SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


Just Ride 'em. [A Rant]

Currently on the iBOB list there's a discussion that originated from
Rivendell announcing that they were discontinuing some of the smaller
and larger sizes of their Rambouillet model, and has since morphed
into a comparison of the ride qualities between the Rambouillet and
Atlantis models Riv sells. Some folks have also speculated that Riv is
phasing out the Rambouillet model because the market is moving away
from "sport-touring bikes" (when was the market ever IN sport-touring
bikes?!?) towards constructor-style randonneuring bikes with custom
racks etc.

At the same time, there's an interesting post on another blog I
sometimes read, putting forth the opinion that a "versatile bike is
not an all-round bike" because a bike that is versatile includes too
many compromises vs. one that is specifically built to be an
"all-round" bike. (Huh?)

Finally, there's another new bike-speak term that's cropped up --
"planing" -- which I'm guessing is an attempt to describe the
(desirable?) "spring-back effect" in a bike frame as you exert force
on the pedals. Discussions surrounding this concept argue that some
frames are better than others because they "plane" better....stiffer
over-sized tubing vs. more flexy standard, blah blah blah. (Can we
get some scientific data to back this up, vs. someone just
"proclaiming" it to be real based on opinion please?)

Man, I'm sorry but this all sounds like so much bullshit!

People have spent lots of money on multiple boutique bikes and they
invent all of this crap to self-justify those purchases!

Just get a bike and ride it. Your legs make you go faster, not the
bike. Your imagination governs the "versatility" of your bike and
your determination facilitates the completion of your chosen route,
not the width nor diameter of your tires. The reality is, you can get
on nearly any bike and ride it nearly anywhere. Ride brevets on an
MTB, commute on a road-racing bike, "train" on a hybrid, tour on a
fixie, whatever. So put a handlebar bag on a high-trail bike -- who
cares, the world's not going to end!

Sure we see what might be "clueless newbies" out there huffing and puffing on the
"wrong" bike and quietly look down our noses at them, but they're out
there doing it...and often putting in more miles than us. It's easy
to succumb to the complacency of specialization when your wallet gets
fat -- I've certainly fallen prey to that to some extent, and now I'm
trying to climb out of that hole.

Man, just shut up and RIDE!


Blogger Unknown said...

There's a guy who goes past our place about every morning at 6:30 or so. He rides some old hybrid-type bicycle, wears a t-shirt, jeans and boots, with his helmet cocked off to one side.

I think he's got some challenges, as I've tried to speak with him if our paths cross. But, he zips past at an extremely impressive speed every time, usually noticeably faster than most decked out riders who frequent that route.

He's become my idol of sorts, a reminder that you can fixate way too much on carbon this, geometry that, etc... But, as you so eloquently put, it comes down to turning the pedals.

-- Jim "Run What U Brung!"

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo, Jim! The world, or at least bike snobs, need more people like you.

Gary Blakley

4:42 AM  
Blogger Jim G said...

Here's another blogger's post that jibes nicely with the point I was trying to get across...

10:43 AM  

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