I'd like to hear your thoughts on this whole bike upgrading thing. Let me put my question in perspective.
In the summer of 05 I started biking again, with a new low-end low-cost mountain bike, and put about 800 miles on that bike on the knobbies, never straying from the road, until someone suggested slicks. Did that, and now have about 2,000 miles on that bike.
I realized somewhere in the midst of all that that I was probably going to spend most of my cycling time on the road, but when I tried out a few road bikes, they were always too uncomfortable. Then I found on Craigslist a used Giant Cypress SX, and figured for about $200 how could I lose?
This bike has been excellent for me. I've swapped out the saddle, installed new brakes and tires, raised the stem, got a rack for the back, a computer, and now some bar ends. It's given me a good ride, and I've got about 1,600 miles on it so far. This 2004 model is an excellent economical flat bar road bike. In 2005 and beyond, they changed it to a comfort bike and I wouldn't buy any of the subsequent models.
Anyway...as many of you know, I've been searching, in an on-again/off-again manner, for a better bike, and have tested most of the well known brands entry level road bikes. They are not as uncomfortable as they used to be, and I can probably use a bike with drop bars provided it's still set up with the bars about even with the saddle, and so on.
But here's what I think stops me when I go looking. If I'm completely honest with myself, my current bike (the Cypress SX) is good enough for my purposes. I ride mostly shorter rides (10-25) miles, in urban neighborhoods with lots of traffic signals and stop signs and such, 3-4 times a week, for fun and good exercise. I haven't been able to understand how a new bike will substantially improve on my experience.
I can appreciate how a more expensive and newer bike can have better components, having tried them, but honestly -- the low end trigger shifters seem to do the job easily, the bike, while slow, is fast enough for me (I probably average 12-15 mph on my rides). I don't climb many hills so I can see how a different bike might make that easier, but my brain keeps coming back to "good enough is good enough!"
Yet I haunt the bike shops and browse Craigslist still. I don't understand this! When I tried out the Cypress SX, I could tell immediately the performance boost I'd get with it to do the kind of riding I do, compared with the heavier mountain bike. But when I test ride the affordable road bikes, the improvement seems much less substantial. Yes, they are smoother and lighter and more limber, but I guess they're not THAT much better or I would have pulled the trigger. (Yes, there was a time when it was a financial question, but that's not so true anymore.)
So what I wonder about is why, if what I have is good enough, dependable enough, fast enough, and certainly paid for enough, why if that's true, do I keep looking at new bikes. And what's it going to take for me to find another bike that lifts the whole experience so much that I gotta have it -- like what happened when I tried out the SX? I came close to that feeling only a couple of times -- and if I remember right, they were both bikes made of carbon. (My wallet just hiccuped).
Okay, enough musings for one morning. I know, I know. N+1 = the right number of bikes. I just don't see why, in my case.