Thursday, 24 March 2011

What to buy?

I consider myself a fairly good buyer – I investigate what is best value for money and also most suitable for my needs. I don’t skimp – if I don’t have enough to buy what I want one month, I will wait and buy it the next month. But let’s be honest buying a bike for the first time in many years is a fairly horrendous experience and then although less of a decision there then follows a hundred and one other things to investigate before purchasing.

So what drives a MAMBO’s decision to buy? Here was my thinking:

  • Needs to look good – I would use the term “cool” here and I am sure my peers would follow my thinking, but my son thinks I should use words like wicked and bad. So now I have reached the point where I am afraid to use the word cool as it may not be cool to use it and that would be really uncool of me – publish and be damned I say!
  • Needs to be of a higher specification than average (say 75 – 80%) but not too expensive as that would be naff (uncool). Besides have you seen the price of the top of the range stuff! And anyway if you buy the best – you are going to become too much of a target in the “commuter bike race”. It has to be expensive enough to say – ha I have more cash than you but not so high range that it looks like you are trying too hard.
  • At last a sensible reason – it needs to be a high enough specification that you aren’t going to upgrade it 2 months later (see pedals post later). Like most MAMBO’s I am competitive and I need the equipment that is going to give me at least some chance against all these young whiper snappers.
  • At a price that the wife isn’t going to think you are stark raving mad for having paid such a price – as a general rule, I find that if I consider hiding the receipt at work then I have probably spent too much!
  • Tricky one here – but to be honest I do take into account safety – are those lights bright enough or the jacket green enough.
  • Brand loyalty – I find myself mostly buying Specialized for the bike and Endura for me.
  • Does it all match! I mean really would you have a red bike with a blue top?
  • Are you a modern or retro person – let me put it this way, if I was buying a motorbike I would go retro a nice Harley or something of that ilk – but you have to pedal a bike, therefore for me there can only be one choice – light and modern so I can get up that hill.
  • Mountain Biker or racer looks – for me this is a no brainer – mid 40’s (come to think of it any age) even if I am in good shape I am so not having Spandex as the only thing between me and strangers eyes – besides once again we get back to the commuter race – if you are dressed in spandex and sitting on a Racer (sorry road bike they call them now) then you become a prime target.

So bearing the above in mind - it is no wonder I seem to spend a week trawling through internet sites, running down to the shops at lunchtime (2km round journey - but hey better than sitting in a pub - I think) before I even buy the smallest of items. All in all great fun!

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