The 2010s in Bikes: plusher, graveler, more electronic

What were the 2010’s like for you, as far as bikes go?

For me, the good:
-got into cargo bikes, which has really made things better in my life.

-kept riding road bikes a lot, it really is my favorite format of bike and cycling.

-lots of things, from better fabrics (Thermoroubaix), to better tires (road tubeless), and better saddles (anything 150mm and not overpadded) made cycling better. On the same front, holy hell good components are cheap now - the 6800 group in particular was actively surprisingly good.

The bad:
-not as many group rides/events as I’d like.

-road riding is great, but left to my own devices I’ll ride the same 25-40 mile route every day for years, which is a little Jack Torrance.

-roads seem even less safe than ten years ago, which if you’re commuting with a kid on board seems all the more obvious

  • I don’t know if I got older or bike media got dumber and coarser, but geez between the 55 year old bloggers oafishly doing sponcon and the millenials who communicate entirely via emojis in IG comments, there’s not a lot of smart, critical writing about bikes. Besides here, of course, we are all geunises

The ???
-this was the decade of dirt riding, and it’s not really my thing. watching trendlets come and go without feeling engaged by them is interesting, though.

-the electrification of the bicycle and informatization of the cycling experience. I use strava as a replacement for the spreadsheets and pen and paper ride journals I used to keep, but beyond that, no power metering, no robot shifters for me. Cool if people are into them. I still don’t know if Zwift is a noun or a verb?

-everything is a hybrid now, but somehow also very task-specific?

-the expansion of the custom bike market: love that there are now a billion people who make frames, don’t love the corny luxury product bRaNd ExPeRiEnCe that inheres in a lot of the custom framebuilder world


The collapse of road racing and road bikes, and the subsequent rise of “gravel” and all those trappings are the real story imo

Equipment wise, it’s gotta be 1x, even before the fat tubeless tire movement

I started riding seriously at the end of 2011 and tried what was available until I found what I liked. Racing gravel events, long-distance solo gravel, casual MTB, and fat-tire low-trail road bike for life.

2011: Low-end MTB to classes and the bar
2012: Fixed Gear, Alley Cats
2013: USAC Road Racing, Group Riding
2014: MTB Racing, Track Racing, Group Riding
2015: Gravel Racing, MTB Racing
2016: Gravel Racing, MTB Racing
2017: Gravel Racing, MTB Racing
2018: Gravel Racing, RUSA, Group Riding, Touring, Training Crits
2019: Gravel Racing, Training Crits

The good:
-Manifold life experiences.

The bad:
-My career is stalled due to the amount of time I spend/want to spend on my bike.
-Have to actively work against being an over-opinionated snob.

The ???
-My social life, always forced, expired completely once I found bikes.


Questionable whether or not this is actually bad

Make bikes your social life. I’m a person who struggles socially, and I can say that I found most of my friends and built my life today through bikes and the connections I made riding and working on them

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I went from zero to cyclist over 2017. Hadn’t ridden in ~10 years, sold my car, rode ~10,000 miles, and have been keeping that up each year since then.

What was I missing?


porn stash in 2015:

porn stash in 2016:

plus hilarious approximations of both with my long haul trucker

The 2010s: roads become increasingly deadly to cyclists because fascism, and I slowly retreat to the woods.


I’m down for a tarck commune. Maybe then I could learn the ways of mismatching drivetrains.

Oh right also over the course of the 2010s I had a Crosscheck that was used, in various component configurations, as a road bike, a cx race bike, a touring bike, and a mountain bike. It did a really mediocre job at all of them, and is still chugging along as an intermittent commuter.

So, in all seriousness, hats off to Surly for making a bike that does way more than you might want it to.


Used a crosscheck as a cx race bike, the low head tube was appreciated.

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2010: Bought a purple '85 Eddy Merckx with some Campy 3x8 parts on it, got back into riding after 15+ years, eventually put modern parts on it and should have just stopped there for roadbikes
2011: Bought a modern road bike that was meh
2011: Put down a deposit on a custom road frameset
2012: Got custom frame, built it up, rode it some, to date it’s probably cost me $2-3 per mile ridden
2012: Bought a closeout Soma Groove frame as a cheap way to move over parts from my mid-90s Stumpjumper, ended up only using the crank and dangler from that bike and spent a bunch of money to stay on 26" :colbert:
2015: Bought a canti Space Horse to commute on, was pretty nice for that

After that, got more into casual / commutery bikes. Bikes that can be ridden for both fun and doing stuff seem to be my favorites. Lots of unnecessary dithering though, was pretty unhappy most of that time and got fixated on bikes instead of recognizing and dealing with the underlying issues.

Also bought a (used) modern mtb in 2017 and it’s pretty fun. Haven’t ridden it in 2 years.

Haven’t bought a bike since summer 2017. Sold/donated four others. Down to five now. Three would be a nice number.

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My experience almost exactly, but I started a couple of years earlier. Finally retired it from CX racing when I got the Cinelli monstrosity. Not all that confident this was a move up.

2010s saw me finish school stuff I was paying for and moved to training stuff I was poorly paid for, finally to job stuff I’m overpaid for. Fitness and overall bike fun has tracked pretty much inversely with income. Number of bikes owned has tracked with income. Also not encouraging.

Added dedicated dirt things to the group (29er, Hambiek) after mostly riding all dirt on a Surly Crosscheck.

Dated and then broke up with a Tachyon. Our relationship was always a little one sided.

Discovered the noodly retro steel bike and its loving ways.

Went from regular track time to hundreds of miles from a velodrome.

Actually got a multi-geared bike that wasn’t 9 speed (late breaking).


i stopped riding bikes from 2006-2012
2013 i bought a sw8 fixay way after the first, second and third waves, used to ride every day with my housemate on his slicked up mtb, didn’t have a car so rode to work, shops, friends places

2014 rode 100km on fixay, hated it, bought a caad10, did lots of long rides
2015 probab my strongest year for bicycling bought mtb again
2016 still lots of road rides and a lil bit of mtb (no car so was driving to trails)
2017 got a car and a dirt bike, road riding takes a back seat, mtb on the reg
2018 start road riding the same boring 25km every weekday, mtb every week
2019 as above
2020 so below

somewhere in there i bought a crosscheck and did some camping trips with bike friends and those were pretty good times as well




Know these feels.

TC I’d probably be dithering a little more now had my living expenses not doubled since last year. That’s toned down the unplanned bike stuff purchases, but it’s fine because I have way more than I really need anyway.

Joined tarck. Now all my life decisions are made by a panel of experts.


But they’re better decisions, right? That’s how it’s worked for me.

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Early 2010s: Crosscheck commuting. Take the bus a lot. Shitshow randonneur.
Mid 2010s: Brodie rodie commuting. Still too much bus. Still shitshow randonneur.
Late 2010s: Ride bike everywhere. Fukka bus. Tarck nordavinden acquired. bing hey this is pretty nice. turn 40. do some intervals, become r60.

Kind of a boring story but it’s my life and i have fun

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Looking back through flickr, I have basically stabilized, starting in about 2009.

  1. Drop bar bikes with 42c+ tires, discs, 94bcd cranks, 10 speed drivetrains, dynohub, front rack.
  2. 26er vintage MTB with basket, nice fat slicks, try to be matchy.
  3. 29er hardtail MTB for trail’n.

Really only #3 has changed, recently got rid of that bike and got an older full-squish to build and ride.

There were some short interludes of 23c drop bar road bike, and though I always like dynohubs, budget has not always allowed for it.

I was super hot for drop-bar disc brakes when they started becoming common, and even built my own super jank cable-to-hydro brakes for my Rawland dSogn. But somehow I’ve stuck with 10sp SRAM and never got into the newer hydro disc setups (briefly tried HY/RD tho).

i’ve had the same road bike since 2012, not set up too different than when i built it up
and have just rotated the hybrid bike it lives next to