thirteenth of the amount on a Specialized Roubaix. :bike: