Monday, January 16, 2012

What is the best...

Being a bike shop in a tourist (reference is to "tourists," not cyclo-tourists, although both are prevalent) town, I get a lot of folks strolling through the shop who may or may not be cyclists. Sometimes, a guy will walk in proclaiming "I never miss a bike shop," take a cursory glance around, then walk right back out. I always wonder if and how my shop didn't meet their level of bike shopedness (I just made that word up, you can use it if you want).

Sometimes someone strolls in and says they are looking for a new bike and want my advice. Now at that statement's face value, that sounds like a good thing for me. What they are really want to know is should they buy the T brand, S brand, or C brand carbon road bike or something else I just don't carry or have access to. However, when I answer that I can't answer that question, they are confused.

My answer to these types of questions is always the same whether the person is looking for a high-end carbon road bike or an economical hybrid bike: find a bike shop you enjoy going into and one where you are comfortable with the staff. There really is very little difference in the various brand's bikes given a certain price and parts spec. Oh, and I tell them to pick a bike based on the color they like the best. No one wants to ride a bike they don't like because the color is going to look ugly in a couple months.

The other question I get frequently is "what's the best bike?" I'm actually baffled by these types of questions because I don't work well with absolutes. I don't have one favorite band or actor or food or ... You get the idea. Heck, I don't even think my frames are necessarily the best. Pretty darn good, yes. But not the best. There's lots of great frames out there, steel or other material.

There is no "best." What there is, are several darn good choices for a given situation . And it's really the sum of the parts that make the best choice for a given application. The best rim? No such thing. What there is is the best wheel (rim, spokes, nipples, hub, rim strip, tire, tube) for a given rider based on their need and intended use. There is never one best. Heck, there are simply too many great options out there in every aspect of life for there to be one best.

However, I did have the best ride yesterday. Paved road, dirt road, cow trail, steep climb, rippin' descents, and one lone coyote. However, I think my next ride has all the potential to be the best ride too.

Pierce Point
Pierce Point Ranch

Pierce Point
Pierce Point Ranch

Sr. Coyote
Coyote on the ridge

L Ranch Rd
L Ranch Road

20 MPH
20 mph - maybe a bit faster

(What's playing: The Pretenders Up The Neck)


Jake Hess said...

Looked like the best ride to me!

Jake Hess SW

Trailer Park Cyclist said...

One year ago my friend Coyote and I were discussing whether or not there are coyotes in Florida. There are. I was bumping down a dirt/shell road last week and saw a very bold little teenage coyote on the bridge over Cow Creek.

I seek out some trails now and then as a result of your influence. By running fat (35's) tires I take my old Schwinn leTour into places roadies dare not go. For me, a bicycle is an adventure machine.

Thanks, Mike. TJ