overthinking bike buying and cycling in general

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Anonymous's picture

Rarely have i ever seen a topic that engenders the type of discourse that cycling does. Cycling and bike buying discussions, in particular, are amazing.(this is a good thing, btw.) They are probably the most overthought and detailed discussions I have heard. They are obsessively thought out problems as well, as in how best to ride, what bike do I buy,what frame size and on and on. Very knowledgeable and experienced people can give you completely different views on any one topic, and both of them will be correct. As I said earlier, I think this is a good thing. I just don't understand what it is about talking bike stuff that gets people going like this. Myself included. Maybe there is some quality to that invites passion and interest and that is what makes these questions so important, or maybe I am just overthinking this question.

Anonymous's picture
Michael S (not verified)
Just another passion

go to the message board of any aficionados club and you will find the same obsessiveness. I see it on my wine message board... including the arguement. I bet bird watchers chronicle their sightings with equal excitement

Anonymous's picture
ted (not verified)
passion and interest

"""some quality to that invites passion and interest""

So you are saying the Campy is better than ShimaNO?
Well everyone knows that..."

Anonymous's picture
Karol (not verified)

One entry found for obsession.

Main Entry: ob·ses·sion
Pronunciation: äb-'se-sh&n, &b-
Function: noun
1 : a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling; broadly : compelling motivation
2 : something that causes an obsession
- ob·ses·sion·al /-'sesh-n&l, -'se-sh&-n&l/ adjective
- ob·ses·sion·al·ly adverb

Carl, like the writer above noted, everyone who is deeply passionate about birds, bikes, words, whatever is likely to obsess. There is an intense desire to share so that you won't by the ""wrong"" bike, tire, lube, components. More importantly, have you decided, Ti or Carbon?"

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
To reverse the question.

"As a salesman (computers), I'd dial the discussion back a bit from ""Titanium vs. Carbon"" to questions like:

Do you aready have a bike? If so, what about it so displeases you that you'd want to replace it? What level of cycling do you aspire to? What's your budget? And if your were to spend that much money, what would be your expectations? Is there a particular bike you had in mind? Why that one?

And to get some sense of yourself as a shopper, do you often go a) go for the best regardless of price; b) go for the cheapest regardless of how well it works; c) try to get the best value for their money; or d) don't care about anything except that it has a prominent Nike ""swoosh""?

Budget is the critical question, if you were to spend $3000 or so (at any decent bike shop) it would be virtually impossible to buy a ""bad"" bike, regardless of the material -- carbon, titanium, bamboo, etc. And I'm sure you would quickly convince yourself of the validity of whichever decision you made.

If you were to spend $1500, you practically limit yourself to steel and aluminum offerings, and while I prefer steel for it's ""repair-ability"" after a minor accident, a well designed aluminum frame + carbon fork will ride as well. And for the money, you would get a bike that rode hypothetically-precisely 97.33% as fast and well as the $3000 offerings.

Question is what are you going to regret more, the 2.67% or the $1500?

Not an easy question if your honest with yourself. The vast majority of shoppers are ""c""s and will usually elect the ""best buy"" option. But cycling at this level is a pastime characterized by obsessiveness. In which case, you might make a practical decision ... followed by years envying thy neighbors' bikes and furtively salivating over online bike porn ...


... before finally breaking down and spending the big bucks for ""the obscure object of desire"".

In which case, the practical decison would not have been the correct one.

So, buy something that looks good, fits right and from a shop that's professional and accessible. Spend too much on a helmet and breathable clobber. Ride a lot. And don't forget to buy the ride leader a coffee."

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