A story about old bikes

I rode a Peugeot PX-10 in college. Probably the most iconic Peugeot made. I would have continued riding it if it wasn’t too big to be comfortable.

It began its life with my grandfather. He was hit on it, then no longer liked it. It was passed on to my father. He rode it for a while. Then, it made it to me. Three generations made use of it. Finally, it was sold and left the family.

Now, someone else gets to enjoy riding an old bike.

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My current road bike is a LeMond. A 1990s model I bought off a family friend. He bought it new and rode it.

I replaced the group set and put a new saddle on it. Now, I ride it almost every weekend.

Two generations of great friends putting miles on it.

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My commuter bike is a German made – 70s era – Kalkhoff. I originally purchased it for cheap in Frankfurt. Then, I shipped it to California, where it continues to serve as my commuter bike.

All that remains from its Frankfurt days is the frame, with a “made in West Germany” emblem.

But, it’s even more meaningful now. With a small swap in components, I now get to commute on the same wheels and brakes my grandfather commuted on over 30 years ago.

To me, that’s special.

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I found a Peugeot Helium for my wife after 6 months of searching. It once belonged to someone’s French Grandmother. Until it was bought by a German bike shop owner in Hamburg at an estate sale in France.

Then, I bought it and my wife rode it in Frankfurt. Now she rides it in California.

These are just a few of the old bike’s I have and have had over the years.

What I love about these are their stories. Which is why I love old bikes. Typically, with a Brooks Saddle and of the red variety.

It would be easy to buy the cheapest, or most popular, bike off Amazon.

That’s not the story I’m interested in.

We buy things for the story they tell. And, the story we get to tell. It’s why we spend more on an Audi, think Coca Cola tastes better, or spend 6 months searching for a bike when it would be easier to get one off Amazon.

As marketers, we have to remember features and benefits are secondary to our story. Our story is what buyers are looking for.

In a world of abundance, our story might be all we have.

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Old bikes have history. They have a story.

To me, that’s what makes them worth riding.

What’s your story?

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