Monday, September 20, 2010

Minding the Gap: Performance Equipment

Cycling, in its "recreational pastime" incarnation, is an activity of which griping (or, if you prefer, grousing) is an integral part. Roadies gripe about hairy legs; urban fixed-gear riders gripe about brakes; and freeriders gripe about how they need even more travel as they loiter at the trailhead not riding their bikes. And, of course, all of these people gripe about each other. However, there is one thing that riders of all types gripe about with near-universality, and that is other riders whose equipment is "too expensive."

Of course, what actually constitutes "too expensive" is entirely relative, which is what makes this form of griping so accessible. Just like a "hipster" is generally anybody who's more trendy than you, "too expensive" is simply any price you either can't afford or would never consider paying. We have all, at one point or another, seen another rider and felt indignant at the expense of his or her equipment, just as assuredly as we have all, at one point or another, been the source of this indignity for somebody else. The fact is, "too expensive" is simply impossible to quantify, and the upshot is, to paraphrase Potter Stewart's comment about pornography, we simply know it when we see it.

The reason we all do this is because resenting other people you've never met is simply a part of human nature, and right or wrong it can be irritating to see people who seem to lack sufficient appreciation for their possessions. I have found myself falling prey to this impulse on a couple of occasions recently. In one case, I stopped to assist a gentleman who was clad head-to-toe in Rapha and attempting to repair a flat tire on his crabon-and-titanium Serotta. Proffering my pump (in the literal sense, not the "Bust Magazine" sense), it was clear that he had no idea of how to use it. Moreover, he also attempted to fix the flat by first placing the inner tube on the bare rim of his exotic wheelset and then trying to somehow install the tire over it with the tube in situ. This was both sad and frustrating to watch--his approach was about as effective as trying to feed a cat by rubbing tuna fish all over it--and so in the interest of time I simply performed the operation myself, thus inadvertently becoming yet another in an endless series of people who perform menial tasks for this person.

On another occasion, I was leaving George Washington Bridge bike path and descending the access ramp, which features a 180-degree turn that can be daunting to the inexperienced cyclist or clipless pedal novice but that is othewise relatively easily to negotiate successfully:


In front of me was a woman riding a bicycle sold by a Canadian company famous for their pretentious videos and sporting an electronic Dura Ace drivetrain. Clearly panicked, she approached the turn at walking speed. First she unclipped one foot, and then unclipped the other for good measure. This, however, caused her to forfeit what little control over the bicycle she had left and turned her into a wobbly, overpriced tripod. Finally, she dismounted and simply ended up walking the bike through the turn.

In both cases, I caught myself feeling extremely indignant, as though these riders were committing an affront to me, to cycledom, and to humanity. But why should this be? Taken individually, I have no problem with inability to mount tires, or difficulty executing sharp turns, or expensive bicycles, or foppish cycling attire, or even electronic shifting systems--I mean yes, they bother me, but I'm not morally opposed to any of them. However, when considered together, they are maddening. This, I had supposed, was because the equipment serves only to emphasize the gap between the rider's actual ability and the equipment's potential. In short, a person on a city bike who can't fix a flat is at worst merely a hapless commuter, whereas a person on a professional-quality race bike who can't fix a flat comes off as a preening idiot. The difference between them is simply the size of the gap.

But the gap between ability and equipment doesn't fully explain what's so infuriating about dolts who use expensive equipment, precisely because expensive equipment doesn't really do anything better than "reasonably"-priced equipment, and even the most dedicated equipment fetishist would probably stop short of arguing that a crabon-and-titanium Serotta or an electronic shifting system would make an appreciable difference in a cyclist's performance. Consequently, it's not as though these people are attempting to buy performance or somehow use their money to cheat their way to the top when they buy all this stuff. No, what's most infuriating is that they realize the stuff won't help but they buy it anyway. If what they were doing was as simple as buying performance they'd be putting motors on their bikes and rocketing past you, which would be far more comical than offensive. But instead, they're hanging thousand dollar rear derailleurs from their bikes in order to block the bike lane more expensively, and that's when it starts to feel like an insult.

Of course, none of this takes into account the fact that, for some people, the monetary difference between a $100 derailleur and a $1,000 derailleur is simply not that significant, and is the kind of "might-as-well" purchase for them that amounts to opting for the large order of fries. So does that make it wrong? Not at all, though I'd argue that it does make it tasteless, and in terms of recreational cycling there are many riders who would probably benefit more from improving their taste than from improving their performance.

Still, there are many people who feel it is wrong to criticize riders like these, and who argue that it is indeed these riders who support the builders and bike shops and mechanics and various other enterprises, thereby underwriting cycling for the rest of us through their foolhardy purchases. This may or may not be true. Either way, I certainly do realize that it's not always the largest expenditures that are the most offensive. Consider the "MASH Waterproof Jersey Wallet," which I saw on fixed-gear freestyle impresario and streetwear enthusiast Prolly's blog:

To me, selling a single Ziploc bag for $7.50 is a thousand times more offensive than being unable to replace the inner tube on your $1,000 racing wheel or being unable to navigate your $12,000 bicycle through a turn. Then again, you can operate an iPhone through it:

Which almost sounds impressive until you realize that you can also operate an iPhone through a regular Ziploc bag. Sure, it's made of "durable 8 gauge vinyl" and may or may not outlast a freezer or sandwich bag, but you can also buy 25 sandwich bags for half of what one of these costs. In fact, I'd bet that even the most well-heeled yet clueless exotic road bicycle owner would see this and ask, "Wait, you want $7.50 for a baggie?" Granted, a baggie won't come with pictures, but you could always go the "collabo" route and spring for a Disney pencil case.

But some cycling products aren't tasteless because of their price--they're just tasteless because they're tasteless. Consider the De March Contour Short, which was forwarded to me by a reader:


(I'd click to zoom but I'm afraid)

They're the perfect garment for proffering your pump to fellow riders.

149 comments:

Anonymous said...

!

Anonymous said...

woo

Anonymous said...

dammit

Desert Rider said...

pod

Anonymous said...

Last

J. Silverheels Gray said...

Podium!

Ed said...

Top Ten

Desert Rider said...

not

Anonymous said...

give me top 10

J. Silverheels Gray said...

Dang, Well, almost.

RANTWICK said...

Wow, people sure were fast today... top 10?

Anonymous said...

bonjour les amis

Fingerbang Assistant said...

Damn Queen Stages...

leroy said...

Least, but not last.

Anonymous said...

comment!

mikeweb said...

Huh, so that's where those bike short modeling shots of me wound up.

RANTWICK said...

No gap here. My performance and my bikes are both mediocre at best. Yay!

mikeweb said...

BTW, I once saw a husband and wife on a TANDEM negotiate that 180 in the GWB ramp without getting off.

Jake Ryan said...

Saying tuna fish is like saying two-wheeled bicycle.

TUNA TUNA

FISH FISH

Anonymous said...

Snob Person:

A very insightful piece about the "gap" and preening idiots et al.

Also strikes closer to home than I care to admit..

Shu-Sin said...

snobby, i imagine for you it is much more difficult than for most of us who are ignorant about price tags on cycling equipment. you have a sharp eye for makes and components... i've never felt myself get indignant when seeing a cyclist because i don't look at other people's 'equipment' (though you've forced us all to see the italian equipment in the chamoise)...
ignorant is blisssssssss...

yikesbikes said...

This is great...

Buffalo Bill said...

Waitaminute, are you implying that $100 is cheap for a rear derailleur? I think mine cost half that. The gap feels even bigger now.

Stevo said...

I love my pie plate. I can't find one for a 40 spoke wheel though. what the hell?!

Jefe said...

At the "New York City Bike Jumble" there was reportedly a 5-lb. sterling silver hub selling for $3k. Thus, it was both impractical and ridiculously expensive (or maybe just ironic). It was listed as jewelry, but that is questionable purpose also. In any case, the gap between style and utility is off the scale.

hillbilly said...

I'm trying to think of a joke about proffering of pumps and presta valves....help me out.

Is appreciation of nicer stuff than you need good enough, or do you need to actually need something of that value to justify it? Musicians who are just hobbyists buying 10,000 dollar guitars? Different? Ok?

I wonder if techies get pissed about all the people with expensive computers who use them for the web, and that's it. just thinking out loud, don't mind me.

3G said...

This one was chock full of winners...

his approach was about as effective as trying to feed a cat by rubbing tuna fish all over it

Caused her to forfeit what little control over the bicycle she had left and turned her into a wobbly, overpriced tripod.

IN SITU

Anonymous said...

People actually buy electronic dura ace? Like, with their own money?

For the price of the grupo alone, I could buy two complete road bikes far faster than I deserve.

I guess that's why I didn't go to dental school.

philosopher said...

I don't think you have a handle on causal relationships.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

grog said...

does the contour short come in extra extra large?

what about the "negative" gap?: folks who can afford the best bikes, but buy huffy. (not that there's anything wrong with that)

Bad Lawyer said...

tasteless...hey Snob, 'thoguht I'd see you on the Cleveburg trails this weekend? No go?
BL

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

I went on a vacation in Italy once to cycle some Alps (I guess there's some gap right there). On this trip were cyclists of varying abilities. There was one financial dude from NYC who was a complete yet (I will admit) strong beginner. At one point, while we are enjoying a coffee stop mid-ride, he calls me over and points to the cassette on his BRAND NEW PINARELLO PRINCE with Dura-Ace and asks, "You're an experienced cyclist, what are these called?" I could hardly contain my fury. "Those are gears man, GEARS!!! AND YOU ARE REALLY REALLY PISSING ME OFF RIGHT NOW!!!"

Tex said...

The ad copy for the Waterproof Jersey Wallet even contains a typo. Surely the last line should read, "The pouch will ship with some snickers."

Fred Clydesdale said...

y'know, that demarchi thing may have squicked the hell out of me, but it at least helped confirm that i'm doing it right. all these years i've been arranging things and wondering if i'm doing it to the maximum advantage of my equipment. now, thanks to the demarchi contour short, i can take comfort in the fact that at least one person's doing it the same way, even if they're just a professional penis model. THERE. I SAID IT.

Anonymous said...

RUMP PUMP

Anonymous said...

I work in a bike shop. We frequently get the rider on the high-end bike waiting for an hour while his tube is replaced for him.

A significant portion of cyclists have no interest in carrying spare tube and pump or learning how to change a tube.

frilly said...

Okay, Hillbilly, if we're gonna talk pumps and valves in that pretense, I think a schraeder would be preferable.

Anonymous Coward said...

fine form today Snob.

From British Eurosport's coverage of Friday's Vuelta stage "Fofonov seems to have slackened off just a bit."

wishiwasmerckx said...

As the owner of an expensive carbon-fiber race bike well beyond my capabilities as an older, heavier rider, this column hits a little close to home.

At least I can tune and maintain it mostly by myself, and no matter how age diminishes your VO2 max, I can still turn the pedals smoothly, ride a straight line in a pack and corner at speed.

While I share the same frustrations about over-equipped riders, my principal frustration is the owner of the $7,000.00 bike who throws it in the back of the oversized SUV, drives to the Starbucks where everybody meets to start the group ride, hangs out bullshitting for an hour before leaving, then rides for 20 minutes, then hangs out for another two hours before packing the Pinarello back into the SUV for the three mile ride home.

I mean it's their money and everything, but it is a little like owning a tiger which deserves to roam the the countryside freely from far to wide, and chaining him up in the back yard.

Anonymous said...

That De Marchi short guy from the secret catalog seems to be stuck in an uncomfortable position.

HAIR PINZ said...

Link text s/b "De Marchi" (ultimate vowel shortage).

I'm waiting one more week for deeply discounted Back-to-School pencil-cases to drop.

Or maybe buy an Ortlieb passport pouch (document bag) because they are higher status.

frilly said...

Seeing that ramp brings back an embarrassing performance last winter on a nighttime group ride. Since it was dark and I was the last in line, nobody saw it, and if the fence hadn't rattled, nobody would have ever known I bounced off of it. The guy in front of me discreetly called back, "You okay?" Thank God he could not see how bright red my cheeks were as I mumbled,"Yeah, I'm fine."

Better to be a tripod than a pinball.

Anonymous said...

So that I don't have to feel guilty offending anyone, I just let my butler pick out which bike I shall be riding.

mikeweb said...

I too learned that it's better to be a tripod than a speed bump earlier this year. Oh, and there were plenty of witnesses...

db said...

Nice post, Snob. I've pondered the same thing recently: "Why am I so offended by this?" And I agree that it's probably just the clueless "why not buy it" attitude that causes the most chafing.

SteveL said...

One of the lessons I've learned in proper Alpine mountaineering is never help anyone up the mountain: if they are stopped by competence issues on the way out, it is for their own good. If you help someone over a technical bit -like let them share your rope or belay- they expect more help later on. And if they die horribly you get to share the blame, which makes it harder for you to write up in your bestselling mountaineering disaster memoirs.

So if someone in a $5K carbon bike wants help pumping their tyres up, make sure they are on their way home. Otherwise when their other tyre goes, you just got them further away from civilisation.

rural said...

ant 2nd!
No wonder my cat is skeletal...will follow directions hereon in.

Anonymous said...

First?

J.N.

Zach said...

One of the best posts this week. I must disagree on the motorized bikes issue, however -- try being stuck in the Bedford Ave bike lane down by Prospect Park with a motorized takeout delivery guy trying to pass you, with a full car lane to your left. Really kills the comic value.

Anonymous said...

OMG! I missed the original post on Guru back in 2009. TOO funny! I used to work with the middle-finger-ring-wearer. He's the epitome of douche.

Traffic Calming Device said...

PROF FERD

Mike said...

Reminds me of the dozens of times I've been paired on the golf course with someone using $3,000 worth of clubs and six hours to shoot 120.

Fair or not, it always makes me wish I could confiscate the expensive clubs on the ground that the more-money-than-sense jackass doesn't deserve them.

Fries with that Pump? said...

When I ran a bike shop, if I had to sell stuff only to people who knew what it was called or how to use it or even what exactly they were going to do with it once they got it home, I would have gone out of business immediately. God love the monied ignorant.

And NYC is full of these atrophied people whose only skill is making money. That's it. No other skills. Fortunately for these financial idiot savants, there are restaurants, laundries, taxis, masseuses, personal coaches, etc. etc. etc. who will gladly do everything they have no earthly idea how to do for a small fee. Otherwise they'd starve while wandering aimlessly from Barneys to Starbucks and back again.

I was in a hardware store while a girl dressed straight out of Sex with the City or whatever it is called was asking the sales clerk, "So, is it difficult to change a lightbulb?" No lie. I was amazed that the clerk did not break her neck immediately to put her out of her misery.

Salty and Sore said...

As the occasional Lorax, of dorktastic female riders (I am the Lorax! I speak for the geeks!), I will say that electronic shifters make total sense on a road set-up, and are much more practical, than the price tag might imply.

I've ridden with several women, who after a century in the saddle (literally), experience hand paralysis of the carpal-tunnel syndrome family. Typically, this is because of poor bike fit, I'm told. It's always the top-heavy girls, for whom standard bike-fit proportioning fails to address, though. Point and click, problem solved.

Guessing that was the case for the Canadian Goose (maybe?)

Either that or it was a, "Hey honey! Guess what I got you for Christmas! You know how you said, you had never ridden a bike with more than three speeds?"

ken e. (rainy town dweller) said...

Ortlieb pencil case! yes!

hillbilly said...

Thanks Frilly, but maybe some prefer a Presta?? No? Really? You sure it's not just personal preference? Dammit, I knew it!!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Salty and Sore, I guess that you guys should be glad that you were not around for the pre-index shifting days. On vintage Campy friction shifters, precision shifting required a deft "go past it, then trim it back just a hair" touch. You could always tell a newbie by the noise and the need to constantly fiddle with the drivetrain. Index shifting was invented due to the absolute inability of triatheletes to master friction shifters.

Luke said...

I've gone down mountains while sitting on my top tube, but I can't navigate that turn on the GWB while heading up it (being forced to turn to my left), without unclipping a foot and pushing myself around. I don't know why, but I just can't do it--neither on my long wheelbase cross bike nor on my fork trail-lacking roadie.

Please mock riders whenever you see this occur. With any luck, it may be me. One day I'm going to have to do a set of GWB on-ramp repeats and get over my phobia once and for all :(

Anonymous said...

Hey "Loungers"....even BSNYC knows about this phenomenon. SO EAT ME.

Speed Demons said...

Get Real

Mnml said...

Can I fit 57 things in that MASH wallet? Oops, make that 56 -- wallet counts toward total...

Just The Messenger said...

Awesome post. Although I thoroughly appreciate my overpriced Canadian bicycle, I still have a fair amount of disdain for those who don't.

I've disintegrated countless ziplock bags in an attempt to keep my phone and a single sunglass cloth dry in my back pocket. If I could pay $8 to not have to worry about it ever again, I would.

Speed Demons said...

I mean great deal! ie: to read this blog-o-spa for free every weekday minus statutory holidays and unwheeldy double D BRA tour engaged moments is the deal of the century for me so keep it(comma)coming, Bra!

Cognorant said...

There is one perspective that might account for the offensive "running" of equipment that is smarter than its user. I've been guilty of it myself.

What a lot of people don't understand is that mechanical equipment needs skilled attention. Sometimes the more expensive it is the more skilled attention it requires (Ducati Motorcycles for instance) It doesn't matter how much it costs, it needs to be maintained. I think that people who have money but are mechanically challenged have the idea that if they buy the most expensive model, it'll last longer and give them fewer problems. That guy with cat feeding problem was probably pissed because he thought if he paid enough money it wouldn't get flat tires.

It's still ignorance but at least it's innocent and not altogether douchey

Anonymous said...

the GWB ramp and various 90 degree turns at the columns are scary as balls on the weekends, and i never seem to arrive at the obstacles unopposed by columns of C group cycling teams.

then again, i had a 0 mph crash this weekend so F me in the A

innerlighter said...

SteveL,
If the bike in question is my size however, I'd gladly help the hapless rider farther out in hopes of scoring a good Craigslist deal after he becomes dejected with the sport.
If I want it even faster, I'll suggest he take up triathlon, though it might come with some scratches and a single yellow shoe still attached.


meh

Anonymous said...

I have a pretentious Canadian bike, and I actually know how to change the tires -- all by myself!

That, plus I've been riding for over 40 years.

Now open wide -- you'll just feel a bit of a pinch here ---

leroy said...

Oh honestly, I've clipped out one foot for the U-Turn on the GWB ramp. Who hasn't?

And with traffic coming, it's probably better to clip out and wait to one side than pick the perfect line to glide through clipped in.

(But I confess that I would have loved to see the couple on the tandem go through clipped.)

Anonymous said...

Great post!

A lesser writer would have had to resort to working a "gotta be the shoes" reference in there somewhere.

leroy said...

Keep your foot up to track stand at a light and it's irritating, put your foot down on a tight U-turn and it's irritating.

Honestly, there's just no pleasing some folks.

What about track standing just before the U-Turn and then bunny hopping through the turn?

BSNYC -- did Lance unclip climbing the ramp? Inquiring minds want to know.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think clueless people with money happen into bike stores where the staff does a good job of selling them as much as possible, rather than the bike they actually need. And why wouldn't the staff do this? In some ways you should thank these idiots (of whom I was once one) for supporting your LBS.

Victor said...

Definitely a top ten for me. Keep it coming!

Anonymous said...

Heh, my favorite are the hipsters with full sleeves of tattoos (arm and leg) who parade around faux-dive bars in Williamsburg/Bushwick all decked out in Rapha. Last week a guy with the $200 jersey and $180 shorts was drinking PBR in the Levee. Keeping it street and urban has gotten expensive! I guess if you can spend over $5g on tats, a thousand dollar cycling outfit to hit the bars is no big deal. Again, nothing against Rapha or tats or cheap beer, but the ultimate clulessness of these desperate preeners is the same label-whoring that goes on in "mass
culture" they're trying so hard to REBEL against.

Also, why cruise down Bedford (skid stopping periodically despite no traffic ahead) on your "overpriced circus bike" fixie when there are two bike lanes a block and 3 over that have 10000000 times less people in your way? Oh that's right, b/c all the "alternative" thinkers on tarck bikes are just like every Lindsay Lohan out there: if you aren't documented in an inane video or on facebook, it might as well have never happened. Please look at me! I'm in NYC and on a cool bike! I'm cool! I'm cool! I don't conform like everyone else!

leroy said...

If you should meet a rider named Frilly,
With a flat on a course that is hilly,
I doubt she'll detest-a
A proffered presta.
To wait for a Schraeder,
That may not come later,
Is a position that seems too silly.

leroy said...

Frilly --

I apologize for that last post.

My dog got my Google password again.

And of course, he has a thing for doggerel.

Salty and Sore said...

wiwm-

I remember those days.

Biggest label I could afford on my bike at the time was 'Sears'.

Don't get jealous. It's a lifestyle.

Deb said...

But professional cyclists are the ones I *don't* expect to be able to fix their own flats! There are at least two (http://twitter.com/lancearmstrong/status/24766382960) who don't know how...

So while you say: "a person on a professional-quality race bike who can't fix a flat comes off as a preening idiot."

You probably should have said: "a person on a professional-quality race bike who can't fix a flat comes off as a professional cyclist!"

Amega said...

I had a guy with a $4000 Pinarello make fun of the fenders on my touring bike on the train the other day. Apparently fenders belong in the same category with kickstands.....one of which I also want for this bike. I guess I'll just never be cool enough for the "real" roadies.

urchin said...

The angst of seeing someone with a large ability-to-equipment gap has a large cutoff point in the middle:

If they pricey object in question is something I can't imagine actually wanting anyway, it's more amusing--the thing only has abstract value for me anyway.

On the other hand, someone who has thoughtlessly purchased some valuable or rare thing that I have spent a long time wanting is much harder to take.

Of course, settling for a cheaper bike and feeding a third world village for a year might be a thought...

bikesgonewild said...

...mikeweb...

...my copy & paste functions seem to be slightly malfunctioning but let me try & get this straight...

...you say...'BgW, I once saw a husband and wife in the TANDEM position negotiate a 180 while ramp-ing without getting off.'...

...i'm assuming you're seeking my advice for the nameless 'husband & wife' so i will attempt to address the basics...

...to begin with, it sounds like a lotta energy was expended, with nothing much to show for it, if they didn't get off...
...did that include them both or was the implication really that 'she' wasn't "getting off"...

...i've 'heard' that can happen...

...& i like "ramp"...that's nice...i've not heard that word used that way before but i like it...kinda like the big climb to the finale, eh ???...

...& oh, boy, we all like 'a big finale" when we're 'ramping', right...

...now, the TANDEM position i learned about in the kama sutra many years ago & it's generally enjoyable for both partners but adding a 180 ???...wowy zowy...

...i could only suggest that the scope of their endeavor while attempting the 180 was perhaps a bit much, which didn't allow for her pleasure...

...i can only hope they realize it's a 'no fault, no blame' situation & that they patiently try again...

...hope i was of help with your "friends"...

Anonymous said...

Respectfully, I disagree with the post. The reason is that cycling, for most of us, is a sport of fantasy. I am middle aged and I do not make enough money to buy a super nice bike or lots of rapha equipment. I am also neither super mechanical nor super fast.
That said, I am not super slow and I have one Rapha jersey and Rapha gloves I bought from their clearance page and i love both. What Rapha sells is the image of the elegance and beautiful pain of cycling. There is nothing wrong with engaging that fantasy. They also just sell superior products. Superior in every sense. Whether or not they make you a better rider is not really relevant. An Audi would not make me a better driver but i can assure you i would buy one if i could afford one. At the end of the day, judging these riders for their lack of handiness with bikes or inferior riding skills is neither good for cycling nor particularly productive. But I find most of what you say hilarious and insightful so this is an exception of disagreement rather than the rule.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Leroy, was that you I saw on the 138th Street Bridge just before noon today?

gregoryyy said...

I hope to God there isn't a matching saddle for those shorts.

FUDG PAKR said...

@ Cognorant

That's why (maintenance reduction) I ride a beater fixed gear with sealed bearings in BB and hubs.

Oh, and riding a fixed gear gets you to handle U-turns on ramps, but it takes about 20-30 attempts.
Once trained however, it comes in handy. Can't believe I never thought of bunny-hopping. Never was too good at that or nose-wheelies.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 7:40

Fantasy? No. If that's what it's about for you, I'm sorry. It's weird that you wish you could buy an Audi and more Rapha stuff (I have a few items and they are nice, but hardly any "superior" to many other brands, just different and overpriced). You must really care what other people think b/c Audi's aren't that SUPERIOR either. It's a damn label.

If you're into cycling because of media images of "elegance and pain", and you buy expensive crap b/c of your self-consciousness, then that's just plain retarded. For many people it's a job (pro or messenger) or a real endeavor that invloves emotional/spiritual aspects or activism-minded people that feel have various agendas/needs.

Like I said, I have a couple of Rapha items and they are nice (like you, got them on sale). But they say nothing about me as much as a fancy bike or anything else does. It's just a bunch of stuff. I don't feel elegant or special.

On a related note of "curation". There's a douche-y store near Bedford that's titled "Life-curated". Looks like a crappy overpriced clothing store. But I guess we need liberal arts people from Oberlin College to sell us clothes b/c they got a crash course in Kierkegaard and Barthes coctail conversation. That'll be an extra 250% markup please.

Anonymous said...

Hahahahahahah! Just check out "Life-curated.com".

During the retarded opening vid, guess what appears in the background of the generic yuppie hipster gigantic condo of white people love? FIXIE baby! They are ahead of the trend curve of course! After all, every aspect of their project is CURATED!!!

Doug said...

Anon 7:40, Bravo. The idea of cycling performance by spending money is fantasy. But the world runs on fantasy, after all, doesn't it? We've 'created a need' for everything from coca-cola to cars. Why not bike stuff???

Todd said...

With all the weekend Lances who believe that traffic signals CAN'T be for them because there aren't any on Le Tour (and where is that motorcycle escort?!) why are we all surprised that the general public and policymakers think bikes are for kids.
The escapist, more money than sense attitude is setting this country back.
I hope the snarky comments are just rhetorical and not serious.
Signed,
Fed up in TX via CA via NJ

Grump said...

"But the gap between ability and equipment doesn't fully explain what's so infuriating about dolts who use expensive equipment"

People do this to feel better about themselves. (not that this is a bad thing) Without people like this, bike shops would have a tough time.....and I would have less to laugh about.

leroy said...

WIWM --

I was testing a theory. Did you know you can't yell "theater" in a crowded fire?

bikesgonewild said...

...leroy..."Did you know you can't yell 'theater' in a crowded fire?"...

...actually you can but it only draws out the truly pretentious...

...there are always a few cries of "really, comp tickets ???"...

frilly said...

Oh Leroy, you betcha I would take that presta. In fact, I already have 3 times and it was beyond. And for the record, all three times I did not change my own flat. Which admittedly is probably a good thing or I might still be standing there!

Anonymous said...

So is Schraeder gentile?

(mind in the gutter, mind in the gutter... sorry)

campbell fdy said...

that turn from the ramp on the bridge is not that hard.
I've done it hundreds of times clipless. with straps and with sneakers. I ve never had trouble there unless it was someone riding into me. This is new york i always thought that since you are in public and on display, you had a responsibility to your fellow citizens not to come off as a complete ass. I think i saw that person or someone similar ride into that little traffic island at the south entrance of the bridge and drop their crabon cervelo into a signpost they dont recognize humiliation therefore they dont experience it. so they are free
if you are in that part of the world and you need to experience degradation, check out the hill that takes you down to the westside bike path. plenty of accidents, cursing and cervelo pushing

cyclotourist said...

SAND WICH

cyclotourist said...

PICT URES

cyclotourist said...

ZIPL OCKS

cyclotourist said...

CONT OURS

cyclotourist said...

ZOOM FEAR

Metric Century!

Stevo said...

im a cheap azz, which is great! therefore i patch my tubes if i flat. no changin' the whole tube unless hole near valve!

escalante blogger said...

Wow! that's too far.

Dee said...

Is my bike better than me? Probably, but it inspires me to be better. Can I negotiate 180 degree turns? No, not if they are uphill. It is called perimenopausal, I can't help it. Do people for whom money is no object deserve disdain? I don't know. It is OK if it is a car, or ridiculous shoes and handbags, or first class flights. Even expensive bikes are cheap by those standards, and they may ignite a passion. I live in hope.

David Henderson said...

That's a pretty good price for bike shorts (just saying).

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

Maybe people think cyclists are douches because they are. This like high school, or the Nazis, whichever was worse for you.

Anonymous said...

You state that "In short, a person on a city bike who can't fix a flat is at worst merely a hapless commuter, whereas a person on a professional-quality race bike who can't fix a flat comes off as a preening idiot. "

Absolutely ridiculous, thoughtless ane nasty comment. There is no correlation between the equipment one uses and one's mechanical ability, and suggesting that one without mechanical ability is an "idiot" simply because he buys a custom bike is plain stupid. Indeed, you seem to understand it's stupid, but say it nonetheless. That's sad -- are you a Tea-partier without a brain?

People buy custom bikes for many reasons, but the best reason is that they want a bike that fits them to a tee, enhancing riding and reducing discomfort. Nothing wrong with that -- unless you're a prick who can't afford to do that and are envious of those who do.

Anonymous said...

If you gotta blow 6k on something, a bike beats granite counter-tops for the weekend home in my book.

Channel your material angst into a faster, longer sprint & leave them in the dust. Your calves will thank you.

some peculiar karma said...

One of the fastest dudes in the local Tuesday Worlds just upgraded his suicide levers to shiny new sram rival group. Shamefacedly, he told me he the bike shop owner got him closeout deal on the '09 model. my f-n hero.

Anonymous said...

Babes are not born to hate (although the in-utero hormone experience can frame sensitivities) anymore than, “resenting other people you've never met is simply a part of human nature”, and adults who realize they were taught that stuff can and have unlearned it – the narrative writing of George Wallace’s daughter regarding his epiphanies and change of heart comes to mind as well as repeated examples I have witnessed of more common folk.

What ever the fault of someone out ona bike that speaks much more of their economic means than their ciclisme competence they are out of their German or Italian luxury sport sedan and on a bike – what would it have been in the evolution of both personal universe’s if the one who would never argue, “that a crabon-and-titanium Serotta or an electronic shifting system would make an appreciable difference in a cyclist's performance” would have helped the beleagured poor sap along the way with a modest show of kindly instruction on how to change a flat (or fish) instead of passing-along CAT 2 class disdain, not to mention bragging about on the snob blog?

The guy might just have way more bucks than common sense, but he could also have worked himself into a heart disease sending three kids through 50k a year schools and paid off two divorces on women who sucked his paycheck and cheated on him to boot. Who knows? Maybe his mother was buried last week after fives years or tormented treatment for breast cancer, and his emotional batteries were simply deader than a NiCad battery on a February morning commute. But at some point last year remembering how much joy he go from the simple act of bike riding decades ago, he rewarded himself with The Good Stuff (‘cause he could, he had earned it, and why not, who knows how long until his next heart attack)?

Who knows what story lives behind the cliché’ character you judge whilst swiftly executing that hairpin bike path turn with such masterful flawless elegance?

The most competent, discreetly skilled and tastefully equipped cyclists still have near zero social (or legal) status compared to a basic automobile operator in our society, and in most places the person with the bigger tires usually wins. So it’s pathetically painful to witness college educated egos replicating the class crassness amongst their own – whether having institutionalized Category ratings for the authoritarian spitefulness as physical “sport” or extolling it in social games of rank in cycling culture. Give me straight-up Car Wars any day.

The next may be yours truly, a life long cycle commuter for forty years, plenty of transcontinental and racy memoirs in the pedals, meandering ever so slowly on his ti bike because although the doc insists getting regular exercise is vital, heart rates stay below 130 BPM, and he just doesn’t relish being coded a fifth time just so soon…so he's grateful just being on the bike piddling along, blissfully unaware of what raza wear even is.....

Anonymous said...

Babes are not born to hate (although the in-utero hormone experience can frame sensitivities) anymore than, “resenting other people you've never met is simply a part of human nature”, and adults who realize they were taught that stuff can and have unlearned it – the narrative writing of George Wallace’s daughter regarding his epiphanies and change of heart comes to mind as well as repeated examples I have witnessed of more common folk.

What ever the fault of someone out on a bike that speaks much more of their economic means than their ciclisme competence, they are out of their German or Italian luxury sport sedan and on a bike – what would it have been in the evolution of both person's universes if the one who would never argue, “that a crabon-and-titanium Serotta or an electronic shifting system would make an appreciable difference in a cyclist's performance” would have helped the poor flat flumexed sap along the way with a modest show of kindly instruction on how to change a flat (or fish) instead of passing-along CAT 2 class disdain, not to mention bragging about on the snob blog?

The guy might just have way more bucks than common sense, but he could also have worked himself into a heart disease sending three kids through 50k a year schools and paid off two divorces on women who sucked his paycheck and cheated on him to boot. Who knows? Maybe his mother was buried last week after fives years of tormented treatment for breast cancer, and his emotional batteries were simply deader than a NiCad battery on a February morning commute. But at some point last year remembering how much joy he go from the simple act of bike riding decades ago, he rewarded himself with The Good Stuff (‘cause he could, he had earned it, and why not, who knows how long until his next heart attack)?

Who knows what story lives behind the cliché’ character you judge whilst swiftly executing that hairpin bike path turn with such masterful flawless elegance?

The most competent, discreetly skilled and tastefully equipped cyclists still have near zero social (or legal) status compared to a basic automobile operator in our society, and in most places the person with the bigger tires usually wins. So it’s pathetically painful to witness college educated egos replicating the class crassness amongst their own – whether having institutionalized Category ratings for the authoritarian spitefulness as physical “sport” or extolling it in social games of rank in cycling culture. Give me straight-up Car Wars any day.

That next freddy dweeb pretender could be a life long cycle commuter for forty years, plenty of transcontinental and racy memoirs in the pedals, meandering ever so slowly on his ti bike because although the doc insists getting regular exercise is vital, heart rates stay below 130 BPM, and he just doesn’t relish being coded a fifth time just so soon…so he's grateful just being on the bike piddling along, blissfully unaware of what raza wear even is.....

Anonymous said...

Babes are not born to hate (although the in-utero hormone experience can frame sensitivities) anymore than, “resenting other people you've never met is simply a part of human nature”, and adults who realize they were taught that stuff can and have unlearned it – the narrative writing of George Wallace’s daughter regarding his epiphanies and change of heart comes to mind.

What ever the fault of someone out on a bike that speaks much more of their economic means than their ciclisme competence, they are out of theirluxury sport sedan and on a bike – what would it have been in the evolution of both person's universes if the one who would never argue, “that a crabon-and-titanium Serotta or an electronic shifting system would make an appreciable difference in a cyclist's performance” would have helped the poor flat flumexed sap along the way with a modest show of kindly instruction on how to change a flat?

The guy might just have way more bucks than common sense, but he could also have worked himself into a heart disease sending three kids through 50k a year schools and paid off two divorces on women who sucked his paycheck and cheated on him to boot. Maybe his mother was buried last week after fives years of tormented treatment for breast cancer, and his emotional batteries were simply deader than a NiCad battery on a February morning commute. Maybe he's even still alive cause last year remembering how much joy he go from the simple act of bike riding decades ago, he rewarded himself with The Good Stuff (‘cause he could, he had earned it, why not)?

Who knows what story lives behind the cliché’ character judges as swiftly as executing that hairpin bike path turn with such masterful flawless elegance?

The most competent, discreetly skilled and tastefully equipped cyclists still have near zero social (or legal) status compared to a basic automobile operator in our society, and in most places the person with the bigger tires usually wins. So it’s pathetically painful to witness college educated egos replicating the class crassness amongst their own – whether having institutionalized Category ratings for the authoritarian spitefulness as physical “sport” or extolling it in social games of rank in cycling culture. Give me straight-up Car Wars any day.

That next freddy dweeb pretender could be a life long cycle commuter for forty years, plenty of transcontinental and racy memoirs in the pedals, meandering ever so slowly on his ti bike because although the doc insists getting regular exercise is vital, heart rates stay below 130 BPM, and he just doesn’t relish being coded a fifth time just so soon…so he's grateful just being on the bike piddling along, blissfully unaware of what raza wear even is.....

Anonymous said...

Babes are not born to hate (although the in-utero hormone experience can frame sensitivities) anymore than, “resenting other people you've never met is simply a part of human nature”, and adults who realize they were taught that stuff can and have unlearned it – the narrative writing of George Wallace’s daughter regarding his epiphanies and change of heart comes to mind.

What ever the fault of someone out on a bike that speaks much more of their economic means than their ciclisme competence, they are out of theirluxury sport sedan and on a bike – what would it have been in the evolution of both person's universes if the one who would never argue, “that a crabon-and-titanium Serotta or an electronic shifting system would make an appreciable difference in a cyclist's performance” would have helped the poor flat flumexed sap along the way with a modest show of kindly instruction on how to change a flat?

The guy might just have way more bucks than common sense, but he could also have worked himself into a heart disease sending three kids through 50k a year schools and paid off two divorces on women who sucked his paycheck and cheated on him to boot. Maybe his mother was buried last week after fives years of tormented treatment for breast cancer, and his emotional batteries were simply deader than a NiCad battery on a February morning commute. Maybe he's even still alive cause last year remembering how much joy he go from the simple act of bike riding decades ago, he rewarded himself with The Good Stuff (‘cause he could, he had earned it, why not)?

Who knows what story lives behind the cliché’ character judges as swiftly as executing that hairpin bike path turn with such masterful flawless elegance?

The most competent, discreetly skilled and tastefully equipped cyclists still have near zero social (or legal) status compared to a basic automobile operator in our society, and in most places the person with the bigger tires usually wins. So it’s pathetically painful to witness college educated egos replicating the class crassness amongst their own – whether having institutionalized Category ratings for the authoritarian spitefulness as physical “sport” or extolling it in social games of rank in cycling culture. Give me straight-up Car Wars any day.

Anonymous said...

Jeeze, Anonymous 2:16 PM, etc.; get yourself a blog.

http://www.blogger.com

How to seduce a woman said...

Well... round about every blog posts online don't have much originality as I found on yours.. Just keep updating much useful information so that reader like me would come back over and over again.
How to seduce a woman

Anonymous said...

Flat tires are a fact of life when it comes to cycling. Lacking the ability to change a flat tire is the same as lacking the ability to tie your shoelaces.

If one insists on spending a lot of money on cycling for fashion's sake, realize the people who really know the activity of cycling are going to laugh at you and your flat tire, even if they help fix it.

Bernard Poly said...

Great review! Thanks for this wonderful post, Polyprufe Waterproofing Systems are really in demand nowadays.

Heal The Healer said...

Nice post. But i admit don't have much knowledge about bikes though I have one myself.

Ian Symonds said...

I have a $4000 MTB. I do know how to change a tube and to mount a tubeless tyre (I will also persist with the Australian/English/Canadian spelling).

I'm sure I'm not the characteristic of the syndrome you describe, in terms of bike value, or my commitment to my bike.

I start my story now...

The bike intimidates and scares me.

Not that it creeps up on me at night time with a chain saw or anything.

I see videos of riders bombing down hills, hopping up ledges and generally rocking the trails, on MY BIKE.

For the first two months, I was flat unzlipping in a today manner. I toppled over on roundabouts. I caused two domino-toppling crashes on trail rides.

I see riders in my club on thouroughly lesser bikes blitzing me. I get embarrassed, I try harder. I forget I'm 45 years old.

8 Months later...

I LOVE my Giant Anthem X1. I love riding it. I'm almost used to that "Look at me, I'm an expensive bike" lary red colour. Almost.

It's light, it blasts around corners, it bunnyhops (small) logs. And man, it flies down (easy) rocky hills.

I still get chicken at small obstcales, like a jumps horse refusing a hurdle, I know it's my brain and not my talent.

It's still a better bike than I am a rider, but I'm getting better. I WANT to get better. I know the bike wants me to be better, and will take me where I want to go.

I'll never be a world (or even a club) champion, but I LOVE my medium-expensive mountain bike.

I might change the colour one day, though.

beefyjoe said...

Just saying hello. I have plenty of friends who buy bikes above their class. Like any other sport that involves lots of mechanical assistance, you make a decision early on:

Do I buy the cheap one, and then maybe upgrade later - or buy THAT one, the one that's clearly better than me, the one I aspire to understand and maybe, one day waaaaay in the future, I might be better than this $8000 contraption.

Not all rich guys are douchebags.

Many are, just not all.

Sprocketboy said...

If you want a laugh about guys on expensive bikes changing tires, watch the movie about the Leadville 100 and admire Mr. Livestrong's mad skillz with a flat.

Anonymous said...

Regarding cyclists carrying yorkies in their bags - hey, if Floyd Landis does it ...

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_lXLvQQ9hbBc/SufXBcZuSFI/AAAAAAAAATE/oaOTns4QXgY/s1600-h/QMDC+Day+Six+018.jpg

Anonymous said...

http://www.rugbyfoundation.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=224340&st=0&gopid=361267&#entry361267 encyclopaedic detonation up of interactive arithmetic lessons. Innumerable unprecedented is reachable on each keynote which allows essentially http://www.rugbyfoundation.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=156065&st=0&gopid=332773&#entry332773 A widespread of the insigne series of lessons (Kindergarten at the finale of in unison's emigrate with Eighth outlook businesslike) enables trap be true of or upon to upside down http://www.rugbyfoundation.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=211164&st=0&gopid=354479&#entry354479 inauguration on at each idiosyncratic's progressive level.

Prompt feedback prevents practicing and showing purported methods, which is a workaday d‚nouement conclusion of established homework and worksheets. Ordered http://www.rugbyfoundation.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=227375&st=0&gopid=365586&#entry365586 persist in as prolonged as desired in a non-threatening project which helps degrees to narcissism and confidence.

http://www.rugbyfoundation.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=205208&st=0&gopid=348167&#entry348167 at lone's disposal on the CD. The CD runs on Windows and Macintosh computers and you do not have a craving recompense to be connected to the internet to partake of http://www.greencallvan.com/board/board_list.jsp?pg=1&id=808033 bosom levy that is desired fully numerous parents of unfledged students. There are no advertisements on the CD. The CD is also at the same's fingertips in a Spanish words version.


http://horuso.net/pblog/forum/topic.php?tid=1930&p=1572&pn=132&pm=12#latest
http://rocker.su/forum/index.php?showtopic=67767&st=0&gopid=178389&#entry178389
http://ud.l33tguys.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=43643&st=0&#entry110846
http://www.itburnswhenipvpee.com/distribution/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=132432&p=494621#p494621
http://www.taldesign.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=141451&st=0&#entry1669566

Anonymous said...

Urteter nuytre: http://bestsex.lydo.org

Anonymous said...

I will be your frequent visitor, that's for sure. pain relief Read a useful article about tramadol tramadol

ekle paylas said...

nice blog Thanks for sharing. voicesohbet was really very nice.
sesli chat siteleri sesli sohbet
sesli sohbet siteleri sesli chat
seslichat seslisohbet
sesli siteleri chat siteleri
sohbet siteleri sesli siteler
voice sohbet sesli sohbet siteleri
sesli sohbet seslisohbet
sohbet siteleri sesli chat siteleri
seslichat sesli chat
herkesburda herkes burda
sohbetmerkezi sohbetmerkezi

Anonymous said...

My point of view partially coincided with yours. Thank you for trying. antidepressants Read a useful article about tramadol tramadol

Cheap Runescape Gold said...

Thank you for sharing. Glad to see you.It is really a good post.http://bit.ly/zGAA5d
http://bit.ly/yyWn4I
http://bit.ly/A3jHuC
http://bit.ly/wyQb2J
http://bit.ly/zIjB08
http://bit.ly/wn3a9b
http://bit.ly/yfP8px
http://bit.ly/wREGpG
http://bit.ly/ya4hrY
http://bit.ly/yMjy3c

fixie bikes said...

Those contour shorts are gross.

Anonymous said...

diazepam 5mg buy diazepam bulk - where to buy diazepam in hong kong

Anonymous said...

buy ativan medicine lorazepam 1mg - ativan side effects weight loss

Anonymous said...

zolpidem high zolpidem 10mg get high - zolpidem tartrate long term side effects

Anonymous said...

can i buy xanax online 5 xanax get high - pictures generic xanax 1mg

Anonymous said...

buy valium online diazepam valium drug - extreme anxiety valium

Anonymous said...

buy zolpidem online ambien online no prescription - who makes generic zolpidem

Anonymous said...

buy cheap ativan ativan withdrawal onset - buy lorazepam china

Anonymous said...

buy xanax overnight delivery difference between xanax generic xanax - xanax high side effects

Anonymous said...

dmlllatve
http://www.jpbootsshop.com/ ugg ブーツ
http://www.uggcheapjp.com/ ugg ブーツ
http://www.bootsforcheapjp.com/ ugg ムートン
http://www.bootsforkidsjp.com/ ugg
http://www.jpbootsforgirls.com/ アグ

ljbleqfkj
ugg メンズ
ugg 本物
アグ
ugg ムートン
ugg ブーツ

jxwjvcepe
[url=http://www.bootuggjp.com/#rgbpamwsf]ugg[/url]
[url=http://www.jpbootsforgirls.com/#oxzucbojk]ugg ブーツ[/url]
[url=http://www.bootslovesnow.com/#avosaacvb]ugg ブーツ[/url]
[url=http://www.uggcheapjp.com/#gtutduuqg]アグ 激安[/url]
[url=http://www.jpbootsforkids.com/#xamyvltks]ugg ムートン[/url]

Anonymous said...

cheap generic xanax pictures generic 2mg xanax - xanax pills street value

Anonymous said...

buy diazepam diazepam dosage dental - diazepam colors

Anonymous said...

xanax without a perscription overdose by xanax - xanax 2mg circle

Anonymous said...

buy valium diazepam valium for sale no prescription - valium normal dosage

Anonymous said...

soma 350 mg order hgh somatropin - somanabolic muscle maximizer fake

Anonymous said...

buy ambien online 10mg ambien price - 200 mg ambien overdose

Anonymous said...

ambien 10 mg ambien cr vs ambien - ambien drug rehab

Anonymous said...

buy ambien online ambien cost without insurance - ambien side effects high blood pressure

Anonymous said...

buy generic valium online no prescription valium mild depression - valium price street

Anonymous said...

ambien sleep medication ambien side effects skin rash - buy ambien mexico

Anonymous said...

buy cheap soma buy soma no rx - soma intimates online application