What Is Bike Envy, And Should We Give Into It?

I was inspired to pick up this topic by a posting over at Spoke about a new adjustable angle headset from Cane Creek. Whilst it may be a wonderful thing, personally I'm not in the market for one right now; the topic got me to thinking about how at this time of year across the Internet and also through magazines bike manufacturers start teasing us with the next years models.

Already there have been announcements from Trek, Avanti, Cannondale and many more showing previews of their 2011 model ranges and as always, there's shiny new paint, some changes in components and sometimes something is even brand new. Hey Cannondale have decided we need a new class of riding and the bikes to go with it... but as I said earlier, I'll not be talking about that again... well not much.

With the announcements come the start of a set of stages we see every year, though I have to admit, it's starting to seem that it comes around quicker than every 12 months. Have the number of weeks in the year been removed in some evil, but as yet unannounced Government cost-cutting exercise?

The first stage is post the announcements of "upcoming newness"; where there is an explosion in online and print of reviews and previews of the upcoming bikes and lots of words dedicated to why the "upcoming newness" model is just the best _insert category here_ ever produced... ever!

The second stage is at your local bike shop where the "newness" models start to drip in and the staff get very excited and you may be allowed to look at one... look but not touch. Then you'll notice all the "last years crap" bikes, including the one you worked so fucking hard to acquire, are now all on sale, and not just fifty bucks off, it's hundreds, if not thousands cheaper.... but the "newness" model comes in lime green man... it's lime green!

The penultimate stage is depression... you'll go home and walk past your "last years crap" bike, but you won't look at it, not directly anyway and you'll probably not ride it for a day or so.  When you do have the resolve to do so, you'll be thinking about the "newness" models and what do you need to do to get one... sell something, go without coffee/beer/food, make the wife/children go without, steal something; you get the picture.

The finale stage; you'll be back at your local store, and somehow that lime green "newness" model is halfway into your car before you know it.

That my friends is the circle of life...  it certainly is not about a singing lion!

Now I'm not saying we should boycott our bookmarked Internet pages, or local bike shops and never buy a new bike or component again, just that maybe we could slow things down a bit and think about what we need and why. For instance; would you rather spend money on some one-on-one coaching to be a better rider, or get some 10,000 lumen lights! Do you really like the lime green frame that much, or would you rather have some tasty new cranks and better brakes? Hey as long as you keep riding and throwing some money the way of your local shop, it's all cool.

For me, well I'll be working hard to ignore the 2011 rumors and fantastic new frames as they hit the shops (I've heard a few words that Giant has done some significant re-work to the Trance X range... so it's going to be hard), instead I'm thinking about a dropper seat post, some new cranks, upgrading the brakes... and maybe the drive-train to some 2x10.

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