I am BARRY HESS > Blog

The Bike Decision Approaches

My original bike post is here.

Martin's Cycling has definitely convinced me out of going for anything higher than the Giant Cypress DX (the SX I originally quoted above was a mistake on their part when they marked some stuff in my Giant propaganda book - the SX is twice as expensive) or Trek 7200. We are both leaning toward the Trek 7200. For me the Giant felt too upright and for The Wife the 16“ frame of the Trek was more comfortable than the 15” Giant. I also thought the Giant tires were a bit nubbier than I’d like. The higher model bikes, the shop feels, would be an oversell for a couple that plans on doing a lot of family riding. The shop feels we should get our feet wet with these bikes and buy some good accessories with the saved money. If one of us really gets into cycling, it would probably be best to consider an entry-level road bike at that time.

I’ve really liked how this shop has treated us. The current ownership has been in place for approximately one year. We’ve had two different people work with us and they have been tremendous. They have educated us on many different aspects of cycling - mainly things that would help us decide on great bikes for our situation. They have offered to open the store at basically any convenient time for us so we can try out bikes. Of course, they’ve also nearly convinced us to buy an über-expensive Burley double trailer rather than going to Target and getting an InStep or some other knock-off.

The shop also provides a 10% discount on accessories at the time of bike purchase and an additional 10% discount on accessories via a one-time-use coupon. This probably helps offset the fact that they are selling their bikes at MSRP. (And yes, I realize accessories are where the real markup probably comes in.) I can handle paying a little more for the service we’ve been given. Really, the only thing stopping us from buying our bikes on Saturday morning is if someone can convince me to try out another brand, like Raleigh or Specialized at Erik’s Bike Shop.

The real kicker, though, is that The Kid absolutely loved her test ride in the Burley. When we returned to the shop, she put the phrase “That was fun” together for what I believe was the first time. And each time we asked her through the evening if she liked when we rode the bikes, she quickly and confidently answered in the positive.

The owner of the shop was a nurse for seven years prior to buying the business. She expressed her belief in cycling as an excellent way to assure an active life for one’s children. Habits are developed even as the child rides prone in a trailer. McDonalds advertises to very young children. It is clearly a technique to connect in the malleable mind of a child the ideas of fun and stuffing one’s face with shitty food . It’s not hard, really, to counteract this. Naturally limiting a child’s T.V. time is one useful combatant. Most powerful is relating the concept of fun with physical activity. Cycling with your family is one of the easiest and most effective ways to do this.

Thanks to everyone who commented or e-mailed ideas about this purchase. It will obviously turn out to be a considerable expenditure, so getting the right bike and accessories will definitely help quell buyer’s remorse. We are certainly buying helmets, locks, and probably water bottles. I’m leaning toward getting a single computer for one bike so we can see our speed and miles traveled. I’d also like to get some storage on the bike, though I’m wondering if I should go with Banjo Brothers versus whatever is in the shop.