Cervelo P4 - Do style points trump everything else? Photo: kwc
I have people contact me from all over the world asking the same question, “What do you recommend as the best bike for me?” It is a very interesting question and one that I think about constantly. Since I provide a rather limited selection of equipment to clients I wonder what is important to people. Is is the cost? People always say so, but I wonder sometimes. Is it the performance? That is a subjective question as well. How about the appearance and the style? This is huge. How one is perceived by others who will be judging is apparently one of the most important factors. Is it the comfort and efficiency? I hope so. Is it because a sponsor paid for all or part of the bike? Maybe.
In the end, the best bike for one person is totally different than the best bike for another. This explains why some high end brands do well in one part of the country and do not in others. While I want everyone to appreciate the thought and effort that goes into a world class custom bike, I realize in the end that many people either don’t know this kind of bicycle is available or don’t care. The latter concept is difficult for me, but here is an example.
Some parts of the triathlon world are so Cervelo-centric that people would rather ride one that doesn’t fit than ride another that does. This might be Cannondale or Felt in the stock bike world, or Guru, Serotta or Parlee in my custom world. The best bike for them is one that their friends agree is the coolest and that is a very important part of cycling that techies like me both appreciate and find incredible. I appreciate the beauty of a very hot bicycle, but I find it incredible that someone would prefer that bike over one that fits, assuming the first one didn’t. One feature of many stock triathlon bikes is a very short head tube. This can make a comfortable position on one of these bikes possible, but the aesthetics of the bike will be ruined with 100 mm of headset spacers or a steerer tube extension. Who wants to ride a Frankenbike? Not many.
In the end, I simply hope to get people to think about what they do with a bicycle. They cost a lot of money and last a long time. With planning and care, the money spent on a great bicycle is a super investment. Sometimes with impulse buying, big mistakes can be made that are costly to correct, or painful to live with.
There is a difference in bikes. You can have it all, but please, do your homework. Really ask yourself what is important, because whatever the reason, it is a good one. Just be sure you are actually acting on the reasons that are important.
Thanks so much for reading and I look forward to your comments. What is the best bike…for you?
Originally posted 2009-04-06 09:45:10. Republished by Blog Post Promoter