11:11 PM

Want vs Need

I once had a customer check out a bike and he was most worried about the bike’s shifting mechanism.  He looks at me with his nose pointed up and says “I don't like this too much, its hard to reach and how do i know what gear I'm in?”  I was a bit baffled by the question and thought about it for a second in silence.  then i said “well if you ever drive a stick shift car, does it tell you what gear you’re in?”  He then drew attention away from the shifters and mentioned other flaws of a 20 year old bike such as paint scratches, that it isn't as light as his friend’s carbon bike, that he’s worried the frame will fail on him, etc.  So he left without buying it, and left me glad that he didn’t.   

Now I know what he’s getting at. He previously mentioned that he checked out bikes at Walmart so I'm certain that he wants a bike with the twist shifters and the little dial telling you what gear you’re in.  My point is, however, do you really need that?  What difference does it make to know what “gear” you’re in? I thought it was as simple as “too much resistance” or “need to go faster.”  what does putting a number on it do?  
On certain bikes certain things work and make sense.  I'm just saying as consumers we need to be realistic about what we really need. Get rid of the stuff you don’t, and don't fall for the gimmicks.  That’s how you enjoy something as pure and simple as cycling.