A ride for the people, the Sean Kelly Cyclosportive

Inflation

by / / 93 posts

My first bike was a Sears Moonlight Special. It was literally a piece of shit – figuratively. I mean, it would only “literally” be a piece of shit if shit was made of sand-filled steel tubes salvaged from the plumbing of the local sewage facility. Which it might have been, but I simply don’t have the peer-reviewed evidence to back that claim up.

I feel comfortable stating that this bike cost less than $50 USD back in the early 70’s, and it was yellow. It also had a saddle which, upon my personal dissection (Go Science!) was conclusively comprised of a shaped steel plate covered by a thin foam pad and a faux-leather shell. Made in America, fuck yeah. That’s one reason right there that the United States doesn’t have the same over-population problems China does.

After that, I was given my dad’s Raleigh, made of Reynolds 531 tubing which I loved deeply, apart from the exposed brake cables and Weinmann centerpull brakes. I installed some aero brake levers on it and quickly learned the value of owning some proper brake-adjustment tools like the Third Hand. (I’m not sure why a Third Hand is a bicycle-specific innovation; having one more hand feels like a genetically-viable mutation.)

Finally, after a summer of saving up, I bought my own proper racing bicycle, a Cannonwhale SR700 with Shimano 105. In hot pink, for $700. I loved the shit out of that bike, crowning it with every accessory (apart from an EPMS) that one can think of: I couldn’t afford Scott Drop-ins, so I happily accepted my brother’s bar-ends from his Bridgestone as substitutes. I saved up for ages and bought a Selle San Marco Regal and got one step closer to looking like Greg LeMan. Benotto bar tape was a no-brainer at only a few bucks a roll. So Pro, so cheap. And it never wore out and it didn’t matter how bad you were at wapping bars; if you needed four rolls to cover the real-estate (wrapping the brake levers cleanly is the crux), then you were still only out about $10.

It was such a great bike. I rode it in France, Belgium, The Netherlands, not to mention most of the northern United States. I rode with my family, my friends; I rode with my dad the most. In fact, the only time I dumped that beautiful Regal saddle was with him, five minutes into the first ride with that saddle when he decided to change the route and hang a louie when I was overlapping wheels with him. Scraped the leather clean off the right-side of the saddle. No worries, a little super-glue and the saddle lasted me another 10 years.

I lost and found my way back into Cycling two or three times during the lifetime of that $700 bike. If I was the man I am today, I’d have kept it, too. I still have many of the parts, but I dumped the frame because it’s too big for me, and I didn’t realize how much it would mean to me today. We all walk the path of La Vie Velominatus in steps; it is only natural to wander off the path from time to time.

My #1 is worth something like $10k, maybe more, maybe less. Which in any case is a stupid amount of money for a bicycle. My Nine Bike is the hand-me-down, worth a bit less but in practical terms, almost the same. An entry-level bike, like my ‘Wale SR700 would cost a few thousand dollars today, well out of reach of a young Velominatus hoping to get into the sport.

Cycling is supposed to be the accessible sport, the sport of The People. What happened?

// Accessories and Gear // La Vie Velominatus // Musings from the V-Bunker // Nostalgia

  1. I think that poor attitude is the same world wide, unfortunately. But as my Uncle Anatole used to say, “There’s no bike finer than the one you’re riding.” If you love your bike, fuck the snobs.

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  2. @tmgrasso Very nice write-up – chapeau! And quite similar to my own ‘history’, in fact (if you replace ‘Schwinn’ with ‘Peugeot’), right up to the fact that I somehow managed to crash my five year old, bright orange UO8 with half-chromed fork into a vehicle, bent the front fork beyond repair and had it replaced with a full-chromed specimen. Looked great. One minor point: you mention that you don’t remember what it was that distracted you at the time. That’s easy: Being a Velominatus, you were most probably passing a large, plate-glass shop window and admiring your own reflection. There was almost certainly at least one gorgeous girl standing on the opposite sidewalk – but you never noticed her. (Tongue firmly in cheek here, needless to say – at least I hope so)

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  3. @LawnCzar

    It’s once you know what you’re on about, and once you start getting social pressure to have a better bike, have nicer kit, that things get harder. I recall getting some attitude on rides and at races because my Nishiki was old, not nice enough. That’s an aspect where I don’t think our sport does itself any favors, at least not in the States.

    There is only one solution to that kind of thing. Crush souls. Two years ago, I got my one and only bike, a Jamis Satellite Comp. Truly an entry level machine that I picked up for $650 on an end of year clearance. Steel frame (does have carbon forks though) and 9sp Sora. Weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of 10+kg. I’ve put over 10,000km on that bike doing just about everything. Except for the strongest and fastest of guys in my club, it’s a rare day that I get passed or can’t keep up with the “nice” bikes ridden by some others. I’m a much better, stronger, and faster rider than I was two years ago. I’ll continue to ride the shit out of that thing until the budget committee finally OKs the n+1 purchase. (I’m still holding out hope that she’s got something planned during the secret 40th birthday trip we’re taking this weekend.)

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  4. @KW Best wishes for the weekend!

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  5. @wiscot

    @chuckp

    You can still get bikes for cheap. You just can’t get the bikes most of us ride for cheap. At least as long as I’ve been riding, that’s always been the case. I guess the difference is that “not cheap” has become a lot more expensive. Probably harder to find a “quality” road bike with “good” components for less than $1000. But a 105-level equipped bike can be had for ~$1500 retail for aluminum w/carbon fork and ~$2000 for an entry level carbon frame. But that’s still not cheap IMHO.

    I hear ya. But take another outdoor activity popular with males in the age ranges that I expect are represented on this site: golf. Even the most cursory search says a full set will run about $500. Add in shoes and some gear such as balls ($40-50 a box), shoes ($100-200) and your up to high three figures. A round at a pretty standard local course here is $25 a shot. Want to play a Kohler course and you’re looking at $190 to $350 a time. Play once a week from say May to October is 24 rounds, that’s $600 at the local, $6000 at an average of $250 at the high end. All of a sudden a bike and gear that can last for years and be ridden hundreds of times a year becomes much more affordable. I had a former colleague whose husband was a keen golfer. He had to scale WAY back when the true cost of his hobby became known. $ thousands a year. Also, I don’t like being told when and where I can ride!

    I’m a golfer too. And my daughter is an up-and-coming junior golfer. The killer cost for golf is the cost to both practice and play. And golf balls … unless you’re like my daughter who doesn’t seem to lose any (I hate her). I used to play 30-40 rounds a year. Would hunt around for bargain rates. But also splurge a couple of times a year to play on “premium” courses. This year, I’ve played maybe a half dozen times. Any money I have for golf gets invested in my daughter.

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  6. @Oli

    I think that poor attitude is the same world wide, unfortunately. But as my Uncle Anatole used to say, “There’s no bike finer than the one you’re riding.” If you love your bike, fuck the snobs.

    @KW

    @LawnCzar

    It’s once you know what you’re on about, and once you start getting social pressure to have a better bike, have nicer kit, that things get harder. I recall getting some attitude on rides and at races because my Nishiki was old, not nice enough. That’s an aspect where I don’t think our sport does itself any favors, at least not in the States.

    There is only one solution to that kind of thing. Crush souls.

    Yes. And yes. If someone looks askance at your machine, there is no other solution but to crush their spirit under your heel.

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  7. @LawnCzar

    As others have mentioned, affording a bike — and gear — was difficult. My family had very little money. The funny thing is that, not knowing anything about cycling initially, it was fairly easy to just get a bike and get riding. It’s once you know what you’re on about, and once you start getting social pressure to have a better bike, have nicer kit, that things get harder. I recall getting some attitude on rides and at races because my Nishiki was old, not nice enough. That’s an aspect where I don’t think our sport does itself any favors, at least not in the States.

    Yup. But there’s also the inverse. People who spend loads of money on bikes and then basically don’t ride them or ride very well.

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  8. Back when I was still racing in the 90s, my bike (notice singular, I basically had one) was a custom (that’s bespoke for my British friends) Hollands frame built with Reynolds 653. Dura Ace everything. ITM stem and handlebars. Mavic GEL 280 tubs (that I built). I didn’t pay full retail for all the parts and bits, but the whole thing probably set me back somewhere in the neighborhood of $1500 (full retail would probably be closer to $2000). Back then, that was considered a small fortune for a bicycle but also about “right” for something considered “top shelf.” Fast forward to today … I have a hard time with something similar, i.e., a top end carbon fiber bike with Dura Ace and fancy wheels, costing $10,000. Back when steel was still real, you used to be able to buy an off the shelf 105-level bike for $600-$700. Ultegra would set you back maybe $800-$1000. Dura Ace $1200. Now, a comparable carbon fiber “entry level” 105 bike will cost you at least $1500, if not $2000. Because my wife is in the bike biz, I was able to build up my Felt FC with Ultegra (DA was beyond my budget), RS81 C35 wheels, 3T cockpit, and fi'zi:k saddle for less than $2K. Figure $4K+ full retail. I love my Felt FC, but is it two times better than my Hollands (and BTW, the Hollands was still my one and only road bike last year when I got back in the saddle after 15 years and logged 4000+miles)? I could “justify” spending $2K to build the Felt (and it was my reward to myself for riding again), but I’d have a harder time justifying $4K … especially since I’m just riding to ride and not racing. That said, if I had the $$$ I’d have no problem spending big bux on something like a Sarto. :-)

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  9. I don’t which is the best/most relevant thread for this, but I’m just going to throw it in here.

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  10. @antihero

    @Oli

    I think that poor attitude is the same world wide, unfortunately. But as my Uncle Anatole used to say, “There’s no bike finer than the one you’re riding.” If you love your bike, fuck the snobs.

    @KW

    @LawnCzar

    It’s once you know what you’re on about, and once you start getting social pressure to have a better bike, have nicer kit, that things get harder. I recall getting some attitude on rides and at races because my Nishiki was old, not nice enough. That’s an aspect where I don’t think our sport does itself any favors, at least not in the States.

    There is only one solution to that kind of thing. Crush souls.

    Yes. And yes. If someone looks askance at your machine, there is no other solution but to crush their spirit under your heel.

    This is 100% true. You can buy a bike… but you can’t buy backbone. Sur la Plaque.

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  11. @wiscot

    @chuckp

    You can still get bikes for cheap. You just can’t get the bikes most of us ride for cheap. At least as long as I’ve been riding, that’s always been the case. I guess the difference is that “not cheap” has become a lot more expensive. Probably harder to find a “quality” road bike with “good” components for less than $1000. But a 105-level equipped bike can be had for ~$1500 retail for aluminum w/carbon fork and ~$2000 for an entry level carbon frame. But that’s still not cheap IMHO.

    I hear ya. But take another outdoor activity popular with males in the age ranges that I expect are represented on this site: golf. Even the most cursory search says a full set will run about $500.

    Hell, you can spend $500 on just a driver these days! That’s what the new TaylorMade M1 (carbon fiber) driver costs. Any top-of-the-line current model year name brand, e.g., Callaway, etc., driver will set you back at least $400.

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  12. @chuckp

    I don’t which is the best/most relevant thread for this, but I’m just going to throw it in here.

    Octalink bottom bracket? How appropriate for an organization that seeks a return to the dark ages. (those are ISIS guys I assume?)

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  13. @chuckp I was trying to go budget on my golf gear estimates. Good on ya for supporting the daughter’s golf habit.

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  14. @chuckp

    @LawnCzar

    As others have mentioned, affording a bike — and gear — was difficult. My family had very little money. The funny thing is that, not knowing anything about cycling initially, it was fairly easy to just get a bike and get riding. It’s once you know what you’re on about, and once you start getting social pressure to have a better bike, have nicer kit, that things get harder. I recall getting some attitude on rides and at races because my Nishiki was old, not nice enough. That’s an aspect where I don’t think our sport does itself any favors, at least not in the States.

    Yup. But there’s also the inverse. People who spend loads of money on bikes and then basically don’t ride them or ride very well.

    Yeah, I was on a used bike Facebook group here in DC for a while and was amazed at the number of people selling high end bikes that had to have cost them many thousands of dollars with lines like, “bought this, but never really got into biking (sic).” Good God, man! Respect the art form!

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  15. @wiscot At least in the U.S., I would argue that both cycling and golf are sports for the more affluent rather than the masses. I’m not talking about people who ride bikes for transportation or casual/family/recreational riding, but people who take their riding more “seriously.” Golf is a shrinking sport because of, in large part, the cost of equipment and the cost to play. Cycling (as a sport, not just riding around on bikes) in the U.S. could go the same way. I’ve always contended that the cycling boom in the U.S. was driven by a certain Texan winning TdFs. Even without his fall from grace (in the eyes of most people, but not all … and not wanting to start a debate about that), without a U.S. “hero” in cycling, the popularity of the sport (maybe even just riding) is likely to wane. If I wanted to be more “harsh,” I’d argue that a lot of people who took up cycling in that era were really Lance fans and not cycling fans (certainly not Velominati). Kind of like a lot folks were Tiger fans and would watch golf as long as Tiger was playing/winning, but now that he’s not don’t. So they’re not really golf fans. A lot of similarities between the two sports.

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  16. @wiscot

    @chuckp I was trying to go budget on my golf gear estimates. Good on ya for supporting the daughter’s golf habit.

    I’m a decent golfer. Used to play a ton, but hardly much these days. Still carrying a 17 handicap but I’m lucky if I can play to it. My daughter’s (16 years old) golf swing is technically better than mine and more consistent. She’s all of 5’2″ (and that’s as tall as she’s going to get) and is now driving the ball 180-200 yards. When she’s playing her A game, I just watch her play … fairways and greens (or very close to the green). When she’s not on her A game, I have a chance of beating her. But those days won’t last for very long.

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  17. @chuckp I think another big factor is golf’s woes is time. If you’ve ponied up the $50 to whatever fee to play 18 holes, you’re gonna play 18 holes. Figure in travel time and a drink afterwards and you’re talking what 4-5-6 hours? The beauty of the bike is you roll out of the house and if you want to do a hour or two hours you can. I have routes that I know will take 2 hours, 2 1/2 hours and 3 hours so when time is short, I can get what I can/need in. Cycling is a much more time-friendly sport in our age of too-many-things-to-do-on-the-same-day lives. I had a conversation to this effect last year with a guy who had been on the swim team at Boston College. (Ok, swimming isn’t a gear-heavy sport, but it does require rather rare specialized facilities and ones that may impose significant time restrictions on use). He loved the bike because he could ride when and where he wanted.

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  18. @chuckp Glad that someone posed the question regarding what the flag on the picture was supposed to portray. Anyhow, this trail confirmed a couple of things to me: 1. Carbon is overpriced and not durable (not as in 30 years compared to steel) 2. Di2 is not sustainable (may be excellent for the short term but if you charge battery for several years, I am pretty sure you need to add a dynamo to your bike to recharge it and you will then not be able to find a replacement battery) 3. There’s a good number of Fellowminati who are not throwing top dollar at their bike but rather chisel the guns, so am glad I didn’t either 4. I am lost what carbon rims I should look for (since I weigh 85kgs) 5. Skiing in Switzerland is also very expensive and fewer young people seem to want to do it, not helped by the fact that global warning reduces the amount of snow, or rather the artificial snow gets quicker slushier. 6. One never forgets one’s first “real” bike, we’re all old sentimental

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  19. You can always snap up used bikes at a great price, the problem is most beginners have no clue what they are looking for/at. I got lucky and knew a bit when I picked up my Cannondale R900 in 2002 for $500 USD. 105, Mavic CXP33 wheels, solid overall bike that I grew into a Velominatus aboard. I finally sold it in 2010, for $500. I kept it in great shape and upgraded when it needed new parts. It was too big (didn’t know THAT much) and I don’t feel badly setting her free. The guy who got it worked at the grocery store and had been riding a Sears mtn. bike. To see him ride a loop on that bike was awesome. I used to see it around town as well. Nice. Now I’ve got a few darn good rides bikes and the problem is finding the time to ride them. Only gonna get worse…the VMH is 10 weeks into Velominipper stages. The bike shed has been demoted on the “Once we have the money” list again! Fack. And if I missed too many VSPs this year, only gonna get worse, though thank god! DOB should be in early may, should be through the Classics and have time to let ’em mature and stop the crying and staying up all night before the Giro!

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  20. @chuckp

    I thought Frank was going to discuss proper tire pressures.

    Yeah me too… then I get in here and discover this cache of cool!

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  21. @KogaLover

    @chuckp Glad that someone posed the question regarding what the flag on the picture was supposed to portray. Anyhow, this trail confirmed a couple of things to me: 1. Carbon is overpriced and not durable (not as in 30 years compared to steel) 3. There’s a good number of Fellowminati who are not throwing top dollar at their bike but rather chisel the guns, so am glad I didn’t either 4. I am lost what carbon rims I should look for (since I weigh 85kgs)

    Re: 1. The right carbon will last indefinitely. Unless you lay it down hard in a way that would thrash a steel bike too. re:3. Damn straight. Guns 1st, gear second. re: 4. Waste of money unless you’re racing and are competitive in Cat 1/2. Don’t bother. At your weight, a set of Golden Tickets is the way to go, and they handle better than any deep rim ever will.

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  22. @Teocalli

    @KW Best wishes for the weekend!

    Thanks! Even if there’s no biking involved (which I think she knows me too well to do) it’s going to be a great weekend. It may be all about the bike, but I get to spend four days with Mrs. KW and the Velominipper!

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  23. @wiscot It’s actually an ISIS bottom bracket!

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  24. @brett

    @chuckp

    I thought Frank was going to discuss proper tire pressures.

    Yeah me too… then I get in here and discover this cache of cool!

    Rookies. http://www.velominati.com/tradition/peer-pressure/

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  25. @chuckp

    I don’t which is the best/most relevant thread for this, but I’m just going to throw it in here.

    Talk about anarchy. These cunts need to be taken down, son.

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  26. @frank

    Talk about anarchy. These cunts need to be taken down, son.

    First bike at 10-years old (1970?) was an English three-speed. Great fun until I crashed it into the back of a car, riding downhill, no hands, and showing off for a cute girl! God I wish there was a picture of the bike. I can’t remember if it was a Raleigh, or some other brand. Bent the fork and dad replaced it with a beautiful white Manufrance Hirondelle (about 1971?) with Mafac center pull brakes and a Simplex derailleur. Couldn’t have cost $120 in 1971. I rode that thing all over central Missouri, taking off for a 40-mile rides, with no water in the Missouri middle-of-August heat. I didn’t know any better! Moved to Minnesota and rode it all over the northern suburbs of St Paul. I think Frank knows the area. Laps around Lake Johanna and Josephine and around White Bear Lake on weekends. Not fancy or too expensive, but I learned to pull a crank, clean the bearings in the hubs, and change tires and tape on that bike. Then it was stolen at Univ of Wisconsin. Flash forward 30-years and I see pics of another white Hirondelle in excellent condition on Bikeforum.com. It wasn’t even for sale, but I kept offering the guy more and more money and finally paid $850. It might be 30 lbs and the Simplex is a pain, but it’s identical to my bike and it’s my Baby!

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  27. @wiscot

    @chuckp The beauty of the bike is you roll out of the house and if you want to do a hour or two hours you can. I have routes that I know will take 2 hours, 2 1/2 hours and 3 hours so when time is short, I can get what I can/need in.

    This. That’s why road cycling has taken over so easily from all my other hobbies (mountain biking, cricket, rock climbing, being in a band etc). As soon as I step out of the door I’m doing my hobby. Wasted time is nil. A ride can be as long/short easy/hard as you need.

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  28. @chuckp

    @wiscot Golf is a shrinking sport because of, in large part, the cost of equipment and the cost to play.

    I’m not sure about that. 25+ lbs ago I was single digit competitive golfer looking for tourneys to play. Frankly, it’s 1) the time and 2) the fitness. Four hour rounds are just not happening. Fat dudes on carts smoking cigars, drinking beer and not in a hurry are the norm. And if ya wanna be fit, you have to invest time in another form of exercise. I walked when I played. Religiously. There’s no real fitness going on there. For fun I’ve strolled my club course with heart rate monitor. Just nothing happening. The PGA guys are spending a lot of time in gym to stay fit. You have a job and family and play serious golf? Forget time for fitness. The real $$ is being spent by the outdoor enthusiasts. People that like to build tree forts and plant green crops in woods they lease. And drive their pick up trucks out to the woods they lease, driver their four wheelers to the tree house. Use a nice gun or bow to kill the deer that come to eat the field they planted. And then drive the deer out and pay to get it processed in to sausage. There’s some real bucks spent there. Especially on their kits! That outdoor deer and turkey slaying all weather camo kit??? That’s more expensive than most cycling kits. Bass fishermen too can spend a few bucks on their hobby. Boat, trailer and pick up truck?? When I was golfing as a youngster it was hand me down clubs from my grandfather and muni courses. It was not expensive. And I rode a Schwinn that I still have! Damn I love that bike. Cheers

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  29. @Oli

    @wiscot It’s actually an ISIS bottom bracket!

    Crap. I’ve got ISIS on the winter bike! Try getting that through airport security – “what’s this son?” “It’s an ISIS bottom bracket.” Then spend hours in a wee room with TSA, FBI etc. Repeat to self a million times: octalink, octalink . . . .

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  30. @wiscot

    @Oli

    @wiscot It’s actually an ISIS bottom bracket!

    Crap. I’ve got ISIS on the winter bike! Try getting that through airport security – “what’s this son?” “It’s an ISIS bottom bracket.” Then spend hours in a wee room with TSA, FBI etc. Repeat to self a million times: octalink, octalink . . . .

    Nothing to worry about sir, just a routine inspection of your bottom bracket….

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  31. @RobSandy

    @wiscot

    @chuckp The beauty of the bike is you roll out of the house and if you want to do a hour or two hours you can. I have routes that I know will take 2 hours, 2 1/2 hours and 3 hours so when time is short, I can get what I can/need in.

    This. That’s why road cycling has taken over so easily from all my other hobbies (mountain biking, cricket, rock climbing, being in a band etc). As soon as I step out of the door I’m doing my hobby. Wasted time is nil. A ride can be as long/short easy/hard as you need.

    Absolutely agree. A round of golf is an all day affair when you include travel to/from the course and something to eat/drink after the round. Still, there’s a lot to be said about a round of golf with some of your best friends. Especially the trash talk. And when you pure a shot … well, that’s better than s*x. :-) I can’t necessarily say the same for any particular moment of triumph on a bike.

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  32. @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    @Oli

    @wiscot It’s actually an ISIS bottom bracket!

    Crap. I’ve got ISIS on the winter bike! Try getting that through airport security – “what’s this son?” “It’s an ISIS bottom bracket.” Then spend hours in a wee room with TSA, FBI etc. Repeat to self a million times: octalink, octalink . . . .

    Nothing to worry about sir, just a routine inspection of your bottom bracket….

    Can I insist on some Dumonde lube for the search? Seems only fair.

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  33. @chuckp

    @RobSandy

    @wiscot

    @chuckp The beauty of the bike is you roll out of the house and if you want to do a hour or two hours you can. I have routes that I know will take 2 hours, 2 1/2 hours and 3 hours so when time is short, I can get what I can/need in.

    This. That’s why road cycling has taken over so easily from all my other hobbies (mountain biking, cricket, rock climbing, being in a band etc). As soon as I step out of the door I’m doing my hobby. Wasted time is nil. A ride can be as long/short easy/hard as you need.

    Absolutely agree. A round of golf is an all day affair when you include travel to/from the course and something to eat/drink after the round. Still, there’s a lot to be said about a round of golf with some of your best friends. Especially the trash talk. And when you pure a shot … well, that’s better than s*x. :-) I can’t necessarily say the same for any particular moment of triumph on a bike.

    Perhaps, but alas for some of us getting a bike ride in is a much more readily available option than sex. Lasts longer too.

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  34. @Oli

    I think that poor attitude is the same world wide, unfortunately. But as my Uncle Anatole used to say, “There’s no bike finer than the one you’re riding.” If you love your bike, fuck the snobs.

    I see all these insane bikes online – Baums, Fetskas, Vanillas, etc. and I can’t help but wonder, “Where the fuck do these bikes/owners live?” I live in a cycling hotbed with a good economy and even on the Hot Shot group rides I generally see solid framesets (C’dales, Cervelos, etc.) with very $ carbon wheels. I see very, very few of these custom boutique bikes, so I always wonder how there are so many out there online. I guess it’s an aggregate from all over the world, so they look numerous. Then again, my riding buddy has an insane stable of around 12 top notch steeds. Thank god he’s taller or I’d be tempted to steal from him!

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  35. At this point in my life, I have two hobbies: riding bikes and playing futbol. I play soccer twice a week, I buy cleats and turfs ever few years. Not much money put into that. That is why I don’t worry about what I spend on cycling. I don’t own a car. I ride a bike 7 days a week. I need commuter bikes, I need cross bikes, I need mtn. bikes, I need road bikes, I need steel road bikes, I need carbon road bikes. Considering I’ve now been at it for 13 years, I’d say my stable was acquired slowly and the spending was spread out. At this point I buy things here and there that I need – bibs to replace worn ones, chains, tires, some new bars or seat pillar, etc. Nothing major. A new bike purchase is a few years off, gotta really be lusting after something new/different from what I have. With that said, I place no restrictions on my desire to constantly buy new shades. The sad part is that I’m running out of room to store them in a ready-to-go style. Oh well. This is my only indulgence in life, aside from always buying more jalapenos than I know I can eat in a week. Thankfully, jalapenos are cheap, especially when half of ’em you eat are grown in your garden. Buddy just told me last night he picked up his first full-suspension mtn. bike, a 2008 model that went for $2000 USD, for $350, with a helmet, spare tires, and spare tubes included. Deals are always out there. The guy had just had his second kid and saw his riding time cut even more.

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  36. @antihero

    @KogaLover

    @chuckp 4. I am lost what carbon rims I should look for (since I weigh 85kgs)

    re: 4. Waste of money unless you’re racing and are competitive in Cat 1/2. Don’t bother. At your weight, a set of Golden Tickets is the way to go, and they handle better than any deep rim ever will.

    I agree. Unless you just have money to burn and have to have eye candy. I can’t believe how many non-racers I see riding fancy, deep dish carbon rims that had to set them back some serious $$$. OK, I get the whole Sky marginal gains thing. But there is such a thing as diminishing marginal return … especially when a set of wheels can cost as much, if not more, than a frame. And other than TTing or being at the pointy end of the pack, not clear to me how much of an advantage aero wheels (or aero anything) when you’re in the back and have the benefit of the draft. When I built my Felt FC I toyed with the idea of deep (50mm is probably as deep as I would want as I’m a light, skinny guy) dish carbon rims, but even a wife in the bike biz my bank account couldn’t afford/justify them. Instead, I opted for Shimano RS81 C35s as a set of all-arounder wheels. Alloy braking surface but carbon fairing so kind of the best of all worlds. 35mm so semi-deep with some aero but not going to get blown all over the road in crosswinds. Not heavy, but not light either. But have been relatively bulletproof wheels that suit my riding. And any deficiencies in my riding can be chalked up to me, not my wheels or any of my other equipment.

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  37. @wiscot

    Perhaps, but alas for some of us getting a bike ride in is a much more readily available option than sex. Lasts longer too.

    BA DA BING!

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  38. @Ron Try stretching your legs a couple of cms…or put some wood on top of the pedals!

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  39. @wiscot On the gloves: in my repair kit that I take with me on rides, I have a couple of surgeon gloves (not sterile) that I can use if my chain gets off or some even worse dirty repairs are called for. White bartape, white jersey, looking fantastic and all that.

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  40. @KogaLover

    @wiscot On the gloves: in my repair kit that I take with me on rides, I have a couple of surgeon gloves (not sterile) that I can use if my chain gets off or some even worse dirty repairs are called for. White bartape, white jersey, looking fantastic and all that.

    That’s f**king brilliant!

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  41. @chuckp

    @antihero

    @KogaLover

    @chuckp 4. I am lost what carbon rims I should look for (since I weigh 85kgs)

    re: 4. Waste of money unless you’re racing and are competitive in Cat 1/2. Don’t bother. At your weight, a set of Golden Tickets is the way to go, and they handle better than any deep rim ever will.

    I agree. Unless you just have money to burn and have to have eye candy. I can’t believe how many non-racers I see riding fancy, deep dish carbon rims that had to set them back some serious $$$. OK, I get the whole Sky marginal gains thing. But there is such a thing as diminishing marginal return … especially when a set of wheels can cost as much, if not more, than a frame. And other than TTing or being at the pointy end of the pack, not clear to me how much of an advantage aero wheels (or aero anything) when you’re in the back and have the benefit of the draft. When I built my Felt FC I toyed with the idea of deep (50mm is probably as deep as I would want as I’m a light, skinny guy) dish carbon rims, but even a wife in the bike biz my bank account couldn’t afford/justify them. Instead, I opted for Shimano RS81 C35s as a set of all-arounder wheels. Alloy braking surface but carbon fairing so kind of the best of all worlds. 35mm so semi-deep with some aero but not going to get blown all over the road in crosswinds. Not heavy, but not light either. But have been relatively bulletproof wheels that suit my riding. And any deficiencies in my riding can be chalked up to me, not my wheels or any of my other equipment.

    [ Dr. Ian Malcolm voice ] “Greater equipment inversely translates into greater confidence. In some cases sadly. If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that cycling will not be contained. Ciclismo breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh… well, there it is. I’m, I’m simply saying that cycling, uh… finds a way.” “Myself, I’m an OpenPro man.”

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  42. @antihero

    Waste of money unless you’re racing and are competitive in Cat 1/2. Don’t bother. At your weight, a set of Golden Tickets is the way to go, and they handle better than any deep rim ever will.

    working on building GP4, GL 330, Victory Strada tubular wheelsets

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  43. @universo

    @antihero

    Waste of money unless you’re racing and are competitive in Cat 1/2. Don’t bother. At your weight, a set of Golden Tickets is the way to go, and they handle better than any deep rim ever will.

    working on building GP4, GL 330, Victory Strada tubular wheelsets

    Back in the day, I trained on Mavic GL 330s and raced on GEL 280s — both that I built. I loved building wheels. Once you learn, pretty “simple” and a perfect way to pass a cold, rainy winter afternoon indoors.

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  44. @LawnCzar

    My first first bike was a Murray BMX that I got for Christmas when I was seven… I was completely underwhelmed. It was too big, I tipped on the training wheels, etc. It wasn’t until maybe a year later that I got myself going on a friend’s bike and felt this weird sensation, like flying. I rode up and down our street for hours that evening. I remember being in school and fantasizing about opening the garage to get my bike as soon as I got home. Years later, my uncle took me to see a stage of the Tour Du Pont (Steve Bauer pipped Davis Phinney at the line) and I immediately sold my Nintendo and started saving my allowance (and lunch money, shhh) to buy a bike. I got a 200 pound Raleigh made of pig iron for $100, took off the “safety” brakes, pie plate, and reflectors, added clips and straps, and got riding. A year or so later, I saved up some more, sold that bike to a friend, and got myself a used Nishiki Prestige. That was my first “proper” bike. I still have the frame, which I’m in the process of stripping and repainting. At some point I need to get it back on the road, six-speed cassette and all. As others have mentioned, affording a bike — and gear — was difficult. My family had very little money. The funny thing is that, not knowing anything about cycling initially, it was fairly easy to just get a bike and get riding. It’s once you know what you’re on about, and once you start getting social pressure to have a better bike, have nicer kit, that things get harder. I recall getting some attitude on rides and at races because my Nishiki was old, not nice enough. That’s an aspect where I don’t think our sport does itself any favors, at least not in the States.

    Here’s another guy who took a lot of shit for not having nice enough gear. The best response is not to give two flying fucks what other people think and go about your way. Of all Rule Violations, Rule #43 is the worst.

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  45. @chuckp

    @antihero

    @KogaLover

    @chuckp 4. I am lost what carbon rims I should look for (since I weigh 85kgs)

    re: 4. Waste of money unless you’re racing and are competitive in Cat 1/2. Don’t bother. At your weight, a set of Golden Tickets is the way to go, and they handle better than any deep rim ever will.

    I agree. Unless you just have money to burn and have to have eye candy. I can’t believe how many non-racers I see riding fancy, deep dish carbon rims that had to set them back some serious $$$. OK, I get the whole Sky marginal gains thing. But there is such a thing as diminishing marginal return … especially when a set of wheels can cost as much, if not more, than a frame. And other than TTing or being at the pointy end of the pack, not clear to me how much of an advantage aero wheels (or aero anything) when you’re in the back and have the benefit of the draft. When I built my Felt FC I toyed with the idea of deep (50mm is probably as deep as I would want as I’m a light, skinny guy) dish carbon rims, but even a wife in the bike biz my bank account couldn’t afford/justify them. Instead, I opted for Shimano RS81 C35s as a set of all-arounder wheels. Alloy braking surface but carbon fairing so kind of the best of all worlds. 35mm so semi-deep with some aero but not going to get blown all over the road in crosswinds. Not heavy, but not light either. But have been relatively bulletproof wheels that suit my riding. And any deficiencies in my riding can be chalked up to me, not my wheels or any of my other equipment.

    Eddy Merckx:

    Don’t buy upgrades. Ride up grades.

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  46. @frank

    Eddy Merckx:

    Don’t buy upgrades. Ride up grades.

    That’s why my “upgrade” carbon bike is still pretty “basic” in the grand scheme of things. With nearly identical geometry to my Hollands, it’s essentially a carbon version of my steelie. I will admit, however, that I did want a set of wheels that was a little bit out of the ordinary without going all bling.

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  47. @frank

    @LawnCzar

    My first first bike was a Murray BMX that I got for Christmas when I was seven… I was completely underwhelmed. It was too big, I tipped on the training wheels, etc. It wasn’t until maybe a year later that I got myself going on a friend’s bike and felt this weird sensation, like flying. I rode up and down our street for hours that evening. I remember being in school and fantasizing about opening the garage to get my bike as soon as I got home. Years later, my uncle took me to see a stage of the Tour Du Pont (Steve Bauer pipped Davis Phinney at the line) and I immediately sold my Nintendo and started saving my allowance (and lunch money, shhh) to buy a bike. I got a 200 pound Raleigh made of pig iron for $100, took off the “safety” brakes, pie plate, and reflectors, added clips and straps, and got riding. A year or so later, I saved up some more, sold that bike to a friend, and got myself a used Nishiki Prestige. That was my first “proper” bike. I still have the frame, which I’m in the process of stripping and repainting. At some point I need to get it back on the road, six-speed cassette and all. As others have mentioned, affording a bike — and gear — was difficult. My family had very little money. The funny thing is that, not knowing anything about cycling initially, it was fairly easy to just get a bike and get riding. It’s once you know what you’re on about, and once you start getting social pressure to have a better bike, have nicer kit, that things get harder. I recall getting some attitude on rides and at races because my Nishiki was old, not nice enough. That’s an aspect where I don’t think our sport does itself any favors, at least not in the States.

    Here’s another guy who took a lot of shit for not having nice enough gear. The best response is not to give two flying fucks what other people think and go about your way. Of all Rule Violations, Rule #43 is the worst.

    I remember when Obree debuted the original tuck position in the 80s. (I was one of the poor suckers he thrashed on a very regular basis). Piece for piece, the bike was pretty standard stuff. Steel frame, alloy bars, ok wheels. What wasn’t standard was the guy riding it – both physically and mentally. In those areas he excelled. Give Sagan a $1500 bike and he’ll win; give joe blow a $10K bike and he still won’t win. It’s not all about the bike (to use a phrase of questionable provenance.) BTW that’s some awesome casually deliberate from Obree in that pic. Hard to do in Ayrshire.

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  48. @Teocalli

    @wiscot

    @Oli

    @wiscot It’s actually an ISIS bottom bracket!

    Crap. I’ve got ISIS on the winter bike! Try getting that through airport security – “what’s this son?” “It’s an ISIS bottom bracket.” Then spend hours in a wee room with TSA, FBI etc. Repeat to self a million times: octalink, octalink . . . .

    Nothing to worry about sir, just a routine inspection of your bottom bracket….

    +1 hasn’t been handed out in a while. This whole thing is gold, but that made me spit my coffee.

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  49. The persistent flow of new technology into bikes does occasionally mean that you can get those $10,000 bikes for far less. I bought a new 2013 Cannondale Supersix Evo Team with 10 speed SRAM Red at the end of 2014 for $4500. Heck, the Mavic Carbone wheels were worth half of the price paid. I think it helps if you ride a frame on the small or large end of the scale – I’m on a 58. How often have you seen a killer deal on a bike only to click through and discover it’s an XS! If you’re patient and smart about it you can find deals on complete bikes. I bet there were some steals on bikes unlucky enough to be kitted out with DA 7900 once 9000 hit showroom floor. Or when the bike company releases their new model that is 24 grams lighter, 17% stiffer with more vertical compliance! Even though the “old” frame was good enough to win dozens of professional races!

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  50. @Ron

    At this point in my life, I have two hobbies: riding bikes and playing futbol. I play soccer twice a week, I buy cleats and turfs ever few years. Not much money put into that. That is why I don’t worry about what I spend on cycling. I don’t own a car. I ride a bike 7 days a week. I need commuter bikes, I need cross bikes, I need mtn. bikes, I need road bikes, I need steel road bikes, I need carbon road bikes. Considering I’ve now been at it for 13 years, I’d say my stable was acquired slowly and the spending was spread out. At this point I buy things here and there that I need – bibs to replace worn ones, chains, tires, some new bars or seat pillar, etc. Nothing major. A new bike purchase is a few years off, gotta really be lusting after something new/different from what I have. With that said, I place no restrictions on my desire to constantly buy new shades. The sad part is that I’m running out of room to store them in a ready-to-go style. Oh well. This is my only indulgence in life, aside from always buying more jalapenos than I know I can eat in a week. Thankfully, jalapenos are cheap, especially when half of ’em you eat are grown in your garden. Buddy just told me last night he picked up his first full-suspension mtn. bike, a 2008 model that went for $2000 USD, for $350, with a helmet, spare tires, and spare tubes included. Deals are always out there. The guy had just had his second kid and saw his riding time cut even more.

    +1. I commute to work, and live in a terribly, terribly poorly designed, unlovable bog of a city where every public planning decision has given precedence to drivers and people wanting a big, cheap shitbox to live in a mile away from their neighbours. To own a car here costs north of 2 grand a year for rego and insurance, so I figure the alternative to owning 2 cars is to keep a bunch of bikes on the road (1 commuter, crit bike, track bike, road race bike) and a TON of kit. The unusual thing is I buy everything on the basis that I’m going to wear it out – I don’t flip bikes, I buy clothing based on durability, I wear clothes that are more than one season old, and I race 2- 3 times a week. I also, to my eye, appear to be in the minority. 2 of my bikes are second hand, and a handful of tools, and a bit of nous working on bikes has saved me a couple of grand easy over the last couple of years. Ive been around the bike trade and bikes for a fucking long time, and still get looked at funny when I turn up for rides on the rain bike because, you know, it’s raining. No, it’s not carbon, 11 speed, and no I don’t ride an S works (never have, never will). It’s the best tool for the job.

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