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  1. #1
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    As a bicyclist, are you a gadgeteer or a minimalist?



    "Think Outside the Cage"

  2. #2
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    Yeah there's some silly items there. Radar and turn signals. OTOH I know from observation, that bicycle lights make people take notice. So I run them, even in the daylight.

  3. #3
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    Minimalism- it's all about the blank space. I have a front light that mildly helps me see in the dark and a bell to be polite to walkers which i haven't put on yet but that's about it. A bike lock that stays there all the time even though i rarely ride in public (mostly single track where I drive my bike to the spot then pack up and go home). Partly why I dont have much sympathy for the struggles of road cyclists. I'm sure my tune would change if i got hit or cut off one too many times in town or forbid if I ever had to rely on my bike for transportation.

  4. #4
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    I've always had a strong bias to minimalism. I don't buy or carry anything without a clear purpose that outweighs the cost, or weight penalty. As far as safety goes, I place my faith in what's proven to be the number one most reliable system out (or in) there. Namely the "AWACS" mounted between my ears.
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  5. #5
    Daily Rider Robert C's Avatar
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    I will come out and say it, I like my toys.

    Say it like a five year old:
    "I wanna new toy!"


    But, that is what they are, toys. Sure, I can rationalize each one of them; however, they are not needed for safe and enjoyable cycling.
    As a nation we still continue to enjoy a literally unprecedented prosperity; and it is probable that only reckless speculation and disregard of legitimate business methods on the part of the business world can materially mar this prosperity. – Theodore Roosevelt, Sixth Annual Message, December 3, 1906

  6. #6
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    I am a minimalist. The only gadget you're going to find on my handlebars is a bell. I don't even use lights unless I feel it's necessary. I only put on lights during fall/winter season.

  7. #7
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    I think that these days cycling gadgetry falls into four broad categories:

    1. Telemetry -- of the bike and the cyclist.
    2. "Safety".
    3. Drivetrain (e.g. electronic shifting etc.)
    4. Computer games (e.g. Strava; 'Map My Ride' and so on)

    I am a 'minimalist' re. all four.

    1. I don't race; I don't 'train' -- nor do I play at doing either -- so 'telemetry' is totally unnecessary for/irrelevant to me. The one exception would be a basic cycle computer if I were doing long distance touring.

    2. I think the article cited has it about right: this kind of gadgetry is worse than useless, and if applied does nothing more than create a disconnect between a cyclist and his/her environment. It is also (to me) a source of mild amusement, e.g. ridiculous appliances such as the Hodvig (sp?) 'helmet'. The one exception for me is lights: I use them if cycling anytime between dusk and dawn. That's it; otherwise, I rely on my senses, general situational awareness, and (when necessary) voice.

    3. I can see the applications, especially for elite/pro level racing. I don't race. Further, I like to think of the bicycle as a 'simple machine'; I also like/appreciate fine mechanical engineering, and like the idea of not being dependent on battery power/computers to change gears.

    4. I'm sure they are fun for some, though I can't for the life of me see how/why. In any event, I've zero interest. I know where I've ridden, and roughly how long it's taken.

    So for me it's bike, bottle cage, flat repair, and (when applicable) lights. I do spend money on cycling, but that goes toward replacing/improving clothing, components, consumables etc.
    "Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die." Mel Brooks

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Gadgets, new and improved gadgets and more gadgets. However I do like minimal weight, minimal rolling resistance, minimal shifting effort.
    Last edited by Mobile 155; 08-01-15 at 02:33 PM.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  9. #9
    El gato comió mi biciclet Stucky's Avatar
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    I'm a minimalist, in pretty much everything.

    I don't use a cell phone or GPS or tablet or anything like that. I don't like all this technology- it distracts from real life.

    On my bike...I carry water; a simple speedo/odometer and tools to fix flats or anything that might break.

    I hate frivolities and distractions.
    Stop obsessing over the equipment, and just ride your damn bike!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Minimalist here, I guess.

    Heck... I am only using a 2nd water bottle cage during this current heat spell. When it cools a tad I am back to one bottle of water. I do have a saddle bag.... a MEDIUM sized one. And I do use a bicycle computer just to have speed, miles, and time handy.I also run a cycling app on my phone stored in my jersey pocket, along with a few bucks.

    I do use a blinky-light if riding early in the morning. Always wear a helmet, and cycling glasses and gloves are must have items as well. Besides flat repair items in my saddle bag I take along a couple extra tools, some duct tape, wire ties, a tiny knife, a moist cleaning nap-thingy, and a few more extra bucks... just in case. And a cable lock. I always have a cable lock to deter the young from an impulsive mistake.

    Yeah no doubt about it.... I am a minimalist.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 08-01-15 at 03:06 PM.

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I gadgeted up with one of These WC Seat Post, Size 27.2mm, Aluminum, Black ? WiseCracker It also stopped my seat post
    from slipping down.

  12. #12
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    I can be both. Depends on the mood and purpose. At the moment, I have three or four gadgets sitting in front of me, wireless computers, including one that records GPS. But I haven't drunk the full glass yet, and got anything remotely like a Garmin. I do like recording the distances of my rides, and the use of Strava with the GPS info adds information including calorie burn and elevation, as well as documenting the bikes I ride. And because I will be returning to long-distance riding in the future, it helps track my "training".

    Lights are essential because our winters in particular aren't so cold to prevent year-round riding. I have ordinary battery powered ones, and have invested in several different types of hub dynamos (SON and Shimano), plus quality lights. There is a need for redundancy, so there are myriad tail lights in the workshop.

    I have several video cameras, a proper one, and then one made by Garmin (but the basic version). I used the proper one on our world travels several years ago, and the smaller one occasionally. There are some future plans for them, however.

    Then as far as minimalist goes, I do ride a fixed gear, and enjoy thoroughly. The only gadget concession is the computer. No gears to worry about. No having to make decisions when to shift. It does have brakes.

    I also tend to try out stuff until I can find something that fits my needs and stick with it. Tyre pumps are an example. I don't use CO2 cartridges (gadget), but have acquired seven or eight of a particular type of road pump that really works to put on our bikes. Same with rear racks -- there are six or seven of a certain brand and design on the bikes. And there is other stuff, too.

    I understand the desire for "purity" by keeping stuff simple and gadget-less. But we all must be posting on computers rather than sending our messages to BFs through the post.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  13. #13
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    I like to think I'm balanced. There are gadgets I feel I need, I have a 550 lumen light...totally overkill, but I do shift work, and about 3km of my commute is in total darkness in an area ripe with deer, skunks, coyotes, etc.

    My garmin has helped make me a better cyclist, and helps me challenge myself...I don't need it but I like having it, I also like riding without it at times.

    I also have di2, which I didn't seek out, I just happened to get it on a frame I wanted that was marked down 1000 bucks. It's certainly nice, but it wouldn't make ior break my decision on a purchase.

    Everything else is need based, pumps, spares, etc. I don't particularly like mirrors, bells, cameras, etc.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Goghs Ear View Post
    I like to think I'm balanced. There are gadgets I feel I need, I have a 550 lumen light...totally overkill, but I do shift work, and about 3km of my commute is in total darkness in an area ripe with deer, skunks, coyotes, etc.

    My garmin has helped make me a better cyclist, and helps me challenge myself...I don't need it but I like having it, I also like riding without it at times.

    I also have di2, which I didn't seek out, I just happened to get it on a frame I wanted that was marked down 1000 bucks. It's certainly nice, but it wouldn't make ior break my decision on a purchase.

    Everything else is need based, pumps, spares, etc. I don't particularly like mirrors, bells, cameras, etc.
    You're borderline gadgeteer and might want to watch yourself. The light and spares are fine since they're necessary (as long as you keep it that way). Even the Di2, since it was bundled with a new bike, and there's no rule about how we control our gears., though simply buying a bike you didn't need might be a nudge in the gadgeteer direction.

    OTOH- the Garmin is a definite move into gadget country. True minimalists have no need of even simple bike computers, let alone anything GPS based.

    So, you're definitely on the edge, and one more gadget (ie. fancy sun glasses, sweat band, fancy helmet, etc. will be enough to push yourself over the top.


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  15. #15
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I'm more to the minimalist side. I like bike computers because I love numbers and statistics. So I keep track of distance, time, average speed. but my computer is several years old and doesn't have any of the modern bells and whistles. My lights are the cheapies, but I feel they put out plenty of light for city riding, which is about all I do at night. I just use platform pedals and regular shoes. Once in a while I will throw on a pair of bicycle shorts, but no other special clothing.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  16. #16
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    Well if we're including fancy versions of necessity...then I am totally on the gadgety side😜

    I also forgot, I got a d-fly for my di2 that Bluetooth connects my drivetrain to my garmin lol...that alone puts me over the edge...just been riding with it so long, I don't even think about it.

  17. #17
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    I'm intermittently a gadgeteer. Years ago I got a bike computer and tracked my cycling for a while. When it broke or wore out I didn't feel a need to replace it. About 5 or 6 years ago I got into triathlons for a while so i got a Garmin GPS watch and tracked some of my running and biking, but eventually the nlovelty wore off. This year I got a GoPro camera, but I havent used it much yet. I probably will use it if I go to a cottage and sail or waterski, or to a bike trail or something. There's a new rural bike trail i might explore on holidays Aug 24 so I'll probably film that.
    Last edited by cooker; 08-02-15 at 03:05 PM.

  18. #18
    Newbie exdraghunt's Avatar
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    I pretty much only carry "neccessities" on my bike. Flat kit, front and rear lights, frame pump, and a bell (I spend a lot of time on MUPs). I've never much been one for computers or fiddly things. Plus I also mostly ride on a vintage bike, so I don't like having lots of gadgets clamped onto it.

  19. #19
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    Of the four bikes I do most of my trips on, one is stock from 1974, one is stock from 1984, one is a 1982 bike that has had a drive train upgrade to state of the art circa 2000 and the other is a custom tandem. No gadgets other than lights and appropriate reflective gear. Once in a while I'll bring a tablet in my pocket to map out some routes on logging roads, but I mostly explore them without any toys. No bike computer, no speedometer, no heart-rate monitor. My one concession to toys is a Spot, which lets friends and family know where to pick up my corpse should I make a fatal error. (Just kidding; it's so I can call for assistance if I need it and so that people who might want to know where I'm at can see at a glance and know when to expect me to return.) If there was cell phone reception where I ride I might replace the Spot with a cell phone, but that's highly unlikely in the next decade or two.

    All told, I guess that makes me somewhere between the extremes.

  20. #20
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    I run with several gadgets but also like simplicity and elegance. My most ridden bikes are single-speed but one has a dynamo with head and taillamp that I usually run even during the day. Also on board is a Garmin which I consider somewhat elegant since it eliminates wires and adds navigation. My latest gadget, a Sinewave Reactor USB charger, I'm afraid puts me solidly in the gadget camp though I again like the simplicity of not having to worry about batteries. I am happy to report that there are not two-inches of visible wire on my bike.

    It was nice to have that dyno-light on Friday when a 2-hour night ride turned into a 4-hour mudfest. My friend's battery headlamp died and we were both riding by the light of my Luxos. Come to think of it, the Garmin came in handy too.

  21. #21
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    gadgets and quality parts and accessories. Dynamo hub, quality European lights, heavy duty rack, stainless steel powder coated fenders, brooks saddle, ortlieb panniers, a burley travoy trailer, helmet lights, and... the real gadget... BionX electric motor and battery. I have a bike GPS and even apps on the phone... but I don't find myself using them. The console for the electric motor gives you all the basics. I'm not car free, but I find myself using one of my bikes on 75-80 percent of my trips under 10 miles. Even with all the "toys"... I can see myself appreciating an inexpensive single speed for a lot of trips (I haven't made that purchase... yet.)

  22. #22
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    I like a good set of lights. My speedometer is a pretty basic version.

    I'm not interested in turn signals or automatic brake lights

  23. #23
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    It's a false distinction.

    A bicycle itself is a 'gadget.'

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