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Old 12-30-12, 04:53 PM   #1
redeyedtreefr0g
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I don't want N+1?

I think I must be odd compared to other people on the forums.

I always hear cyclist saying that the correct amount of bikes is always one more than how many they own, or N+1. I just don't get that. I like my bike and I wish it could do everything. The only reason I think I need a different bike is because this one is a heavy thing from Target. Other than it's weight, I think Zoomie is the perfect bicycle.

I also have a Huffy mountain bike dubbed Chainless (II). I rode Zoomie in the snow with my husband on his commute to work the other day. He rides a full-suspension mountain bike with 26" knobby tires. He slid a little bit at times, but no where near like what I was doing on Zoomie's skinny slick hybrid tires (I didn't fall, whoohoo!). Rather than switching to Chainless, which would be logical, I'm going to stud Zoomie's tires.

I constantly use the saddlebag on Zoomie's rear rack to hold extra gloves, my scarf, anything I want to have with me just in case, not to mention clothing I shed when it gets warmer. I stuffed my husband's entire backpack in there after he got to work and changed. I just don't want to hop on another bike and be without that carrying capacity. At the same time, Zoomie also has my one and only repair kit and frame pump. I just know that if I rode Chainless and didn't have the kit, something would break.

I suppose a solution could be to get doubles of everything and a rear rack so Chainless could be outfitted just like Zoomie- but I really don't know if that would make me ride Chainless just as much, or if it would be a waste of money. The reason I own Chainless now is as a back-up bike in case something goes wrong with Zoomie that can't be repaired quickly- such as if I walk out the door late one morning and find a flat tire.

I'm not sure exactly what I'm after by posting this. Thoughts, opinions? Suggestions?
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Old 12-30-12, 05:20 PM   #2
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Right now I have a hybrid commuter with a trailer and a road bike. In June I will make the last payment and have a mountain bike as well. Somewhere down the line I would like to add a Big Dummy, a Moonlander, a touring bike, and a better road bike to the mix There's so many different kinds of bikes out there it'd be hard for me to think of just one bike that can do everything.
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Old 12-30-12, 05:20 PM   #3
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I think I must be odd compared to other people on the forums............ something goes wrong with Zoomie that can't be repaired quickly- such as if I walk out the door late one morning and find a flat tire.

Yes you are odd compared to other people on the forum if you can't repair a flat tire quickly.
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Old 12-30-12, 05:43 PM   #4
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Redeyetreefr0g, try to find, inexpensive or used, racks etc. for "Chainless", the idea of a "back up bike", is that it's always ready to "take the place" of the other bike, so it NEEDS to be set up with all the "accessiories" you have on Zoomie, otherwise you won't want to use it. It doesn't matter if chainless get's used much at all as long as it's "there and ready" when you need it, jmho. I have 2 bikes, set up the same as we don't own a car so the utility/back up bike has to be ready to fill in when needed.
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Old 12-30-12, 06:11 PM   #5
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I really think you'd benefit from that Wald basket I shown you in the other post. It really isn't heavy, and I find it to be very useful overall.
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Old 12-30-12, 07:02 PM   #6
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...such as if I walk out the door late one morning
I am still relatively slow at repairing flat tires, but the main point in this situation is if I were late. Generally I give myself an extra 15 minutes with the theory that if I were to experience a flat along my commute, I could fix it and still make it to work on time.

BJ/Jo that's a great point, and could be contributing to why I usually try to fix Zoomie at the first available chance instead of riding Chainless and leaving the repairs until a more comfortable leisurely time.

Juggler2, it seems like forever since I've been online, was it the folding Wald baskets you meant? In any case I agree- a basket on Chainless would be fantastic.
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Old 12-30-12, 07:21 PM   #7
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N+1 riders often ride much more, and use their bikes for many more functions, than the average rider or even the above-average rider.

Do you do all of your shopping on a bike? I mean ALL of your shopping, including groceries, etc. Are you car free or close to car free (drive maybe once a week or once every 2-3 weeks)? If you did, you'd probably appreciate a utility bike, or having a trailer to tow.

Do you like to go out on long rides of 50 miles or more? If you did, you'd probably be looking at road bikes.

Do you live in a densely populated area with a relatively short commute, do you travel, do you want to ride somewhere but not want to lock up the bike outside, or are you an engineer? If so, you probably have a folding bike as a N+1.

Do you ride a lot in any of those functions most of the year, but also cycle in the winter, when it's basically best to ride a winter beater/bike especially equipped for winter/fat bike?

Did you ride a "new" type of bike, like a fat bike or 29er, and it completely revolutionized and redefined your idea of cycling?

Are you a bicycle collector? Do you know one aspect of cycling (pre-WWII cruisers/folding bikes/MTBs, etc) to such a degree that none of your family can make sense of the differences between one bike in that category from the other but you're going to tell them anyway? Whether they want to hear it or not?

That's all part of the N+1 lifestyle and mentality. I dare say you've taken a step in that path, you've already started naming your bikes, which is common for the N+1 crowd.

The bottom line is that most N+1 riders have integrated cycling into their lives to such a degree that another special-purpose bike makes perfect sense.

Last edited by MadCityCyclist; 12-30-12 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 12-30-12, 08:19 PM   #8
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is the original post for real
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Old 12-30-12, 09:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by MadCityCyclist View Post
N+1 riders often ride much more, and use their bikes for many more functions, than the average rider or even the above-average rider.

The bottom line is that most N+1 riders have integrated cycling into their lives to such a degree that another special-purpose bike makes perfect sense.
+1

Over the 23 years I've been cycling avidly, I have ...

-- lived car-ownership-free
-- commuted
-- road raced
-- dabbled in mountain biking
-- cycletoured
-- been involved in randonneuring and other long distance cycling

It would be pretty difficult to limit myself to one bicycle for all of that!!

Plus Rowan and I enjoy riding our tandem, and are seriously considering folding bikes for future lengthy tours ... and of course recumbents are interesting ... and I'd love an Ordinary.


Also ... when your bicycle is out of action for some reason, what do you ride that day? You've got to have at least 2 bicycles just in case you have to take one to the shop for maintenance.
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Old 12-30-12, 10:34 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by redeyedtreefr0g View Post

Juggler2, it seems like forever since I've been online, was it the folding Wald baskets you meant? In any case I agree- a basket on Chainless would be fantastic.
This one, it comes in black, white, and plated. It's a Wald model 135.


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Old 12-30-12, 11:26 PM   #11
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Here's the WALD website with all their models:

http://www.waldsports.com/index.cfm

I also agree that having a front basket would make Chainless a lot more useful for your biking needs than it is now. Even if you still end up riding Zoomie more than Chainless, at least you can still run a lot of errands for those times when Zoomie ends up un-rideable for very long periods of time. I'm always thankful to have my 2nd bike available to ride whenever my main one is in the bike shop for a week even though it lacks racks and fenders, and has a less comfortable and slower ride to it.

And I really wouldn't worry about N + 1 if Zoomie and Chainless allow you to do everything you want to do with a bicycle. In fact, I'm pretty jealous of people who can stick with just one or two bikes because those bikes fulfill everything they want to do with bicycling. At this point, it's more like N + 3 for me.
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Old 12-31-12, 08:50 AM   #12
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I would keep a set of studded and unstudded tires were I you. Studs won't last long on pavement. Or maybe just set the huffy up as a winter commuter. Road salt is hard on bikes, so that might be your best bet. It would make your preferred bike last longer at the expense of a bike you care less about.
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Old 12-31-12, 09:26 AM   #13
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^ Agree. Set up the Huffy as a winter commuter, complete with racks/baskets and proper tires. That leaves the other bike as a winter backup. Also, one could easily transfer the pump and tool kit between bikes with a little ingenuity.

It's good that the OP is out riding in the winter. Way to go, Froggy!
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Old 12-31-12, 09:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redeyedtreefr0g View Post
I think I must be odd compared to other people on the forums.

I always hear cyclist saying that the correct amount of bikes is always one more than how many they own, or N+1. I just don't get that. I like my bike and I wish it could do everything. ...
I agree with you. One is enough, a couple is better but just adding bikes for different purposes, or no purpose, is not my cup of tea.

Although ... now that I've rigged my road bike up with accessories I'd kind of like another designated road bike. Maybe carbon fiber, with 105 level or better ... I can kind of see the N+1 point for sufficiently small values of N ...
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Old 12-31-12, 10:49 AM   #15
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My BARE minimum is 2 bikes, N+1 is a luxury and I can afford them if I so choose. No it isn't for everyone, but those of us that do quite often enjoy a wide range of cycling.

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Old 12-31-12, 11:13 AM   #16
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The alternative to N+1, is a catch and subsequent, release, when,
you have enough 'Upgrades' in mind , to make starting over with a new bike ,
and selling off the previous bike .. better, economically..

kind of like arresting more Perps than you have jail-cells to house.. or pay for feeding ..

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-31-12 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 12-31-12, 11:20 AM   #17
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We have plenty in my family but I can see an end in sight..sort of. I am now focusing on replacing beat up rides.
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Old 12-31-12, 11:41 AM   #18
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You don't want N+1??? Do what you want, living your life according another's standard is no way to live.
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Old 12-31-12, 11:56 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by redeyedtreefr0g View Post
I think I must be odd compared to other people on the forums.

I always hear cyclist saying that the correct amount of bikes is always one more than how many they own, or N+1. I just don't get that. I like my bike and I wish it could do everything. The only reason I think I need a different bike is because this one is a heavy thing from Target. Other than it's weight, I think Zoomie is the perfect bicycle.
Remember, too, that people on the forum are bike nuts. (normal people don't post to these sorts of things much). There are plenty of people (even here) who have just one or two bikes, and no desire to have a fleet. [1]If you're dependent on the bike to get around and to work, it's nice to have a spare, so one can be broken or at the shop, and you can still ride.

Duplicate setups make it easier to just grab the second bike and ride, of course, but you don't have to do that. You can get duplicate mounts for most lights, pumps, etc, so you can move them around. I keep my carry tool kit in a small bag, so it can move from bike to bike as necessary.

[1] I've got two, one of which isn't ridden much these days, and my girlfriend has one. That's enough maintenance work for me.
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