I am in the market potentially for a bike. The Czechs love to cycle and there is much to see on a bike here and lots of bike paths and routes and so on. Its a bikers’ paradise. Additionally, I just seem incapable of losing any weight whatever I do so I figure cycling more may help keep me fit, healthy and slimmer.
But boy, how difficult it is to buy a bike!
There seems to be around 20 odd brands and all of them make bikes in every category with minor differences and so my entry level bike choice probably numbers one of 30-40 different bike models and brands. Its no use asking the shop people which is the best value as they won’t tell you to go to another store now will they. From what I can gather, it comes down to frame and components but how you are supposed to know which components are superior to others is beyond me. I have even researched on the internet and reckon you would need to be mad crazy about bikes to ever know what it is you need to know to buy a bike.
The other thing that gets me is the price of bikes. Yes, you can pick up a cheap bike in a supermarket but my experience and research suggests these fall apart pretty quickly and I have heard them described as ‘death traps’ by the experts. For a real bike $500 seems to be about the minimum and it goes on from there. I saw a bike yesterday that had a price on it of $16,000 – you could buy a car for that!
My point though is that its now just bikes that pose a buying dilemma but more or less anything. Want a new TV? Take a look at all of those TVs in the showrooms – brands, types, sizes – what the hell makes one TV twice as expensive as another and how am I supposed to know this? Phones… washing machines… anything – we are spoilt for choice and such a broad choice that every purchase decision requires you to become an expert on the topic. It contributes to the stress of life that I simply am at the mercy of choice.
In the end then, how do I choose? Perhaps its just how a thing looks – color, design and shininess? I do my research, I shop around but invariably I fall in love with something despite myself. It may not be the best, have the best price etc. but I like it. Inevitably, the bike I end up buying will be the one I simply fell in love with…..