May 12, 2009

China mysteries: high-end bicycles, no clip-ins

The past couple years I've noticed a big increase in people riding well-equipped mountain bikes and road bikes. I'm happy to see mountain biking as a sport is growing so much in China. I've seen plenty of riders with high end frames, nice derailleurs, suspension forks, disc brakes, and even someone with an Airzound, a product I'd personally recommend.

You'll see people riding high end bikes, sometimes on the streets around Beijing, and also in the countryside areas. A lot of the time, they'll also wear a cycling jersey with some famous sponsor listed there. They look very professional.

So you see a nice high end bike, a rider that looks like he's really into the sport with a fancy jersey, and then you look down and you see --- wow --- this guy's wearing tennis shoes, and he's got cheap plastic pedals, like you'd get on a Wal-mart bicycle, attached to his cranks.

Below: a mountain bike should never be this shiny and clean

If I was putting together a new bike, one of the first things I'd do is slap on a pair of clip-in pedals, or at least some toe clips. How can you splurge for all this great riding functionality, disc brakes and Rock Shox and everything, but then you forget about pedals, the main way you're connected to the bike?

Don't leave me comments that Chinese bicyclists are worried about flipping over and staying attached to the bike. This poor sucker wasn't clipped in, and he's still eating pavement:

If you endo at high speed, it's going to suck whether you're clipped in or not. It probably sucks worse if you're trying to ride a bicycle and hold an umbrella at the same time though.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can get cheap clip-in pedals + shoes @ Decathalon

8:01 PM  

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