Why do joe public have a mental blockage to see spending more than 89.99 (anywhere other than a supermarket) unacceptable? an impossible discussion, in one ear out the other!
Suppose they will hardly use it but a honest £200 or sale bike would be miles better and more inspiring to use.
A friend of mine (I'll call him John...
) asked me if I thought it was worth his while to buy one of those £89.99 full suspension things and seemed quite put out when I just told him that it was a pile of crap and a complete waste of money. Now this is a usually fairly intelligent guy - he is an air traffic controller, (so he must be?) plus he's not short of a bob or two. He is , however, easily taken in by advertising spiel of all kinds ....
Eventually he bought some £300 Specialised hardtail so presumably he did take my advice. The thing is, the same people who pay hundreds each month in car loan repayments won't consider spending even £500 on a basic but decent bike, nor will they buy secondhand stuff. Of course, they happily buy big f**k off televisions (to light up the neighbourhood - my pet hate, seeing those things through front windows
) and have to have their new (or nearly new) car every two or three years plus their BlackBerrys, Playstations, X-Boxes, Sky Plus, their 12 Megapixel cameras (when they never print anything anyway
), their Satnav and all that other stuff just so essential to a "cool" lifestyle.
So the crap bikes are seen as just another "lifestyle" thing, but they don't get used for very long because - hey
they don't ride themselves and anyway it's not really so "cool" to arrive home covered in all shades of mud, kack and sweat and scratched to pieces by thorns and briars, scarified by rocks and then have to wash and maintain the bike and their gear before doing it all again next weekend.
So the poor bike gets thrown in the garage along with the dirty trainers and cheapo helmet, and the usual toys (see above) are back in favour.....
So, we just have to realise that what we do (ride, restore and maintain mountain bikes, clear and build trails, negotiate RoW for new routes), is a "niche" thing. Hell, some people are even peculiar enough to ride bikes with one f**king gear
("Bet you've only got a really small telly and a crappy old car too, haven't you mate")
I'm quite happy to keep it that way too - I really don't want all these other dickheads tearing up my local trails, because I'm damn sure that they wouldn't be willing to give up a Sunday afternoon in front of the telly (Is it big enough sweetheart, or shall we get a really huge one next ??) to go out and do a bit of trail maintenance.
So be thankfull that crap, cheap and overweight bikes exist because they act as a very effective filter. Anyone who gets initiated on one of those and still wants more must be made of the "right stuff"