It’s safe to say there’s probably plenty of debate on this one. The “steel is real” crowd would probably say the buck stops there. Tri types and speed junkies eyeball the prototype stuff and wonder when it’ll trickle down from the pros. Heck, even the off-road folks have seen lots of changes lately, with 11-speeds and more 650b hoops splitting the difference between the 29‘er and the old standard 26 inch wheel.
But what makes any of those options any more – or less – real? We tossed the subject around the shop for a while, then asked our Facebook fans and friends what they thought about it, too. Naturally, everyone who piped-in had their own idea of what constitutes a “real” bike. (Of course, we liked the comment that suggested a real bike had its origin in a, “fine establishment such as Bicycle Sport!” – your check’s in the mail, RD!) And there were many others that pointed to brands, source, material, and other details that make it a real bike.
Like we said when we threw the questions out there: no wrong answers. Of course, we love new bikes, modern tech and things that make us go farther and faster, too. But is the rack-and-fender laden, flat pedaled commuter any less a real bike than the latest-and-greatest carbon whip – if the former gets a daily “workout” and the latter sits around waiting for some sunny Saturday to see the light of day? What good’s a high-zoot road rig, if your ideal ride involves dodging trees on a dirt-covered downhill? Well, you’ve probably got a good idea of where we think the answer lies on this one!
A bicycle is inspirational. The Wright brothers are testament to that. For a machine that’s basically the same as it was 125 year ago, folks are still spending time, energy and all sorts of brain power to update, upgrade, or just plain go “up” with it. (Check out these guys! http://youtu.be/F-idaa0gYbc)
IOHO, we think a “real” bike should be the one that allows you to ride it as often as possible, whether that’s to race, to travel, to work, or for fun. And it should show all the signs of love – and wear. Scratches and dings? They shouldn’t come from angling for garage space with your lawn mower. On a “real” bike scratches are just souvenirs from your adventures together; whether they’re from around the corner or around the globe, rubbing shoulders at the races or rolling down the greenway with the kids. A “real” bike is one that’s ridden. As often as you can. And a bike that’s ridden should look like it. In a good way. 😉
Dude. “Like” us on Facebook. There’s always some great debate to weigh in on!