awesome fixie vidz

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iwillbe's picture

Bikes are indeed weird in that they have a utilitarian and a hobby component, and relatively few bikes are sold as basic transportation tools. of course, cars are also sold to hearts, not heads, so maybe there's something about vehicles being inherently laden with self-projection?

There's a very general consumer trend (probably a ramification of Anderson's "long tail" argument from a decade or so ago) towards fewer people being into any given thing, but the people who are into it are really really into it. As a result, hobby expenditures are being channeled into weird, expensive versions of things instead of spread across cheap but usable stuff for a variety of pursuits.
What I wonder about is the rate of turnover in different hobbies - are bicyclists more likely to stick with their hobby than golfers? than photographers? Firearms enthusiasts? It might explain the ratio of cheap to expensive stuff in a given hobby area (like an aluminum allez with tiagra vs. Venge with Di2).

I'll post the article (wherever it lands) once I've finished it. Right now it's at the point where I've gone from "Ok, there might be a good angle here" to "Oh, no. This is like the Unabomber manifesto, only more rambling", so I've got some work to do.

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 12:59
Goddamnit Gunther
Goddamnit Gunther's picture

I'm very excited to read that when you're finished.

Endpoint wrote:
turdly buttways

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 14:01
Andrew_Squirrel's picture

That's interesting that you mention the hobby hole vs hobby hop. I was talking to a friend about that yesterday.
It all came about because he likes to switch hobbies at least once a year. He doesn't have as much income so he always buys the cheapest gear he can find and once bored with the activity he abandons the gear and moves on to the next hobby never to return.
For a while I tracked his hobbies to spend time with him but I found it was at odds with my preference for having reliable middle-end equipment that would eventually sit latent after he had moved on.
Now that i'm deep in a hole with cycling it made me think about how our experience in paddling, for example, would have differed if we were hardcore paddle nerds with ripped upper bodies, skilled paddle handling and better quality equipment. Would our enjoyment increase if we had stuck with the hobby and invested more time, fitness training and financial resources? How often does this happen in cycling?
I think about this often when I tell people that I enjoy touring and long rides and they get that cringe face that conveys their only reference to bicycles has been brief, unpleasant experiences.

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 14:05
iwillbe's picture

I think cycling is serious Type 2 Fun for most people, unless there are beautiful vistas or pleasant multiuse paths in nearby parks.

It's also sort of technically demanding, as evidenced by how many people's dalliance with bike riding ends with the first flat tire. Throw in a fucked up derailleur or whatever and it adds up to a lot of cheap hybrids gathering dust in garages. Getting to the point where you can competently repair and maintain a bike is no small effort, and the sunk cost of that competence in my life definitely both keeps me into bikes and keeps me from getting into other hobbies (if bikes take an hour a week and at least a few hundred bucks a year of basic maintenance, god only knows what sailboats are like...).
By contrast, stuff like tennis or tubing are not that complicated. Getting the hang of hitting a ball takes about an hour to really start zinging them over the net, and sitting in a rubber donut and drinking beer while getting a sunburn is pretty damn intuitive, at least to me*.
My middle ground is stuff like cooking and home decor. I like to make healthy meals with fresh vegetables and I like living in a tidy home, but it never really occurs to me to do much beyond the basic functional level of effort and competence required to make those things work.

*I'm like, 40% Jimmy Buffett by weight

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 14:20

I thought it was “vang-gey” and not “venj”
It’s venj per my spec bro

"Folks want options!"

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 14:44
heavymetal's picture

The bikes-as-hobby-and-transportation thing is why I don't mind having decent stuff. Having a 4-bong bike sounds pretty stupid, until you factor in that I save $9 every time I ride to work, plus I don't pay to go to a gym, plus it gets me to the supermarket, plus it hauls my kids around, plus it means we don't need to have a second car (which is bongs a year saved right there). Also helps that I can do most maintenance/repairs on my own.

Keen to read that article.

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 16:45
Shortpants's picture
(Reply to #807)

Wintage Townie wrote:
kmcdon wrote:
the vias pro guy didn't really seem like someone that I would like to hang out with on a regular basis

LOW guy was the top DICKIW. Vias guy seemed particularly awful and reminded me why I quit working in high end shops.

I am personally biased but that's to be expected with a sponsorship from Andrew Low. He pretty much only sponsors people he is cool with, they're all real people. He's small enough to have that luxury. Notice all the Cadence and Ritchey gear too. They all tend to go hand in hand.

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 01:26
eric_ssucks's picture

As someone who spent years around barely sponsored bike racers, most know there exists a speed/$ value ratio that is somewhere in between an aluminum allez and a low end carbon frame. The 3 bong plus bikes are strictly for mamils and people who get their shit for free.

I have a buddy who's a serial hobbyist, and when he moved on and thought I should follow I chuckled. I like bikes, and I don't find guns interesting at all.

Sat, 10/07/2017 - 22:38
yonderboy's picture
(Reply to #809)

iwillbe wrote:
Bike racers getting asked how much their bikes are worth, how much they paid for their bikes with sponsorships and team deals, then getting asked how much better a $10k road bike is than a $1500 road bike.

I don't love the whole genre of "fatcat companies want to sell you expensive bikes! I just ride Walmart bikes and they're at least as good!!" videos, but this is kind of funny.

The dude at 5:21 hits it on the head. Pros are going to crush it even if they're riding on a gas pipe 10 speed.

Sun, 10/08/2017 - 00:09