Saturday, October 8, 2011

Two different paths.

I was looking at two different bike photos that touched off a bit of light philosophizing this morning. The first is the newest Quintana Roo time trial bike I spied at Bicycles East in Glastonbury. The bike is beautifully svelte and begs you to set your legs on fire while rightly vanquishing your wheeled foes. I respected the design and aesthetic thought (perhaps I drooled a bit) that went into the machine, but realized at $3,300 it wasn't something I was even remotely interested in owning. Funny thing is that I actually own a 1996 Quintana Roo Tequilo, back from when I was young, foolish, and thought I could do more than respectable as a competitive triathlete. I doubt I'll ever spend that much on a bike again.

The next bike is a 1981 Schwinn Super le Tour frame (sans wheels) that I found discarded by Willowbrook Elementary in East Hartford. I recognized the bike as a relatively choice find and it made its way home bungeed to my bike rack. At this point I'm deciding what to do with this free bike. Should I build it up for myself? I've already got too many bikes. Hand it off to someone else? Build it up and sell it? Whatever I do, it will cost an order of magnitude less than $3,300 and will last perhaps decades longer. Suggestions?

My musing is on why someone would throw $3,300 at the Quintana Roo, and throw away the Schwinn. What makes the Schwinn trash, and the Roo treasure? Conversely, why is the Schwinn a treasure to me and others who love the free and found things?


chillwill said...

sweet schwinn! i just sold my 1984 super le tour i built out as a SS. great frame for a barbike! someone will looooove that bike after its up and riding!

Valerie said...

I disagree ... I think the Quintana Roo is really, really ugly. It just looks like every other stupid expensive carbon bike out there. What's with that weird notch out of the frame behind the head tube? If you have to do that to a frame, the design is an aesthetic fail. And it's pink. Good lord. I've been lusting after a fast bike lately, but I want it to look like a bike and be made out of steel.

Tony C said...

Thinking more on it, a SS bar bike is probably the best use. Thanks for the suggestion Will.

dario said...

"What makes the Schwinn trash, and the Roo treasure?"

I'd say mostly abject consumerism, Tony.

For many, non elite, riders of such bikes, it's the idea of light weight = faster speed, when what they should probably do is lose a few pounds instead.

I'd feel a lot better about carbon fiber bikes if the companies that make them could recycle the bikes. In fact, I'd feel a lot better if all manufacturers did that, i.e. have a plan for recycling the products that they produce and we consume.

Tony C said...

So I've decided to build up the Schwinn as a color coordinated hipster fixed rig. I'm not very hip, so I'll likely sell it.