I wrote about what I liked about cycling, so I thought I would write about what I don’t like about biking in this post.
My biggest complaint is gear. This is twofold: It’s expensive and there’s just too much of it needed when traveling. This requires some clarification. I’m going to start with the traveling part.
When I ride, I wear the full outfit — shorts, jersey, clipless shoes, and helmet. I know it looks funny to those not into biking, but it is very practical when riding. My biggest grumble is the amount of items needed when traveling.
Everybody likes to travel, I’m no different. I like to travel with my bike. Transporting the bike is a pain the keyster. I need to (a.) take it apart, find a bike box, and ship it to a bike where I’m going, have them re-assemble it; or (b.) use a bike bag, which still requires partial disassembly of the bike. Both are a pain.
I also have extra cycling clothing I need to bring. The shoes, the helmet, and 1 or 2 jerseys and shorts — depending on how much washing in the sink I want to do on the trip.
This is expensive carting all this stuff. I’m not a fan of traveling with gear.
I’m also not a fan of the crazy prices of bicycles, their parts, and clothing. I realize they are out to make money, but it can undermine the sport when a good road bike costs more than $2K and retail stores sell bikes for 200 bucks. People then think bikers are crazy for spending 2 grand on a bike. Maybe my complaint is more about retail stores. I still think prices are out of whack in bike shops, though.
A good example is a road bike tire. Racing road bike tires can cost $60 bucks for 1 tire, which lasts around 1000 miles. I’ve bought car tires that lasted 25,000 miles for around that price. For the most part, decent road bike tires seem to average around $30 bucks at the bike shop I frequent.
Engine matters, not cost
Related to cost: The bike can only go as fast as the person pedaling it. It’s great to have expensive stuff, but if the rider is overweight and has no cardiovascular fitness, then a fast bike is wasted on that rider.
A lot of people get so caught up with buying gear rather than riding the bike.
I got caught up in the gear conundrum when I first started cycling. I saw all this cool stuff and thought, man, I gotta have it. I spent a lot of time researching and reading about new gear, which I could not afford. It was good that I could not go out and buy top-of-the-line DuraAce components. I was forced to use Sora, but I learned how to tune those Sora parts so they shifted flawlessly.
I am not a fan of how people throw money on parts when simple tuning can solve a lot of issues.