Thursday, April 23

Why don't YOU go buy a new bike?

Recently, someone suggested that had I bought a new frame/bike, the stagnant blog would be less so.

I thought I admitted it already.  I was teetering on the edge of a purchase just this last fall.  The price was right, the time was right, the Bike Source employee who I told to keep me from ever buying another geared bike was softening on his conviction, The Pie was all like "whatever..."

Nothing could stop me.

But me.

And I did.

Life is interesting when buying a new bike.  The parts selection, the anticipation, the curating of the ultimate happy fun time machine... but not this time.

More or less, it was the overwhelming feeling that I'd be making a(nother) mistake.  The problem today is, the bike "industry" has become a Mexican restaurant menu to me.

I've already mentioned my trepidation when going to a Mexican restaurant, although Mexican food is pretty much the go-to option after a big mountain ride in these parts.  It's all the options that get me. I don't do well with decisions when there are too many items to choose from.  For the most part, all Mexican food seems basically the same... some form of meat in some form of grain disc (wrapped, flopped, rolled, folded, squoze, or origami'ed) with some variation of seven different accessories drizzled or anointed with some viscous liquid... with beans, rice, or a lame mini-salad filling the rest of the plate.

Specialized, Trek, and Giant... I guess.  Those are the chicken, steak, and pork of the Mexican menu.  Anything you want, they cover 99% of the options.  Some company like Santa Cruz is perhaps the fish, slightly more exotic, but just another meat on a disc.

But then you must pick between quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos, burritos, flautas, tostadas, fajitas, tortas, chimichangas... whatever.  Meat on a disc with just enough of a difference from something else on the menu to give it its own category.

Full suspension, hard tail, rigid, geared, single speed, 26", 27.5" 27.5+, 29", 29+, fat bikes, 1x drivetrains, 2x drivetrains, all-mountain, adventure, all-road, XC race, freeride (still a thing?), trail...

The menu is tiring.  The options appear limitless to me.  That's why I almost always get a chicken burrito, essentially the rigid single speed... or when I feel crazy (and it's an option), I get the special dinner, a single speed with a suspension fork for getting crazy but not really committing to trying something new.

Every once in awhile, I see something on someone's plate that looks good.

"You like them flautas, Kürdt?"

(not flautas but an image of Kürdt with some food that looks good for reference)
photo cred: Aaron Chambermaid
"Best thing on the entire face of the planet, Dick."

So I get them next time, despite the fact that the name makes me think of flatus, and the fact that I know I'm probably going to wish I ordered a chicken burrito.

I end up wishing I had gotten the chicken burrito.  Not that the flatus wasn't good (or flautas, same diff), it just wasn't my chicken burrito.

I'm not complaining about all the "advancements" and new "standards" in the "industry."  As someone who sweats the very minutest of details on something as simple as a rigid single speed, I think it's great that the "industry" trudges on in the interest of making the perfect bike for everyone.  It's just that with my limited time to ride an actual mountain bike, for me to find something other than my chicken burrito, I would need to take several months off from work and travel the country trying different bikes for weeks at a time in different places to ever find something that fit me as well as this decade-old, faded, stained Santa Cruz hoodie I'm wearing right now.

So unless somehow I find a plate-full of food I didn't order sitting in front of me that absolutely blows my socks off?

I think I'll continue to try to make my stupid chicken burrito the best god damned chicken burrito ever... but I'll still be looking at everyone's plate and wondering.  

And in case you're just wanting some humor...

Mummies are over (for me).

Picking fights with people I can't beat are my new (again) thing.

photo chop cred: Grodon Wadsworthless


Rob said...

what did you almost buy and sell 3 weeks later?

dicky said...

A bike.

Anonymous said...

How about chicken burrito with extra guac? Aka blow your wad on a 27.5" wheelset and "+" tires for the vertigo. And for Pete's sake, more ride pics. Not all of us can go ride every week. Need an outlet.

Fatmarc Vanderbacon said...

that was beautiful. I think you nailed it. I've demoed a FS a few times, but in the end find I love my rigid geared hard-tail the best, and no matter the adjustment I can't get the full squish to ride how I want it to, how I want to feel on a bike... I'm old and stubborn I don't want to change how I ride at this point... Anyway, I feel your pain... great write up...


Anonymous said...

bike industry has gone stupid...
I like simple.
Simple is good.
Simple is easy going.
Like a simple chick.
No problems.
You don't have to buy her much.
She's low maintance.
Like a bike should be.
I like simple.

Who the fck needs electronic shifters and anything higher than 1-4 gears, if that...

Simple is good.

I like buying bikes, I have 16 of them after 2 marriages. Luckily, they didn't take the bikes. I'm happy as a pig in shit. For life is simple now. I bike. I love it. Simple it is.

keep life simple.
bike manufactures just don't get it. They must have complex lives.
Simple is good.


Chip Batson said...

I don't get it Rich. You seem to have the complicated mexican menu pretty dialed from where I'm standing.

Anonymous said...

"Like a simple chick. No problems"

A myth that man has told himself since the discovery of the vagina.

"After 2 marriages"

..the search continues. The hunt for Sasquatch may bear more fruit.