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OPINION

When did I turn into a cycling ponce?

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Was that stomach flutter a hunger pang or guilt caused by ludicrous extravagance?

As I punched in my PIN to part with £100 for a pair of titanium QR skewers I noticed a light flutter in my stomach.

At the time I put it down to the fact that I hadn’t yet eaten lunch but on reflection it could have been what remains of the sensible me raising a muted objection that this was rather a lot of money to be spending on something I didn’t strictly need and for which there were numerous alternatives that didn’t cost quite as much.

My extravagance came as a direct result of an increasingly febrile hunt to track down the cause of an infuriating click. Over a period of several weeks I’d eliminated so many possible causes that it seemed incontrovertible to me that the problem lay in my skewers. (How’s that for questionable diagnostics?)

So I popped into a bike shop and browsed the options. What happened next will be depressingly familiar to cyclists everywhere: my initial rejection of the hilariously overpriced Ti option turned to mild desperation at the lack of an immediately available alternative, which then turned into serious consideration of the Ti option due to the salesman’s patter, which turned into a reappraisal of the Ti option (noting afresh the elegant, minimalist lines and feather lightness), which duly turned into one of those dangerous oh fukkit moments. Out came the card; off home I skipped, feeling thrilled and guilty in equal measure.

What the heck has happened to me? I used to mock people who were prepared to spend £100 on titanium skewers. I regarded them as pitiful weight weenies and slavish gadget boys. All the gear; no idea. And now here I am: one of them. Truly I am lost forever.

And before you ask, the click’s still there.

Anyone want to buy a pair of Ti skewers? They’re really nice.

Lifelong lover of most things cycling-related, from Moulton Mini adventures in the 70s to London bike messengering in the 80s, commuting in the 90s, mountain biking in the noughties and road cycling throughout. Editor of Simpson Magazine (www.simpsonmagazine.cc). 

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