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I think the cycling manufacturers and UCI know exactly how to put the butter on their bread. The marketing of cycling Is now very similar to football . You need to have the team shirt etc but in the case of cycling you need to have the £10.000 team bike exactly like your hero rides. For me it still has an elite/ sort of middle class - posh vibe about it. It would be great to see the kids from the streets where I grew up in hackney ( Clapton) get into cycling , we would have a much better less snobby vibe and perhaps company’s like Rapha would stop being so fi&& ing pretentious like a lot of the riders ( not all ) who were their clothes are. Cycling has real roots in places like France ,Italy,Spain etc but in the UK and maybe the US it’s not got the same history. With the impact of Armstrong and Sky It has produced a whole new set of fans but not many that I can see come from the rougher areas.
The marketing seems aimed at those with the cash and I don’t see any funding to try and get cycling to take off in the poorest areas of the UK. There is probably a awful lot of talent that has passed cycling by because of the image it portrays over here in the uk , it’s basically a white mans sport. I’d like to see things change and profits used to find talent from these areas . Similar to what’s happening in Africa.
Personally, I've totally gotten over this. I used to lust after the latest in the magazines until 3 or 4 bikes ago when I was able to buy top of the line. It kind of burst the bubble. I mean it was a nice bike and I rode it for more than a decade but after having had top of the line everything I realized that it wasn't that important and it wasn't more than 1/2% better than really good but not top of the line stuff.I'm not against buying expensive stuff, heck, I ride it myself . but IMHO it's consumerism at it's worst - buying something one doesn't really need, and what's barely better than the stuff it replaces, but is *new* and all the signs in the sky tell you it's essential to have it.
These days I buy used stuff in mint condition, I buy Chorus instead of Super Record, and I refuse to buy $2000 wheels, $300 saddles or $300 bibs because I just don't think they are worth the money. And I have plenty of cash in the bank to go out and buy a top of the line wonder bike today if I wanted.
And not sure why that stretch is being cheer-leaded either.
The worst forms of consumerism clearly are disposable. Those that require preying on modern day slave labour. If you're buying cheap clothes at H&M or Zara - guess what, you're the worst form of consumer. If you're eating meat daily, guess what, you're the worst form of consumer. Your habits are the cause of the wholesale destruction of land and atmosphere vis a vis animal agriculture. These industries cause death, directly and indirectly and in many and various ways.
Those two are the worst forms of consumerism. Non-debatable.
The bike industry is the exact opposite of the smartphone and tech industry update cycle. The bike industry moves far too slowly. So slowly that bicycles are unappealing, break down lots, have awful mechanical parts with low life expectancy, feel clunky, heavy, unsightly and slow for the vast majority of people trying to commute and carry them around.
Cycling isn't sexy to anyone except those in a small bubble. Having the latest phone is sexier. Why is that?
Phones are status symbols to the world at large now. Bicycles aren't. Why is that?
Because bicycles are not part of destructive mass-consumption industries and are therefore not heavily publicly invested in. This theory dates back to the 60s when some dude in marketing decided to make appliances a consumable. That theory is now everywhere, and that's when your links, which I haven't read yet, but I'm guessing are about rare earth materials etc, come into context.
No, the electronic drivetrain is not anything close to consumerism at its worst. Far from it, it's merely a long overdue update and still has a long way to go as does bicycle design overall.
Common sense would warn you from making a statement like that as wires are disposable. Inner tubes are disposable
People will consume stuff, what we need is not to stop progress and development of tech, but to make tech modular, repairable and recyclable to levels far beyond what's possible now. To produce tech in ways that use green energy (Apple are at odds here, leading the way with their new green energy campus, yet digging up rare earth materials and making their products increasingly non-repairable).
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