Finally took a few pictures of my "new" bike that I've now had for, I guess, a few months. What to say? It's an absolutely fabulous vehicle. It cost a fair bit, but its my primary vehicle. And look at it. It's gorgeous. I love the bike.
I was reading an article about "purchaser bias" yesterday, which tried to explain the psychology behind the rating patterns we see on the internet on sites like Amazon. It's fairly obvious when you think about it: people who buy stuff are the most motivated to rate it, and since they bought it they were probably interested in it, and also have given money for it... hence the majority of ratings are far higher, than if you took a random sample of ratings from consumers (the study actually did this, and compared). Either that or the purchaser is very upset and gives a terrible rating. Relatively little middle ground, where in reality there is usually a great deal of middle-ground sentiment towards most things. And the correlation seemed clear that the higher the price of the item the more skewed the ratings are towards the high end. People who pay a lot of money are the most motivated to say they like the thing a lot that they sought out and gave up all that money for.
Is that the case here? Do i feel guilty for paying so much for my bike? Must I like it, because I paid for it? Well, I have to admit, I have had qualms about buying such a pricey bike, and wondered if i should have made do with a more modest one. I've also had moments of feeling a bit silly about putting so much time and research into buying a mere bicycle at this stage in my life. But I have to tell you, the more I ride it, the more all that melts away. It is an awesome machine, and I can hardly imagine a better way to travel.
When i first started looking seriously at serious bicycles and noting the price tags I was calculating on how much money I'd save by riding rather than taking the TTC. It's actually a bit startling how much one spends on public transit when one stops to add it up. But in my calculations I was attempting to be realistic, and even a bit pessimistic: i figured i wouldn't want to ride the 7 km to work, and 7 km (uphill!) back every day. So I made my calculations based on a percentage of trips to work, and other places. But now, months later, I hardly think of taking the TTC. I want to ride. The days I work from home I miss it. Even the sometimes agonising, tired, hungry, uphill push coming home... is, well... fun! And the 7 km which used to seem so far, hardly seems far at all now. I have some great routes. The machine's components all feel integrated, solid, ever so light. I have my mec panniers (saddlebags). Lights if I need them. For the first time in my life I have a bike helmet that isn't uncomfortable.
I am lucky that a couple of guys I work with turned out to be into bicycles. I told them what I was thinking, and they gave me some great advice. They also pushed me to go far beyond what I'd originally budgeted... and I'm glad of it. The quality of the components is fantastic at the level they nudged me into. And as Richard says: even an even more expensive bike is practically nothing compared to the cost of a few car repair bills, not to mention insurance. Or parking headaches. And a neighbour I mentioned I was biking to work to added: "That's great, now you don't have to go to the gym every day!" Ha ha. As if I ever went to a gym. But still, he's right. The exercise is worth a great deal too.
This bike is made by a fairly small Canadian company called Devinci, based in Quebec. They name all of their bike lines after world cities. Mine is the 2007 "Oslo". Excellent, excellent ride.
I may be biased by my purchase. But it's a good bias.