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Old 06-19-17, 06:33 AM   #1
rydabent
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Why take the fun out of cycling.

There are so many posts on telling every one what they should ride, how they should ride, where they should ride, and what they should wear. This might be fine for the .00000000001% of the world population that are professional racers.

I am 78, am not nor ever was a professional racer. I am like everyone else that is not a professional racer. I ride for the FUN of it, and health benefits. I for instance ride a recumbent and a trike, because I can actually ride all day long, and have no pain. I ride at the cadence that feels right at the time. I do not wear a "kit", in fact on my bents I can wear a t-shirt, and inexpensive rugby shorts.

OTOH I really dont care if some cyclist want to imitate professional racers if they have the money.

The reason for this post is that if someone new to cycling come here for information, take with a grain of salt that to be a "cyclist" you have to be an imitation professional. Buy any type of bike you can afford, wear what you want, and ride it the way it pleases you. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-19-17, 06:49 AM   #2
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I don't recall reading anyone telling anyone else that you had to wear a 'kit' or ride a road bike with drop bars, or disc brakes, or anything like that. And honestly I don't think beginners who come here for advice take whatever is written as gospel. But like you said, ride what you want, how you want, and wherever you want.
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Old 06-19-17, 06:50 AM   #3
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It is interesting. I can't think of another hobby where every person is so actively pushed to emulate the professionals of a related sport.

From bike shops marketing to Strava to "the rules" its all a bit wacky when you look at it from the outside.
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Old 06-19-17, 07:10 AM   #4
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We need the all the the different type of cyclists. Each doing their own thing their own way. Ain't no right way just your way. Keep on crankin man
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Old 06-19-17, 07:11 AM   #5
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Just because someone is riding a nice bike and wearing a nice kit doesn't mean that they are imitating anyone, nor does it mean that they have somehow taken the fun out of cycling.


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Old 06-19-17, 07:12 AM   #6
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And honestly I don't think beginners who come here for advice take whatever is written as gospel. But like you said, ride what you want, how you want, and wherever you want.
I emphatically disagree with that. Beginners come here for advice, they do not know what is good advice and what is advice worthy of dismissing as personal opinion. I am a bit touchy about this, and a bit argumentative on those points, because back in 2013 I was that beginner. I was told that nothing less than a 105-equipped carbon bike was worth buying, both by friends and the supposedly knowledgeable LBS that I visited. I rode for about 50 miles that year on my old MTB, before giving up. The next year I had a need for that bike, so I learned how to rebuild it myself, because I was not spending the money that I was told I needed to spend to get a decent new one. The third year, I finally found the C&V section, who were very helpful in getting me on track and onto a bikes in a price I was comfortable spending.

Had I not met my now-fiancee who was into biking in 2014, though, I very likely would have never continued trying to find a bike. I would have just said screw it, I'm not spending that much to see if I am going to continue with it.

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It is interesting. I can't think of another hobby where every person is so actively pushed to emulate the professionals of a related sport.
Homebrewing. Definitely homebrewing. Probably golf. I see quite a few folks at hockey that have $250 carbon sticks that don't know how to take slap shots, too.

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Old 06-19-17, 07:22 AM   #7
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It is interesting. I can't think of another hobby where every person is so actively pushed to emulate the professionals of a related sport.

From bike shops marketing to Strava to "the rules" its all a bit wacky when you look at it from the outside.
Golf, tennis, basketball.
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Old 06-19-17, 07:33 AM   #8
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Golf, tennis, basketball.
Where is their Strava?
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Old 06-19-17, 07:42 AM   #9
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Golf, tennis, basketball.
Hockey, soccer, running, motorcycling, skiing, snowmobiling, etc.

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Where is their Strava?
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Old 06-19-17, 07:44 AM   #10
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Where is their Strava?
How is Strava pushing me to be like a professional athlete, any more that say organized leagues are pushing hockey or golf to be like pros?

If I walk into a hockey shop, I'll see very prominently displayed the sticks the pros use. The blade curves are all named for a prominent athlete which uses a similar curve that particular company sponsors. I'll see the likes of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin all over the shop, and slogans like "The skates the pros wear" pushing, well, the skates the pros actually wear (which, if you want to talk about the cost of a bike, think of dropping nearly a grand on a pair of ice skates because the pros use them )

Any hobby or sport that has a visible professional counterpart uses the top level folks to sell to the recreational crowd. Telling someone they will perform like a professional, regardless if we are talking LeBron, Phil Mickelson, or Chris Froome, is a very effective way to sell goods.
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Old 06-19-17, 07:50 AM   #11
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There are so many posts on telling every one what they should ride, how they should ride, where they should ride, and what they should wear. This might be fine for the .00000000001% of the world population that are professional racers.

I am 78, am not nor ever was a professional racer. I am like everyone else that is not a professional racer. I ride for the FUN of it, and health benefits. I for instance ride a recumbent and a trike, because I can actually ride all day long, and have no pain. I ride at the cadence that feels right at the time. I do not wear a "kit", in fact on my bents I can wear a t-shirt, and inexpensive rugby shorts.

OTOH I really dont care if some cyclist want to imitate professional racers if they have the money.

The reason for this post is that if someone new to cycling come here for information, take with a grain of salt that to be a "cyclist" you have to be an imitation professional. Buy any type of bike you can afford, wear what you want, and ride it the way it pleases you. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So why is it that you think those of us who wear "kits" for whatever reason can't have "fun" riding a bike as well? Only your version of "fun" is allowed, Mr. Buzzkill?

On the other hand, how other cyclists ride and what they ride in does seem to bother you. I don't ride in "kit" because I'm emulating some racer and I doubt that most people do. I, and I suspect most people, ride in "kit" because it is far more comfortable...moves more easily, breaths better, handles sweat better, doesn't chafe as much, doesn't whip in the wind etc....then "regular"clothes.

If you don't want to ride in "kit" I doubt that most people would care. I haven't seen any posts on Bike Forums from people being dismissive of non-"kit" riders. I've seen lots and lots of posts like yours. Get over it!
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Old 06-19-17, 07:52 AM   #12
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I wear bib shorts with chamois, bike jerseys, gloves, helmet, SPD-SL cleats on my bike shoes and ride a CAAD12. I don't do any of that to imitate professional bike racers. I ignore competitive cycling for the most part, so I'm not sure who I would imitate even if I got a wild hair to do so. I wear that stuff because it makes cycling more fun for me.

I rode over 120 miles last week and every one of them was fun. I woke up early Saturday and Sunday morning excited to get to ride. I enjoy going farther and faster. I enjoy socializing. I enjoy time alone. I enjoy the sights, sounds and smells. I enjoy raising money for charities. It's all fun.

I don't know any cyclists who imitate pro racers. I don't know any who don't have fun, either. I know a few who are more serious about their speed than I am, but they are all having fun doing that.
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Old 06-19-17, 08:01 AM   #13
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I emphatically disagree with that. Beginners come here for advice, they do not know what is good advice and what is advice worthy of dismissing as personal opinion. I am a bit touchy about this, and a bit argumentative on those points, because back in 2013 I was that beginner. I was told that nothing less than a 105-equipped carbon bike was worth buying, both by friends and the supposedly knowledgeable LBS that I visited. I rode for about 50 miles that year on my old MTB, before giving up. The next year I had a need for that bike, so I learned how to rebuild it myself, because I was not spending the money that I was told I needed to spend to get a decent new one. The third year, I finally found the C&V section, who were very helpful in getting me on track and onto a bikes in a price I was comfortable spending.
So you got sold on the idea that only a 105-equipped bike was worth buying/riding? That was foolish indeed.

There are enough threads here on what's worth buy and what's not, all of which is just personal opinion and preference. But if one took time and read through enough, not just here, but other sources, one would come to the conclusion/sentiment that the OP is espousing.
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Old 06-19-17, 08:07 AM   #14
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I don't know any cyclists who imitate pro racers.
For real? There are A LOT of them in my area. Get in their way and they will let you know just how "pro" they are.

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I know a few who are more serious about their speed than I am, but they are all having fun doing that.
I guess everyone defines fun differently. I hear them talking about putting in work. Suffering or getting on the pain train. I never hear them say, "hey, let's go have some fun on our bikes!"
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Old 06-19-17, 08:13 AM   #15
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So you got sold on the idea that only a 105-equipped bike was worth buying/riding? That was foolish indeed.
It is only foolish because you have knowledge and know otherwise. That is exactly the point I am trying to make: beginners come here to ask questions because folks are presumed to be in the know and being able help. If they had knowledge and knew otherwise, they wouldn't be asking.

Bicycles were not my forte in 2013, that is why I asked questions. If I've got a shop telling me that I can't buy anything decent road bike under the $1500 mark, and the couple cycling friends I know telling me to go 105 or don't bother, then yes, my mind goes to the thought there must be something about that that is true.

You can laugh all you want that that is what I was "sold" on, but I nearly dismissed the entire sport because of it. I guess if turning off the sport to people is what is funny to you, by all means continue thinking that beginners asking questions have the ability and will take the time to differentiate between good advice and unhelpful personal opinion.
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Old 06-19-17, 08:21 AM   #16
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Telling someone they will perform like a professional...
That's the difference I see. It stops at the store for other sports. Buy these shoes and you'll slam like LeBron. Swipe the card, the end.

But with cycling, its everything after the purchase that is so unusual. The "rules", the training rides, club rankings, pro fittings, coaching, the Strava comparisons, Vo2 Max comparisons, Wattage comparisons to the pro's, etc. On and on and on.

Are there any hobbyists in basketball that are concerned with matching LeBron's VO2 Max? No, they buy the shoes and go to the Y and throw a ball at the hoop.
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Old 06-19-17, 08:26 AM   #17
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I hate having fun.
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Old 06-19-17, 08:26 AM   #18
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I also love telling people who get in my way how pro I am.
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Old 06-19-17, 08:27 AM   #19
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So you got sold on the idea that only a 105-equipped bike was worth buying/riding? That was foolish indeed.

There are enough threads here on what's worth buy and what's not, all of which is just personal opinion and preference. But if one took time and read through enough, not just here, but other sources, one would come to the conclusion/sentiment that the OP is espousing.
I got the same info from this forum after reading a long time. A 105-equipped, carbon fiber bike is the only thing worth buying. So I got one and turns out, it wasn't a good bike for me.

I even argued with the knowledgeable guy at the LBS that said I should look for a different bike (like the one I ride now) because the expert consortium at BF was so adamant that a 105-equipped, carbon fiber bike was just barely over the acceptable entry level for anyone that wants to ride seriously. What a load of horsesh*t. And that (along with a lot of other BS) is served up daily here in hefty amounts.
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Old 06-19-17, 08:29 AM   #20
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It is only foolish because you have knowledge and know otherwise. That is exactly the point I am trying to make: beginners come here to ask questions because folks are presumed to be in the know and being able help. If they had knowledge and knew otherwise, they wouldn't be asking.

Bicycles were not my forte in 2013, that is why I asked questions. If I've got a shop telling me that I can't buy anything decent road bike under the $1500 mark, and the couple cycling friends I know telling me to go 105 or don't bother, then yes, my mind goes to the thought there must be something about that that is true.

You can laugh all you want that that is what I was "sold" on, but I nearly dismissed the entire sport because of it. I guess if turning off the sport to people is what is funny to you, by all means continue thinking that beginners asking questions have the ability and will take the time to differentiate between good advice and unhelpful personal opinion.
Before you go tarring all shops and all cyclists with the "snobbery" label, try to see some of the logic behind those recommendations. First, you were new to the sport and probably a lot of what you were told went over you head. Could you be misremembering what people said or misinterpreting them?

Second, even though you were new to the sport, there is some wisdom in spending more on a bike than less. If you buy a cheap bike, you'll want to upgrade more quickly and, thus, have to spend more money for a new bike in a short time. That $500 entry level bike that you purchase becomes a $2000 bike bill when you upgrade to the $1500 bike.

You are partially correct in thinking that $1500 is too much to spend on something you might not be invested in but there in lies the paradox. Buy a cheap bike and you might be frustrated with the result and quit riding. Buy an expensive bike and you might be throwing away your money if you don't like the sport. But, all things being equal, the more expensive bike will motivate you more than the cheap one will.

In defense of the Bike Forum community, we do tend to err more towards suggestions for less expensive bikes for newbies than more expensive. There are some pretty good entry level road bikes out there for less than $1000. Not many but some gems, nonetheless. Most here want to be helpful and will give advice accordingly.
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Old 06-19-17, 08:31 AM   #21
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It is interesting. I can't think of another hobby where every person is so actively pushed to emulate the professionals of a related sport.

From bike shops marketing to Strava to "the rules" its all a bit wacky when you look at it from the outside.

There are recreational sports, like road bicycle riding, swimming, hiking, running, ultimate Frisbee, climbing, mountain biking, swing dancing, and the like, where one can dabble and attain some level of enjoyment. That's fine. But for many sports, you can compete at the local club, regional, and national levels if you're good enough and have the desire.


I'm not so sure that certain personality types want to limit recreational sport to "just good enough" or "the way I choose to enjoy it". I enjoy tennis. I taught, coached competed in tennis at the club level through my 30s, and we definitely did everything possible to teach youngsters to play like the professionals, not in some do-your-own-thing way, to include dress code, equipment, etiquette and the mental game. Personally, my body was fried by the time I reached 35 or so, and I couldn't sustain it.


I recently took up disc golf, a seemingly fun recreational, no-stress hobby. Wrong. When you begin to compete and raise the level of your game at the club level and at tournaments, you'd better be darn sure to have the mechanics and discipline that emulates the pro ranks, or you will get crushed. Sure, one can walk through a park and throw Frisbees willy-nilly at the baskets. Fine. But if you want to want to play to the fullest potential of what your body and mind can handle, then you'd better emulate the pros. Practice with purpose, play practice rounds with intent, train your body, get rest and eat right, and train your mind to deal with the strain of things not going right.


So, why should bike riding be any other activity be different? Let the participant determine when "enough" is really enough.
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Old 06-19-17, 08:31 AM   #22
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For real? There are A LOT of them in my area. Get in their way and they will let you know just how "pro" they are.
How do they do that?

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I guess everyone defines fun differently. I hear them talking about putting in work. Suffering or getting on the pain train. I never hear them say, "hey, let's go have some fun on our bikes!"
Weird. What kind of people do you hang out with? Where do you hear them say this?
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Old 06-19-17, 08:34 AM   #23
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How do they do that?
By giving him the look from behind their Oakley Jawbreakers.
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Old 06-19-17, 08:39 AM   #24
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The reason for this post is that if someone new to cycling come here for information, take with a grain of salt that to be a "cyclist" you have to be an imitation professional. Buy any type of bike you can afford, wear what you want, and ride it the way it pleases you. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I hear ya bro
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Old 06-19-17, 08:39 AM   #25
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Bicycles were not my forte in 2013, that is why I asked questions. If I've got a shop telling me that I can't buy anything decent road bike under the $1500 mark, and the couple cycling friends I know telling me to go 105 or don't bother, then yes, my mind goes to the thought there must be something about that that is true.
People who make statements (about anything) like that are not to be taken seriously. It's obvious that they are snobs and elitists. There are plenty of people here who think that equipment below 105 is just fine most people, but perhaps there is a bit of confirmation bias here when we're doing researching. You've read over and over again that 105 is the 'sweet spot' between performance and value so you seek to confirm this.

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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
You can laugh all you want that that is what I was "sold" on, but I nearly dismissed the entire sport because of it. I guess if turning off the sport to people is what is funny to you, by all means continue thinking that beginners asking questions have the ability and will take the time to differentiate between good advice and unhelpful personal opinion.
Not laughing at all; just mildly amused. An opinion is neither right nor wrong. It's just an opinion and everyone has one. Surely a reasonably intelligent person can recognize this. A beginner to the cycling world is not a beginner to the world at large.

When I buy an appliance about which I know nothing, like a refrigerator, I go through the same process. I do my research. I go to the appliance retailer. I read online reviews from people who've purchased it. I weigh all of this information, both factual specs on the product and opinions, along with my budget to make the best decision I can. If someone said that I needed to buy a Sub Zero or don't bother what would my response be?

Okay, maybe a fridge is not a good example as by the time I made my decision the food in my malfunctioning would all have been spoiled.

In any case, I'm glad you did not completely dismiss the sport. We need more people riding their bikes.
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