And as often as not, if the bike they are considering is more than a just a couple of years old -- even if it's brand new -- they'll walk away, presumably because they feel that a 2009 frame in 2014 is obsolete technology.
Me? I cannot see a lick of difference between most carbon 2009, 2010, 2011 and more recent frames. Sure, the labels might change and the colors, but that's all cosmetic. Drill down and the Specialized Roubaix are still made from 10r or 8r or 6r carbon as they were 6 years ago.
(But then most of my personal bikes are between 35 and 20 years old and are made of steel or titanium.)
And Yes, there is electronic shifting available now. And the component makers have driven us from 10S to 11S (while as you'll read elsewhere on this site, I feel that 8S was perfectly adequate for any but professional riders.
So, with all that buzzing around in my head the other day, I asked Toronto bike collector and guru, Mike Barry, what he thought about so-called technological advances in bike design.
His take on things was pithy. He said there have only ever been two significant advances in bike design. The first was the move from the front wheel direct drive Penny-farthing to rear wheel drive (and eventually the chain drive transmission. The second, he said, was the advent of the air filled tire.
Those two advances dated from 1885 and 1888 respectively.
So bear in mind when you are next agonizing over a bike that is not from the current year, it's really not the bike that makes the difference, it's the rider.