Everyone who’s heard me talk about how we are super picky about how much new gear we invest in. While we love being consummate athletes, we don’t love how much emphasis gets placed on having exactly the right gear for each and every sport. (Case in point: Rarely will you see me wearing baggies on the MTB, I just wear what I’d wear on the road bike. My XC ski gear is running and cycling gear repurposed, and I did a bikepacking trip using my running hydration vest.) We even have a chapter in Becoming A Consummate Athlete that’s all about questions to ask before buying new gear. But lately, I’ve been working with Bikerumor to create a bunch of awesome ‘best of’ gear guides. So, what’s the deal?
The answer is simple: The easiest way to end up with a ton of gear is to buy stuff that “kind of” works, or that works for part of a season, then sort of breaks, but it’s not totally broken so you don’t replace it, you just buy another thing, and so on. A few years ago when I started paring down my cycling kits, I realized just how many jerseys and shorts I was holding on to despite the fact that I never wore them because they just didn’t fit quite right.
I had a lot of crap, basically.
Not anymore. Sure, there’s still work to be done in the gear organization department for us, since we have a small place and a lot of hobbies. But we’re getting there!
And now, I want to help people buy once, use for years. When I did a guide featuring multitools, one of the ones featured had been in use by one editor for 16 years of riding! The pumps that I mention? We’ve been using the budget one for 8 years now. And when the women’s shorts one comes out soon, you knows it’s going to have ALL my favorites that I’ve used for a decade. At the end of the day, it feels good for me to work with an extremely nerdy team of people who love gear to bring together all of the options that we truly love, that have lasted for years, and that justify the price tags.
I don’t believe that you need to eschew all gear to be a bit of a gear minimalist: I believe you should pare down to the right stuff, buy once, and ride for years.
Want more gear organizing and buying tips? Check out our book, Becoming A Consummate Athlete, right here: