Saturday 27 October 2012

Bicycle Snobbery?

Since I have been out and about on my travels over the last couple of years on my Brompton bikes, I have noticed a certain amount of bicycle snobbery. I will elaborate further.

Richmond Park is a location I will start with first. Richmond Park is a big draw for the road bike Lycra brigade. When there on training runs with iCrazyBee I have come away with the feeling that they are rude, dismissive of anyone not on a road bike and more than not, do their upmost to ignore.

Perhaps I am overly sensitive (I am not really) but I would go as far as saying that as a group, they definitely see themselves as a cut above everyone without an expensive, semi carbon fibre number with copious gears. Of course some may own Brompton bikes - but if they do they are probably the less rude types.

Should one be brazen enough to nod ones head at one of the arse up, head down types you will almost certainly be ignored and they will do their best to look the other way. If you dare to utter a simple, 'morning' you will usually get the same reaction.

This has not been exclusive to Richmond Park it has happened on most rides I have been on. I would argue that certain cyclists are like tribes that band together and view others not in that tribe with suspicion. Just try and overtake a road bike and see what happens. On a hill the Brompton has a slight advantage for several metres due to its wheel size and acceleration. I have overtaken road bikes on hills only to see them nearly kill themselves to overtake me. To show any pedestrians and motorists that they are top of the bicycle food chain.

Of course there are grumpy Brompton riders out there - albeit not many. It would be foolish to single out all riders of road bikes as sharing these traits, however I feel a great many do.

What do you out there think? Do you agree with anything I have written or disagree?


  1. I would agree with everything you have said there, the few times we have ridden in Richmond Park. I think a couple of times mainly not serious looking lyrca riders have commented possessively on my "Keep Calm" tshirt that I have worn at times on training rides.

    But with the serious lyrca cyclists that when passing me they pass pretty damn close almost hitting me with no warning what so ever.

    Like with everything there are good and bad ones, I tend to focus on the good and forget the bad. Bumble B always puts a smile on people's faces whenever they see him which is one of the reasons why i luv him :)

  2. Even here {Downunder] on the other side of the earth it's the same. Must be something about riding plastic bikes that make one so unhappy/snobby.

  3. I see the same here from road bike users. I have only seen one other serious Brompton user in my town. I know there are more but haven't found them yet. I notice you seem to have a regular group of Brompton guys you cycle with. How did you form the group. Any tips? I would love to form a similar thing where I live.

  4. Hello Vern. Many thanks for your two comments. Really pleased that you like the blog. Where are you based out of interest? Our group (which you are more than welcome to join by the way) started off as just a London based group organising social rides. It has become bigger and bigger and we have members from all over the world now. Saying that the social side is still very strong and as you can see from the blogs we do venture out regularly when we can.

    You could perhaps start a Facebook page to attract a group in your area and perhaps tweet about it. It may take some time but you might attract other Brompton owners. If you need any further help please let me know as I'd be more than happy to help if I can

  5. Hello OB man I will try and leave a comment again (didn't work last time).
    You can wear the lycra, don the go faster shoes, sit astride the latest carbon, wafer thin velo but in the end it doesn't disguise the fact that these types of people are -------- (insert descriptor of choice).
    keep smiling

  6. Thanks for responding. I am based in Shrewsbury in Shropshire. It is a cycle friendly town but you definitely need a six speed around here. I got my first ever Brompton puncture the other day on my back wheel so your post about the fast inflation device is invaluable. What i hadn't prepared for was how difficult it is to get the tyre back on after the inner tube change, hard work but I got there in the end. What are your experiences with this?

  7. Yes you'd definitely need the six gears where you live. I have attempted to take the rer wheel off. If you look back at my blogs you can read about me trying to put some new thinner profile Marathons on. Total witchcraft to me at he moment but I am hopefully going to sort out my shamefully poor skills at doing this.

  8. word of warning then. I got a blood blister on one of my thumbs trying to get the tyre back on. In the future i think i am going to carry some disposable gloves for an extra bit of protection.

  9. I stayed at my friends for a week and commuted Brixton to Holloway and back for a week. The number of traffic lights on my route meant I was almost always at the front of the pack when accelerating away from junctions on my little wheels and non-clip ins... The big wheels never had enough road to catch me up...


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