Latest and Greatest

Me with the motliest and most unorthodox group of riders you'll ever meet.  Photo by Lee Toma

Me with the motliest and most unorthodox group of riders you’ll ever meet.

Photo by Lee Toma

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking about past discussions I’ve had regarding the latest and greatest cycling gear. I was all fired up and had written a line to sum up my thoughts: “who the *bleep* needs the latest and greatest. Just go ride.”

Darryl wrote a post about “must have” cycling equipment last week, so my post about adaptability will have to wait until next time, especially since commenter Pedalpilot brought up an excellent point:

A real rider needs little more than a bike, and a desire to ride.

Since cycling is back in fashion now, and for years has been replacing golf for business meetings, the mindset of having the best and most expensive seems to be popular. Bicycling magazines, websites and shops are all geared up for the latest and greatest equipment. There are constant reviews of things than can be had much cheaper when you’re not paying for the brand name. Assos is a great example of this. You want how much for a pair of bibs? Oh, only the cost of my mortgage every month. Ok.

I’m all for innovation, and I’m sure there’s a reason for 11 speed cassettes on bikes (I’m thinking to ditch a chainring in the front) but at some point your bank account begs for mercy, and you have to think, do I really need this to ride?

The answer is no. You don’t really need that thing, what you need is more time in the saddle. Unless your bike is in need of repair (and at that point you can look into upgrading), don’t fix what’s not broken. Your bike isn’t a show car meant to sit around in the garage being drooled over, it’s meant to be out there, on the roads or trails, being ridden.

  • Rockymountainrider

    I own a road bike and a mountain bike. My mountain bike is 25 years old and rides smoothly, When I took it to the local bike shop to have it checked out, the owner said: don’t change anything on this bike. They don’t make durable components like that any more…

  • gswbike

    An Eddy Merckx quote from a poster I once saw really sums it up for me: “Don’t but upgrades, Ride up grades.” The bicycles I ride regularly are steel and are 27+ years old. I enjoy keeping them looking fine and running smooth. I find working on my bicycles is another enjoyable facet of cycling and the wear is indication of all the experiences we have had together.