Style Matters

Along with worries of authenticity I’ve been knocking this over matters of style for a week or so, after I read a post on The Inner Ring about riding position. The post featured three pictures. Two from the “modern era” and one of Franseco Moser back in the day. I’m not going to, nor am I qualified, to riff on the difference between modern components and frame deign, and what wacky positions it allows riders to get in to. 
Its coming on the time of year where people are starting to think about their next road bike, and being the only roadie at the shop I’ve talked to a lot of tire kickers. Some actually go on test rides and ask intelligent questions. Others jut want something that look flashy to their friends.

“Will my friends give me a hard time if I get a four series instead of a 5 series?”

“They might, but it doesn’t matter if you’re the first one to the top. Let your legs to the talking. The fact is this bike is still less than seventeen pounds and is going to be a huge improvement over the commuter you’ve been riding”.

I know he believed what I was telling him

I work at a shop where even the 5k Madones sport a tall dust cap, two centimeters of spacers and stem pointed to the sky (there also isn’t a standard crank set to be found). There is a strong argument to be made that this is what the market place demands. If you’ve been used to swinging a set of irons and driving a golf cart around its going to be hard to get your mind around a more aggressive riding position.

Headset spacers or not, there is a way a racing bicycle should look. That is clean and with the stem pointing down. Doesn’t matter if you race or not.

My employer might disagree, but I see it as my duty to help get the customer on a bike where they look good. It will be a while before they start letting me do fits, but I’m going to make it my mission to at least get that stem filpped the right side down. Most of my customers don’t know that they can do such a thing. I see it as my duty to get them on that more aggressive bike they want all while making it look like a bike that wants to go fast.

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