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9 ways to tell if you’re a bike snob

9 ways to tell if you’re a bike snob

Has your love of bicycles and all things cycling inadvertently turned you into the type of person others fear to talk to about cycling? Read on to find out.

01 You know what everything is made from

It’s good to have an understanding of how different materials perform, but as your friend reels off a list of gear he’s just bought are you mentally logging all the materials and wondering why he’s not gone for titanium? If so, maybe it’s time to ease off a little.

02 Money is no object

Do you read all the reviews to find out which is the best gear and then buy it? You have to have the best even if that means selling the dog/kids/house. Compromising on expense isn’t a sign of weakness.

03 How much does it weigh?

Your best friend has just bought a new bike and he’s pretty excited about the prospect of joining you for his first bike ride. If your first question is ‘how much does it weigh’ you’re probably not going to have a cycling buddy for very long. And when he asks for your advice about upgrading the pedals, remember that he’s overweight, so saving 4oz at the expense of $300 is probably not going to be the best recommendation.

04 You’re favorite jersey rips so you have to get a new kit

It’s nice to have matching kit, but it doesn’t have to be a religion. Plus, while you may find that the bib shorts from one company super-comfortable, the jersey may not be cut to your physique. It’s worth considering different options and trying a few on in a shop rather than just hitting that order button automatically.

05 You have a cycling cap to match every outfit - and bike

How many cycling caps does one guy/girl need? Most of the time it’s under a helmet, so it’s not exactly on-show. Plus, while buying the helmet, cap, jersey, socks shoes and shorts to match your bike may seem like a good idea when you’re in the shop, you look like a prize plum on the road.

06 You have a preferred brand of razor for your legs

There is scientific proof that shaving your legs can cut your time over long races. Many people also think that smooth, muscled legs look better than hairy ones in shorts. And if you have a pre- or post-ride massage you may find it more comfortable if your lags are hair-free. So you won’t find us dissing anyone for shaving their legs. But please, spare us the evangelical razor recommendations.

07 Roads are for road bikes

Not everyone can afford more than one bike. And even if they can afford more than one, not everyone wants to own and store more than one bike. So if you see someone wheeling a hybrid to the start line of a sportive or triathlon, resist the temptation to check the course is on the road. 

08 Comfort breaks are for the weak

Cycling is fun and it’s a perfect way to burn calories, let-off steam and relax as well as get fit. If your pursuit of fitness sees you refusing to take comfort breaks and leaving your weaker-bladdered buddies behind, then you’re probably taking it a bit too seriously. Unless you actually are Chris Froome and you’re mid-stage of course. If you are, please keep pedalling. 

09 Your winter bike makes a roaringly good summer bike

For most people the term ‘winter bike’ means the bike they used to cycle until they upgraded it for a new model. It’s probably decent, but they’re happy to expose it to the mud, grime and salt of winter - or at least they’re happier to expose it than they are their new ‘main bike’. Meanwhile some other cyclists invest in a bespoke winter bike to protect their main bike. 

However they come into winter bike ownership, most cyclists will make it suitable for winter use by the addition of items such as mud-guards, a full-sized pump, more durable wheels and puncture resistant tyres. If you find the thought of riding such a bike abhorrent, you either have way, way too much money or you are an out-and-out bike snob.