What Type of Cyclist Are You?

At the London round of the Rollapaluza National Series during the week a conversation got my cogs whirring…

Nick Hussey, Damien Breen (of that most excellent In The Saddle blog) and myself were talking – it was like a mini bloggers convention (although not ‘mini’ in that any of us are particularly short I might add). Whilst Nick and I were getting all excited about the new hydraulic SRAM Red brakes, Damien seemed to glaze over. You see, Damien prefers to just get on with the simplicity and essence of the ‘just ride’ approach to cycling whereas Nick and myself like the techie stuff too.

This got me thinking – what ‘camps’ exist among the cyclist fraternity? Here’s my list…


The Wrench
As happy building bikes as he (or she) is riding them. Give ‘The Wrench’ a set of tools and a project and they’ll set to it, priding themselves in their progress all the while regardless of how quickly they put a build together. And when it’s done, well, it won’t hurt to take it for a little spin will it?!

The Techie
The ones currently rubbing their hands with glee at the latest SRAM Red announcements, even if they don’t necessarily like what’s been launched. They might not ride all the very latest kit, but they’ll certainly know all about it.

Yes Nick, that’s you. Sorry.

The Emotive ‘Just Ride’
Nothing matters to the ‘Emo’ of the cycling world as long as they can ride. New SRAM Red? Di2? EPS? Whatever. Just give me my bike and let me ride…

More of us should probably take this approach more of the time.

The Racer
Like the ‘Just Ride’ types, but with a competitive edge – whether they’re any good at racing or not, they just need their fix.

That moment off the front; the jostle for position; the ‘next time’ challenge; the hard-fought top ten placing – they just can’t get enough.


The Obsessive
Be it weight weenie, watt junkie, obsessive trainer – they’re all out there, looming and lurking to tell you how you could “save over thirteen grams if you took the stickers off your wheels – think of the savings in rotating mass!”, or to blurt something out about how you should “train to FTP, watch your TSS, tell everyone your NP after every ride on Twitter and make sure your TITs are in order” (I’m not sure how real that last one is).

They’re out there, and if we’re all totally honest we’ve probably done it ourselves at some point or other along the way – hands up who’s not a member or regular visitor to Weight Weenies?!…

The Strict Roadie
“MTB? ‘Cross? No chance – it’ll ruin my road form”

Yes, of course it will sweetheart…

The Strict MTBer
Roadies? They’re all gay. You’ll never catch me in any of that tight, skinny lycra!”

That’s right honey – now pucker up and give us a kiss…

The ‘Cross Junkie
The real hardcore. It takes a certain something to have a proper go at ‘cross. We should all aspire to MTFU and race ‘cross all winter long.

The Perfectionist / Tart
The kind who ‘frames’ his head tube badge with his cables running in perfect loops around it, or the ones who like the curves of their cables to curve and not-quite-meet beautifully either side of dead-centre of their head tube. The kind who has to have matching components, who hates silver brake tracks and saddle rails that aren’t black…

Yes, me.

But I know there are others out there, and you know who you are!

Clearly I fall (quite heavily) into the latter category, but I also have a good dose of ‘Wrench’ and a fair smattering of ‘Techie’ in me. I’d love to say I have a good percentage of ‘Emo’, but being honest with myself I’m lacking in ‘just ride’ genes and too good at making excuses.


I most aspire to be a ‘Cross Junkie’. These guys are the real hardcore – it takes a certain constitution to turn up weekend after weekend throughout cold, wet winter ‘cross races and utterly bury yourself for an hour. Maybe I can condition myself to the racing in Oz? At least then I won’t have to deal with quite the same conditions or temperatures too…!

So where do you fit in, or what categories would you add?

Rich [@RichTheRoadie]

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