“It’s more authentic to who I am” struck a chord with me. The simple phrase surfaced during a conversation I had with one of our customers. He was referring to his bike.
It makes sense. We invest countless hours with our bikes. Whether it’s a training tool, means to an end, sanctuary, or an outlet to save our sanity, bikes mean a lot us. So, when it comes to a machine that can do so much for our life (fitness/health, community, perspective), why not give it a soul?
Think back to the first time you participated in a group ride, and the inevitable moment when someone else rolled up with the same bike as you — On one end of the spectrum, it fortifies your buying decision. You think, “Other people have superb taste in bikes too!” Assurance in numbers is something most of us look for in certain products, but what about the other end of the spectrum? Would you say your bike has lost some of its allure?
Today, most bike brands make great bicycles. They’re all laterally stiff, vertically compliant… For most, it comes down to the brand you want to represent, aesthetics, and parts. So, if most companies are on a level playing field, it comes down to a things like paint and customization. When you purchase a bicycle with a mass-produced paint job, is it really you? Do you own it? Physically, yes, but lots of other people own it too. You’re conforming to the bike.
I’ve spoken about my bike’s design quite often and how I wanted it to be unique. I had an insatiable drive for a bike that would be loud. Jack painted it and recommended select components, but I designed it. It’s MY bike. Sometimes it is a training motivator — I cannot be slow and ride this bike. Sometimes it’s my means to clear my head. But, it’s always something I can relate to — no matter how crazy life is, the soothing experience of a bike ride puts everything at ease.