Editor’s note: Plenty of you wrote in with advice for Erik Voldengen, who craves a new bike and wondered how to maximize the Spouse Acceptance Factor, while others were only too eager to abuse Jordan Bishko, who was critical of an Andrew Juskaitis column on motorcycles, suspension and how the tuning of the latter can help improve your riding on the former (and might even make a difference in your bicycling). A few more of your best shots are posted below.
New bikes are whizbang, but not the answer
Sorry, but if your Cannondale fits you and works well, a new “carbon-fiber racing machine” will not make you any faster. It will be fun and whizbang for sure, and if it fits you well, will make riding more whizbang as well. But it will not open up the skies, make clouds and wind go away, or help you to solve the problems of becoming a Cat 2.
Oh, sure, some bike shops will tell you it will answer all the questions you have about your 6-year-old Cannondale, but after a month or so, you will realize it really doesn’t. The only way it would make a genuine difference in your riding and racing is if the cost of the new bike were distributed as pennies in your jersey pockets. And then taking them out will make you feel oh so liberated.
There are four things that make you a better rider and racer. All start with with a “f,” and none of them are “frameset” – fit, fitness, fat and finesse.
Wife bad, carbon good
Ah, the elusive “Spouse Acceptance Factor,” huh? I’m a happily divorced guy, so listen up, Erik. Forget the wife and get the sexy carbon. If she can’t understand your passion for speed, the honeymoon is over.
I’ve always done what I want and subscribe to the adage, “It is easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission.” That’s all you need to know, buddy!
If anyone doubts my wisdom, well, I have two carbon race bikes hanging in my garage. Choice is good! Get the carbon … get the carbon … get the carbon….
The garage sounds sexy … but the bedroom tends to get a little less so once you split the sheets. Or so we’ve been told, anyway. We don’t have a carbon-fiber bike. – Editor
Wife mad, wife bad
In the mid-1970s a friend of mine bought a brand new Holdsworth, spending money he and his wife were saving for a vacation. When his wife came home and saw the bike, she become so enraged that she pounded on it with her iron. When she calmed down, she of course regretted it, but at that point it was too late.
And then, you have to buy a new bike and a new iron. – Editor
Let the ducks nibble her to death
I’d suggest buying a new frame – don’t call it a bike – and then buy parts later that are needed for the new frame due to unexpected compatibility issues. It lessens the impact.
Think about a trade-in
I just thought I would let you know that Cannondale is once again offering its yearly trade-in program. Cannondale will give you a large discount on its new CAAD 7 (Optimo) frame. It will also come along with a very nice full carbon fork and integrated headset. You will only need a new stem and perhaps a few cables to make the swap. I bet you could get away with that!
Or get her on a tandem
Make the SAF a non-existent issue: Buy a Calfee Dragonfly Tandem. My wife went from a 200-mile-a-year bike-tourist to a 4500-mile-a-year performance stoker.
Very droll, if you’re shilling for a divorce attorney
I just read with a yawn the responses you posted regarding SAF help. It’s quite clever how you posted all the answers that were mundane, immature and sure to lead to a-nasty argument with your spouse.
I understand you were probably trying to offer several possible solutions to Erik’s problem. All I saw was a lot of really stupid suggestions and redundant responses. Maybe you could offer my advice that will actually work, and not lead Erik and his wife to a boxing ring.
With the advice you posted from your readers, it’s no wonder we have such a huge problem with divorce in this country.
Uh, actually, we posted all the responses that had a name, city, state and/or country, Bryan. Even yours. But only because our wives made us.– Editor
Meanwhile, back at the motos
Note to Jordan Bishko – lighten up. While I understand your apparent stance towards off-road motorbikes (or non-human- powered recreational vehicles, as you so eloquently put it), ask yourself this. Is a full Campy Record carbon-tiber time-trial bike utilitarian? Is a 35-pound downhill bike with gobs of front travel utilitarian? Absolutely not.
VeloNews is all about sport, our passion and recreation. We can learn something from our moto pals – and several of the good ones have already crossed over and designed suspension systems for our bicycles.
London, Ontario, Canada
Moto good, make mountain bike better
I’m sure many people will be too busy rolling their eyes at Jordan Bishko’s letter to write in, so I’ll take the time. It wasn’t an article “about” motorcycles. It was an article citing the example of motorcycles to help cyclists better tune their mountain-bike suspensions. It presented an opportunity for cyclists to learn something from the industry where suspension originally came from (gasp!).
Yes, Jordan, if motorcycles didn’t exist, you wouldn’t have a well-designed, high-performance suspension bicycle to get all high-and-mighty about.
Got a thought? Wish you had? Know how to read the italics at the end of the letters column? Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org, and include your FULL NAME, CITY, STATE and/or COUNTRY. The little trash can at the lower right-hand side of our unsuspended, carbon-fiber-free, spouse-approved laptop’s LCD screen is overflowing with witticisms from those who spurn our advice.