CYCLING ENTHUSIAST

I’m a road cycling enthusiast and write for all of you who are fellow enthusiasts. We are a broadly defined group somewhere between the recreational cyclist and the all-in amateur racer.

Here’s my definition – Road cycling enthusiasts are serious, committed and regular riders who do between 2,000 to 5,000 miles (3,000-7,000 kilometers) a year.  We ride on flat, rolling and mountainous terrain and do interval, strength and endurance training.  We will generally be on our bikes 4-6 days a week outdoors in decent weather.  In lousy weather, about half of us will ride on a trainer.  Some will still ride outside and the rest will sleep in.  We ride on our own, with regular partners, and in group rides.

During the year, we’ll normally ride for the pure love of it, for the way it energizes us (and reduces stress), and for the collegiality it provides.  Some of us will do a few races, club rides, centuries, gran fondos, sportives or charity events to motivate our riding and measure ourselves.  As a road cycling enthusiast, we average speeds 17 to 22mph or 27 to 35kph over the course of a typical 35 to 50 mile or 50 to 80km ride, depending on terrain, conditions, fitness and training objectives.

Whether we race or not, we are competitive within ourselves to always do better and competitive as part of a riding group to raise the quality of our rides.  Personal and group safety is more important than competing, or at least we know it should be.

About a third of us have been hit by a car and one in eight have broken a collarbone riding. (Both in my case).  And, of course, we enjoy stopping at a good coffee shop or bakery on most rides and getting together for beer or two every now and then. (I’m in!)

Road cycling enthusiasts will have modern composite bikes or high-end alloy or titanium ones that cost typically between $2,500/£2000/€2,500 and $10,000/£8,000/€10,000 to buy or build.  We use electronics and apps to help us navigate our routes and track our distance, speed, cadence, heart rate, and power to measure our performance for kicks or to input to our training program to help reach our goals.

Most of us are men, though a growing number are women.  We weigh between 125 and 200lbs (57 to 90kgs), are pretty fit and use cycling to help stay or get there.  Yes, we’re probably a little vain and selfish with the clothing we wear and the time and money we spend on cycling gear.  But, we prefer to spend both on cycling rather than sitting on a boat casting a line all morning or riding around in a cart for hours, occasionally getting out to whack a little white ball around, or going to a gym to ride a stationary bike, do yoga or lift weights.

We’re also dedicated to our cycling to the point where most of our family and friends know that riding is something we do and for some, do a lot of.  That is, those of us whose families still put up with us despite all the time we spend away from them out riding.

When it comes to cycling and buying bike gear, many of us also do a lot of research and are analytical, often overly so but that’s part of the fun of it.

Does that about describe you?  If so, good.  The reviews on this site are for you.  If not, maybe you’re headed that way. At least you now know what enthusiasts are all about.

Tell me more about your profile in the comments area below so I can help you figure out how to expand or tune the reviews to better suit you.

To see what I have reviewed lately, click here to go to the homepage.  And feel free to let me know what you want to see reviewed next by checking a few boxes below.

Thanks.

 

17 comments

  • agree in most part and would been perfect in my teens 20’s in my late 30’s to much time spent in hotels I have crept outside the 90kg but would still call myself an enthusiast. There seems to be many of us Enthusiast that fall into the fat lad at back category a growing group here in the uk with 2 facebook groups

  • Steve, Happy New Year and thanks for all of the work you put into ITK! You are my go-to source for most things biking. I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on road ebikes. I spend time on almost every ride waiting for my friends (including my spouse) to catch up. I realize I could get new, speedier friends. But what I’d prefer is for my current group to get a touch faster. I think if they got a little help in the form of a battery and motor we’d all have a better ride. I’m curious to know if you’ve thought about reviewing ebikes, motorized wheels, etc.

    • E-Bikes are the absolute best for the significant other. She can now ride faster than I do if she wants and I never have to wait. We are training for a metric century and that would never have happened with out an e-bike!

  • David, Thanks for your very kind feedback. I’m afraid I’m going to have to disappoint you on e-bikes. No plans to review those as I don’t think they really fit with the road cycling enthusiast ethos. One option you might consider would be to find a faster group ride you can do now and again and do your recovery rides with your current group. I would swear that some of my friends do that with me! Cheers, Steve

  • I am a late cycling enthusiast at the age of 55. But I see some age 80 hitting on the road still, conquered elevation which I haven’t tried. My friend told me that there is “no gain without pain”. So I try a little bit harder on my own time.

  • Steve,
    just discovered your site, and have really enjoyed the info provided. It has proven useful already. Not sure I fully fit in the enthusiast profile, but I love riding, live in a great spot for it (foothills of Colorado), commute on my bike, and aspire to faster and farther rides. I am older as well, and coming off a double knee replacement (parts upgrade). Keep up the good work!

  • Alexis Earl Niño Bongo

    How can you relate A Biking Enthusiast’s Value of Endurance towards the aspects of life such as Academics, Spiritual life, pastoral, social life? . I need your help because this is for my Thesis or for my studies. Thank you

    • Alexis, Wow, that’s quite an existential question. Honestly, I have no answer. All I can say is… cycling is my drug of choice. Steve

  • Hi Steve,

    Steve here from Houston, Texas. I might be on the top end of Enthusiast. I am 50 years old and have ridden on every terrain from mud and gravel to smooth asphalt. Temps from 15 degree windchill to 105 with 90 percent humidity. Even severe rainstorms. I commute every day 36 miles round trip and ride 60-80 miles on the weekends. I own 4 bikes one of which I built and one I am currently building.

    I would like to see you review single speed/fixed gear bikes, frames, components, and wheelsets. It is a growing community. The bikes I build are Fixie’s.

    I am by no means an expert, but I am thirsting for as much info I can get on this type of riding. Thanks for reading and feel free to reach out if you would like. I might be able to share some knowledge to your followers

  • Hi Steve

    Since I started cycling 4 years ago at age 51 I have watched the explosion of sub categories of bikes being introduced into the market place(lightweight,endurance,aero,triathlon,cycloross and gravel). The industry has cleverly created specialized niches to seduce riders into believing that they need a different bike for every occasion. As an enthusiast who has spent a ton of money on bikes and gear I have come to the conclusion that unless you are pro cyclist or serious racer in a club the marketing hype surrounding this industry is a crock of S##T !. The reality is that one bike properly configured can fulfill the niche of a lightweight,endurance,aero & gravel bike). With their greater Tyre clearance gravel bike road frames now allow such configuration and flexibility. All one need’s is separate wheel sets you can swap over to suit the conditions & terrain on which you intend to ride. In hindsight as an enthusiast I would now have rather have spent 5-7k on one bike than 10k on 3 bikes. I am not critical of those who spend money on N+1 bikes that’s their money their choice but for those who are seeking to get fit and enjoy riding on a limited budget but would also like a bike that can be configured to ride gravel, endurance and also comfortably keep up in a peloton doing 40+kmh there is very little discussion or info available suggesting how to build your do it all one road bike. Maybe you can give this some attention in your future articles. Cheers and keep up the excellent work.

    • The marketing hype is in our faces at time, but it is definitely not a crock of S##T.. Am neither a Pro, Nor a racer. Too busy with work, some militay deployments recent year. BUT, what you say does nto reflect reality. In 40,000 kms recent years, I first started with a Giant Defy- noodle Carbon, Small crack, free replacement, Defy Advanced. Gain 2 km/hr. Zipp 303s, gain 2 km /hr vs Aluminium. Then Columbus Italian Bike- wih grand Fondo averaging 37 km/hr SOLO FRONT for nearly 3 hours, with winds. I then buy into the ‘hype’ and get ENVE SES, to realize that they are 2 km/hr faster than Zipps, stronger angular momentum, less Yaw. NO LONGER COMING OFF TRUE a sopposed toe once evry 6 weeks for Zipp (not once in 3 summers for ENVE). So I am now, on a non aero endurance bike, puching 42-43 km/hr SOLO for 10 km stretches… Am 6-7 km hr faster overall averages than when I started cycling in 2014. Yes, I agree with you, one should nto have a pure hill and pure aero bike, but one needsmultiple bikes. Why? Maintenance. At the intensity I mention, elite level, a bike maintenance, with COVID- is now 1 week in a shop for items. Or a hub issue- 1-2 weeks. Bike#2 saves the day. Also, sometimes you want a relaxed enduro bike, not the racer. As for 40km/hr in a peloton, well that is my 30 km/hr effort! yes, I calculated a 30-35% wattage gain in a group. So me solo at 35 km/hr am working way harder than anyone doing 40 km/hr in a peloton. Catching up with a 38km/hr peloton generates incredulous looks, as they know I am pushing way higher than them. And I am not a pro as I can only clock 7,000 kms a year.But equipment helps. My next bike MUSt be an aero,my present ones being 2012-2014 designs. So, SL7 Tarma or Scott Addict Ultimate XML. To you, the differences could be insignificant. To me, each time I exceed a frame, (and I never trully had a pro 2014-2020 bike), the gains are gargantuan. So if I buy for 2999$ Scott Addict Ultimate, I know benefitting from its fitness on each high intensity stroke. Yes, at $5,999 FRAME ONLY Tarmac SL7 seems brutally priced, and 8,900 for Dogma F12 FRAME ONLY is even more so. Hence I must choose carfully. But, when I am out, I pass 99% of riders and numerous Cat wahtever licensed ones as well. with second baby coming, it may reduce my time, but each session I must trat as an all end all effort… Now, would you prefer Mavic Aksiums at 28 km/hr, or ENVES at 37? Cannondale with creaking BB at 35 or an elite bike at 40? As these deltas are very real!

  • You pretty well describe me to a tee except I spend much of my time on a trainer due to time/light constraints and desire to minimize car/body encounters in the bicycle hostile town I live in. I am on the road 1-2 days per week and on the trainer for an hour a day for 4-5 days per week. Add strength training, yoga and some other cross training and you have my routine. I ride to get fit the the rest of my life and use big rides as challenges to train for. I do ride road and gravel and look to purchase equipment that will really make me faster and the riding more fun. I try to avoid stuff that will make me look like the guy with the $10,000 bike and the $100 legs.

    I would like to thank you for all the work you do to separate the good from the not so good so that the average reader can maximize the effect of their cycling dollars.

  • hi Steve,

    such a delight to have a kindred spirit put time and enthusiasm in a site like this and put out well crafted articles. More watts to you!

    Vincent Ace
    Philippines

  • Steve, thanks for your thoughtful, thorough, and regular reviews. You certainly produce one of the best resources for fellow enthusiasts available. With that in mind, have you every written a post on how you would approach budgeting purchases from an enthusiast’s standpoint? For instance, if an enthusiast had X dollars to spend, how would you recommend spending it for optimal quality across different products such as bikes, wheels, components, shoes, helmet, etc.? You may have written this previously and I simply missed it. Even without the exceptional detail that you often share in specific product or comparison articles, I think this may be really helpful to fellow enthusiasts. Regardless, thanks for all you do!

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