Friday, October 12, 2007

Vogue : Women's Clothing :: RoadBikeReview : Cyclocross Bikes

I love the road bike review cx forum. I hate the road bike review cx forum.

Why? The equipment obsession. If you read this forum daily (which I regret to admit I do), you start to think that all there is to cross is bikes. You start to think that maybe your bike isn't adequate, you start to think that all Cat 4's race on 404's with tubulars, you start to think that if you don't take out your water bottle cage screws and replace them with scotch tape (you could save 15g that way!) that you'll never compete.

Of course, this is all hogwash. Anyone will tell you that cross is won with legs, not equipment. Everyone posting knows this, there's no harm it talking about bike parts all day, right?

Well, I think there is. Let's call it "negative bike image." Just like a 14-year old girl reading Vogue, it's not healthy to look at bikes all day. Right at the top of the forum is a stickied thread entitled "2007 Cross Bike Love Thread" where people post what they ride. It has 126 replies (and counting). That's just the tip of the iceberg -- a solid 50% of the posts are about bikes and equipment, if not more. "Here's my new bike","What do you guys think about bike/bike part X","Here's a trick to save Y grams","Yet another debate about brakes"... the list goes on.

If you spew and consume this stuff all day, you start to think that you need to spend money on your bike. Newbie crossers come to the forum and what do they see? I mean, everyone has Dura-Ace, unless they can only afford Ultegra, right? 105 is WalMart bikes. And tubulars -- man, if you have clinchers on your bike, don't even show up. I hope you own a pit bike. I hope you have an extra wheelset. Did you put Rival on your bike? Why not?? My bike weighs 15 lbs. My bike has a custom paint job. You don't still ride a 9-speed, do you?

You know what? Fuck. That. Shit. Last time I checked, cyclocross was a sport, not a fashion show. Shut up and ride.

Strangely enough, the guy who actually makes bikes might be the only one who gets it.

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