Mustachian bikes

Hello Fellow Mustachians,

I’m looking for two commuting/trekking/hybrid/city bikes and a bike (baby) trailer for weekend travels with my wife and my son. I was looking on Velobörsen in Zurich, but they have only old crap. On Ricardo, there’s quite a choice, but I have no idea what to pay attention to. I have no idea about bikes. I’m not sure how to figure out which ones are good and worth the price.

A friend of mine recommended me a new bike from, but these bikes are insanely expensive - I’d have to pay around 800-900 CHF for cheapest one. I’d prefer to spend that much on two bikes instead.

Could you recommend me some bikes? Or at least give me some tips about what to check/pay attention to and what prices ranges are reasonable?

There are hundreds or even thousands of bikes and no one better than the other. I can help you out and choose something off ricardo or tutti that would be currently available in your area. Just PM me.

As a general rule, bikes are easy to maintain. My daily bike is still the one I bought (or rather got) as a teenager in 1997. The mustachian thing to do is learn how to maintain the bike yourself. This is fun and cheap to do.


My e-bike was a seemingly unmustachian purchase. I paid 2400 CHF for it. After 1 year of use it was totally dirty, with 3000 km made, so I serviced it. They washed it, replaced the chain and some other parts, and charged 300 CHF.

It hurt to pay it. In Poland for 300 CHF you can buy a whole bike! (a really shitty one, but still). But this is Switzerland, work is expensive. And I have no idea about repairing or servicing e-bikes. My time is better spent at work, than cleaning my bike.

And I don’t regret this purchase. I have 40 minutes every day on fresh air, moving a bit, but not getting sweaty, instead of rushing for the crowded bus. It’s hard to measure health and stress benefits, but I believe it was worth it.


That sounds like a perfect reason to learn the skill



Tool (purchase once):

And I didn’t even work hard on finding the cheapest offer.

You will get to a point where your disc brakes will need pad or fluid change, which will cost you 30-40 CHF in parts+tools or another 300 CHF at a dealer.

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I was expecting I will get a comment like this. No, that’s not a perfect reason. I’d rather learn some skills which I can use at my regular work. This bike service was not only the chain, they also replaced the “Ritzel” and they decided if it was time for this. They also needed to disconnect the power cables and take off the case to get access to the thing. They recalibrated the gears and they cleaned the bike really thoroughly, it looked like new. I would probably need a whole day to do all this. Screw that, I’d rather go to work and let someone else take care of it.

And I think I’ve heard similar answers before. I can’t be bothered to cook lunch, so I’ll just eat outside and so on :-).

You paid 300 CHF so more like 1-2h work + parts. It might take you a day to learn, but will profit in the long term and can use your skills to service bikes of your wife and kids. Isn’t that true?

And judging by the fact that you paid as much as for servicing a car, I’ll insist on saying that you paid too much. After all, even the cost of tools used by the mechanic is two orders of magnitude higher than what you need for a bike.

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I also don’t want to keep tools at home, just to use them once a year. If you find it interesting to learn these skills then be my guest, but I think it’s also perfectly fine to outsource them. It’s useful to learn something that you will use often and save a lot of money on it. Otherwise it’s just a hobby, or a skill that makes you feel more like a self-dependent man :stuck_out_tongue: .

Btw I think the costs were 150 for work and 150 for parts, so it could have been sth like 50 CHF per hour of work. So if someone is experienced in working with tools and grease and earns less than this, then it makes sense to do it yourself.

If I had a house and a garage, then probably I would also try it.

You got me there. Beer, BBQ and power tools for the win!

I use nearly all of my tools on regular basis, there is always something to mend or do. As a matter of fact, I honestly can’t remember whenever I had something irreparably broken that I couldn’t fix myself.


I’m with you on this. You will also need space to store all those tools and that might cause you to rent/buy a bigger place in the future.

This is an old controversy in Mustachian community. MMM and ERE give some excellent arguments for independence, broad skills and self-sufficiency (or insourcing as MMM calls it), but I’m personally more on the dependence and specialization side - not for ideological reasons, I’m just naturally lazy and I don’t have many of the “manly” skills, that I should have. I guess I should invest more in that post-FI. I think one can have a good balance between outsourcing and insourcing - based on costs and easiness of acquiring manual skills. Neither extremes seems reasonable.


There’s question also of relative value of our outside of work time. @Bojack, you can’t say that you’d prefer to learn work skills, because you won’t work 16h a day. There’s some time outside of work and the more you can do yourself in that time, the bigger mustache and stash you have.

Another argument is that by limiting your skills to one narrow specialization, you’re becoming more and more dependent on it over time. What will happen if your job will get automated at some point or you’ll have to change profession or lifestyle for other (e.g. health) reasons? You’re screwed. It’s a risk factor and a bet that you’ll continue work and live as it is.

To large extent ERE book is dedicated to that topic. I strongly recommend it to every Mustachian.

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I would add that the notion of keeping the minimal amounts of items is not so easily applied to our Swiss realities. First of all, I found out that many people here are not so hot on lending items. I mean, they will agree but not without raising an eyebrow. After all, you might put a scratch on their brand new never used expensive piece of metal. In the US you can easily and cheaply rent almost anything, because there is a market for this. Here, not really.

Labor is also cheaper in most other places of the world, so you are unlikely to find yourself in a situation where tools and parts needed to do the job is likely to cost more than the minimum first hour charged by a handyman. A full set of tools one may ever need to service a bike will fit in a shoebox, so space is not an argument I will accept.

I wonder if there is a correlation between software and hardware developers when it comes to willingness of getting your hands dirty :-). I would describe myself as a lazy person, but my psychologist wife says I’m hyperactive. I guess she knows better. Indeed I cannot sit down and relax on a weekend when there are things to do.

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