I am interested in where people’s conception of what a “bike” is comes from. That is to say, when you think of the bikes you want to ride, where does the image come from? Having the Tour on at home in the evenings reminds me that 10 or 15 years ago, I thought of those bikes, pro race bikes, as the archetypes for the sorts of machines I wanted to own. In retrospect, this was fairly ludicrous, since I don’t do much that resembles pro racing, but I don’t think I was the only one dreaming those dreams.
I have to confess that I have often fixated on frames that look good, disregarding their age and so their upgradability and weight. I put together a couple cool, vintage road bikes that were heavier than an anvil and limited in their ability to take modern componentry. It’s amazing how nostalgia can steer you down dark, dead ends. The bike I wanted ten years ago doesn’t need to be the bike I want now. Lesson learned.
The industry, or at least industry media, still runs regular features on the pro’s bikes. Those pieces don’t actually interest me much. There is some tech than will eventually find its way into production bikes, for sure, but mostly those bikes look like airplanes to me. And I don’t fly.
Now, mostly I’m looking at what my friends are riding. They’re smarter than I am. They are mostly leading me into new places and new ways of riding, so rather than thinking about what Miguel Indurain rode, I’m thinking about what Mike and Brad are on. Or Rob.
This week’s Group Ride asks, where are you getting ideas about the bike you want next? If you race, do you think it makes sense to covet the pro rides? If you don’t, who is showing you the way forward?
Image: Wikipedia/Darz Mol