Monday, December 08, 2008

Throw Away Bike Parts? What's Up Widdat?

Yesterday I was surfing the web and went on over to my good friend Gnat's blog to see what he was up to. Well, Gnat is in Taiwan checking out 2010 stuff that is coming down the pike for bicycles and doing some other stuff as well. This post that he put up I found extremely interesting and disturbing. I suggest that you all go read it, especially if you care about sustainability, practicality, simplicity, and just plain old responsible manufacturing/marketing techniques. (Which seem to be a rare commodity these days.)

This post on Gnat's blog got to me so much I wrote this missive on The Bike Lab immediately after reading it. (I suppose I'm still incensed, since I'm writing this! ) The thing is, as I say on The Bike Lab piece, this doesn't make any sense from the industries perspective. At least not from what they are saying lately.

Be Good To The Earth: So lately, the whole of the industry has taken up arms against "car culture", saying that bicycling is the "greener" way to go. Nicer to the environment, better for our health, and a "solution" to high energy prices because of the obvious, but also because cycling is a sustainable way to transport humans and goods from point to point. Or is it?

Nevermind that mechanic throwing away those parts in the trash! So now I have to question the authenticity of the message being portrayed here when I see an industry that isn't trying to make the components it sells last longer, be more user friendly, or sustainable. We have plenty of throw away components on bicycles already, you'd think that a responsible industry would be taking those components and making them user serviceable, or at least making them last longer. Noooooo! They want to have less durable high end parts with no serviceability at higher prices. What?!!! This is madness.

So, what to do? Well, you can still have a choice in the matter as a consumer. Just be aware that the latest, shiny, slickly marketed gizmos that hit for 2010 may actually be garbage in a few months time, both literally and figuratively speaking. You can vote with your dollars. Buy it or not.

I'm just hoping that the end users come to their senses and send this stuff packing. Time will tell.

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