If you are remotely interested in cycling, you will be encouraged/driven to buy ever more complicated, ever more expensive bikes that provide 'marginal gains' of some kind for some niche cycling activity whilst having a shorter and shorter life and being more and more awkward to fix.
I am driven to start this thread by these comments in another thread;
reohn2 wrote: <off topic>
After browsing all the articles in that link it brought home how cycling is quickly disappearing up it's own rectum, and has become a technophile's orgasmatron
Samuel D wrote:It’s awful, isn’t it. Surely that whole glitzy page contains nothing of the cycling we know and love. It’s wanton consumerism at its basest, and it saddens me to think that this has become accepted as the norm. Who’s fighting the good fight these days? I have to hunt out books from the 1970s (before I was born!) to hear people speak out against this approach.
In this day and age it ought to be possible to make simple, functional components and bicycles that are better engineered than ever. Yet the industry is obsessed with a race to the bottom at one end and a load of overcomplicated nonsense at the other, seemingly at the expense of the middle ground. There are and have always been folk who will make anything (for a price) and there are a few suppliers that aim to provide simple and functional components at a reasonable cost, but they are few and far between.
I worry that at this rate, if you want a simple, reliable bike, in a few year's time, it'll be an idea that is so far removed from the mainstream that you will be in the hands of bespoke suppliers, or using secondhand kit.
Right now I probably wouldn't buy a new bike, in good part because it is difficult to find one that I really like. For now, anyway, it is much more likely that I'll build something I do like, using a few new parts and a lot of used ones. BTW on the few occasions that I have bought a new bike, I've either taken the whole thing apart and put it back together again, or bought it in pieces. Either way the assembly work has not been time wasted; it is far less likely that anything will go wrong and ongoing maintenance is made way easier if the bike is assembled 'just so'.