My wife and I were living in an apartment years ago when a new couple moved in next door. After a few days, she noticed a mountain bike hanging on the upstairs balcony and mentioned it to me. She thought maybe the new guy could become one of my riding partners.
“Nah,” I told her. “I saw that bike.”
After she threw me one of those looks that said “nice attitude, jackass,” I explained that it was obvious the guy wasn’t serious about mountain biking, and I had no interest in spending an afternoon waiting for him to carry broken parts back to a trailhead
Yes, boys and girls, even I—a caring, sensitive and supportive guy—have been accused of being a bike snob.
As hard as it may be to believe, I could be a little guilty of the charge. But even I have limits.
One of my co-workers is shopping for her first new road bike, and has asked several times for my opinion on various models and brands. As I always do in such situations, I’ve encouraged her to buy as much bike as she can afford, and to feel confident that she’ll get a solid machine if she buys from a good shop and sticks with mainstream manufacturers such as Specialized, Trek, Giant, Orbea, etc.
But she has another friend who is telling her that he would never ride such inferior bicycles, and that she should double her bike-buying budget to $5,000 or more so she can buy some blinged-out boutique brand.
Now that’s a snob.
For most people fairly new to cycling, simply spending two or three grand on a bike is intimidating enough. The last thing they need is some arrogant dude with too much disposable income trying to impose his egomaniacal hang-ups on them.
If you can afford to spend big bucks on a top-end bike, good for you. Hell, if I were rich, I’d have a garage full state-of-the-art machines. But keep in mind, most of us live in the real world, where $2,400 will buy my co-worker a beautiful road bike that is mind-blowingly fun to ride.
I say shut up and let her enjoy it.