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Thread: Bike snobbery

  1. #1
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    Bike snobbery

    A short back story about me first. I had been riding on and off for years. Had an old Cannondale from the 80's. February of last year I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. I was only 40. So I had surgery in June, had a rough recovery, doc wouldn't let me ride for 3 months. When he finally told me I could ride I went to my garage oly to find that someone stole my bike. I assumed it was one of the contractors that had been working on my house but had no idea when it was stolen.

    So for the remainder of the year I didn't ride and decided to wait until spring to buy a bike.

    In March I searched a few LBS, all BTW more than 80 miles from my house. Not really local by any means. However, I noticed that it seemed unless I was willing to spend $2000 or more they really didn't want to put in a lot of effort to size me right etc.

    So for the time being I decided to spend a little money now and buy a better bike later and bought the Gary Fischer Tiburon.

    I was ok with the bike, went from 5 miles to 50 mile rides within a few months. I was riding almost 4 times a week. My minimum ride is at least 20 miles now.

    Then I ran into the local bicycle club. They talked to me for a little while. They told me that maybe someday if I got a "Real" bike I could ride with the "Big Boys" club. Now, these guys weren't in the best of shape but they were decked out in the gear riding their carbon fiber treks. They told me they averaged a 14mph pace and went 20 miles or so, mainly on weekends.. I never bothered to tell them I average a 18mph pace, ride more per week, and go further on average.

    At first it didn't bother me, but the more I thought about it, the more it kind of took the fun out of biking for me.

    Then I decided to do away with the seat post due to the fact that it was a heavy suspension post and had multiple failures. So I go to a new bike shop 100 miles away and tell them I need a new seat post. I end up getting a blackwell research aluminum seatpost and a Terry crmoly saddle. Then I told them about my bike and again I heard, "Well, if you ever get a real bike" line.

    And of course I've been lurking here and reading all the anti internet bike posts from people, pretty much anything from bikesdirect. I'm not sure I understand that if most of the components are on par with some of the top of the line bikes. And it's almost always followed by "support your LBS"

    I've been disappointed in how I was treated at all my "LBS", and the quotes are because local isn't 80 miles away.

    I've been disappointed in how other cyclist have treated me.

    It really took away a lot of the joy I was experiencing with my rides.

    Is this common everywhere?

    First post, sorry it's so long.

  2. #2
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    My LBS is pretty good. You would get excellent service if buying a $700 bike. I get excellent service buying $20 tires.
    Not too much to say here

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    14 mph average? Lame.

    Go find some other people to ride with.

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    I never rode with them. They came across as holier than thou. I felt I was better off going alone, keeping my own pace and not dealing with their superior biking skills.

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    I'm sorry you're getting such crappy attitude from the not-so LBS and from the riding group.

    And no, not every bike enthusiast is like this. You have to "find your people", and when you do, you will enjoy the sport a whole lot more.

    I can't speak for training groups, since I always ride on my own, but I can tell you that a good LBS that treats you like a valued customer no matter what you're riding can take a little while to find. But they are out there.

    Maybe try posting to your regional forum here on Bikeforums and ask for some suggestions for good shops and riding clubs?

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    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Ignore the knuckleheads. I'm sure there are more folks who think they are silly than wish to ride with them. Find those other people and ride!

  7. #7
    "Per Ardua ad Surly" nelson249's Avatar
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    I recall joining a road riding club on my old Norco Monterrey with racks and barcon shifters (it was still a fast machine) since my Bianchi was in storage in another province. The rest of the crew were riding new Trek and Giant road machines with full racing kit including one guy wearing a TdF yellow jersey. Anyways, I had a breakdown with my gears and not one person stopped to help. After a minute or two I the situation cleared up but the rest of the bunch had peeled off the road somewhere and I never did find them again. I never went out with them again and contented myself to riding solo.

    As for bikeshops, I don't go to snobby stores. For the most part around here the shops can't really afford to be that way since there is a lot of competition and not all that many people are buying $2K plus road bikes .
    1997 Mongoose Hilltopper, 1988 Bianchi Specialissima, 2006 Surly Cross-Check, 2010 Norco City Glide, 1947 CCM Single-speed.

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    Zebra Treker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waporvare View Post
    ...I've been disappointed in how other cyclist have treated me.

    It really took away a lot of the joy I was experiencing with my rides.

    Is this common everywhere?
    I think it's common enough. Talking to a soccer parent yesterday who cycles, he told me about the time he was on his OCR touring bike climbing slowly up the only mountain we have here in the Ottawa area. A few roadies zing past and one says, "don't ride much, eh?" This guy cycled across Canada in 05 to raise money for a charitable cause.

    Ignore them.

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    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    see this thread by way of explanation

    Advocate?








    or, in summary, bikes are still considered toys, even by people who run bike clubs, and he with the most expensive toys wins
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
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  10. #10
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    When we were in France it was the day before the ALPE D'HUEZ time trial....it was the day most of our group was riding up the mtn....

    There was an article about a past pro rider who raced up an ALPE D'HUEZ stage and he happen to be riding it again that year.....he was quite old...I think in he 70's (no offence intended), on his way up he said a rider past him and said he was too old and that he should be resting at home....

    The ignorance of the other rider.....you would think they would learn...lol

    Try not to focus on the idoits....cycling has a few...but all sports do. You shouldn't let it take away from your enjoyment of it. I rode my Mtn bike on the road for the first year...I had a lot of people looking at me crossways.....a lot of comments on how loud my bike was....a buddy that rides with us rides a Trek Pilot touring bike....he can ride past most people on a Mtn...lol he is a great rider..

    You will find your group....then you can ignore the others..

  11. #11
    Grumbly Goat Bushman's Avatar
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    dont forget the other end of the spectrum, the holier than thou attitudes of the "car free' cyclists, who thump their anti car bible over and over (and yet still have the gall to ask me to help them move their stuff with my truck).

    Lots of snobbery in the cycling world: Fixed gear messengers VS the rest of the world, reduced car use cyclists VS the anti car crowd, Pro Critical Mass VS Anti Critical Mass cyclists, snotty holier than thou bike racers VS road riders, See and bee seen cyclists VS stealth cyclists..... on and on and on.
    You ride a bike, we GET IT, no need to rant about it or look down on others....its JUST A BIKE...get over yourselves.

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    There was an article about a past pro rider who raced up an ALPE D'HUEZ stage and he happen to be riding it again that year.....he was quite old...I think in he 70's (no offence intended), on his way up he said a rider past him and said he was too old and that he should be resting at home....

    The ignorance of the other rider.....you would think they would learn...lol
    yea and the old guy WHUPPED the smart alecy youngun's butt too!!!!!!
    You ride a bike, we GET IT, no need to rant about it or look down on others....its JUST A BIKE...get over yourselves.

  13. #13
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    If it's a "nobody gets dropped" ride and the group has a range of experience levels, then 14 mph seems reasonable. Or maybe they're factoring in coffee stops, who knows. Meanwhile, a bike is a bike. Just ride and enjoy and don't worry about what anyone thinks or says.

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    I too have a "less than real bike", here's my $0.02;
    I ride when I want, how far I want, and wearing what I want. I wave at every other rider I see.

    You want to wave or say Hi back, cool. If yo don't, cool, your the AH, not me.
    Don't like my bike, or I go to slow for you, or not far enough, GFY. I'm enjoying my ride.

  15. #15
    All Bikes All The Time Sawtooth's Avatar
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    Being a guy who wears a full team kit for almost every type of riding (even commuting), I urge you to remember that cycling is as much about fantasizing as it is about riding for a lot of people. I ride a lot but like to fantasize that I am stronger and faster than I really am (hence the local team involvement). For most fat guys to fantasize about being faster than others, they need a likely target. So they often tend to pick a newbie looking guy with a less than sexy bike. This is a dangerous practice.

    In my experience, it is the guy who shows up in the 1980's looking spandex with the clearly 1980's bike that you have to look out for. He is likely to be much faster than you might otherwise give him credit for. After all, the cahones it takes to ignore bicycling magazine's "Style Guy" should indicate a sense of self assurance that can possibly be backed up by some serious speed.

    I maintain 5 bikes. 3 of them are sexy newer models that I could not really afford to replace. The other two are beaters selected for being ugly but in great mechanical shape. I have been suprised to discover that I will pull down a beater as often as a newer model for any given ride. My beaters are "real bikes" to be sure. They are dead on mechanically and totally dialed in for my fit. And, suprise, suprise, they are not significantly slower in ANY way compared to my 17lbs sexy machines (climbing and excelerating notwithstanding). I love my old stock as much if not more than my new bikes. There is no pleasure like skunking the insecure snobs on their $3,000 bikes as you blow their doors off on your $45 thrift store bike. And I mean a true butt-spanking....a random passing while out and about is not fair; you never know if they are on a recovery ride or something. But to be riding with them and smoke them....well, that is just plain fun!

    My approach is that anyone who can regularly outride me is more than welcome to make fun of my gear. Get strong, get fast (sounds like you are well on your way, if not there already) and then challenge the next guy who gives you the "get a real bike" speach to let his riding do his talking. Most "coffee shop riders" who tend to do a lot of talking simply can't hang all that well at speed.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Buglady's Avatar
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    I've run into that a couple of times. I think there are a few contributing factors - I have started collecting and riding vintage steel bikes, I'm mainly interested in utility and touring cycling, and I'm a girl. At least two LBSs in my area cater pretty well exclusively to males riding carbon-unobtanium racing bikes. However, they're not all like that, fortunately! I just had to be persistent. I am glad these forums were here, because the posters here showed me that there are all kinds of cyclists out there and encouraged me to keep exploring my own interests and options.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Chaco's Avatar
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    If you want to see snobbery in action, get a bent!

    Actually, though, most DF'ers I talk to are very nice people, and they readily engage in conversation at the lights. Snobbery exists in every "society", and is typically a product of insecurity. I'm a photographer, too, and there are plenty of snobs in that world as well. Whenever equipment is involved, it provides a way for people to ignore their own weaknesses and compensate for them by playing up the strength of their wallet.

  18. #18
    jcm
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    Ahhh, yes. Pretty common. The next time you come upon these guys, just give 'em a clear, "On your left!" as you glide by.

    This kind of thing happens to me on occasion. But here in this part of the county, I've found that I run into the same people quite often because the flatter training routes are so limited and thus, well used by the clubbers for fast runs. After rolling around here for the past three years, I've gotten respect. Used to be I'd ride mostly my old school 33lb MTB with road slicks - BioPace chainrings, even. But, with a 48 big ring, I had little problem staying at 14mph avg.

    Since then, I will show up on the Sequoia Elite when the weather is good. This is by no means a bike that is even worthy of a Snob Snort, but I will likely blow the dust off almost any rider half my age on a long run. Along the river road I commonly pace out at 20-22mph over five miles. Sprint over 1 mile at about 24-25. Being 51 and 235lbs and wide in the shoulders, the guys tend to fall in behind and get sucked along. Nobody complains.

    For the record, I belong to two clubs. One is very recreational based. All riders welcome - no dropping allowed. Someone strong like me will always go back and forth and escort the weaker/less developed riders. We regroup at all the natural places. Flats are fixed with a large circle of support and teaching. Our newbies love us.

    The other club is much larger and has all levels. The tougher guys ride together, and post the rides as such. The less developed riders are encouraged to pick rides that are in their range.

    Those guys giving you crap while boasting about a 14mph/20 mile ride are punks. Ride what you want and do it how you want. As for me, I would never drop you, no matter what level you ride at. Have fun.

    EDIT NOTE: Soon to add to my stable: an old steel Scott ADF303 roadie. Let 'em chortle it up a couple minutes, then, it's good-bye chumps!
    Last edited by jcm; 07-23-07 at 12:35 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    "So I go to a new bike shop 100 miles away and tell them I need a new seat post. I end up getting a blackwell research aluminum seatpost and a Terry crmoly saddle. Then I told them about my bike and again I heard, "Well, if you ever get a real bike" line."
    Simple. Tell them you will, once you find a real bike shop.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
    Lots of snobbery in the cycling world: Fixed gear messengers VS the rest of the world, reduced car use cyclists VS the anti car crowd, Pro Critical Mass VS Anti Critical Mass cyclists, snotty holier than thou bike racers VS road riders, See and bee seen cyclists VS stealth cyclists..... on and on and on.
    Too true. There sure is a lot of intolerance in our community.

    Waporvare, have you checked your regional forum to see if anyone near you is looking for someone to ride with? You might well find some nice folks to hang out with there.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

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    There is a lot of snobbery everywhere.
    We should find a way to export it. That may fix our trade imbalance.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
    Too true. There sure is a lot of intolerance in our community.

    Waporvare, have you checked your regional forum to see if anyone near you is looking for someone to ride with? You might well find some nice folks to hang out with there.
    Yeah, I checked the regional, and hardly anything from people in Memphis, and considering I live 95 miles north of there, there is nothing for my area.

    Like I said, there is a group, and I only met a few of them, they even have their matching jerseys and all. They blog from a LBS site based in Paducah, KY which is 80 miles from me. I'd post the links but it would be rude of me to do so. I will say that I live in Northwest Tennessee.

    Until I ran into them AFAIK I was the only one riding in the entire county, which population consists of about 3000 people. They said they had heard someone else was riding in the area. I had been riding for at least 2 months before I saw them.

    I'm pretty sure given the same bikes, fitted, I could probably out pace and outlast any of them. They asked me what I was riding and at that time I was going 20 miles each day with a 40 mile on the weekend. So of course one of the guys said he was riding 100 miles per day. Needless to say I was a little skeptical. Due to work and other commitments I've only been able to ride 3 times a week the past few weeks and each of those was 35 mile trips with the exception of the 5 mile ride I did to test out the new saddle.

  23. #23
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chaco View Post
    If you want to see snobbery in action, get a bent!

    Actually, though, most DF'ers I talk to are very nice people, and they readily engage in conversation at the lights. Snobbery exists in every "society", and is typically a product of insecurity. I'm a photographer, too, and there are plenty of snobs in that world as well. Whenever equipment is involved, it provides a way for people to ignore their own weaknesses and compensate for them by playing up the strength of their wallet.
    unless it's medium format it's not real photography.....
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
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    Senior Member tpelle's Avatar
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    Almost every time I'm in my LBS of choice, I will see a local resident bring in some ratty old beat up kid's bike, needing a tire, or maybe asking about training wheels, or something. The folks working at the shop will take care of their needs just as thoroughly as for the guy in there looking at a $1500.00 bike.

    I remarked about this to one of their employees, and the guy just smiled and said "Future customers!".

  25. #25
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Hope the Prostate Op went ok and I was cleared of Pc last year after 5 years of going back to the hospital to be told"No Problems"

    That over with. I have a top of the line bike. It is Not C.F. It is not a name that anyone will recognise and does not have any fancy Names attached to it. I get the same treatment-In that as the others do not know the Bike- It cannot be that good. I don't ride with a club or anything- just the local roadies that start in the town on a Sunday morning.

    Then one day- a new rider turned up and asked if I went to Holland to get the bike. And asked if it was the Slope version of the frame or the Standard. He enthused about the bike and the ears pricked up with the rest of the group. He then let them know everything about the Bike- the weight -the construction and the cost. I am no longer looked down on. So whenever I ride with that group- I turn up with the Giant OCR3. Just to let them really look down on a bike.

    Now my LBS sold me My Cheap Giant and they sold me the Boreas. Last saturday when I went in- they took a great deal of trouble to set up a $500 bike to a new customer on his first bike. As they said- New bike today- Lots of accessories tomorrow.
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