After another singlespeed mountain bike ride, JC puts his feet up and reflects…..
Cycling in all its glory is a fantastic world with very trick and specialist products that could fulfill the need of every aspiring or none aspiring cyclist:
There are finely crafted and meticulously engineered parts that could enhance speed, comfort and efficiency.
There are bikes that will slice the air quicker than a hot knife through butter and bikes that could take the tolerances of being ridden through extremely testing world cup downhill then repeat the action again and again.
Manufacturers spend a lot of time developing and researching their bikes to achieve these pinnacles of performance and with success as all this choice of equipment lead to better options from entry level all the way up to the top pros.
At the moment we certainly are lucky to have all the options that are available and I’ve certainly made the most of these choices with a constantly changing collection of different bikes. But this abundance of choice can make the selection complex, overwhelming and expensive.
There is also the ever present danger of the tech becoming more important than the riding. As technology tries to help it also keeps adding trees to the ever growing forest that you would like to see through.
When everything starts to stack up and indeed I can’t see the clear path though the forest because of the specially optimised trees I’ve got a fail-safe:
The singlespeed hardtail mountain bike. This bike rides up hills and back down again, on and off road. All that I need to do is push on the pedals, sometimes very hard. There is only one gear so it is always the right one. This makes everything simple and straight forwards without the marketing fog blinding me. This is not to say that it is the most effective way to ride a bike as all that tech can make for more efficient bikes.
The riding of a bike in it’s environment is a simple thing to do regardless to your skill or ability, all you need is to pedal, steer and enjoy.
When you demand more from the equipment it is there for you to use but it is also good to be reminded of your own limitations, as I often find out. I just trundle on with my single speed bike knowing that everyone else is probably having an easier time of it.
Of course it is easy for me to say “I’ll just go and ride my singlespeed bike” as I also have a selection of other bikes to ride when I want, easier, faster and more efficient. Who knows? Maybe one day, it could be electric and how much faster that would be?