Research in bike culture.
I'm a student in Amsterdam, studying product design. One of my current projects is the bicycle culture, which im researching at the moment. Let me start about telling what kind of bike culture we have in Amsterdam.
Well in the Netherlands we have a sort of disposable bike culture, at which one simply thinks of his or her bike as a replacable way of transportation. This isn't ofcourse always the case, since some people grow attached to their bike they've had since a while ago.
I myself, had my share of bikes in the past, but since all of my own store-new bought bikes got stolen, i've had given up hope on ever owning a nice shiny bike without worrying it might get ripped every moment i don't see it.
Most of the students in Amsterdam and other large cities here own bikes that they've either found and restored, or bought from a "street vendor" for a margianal price like 25€. So people rather not grow attached to their bikes, because of the not so uncommon bike-theft here.
I'm interested in what people around the world think of their bike culture, and their bike.
For instance, if you've ever grown attached to a bike, and why. And what kind of bikes or the most common in your area of cycling. In Holland, we got the mighty "grandma bike" which pretty much dominates the markets over here.
So, i'm asking you guys to write a short story (few sentenses should be fine) about your experiences and love/hate relationship with bike's..
This would help me allot in my research!
Submitted for your approval
I don't mind helping a fellow student kick-start their research with my offer to you of a subject that always intrigues me: Chinese Carbon Replica Frames.
Why do owners of exorbitantly marked-up store-bought "name-brand" bikes get so irrationally enraged by people who buy "reverse-engineered", "placebo" bikes that cost thousands of dollars less than what the angry buyers paid for their "real" bikes?
Taking the IPR factor out of the equation (which, after all, only really matters to the trademark registrant anyway; NOT to any individual buyer) - why would one individual buyer get so murderously enraged at another individual buyer who opts to spend/save his money as he chooses?
Aren't bikes just commodity product? Or are they class-defining status symbols?
Is one culture's anger based on what they perceive as the "clones'" debasing of the status symbolism they've bought into? Is the opposing pro-Chinarello culture's laissez-faire approach simply a sign of the times?
If a Dutch bike buyer paid, say, €6,000 for their "original" grandma bike, would they lash out in blood-thirsty rage at another buyer who paid only €25 for an identical-looking clone of the €6,000 grandma bike? If there is any difference in that "grandma bike" context compared to the "Chinarello" context, then why is there a difference?
I suspect an exploration of those kinds of questions could inform a product's design by gaining insight into how consumers' emotional investment into a product shapes that consumer's perception of the intrinsic value of a product.
The above are rhetorical questions by the way; offered to the OP as candidates for questions he might consider addressing in his research. Therefore, please do not flame this post with off-topic, emotionally-charged vitriol raging against IPR-infringement. You won't be saying anything that hasn't been parroted a trillion times already.