I recently upgraded my ride with a Dura-Ace 7900 C24 wheel set and Vittoria Corsa CX cotton tires. I noticed the difference immediately. I could sprint up hills that I struggled with previously. I rode faster, longer and harder. It was immediate.
I am not a racer. I never was. I am an older but enthusiastic, recreational cyclist. I thought that the newer technologies – carbon, titanium, indexed gearing, compression clothing (and smartphones) – were wasted on me. I bike because I enjoy it. I enjoy the wind (and sun) on my face. I enjoy exploring new routes. And, I enjoy challenging myself to longer rides and steeper climbs. I am not fast. Never was. But thanks to technology, I climb better, descend faster and enjoy longer rides. It is like a re-birth. And, I enjoy the rides as much, perhaps more, than I ever have.
Don’t let cost deter you. There are always alternatives. Used equipment. eBay. If you are committed to riding, also commit to the best ride possible. You will enjoy it more. Have fewer breakdowns. And, more importantly, cycle more.
I don’t need carbon wheels to enjoy riding. I have done without for 30 years. But, I can honestly say, I enjoy riding more with them. And, bib shorts. And, a light weight helmet. And, a cycling jersey. You don’t need these things but they make a difference. Weight makes a difference.
Remember, a ride isn’t something we do – it’s who we are.