When I was looking for a bike I had no idea what to buy. Talking to friends (I live in Surrey) most people talked confusingly about benefits of carbon frames over steel, (and some even mentioned Titanium), and manual gears – although a few were discussing topics such as electronic gears and upgrades on wheels. When you’re a beginner in such a new area I tend to approach it through three routes. I do some preliminary research on the Internet, read some online articles and then talk to people who I trust to give me further ideas and guidance.
I think it’s a bit like this for most people when they’re approaching consulting with an orthopaedic surgeon. They start by reading up about the problem and seeing if they can work out the severity and potential diagnosis that is causing trouble. They might then read some educational articles but eventually most people will need to see a specialist, someone who has distilled all the available information and who can give advice.
One of the problems about the Internet is that there is so much available information it’s difficult to drill down to the exact problem and its remedy. It is difficult to make sure you are going along the correct diagnostic route as many times people will end up down information cul-de-sacs frightening themselves with potential horrendous diagnoses.
After this initial information gathering most people will then seek social proof by asking friends or any doctors they know for recommendations. This was why we developed our website (http://www.wimbledonclinics.co.uk) with The Oracle and The Symptom Checker as well as subscribing to I Want Great Care. This allows free questions to be asked with a specialist attention, some ideas on diagnosis and common treatments as well as validation by I Want great Care to give people reassurance from others who have seen us before. (https://www.iwantgreatcare.org)
We hoped to help those people without a friendly doctor to garner information that would help them to understand their problem and to seek appropriate help from a suitable specialist. I went to Sigma sports on the recommendation of friends and spoke to a knowledgeable sales representative called Mark. He had clearly met many people like me before who were entry-level cyclists and wisely steered me towards a bike that he knew I would enjoy riding and which would fulfill my needs. I had a list of goals that I had outlined (Weight loss, fitness, socializing and sportives) although they had many brands available I liked the look and the feel of the specialized bikes and like the idea that the entry-level model could be upgraded without having to change the expensive frame. I was also buying at the end of the year so got a discount on the bike that I had bought.