One would think that cyclists would get along, given that we occupy such a small percentage of the population and share this hobby. However, that is not always the case. Many of us constantly bicker about things that divide us within the sport.
Here are Merlin Cycles’ 9 arguments made by cyclists:
1. Shimano vs Campagnolo
It used to be that everyone with a decent bike had Campy. No other brand could touch their cycling heritage and prestige. Then Shimano came along in the 1980s and changed everything. Shimano quickly made revolutions in cycling technology and Campagnolo couldn’t keep up. Shimano’s STI were the biggest success, and Campy took a blow that they are still recovering from.
It’s said that you buy Campagnolo with your heart, and you buy Shimano with you brain.
2. Road Bikes Vs Mountain Bikes
There used to be stereotypes (and they might still exist). Roadies are boring and stuck up, mountain bikers are juvenile delinquents. Now everyone seems to dabbling in all sorts of cycling disciplines.
The real problem today is that there seems to be inter-disciplinary arguments like hardtail versus full suspension or sportive versus racer.
3. Mountain Bike Wheel Size
You might remember the days when all mountain bikes had 26″ wheels. Nowadays there are three different wheel sizes to choose from: the new guy on the block 27.5″, original 26″, and the big ol’ 29″. Every wheel size will have its fans. They will each hate the other wheel size as well.
Most professional cyclists agree that taking performance enhancing drugs is wrong. But what if everyone else is doing it? Are you willing to put your career on the line and suffer through a moral dilemma because other people are cheating?
5. Canitlever or Discs
This is mostly a debate with road cyclists. The mountain biking world gladly embraced disc brakes several years ago. Even the cyclocross would pretty much settled on disc brakes (at least the people who even use the brakes have settled on disc brakes).
There are three types of people in this debate: pros, traditionalists, and normal people.
Normal people want discs.
Traditionalist don’t like anything since Hinault retired.
Racers have genuine concerns over weight, frame stiffness and aerodynamics.
6. SPD vs Flats
Although the Downhill MTB scene has a mild hoo-ha about riding clipless pedals or flat pedals, the real proper arguing about them goes on in the BMX racing world. The key point is that being able to control your BMX around a race course without having to be physically attached to your bike is one of the skills of BMX. SPDs are cheating.
SPDs are faster though and it’s often those who cross the line first who make the rules.
7. Clincher, Tub, or Tubeless
In the road and cyclocross world there’s the debate about tubular tires versus clincher tires. Racers and other obsessives use tubs (sealed air-filled sausages that you glue on to special rims). Mere mortal normal people use clinchers.
Tubeless proponents are adamant that it’s worth the faff of setup and repair. Everyone else just puts an inner tube in and gets on with their life.
8. Steel vs Carbon vs Titanium vs Aluminum
Steel is real and all that, it’s also heavy. Carbon is incredibly light, but we’ve all seen some busted carbon. Titanium shows the best of both carbon and steel, but you’re going to pay for it. And aluminum, well, it’s relatively cheap.
We are a competitive bunch, and sometimes that gets the better of us. Whether it’s trying to drop a wheelsucker or training to take that KOM, competition fuels us a bit.
Sometimes though, competition can be a form of argument where we become more rude than supportive of each other. Things like Strava (not that I don’t use it but it) tends motivate you to beat the other guy.
And don’t get me started on people cheating on Strava.