I wrote what I thought was a very humorous post on my cycling anniversary about how my Venge evolved from the day I brought it home. In that post there was a photo of my Venge with a saddle bag on it… The caption read “I just can’t stand my bike looking like a Ballchinian”. I hated how my bike looked with a saddle bag on it… Hate is a powerful word and it is used in that last sentence properly.
Since, I’ve carried my tube, CO2 and tire levers loose in my back pocket. Emergency cash too. What I hated about that setup was that my cash was always soggy and I was embarrassed to present it to a cashier. My $30 multi-tool rusted too. If that weren’t enough (and it was), with everything sitting askew in my back pocket, riding was less comfortable. Still, that was better than a Ballchinian bike.
Then one day out of the blue, I walked into my local shop and saw a back pocket pouch that I had to have:
So, I get the best of both worlds! My bike looks fantastic (as it should), I can still carry all of my tools, money, key, credit card and driver’s license without getting any of them soggy and the pouch is small enough that it doesn’t put too much of a strain on the elastic in the pocket.
Getting this sorted was a major pain in my butt for a long time. I’m glad it’s finally over and solved.
I watched a neat little blurb on the news this morning about the “Pink Tax”, the extra price women pay for things like shower gel, razors and other beauty products… It’s not really a tax, the government doesn’t take that money from women, but retailers do (it’s just as often the retailer that tacks on the extra as the manufacturer, according to the report).
So I started looking into this on the cycling end because I already know how this story ends…
At Specialized, there’s a $250 difference between the top-end Amira and the identical Tarmac. There’s a $100-$300 difference between comparably equipped Ruby’s and Roubaix’s. There’s a $2,000 difference between the Venge and Alias (comparably equipped though there’s a lot more S-Works stuff on the Venge)… This is a travesty!!! How could women be made to pay more than men for their bikes!
Oh, wait… The men’s bikes are more expensive than the women’s. All the way down the line – all Specialized women’s bikes are less than the men’s equivalent. Guess what happens when I look at Trek? How about Giant? Cannondale? Name a bike manufacturer…
Is it a big deal? Of course it isn’t. Men are more likely to look for a deal on health an beauty products while women will pay through the nose to “feel” beautiful. On the other hand, guys will pay through the nose to ride an awesome bike while women will shop around… So the “tax” flips.
It’s not rocket science folks. It’s human science (and marketing).
I shall follow suit and call it the hoagie tax. And we’re not talking about a buck or two… Now, do you really think I’m going to complain about the way things work out? Of course not. I’ll point it out and poke fun at the irony, but I’m not cheap’ing out on my bike and Specialized knows it. So does Trek, Giant, Look, Time, Colnago, Willier, Cervelo…
Nothing to see here, move along.