I’m getting a new bike soon. Of course you want to use a number of old components as well. A bike is pretty expensive right now as everyone prepares to evade lockdown this year by bike and to discuss with a bike dealer about discounts is currently pretty much as futile as discussing with the Borg.

So you reuse components. Bike lights for example. I own a Garmin Varia rear light with radar for roughly a year. If you don’t have it, you don’t know you want it. And if you have it, you don’t know how you could have lived without one. It warns you of cars approaching from the rear based on its radar and warns the cars by blinking. There are three generations of this rearlight: An old one, a not-so-old-one (i own it) and the newest one.

With the lights you get a box of “Montagepönökel” as we say here in Germany … a bag with a lot of plastic pieces created to attach the light to your seatpost. And the box has different contents based on its generation.

Sounds simple, but isn’t simple… competition in the cycling market led to a number of developments with the seatpost form alone to create an USP for a bike. Seatposts can’t be simply round … they have to be … omnious music … aero … so there are full aero seatposts, you can have d-shaped seatposts. As if the seatpost would make any difference at a guy in my size. I have a drag coefficient of a brick wall anyway. However most of the seatposts are still round or pretty much round and many need this round seatpost attachment plastic pieces. My new seatpost is d-shaped. Of course … life could be simple but usually isn’t.

In the box i got with my radar there were three of the attachment parts for all seatposts seemingly except d-shaped seatposts. Interestingly the newest generation has an attachment plastic piece more in the box … for d-shaped seat posts. But Garmin in their infinite wisdom doesn’t sell the d-shaped part alone. You have to buy the complete box with all the attachment plastic parts

Okay, they are not that expensive prohibiting a purchase of them, but the price is still pretty outrageous. I assume in the range that people don’t simply buy a new light, but expensive enough that people think about them while cycling. While sitting on my old bike this morning (i can think better when cycling and thanks to my tablet i can even write albeit rather slow … but 3 hours is a lot of time and after 2 hours CNN repeats pretty much itself ….), i had somewhat of an epiphany (okay, it’s a rather small one, but you can’t always have what you want, especially when you want big epiphanies, as they are quite rare): There must be thousands of d-shaped seatpost parts in drawers and toolboxes worldwide waiting for a day that they see the daylight again, a day that will never come, that i would luckily give them. I will have a box of useless attachment pieces sitting in my toolbox until the general proton decay will end this world (or until my own decay, which will probably a little bit earlier).

That said: There should be some swapping place for those attachment parts, a “Pönökelbörse”. Based on credits, you send someone a attachment plastic part … you get a credit, you get a attachment plastic part from someone, you spend a credit. You should be always in the positive or close to zero. Free the Pönökel of the world … now!

Written by

Joerg Moellenkamp

Avid bicyclist, likes california, dreams to combine both.