Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Binary Logic

There is a common tactic in sales when a sales person want's to close a sale.  To get the deal done they must maximize efficiency and remove unnecessary confusion for the buyer.  That is to limit the number of choices for a buyer to choose from.  Limiting to 2 or 3 rather than 10 makes it much easier for a buyer to narrow it down and make a decision. When there is only 1 choice it is all the better as the buyer is left to decide between buying and walking away, doing or not doing.  I'm no salesman, far from it in fact, I'm an an ADD plagued computer geek.  If there is a shiny object,  I'll be the first one to drop what I'm doing and check it out.  Give me 10 or 20 choices and I'll waste a lot of time getting to the bottom of the decision.  Now to the photo above.  Choices? One.  Actually that's not true.  Before setting out on the trail I had 3 options at my disposal: 17T, 18T, and 19T.  Once on the trail, I was left with 2.  In some cases those were "pedal" or "push" and other times "stand" or "sit".  The whole riding experience was reduced to binary logic: On or off, do or dont, 1 or 0.  Contrast that with the riding experience on a geared bike and you are now up to 20+ choices of gearing alone (2x10 drivetrain).  My Superfly 100 has been torn apart in the Garage ever since my last STXC race in August and I've been riding the Niner shown above regularly since then.  I can't say I miss my geared bike, in fact, I am seriously considering dropping gears all together for 2012.  Why? I've been drawn in by the illusion or reality of simplistic bliss that comes with one gear.  On a single-speed I don't have to think, just ride.  If I can't ride, I walk.  If I walk, it is probably too steep to ride anyway.  Really those walking times are rare.  There is one secret the geared-bike-riders-that-have-never-ridden-a-single-speed types don't know... but I'll give you the inside scoop now.

It's not as hard as everyone makes it look.

That's right, those big hills you see ss'ers mashing up at 10rpm hunched over the top tube?  They aren't working much harder than you are,  just slower.  I constantly surprise myself with what I can climb using only one gear.  I'm starting to think one is all you need... I'm (almost) sold.


Grizzly Adam said...

The SSers I passed in the P2P this year didn't look very happy about only having one choice.

But you're right. SSing is a lot of fun. Until it isn't.

Jeff Higham said...

Clearly they chose wrong in the pre-ride stages (17T,18T,22T...). I stand by my theory. At least until my 2x10 is back in riding shape.