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Home » Cycling » It’s Because Cool Bikes Are Cool…

It’s Because Cool Bikes Are Cool…

May 2014
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SpecializedVenge

Specialized Venge Elite

I’ve heard a lot of arguments against buying a full carbon dream machine.  I’ve heard that they’re not that big a deal or that they’re impractical.  I’ve even heard the claim that the mid-range high-end bikes ($2,500-$4,000) aren’t worth the cost compared to a well equipped low-end aluminum bike, that unless you’re going to go whole hog and drop $8,000-$10,000, you’re wasting your money.

On one level, I get it.  When I started writing I used to advocate going cheap because I didn’t have the money to go big(ger).  I made due with the absolute best I could afford and was quite happy with that.  I made due with cheap shorts, cheap jerseys and cheap bikes – and I was exceedingly happy, if sore and saddle-bit.  In other words, I didn’t need a shiny new superbike to be happy cycling and once I showed that I had some ability I was accepted into the club without prejudice.  A lot of people start out like I did.

TimeNX

Time NX

That side of the argument is lacking though.  Would you try to convince someone that because they can’t afford a Lamborghini, they should opt for a Ford Focus over a Mustang GT 500?  That would be preposterous, don’t you think?

TrekMadone

Trek Madone 5.2

My story has changed.  You could say as my income has improved, my thoughts on cycling’s finery have evolved.  I have one of the coolest bikes at any event I ride in.  It’s become a regular occurrence to get a compliment or five when I’m riding with folks I’ve never met.  My bike has one of the hottest paint schemes I’ve ever seen on a bicycle, bright red on black, flat.  It is awesome.

GiantTCR

Giant TCR

If that wasn’t awesome enough, and for any mid-life crisis hobby it is, the bike is comfortable as silk boxers.  It’s like riding on butter compared to my older race bikes and it’s not even fair to look at the improvement in comfort between it and my aluminum bike.

CannondaleSSixU

Cannondale Super Six

It’s perfectly tuned and meticulously maintained. And it still, after thousands of hard miles, looks showroom new and it makes me smile every time I ride it.

20140503-221048.jpg

Cervelo S5

While an enthusiast like me can’t expect to gain much speed from my awesome bike, it is vastly more comfortable and fun to ride and that does mean I can ride it a little faster than my old aluminum steed and I can ride that high-end bike a lot farther than the low-end aluminum bike.

Cycling will always be more about how a person rides their bike than about the bike itself and while no self-respecting cyclist would look down on someone who rides well but can’t (or doesn’t want to) afford a nicer bike, facts are facts folks:  Cool bikes are just plain cool.

And if riding a cool bike makes one smile, then it’s worth every penny.

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21 Comments

  1. saltyvelo says:

    Cool bikes are most definitely cool. Penny farthing to even the impractical “mod” single speeds hipsters ride. I appreciate all of them.

    Like a fine connoisseur of women, a true cyclist loves any 2 wheeled, non-motorized machine. 😉 Just don’t look at my daughter’s strider you perv!

    • bgddyjim says:

      LOL! Owner of our local shop has a Penny. Rides it in all of the local parades. It is most definitely cool. Your daughter’s strider is safe.

  2. PedalWORKS says:

    Hear! Hear! I have cool (expensive) bikes because I appreciate them not because I can afford them. They are more enjoyable to ride. Faster. More comfortable. And, cooler.

  3. fastk9dad says:

    I hardly pay any attention to what other people are riding and I don’t think they even notice what I’m riding. But with that being said, I still want to own a cool bike one day!

    • bgddyjim says:

      I notice. In fact, the bike is what I know most people by. Phil rides a Domane (Ultegra), dirty drivetrain. Mike rides a Domane 6.2 Dura Ace (meticulously clean). The fast Mike rides an S-Works Tarmac (clean but his rear Zipp wheel makes an odd noise). Greg’s a racer. He rides a NICE Fuji or a matte black stealth bike (looks like a Look but he rides too damn fast for me to get a good look at it – made the mistake of riding his wheel once in a century, won’t happen again)… Dave rides a Merckx… You get the idea. Chuckle.

  4. (throat clearing sound) No pic of a Cervelo S5? 🙂

    • bgddyjim says:

      Oh, you are so right and I really dig the Cervelos. My bad brother.

      • haha! There are many out there. Just kidding.

      • bgddyjim says:

        I know brother, I took it that way. You were right though – the Cervelo S5 belongs on EVERY list of “cool bikes”. The whole “egregious error” bit, while truthful, was tongue in cheek.

      • Back to your post . . . I use to look at those with nice steads with a bit of envy and a question of why a person would need those bikes. I rode my 3.1 Madone for years and was eventually blessed with getting an S5. It is beyond description in difference, as you know. In my humble opinion, WAY TOO MANY people get a bike based on coolness, but lack the skill for that kind of bike. For example, I believe that I achieved everything that the Madone could give me, and now I feel almost inadequate on the S5 at times.

      • bgddyjim says:

        I feel your pain my friend. I feel the same way on my Venge from time to time, that I might not be a fast enough cyclist to be worthy of such a great bike – this is common amongst us avid enthusiasts.

        I have to remember, I have very specific goals when it comes to cycling. I don’t want to be a racer. I want to be a reliable B horse and I want to enjoy every minute I can on my bikes…and my Venge absolutely caps that with an exclamation point. When I get dropped from an “everyone gets dropped” ride I must remember that it doesn’t reflect badly on me – 20 other cyclists dropped before I did…and EVERYONE gets dropped anyway. I am worthy of my bike, I just don’t have any excuses when I ride it (and I think that’s the rub). You deserve that S5. Ride the wheels off of it and love it like you bought it. 😉 Happy trails my friend.

      • I need to go to the Detroit area and ride with you all, one day!

      • bgddyjim says:

        Open invitation brother. It’s a good time.

    • bgddyjim says:

      Corrected that most egregious error. A thousand apologies.

  5. I love my Cervelo S2. I got a bargin on it as the bike shop owner screwed up on the pricing and I got it at his cost. It normally retails for $3200 so I guess it is a mid range carbon bike. I am in the middle of trying to find some “good wheels” for her now that won’t break the bank. On my radar is a Cervelo P3, oh baby!!

  6. cyardin says:

    The Cervelo R5 CA for me. Or a titanium / carbon Firefly from the guys in Boston.

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