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Old 04-04-07, 08:12 PM   #1
ECDkeys
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What is the most impractical bike you've ever purchased?

The reason I ask is I need a slap upside the head to stop me from buying another bike. I know my next purchase would be throwing money down the toilet, as I find myself favoring one bike over my others, so why do I need to add to the mix?

I walk into the LBS to enjoy the eye candy, and the sales people can spot me a mile away. Although much nicer than car sales people, and less prone to obnoxious sales pitches.

Every now and then I come across a bike on craigslist that makes my heart skip a beat. I've had my eyes set on triathlon bikes for some reason. I doubt I'll ever actually do a triathlon. But when I found out one of my clients did the most recent Ironman (and finished second in her age class), I've wondered.

And then I wake up and remind myself that I'm primarily a commuter, and a weekend hobbyist.

So, I haven't bought one yet, but if I do, that triathlon bike will probably be for sale within a few months.
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Old 04-04-07, 08:37 PM   #2
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Old 04-04-07, 08:43 PM   #3
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Triathlon bikes are definitely some of the most impractical bikes I have ever seen (not necessarily bought). All about the aerodynamics, with no room for fenders, or even slightly fatter tires, racks, etc. Maybe trying for a ride to work on one will snap you back to reality
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Old 04-04-07, 08:53 PM   #4
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Old 04-04-07, 08:54 PM   #5
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Holy crap, that picture of the dudes is priceless. Thanks for the virtual slap upside the head.
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Old 04-04-07, 09:33 PM   #6
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I bought an english 3 speed. That was a disaster.
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Old 04-04-07, 11:14 PM   #7
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If I ever buy a fourth bike then that would be the most impractical bike. I have three bikes now: commuter, mtb, and roadie type bike. Since I commute 4-5 days a week, 24 miles rt its getting harder for me to ride on the weekends because I am just too tired. I haven't rode my mtb in 3 months now and the roadie only gets used maybe once a week if that.
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Old 04-04-07, 11:42 PM   #8
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My folding bike. It's very practical for some people, but not me. It's a mid-80's folding Peugeot that I found on Craiglist for $85. I didn't need it and my apartment is crammed enough as it is. But, I fell completely in love with it when I saw the ad. I keep it at work and take it out on my lunch break. The thing cruises, but it doesn't fit me and can't make it up many hills.
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Old 04-05-07, 01:03 AM   #9
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531 lugged steel frame
5 speed rear cluster
Friction shifters
Toe clips and straps
Brooks leather bar tape
Phil hubs

..and it never gets ridden because I'm afraid to get it dirty and worry that I will be hit by a car and destroy the frame...so it hangs in the basement only having been ridden less than a half dozen times since I built it up last summer.
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Old 04-05-07, 06:44 AM   #10
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The most unused bike I have bought for myself was a folder. I never really found a use for it and it was much too small. When a friend who is under 5' needed a bike I gave it to her. So it is getting some use.
Now the track bike and my Pugsley may not seem very practical but they both see use as a commuter and are used for recreational rides more often than my primary commuter.
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Old 04-05-07, 06:57 AM   #11
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I have a 1987 Bianchi Axis that I stopped riding over a year ago, mostly because it was too small. It just collected dust in the basement. Last week I converted it to a flat bar, wide-ratio, "severe conditions" roadie for my wife. She's very happy with it.
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Old 04-05-07, 07:36 AM   #12
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$67 at Wal Mart. Lasted 6 weeks. BUT, it got me back into cycling, so it wasn't all bad. Just $70 that I could have otherwise spent on accessories.
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Old 04-05-07, 07:37 AM   #13
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Heck, I could find a use for a triathlon bike. I do not have an answer. So far all of my bikes have been useful.
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Old 04-05-07, 08:30 AM   #14
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Amazingly, I've never bought a bike which was impractical at the time of purchase.

24" BMX Cruiser - Used it to race cruiser class as a kid. Became impractical when I got a job and wanted to ride more than a couple miles.

Department Store 10 speed - First foray in geared riding. Rode it into the ground. Became impractical when I really got into riding and wanted to do more than 10 miles comfortably.

Hand-me-down Fuji 12 speed - From my Dad when he bought a Paramount. It pretty much rocked and I rode it until an incedent with a car rendered it impractical due to odd frame angles and non-rotating wheels.

Trek 2100 - CF on aluminum stays. It was my tri bike back in the early and mid 90s. Still would be practical for distance rides today if some prick hadn't stole it from my basement back in Cincinnati.

Stumpjumper - Rigid MTB I used as an off-roader, college commuter, mid-distance touring bike, and commuter after I graduated. I still ride it today. It's 17 years old.
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Old 04-05-07, 08:33 AM   #15
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Old 04-05-07, 08:52 AM   #16
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That's an easy one. I saw an old, steel tandem in someone's front yard when I was eighteen. I bought it for $20.00. It had one cheap brake with a plastic handle that was more like a device for slowing down than an actual brake. My sister and I would take it out for rides when we were feeling adventurous.

The best ride ever on the steel death trap: Going down the local river trail on a nice, sunny day. I'm in front and she's in the back. She can't really see much, but I'm much better with the steering and a better judge of distance for using the "brake" so we'd learned we stood a much better chance of survival with me in front.

Anyway, there we were blissfully peddling our way along the river. She starts yelling, "Water! Water! Water!" I look ahead to where the trail goes under a bridge and sure enough, the trail's flooded out. Now, a clever person would put down their feet to balance the bike as it hit the water. Not my sister. I suddenly feel her feet kicking and pressing into my back. She's got her legs up on the top tube to keep her feet from getting wet!

Well, the "brake" kept us from hitting the water full-blast, but we didn't stop until we were half-way under the bridge and I'm up to my thighs in water balancing her and the bike with the water just an inch below the top tube and the current pulling strong. I work my way off the bike, keeping it balanced the whole time, and trudge my way back to the trail, pushing the bike (with her still on it and her feet on my seat) backwards out of the water.

I held on to that bike all through college, single life and seven years of marriage. It now resides in the local landfill but it will forever live on in my memory. And nightmares.
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Old 04-05-07, 08:59 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halfstep
I work my way off the bike, keeping it balanced the whole time, and trudge my way back to the trail, pushing the bike (with her still on it and her feet on my seat) backwards out of the water.
You're a good brother. My sister would have been swimming along with me.

Edit - I forgot - Heck of a good story.
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Old 04-05-07, 09:12 AM   #18
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I can't say its the most impractical bike I've ever *bought* because I didn't buy it. I built it.
http://www.rykoala.org/newfg/



It has a front brake now at least. The seat is a real butt hatchet, the wheels are steel, the hub is a suicide hub (not a track hub, it has a cog and bottom bracket lockring), the tires are cracked. But, it is good for riding around the neighborhood with my son.

Last edited by rykoala; 04-06-07 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 04-05-07, 11:42 AM   #19
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I bought an ill-fitting mtn bike cheap (price was my main criterion; it was hardtail, can't remember the fork) to commute on in Seattle coming up on 13 yrs ago, my 1st new bike since my high school huffy santa fe. I did commute on it very sparingly, mostly it drove me to the bus (which was great in Seattle). Sold it for ~half what I paid after 5 yrs, so it wasn't a disaster, but it didn't really get me to like biking at all.

It did drive me away from mtn bikes, and I wound up next w/ a Felt flatbar roadbike, which also probably mostly suffered from bad fit. I'm in the process of adopting it out to a friend who is ~6" shorter than me and a much better fit on the bike. The Felt was annoying 'cause it was too high-strung and racer-y, not for day in day out commuting use, despite the sneaky presence of eyelets for fenders and rear rack giving a bit of utilitarian camouflage. Friend who I hope takes it only has 2 mile commute and can pay more attention to it to prep for longer rides she might use it on.

Let me rationalize here for a sec; the Felt cost ~3x the previous mtn bike, but I probably got ~10x the mileage out of it but I am likely to 'recover' only a fifth of the overall investment I put into it (overall investment was bumped up to replace some crappy oem parts further messed up from crappy lbs repair work). I think that probably works out on a mileage basis.

So now I'm happy w/ a hardtail mtn bike that I inherited from my dead uncle who took it out of the trash in his apartment. But coveting one of those LHT complete bikes that I am hoping might have the best of mtn and road bike in a bombproof package. If the mtn bike gets displaced from commuting duty, I won't ditch it.
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Old 04-05-07, 11:55 AM   #20
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The most impractical bike I own is a three wheeled, three person tall bike. (it was given to me) It's unstable at any speed and you need at least two people to ride it. It is absolutely huge an I have to lift it over my fence to get it into the backyard where it lives (doesn't fit through the gate, no room for it in the garage). I'm going to take it down the the bike house and let the anarchists play with it cause I never have two people to ride it with.
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Old 04-05-07, 12:36 PM   #21
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i have 6. of them the fixed gear track bike i ride on the street is the most impractical. I get wet if it rains, my back hurts because of the bag, brakeless, one gear into the wind.....pretty stupid, but fun. My racked and lighted touring bike gets used everyday. The other 4 are race specific (SS MTB, XC MTB, cyclocross and track bike), very impractical for day to day, but on race day there is nothing else i'd want.
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Old 04-05-07, 12:40 PM   #22
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I haven't bought it, but I lust after a Raleigh Team track bike. Tubular tires, toe straps, brakeless. I don't even live within driving distance of a velodrome so I'd probably just do trackstands in the driveway.
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Old 04-05-07, 01:16 PM   #23
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It would have to be this one:



Sorry - it was the first thing that came to my mind....
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Old 04-05-07, 01:59 PM   #24
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Butit'ssoneatlooking!
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Old 04-05-07, 02:03 PM   #25
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When I was about 7 I got a department store Stingray copy. My dad bought it, so I can blame it on him. It had a flat tread rear tire much like a car set up for drag racing. It was chromed & very heavy. I was a skinny little kid & that thing was almost impossible for me to peddle up hill. Just try peddling a bike that weighs as much as you do up a hill.
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