Been thinking about the bikes I have now- and past ones.
Currently I have 2 bikes that are ridden a lot- 2 that get out occasionally and several that are just kept in the shed. This got me thinking about the quality of the bikes I have had.
In the early days of my riding- I was just happy to have a bike. I started with a S/H/ Mountain "Type" bike. It had 26" wheels- knobbly tyres- straight handlebars and worked. Only problem was that it had road gearing and I definitely wanted to go offroad. This was followed very quickly by a Trek 800 that still did not have low enough gearing- but at least it would take the knocks from the treatment that I started to give it. Then another couple of bikes that were an improvement- but my first quality Mountain bike was a Kona Explosif. From then on each bike was an improvement on quality and suitability for rough use.
But those early bikes served their purpose. They were good enough for the use they were given- they stood up to the misuse I gave them and they had one important factor that I never thought about. They told me the limits I had and the limits the bikes had. Each bike told me where I had to improve myself- and what the next bike would be so that I could better manage the improvements that were about to come.
I carried on the View of start on something just about suitable when I went road. I did not know if pounding the black stuff for mile after mile was going to be "My Thing" so I got a bike that was at the lower end of the quality range. Got an OCR3 and soon found the limits of what I had bought. I got a bike that was one size too small- Still had MTB thinking on frame size- and the wheels were not up to a standard that I should have got. The rest of the bike was fine but at the end of a year- I realised the limits of this type of bike. Got Boreas and quickly followed this with the TCR-C.
Boreas and the TCR are good bikes. Not top of the range but they do serve a purpose and serve it well. I do realise how good they are when I ride the OCR- but there is no way that I can knock that OCR. Got me into road riding at a price I could afford and at a level that suited me. Each bike I have bought has been a progression for me and I do not regret letting any of the bikes go. They had served their purpose and it was time to move on. Can't say the same about the current rider though. I still have to improve my stamina a bit and speed is definitely lacking. True that without any training I could go and do a metric century tomorrow and subject to the route- probably do it in around 4 hours. But to go that little bit further or to go a bit faster is going to take some training.
Don't know if it is going to be required though- just like my early bikes- There is a limit on what I am capable of- but there is always room for improvement.