New bike day is awesome. Except when it isn't.
By James Raison
For any self-respecting cyclist new bike day is the greatest day of the year. Christmas is a burden, nobody cares about your birthday after 21, and Peter Sagan will retire eventually so yeah, N+1 is all we have.
But it’s not all smooth sailing, some of the process is a bit… lame. Here’s our list of the 7 dangers of new bike day.
1. IT MADE A NOISE
You’re riding your shiny new steed, basking the in the glow of your ride mates’ collective jealousy. You audaciously rise out of the saddle to drop some wattbombs up the coming pinch and… *click*... *click*... *click*...*CLIIIIICK*
The illusion is shattered. Your bike isn’t perfect, your coworkers don’t respect you, that lottery win ain’t gonna happen, and there’s no doggie heaven. All your beloved childhood pets are dead. Like your dreams.
All bikes will make noise eventually. There’s no greater sadness than hearing it on new bike day.
2. YOU OVER-SPENT
Most sensible people will start the bike buying process with a budget but cyclists aren’t sensible people. We worry about bottle aerodynamics, latex or butyl tubes, and whether that Insta filter hides too much calf definition. So naturally we over-spend.
Our $3,500 budget suddenly becomes $3,800 because that Ultegra upgrade is totally worth it. $3,800 becomes $5,000 because the shop had a sweet deal on those carbon clinchers you always wanted. You’ll need a new helmet, shoes, and maybe a jersey to go with your new Summer style. Better get knicks while you’re at it. Yes, you do need that Wahoo computer that got good reviews. Does that receipt say $6,200?
It’s a high stakes game. You just know your least favourite child will need extensive dental work as soon as you spend anything on yourself. At the very least, you can always ride the bike you can’t afford far away from the house you aren’t paying off and the family you can’t feed.
3. WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER BIKE?
With bikes, the grass isn’t just greener on the other side, but it’s probably lighter, stiffer, and more aerodynamic.
Choosing between bikes you haven’t ridden is a minefield of potential regret. You'll only find problems with the bike you purchased. The unsuccessful candidates will always exist in a state of unattainable perfection, like your highschool crush you never had the guts to ask out for a date.
That’s the sort of proposition that keeps cyclists awake at night and can fester for years before manifesting in your final dying words to your confused family being:
“I should have bought that Cannondale Synapse Disc in 2017…”
4. YOU GAMBLE ON PROPRIETARY… AND LOST
Early adopters play a dangerous game of rocketing themselves into frustration and early obsolescence.
Just imagine saying any one of these phrases on new bike day:
“I spent a bit extra because hydro rim brakes are definitely the future”
“I reckon electronic shifting will change the bike industry, so I got Mavic Mektronic”
“Nah nah nah, the mechanic said these Campagnolo Delta brakes are easy to live with”
“Yup, it’s a magnesium frame. Carbon fibre is a fad.”
5. IT WENT ON SALE SOON AFTER
After extending “Mii Goreng Monday” to every other day of the week for 7 months, you scraped enough dosh together and bought your beloved. A week later the bike is $700 cheaper and you’re too undernourished to enjoy it anyway.
It’s the universal truth that every expensive purchase you make will be cheaper immediately after you hand over the cash. There’s no comedy here. Just sadness and poverty.
6. THE FINISHING KIT SUCKS
Off-the-rack bikes are built to squeeze every drop of margin and always have some compromises. Unfortunately that’s usually the saddle, handlebars, bartape, tyres, and wheels. That stuff matters.
Soon you’ll realise the frame and groupset you bought are totally ace but everything else is a bit of a rotter. It’s lucky you didn’t over-spend right? Oh wait…
7. YOUR EX KEEPS CALLING
It’s hard to move on from your ex-bike. Sure, your new one is younger and prettier, but the old one was comfortable. Familiar. Safe. It knew your correct saddle height, handlebar reach, and had its stack figures just right.
Suddenly you’re in another committed, long-term relationship and you’re nervous. What if they’re uncomfortable to be around? What if they make annoying noises constantly, insist on seeing out the entire season of The Bachelor when you’re bored by episode 2, and tag you in lame memes? Am I still talking about bikes? I don’t even know any more…
All I know is it’s hard to forget the history with the ex-bike. I wonder if they still think about me…
Have you experience the dangers of new bike day? Let us know if the comments below.