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  1. #1
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Am I turning into a bike snob?

    When we were young, we had bikes. To us, it wasn't a mountain bike or a road bike or a comfort bike or a hybrid or a touring bike... We just rode our bikes. I am one of those folks who went from there to mountain bikes simply because I found them more versatile and used them to ride both road and mountain. I couldn't afford seperate bikes. I rode my MTB everywhere and for any occasion because I liked to ride and it was the only bike I had.

    But now I have a road bike as well as a mountain bike and I've recently been finding myself going to pains (okay well I exagerate) to pick the right bike for the riding. I think maybe I'm somehow shortchanging myself by not simply jumping on whichever bike I see first and just riding it. Okay so maybe it would not be such a great idea to take my roadbike down singletrack but I think you get the idea. On one hand, my mind keeps telling me it's wrong to be seen out with my full-suspension MTB on the road and on the other, it tells me that variety is good for the soul. What do you folks think? I know some people who snicker at others for riding MTBs (especially dual-suspension) on the paths and streets. I hope I haven't become one of those.

  2. #2
    Senior Member jump's Avatar
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    I ride a FS bike and 90% is on paths and streets... I've had a lot of people wow at me, laugh at me, look at me, all that stuff. A lot of people think it's groovy, other's, not so groovy. And I ride with a full-face helmet and bike gloves, if that's not all. Sometimes I wear sweat guards. I don't see why it's bad to ride bikes like these in the street or paths. My FS bike works great for on road and off-road in my opinion, so I'll use it for what it's good for. I also like FS bikes for roads that are pretty shabby so it can soak up potholes, speed bumps, junk on the road, etc.

  3. #3
    Senior Member joeprim's Avatar
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    I wouldn't go as far as Jump response, but I agree with him - just ride.
    Joe

  4. #4
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Jeez Jump. Sounds like your in whistler.

    Seriously just enjoy.

  5. #5
    Chicago Cyclist ViciousCycle's Avatar
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    Snobbish comes from taking one's self too seriously. To avoid taking yourself too seriously on your bike, here are a few random things to do:
    1. Sing loudly while biking. Bonus points for singing the Beatles "HELP!" while going through harrowing traffic.
    2. Yell, "HONK IF YOU LIKE BIKES!" when a rude motorist honks at you.
    3. Cover your bike completely in stickers so that you can't be snobbish about a pristine bike or a particular brand.
    4. Get a really goofy sounding horn.
    5. Smile a lot and wave at pedestrians.
    6. Get a set of bongos mounted to your handlebars.
    The possibilities are endless.
    The Easter Island people were clever, but their civilization collapsed after they chopped down the last tree on their island. You can't be 'resourceful' if you've used up all of your resources.

  6. #6
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    ...a few more....
    7: Always wear jeans while riding your road bike
    8: Make your chain squeak intentionally
    9: Fill your bottles with water
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

  7. #7
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by D*Alex
    ...a few more....
    9: Fill your bottles with water
    Actually, for shorter rides (less than 3 hours), I only have water in my bottles. For longer rides, I sometimes have an energy drink of some kind in one bottle and always have water in another. Even if I'm wearing my Camelbak (usually when I'm MTBing) I will always have a bottle with water. The reason is because I like to have something I can use to wash off cuts and wounds and I don't think it's a good idea to be squirting Cytomax into an open wound. Water bottles also afford me a way to shower on the move. |8^)

  8. #8
    Jubalayo Unogwaja! Bokkie's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong riding on the sidewalk. Where we live is close to some tricky and dangerous intersections - cars at speed playing 'snooker' with the traffic lights, that is, taking the red ones first and then the other colours.

    We ride our full sussers on the sidewalk to get around that problem. Nothing snobbish with that. I don't fancy being another casualty statistic. Make best use of what you have.
    If your bollocks ain't sore, yer ain't on yer boike!

  9. #9
    put me back on my bike stewartp's Avatar
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    10. have shopping bags dangling from the handle bars
    11. wear cycle clips around the pants cuff of your long trousers
    12. Put a wicker basket in front of your mangensium cinelli bars.


    Actually I AM a bit of a snob. Although sometimes it inverses due to envy. On my last Audax ride there was aguy with a Litespeed Titanium bike. First thing he told me was how much it cost, and how my Airborne was only Russian titanium etc.

    He couldn't cycle worth **** tho'. And I was thinking what a waste of money. On the other hand, so what. Its his money to spend.

    Proofs of my snobbishness:
    1. I ALWAYS check out a road bike, but I lump all MTBs together mentally. I can't tell one from another.
    2. if I see a racing bike that doesn't have aero brakes I think "Oh - its old", and don't look any further. (unless its REALLY old - 30yrs plus coz then it might have some classy or unusual frame setup & welds)
    3. Likewise if the bike has those "cow horn" brake levers.
    4. If I see a racing bike that's not campag I don't rate it (even tho it might be Ultegra or Dura Ace and WAY superior to my mid-range groupset)
    5. If I see a bike with Look type pedals rather than SPD I assume the rider is clued-up, (even tho I have SPD!)

    Stew
    Last edited by stewartp; 08-30-02 at 05:27 AM.
    The older I get the better I used to be.

  10. #10
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Originally posted by stewartp
    10. have shopping bags dangling from the handle bars
    Paper or plastic? And yes, I have done plastic although I started getting wiser and began to use panniers and backpacks.


    11. wear cycle clips around the pants cuff of your long trousers
    Actually I used to do this back in college when I was commuting between classes. I had a pair of ankle reflectors that runners used (that is if they ever did really use them... I dunno... got 'em as a gift one year even though I wasn't really a runner) and that's what kept my trouser cuffs from getting eaten by my chainrings.

    12. Put a wicker basket in front of your mangensium cinelli bars.
    How about a milk crate? I once strapped a picnic basket to the trunk rack mounted to a CF seatpost though.


    On my last Audax ride there was aguy with a Litespeed Titanium bike. First thing he told me was how much it cost, and how my Airborne was only Russian titanium etc.
    I have a standing rule never to talk about the price of my bike (especially to other cyclists) unless someone explicitly asks me... and only if they're asking for purposes of price comparison research. It's not that it's an expensive or inexpensive bike, it's just that it doesn't matter.

    He couldn't cycle worth **** tho'.
    My constant fear is that my cycling skills are worth **** tho' which of course motivates me to ride and try to be better.

    And I was thinking what a waste of money. On the other hand, so what. Its his money to spend.
    True... If in cycling, it's not about the bike; then in life, it's not about the money.

    Proofs of my snobbishness:
    1. I ALWAYS check out a road bike, but I lump all MTBs together mentally. I can't tell one from another.
    I tend to have the opposite problem... having come from a mostly MTB past. Unless frame geometry and design are much different from the typical roadbike double-diamond, I have a harder time telling what make and model of roadbike from a distance. Upon closer inspection, I can now usually distinguish a De Rosa from a Look pretty easily though. But I still have trouble with frames that don't have many unique and distinguishing features. Even on high-end roadbikes, other than by looking at the labels, how does one distinguish at a distance between a Colnago CT1 and a Lightspeed Ultimate?

    This is not to say that all MTBs look different either. Many are copycats of one another. And of course all the dept. store bike producers have been trying to copy the look of the old Trek Y-bikes and Cannondale V-bikes for many years now just because they "look cool". It's gotten to the point where I'll just about assume from a distance those frame types are *-Mart bikes.

    2. if I see a racing bike that doesn't have aero brakes I think "Oh - its old", and don't look any further. (unless its REALLY old - 30yrs plus coz then it might have some classy or unusual frame setup & welds)
    It works the opposite for me here. If I see an older looking bike (any bike), I get this "remember the days when..." thought going through my head and it only makes me more interested.

    3. Likewise if the bike has those "cow horn" brake levers.
    Do you mean brake lever extensions designed to allow you to brake from the tops that were so popular with low-end dept. store bikes? If so, I cringe when I see them. Those things are so dangerous. My wife doesn't like riding the drops or the hoods and remembers riding her old 10-speed when she was a kid with the brake lever extensions and asked that I find her a roadbike with them so she could brake from the tops. I told her there was no way I'd get her a bike with lever extensions so I'm now looking at roadbikes with flatbars for her instead.

    4. If I see a racing bike that's not campag I don't rate it (even tho it might be Ultegra or Dura Ace and WAY superior to my mid-range groupset)
    Although I ride Shimano, Campy does more easily catch my eye... especially if it's Campy Record just because I've been constantly toying with the idea of moving to Campy. I'm still on the fence. Luckily my components are pretty new so I can justify putting off my decision for a few years.

    5. If I see a bike with Look type pedals rather than SPD I assume the rider is clued-up, (even tho I have SPD!)
    What if they're riding Speedplays, Coombs, Eggbeaters, ATACs, etc? I guess I live the alternative pedal lifestyle. |8^)

    I've never thought of pedal models themselves as a generalisation of cycling skill. Although I admit that I do base my initial impressions on type.

    The quill/trap/platforms (unless seen on a downhill/hucker/freeride rig and then I judge the quality of the pedals) are in the occasional/recreational round-the-neighborhood no-more than 5 miles category. Straps and cages into the newbie/just-started category. And "automatic" (as the literature for my ATACs refers to them) into the enthusiast/more-experienced category.

    Mind you, this is all just initial impressions without knowing the cyclist, their type of riding, etc and is such really is nothing more than the cover of the book. Bike equipment can be such a personal thing that it's often hard to judge the level and quality of the cyclist based on what he/she is riding and wearing. And I guess that answers my initial question. |8^)

  11. #11
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    I have 9 bikes, I plan to get more.

    2 x Planet X Zebdi stock trials (one black, one custom champagne)
    Monty X-Lite modified trials
    Marin team titanium XC
    Schwinn Moab XC
    Rocky Mountain Blizzard XC
    Klein Attitude rigid commutor (19lbs)
    GT STS thermoplastic full boinger
    early 70's Jeunet road bike (!)

    And I'm building up an Echo stock trials, Santa Cruz XC/FR, and next year an Epic Ti Custom.....

    I guess I'm a raging bike snob but I prefer to think of it as bike collector/obsessor/nut
    01 PX Zebdi | 99 Monty X-Lite | 98 Marin Ti

  12. #12
    Chicago Cyclist ViciousCycle's Avatar
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    Originally posted by D*Alex
    ...a few more....
    9: Fill your bottles with water
    Well, I've seen one rider who almost always has a beer can in his water bottle cage. But I'll personally go for water instead.

    I have a friend who went on a group ride on Friday night toting a canoe behind his bike for the full three hours. Not a little kayak. A full-sized canoe with a trailer that he made himself. If you tow a canoe through the Loop behind your bike for three hours, it's impossible to take yourself too seriously.
    The Easter Island people were clever, but their civilization collapsed after they chopped down the last tree on their island. You can't be 'resourceful' if you've used up all of your resources.

  13. #13
    Year-round cyclist
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    Various people said:
    To avoid taking yourself too seriously on your bike, here are a few random things to do:

    2. Yell, "HONK IF YOU LIKE BIKES!" when a rude motorist honks at you.
    7: Always wear jeans while riding your road bike
    9: Fill your bottles with water
    11. wear cycle clips around the pants cuff of your long trousers.
    "2" is a good one. It doesn't happen frequently, but when it does, I tend to wave at them. Like if they were good friends. They usually don't know what do do next!

    "7" and "11". I don't ride in jeans, but I do weat whatever clothing works for the rest of my daily life. It usually means trousers, and yes, I always have metal clips to keep them under control.

    "9" My bottles are always filled with water. I'm into touring, commuting, etc. and not into "performance" riding, so I drink water to keep hydrated. On long rides or when it's hot, I also eat fruits and vegetables while riding.

    Regards,
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

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