I was embarrassed actually, and then a little bit of pride bloomed up behind it. Someone asked me how old the winter tights I was wearing were, and I said, “About 20 years.” They are of an unfashionable brand, and slightly distended from age, though still windproof and warm and comfortable. I haven’t yet seen a reason to throw them out.
It got me thinking about some of the other ever-presents in the silo of cycling apparel and equipment I’ve collected over the decades, the odd, small parts that skulk at the backs of the bins stacked in the garage, the old caps rumpled in the bottom of the basket with the overspill of gloves and warmers. I wouldn’t call myself a pack rat, but I do hesitate to dispense with useful things. I have half a dozen old wool jerseys that come out every winter.
I have some bar ends somewhere. Maybe those could go.
The things is, I value durability. You don’t always get what you pay for. I have as many budget-oriented pieces that are still functioning well after five years as I do high-end pieces, which, in my experience, are usually more fragile. These are generalizations, and I don’t want to indict high-end kit or parts. It is often sublime and well made. Just not always.
This week’s Group Ride asks, what is your oldest piece of bike kit, clothing or gear, that you’re still using regularly? Are you a pack rat? Or do you buy new stuff season after season?