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Bikes at organized events, bike envy?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Bikes at organized events, bike envy?

Old 04-24-22, 10:26 AM
  #26  
schwim
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I don't envy any person's bike and I can guarantee you that I don't ride the type of bike that anyone else would envy. Dick's sporting goods frames with frankenstein parts, a decade old Cannondale with Chinese bars and dropper post, post-cool Schwinn Katana with eBay parts, I blend into the background in every sense of the phrase.

I also don't think less of people because of the bike they bought. If you have the money, spend it in any way you want, I hope it helps you enjoy your ride.
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Old 04-24-22, 11:14 AM
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I think it's a bit of a sampling bias. The people who have the free time and energy to ride consistently and show up to events tend to be wealthier. It also depends on locale. In Bay Area, california, the average price of the bikes on my group ride was probably $8000. And I dragged it down a lot. In WI, it was a lot lower. Made me feel better.
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Old 04-24-22, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
In WI, it was a lot lower. Made me feel better.
I don't mean this in a condescending tone, just curious; why did you feel better? Because you felt more connected to the people with the less expensive bikes? I think that happens to me too, all my time with groups with big money bikes seem to be themt talking with each other and me just in the back being quiet, just because we don't seem to have any interests in common. At least none that they care to talk about on rides.
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Old 04-24-22, 11:20 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by schwim View Post
I don't mean this in a condescending tone, just curious; why did you feel better? Because you felt more connected to the people with the less expensive bikes? I think that happens to me too, all my time with groups with big money bikes seem to be themt talking with each other and me just in the back being quiet, just because we don't seem to have any interests in common. At least none that they care to talk about on rides.
no, much shallower than that. My bike just looked less ratty in comparison.
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Old 04-24-22, 11:26 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
no, much shallower than that. My bike just looked less ratty in comparison.
Oh, I consider it a badge of honor when they look at me and my bike like I'm an alien. The last ride I did locally was with 7 or 8 people, probably 20,000 worth of bikes, conservatively. Every stop they would strike up discussion about a part they swapped out for better performance and I'd roll up behind them with a Cooker Charge fatbike that I bought for $150 used on CL. It was so out of place for them, I actually broke their conversations. They would just go quiet like I was some kind of spy for the unwashed masses. I actually had a pretty good laugh about it on the way home.
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Old 04-24-22, 11:28 AM
  #31  
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I don't care whether other people like my bike, it's enough that I do.
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Old 04-24-22, 12:17 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by schwim View Post
Oh, I consider it a badge of honor when they look at me and my bike like I'm an alien. The last ride I did locally was with 7 or 8 people, probably 20,000 worth of bikes, conservatively. Every stop they would strike up discussion about a part they swapped out for better performance and I'd roll up behind them with a Cooker Charge fatbike that I bought for $150 used on CL. It was so out of place for them, I actually broke their conversations. They would just go quiet like I was some kind of spy for the unwashed masses. I actually had a pretty good laugh about it on the way home.
theyre probably telling themselves you’re on a stealth ebike
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Old 04-24-22, 12:25 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by LarrySellerz View Post
theyre probably telling themselves you’re on a stealth ebike
​​​​​​It's definitely heavy enough to be one 😂
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Old 04-24-22, 12:35 PM
  #34  
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What I tend to notice most on events are:-

1. Guys on £10k+ superbikes getting off for the walk of shame up steep climbs. That is never a good look!
2. Really quick guys riding an old shed. This always reminds me that it's all about the rider!

Both the above extreme combinations of bike/rider tend to stand out for me. But I do sometimes admire other bikes in the paddock when signing on. I don't tend to notice other bikes so much while actually riding along in a group.
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Old 04-24-22, 12:36 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by maartendc View Post
here in Belgium
Congratulations! You now qualify for American citizenship.

Amongst the many ways you can celebrate this momentous occasion is to engage in profligate consumption; it's New Bike Day. When you next feel in any way inadequate, or start to feel empathy for those who have less than you do, simply repeat the process.
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Old 04-24-22, 12:40 PM
  #36  
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Yes, I have noticed that- lots of shiny new bikes at organized ride events.
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Old 04-24-22, 12:43 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Yes, I have noticed that- lots of shiny new bikes at organized ride events.
Maybe it's just because there tend to be a lot of bikes at organised events and you tend to notice the newer ones most? Obvioulsy depends on the event and location to some extent.
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Old 04-24-22, 07:06 PM
  #38  
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I live in an affluent county where cycling is quite popular due to the climate and the local infrastructure. So I see plenty of high end road bikes during my rides. But once there is some distance, all carbon fiber road bikes look similar because all one can see is the paint scheme. I have overtaken others on more expensive bikes and in turn have been overtaken by others in less expensive bikes. The only time I stare is if anyone's bike is making a high pitch squeak, which really bothers my ears. As long as your bike is working for you, there is no point to be envious.
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Old 04-25-22, 01:39 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
What I tend to notice most on events are:-

1. Guys on £10k+ superbikes getting off for the walk of shame up steep climbs. That is never a good look!
2. Really quick guys riding an old shed. This always reminds me that it's all about the rider!

Both the above extreme combinations of bike/rider tend to stand out for me. But I do sometimes admire other bikes in the paddock when signing on. I don't tend to notice other bikes so much while actually riding along in a group.
You are right, it is definitely all about the rider.

I just created this post I guess to comment on the way people make cycling into an "equipment" sport. Or the way people are overly materialistic.

I was on the train with 3 guys going to the same event. They were constantly talking amongst themselves about how they got the latest carbon frame, and the latest groupsets. They were talking about a friend of theirs who 'only' had Tiagra groupet with 'only' 10 speeds, and how inadequate this was. I kind of pitied them. But judging by the average bike at the event, this kind of attitude is widespread.

I think it is a pity, because it makes the cycling hobby seem so elitist. I don't care that my bike is older (an older carbon frame mind you, not even alloy or steel). But I know that a lot of people would be deterred from getting into cycling because of this attitude. They don't want to show up with "lesser" equipment, or they think they need the latest and greatest to be able to partake, which saddens and angers me. The enjoyment of cycling does not depend on your equipment. I have even had friends of mine say they don't want to partake in these events because they don't have a "good bike", which is a real shame. I am sure they could enjoy the sport on an old bike, or even a city bike or hybrid.
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Old 04-25-22, 04:23 AM
  #40  
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I don't even look at other rider's bikes.

I am not sure why. I just don't care.

It is like when I played a lot of golf, many players on the first tee would fondle and ogle other's clubs.

I could tell the real players from poseurs in about 30 seconds. It takes a little longer on a bike but not much longer. How someone rides gets my attention.
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Old 04-25-22, 08:00 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by maartendc View Post
YI was on the train with 3 guys going to the same event. They were constantly talking amongst themselves about how they got the latest carbon frame, and the latest groupsets. They were talking about a friend of theirs who 'only' had Tiagra groupet with 'only' 10 speeds, and how inadequate this was. I kind of pitied them. But judging by the average bike at the event, this kind of attitude is widespread.
Maybe you need new friends. I rarely hear other riders discussing equipment, unless it's about fixing something that broke during a ride.
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Old 04-25-22, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Maybe you need new friends. I rarely hear other riders discussing equipment, unless it's about fixing something that broke during a ride.
He didn't say they were his friends. He was just making an observation about the discussion he overheard.
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Old 04-25-22, 08:28 AM
  #43  
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Anyone who's been riding with fast groups for a while knows the equipment, beyond a certain level of capability, makes little difference.
In my club there is sometimes talk of parts, frames, wheels, but everyone knows buying stuff isn't going to make them faster. When someone gets a new bike we might ooh and ahh over it but then we just go ride.

I have a 12 year old Seven and people compliment it sometimes when I'm on a ride, but I'm obviously not fast.

I also have a 16 year old steel Gunnar. People don't recognize the brand and I'm frequently asked about it. One time I was in the hills and a guy complimented me for riding such a "vintage" bike up there. I said "Hey, it's not that old".
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Old 04-25-22, 08:34 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by schwim View Post
He didn't say they were his friends. He was just making an observation about the discussion he overheard.
Call them whatever you want; friends, cycling acquaintances, random people on bikes, etc. Maybe he needs to find someone else to ride with.
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Old 04-25-22, 08:39 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Call them whatever you want; friends, cycling acquaintances, random people on bikes, etc. Maybe he needs to find someone else to ride with.
​​​​​​
he happened to be on the same train. Perhaps we could get him to carry earplugs with him so he doesn't hear the conversation they have in the future.
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Old 04-25-22, 09:14 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by maartendc View Post
Hello all,
I recently partook in an organized cycling event here in Belgium, and it struck me how nice and new everyones bikes were. Not a race, just an event for amateurs.
My bike is 12 years old, and it feels like it was by far one of the oldest bikes there. It really seems like everyone went out and bought a new bike last week or something crazy like that. I saw a lot of new Canyons, Pinarellos, Williers, Ridleys, etc. Mostly carbon. judging from the models and paintwork most of them were less than 3 yrs old.
I consider my bike pretty nice, but among all this new bling, almost felt inadequate, even though I know it is not.
Do you notice the same when you go out and partake in events? Do most people ride bikes 3 yrs old or newer? I thought this was striking.
I guess you could also look at it differently and take an older bike as a badge of honor and testament you are not 'new to the sport'.
Cheers!
...Knowing that you qualified this OP with another post...
Event/rides... for many, maybe most riders are a challenge and also a 'coming out', like a rock concert, a gathering.
So I expect many to present themselves with the Bike and Kit which best shows their 'Identity'. So often a new, spotlessly cleaned, prolly upgraded in some fashion bike.
Many come in small groups formed for the 'ride'/event. So group social dynamics are in play.
I don;t ride 'Events', but do ride group rides usually 2x a week. And I do volunteer at 2 Event rides, in my area, so I get to be the observer and often 'greeter' for the locals who might do the ride.
The vast majority of riders are there and comfortable in a/their group ride in the event. They bring their finest bikes (many seem to have more than one).
I think this type if 'riding' brings out that segment for which their equipment is decidedly 'important' for their 'incremental gains'. A high segment of the 'Strava' type crowd.
Don;t read me wrong, there are many other types, but the Strava group is quite dominant - here in California.
Not a 'value' judgment - I get it... It's all good... mostly...
So, yes, a lot of new gear. More than I normally see, even on the regular, local, hammerfests...
No Envy - I do check out gear... I check out kit... I'm an incessant 'checker-outer' and noticer of little things - a habit for for most of life.
I'm an unabashed gear junkie - but tend to restrict that to things which I feel are 'incremental gains' for me...
but back to the OP, 'Event' riders have, by nature, a bend to some level of competition, some level of self-performance, which often is accompanied by 'mirror' viewing.
I totally expect that at any 'Event'/organized ride.
It's all good. If this kind of riding makes you feel good, go for it.
In the case of a self-image much too highly pumped up, it is usually brought down to the proper inflation level, out on the road....
Ride On
Yuri

Last edited by cyclezen; 04-25-22 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 04-25-22, 09:24 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Maybe it's just because there tend to be a lot of bikes at organised events and you tend to notice the newer ones most? Obvioulsy depends on the event and location to some extent.

There is that, but I have run a rest stop at my club's century event for quite a few years, & so get a pretty good look at the field of bikes. Generally ~3,000 riders in a well-to-do area.
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Old 04-25-22, 11:14 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by maartendc View Post
You are right, it is definitely all about the rider.

I just created this post I guess to comment on the way people make cycling into an "equipment" sport. Or the way people are overly materialistic.

I was on the train with 3 guys going to the same event. They were constantly talking amongst themselves about how they got the latest carbon frame, and the latest groupsets. They were talking about a friend of theirs who 'only' had Tiagra groupet with 'only' 10 speeds, and how inadequate this was. I kind of pitied them. But judging by the average bike at the event, this kind of attitude is widespread.

I think it is a pity, because it makes the cycling hobby seem so elitist. I don't care that my bike is older (an older carbon frame mind you, not even alloy or steel). But I know that a lot of people would be deterred from getting into cycling because of this attitude. They don't want to show up with "lesser" equipment, or they think they need the latest and greatest to be able to partake, which saddens and angers me. The enjoyment of cycling does not depend on your equipment. I have even had friends of mine say they don't want to partake in these events because they don't have a "good bike", which is a real shame. I am sure they could enjoy the sport on an old bike, or even a city bike or hybrid.
So you don't care that you have an older bike, but somehow you believe a lot of people would? Seems like you are over-thinking this rant.
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Old 04-25-22, 11:47 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by schwim View Post
​​​​​​
he happened to be on the same train. Perhaps we could get him to carry earplugs with him so he doesn't hear the conversation they have in the future.
Oops, I thought he meant train like a paceline, not an actual train. Never mind …
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Old 04-25-22, 11:56 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
So you don't care that you have an older bike, but somehow you believe a lot of people would? Seems like you are over-thinking this rant.
That was not my point at all. My point is not what other people would think of my bike.

I was merely commenting on the fact that most people seem to want or need the latest and greatest, which surprised me. It is also a comment that this pervasive attitude I think turns a lot of potential cyclists off from the sport, which would be a shame. I have seen this first hand, where some friends or colleagues wouldn;t partake in these kinds of events because they don't have a carbon road bike.

Originally Posted by cyclezen View Post
...Knowing that you qualified this OP with another post...
Event/rides... for many, maybe most riders are a challenge and also a 'coming out', like a rock concert, a gathering.
So I expect many to present themselves with the Bike and Kit which best shows their 'Identity'. So often a new, spotlessly cleaned, prolly upgraded in some fashion bike.
Many come in small groups formed for the 'ride'/event. So group social dynamics are in play.
I don;t ride 'Events', but do ride group rides usually 2x a week. And I do volunteer at 2 Event rides, in my area, so I get to be the observer and often 'greeter' for the locals who might do the ride.
The vast majority of riders are there and comfortable in a/their group ride in the event. They bring their finest bikes (many seem to have more than one).
I think this type if 'riding' brings out that segment for which their equipment is decidedly 'important' for their 'incremental gains'. A high segment of the 'Strava' type crowd.
Don;t read me wrong, there are many other types, but the Strava group is quite dominant - here in California.
Not a 'value' judgment - I get it... It's all good... mostly...
So, yes, a lot of new gear. More than I normally see, even on the regular, local, hammerfests...
No Envy - I do check out gear... I check out kit... I'm an incessant 'checker-outer' and noticer of little things - a habit for for most of life.
I'm an unabashed gear junkie - but tend to restrict that to things which I feel are 'incremental gains' for me...
but back to the OP, 'Event' riders have, by nature, a bend to some level of competition, some level of self-performance, which often is accompanied by 'mirror' viewing.
I totally expect that at any 'Event'/organized ride.
It's all good. If this kind of riding makes you feel good, go for it.
In the case of a self-image much too highly pumped up, it is usually brought down to the proper inflation level, out on the road....
Ride On
Yuri
Good comment. You are right, I think it is a certain crowd that strives to be competitive that partakes in these types of events. The average road bike in my area is not that nice, some old, some newer. But the average road bike in this event was VERY nice.
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