I would suspect the logical cycling progression is something like this:
- Get a cheap bike and fool around with it a bit for a season.
- Improve in fitness and riding ability and grow dissatisfied with the entry level bike and find something a bit nicer and faster.
- Ride that until you are tired of it, get more into the gear along the way, and spring for a carbon-fiber frame and a few lycra items.
- Become a full-fledged roadie and dress for each 120 psi ride.
I find I am going in the opposite direction this year. I still wear lycra bike shorts under my shants, but my road bike(s) literally have not come down from the rafters this year. I spend most of my time on the 650b Rawland for commuting and recreation, and the new additions to the stable this year are an ancient three-speed and a single speed, low-end mountain bike for bad weather. I also find I look forward to rain now with the single speed MTB, whereas before I was a pretty fair weather rider.
This change is sort of nice, actually. I have always been drawn to fine bicycles like a moth to the flame, but I am also too cheap to shell out for the Rivendells and Cervelos of the world (excluding the Waterford, which is a sweet frame but has workman-like components on it) and topped out with a Rawland Sogn. Maybe at some point when I have more time I'll treat myself to fine bicycle, but for now, being drawn to more utilitarian mounts has been quite liberating and helps to focus on the experience of the ride rather than the experience of the gear and gadgets.
And the relief of not lusting after the next sweet ride is similar in some respects to having a nasty rash subside.