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  1. #1
    Senior Member on2wheelsks's Avatar
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    What does N+1 mean and

    where did the term originate? I think it means a new bike, but where did the terminology come from?
    Can you help a newbie understand?
    TIA
    Pat
    The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time. -Bertrand Russell

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    I think it comes from general math or from geometry:

    A+B+C=N

    A=Number of bikes in basement
    B=Number of bikes in garage
    C=Number of bikes in storage

    N=Total number of bikes in possession

    Therefore N+1 is the number of bikes desired!

  3. #3
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Where N is the number of bikes that you currently possess, and 1 is the bike that you will next obtain, N+1 is the correct number of bikes that you should possess.

    A corollary, sort of, is that because a Backup Bike must be included in the stable, N must be greater than or equal to 2.
    Last edited by JanMM; 12-31-13 at 06:59 AM.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  4. #4
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    N+1 basically means that you will always desire one more bike than you already have. D-1 is staying one short of the number of bikes that would result in a divorce.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

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    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorf411 View Post
    I think it comes from general math or from geometry:

    A+B+C=N

    A=Number of bikes in basement
    B=Number of bikes in garage
    C=Number of bikes in storage

    N=Total number of bikes in possession

    Therefore N+1 is the number of bikes desired!
    Correct as far as it goes.

    Now tell me how you define a "bike".

    Is a bike in a box a bike or a storage problem?
    If you have a frame and all of the parts but they aren't assembled, is that a bike?
    What if you have everything but pedals? Does it still count as a bike? Lots of new bikes come with no pedals.

    I HATE when people ask how many bikes I own because I don't know the answer. My wife thinks that she knows, but she's wrong.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  6. #6
    Senior Member RPK79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    N+1 basically means that you will always desire one more bike than you already have. D-1 is staying one short of the number of bikes that would result in a divorce.
    Can you show us a graph?

  7. #7
    Senior Member NVanHiker's Avatar
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    I remember back in the early '80's when BASIC language came standard on Apple computers, if you wanted to count something, you added the line N = N+1" to increase the number of something every time the program went through the loop.

  8. #8
    Free Velo Vol! Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Other useful nomenclature;
    -FLIP IT AND SLAM IT.
    -HTFU.
    -Tombay.
    -pie.
    -drope the hamer.
    -dial it up to 400W.
    -massive guads.
    -asploding crabon.

    There are others but that hits the most commonly used ones.

  9. #9
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    And So It goes...

    "Be careful what you set your heart upon -- for it will surely be yours." -- James Baldwin

    N+1 points to the insufficiency of things to satisfy the deepest longings of human desire...which are to be known and to be loved. Solomon, who had riches and wisdom beyond calculation, observed at the end of his life,

    "Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind."
    Last edited by Phil_gretz; 12-31-13 at 07:55 AM. Reason: punctuation

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dave Cutter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Now tell me how you define a "bike".

    Is a bike in a box a bike or a storage problem?
    (All below is just MHO) A bicycle in a box... is just that. Parked, hanging in a garage, on a porch, in a basement... or a box. All are merely locations and doesn't reflect on a bikes state of existent. Storage problems relate to people and/or homes or locations. A storage problem... is never truly associated with a bicycle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    If you have a frame and all of the parts but they aren't assembled, is that a bike?
    As long as the parts are reasonability preserved, organized and secure in location... yes. If I disassemble my primary ride to clean and recondition it... at some point in the reconditioning does it fail to exist? Of course not.
    However..... scattered, lost, damaged, misplaced and mismatched parts and frames do not equal one bike per frame.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    What if you have everything but pedals? Does it still count as a bike? Lots of new bikes come with no pedals.
    Pedals are optional. Only with the exception of some rare and/or older collectable bicycles that would require a specific or special pedal. But even with such an exception the bike would still exist as bicycle but also be determined as incomplete, not all original, or "without pedals".

    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I HATE when people ask how many bikes I own because I don't know the answer. My wife thinks that she knows, but she's wrong.
    There are many worse things in life than uninventoried wealth. You are a lucky man.
    Last edited by Dave Cutter; 12-31-13 at 08:12 AM.

  11. #11
    Free Velo Vol! Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
    "Be careful what you set your heart upon -- for it will surely be yours." -- James Baldwin

    N+1 points to the insufficiency of things to satisfy the deepest longings of human desire...which are to be known and to be loved. Solomon, who had riches and wisdom beyond calculation, observed at the end of his life,

    "Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind."
    Proverbs 32:13 Meaningless, meaningless and a chasing of wind, which I could catch if the Queen of Sheba would have made good on her promise of the new Serotta frame and Cinelli stem, with top end Campy groupo and the Zipp 404s."

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    N+1 basically means that you will always desire one more bike than you already have. D-1 is staying one short of the number of bikes that would result in a divorce.
    Upon my last acquisition I realized that I had enough bikes that my wife could no longer tell them apart even considering major paint color differences. This is the "sweet spot", simply get all bike products mailed to the office and casually deliver them back home and you are golden. Is there a formula for the "sweet spot"

  13. #13
    dbg
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    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    I tend to think of it as "N+m" where "m" is the number of frankenbuilds I'm currently engaged with. Most of the "m" bikes do get built, but some get torn down again before any significant rides.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  14. #14
    Bike hoarder. Murray Missile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorf411 View Post
    Upon my last acquisition I realized that I had enough bikes that my wife could no longer tell them apart even considering major paint color differences. This is the "sweet spot", simply get all bike products mailed to the office and casually deliver them back home and you are golden. Is there a formula for the "sweet spot"
    Hmmm, my wife must be more bike "conscious". As soon as the rear wheel was mounted to the last build as it sat on the workstand my wife gave me the "look" and asked "WHOSE BIKE IS THIS?!" BUSTED! Quickly followed by, "How many does this one make?" Of course I didn't count the three that haven't been assembled yet since technically they're just parts.
    Analog man in a digital world.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    N+1 basically means that you will always desire one more bike than you already have. D-1 is staying one short of the number of bikes that would result in a divorce.
    ^^ this.

    The corollary to this is that your D bike will cost you two times what you thought it would in order to make it the D-1 bike since you have to buy another one of equal value for your cyclist wife. Or if not a cyclist, then something of equal or greater value.

    J.

  16. #16
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    I would have thought it came from the world of statistics where n = sample size.

    I saw it applied to kayaks the other day. A friend who also is a cyclist (and frame builder) acquired another double sea kayak to go with the one he and his wife already have. He posted that if n+1 can be used for bikes, it can also for kayaks.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
    ^^ this.

    The corollary to this is that your D bike will cost you two times what you thought it would in order to make it the D-1 bike since you have to buy another one of equal value for your cyclist wife. Or if not a cyclist, then something of equal or greater value.

    J.
    Sigh. Yes, the cost of anything I might want is doubled immediately in our household. Except for the tandem. Which cost twice any of our single bikes. Although, come to think of it, I do have the only bike trailer... and rollers. So maybe I am in front just a little.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  18. #18
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Correct as far as it goes.

    Now tell me how you define a "bike".

    Is a bike in a box a bike or a storage problem?
    If you have a frame and all of the parts but they aren't assembled, is that a bike?
    What if you have everything but pedals? Does it still count as a bike? Lots of new bikes come with no pedals.

    I HATE when people ask how many bikes I own because I don't know the answer. My wife thinks that she knows, but she's wrong.
    You too, huh? If the elves should busy themselves some dark night in my garage, assembling the various frames and components stashed there into complete bikes, I have no idea how many bikes I would find there in the morning, but it would be several more than there is now.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    At my house
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #20
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NVanHiker View Post
    I remember back in the early '80's when BASIC language came standard on Apple computers, if you wanted to count something, you added the line N = N+1" to increase the number of something every time the program went through the loop.
    My vote for historical origin of N+1.
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

  21. #21
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post
    At my house
    Bike scale.jpg
    "My Lawyer says the bikes should be split 50/50"

    Well you can console yourself with the thought that she'll sell them for only what you told her you paid for them.
    Last edited by Zinger; 12-31-13 at 07:23 PM.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    Proverbs 32:13 Meaningless, meaningless and a chasing of wind, which I could catch if the Queen of Sheba would have made good on her promise of the new Serotta frame and Cinelli stem, with top end Campy groupo and the Zipp 404s."
    That is absolutely great. The Queen of Sheba even found that funny and suggested that much of scripture could be livened up with bicycle references. I'm looking for a sermon in there somewhere.

  23. #23
    Senior Member on2wheelsks's Avatar
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    Interesting responses, sounds like I may need to add to the stable just to balance things out!
    The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time. -Bertrand Russell

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorf411 View Post
    Upon my last acquisition I realized that I had enough bikes that my wife could no longer tell them apart even considering major paint color differences. This is the "sweet spot", simply get all bike products mailed to the office and casually deliver them back home and you are golden. Is there a formula for the "sweet spot"
    It depends on storage capability. I have 5 bikes in my garage. My wife's bike plus 2 donor bikes are in front of 2 finished bikes with front wheels removed. In my wife's eyes this is a junkyard where her bike is the only good one. In my basement I have 3 bikes hanging from the ceiling, again with front wheels removed and one complete bike ready to ride. My wife is a smart woman and can certainly count, but this system of camouflage seems to work. It also helps that the garage and basement are man spaces. No lady would even want to go in them. Hope this helps.

  25. #25
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by on2wheelsks View Post
    Interesting responses, sounds like I may need to add to the stable just to balance things out!
    Ah, but the thing about N+1 is that there is perpetual imbalance. You always need one more bike. Always.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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