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Old 08-28-10, 11:38 AM   #1
jbman100
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Brand/Model Snobs...

I don't get it. Whats the big deal? Does being on a less expensive bike make me less of a rider?

Here's the back story. Last week a friend of mine and I rode the metric century in the Tour de Cure. He was on a 6 year old Trek of some sort that he bought used. His ex gets most of his spare cash. I was on my 2010 Merceir Galaxy with just over 1700 miles on it this year. Neither of us seemed to care that we didn't have fancy light weight, loaded with tons of do-dads bikes.

I bought the bike from BD (don't go there) so that I could keep up with my wife while she trained for her triathlons. The agreement was that I would get a in-expensive road bike for this year to ride with her and if I liked road cycling ( and I guess I do with over 1700 miles do far this season) and did 2 events then next year we would get me a better bike. There was no way I was going to keep up with either of my other bikes, which are a 10 year old HEAVY mountain bike and a 5 year old comfort bike. I liked to ride them both but when we went on our rides it was for fun not for speed or climbing ability.

My friend and I were zipping along on a flat spot about 22-23 mph. We passed a group of 6 riders on their fancy road bikes and didn't think anything of it. They were all decked out in matching race kits and seemed to be struggling to to keep the pace they were on which was about 20 mph.

As we were leaving the rest stop we had come to several miles later they were just arriving. I guess a couple of the riders didn't recognize me because as I was walking back to my bike I heard one of them make this comment. "I can't believe that old fart passed us on that POS crap bike". "I wouldn't feel so bad about it if it was a real bike".

I know it's all about the motor (legs and lungs) and not the bike. Good gear helps but the best gear in the world won't help someone succeed if you don't have a good motor. So since I'm still rather new to this are there really that kind of bike snobs out there? Or was I just being overly sensitive. My friend just laughed and blew the comment off. I did as well then but got to thinking about it again today because I transferred some money from checking into the bike/event savings account to be used for next year. Gotta plan ahead.

Thoughts or comments?
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Old 08-28-10, 11:51 AM   #2
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Of course there are, there are snobs for everything everywhere.

I personally don't care who rides what, but I do like what I ride.

I don't tell my friends that they need a new bike since it not carbon, titanium or gold. We just ride.

Just ride and don't pay any attention to any negative comments.

But if you are competing then there may be some reason to get a different bike or better wheels, it may shave seconds or minutes.
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Old 08-28-10, 11:53 AM   #3
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The idea of being passed by a Sora-equipped bike is simply to painful to think about. Ah the horror ! I really feel for the poor roadies you passed.
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Old 08-28-10, 11:54 AM   #4
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I'm not competing against anyone but myself.
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Old 08-28-10, 11:57 AM   #5
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Yep, snobs are everywhere. Some are not smart enough to keep their opinions to themselves.

On RAMROD this year I saw lots of pretty fancy bikes; I got passed by every brand you've ever heard of. And one guy zipped right by me on a BikesDirect Ti road bike (a bike that I've admired on their site, and which I think is a heckuva bargain).
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Old 08-28-10, 12:07 PM   #6
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Like most things in life, people sometimes need to feel superior to others. If they can not do it by riding faster, they may do it by having a 'better' bike! I ride what I can afford, and what works for ME. If 'they' don't like it, then tough noogies!
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Old 08-28-10, 12:25 PM   #7
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well it's less than full blown Xenophobia, that is getting spewed from the TV every day..

Brand names have perceived value though the names may all be sewn or painted on in the same factory ..
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Old 08-28-10, 12:28 PM   #8
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My Gunnar Street Dog is ten years old. All Reynolds 853. I use toe clips and straps. Somehow, I just never made "the switch". I use no cycling computer. Never saw the need. I do have lycra shorts and Jersey's, but I've never owned a "full kit". In short, I truly don't care what anyone thinks. That is one of the best things about being over 50. Oh yes, I ride by myself probably 99% of the time. If you're riding around on a weathered, but still functioning Fuji from the 70's, and it works fine for you, I say "Good for you". (And Fuji did make some nice bikes back then!)

But, for some odd reason, there are some who seem to feel duty bound to make disparaging remarks about the bikes, or equipment, of others. I have no clue as to why this situation exists. Definitely seems to come mostly from the younger set. Some sort of weird sport they invented maybe?

Another way to look at it JbMan: If you managed to cheese them off, just sit back and enjoy it.

Who knows, maybe it's just the times in which we were brought up. When I was in my 20's people rode for pure enjoyment, to work, or to do errands. The attitude has changed. Or something.

Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
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Old 08-28-10, 12:29 PM   #9
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I checked out your Mercier Galaxy on BD - nice bike! There's nothing at all wrong with that Reynolds frame. I don't know much about Shimano's Sora stuff, but if the bike rides good and you like it then WHO CARES what anyone else thinks?
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Old 08-28-10, 12:33 PM   #10
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I'm a reverse bike snob. I ride vintage bikes and think I have the superior ride to those on new fangled CF bikes. Although I do enjoy the occasional comments I get about my old school bike from those on fancy new machines.

Really, the bike makes little difference. Ride what you have or can afford. For the most part I think all new bikes are being made by a big factory in China. The only difference is the name they slap on the frame.
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Old 08-28-10, 12:35 PM   #11
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I heard one of them make this comment. "I can't believe that old fart passed us on that POS crap bike". "I wouldn't feel so bad about it if it was a real bike".

Don't think the comment was pointed at you- He was berating himself for spending all that money on the latest gear and does all that riding- when it was not necessary. All he has to do is wait 30 years and get a "Crap" bike.

Had the same happen to me 4 years ago. On my ride my age ride on a foul day in January -I pulled about 100 yards in front of a group of about 8 riders. This was the spot where I put in a 2 mile sprint and had been saving myself for it. Did my two miles and slowed a bit. As the group approached i Heard a few comments like- he only has 8 speed- its only an OCR 3 and the good ones like he must be a good rider- look at those calf muscles.

Let them catch me-I had no choice really and chatted to them. They were a group of "New" riders to a local cycling club out for a 30 mile ride. They had youth on their side and decent bikes but this was training ride for the "B" group. When they found out that I was 55 miles into a 60 mile ride and that it was my "Birthday" ride- they all looked a bit disheartened. And that was before I told them that I had only been road riding for a year or so. Forgot to tell them that it had been MTB's offroad for 16 years before that.
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Old 08-28-10, 12:41 PM   #12
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If I cared what anyone else thought I would have never gone outdoors with a pair of cycling shorts on. The first time I tried some lycra shorts on (in 1983) by buddy starts laughing and said that looked like an overstuffed Wimmer sausage.

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Old 08-28-10, 01:18 PM   #13
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I checked out your Mercier Galaxy on BD - nice bike! There's nothing at all wrong with that Reynolds frame. I don't know much about Shimano's Sora stuff, but if the bike rides good and you like it then WHO CARES what anyone else thinks?
Yes it is a nice bike but heavy as hell.
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Old 08-28-10, 01:27 PM   #14
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The agreement was that I would get a in-expensive road bike for this year to ride with her and if I liked road cycling ( and I guess I do with over 1700 miles do far this season) and did 2 events then next year we would get me a better bike.
Man-up dude.
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Old 08-28-10, 02:13 PM   #15
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"I know it's all about the motor (legs and lungs) and not the bike. Good gear helps but the best gear in the world won't help someone succeed if you don't have a good motor. So since I'm still rather new to this are there really that kind of bike snobs out there? Or was I just being overly sensitive. My friend just laughed and blew the comment off. I did as well then but got to thinking about it again today because I transferred some money from checking into the bike/event savings account to be used for next year. Gotta plan ahead.

Thoughts or comments?"


1. Yes, there really are that kind of bike snobs out there, and, 2. Yes, you're being overly sensitive.

It's a great, fun story. Something you and your buddies can re-tell for years. Among the guys I ride with, we have many, similar, stories. We've told them so often that they can be boiled down into a few code words, like "Don't worry about him.", and, "The blonde at Stanton Mtn. General Store.", etc.

Try to be less sensitive. And keep your eyes pealed for blondes.
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Old 08-28-10, 02:41 PM   #16
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Actually brunettes do it more for me than blondes but I'll keep that in mind.
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Old 08-28-10, 02:42 PM   #17
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Man-up dude.
Care to expound on this? Not sure what I should "man-up" about.
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Old 08-28-10, 02:47 PM   #18
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Jay B, You've been riding for about a year? Here's the news... cyclists can be the most snobbish group of enthusiasts on the planet WRT their equipment, motorcyclists are a close second. Also, do I detect a bit of reverse snobbery in your comments about the six riders? It is only natural when one endeavors in a semi competetive activity or hobby.

I've been on both ends of the snobbery thing. I've passed riders on excellant equipment while riding my '81 RRA, which exceeds my machinist's scale at over 35 lbs. I've been on one of my primary bikes and passed by a kid on a BMX bike (his legs were a blur). Everyone has really good days on the bike balanced out by really bad days.

I remember one training ride where some members of a LBS bicycle club wre talking. Seems one of the riders had put on a bit of a toot the night before and was struggling. The other members of the club weren't going to drop the guy so they switched to a slower, more aerobic training session.

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Old 08-28-10, 03:16 PM   #19
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Yes it is a nice bike but heavy as hell.
How heavy? My early 1980s Columbus SL (steel) Ciocc San Cristobal weighs about 22 pounds. That was considered light "back in the day" and I don't consider her "heavy" now. Personally, I prefer the durability and ride quality of steel to other frame materials - even if it is slightly heavier by contemporary standards.
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Old 08-28-10, 04:06 PM   #20
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well it's less than full blown Xenophobia, that is getting spewed from the TV every day..
What a cheap shot.

Let me guess. Sean Hannity would never ride a Quintana Roo.

I'm embarrassed for you.

At the beginning of summer I bought my son a Motobecane SS so he could use it at college. It never made it there. After riding it for three months he lost an argument with a car at an intersection.

I finally had someone far knowledgeable than I look it over. Both wheels and unfortunately the fork were trashed. The handlebars might not be totally reliable anymore.

It would cost me more to replace the parts than buy a new bike, so I will probably order a new one from BD.

They work. That's good enough for me.
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Old 08-28-10, 04:24 PM   #21
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"I can't believe that old fart passed us on that POS crap bike". "I wouldn't feel so bad about it if it was a real bike".

Congratulations! I would've been laughin' my @$$ off at that. Good going!
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Old 08-28-10, 04:25 PM   #22
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I think your friend handled it right. If anything, feel good about being strong enough to force the other guy to face his own inadequacy. His comment was not a great example of maturity or friendliness, but it wasn't really anything to get bent out of shape about. There are worse character defects than bike snobbery. In a twisted way, he was complimenting you.

It sounds like you are having a great time on your bike. That bike is plenty good enough, but there is nothing wrong with enjoying a better bike if you can appreciate it and can afford it. Just like there is nothing wrong with riding an entry level bike if that is what fits your desires and situation.
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Old 08-28-10, 04:29 PM   #23
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i try and keep my riding style balanced. ive got two scattantes and a tommasini in the stable.

edit:
no, they were not made in the same factory
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Old 08-28-10, 04:51 PM   #24
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I'm a reverse bike snob. I ride vintage bikes and think I have the superior ride to those on new fangled CF bikes. Although I do enjoy the occasional comments I get about my old school bike from those on fancy new machines.

Really, the bike makes little difference. Ride what you have or can afford. For the most part I think all new bikes are being made by a big factory in China. The only difference is the name they slap on the frame.

GASP!!!! You're not supposed to know that!!! The Carbon Fiber secret police will be coming after you now!

My helmet is lined with foil....

Seriously though, that is one of the reasons I'm interested in a vintage Trek, from the early 80's.
All made in their then-small factory in Wisconsin. Most of the Treks today have "Made in China" on the head tube. Killing me, it is.
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Old 08-28-10, 05:05 PM   #25
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I commute on an 9 year old Mongoose road bike so there is certainly no snob factor over here. It is a bit of a Q-ship, however, with a titanium frame, carbon fiber fork and Ultegra groupo.

So what does that make me, an underground snob or something?
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