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 Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

 06-03-12, 06:50 AM #1 rrobinson Member Thread Starter   Join Date: May 2012 Bikes: Posts: 30 Mentioned: 0 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 0 Post(s) What does the N+1 Rule mean? Being a newbie, I am kind of dumb. What is N+1?
 06-03-12, 06:54 AM #2 John_V  Senior Member     Join Date: Jun 2011 Location: Tampa, Florida Bikes: 2017 Colnago C-RS, 2012 Colnago Ace, 2010 Giant Cypress hybrid Posts: 4,585 Mentioned: 2 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 138 Post(s) It's adding another bike to your bike collection (number of bikes = N + one new one). For example, my N+1, back in January, was adding the Colnago to my list of bikes. __________________ HCFR Cycling Team Ride Safe ... Ride Hard ... Ride Daily 2017 Colnago C-RS 2012 Colnago Ace 2010 Giant Cypress
06-03-12, 06:55 AM   #3
DnvrFox
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 Originally Posted by rrobinson Being a newbie, I am kind of dumb. What is N+1?
N = your current number of bicycles.

+1 = the number you need to have a happy fulfilled life.

So, we are always striving to have that happy fulfilled life by searching out the perfect +1. Sadly, once we get that +1, the formula still applies, and we go searching again. Some call it an addiciton. We call it normal.

 06-03-12, 06:56 AM #4 Dudelsack  A might bewildered...     Join Date: Oct 2011 Location: Loovul Bikes: Bacchetta Giro ATT 26; Lemond Buenos Aires Posts: 6,350 Mentioned: 1 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 4 Post(s) Take it to the 41, then flip it and slam it. Just kidding. When you buy a bike, you may think at the time you have found the ultimate machine, a bike for the ages, the last one you'll need for the rest of your life. In two weeks you'll want a new bike anyway. It will be N+1. Rinse and repeat until you run out of garage space. __________________ Signature line for rent.
06-03-12, 06:57 AM   #5
John_V
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by DnvrFox N = your current number of bicycles. +1 = the number you need to have a happy fulfilled life. So, we are always striving to have that happy fulfilled life by searching out the perfect +1. Sadly, once we get that +1, the formula still applies, and we go searching again. Some call it an addiciton. We call it normal.
A much better explanation than mine.
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2012 Colnago Ace
2010 Giant Cypress

06-03-12, 07:25 AM   #6
Mort Canard
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 Originally Posted by Dudelsack When you buy a bike, you may think at the time you have found the ultimate machine, a bike for the ages, the last one you'll need for the rest of your life. In two weeks you'll want a new bike anyway. It will be N+1. Rinse and repeat until you run out of garage space.
There is a brief period of respite while you modify, adjust and add goodies to your new acquisition. For those of us who are into classic and vintage bicycles this period of acquisition can last for weeks or months. We may scatter the new bike and spend time cleaning, polishing and evaluating each part of the bicycle. There are many trips to eBay or the C&V forum to get the replacement for each component that is found to be wanting. This is not to say that if a dirt cheap barn find drops in our laps we won't snap it up and place it in line for rehabilitation but for the time being we are mostly happily distracted from the constant need for N+1.

Right now I am happily thrashing the new to me, Team Fuji! Once it is roadable and ship shape in Bristol fashion, the monkey will once again be on my back.

 06-03-12, 07:35 AM #7 climberguy Senior Member     Join Date: Dec 2011 Location: central ohio Bikes: better than I deserve Posts: 348 Mentioned: 0 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 0 Post(s) As explained, it's the formula for the ideal number of bikes, or the number of bikes a cyclist generally wants to own, with n equalling the number currently owned. Another formula for the same the purpose is S-1, with S being the number of bikes that will cause one's spouse or significant other to terminate the relationship.
 06-03-12, 01:00 PM #8 jethro56  Watching and waiting.     Join Date: Oct 2010 Location: Mattoon,Ill Bikes: Trek 7300 Trek Madone 4.5 Surly Cross Check Posts: 2,024 Mentioned: 0 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 10 Post(s) http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/6272413/ This explains it all.
06-03-12, 01:39 PM   #9
teachme
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 Originally Posted by rrobinson Being a newbie, I am kind of dumb. What is N+1?
Not dumb! Uninformed; yes. If you have read the preceding posts, you are fully edumacated in the doctrine of N+1.

 06-03-12, 02:43 PM #10 stapfam Time for a change.     Join Date: Jan 2004 Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno. Posts: 19,915 Mentioned: 0 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 1 Post(s) All explained ---So what are you getting? __________________ How long was I in the army? Five foot seven. Spike Milligan
 06-03-12, 04:01 PM #11 Paul01 Senior Member     Join Date: Sep 2010 Location: Tampa Bay, Fl Bikes: Vitus 979, KHS Montana Comp Posts: 531 Mentioned: 0 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 0 Post(s) It's like the old joke.
 06-03-12, 04:36 PM #12 qcpmsame  USMC 1975-1977     Join Date: Jan 2008 Location: Florida Bikes: 80 Medici Pro Strada, 86 Tommasini Prestige, 12 Cannondale CAAD10 Ultegra Posts: 10,956 Mentioned: 42 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 533 Post(s) Actually it means you don't have near enough garage or storage space. Bill __________________ I Can Do All Things Through Him Who Strengthens Me Philippians 4:13 Parkinson's means that each day is a different dance, and I don't get the option to sit this one out. Me, just now.
06-03-12, 07:58 PM   #13
Timtruro
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 Originally Posted by jethro56 http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/6272413/ This explains it all.
Great video that explains it all!

 06-03-12, 08:31 PM #14 Kurt Erlenbach Senior Member     Join Date: Jul 2007 Location: Space Coast, Florida Bikes: Posts: 2,423 Mentioned: 0 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 0 Post(s) Next thing ya know, someone will be asking why we talk about colonoscopies all the time.
 06-03-12, 08:37 PM #15 Kurt Erlenbach Senior Member     Join Date: Jul 2007 Location: Space Coast, Florida Bikes: Posts: 2,423 Mentioned: 0 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 0 Post(s) Related to the N + 1 issue is the question: "How much did that bike cost?" A wise person on BF once said that the correct answer to that question is \$600. That figure is more than the average schmoe is going to spend, but it keeps the questioner from thinking that you are completely out of your mind when they learn how much you actually spent.
06-04-12, 06:51 AM   #16
tony_merlino
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 Originally Posted by jethro56 http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/6272413/ This explains it all.
It certainly does. I wonder what's cheaper in the long run: Buying several bicycles a year, or psychotherapy?

Hmmm. My health insurance covers psychotherapy...

06-04-12, 06:59 AM   #17
Phil_gretz
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Mort Canard Right now I am happily thrashing the new to me, Team Fuji! Once it is roadable and ship shape in Bristol fashion, the monkey will once again be on my back.
Hey! I have a 1982 Team Fuji at the front of the queue. I even found a bronze anodized Araya wheelset to go with it. What year is yours, Mort?

"Everybody's got something to hide, 'cept for me and my monkey."

06-04-12, 07:18 AM   #18
Retro Grouch
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 Originally Posted by tony_merlino It certainly does. I wonder what's cheaper in the long run: Buying several bicycles a year, or psychotherapy? Hmmm. My health insurance covers psychotherapy...
Unless you have really low co-pays, you're buying better bikes than me.

06-04-12, 09:16 AM   #19
tony_merlino
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 Originally Posted by Retro Grouch Unless you have really low co-pays, you're buying better bikes than me.
Nah - my last two buys totaled less than \$150. (An early '70s Raleigh Record and an early '90s Bianchi Advantage hybrid.) What I tend to spend on is customizing the bikes. It's nickel and dime stuff, but it adds up. And then I change my vision for that bike, and start all over with buying stuff for it...

I'm glad I haven't gotten bitten by the carbon/unobtainium/save every micro-gram bug. I've got one (older) carbon bike, but the rest are steel... and I like it that way.

Still, your point is well taken. A \$25 copay every week would add up to \$1300/year. Now THERE'S an argument to support the N+1 to the spouse, if you have one. "Honey, I would get help for this condition, but indulging it is hundreds of dollars cheaper every year than getting help for it!"

Unless you do have the carbon/unobtainium thing going, in which case, psychotherapy wins.

06-04-12, 11:15 AM   #20
jethro56
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 Originally Posted by Retro Grouch Unless you have really low co-pays, you're buying better bikes than me.
I'd just end up with a riding buddy that wanted to charge me while we ride.

 06-04-12, 11:21 AM #21 tony_merlino Senior Member     Join Date: Oct 2011 Location: Northeastern NJ - NYC Metro Area Bikes: Posts: 795 Mentioned: 0 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 0 Post(s) A related topic: Does anyone else find that, during periods when you can't perform the activity - like actually riding the bike - very much, you spend more time obsessing about how to improve your fleet, shopping for tchatchkes and spending money on doodads? I've found this to be true for myself. The less I'm able to ride, the more time and money I spend on upgrading my bikes, or lusting after new (to me) ones. When I'm actually riding a lot, I don't have time to worry about whether I've got the optimal setup - unless there's an actual problem, that is.
 06-04-12, 12:09 PM #22 SwampDude Senior Member   Join Date: May 2012 Location: SW Florida Bikes: All Treks - fitness and road Posts: 383 Mentioned: 0 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 0 Post(s) I guess its just 'human' to suffer from this affliction, because it happens to folks with other interests as well (gun's, cars, antiques, silver, china, etc.). Somehow, thats comforting to me. The part I'm struggling with as I think about N+1 is why do some of us tend to forget that the formula could be N-1+1? I have bikes with whiskers that I haven't ridden in years, but I still have an attachment to them. I should sell 'em or donate them to a charity or something. I could just say "If I'm going to buy one, I'm going to dispose of one (or two)". Does anyone follow the modified principle N-1+1 or some other variant?
 06-04-12, 12:24 PM #23 StanSeven Super Moderator   Join Date: Feb 2005 Location: Delaware shore Bikes: Cervelo C3, Guru Photon, Waterford, Specialized CX Posts: 12,130 Mentioned: 1 Post(s) Tagged: 0 Thread(s) Quoted: 277 Post(s) It kind of like the N + 3 feet in boating. The boat you now have is 3 feet shorter than what you want. So you buy a new one, get used to docking and handling it, and start wanting the next one 3 feet larger
06-04-12, 01:56 PM   #24
DnvrFox
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 Originally Posted by SwampDude I guess its just 'human' to suffer from this affliction, because it happens to folks with other interests as well (gun's, cars, antiques, silver, china, etc.). Somehow, thats comforting to me. The part I'm struggling with as I think about N+1 is why do some of us tend to forget that the formula could be N-1+1? I have bikes with whiskers that I haven't ridden in years, but I still have an attachment to them. I should sell 'em or donate them to a charity or something. I could just say "If I'm going to buy one, I'm going to dispose of one (or two)". Does anyone follow the modified principle N-1+1 or some other variant?
Sold 2 bikes this year and did not replace them, and don't plan to. For my kind of riding, I really only need 2 bikes plus a spare (which I haven't ridden in months).

I guess I need a new formula!!

06-04-12, 02:51 PM   #25
SwampDude
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 Originally Posted by DnvrFox Sold 2 bikes this year and did not replace them, and don't plan to. For my kind of riding, I really only need 2 bikes plus a spare (which I haven't ridden in months). I guess I need a new formula!!
You don't need a new formula. You're virus free!!