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  1. #1
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    The elusive perfect bike...

    I know this has been discussed before, and that I'm posting in large part to help control impulsive behavior. While most of us know and understand the N+1 rule about bikes, it's currently driving me crazy. I must have spent double figure hours in the last two week looking for a new ride. It's not that I really need one. I've four road bikes that are all fine machines (Cannondale T800 -- Specialized S-Works Roubaix -- Jamis Carbon/853 steel Eclipse -- mid 90's steel lugged Specialize Sirrus). Yet, I find myself wondering, "Is there a significant difference between the Bridgestone RB1 and the Sirrus? Maybe I should try to find one." Or, "I wonder if the Serotta Ti/carbon mix would be a better ride than the Jamis?" And on it goes...

    I had always thought that by the time I reach this age in my life, I would have better control over these kind of fantasies and desires to always find something better. Yet, here I am in early February daydreaming and looking at lugged steel Colnagos, making too many visits to the Vanilla Bikes, Bilenky's Custom Bikes, Rivendell, Waterford, Serotta, and other web sites. I desperately need someone to tell me that the bikes I have really are just fine.... No, that they are great, and that I'm not likely to find anything that will be qualitatively better. Good grief, I've still got two kids in college; I can't afford to think these thoughts!
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  2. #2
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    You need another bike. I recommend a cyclocross. And then there's that recumbent you've always wanted to try. Yup. That's the ticket. Definitely another bike. Probably two more.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  3. #3
    Lost in Nostalgia
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    I concentrate 100% on the engine or motor that powers whatever bike. Only time I would consider the bike specs to the last ounce is if I'm racing and money is at stake. knotty

  4. #4
    Senior Member big john's Avatar
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    For some, part of the hobby is collecting or buying stuff. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you aren't making your family go hungry. How else are you to know how things compare unless you try them?
    I have 4 road bikes and an mtb. Been thinking about a new mtb as mine is 10 years old. Also thinking about a new road bike even though I bought a new one 15 months ago. I don't make a lot of money, but I have no debt and it's my hobby/sport/passion, so, why not?
    One thing I do avoid is the classic/vintage forum. That place will get me in big trouble.

  5. #5
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Looks like you have road bikes pretty well covered. But where are the mountain bikes? Cruisers? Cyclocross? Touring? Utility bikes?

    Seek balance.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  6. #6
    Squirrel solveg's Avatar
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    My opinion is that it's natural to want to ride a zillion different bikes.

    It's the natural way we've done our learning. It starts out with saddles. On our first bike we get a bad saddle. We don't know it. We spend months enduring some kind of pain, and then we decide it's not us, but the saddle, and we begin our hunt for the perfect saddle. As we investigate, we realize we had no idea that there were so many kinds of saddles with different attributes, and our final choice is usually something we never would have considered when we first began riding.

    Then we follow the same procedure with bike clothes...start out in cutoffs or gym shorts and t-shirts and vow we're never going to touch spandex. A year later we've come full circle and would never wear cotton. The benefits astonish us.

    Then, for many of us, our first bike is a hybrid. We then slowly discover that our natural riding behavior is NOT going to jaunts around the block. We start to veer into either mountain bikes or road bikes, and make a similar move (if physically possible) from flat bars to some other kinds of bars. The search for bars alone can involve trying several different models and spending hundreds of dollars. Again, we're amazed that something we perceived as not being important can affect our comfort and performance so much.

    So it is irrational to believe that we will, by owning 3-4 bikes, decide that we are completely content and have no curiosity about other bikes. In an ideal world, we would have bike libraries, where we could check a bike out for a month and really get to know it. But as it is, we have to buy one, or be given one, or get one at a garage sale in order to see what it offers. And if you're into modern, high performance bikes, you don't really have any option besides buying it.

    We have been taught by the sport itself that what we have experienced is inadequate, and that something is out there which will make us better and happier. And we've also been taught that each component is unique, and extrapolations can not be made lightly!

    You might think that BSLevan could satisfy his yearnings by test riding bikes on a nice hour long ride, but unless the bike is dialed in perfectly, it's just not satisfying.

  7. #7
    Senior Member freeranger's Avatar
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    I don't ride all that often, so I can't justify owning a lot of bikes, at least that's what I keep telling myself. But for some reason, I've always wanted to try a Curtlo, don't know why, except for that they are steel, and made in the USA. Maybe when I retire, and if I'm still riding, I'll try one. Doesn't sound like you need more to ponder, but just in case:
    http://www.curtlo.com/about_curtlo.html

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Looks like you have road bikes pretty well covered. But where are the mountain bikes? Cruisers? Cyclocross? Touring? Utility bikes?

    Seek balance.
    No, no, no. I can't go there too. Actually, I stopped riding mountain bikes (still have two), because I prefer to walk when off road. I actually walk a great deal, and for now am happy with keeping the riding to road bikes. If I were to go beyond that, I'd drive myself completely off the deep end.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeranger View Post
    I don't ride all that often, so I can't justify owning a lot of bikes, at least that's what I keep telling myself. But for some reason, I've always wanted to try a Curtlo, don't know why, except for that they are steel, and made in the USA. Maybe when I retire, and if I'm still riding, I'll try one. Doesn't sound like you need more to ponder, but just in case:
    http://www.curtlo.com/about_curtlo.html
    You are an evil person. I've now got Curtlo on my browser's favorite list... along with all the others. Thanks for offering an addict a fix.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  10. #10
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    I went through a phase lasting about five years when I was fanatical about the perfect bike. Then I got a pretty good bike, set it up the way I like it, and I'm content. The idea of working out the gearing, saddle issues, handlebar height, etc, etc. seems a bit exhausting at this stage. Like a happily married man, I still like to check out the scene--but from a safe and less expensive distance.
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  11. #11
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSLeVan View Post
    ... I'm posting in large part to help control impulsive behavior.


    That's like moving into a bar to control the urge to drink.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post


    That's like moving into a bar to control the urge to drink.
    You know BluesDawg, you're partially to blame for this. Your recent photos of Ribby are quite tempting and put the Bridgestone RB1 on my list of things to dream about.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  13. #13
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BSLeVan View Post
    You know BluesDawg, you're partially to blame for this. Your recent photos of Ribby are quite tempting and put the Bridgestone RB1 on my list of things to dream about.
    Then let me try to help. The Bridgestone RB-1 is a good example of a lugged steel Japanese production bike from the late 80s to early 90s era. It is not worth what people pay for them these days. If I was looking for something like it, I would look under the radar for a similar bike of similar quality and design but with a little less cache'.

    I love my RB-1 , but I don't think I would buy one for their current market price.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  14. #14
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    The perfect bike is the one you are currently riding that day!

    I too have the same affliction of seeking out, and too often, buying another bike. Is there something like AA for the N+1 folks? Got the evil eye about that "different" Jamis frame that is currently in the basement.

  15. #15
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    The perfect bilke? That's easy; a LWB recumbent with a carbon frame and fork. You heard it here first. bk

  16. #16
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    Do you ride them all? I have 4, but I ride my commuter to work, and my roadie on the weekends and the summer.
    The other two get no workouts.

    I was thinking about getting a fixie, then realized that as fun as it sounds I'd never actually take it out once I'd tried it.
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
    Website at curtis.corlew.com Bicycle blog at ccorlew.blogspot.com

  17. #17
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    You have just made my day. I have a couple of good road bikes and the offroad Tandem and a Mountain bike that works superbly for me-----------BUT----------As the OCR is going- I still need a beater bike to run around on. I have been trying to put it at the back of my mind and the bottom of the List but you have just awoken the stirrings that are just sitting there. Last week I went to the LBS and the mechanic has a Cervelo frame. he bought it a couple of years ago and it has not done more than 20 hours running. He has offered to build it up for me at a price that could not be refused. Thought about it and said I'll give it time. Purposely did not go to the LBS today as it is still on my mind that here is yet another top rate frame just dying to get assembled into a decent ride.

    So I'll give it till next week- and go in. If the frame is still there- I'll be getting another bike that will be too good to be a beater.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  18. #18
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    I have a long N+ list.

    - Would love a folding bike like a Bike Friday.
    - Would love a custom touring bike with every possible thing on it I could think of. Would probably weigh about 60 pounds before I was done w/it.
    - I don't have a mountain bike. Need one. A ti-framed Bill Davidson has been on local Craigslist several times the past few weeks, still resisting the urge.
    - I love my vintage Tommasini. I need a *new* Tommasini to go with it.

    And -- my latest inspiration -- I was visiting the Davidson shop the other day and they brought out a prototype titanium-framed Police patrol bike they built as a test for the Seattle Police Dept. several years ago. The cops never bought it, and they ran across it the other day and wheeled it out on the floor. Big brushed titanium frame. Disc brakes. Internal hub gearing (Nexus, I think). Big cruiser bars. Wow, what do you want for that, I asked? "What will you pay," they asked.....

  19. #19
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    IMO- you truly need a new bike.
    Say sort of a knockabout bike ?
    Something like a CrossCheck with a hub gear ?
    Clearly something different in your stable,
    the right tool for the job.
    ps-
    Next winter you will need to think of another new ride.
    pps-
    here is my excuse-
    you see, my teenage son is going off to college in a few months,
    he has been eyeing my utility bike for commuting about campus community.
    so I really need a new bike, have a Waterford RST-14 in my sights.
    Last edited by martianone; 02-02-08 at 11:41 AM.

  20. #20
    Pat
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    A perfect bike? Doesn't it depend on how one defines "perfection"? Are you going for classical lines, lack of weight, cushy ride, incredible responsiveness, breathtaking beauty or something else? I know that I am not perfect, so why should I have a perfect bike? I lean my bike up against things, it gets dirty, it gets dinged, and so on. I would hate to deface a perfect bike that way. So this recreational rider is perfectly happy with a nice functional bike.

  21. #21
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    I have everything I need -- a fast road bike, a comfortable touring bike, a decent commuter which can handle cyclocross, an old school mountain bike, and a project bike.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    Do you ride them all? I have 4, but I ride my commuter to work, and my roadie on the weekends and the summer.
    The other two get no workouts.

    I was thinking about getting a fixie, then realized that as fun as it sounds I'd never actually take it out once I'd tried it.
    Yeah, I do ride them all. The Cannondale has fenders and the lighting system. So, it gets ridden in the rain and at night. The other three all get rotated... even in the trainer. I try to ride all three at least once a week. I do have streaks where one gets a bit more attention than another, but they all get ridden regularly. I must confess that I like doing this. Each has a personality, and part of the fun is matching the right bike for the kind of ride I'm in the mood to do. Hope that doesn't sound too stupid.
    Oh I used to be disgusted and now I try to be amused. But since their wings have got rusted, you know, the angels wanna wear my red shoes. But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain, that's when I knew that I could not refuse. And I won't get any older, now the angels wanna wear my red shoes.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    I thought it was just me....

    I have a great road bike, but I would like a single speed bike like the Redline 9*2*5, to jump on and ride around town, and a nice touring bike, 'cause I would like to try overnight touring.

    So many bikes, so little time....

  24. #24
    Super Moderator BillyD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    I love my RB-1 , but I don't think I would buy one for their current market price.
    I would. I did. I got my RB-1 last year and I'd do it again if I didn't already have one.
    Sweet bike.
    Where else but the internet can a bunch of cyclists go and be the tough guy? - - jdon
    Titanium Division

  25. #25
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Get a custom made, custom lugged, handmade bike from:

    www.jonnycycles.com

    He only makes a few bikes a year.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

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