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Old 05-20-11, 05:01 PM   #1
dmcalloway
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One bike or two ?

I started commuting by bike last month and do not intend to buy another car until after I graduate (2 years and counting down....) Right now I have a Manhattan Green cruiser, nice upright position, but sometimes a hair too slow. I am very much comfortable with city bikes, and wondered about road bikes, due to one day where I have to ride up to 9.5 miles one way to get in to (or from) work.

Now also soon, I will move, but this commute would only shorten by, at most, 2 miles (for this day only). Part of the commute is by bike trail, the other part is by two lane road. I wonder if I should look for a) one better city bike that can also go slightly faster, or b) two bikes - one commute/util bike, and one speed bike. It seems wasteful to have two bikes, and I really like what I have, but the more I look at what it could cost to fix what I do not like about it, the more I am beginning to wonder....
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Old 05-20-11, 05:11 PM   #2
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The rolling resistance is lower when the tire pressure is higher,
and thinner tires normally have a higher pressure.

A 622-35 tire is a good practical size. suggest a hybrid/cross bike,
without the racers tuck .. drop handlebar style..

I have 7 bicycles. I just have an attachment to them
as I do the bits and pieces build up process, and use top notch parts.

Last edited by fietsbob; 05-20-11 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 05-20-11, 05:21 PM   #3
dmcalloway
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The rolling resistance is lower when the tire pressure is higher,
and thinner tires normally have a higher pressure.

A 622-35 tire is a good practical size. suggest a hybrid/cross bike,
without the racers tuck .. drop handlebar style..

I have 7 bicycles. I just have an attachment to them
as I do the bits and pieces build up process, and use top notch parts.
Seven !? Aye ! How do you manage ? Do you ride them all the time ?
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Old 05-20-11, 08:53 PM   #4
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It seems wasteful to have two bikes,

And I just weaned myself down to 4 bikes. It wasn't easy.

It's been mentioned before (tongue in cheek) that the optimum number of bikes is n+1, where n is the number of bikes you currently own.
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Old 05-20-11, 11:51 PM   #5
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It seems wasteful to have two bikes...
Should have at least two, so when one breaks you can sling it over your shoulder and ride the other straight to the co-op/shop/home-with-tools-in.
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Old 05-20-11, 11:58 PM   #6
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Seven !? Aye ! How do you manage ? Do you ride them all the time ?
He is just a beginner at this... I have 12 and one tandem.

Do advise most serious commuters that a A bike is not a bad idea if you can afford it and have the space.. if the A bike needs work you have a spare or in some cases, a loaner for bike less friends.
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Old 05-21-11, 12:26 AM   #7
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You should never buy a car. They suck.
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Old 05-21-11, 04:56 AM   #8
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Between us, I think Rowan and I have something like 20 bicycles.

So get one ... and get another as a back-up ... and get another .... and another ......
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Old 05-21-11, 05:08 AM   #9
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Decades of scientific research has produced a mathematical formula for the correct number of bikes to own.

That formula is N+1, where N is number of bikes currently owned.

Obey N+1 and everything will be fine.
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Old 05-21-11, 05:27 AM   #10
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1 bike is NOT practical. You need something to fill up every nook and cranny. Oh, and the backup bike - essential.
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Old 05-21-11, 05:36 AM   #11
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four
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Old 05-21-11, 05:42 AM   #12
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Need back up bike(s)... (BTW this is probably about half of mine)

I second the idea of a cross bike.

Aaron

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Old 05-21-11, 07:57 AM   #13
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The KHS Green series like all city utility bikes(well including British, Dutch, Italian 3 speeds) is good for round trip 12 miles or less on relatively flat terrain. Usually great in cities for errands, carrying lots of shopping bags, short commutes, and whatnot because the resilient heavy hi-ten frames soak up potholes like a champs and remain stable. For 18 mile round trips, or hills, you definitely want a different bike. Otherwise one does tend to get quite tired or is prepared to take a long time to reach a destination.

Don't think 'road bike' as in a race bike, but something geared to more relaxed long range cycling like a Randonneur. Such that you can actually carry things to and from work and still be a relatively relaxed riding position.

Look at these French Randonneurs for example:

Still have the full commuter kit, lighting, fenders, racks, etc. But notice how the road bars have "guidonnet" levers to allow for a more relaxed style of riding. Probably the best balance of riding styles for the commute you're looking at.

I'd also suggest looking at http://www.ecovelo.info/. Many of the commuter builds featured there probably would be appropriate for you too.
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Old 05-21-11, 08:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmcalloway View Post
I started commuting by bike last month and do not intend to buy another car until after I graduate (2 years and counting down....) Right now I have a Manhattan Green cruiser, nice upright position, but sometimes a hair too slow. I am very much comfortable with city bikes, and wondered about road bikes, due to one day where I have to ride up to 9.5 miles one way to get in to (or from) work.

Now also soon, I will move, but this commute would only shorten by, at most, 2 miles (for this day only). Part of the commute is by bike trail, the other part is by two lane road. I wonder if I should look for a) one better city bike that can also go slightly faster, or b) two bikes - one commute/util bike, and one speed bike. It seems wasteful to have two bikes, and I really like what I have, but the more I look at what it could cost to fix what I do not like about it, the more I am beginning to wonder....
I don't think much time would be saved by "a little more speed" on a 9 mile commute made once a week. Since you are comfortable and happy on your current bike and do not like to waste money, I recommend that you recognize that you are not in a race and enjoy the commute on your current bike.
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Old 05-21-11, 08:21 AM   #15
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Also if you get a second bike you can go on rides with your friends and maybe get them into it as well
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Old 05-21-11, 08:44 AM   #16
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Further research in the N+1 phenomena has revealed that there exists an upper bound to the number of bikes you should own. This upper bound is specifically apparent when you are currently involved in a relationship. The formula for this situation is S-1, with S being the number of bikes that would cross the threshold of your significant other's tolerance in bike ownership.
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Old 05-21-11, 09:11 AM   #17
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I find having a secondary bike as a good backup investment, especially on those pre-morning commutes when one discovers a flat tire, broken spoke, or when one bike needs to be taken offline for a longer than expected duration due to repair work.


Instead of a radical difference between the two bikes, I try to make my bikes to being a close copy of each other, that way the riding styles and carrying capacities are similar.

Alternating my rides regularly between the two bikes also helps in spreading the wear among the bikes, plus it lets me have more flexibility when it comes to my maintenance schedule, giving me more time to make necessary repairs or maintenance.
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Old 05-21-11, 09:23 AM   #18
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Further research in the N+1 phenomena has revealed that there exists an upper bound to the number of bikes you should own. This upper bound is specifically apparent when you are currently involved in a relationship. The formula for this situation is S-1, with S being the number of bikes that would cross the threshold of your significant other's tolerance in bike ownership.
I thought that S-1 is where S is number of complaining members in the relationship and S-1 is the number complaining members you should have. My problem is N+1 is killing me, I have 11 bikes and I keep thinking about the next bike, also my wife doesn't complain in fact she is supportive since it appears to keep me out of trouble.
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Old 05-21-11, 10:03 AM   #19
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More bikes is always good (to me, not necessarily to my wife)! However, as another poster mentioned, a cyclocross bike could be something of a jack of all trades -- more upright than most road bikes, many with bar top brakes, wider tire clearance (room for fenders), and fine for trails (and potholes).
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Old 05-21-11, 10:12 AM   #20
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I thought that S-1 is where S is number of complaining members in the relationship and S-1 is the number complaining members you should have. My problem is N+1 is killing me, I have 11 bikes and I keep thinking about the next bike, also my wife doesn't complain in fact she is supportive since it appears to keep me out of trouble.

My wife comments very little on the number of bikes or what I spend on them, if she does, I just remind her that my investment in my commuter/recreational bikes over the past 5 years is less than 1/3 of her investment in her personal car over the same time frame. I also add to the fact that my savings help pay for some of our creature comforts around the house, as well as help pay for our personal vacations.
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Old 05-21-11, 05:19 PM   #21
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1 bike is NOT practical. You need something to fill up every nook and cranny. Oh, and the backup bike - essential.
If possible, buy your backup bike first.
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Old 05-21-11, 05:57 PM   #22
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different applications and weather conditions

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Should have at least two, so when one breaks you can sling it over your shoulder and ride the other straight to the co-op/shop/home-with-tools-in.
I was actually considering 2 bikes for a different reason. My Surly CC could be my dry summer weather commuter/road bike and...a Salsa Vaya could be built up more as wet winter weather touring/mountain bike. I
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Old 05-21-11, 05:59 PM   #23
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More bikes is always good (to me, not necessarily to my wife)! However, as another poster mentioned, a cyclocross bike could be something of a jack of all trades -- more upright than most road bikes, many with bar top brakes, wider tire clearance (room for fenders), and fine for trails (and potholes).
good point for OP. You should do this and get moustache handlebars if the drop bars don't work for you. Get a rear rack, fenders, cross brake levers, etc. One bike could do all you want, but one more is nice, too.
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Old 05-21-11, 09:37 PM   #24
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Wow - never heard of a Randonneur or a cyclocross before. Will have to take a look at those ! In the meantime I took a look at Zinn bikes, and their custom cranks - it would be interesting to have a bike to experiment with, perhaps learn how to do my own maintenance. I wonder if one could build a bike from a flat packed box, Ikea style, but that seems to be discouraged.....

I suppose maybe one more bike wouldn't hurt - many excellent points for a backup. Will likely keep an eye out for one after I move.

Thanks for the replies.
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Old 05-22-11, 02:39 AM   #25
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Wow - never heard of a Randonneur or a cyclocross before. Will have to take a look at those ! In the meantime I took a look at Zinn bikes, and their custom cranks - it would be interesting to have a bike to experiment with, perhaps learn how to do my own maintenance. I wonder if one could build a bike from a flat packed box, Ikea style, but that seems to be discouraged.....
There are lots of different types of bicycles out there.

What do you mean by "build a bike from a flat packed box"? Do you mean, buy the frame, buy the components, and build the bicycle? If so, why do you think that's discouraged? Most of our bicycles are built that way. Not very many of ours are "off-the-shelf".
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