#10: It’s good to get stuck on a brand: Specialized

Specialized-2

In my life, I have never really been much of a brand loyal person. I have had many car types, buy different brands of clothes and generally mix things up a lot.

The only brands my loyalty has stuck with all my life are the Cronulla Sharks which is the team I have followed since I was born and KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) as I can’t seem get enough of their 11 secret herbs and spices.  In more recent times, after being an Apple disliker for so long I lined up and bought the first iPad on the day it was first released. Now I have about 8 Apple devices in the house but still refuse to buy a Mac.

These days, my feelings about brands are that things seem to be smoother when they are designed to work together. I think I learnt this most with Microsoft products, finding it simpler to use their products as they were tested together as apposed to using different browsers, word processors, etc that seemed to break too many times for me.

When I searched for a bike to buy, I stumbled on Specialized with no intent (see previous post). On further research I found they were everywhere in the world, have an extremely wide range of bikes, many superstars in their lineup and good write ups on the forums.

I then bought a Specialized bike and totally bought into the brand…. Continue reading

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#9: How to buy a bike or How I buy a bike?

Specialized Secteur

Is it a spiritual experience choosing your first bike?  Does your bike choose you?  Are you just being sold to by a fast talking sales person?  Is it a decision of price, affordability and getting the cheapest?  Is it an internet purchase after doing your research? Is it a quality decision? Or a friends recommendation?

There are so many ways to decide and every story is different.  But I chose mine with the help of a sales staff (notice the plural) who helped me interpret price, quality and what I was thinking, and to me that was what was important.

I had never bought a bike before as my parents had always bought the few bikes that I had owned, but I did know how to buy something methodically so as usual I did.

When I started looking I had a reasonable amount of money to spend on a starter bike so I had already ruled out buying the bike online, from a discount store or a department store.

I wanted to get knowledge.  I wanted interaction.  I wanted to work out exactly what I needed based on what I wanted to do, my experience and my physical fitness.  I wanted service! And thankfully, I found a business that did just that.

Near my home, there are a number of bike shops.  I had been to 3.  A very small one, a larger one that also had an online business and a concept store. Continue reading

#7: I cannot stress enough the value of lights!

Lights

Today I forgot to put my front light on and because of that, it nearly cost me a lot of money and pain, as I was only just able to avoid an accident.

You will hear commentators say in sport it’s the 1% that makes the difference and with lights on your bike, I absolutely agree.  One little thing could be the difference between life and death.

If a driver can just get a quick glimpse of a flash it may cause them to brake instead of accelerate, and that may be the difference between a good ride and an ambulance ride.

It was daytime and I was travelling in traffic Continue reading