Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Beyond the Point of No Return

There's a great series of posts going on over with Guitar Ted about commuter bicycles. Here and a follow up Here. I happen to agree with so much that Mark has to say. I wish that I had the capabilities to follow through with some of my ideas sometimes.

I like in his paragraph:

"However; my point yesterday was that the bicycle we have to offer is aimed
at what "cyclists" deem necessary and not what new users feel they need, or are
comfortable with. The Coasting bikes are close, particularly Raleigh's
offering,
but still way too expensive and too complex. (Fix the wheel
attachment situation, for one thing) The bike needs to be like a wrench, hammer,
or screwdriver: nothing flashy, complex, or task specific, just a tool that's
easy to use and own. This is also something that "ken" touches on in his comment
that I agree with."

I will agree with the idea that many of the offering at the bike shop are way beyond the point of what people really "need." There are a lot of offerings out there where the groovy cool features appeal to bike nerds like me, but the objections will be based on cost. A $500 commuter bike is just that, a bike. To comfortably and efficiently commute, I'd suggest that it's going to cost you another $500 in other clothing and equipment... Depending of course on your personal preferences and distance that you commute.

What's funny though is that I think the statement "The bike needs to be like a wrench, hammer, or screwdriver: nothing flashy, complex, or task specific, just a tool that's easy to use and own." Oh... like a car? I'm so not disagreeing with the statement, but it makes me laugh at the irony when it comes to looking around at other transportation options. What's easy and cost effective about owning a car?

Millions of people plop down tens of thousands of dollars every year to buy a new one. Something that will be WAY beyond the skill of the average person to service. Ownership costs are high, it costs lots of money to drive. Why do people do it? Obviously it is not the cost objection.

The fact is that people are lazy and/or unwilling to tolerate inconvenience. (FWIW, I will include myself as a guilty party in that list of people.)

1 comment:

-d said...

just back from Nwe Orleans, which is a bike mecca. I totally agree. Most every bike you see is an old "junker" that gets the job done. I toss and turn trying to find an affordable bike to seel at the store that meets this criteria. Unfortunately, they are all over $600, which is outside the scope of most customers looking for a bike to commute with.

Blog Archive