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Oh NO! Am I a Bike Snob?!

March 2015
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The question may be asked, and fairly answered:  Am I a bike snob? 

I do love my bikes.  My race bike is coolest in my stable (rivaled only by my wife’s race bike), my mountain bike matches my race bike and my rain bike will be painted this summer to match as well (though I’m going way cooler than just simple black and red).  My helmet matches, most of my clothing matches, my wheels match, even my pedals match on the race bike.  My socks are the proper length (though I do go with 3″ above the ankle, not the 5″ because I think the long socks look goofy – sorry), my sunglass arms always go over my helmet straps, my tire stamps match up with my valves…  Heck, even my computer matches my bike.  When it comes to my stuff, I am meticulous about looking good and making certain I ride competently.

When it comes to my bikes, I’m also very particular about what I ride on the road – carbon fiber all the way.  Even my nasty weather bike has a composite frame.  The mountain bike is aluminum, sure, but I only ride that a few times a year – I don’t have a need (or desire) for a $3,000 mountain bike.  Does the choice to ride a carbon fiber frame make one a snob though?
IMG_5168 IMG_6760 OldGlory

Alas, to an extent, I could be seen as such.  As far as I’m concerned about what I ride, I am very particular and because of that fact, the leap for the poorly informed could be that I am a snob…  Let’s look at the definition of snob so we can all get an idea of where I’m coming from on this little slight of word – this trick in upending the English language:

snob
snäb
a person with an exaggerated respect for high social position or wealth who seeks to associate with social superiors and dislikes people or activities regarded as lower-class.
  • a person who believes that their tastes in a particular area are superior to those of other people.

So, am I, well…  That?  Not even close, though I do have a particular disdain for those who ride a Time Trial bike in a group setting.  I won’t go anywhere near them until (and unless) they prove themselves competent on such a bike within the group.  That’s not snobby though, that’s self-preservation!  How about what other people ride?  This being an honest program, I can say with utter certainty that I could not possibly care less about what somebody else chooses to ride.  I don’t look down my nose at anyone, not even the “I lost my license because I got a drunk driving ticket” cyclist.  Hell, anyone who’s read more than three posts on this blog knows I can relate to that guy…  If you missed it, the name of my blog is Fit Recovery – that “recovery” part isn’t a river in Egypt.

If that wasn’t enough, then we have to look at the idea that I would have to believe that my tastes are superior to others…  That excludes me, incontrovertibly.  While I may not understand one’s choice, that’s a far cry from believing my choice or “tastes” are superior.

Being a snob boils down to one simple thing:  How one treats others.  Just because one chooses to ride nice bikes and wear matching apparel, a snob, this does not one make.

I believe, rather than worrying about who is or is not a “snob”, it is far more important that I do my part to make the sport I love, attractive.  Being a dick about how people choose to participate would probably counter that most excellent ideal.

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13 Comments

  1. EpicGran says:

    All I know is I will give up a lot of things to make sure I have a nice bike… It is my only sport, hobby, passion and I feel I have worked hard at it and I deserve the best bike I can afford. I only have one bike but it is a great one. But damm you I never thought of my garmin not matching my bike…. bugger now I am in a pickle! LOL

    • bgddyjim says:

      LOL! A Garmin is a different story altogether. I don’t know how many different colors they make but I only have a $30, very basic computer that gives me average speed, distance and current speed. It’s not all that special. Of course, that’s all I need too – I have my iPhone for the rest (if I so choose).

  2. PedalWORKS says:

    I don’t think it is being a snob. Rather, it is more about appreciating quality and a good ride.

    But quality and good are subjective terms. What is adequate for one is not for another. I too have quality bikes. A custom made steel frame equipped with an Ultegra Group and a full carbon racer with all Dura-Ace components. I didn’t start out with these bikes. I grew into them as my skill and conditioning improved.

    And, I continue to encourage people of all ages, shapes and sizes to cycle. It matters little to me what they ride and more that they get out on a bike. I know that, if they get into cycling, their needs will change. They will want the best ride they can afford.

    The fact you have a full-carbon ride doesn’t mean you are a snob rather, you have learned to appreciate a fast, responsive ride.

  3. Dan In Iowa says:

    I too have a fantastic bike, but I tend to grab whatever jersey is clean at the moment! I’ve never been into the whole “kit” thing. My bike is handbuilt, Campy and worth more than my 2 cars and motorcycle combined though!

  4. I think to a normal person who doesn’t bike you may be perceived as a snob, but I think you just love biking and bike gear and that is perfectly wonderful!

  5. Sheree says:

    So true, you are most definitely not a bike snob by any stretch of the imagination.

  6. adarling575 says:

    I think your last paragraph is one of the most important things I’ve read recently – we want to make this sport, this activity that we love, attractive to as many people as possible. I am always going on about how much I love cycling to work or how great a bike ride or running a marathon was. It gets me so excited when others get interested to and ask me questions about that. It would be going against the WHOLE point to then be a snob because someone doesn’t ride a carbon bike or, like my dad (bless him) goes out cycling in Rapha bib tights and a normal cotton button-up shirt with collar (okay I did laugh a little – but kindly). The point is to encourage everyone not to put them off because we think they are doing it wrong! And if you want to take pride in your own bike and how you look, then good for you 🙂

    • bgddyjim says:

      Thank you… And I suppose it’s all good as long as the tighty-whities aren’t sticking out of the cycling shorts (unfortunately, yes I have witnessed this once).

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