I was at the bike shop the other day lusting after the new bike offerings...
The shop I was at carries some hi end brands and I was practically drooling over the latest hi-zoot, low weight, carbon fiber offerings. These things, with their swoopy sculpted and computer designed tubes look more like something you’d see at the MOMA (www.moma.org) instead of a bike shop.
As I was wandering around, the sales kid (honestly, I think he was 12 and pretty sure his voiced cracked at least once during our conversation) came over to see what I needed. I said, no thanks, I have plenty of bikes, I'm just browsing. He then asked what I currently ride and when I told him, he smiled (you know, the smile that says “oh you poor, non-roadie clunker rider”) and made the comment, “when you get serious, you’ll want to move up to something like this”
“Really?” I said “Why, what’s the big difference?”
He then went on to explain in complete and painful detail that it was xx% stiffer than aluminum, xx% lighter than titanium, had smoother shifting, faster transition in the corners, less bottom bracket flex, better power transference when out of the saddle hammering, higher strength to weight ratios than any other material found in this galaxy, better tractability when taking downhill sweepers to the right (even better on the left due to chainline flexotension ratios and the pull of gravity on the extra grams from the super-space age Jupiter-tanium alloy), and blah, blah, blah.
It was about this time that my mind started to wander (yes, I have a short attention span) and I started to think about three different things…..1) how much cheaper it would be to lose a few pounds than it would to buy a new bike and 2) how, I hope that I never become like some of the people that populate this sport I enjoy so much and 3) how, even if this snot nosed little kid with 0.32578% body fat did have the coolest bike in the world…..he still couldn’t appreciate the simple joy of an ice-cold Negra Modelo with a bunch of good friends after a nice long ride.....on my clunker