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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 05-29-07, 07:34 PM   #26
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Same as many here... 2 bikes. If you can do your own repairs and have some parts, you might get away with 1 bike. But if the LBS is expected to do a repair this time of the year, you might be waiting a while. That's when Bike #2 comes in handy.
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Old 05-29-07, 10:34 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Cyclaholic
Just one bike? my head almost exploded trying to accomodate that thought.
hahah likewise
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Old 05-30-07, 11:35 AM   #28
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The old sailors had a wife in every port. Modern cyclists have a bike in every town they visit. I keep an old Fuji road bike at my dad's house in Traverse City to ride when I'm up there. Those hills kill me when I'm so used to flat old Lansing!
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Old 05-30-07, 12:13 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by lshobo
Your thoughts? Any ideas on how to thin out the herd? I have 4 right now, with a 5th currently being built up, and plans for a 6th. What is wrong with me? I try to rationalize to myself that each bike has a specific purpose (which they do for the most part), but I'm pretty sure I'm kidding myself here. I'm just getting tired of oiling chains and airing up tires, I guess.
I have 3 bikes but mostly just one gets used...

Before being car-light, I had 5 cars. All for a specific use! I swear!

Sorry but there's probably no help for you, all we can do is empathize

if you truly do want to thin the herd, I'd keep the most comfy & utilitarian.

I could get down to 2 if I wanted: the commuter (the ute bike) and the full-susser (the fun bike). the road bike could go since it doesn't get ridden much anyway, plus anywhere it can go, the commuter can go. A bit slower, maybe, but it'll get there.
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Old 05-30-07, 09:59 PM   #30
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Yikes...one bike? I'm not the one to ask...

If I had to have only one I guess it would be a mountain bike. One with alot of accessories that I could change at will...like an extra wheelset with slicks and a rack, basket, panniers.

I'm glad that I don't have to choose. I think three bikes is about the minimum. A beater/commuter, a mountain and a road (for me) Most folks need some variation of three...hybrid, road, recumbent. Mountain, cruiser, vintage. Touring, Xtracycle, folding....

You get the idea...;o))
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Old 05-30-07, 10:42 PM   #31
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I have only one bike, and it works well for me. I put a little effort into maintaining it, and it's never broken down on me yet (knock on wood). Of course, it's a total utility bike, with a rack and fenders, so it's not a performance bike by any stretch of the imagination, but I've ridden it as much as 80 miles in a day with no problems. This works largely because I'm not a hard-core lycra-clad type of bicyclist. I do occasionally go on longer recreational vacation rides, but 90% of what I do on a bike is pure transportation: going to the store, going to a pub, going to work, etc. I'm also not too worried about going faster than my usual 25 mph on flat ground in no wind. I can get by with a single bike because it's something I merely enjoy, not an all-consuming obsession.
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Old 05-31-07, 11:56 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bragi
.... I'm also not too worried about going faster than my usual 25 mph on flat ground in no wind. ....
Man you're fast! If I go 25 mph it's downhill with a tailwind....
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Old 05-31-07, 09:31 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by lshobo
Thought I'd ask this question in Living Car Free, since many here understand the ideas of simple living. I often find that my desire to live simply competes with my desire to acquire more bikes. I realize it is more of a 'want' issue than a 'need' issue, but it's hard to get over that hurdle. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to live as simple as I'd like with all these bikes.

Your thoughts? Any ideas on how to thin out the herd? I have 4 right now, with a 5th currently being built up, and plans for a 6th. What is wrong with me? I try to rationalize to myself that each bike has a specific purpose (which they do for the most part), but I'm pretty sure I'm kidding myself here. I'm just getting tired of oiling chains and airing up tires, I guess.
It could be depression or you're just lonly.

I was up to 9 bikes at one time and thined the heard down to four. I still wonder what i can do since only one gets used 95% of the time. All you really need is a beater and one nice bike. The beater can be a folder but also a simple grocery getter.
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Old 05-31-07, 10:25 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Roody
Man you're fast! If I go 25 mph it's downhill with a tailwind....
Okay, it's 25 mph on flat ground on a windless day, which is actually rare. (This is what my hand-held GPS tells me, at any rate, on the Burke-Gilman Trail.) I often ride much, much slower. I live in Seattle, which is very hilly; flat roads are few and far between. Up some hills, it's close to walking speeds. Downhill, I sometimes pass cars, so I may be doing 30 or so if I'm feeling particularly bold. Including traffic stops at intersections, I figure I can cover 10-12 miles in an hour pretty reliably. So maybe I'm not nearly as fast as I let on...
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Old 05-31-07, 11:50 PM   #35
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I have 3 at the moment, and they're all basically the same. Fixed gear brakeless road bikes for work. One use daily, one as a backup, 3rd one just kinda happened, but I might get rid of it soon, I dont need it.
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Old 06-01-07, 12:15 AM   #36
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I relied on one for my first year car free, but recently broke down (or the bike did) and I got a second one. If I had $2,000 I could get a perfect bike that would do everything and not break down, but as it is I have to make do with two much cheaper bikes. I have the big electra cruiser for loads and local shopping and now I've got a Marin Redwood for longer distance and commuting. Makes life easier. Both use 26" tires so that helps a great deal. If you get two, get two with as many similar measurements as possible and you can save money.
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Old 06-01-07, 05:13 AM   #37
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I have a cyclocross as my main bike (with 2nd wheel set of slicks) and a bike I am not afraid to have stolen an older used bike. The cross pretty much covers all types of riding that I do, though I have seriously cosidered getting a third, a light road racer, and had even put money down at a bike shop on one. Backed out a week later because I just didn't want to be cash tight for the next few months and it was a pretty impulsive move I had only test rode that one bike and not slept on the decision. I must have had new bike fever, bad that day. Still debating if I really need to have a 3rd bike when I am completly satisfied with my main bike.
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Old 06-01-07, 10:05 AM   #38
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After I stopped pouring money into a car, bikes seemed very inexpensive...why have just one? Used bikes especially are a great buy.

As far as thinning the herd, I put one of my old bikes out by the curb...it was gone in ten minutes. I recently gifted a good friend with a very nice used bike...

If you want to be truly minimalist you could walk everywhere!
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Old 09-04-07, 07:22 PM   #39
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If I could have only one bike it would be a mountain bike.

I rarely ride more than 25 miles a day, which is practical with a MTB. I like to ride on trails, alleys and gravel roads as well as being on the streets a lot--usually wihtin the same trip.

The MTB is rugged, better in bad weather IMO, good for heavy loads and more adaptable than some other bikes. You can easily put fenders and panniers on one. (but check the kick clearance for panniers, as some MTBs have a short wheelbase.)

Downside--it's hard to maintain speeds much over 16 mph, so not good on those long road commutes.
I totally agree with you Roody, Mountain bike for me is the most practical for everything I like to do, sturdy, handles well and comfortable.
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Old 09-04-07, 10:28 PM   #40
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This thread makes me believe I need a back up bike now I am car free. I have had a flat, but carry patches and a back up tube. Have few spare parts at home, and I really would love a more road-worthy bike than my MTN bike.

My beach cruiser will be donated to either a neighbor or goodwill. I just never use it and would rather someone in need do so.
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Old 09-05-07, 12:41 AM   #41
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It's nice to have at least one other functional bike as a backup in case you need to work on your main squeeze for a couple days. Therefore it's good if the second bike can handle most of your ride distances, cargo loads, etc. Most.

Another thing I like in a secondary bike is a significantly different handlebar type and riding posture. So that if, for example, you go on a 120 mile ride one day, and you are a little sore from sitting on the same bike for 120 miles, the next day, you can ride your different bike to work or the store or whatever, and it won't pester you in exactly the same places. Like taking two pairs of shoes on a trip where you will do a lot of walking.
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Old 09-05-07, 04:47 AM   #42
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Hmmmm. I can't begin to answer this question. My stable looks like:

Early 80's Gazelle Trim Trophy - second from top of the line 531 road bike, now with Look pedals, exclusively for riding as fast as I can for fun and training.

80's Raleigh Royal Tourer - top of the line 531 tourer, my load hauler, perma-panniered, with a trailer hitch. I really need a front rack for this.

90's EG Bates track bike - used to be a roadies spring trainer, and geared ludicrously low. This'll be going to the track with me soon.

80's Nigel Dean - converted to fixed. Ridiculous riding position, built for fun and for looks. It surely does look cool

Unknown brand single speed - gorgeous chrome frame, set up like a nice roadie, but only 1 gear. Ride it around the city a lot, and for training.

60's Raleigh Roadster - 4 speed Sturmey Archer, full chaincase, the works. I just felt I had to have one, and with the generator hub, it's practical, though the lights are far from bright.

70's Raleigh 20 - my multi mode commuter. I ride it to the station, take it on the train, and ride it again in London. Looks like an old piece of crap, so nobody steals it.

70's 3 speed tandem - just for fun; as has been mentioned, you can't drop your wife, or your kid, on a tandem!

80's Raleigh Gran Sport - almost finished building into a randonneurish sort of bike. Wrights leather saddle (a skinny one), moustache bars with leather wrap, replaced what remained of the Nuovo Gran Sport with Shimano Golden Arrow derailleurs (the bike is gold) and Simplex Retrofriction shifters. Has a saddlebag, which means it's great for fast road rides where I want to take my sandwiches etc! (that's my justification, anyway).

70's Falcon Westminster - yep, my beater is a 531 tourer. It's a size or two too small, and has all sorts of mismatched components from my parts bins. Nobody wants to steal it, and it never breaks.

Falcon Urban Assault - an old gas-pipe Falcon road frame, with MTB wheels, single speed, and fenders. Not quite finished yet, but intended to be an all-weather go anywhere bike. With bullhorns.

Dept store MTB - don't know why I've still got it. Too small, dual suspension, crap.

Dawes Galaxy - early 70's Galaxy frame that's most of the way to becoming a superlightweight Raleigh Sports alternative - full 531, alloy rimmed wheels on the 3 speed, lightweight fenders, Brooks saddle. It'll be lovely, when I get round to finishing. I call it my Gentleman's Express.

I'm fairly sure I'm missing some here, but you get the picture. The beauty of doing it this way is that whenever I need to go somewhere, there's a bike that's ready to go. 5 of them can have problems at the same time, and I'm still not stuck.
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Old 09-05-07, 07:53 AM   #43
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Have you considered building up a Karate Monkey with a spare wheelset and some drop bar extensions? If you ran disc brakes, a wheel swap would take seconds, turning an agile MTB into a fast pavement pounder.
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Old 09-05-07, 08:49 AM   #44
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I've got a primary bike, a Kettler European commuter, and a backup bike, a Specialized Crossroads with lights and fenders. The secondary bike only gets ridden when the primary bike is in the shop, which is only a few days a year. I could easily do without the second bike and just drive to work those days, but why would I want to?

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Old 09-05-07, 09:00 AM   #45
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I probably shouldn't do this....

Favorite bike 1972 Raleigh Superbe
Grocery getter 2003 Staiger(soon to be xtracycled)
Quick Cruise to the ice cream store 2006 Redline 9.2.5 modified usually ridden in fixie mode
For beating around on the Farm I have an old Aluminum Frame Mongoose age unknown
The rest have various reasons for hanging around..
1968 Raleigh Compact RSW it folds and I like British bikes.
1972 Raleigh Sports (shaggy dog) My original carfree bike and still works
1989 Giant Excursion set up as a long haul tour bike, gets ridden when ever it works it's way to the front of the storage container
1989 Giant Iguana rigid MTB first "real" MTB, steel frame and I have used it with slicks as a commuter for a couple of years when my brother had the Sports. I still like the feel of it.
1977 Dawes Galaxy frameset. 531 going to get built up with an FG hub, 700c alloy wheels, fenders etc to make a club racer that fits. Most of the original true club racers are 22" frames and I ride a 25"+
I also just acquired a pile of junk bikes and have a cruiser frame picked out to Rat Rod
Those are mine.
Wife has 3 rideable bikes, and a 193?-194? Hercules Skyliner single speed rod brake wonder..as in we wonder how old it really is and why the other 13 or so are parts bikes or waiting to be rebuilt and sold or donated. Nothing of real interest in that pile. I am budgeting money for a new high end folder for flying and travel use. Right now the leading candidate is a Brompton M3R with the suitcase option.
I enjoy tinkering, working on and riding my bikes. I also rebuild thrift store finds to give away to people that really want to ride, but either can't afford a bike or don't know if they will like it or not. Only stipulation that I place on the giveaway bikes is that if they don't use it at least one weekend a month to please pass it on or bring it back. So far only one has come back and that was because they bought new nicer bikes and wanted me to pass it on to someone else.

Aaron
Alright, I don't feel bad mow for desiring more bikes (as if that's a bad thing)

Currently have the two in the sig (Raleigh Supercourse 10 speed roadie, Schwinn Speedster 3 speed internal for commuting) and a Surly LHT frame/soon-to-be loaded touring rig. Also looking at a Trek 930 (replace my stolen one) frame at an LBS to "xtracycle" (it is a verb if I say it is) and then maybe something like a Bianchi San Jose (or San Jos8 maybe) as a more durable commuter.
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Old 09-05-07, 09:34 AM   #46
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As has been pointed out before... you can never have too many bikes.
No, but you can have too many bikes to count.

Problem is, how much of a bike is a bike? Every time I bring home one out of the dumpster, does it count? What if I only bring home part of it? And... what if, from all the recycled parts, I put together a bike for one of my kids? Does that count? And what if I pick up a junked bike, take it apart, and don't do anything with any of the parts... do I have to count that one, too? But I digress....

Having a backup bike is not materialism. Having specific bikes for specific needs isn't necessarily materialism either. That said, materialism does exist, we bicyclists are not immune from it, and it probably is contrary to frugal, simple living. Packrat-ism is a whole nother pathology....
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Old 09-05-07, 10:24 AM   #47
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Thought I'd ask this question in Living Car Free, since many here understand the ideas of simple living. I often find that my desire to live simply competes with my desire to acquire more bikes. I realize it is more of a 'want' issue than a 'need' issue, but it's hard to get over that hurdle....
I would suggest you get the most comfortable bike you can find, outfit it with fenders & rack for civilized living, and then get a cargo trailer for when you need to carry bigger loads.

That said, I have two bikes...
I'm not shopping for any more really, so I guess that says something.

I have a recumbent and a semi-recumbent bike. I have found recumbent bikes to be vastly more comfortable than uprights, but then, recumbents' primary disadvantage is that they're more difficult to transport (especially such as on public transportation) and I don't live in circumstances where that's an issue.

What I occasionally ponder now is a faster recumbent.... the two bikes I own now are a touring-style and a cruiser-style.... -but then again, I don't have much storage space, I almost always ride alone and I don't ever race anybody--so nobody's going to notice if I ride by going 3 or 4 MPH faster than I do now.
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Old 09-05-07, 11:36 AM   #48
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Ach! too many bikes, there is no such thing. I currently have a Fuji touring that is getting rebuilt this winter, my beater dept store MT Bike, my giant TCR2 and a Cervelo Dual for triathlon racing. I have also set my sights on a Kona Ute which will replace the Fuji as my commuter.
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Old 09-05-07, 01:33 PM   #49
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I could'nt deal with not having a collection of bikes.....when i moved i sold of my collection of over 50 bkes, mostly classic mountian bikes, lots of handbuilts, several cargo bikes, a road bike, a tri bike, and lots of "bar" bikes (beaters). I'm down to 5 bikes now, a classic mountian bike, a SS art bike, a fixed gear city bike, a real ugly beater bike and a 61 Typhoon.

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Old 09-06-07, 12:31 PM   #50
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We currently have 5 bikes. My bike, and my wife's bike, and old department store mtb I pulled out of a dumpster for winter riding, my wife's old huffy, and my old Raleigh Technium. Only two of the bikes ever get ridden... the rest will be donated as soon as I get around to it.

I find that it takes longer to get the bike shop to even LOOK at my bike than it does to take a bus to one of the various shops, buy parts, and replace them myself.

My current bike is a Novara Randonee... lights, fenders, rack, you name it. Serves me very well... sure, I could keep up with the lead group better on a lighter bike, but I'm fairly happy hanging back with the slower riders.... and there's nothing to compare to the feeling of dropping the hammer on some full racing kitted roadie-wanna-bes on carbon fiber dream bikes when you're on a fully outfitted touring bike. It's SO much fun!
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