Purchasing a bicycle is something special. A bike is a rather personal object.
First, there is the make/builder as well as the colour and style. Will it be a road/racing bicycle or a mountain bike? Some prefer to go for a touring bicycle depending on the ambition and type of cycling.
Whatever you decide to go for, you want it to be the right thing with the right feel.
Even when it comes to get a fixed gear (probably the simpliest of all because no derailleur and the eventual front brake), the rides have to be comfortable whether it is for an urban commute or a longer ride.
Once the model is established, it is about “the bits“. Whatever style you decide to go for it can become complicated and exciting at the same time.
Imagine that you have this nice looking thing giving you the opportunity to go wherever you want, whenever you wish! But some details aren’t exactly matching your personality or a different saddle would be better for your well being and posture or just a louder bell?!
All can be adjusted and/or changed. There is no real limit. Buy a cheap(er) bicycle and amend whatever is not right without forgetting the essential accessories such as decent helmet, visibility jacket, gloves, front & back lights for a start.
According to your budget, flexibility can be possible.
Of course, some people are more cyclists than riders. What is the difference?
- A cyclist is generally a person with all the equipment – mainly the lycra thing and everything is matching: brand and colours. All this can be (very) pricey.
- A rider is more a person who likes to ride not caring too much whether he/she looks cool/trendy as long as there is a fun side.
Let’s be clear here, cyclists and riders aren’t enemies. It is just a different “breed“. We could compare this with joggers and runners…maybe?
Anyway, it is clear to identify.
The other association with cyclists is the coffee pit stop.
Rapha has created coffee cups and even a limited edition espresso machine because “apparently” cyclists like such drink… or do they actually drink it to give them a boost?
Here is an article giving some explanations. All this is not that new.
…The legendary Eddy Merckx rode for Faema for his first dominant Tour de France victory in 1968. Faema is an acronym for Fabbrica Apparecchiature Elettromeccaniche e Affini but Belgian cycling fans said it stood for Faites Attention, Eddy Merckx Arrive (Look out, Eddy Merckx is coming)…
A good hit of caffeine will certainly help to get that kick for a few extra miles and the independent artisan coffee roaster is able to make the green beans appealing to the right crowd. Coffee is (initially) a fruit and then it becomes a science. Alternatively, you can opt for protein drinks.
When taking the road/cyclepath for a few miles (whatever the distance and itinerary) it is important to be happy with the steed and all details about it. An aluminium/steel/carbon frame won’t give you the same results: it is all about the rigidity and/or shocks’ absorption without forgetting the weight which can play a major role if racing.
Overall, what counts is to obtain what you are after. Quality is what everyone wants and the actual difference between bikes and ways of riding can be seen as irrelevant, but it isn’t.
When cycling, everything is important.
Riding a fixed gear bicycle gives a unique feeling of being part of the entire machine.
…a very rudimentary machine, but moves with the person as you are riding it… Source
Here is a short video showing a few riders enjoying the ride (not a race) and a bit of skidding.