Have you noticed that as soon as you buy the best possible bicycle, quite shortly something even better comes along? This is not just true for bicycles, but any cycling related paraphernalia – except perhaps Brooks saddles, which were just as good in 1893, as they are now.
With this in mind, I don’t know what to make of the new Trek Madone 2013.
On the one hand, it’s great to know that the technology of bicycles continues to improve – offering an ever improved ride potential. Lighter weight, stronger, stiffer / more aerodynamic. Or as Trek say:
330g less drag than the previous model. Their figures say that riding at 40kph/25mph (with a wind at 10° yaw) takes 25W less power than before. Or, for the same effort, a ride that would have taken 1hr now takes 57:56mins.
It’s so good, even my paint work feels inadequate compared to this beast of a model.
The new Trek Madone 2013 is so much better than my existing model that I’m sure it could go up Wrynose pass as if it was merely an incline over a railway bridge. In fact, it’s so good I’m only surprised they haven’t put a perpetual motion motor in the bottom bracket.
On the other hand, I’m deeply disappointed they have made so much progress. (Not that I really want to admit this fact publicly) The bike is so much visibly better, it means my old 2010 model is now consigned to the dustbin of technological progress. It might still be OK for retro days out with my Faema wool cycling jersey; it’s perhaps acceptable for 3rd cat races – but how can it be fair to compete against other cyclists who may have a frame weighing a whole 183 grams less than mine?
The only saving grace is that I now have a ready excuse for not winning. = Compared to the 2013 model, I’m virtually riding a Victorian safety bicycle, little better than the speculative hobby horse without pedals.
To be honest, I’m not sure why the UCI didn’t stop all bike technology in 1976, the year Eddy Merckx was at his peak (they kind of did with the formerly prestigious world hour record). But, just think if all bike technology had been stopped at 1970s technology, then life for a cyclist would be much simpler.
- We would be always able to compare ourselves to Eddy Merckx, thus proving the fundamental rule of cycling that indeed Eddy Merckx is the greatest ever cyclist.
- We wouldn’t have to keep spending £5,000 to upgrade our bicycle to latest model, every time a major manufacturer finds a new way of weaving carbon fibre.
- Without spending hours researching the latest developments in bike technology we would have time to train properly and maybe become as good as Eddy Merckx.
- There would be no need to listen to the excuses of every cyclist from a sportive rider to 2nd Cat Road racers – that they really would have won, if they hadn’t been saddled with antiquated 2007 bike technology.
Cycling Info’s Formula for Length of time satisfied with current bicycle.
- T = 360 days – C/10 – 4(B)
- ( C = cost of bicycle)
- ( B = the number of bicycles you already have)
The more you spend on a bicycle, the quicker you will realise you should have bought a better one. This is generally related to the fact that people happy with a £1,000 bikes are not obsessed with marginal gains, but can enjoy a bicycle so long as pretty much it goes in a straight line.
The more bicycles you have, the sooner you will be dissatisfied with your latest purchase. This is related to the fact that people with seven bicycles, usually feel that buying that elusive eighth bicycle will be the solution to all their cycling problems. The fewer bikes you have the more likely you are to be content with a bicycle as long as it goes in a straight line.
see also: Formula for optimal number of bicycles.
If you bought your bicycle 20 years ago, and are still completely satisfied with your purchase, congratulations, you have achieved cycling heaven.