Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stimulating the economy, upgrading your bike instead of your body

You're feeling down and out. You mistakenly told your know-it-all buddy about the bike upgrades you hoped to do over the winter, and like a nerdy middle-schooler, he reminded you that 20 lbs off of your ass is better and cheaper than 5 lbs off of your bike. Not only that but he repeated the old and tired calories in/calories out speech, essentially giving the slam dunk defense to your proposed upgrades.

Well, that sucks, but don't despair. No need to water down your beer with tears as your heart longs for that titanium bolt kit, the lemming is here to get you those upgrades with something as simple as economics. As most of us know, the country right now is in what economists call a recession. You can use the current state of the economy to your advantage to get the upgrades that you want. You'll be helping our country, being patriotic, and making your bike lighter and faster at the same time, all without ever having to deal with the dreadful task of losing weight.

But on to the details. When we put money in to the economy we are putting the multiplier effect in to action. Essentially what that means is when you pay $499 for the carbon fiber derailleur pictured above, the bike shop then pays their employees, who use their salary to buy beer and food from the grocery store, the grocery store then pays their employees who use their salary to buy other stuff, and the cycle continues. Pretty soon that $499 turns in to $4,990 in the economy without ever having to sit in front of Congress begging for a bailout.

Since you are helping to save the economy, it would be wise to avoid small ticket items. It may seem hard to believe that just minutes ago you had given up on the idea of upgrades due to your know-it-all friend, but now you have the green light to upgrade away with seemingly no limit. It can be overwhelming with so many endless possibilities, so for ideas let's turn to none other than Bicycling magazine and it's holiday gift guide.

What Christmas list would be complete without the dimpled Zipp Zed4 tubular wheelset? At just $4,772, you can put the money in to the economy and be nearly ten multiplier steps ahead of someone less patriotic who buys just the $499 Campagnolo carbon derailleur. But you can't put just any tires on bling like this. That's why Bicycling recommends the $141 Strada Soie silk tubular tires. In my fantasy land these tires are made by virgins who raise the silk caterpillars from little pupae on a strictly organic diet. They sing to the caterpillars as they lovingly spin the silk in to tires with birds chirping around them. The completed tire is kissed as hearts fly in to the air before shipping them off to market. You can't put a price tag on tires produced by happy virgins and undefiled caterpillars!

So in a long and roundabout way, that's how you get your upgrades, tell your friend about the multiplier effect. And when he says the multiplier effect works if you buy a gym membership as well, tell him no money gets multiplied if 24Hour Fitness uses it to install escalators.

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