I’m a big fan of the “you get what you pay for” mentality. So many times I’ve been cheap and the stuff turns out to be crap, that I almost always avoid inexpensive stuff if at all possible. In fact, I usually try and go to the middle to upper end of the spectrum for just about any significant (and often insignificant) purchase I make…. ear phones, paint, kitchen equipment, spices and computers just to name a few. Maybe that makes me snobby, but I don’t buy the nicer stuff as a status symbol or to brag. It’s just, well, better. This isn’t an absolute attitude, though. I’m quite happy to drink an Old Style or PBR, for example.

Anyhow, the latest example to reinforce this philosophy was my desire for a bike storage rack. I first bought this Bikes Aloft 2 rack from Performance Bicycle for $70. When I got it home, it was uglier than I remembered seeing in person. This I could live with, if it functioned well. It turns out it was also a major pain in the ass to put together. Certain parts needed to be aligned before adding the bolts, so you really needed to be an octopus to hold all the pieces. Not surprisingly, this made it quite difficult to put together alone. After much frustration, I did get it together, but then it just felt flimsy. The whole structure just didn’t seem stable… the two vertical tubes would twist and turn with very little force. So I took advantage of Performance’s good return policy and gave it back. This time I ordered the Ultimate Velo Cache for $145. Yes, this is twice as expensive, but it was so worth it. This thing was a snap to put together, and it does not feel flimsy in the least. Very rock solid. Plus, it looks good to boot. Well worth the extra $75. Thus concludes my latest lesson in “you get what you pay for”.