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I am a bike snob but not proud of it!

flyerflyer Posts: 608
edited July 2009 in Road beginners
I bought a Roubaix Pro about 12 months ago and as some of you may know I had a few problems with fit etc. However that’s now behind me and it’s as good as it gets. However last week I needed to take it in for a service and the LBS loaned me a Roubaix Elite which is the entry level. Well I thought it was great and half the price I paid for the Pro, ok it hasn’t got some of the refinements but it was good enough for my 40 miles. My point is entry level bikes give excellent value for money, but its snobs like me who pay the price for buying what isn’t always better for our needs. The Elite had 700x28 tyres and the ride was very smooth, as such (for £32) I fitted a pair and replaced my £60 Michelin Pro’s 3, no white walls to match the bike but a smoother ride!. Taking it a step further a guy I know buys a new bike every year, (he has 5 or 6) this year he bought a Saxo Banks and always wears Rapha gear. I guess you pays your money and takes your choice, I just wish I was one of those people who ride every other day on a £300 bike and enjoy every minute of it, but I never will be because I like to get the best I can afford even if I don’t need it!

Flyer

Posts

  • butcher_boybutcher_boy Posts: 117
    There is nothing wrong with bike snobbery as long as it's never directed to anyone else!!!

    If you want to spend loads on a bike that you don't really use to it's fullest then why not.......it's your money.

    If being on a top bike makes you feel good then carry on :)
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    I guess there's more danger/embarrassment if you get blown away by someone on a sub £500 bike! I guess the phrase 'all the gear, no idea' would scare me the most. :)
  • badhandbadhand Posts: 115
    Sometimes we just have to get the gear before we can get an idea...
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    It's just human nature. Some people are able to be entirely rational about purchases and buy the cheapest thing that will do the job. Others will want what they perceive to be the very best every time, and despite the law of diminishing returns, are prepared to spend as much as it takes. Most of us are in the middle somewhere, wrestling with our own concept of value for money.

    I like to research anything I'm planning to buy, so I can be reasonably certain I'm getting the best bang per buck. I've often looked at the Spesh Tarmac and Roubaix ranges and thought that they were being a bit stingy with the spec on the cheapest ones. I wouldn't want to spend that much cash and still have unbranded brakes for example, even though they will probably work adequately.
  • Takis61Takis61 Posts: 239
    I had a Specialized Allez 2003 for years, did plenty of training, a Sportive, Charity rides etc, & the London to Brighton, no problem - aluminium body, no-brand Spesh brakes & cranks, Sora groupset.
    BUT I have noticed a huge difference since upgrading to full carbon with Campag, but also went compact.
    Point is, I had years of riding with the entry level bike, but have more comfort & ease of riding with the more expensive version.
    If I lose my job, have to sell the gear, and start at the bottom, I would look at Carrera bikes from Halfords.
    Same with clothes - started off with Lidls, can't afford Rapha or Assos, so use Decathlon & treat myself when flush to Prendas.
    Enjoy !
    My knees hurt !
  • Smokin JoeSmokin Joe Posts: 2,706
    I was dead for billions of years before I was born, and I will be dead for billions more after I die.

    While I'm here I am going to buy the best kit I can afford. Where ever you go afterwards you can't take your savings with you.
  • dg74dg74 Posts: 656
    Smokin Joe wrote:
    I was dead for billions of years before I was born, and I will be dead for billions more after I die

    That is quite sobering and makes you think of today and what YOU COULD be doing.

    There but for the grace of God go I - I guess.
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    edited June 2009
    It bothered me a little when i first got into cycling but I quickly realised people have the right to buy and spend as much as they like on whatever gear they like. I started with a Trek 1.2 and it's still a nice bike, but an opportunity came up that was too good to be true and I ended up getting a near new Scott CR1 Pro full carbon for pretty much peanuts. For a while I felt a bit of a fraud riding it but now I couldn't give a stuff. I train hard and enter sportive's n stuff, ala wales dragon etc. I also like nice clothes but they have to be practical too.

    I usually leave the Trek on the turbo now, unless it's really bad weather.
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    I've always had a 'usable' bike but otherwise the value of my bike and kits reflects my salary, rather than how many miles I'm doing! In that sense a bike is just like any other commodity in our consumer society (cars, clothes, house) isn't it?

    I was probably fittest when I was a student & I rode really bog standard bikes because it was all I could afford - that was the only reason.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    Fcuk it who cares? I can't justify owning a Pinarello Prince in terms of ability, but I test rode it, loved it and bought it. Mind you I don't have a car so was less worried by the cost (I realise that sounds like an attempt at justification, it isn't!). At the end of the day, if you can afford it and it gives you hours of pleasure and keeps you trim, who cares what you spend?
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • suristasurista Posts: 141
    Indeed. My story:

    I got my bike in NYC. I went to three bike shops looking for a bike. The first two were very much 'bike' shops. And the snobbery of the staff was off the charts. They looked at the overweight middle-aged guy coming in and you could literally hear them sniffing their noses in the air.

    The third store was mainly aimed at triathletes - and it was one of the best stores of any kind I've ever been in. Maybe in part because it had just opened, so the staff wasn't cynical from working with Job-Blow Public all day. Definitely in part because the owner's dog freely roamed the store floor, which is way cool.

    Anyway, they spent over an hour on a good bike fitting, talked to me about the pros and cons of various bikes. They mainly sold a model line of bikes that I had (at the time) never really heard of before, although a mountain biker friend of mine knew the name. I tend to buy towards the higher end (but not the very high end) for just about everything (computers, guitar gear, etc) simply because I hate the idea of buying cheap and wanting to upgrade three months later, but the store clerks basically were steering me towards the entry level models. I decided on one of the fairly basic entry model, but due to a string of delivery delays, ended up being able to trade up to a very nice model for essentially no change in price.

    My bike (Scott Speedster 20) is almost certainly too good for me given my actual ability - but the important thing is, I am happy with my purchase, I think I got a good deal, and I absolutely love my bike! I could give a rip who I get dropped by - it's not like getting dropped by someone on a nicer bike makes me feel any better...

    "It doesn't get any easier, you just get faster"
    http://blue-eyed-samurai.com/cycling/
  • I like my bike, a Specialized Roubaix Expert - now with a S-Works Roubaix frame & crankset thanks to a bit of a crash.

    If someone else likes it, fine. If not, that's fine too.

    If someone else's bike is different to mine, that's fine. I admire many and rubbish none. It's up to the owner. No-one else.

    I may have bought above my ability but it was what I wanted and I love the ride. I don't doubt there's better for the same or less but so what.

    I've only once experienced direct snobbery and that was from my LBS, a mainly Trek dealer, who 'rubbished' Specialized in an unbelievably generalised way. Their snobbery will cost them business.

    At the end of the day isn't it all down to riding your bike, whatever it may be, and enjoying it?
    There's no such thing as too old.
  • mgcycleguymgcycleguy Posts: 292
    I don't understand all this "buying above your ability" business !... its bizzare, I have a spesh roubaix expert... and i have no idea if that matches my "ability", I couldnt care less either...I got the best bike i liked... I mean does anybody think they not good enough to wear a nice suit, or pair of shoes ?... its bizzare
  • Perhaps my comment 'buying above my ability' was poorly conveyed.

    I too couldn't care and simply purchased the bike I wanted. Ditto shoes...£100 for shoes is worth it if I want to spend that.
    There's no such thing as too old.
  • badhandbadhand Posts: 115
    £100 for shoes is worth it if they are the shoes that are the most comfy and perform well for you
  • skyd0gskyd0g Posts: 2,540
    If you have the ability of Homer Simpson and ride the latest Carbon XL5 Mega Titanium Super-Bling, that's one end of the scale.
    If you have the ability of (enter pro rider of your choice) and ride a Raleigh Shopper, then that's something else entirely.

    Most people fall somewhere between the two categories above, but aspire to perform to the best of ther ability and therefore buy the best bike they can reasonably afford / drool over / convince the missus they need.

    The better the bike, the easier it is to perform to your full potential and the better you feel riding it. Whatever your ride, just enjoy! 8)
    Cycling weakly
  • RR75RR75 Posts: 23
    Everyone can do what they want, and what makes them happy.

    However I must confess to inverted bike snobbery every time I see someone 5kg overweight with a £2k bike. Such fun to smoke them off with my entry-level machine.
  • RR75RR75 Posts: 23
    Oh, and I also got my jersey on ebay for £11.50, and shorts on amazon for £8. Brilliant!
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 1,717
    The better the bike, the easier it is to perform to your full potential and the better you feel riding it.

    Horses for course though isn't it? Personally I would feel worse riding a £5k super bike than riding a £2k bike - I'd just feel self-conscious on the more expensive bike. But I can easily see why people feel differently.

    I think the main thing is to get a lot of use out of whatever you buy. I have a pretty decent mountain bike that gives me a disapproving stare everytime I go into the garage because it gets used so little. It's not that I don't want to ride it it's just weekends seem to get filled with fatherly duties (I don't see much of my kids in the week). It's the main reason I haven't bought a nice road bike - I'd feel even more guilty!

    J
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Smokin Joe wrote:
    I was dead for billions of years before I was born, and I will be dead for billions more after I die.

    While I'm here I am going to buy the best kit I can afford. Where ever you go afterwards you can't take your savings with you.

    A mantra I live by...
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    Lol, spelling dear napoleon, we just established its Bi.

    "A mantra I live Bi"

    :P
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    A mantra. I live. Buy.
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    Fcuk it who cares? I can't justify owning a Pinarello Prince in terms of ability, but I test rode it, loved it and bought it. Mind you I don't have a car so was less worried by the cost (I realise that sounds like an attempt at justification, it isn't!). At the end of the day, if you can afford it and it gives you hours of pleasure and keeps you trim, who cares what you spend?

    That's exactly what it's about! Well said ...
  • fossyantfossyant Posts: 2,549
    Spend what you want.

    We all know folk who are happy to spend and waste mega bucks on expensive cars every 2-3 years. These folk think £1000 is a lot for a bike ?
  • moray_gubmoray_gub Posts: 3,328
    Smokin Joe wrote:
    I was dead for billions of years before I was born, and I will be dead for billions more after I die.

    .

    Never heard tha one before Smokin i suppose its similiar to an auld Scottish saying ...........yer a lang time deid ! :D
    Gasping - but somehow still alive !
  • moray_gubmoray_gub Posts: 3,328
    mgcycleguy wrote:
    I don't understand all this "buying above your ability" business !... its bizzare, I have a spesh roubaix expert... and i have no idea if that matches my "ability", I couldnt care less either...I got the best bike i liked... I mean does anybody think they not good enough to wear a nice suit, or pair of shoes ?... its bizzare

    agree 100% who gives a monkeys what your ability is. Me id love a 5 or 6 K bike maybe when the kids are older mind you by then it will be 10k :D
    Gasping - but somehow still alive !
  • synchronicitysynchronicity Posts: 1,415
    RR75 wrote:
    However I must confess to inverted bike snobbery every time I see someone 5kg overweight with a £2k bike. Such fun to smoke them off with my entry-level machine.

    I've seen & experienced both sides of your coin. Currently 5kg overweight on a £2 bike and no I don't enjoy it as much as people like you. :x

    You know probably the worst thing I ever said in my life was when my friend and I stopped on a ride looking in a bike shop window at some bikes and I just blurted out "nah that bikes a piece of censored " to which the reply was "That's MY bike". I mean how the hell do you recover from snobbery like that? :(

    In my defence, it was a different year, different colour frame, with downgraded component spec.
  • ....Currently 5kg overweight on a £2 bike and...

    Perhaps you should stretch yourself and splash out a fiver?
    There's no such thing as too old.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Buy what you fancy and can afford. Who cares if a newbie is on a £5k carbon bike?

    I just get bored of those that talk about nothing but kit but can't actually ride very well - they blame every error on kit rather than themselves.

    An interesting(ish) thing about surfing - you simply CANNOT surf an experts board when you are learning.
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