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  1. #1
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    How to be happy with just one bike?

    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.

  2. #2
    est'd 1966 tfahrner's Avatar
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    go big and small: a cargo bike like an xtracycle or bakfiets, and a micro-folder like brompton. that covers pretty much the whole utility spectrum. intermediate-size bikes are then a luxury, for recreation or sport.

  3. #3
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    Just one bike? my head almost exploded trying to accomodate that thought.
    There are 10 types of people in the world - the ones that can count in base 2, the ones that can't count in base 2, and the ones that didn't expect this to be in base 3.

  4. #4
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    I should add that I am car-lite. I commute to work by bike, and don't usually haul things, aside from my daily clothes for work. So I guess all my other bikes are pretty much luxuries for sport and recreation. I'm not really sure how to pare down the number.

    Yeah, I'm having a pretty tough time wrapping my head around the idea of owning just one bike. Okay, maybe two bikes would be good.

  5. #5
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    having two bikes is like how it is in the car world. You can find yourself w/o transportation. Sometimes a bike can go down just like a car. Once it took several days to get the correct wheel set, when my velocity rims went bust. I'd think one extra bike a least for emergencies.

  6. #6
    Fattest Thin Man Az B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot
    having two bikes is like how it is in the car world. You can find yourself w/o transportation. Sometimes a bike can go down just like a car. Once it took several days to get the correct wheel set, when my velocity rims went bust. I'd think one extra bike a least for emergencies.
    I totally agree. I like to have a lightweight sporty bike, and use a touring bike for commuting. The sporty bike works as backup as well as a recreational bike.

    I also like to mountain bike, so I have to have at least 3 bikes. And the mountain bike makes for a redundant backup bike and bike for really nasty weather.

    Naturally, I have more than 3 bikes, but this would be the minimum.

    Az

  7. #7
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I have not been interested in mountain bikes. But, think sometimes that is what I need for foul weather. Mtn bikes are more attuned to nasty weather. If it causes me to get out instead of staying in, it'd be a worthy investment. For road work, it'd just have to put semi slicks on it. Why limit ourselves with bikes in order to have 'simple life.' A second bike can be inexpensive and it' s 'carbon footprint' footprint is low and saves energy.

  8. #8
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    I have two working bikes now, and usually at any given time that's as many as I have (for myself). I ride a fair bit for transportation, and usually when I want to ride somewhere for fun I wind up doing an errand or two. So generally all of my riding is on-road and all of it works best with a bike that is comfortable and has some carrying capacity.

    My back-up bike in case something breaks on the main bike is a folder, which I also use sometimes for trips involving a bus or train.

    If I wanted a bike that could do real off-roading as well as gravel/paved road riding, the one I have now would serve pretty well, though. It has 26x1.75, treaded tires with the irregular/jagged center strip for fairly good on-road speed.

    Since this bike is so good for different riding conditions I don't know why I'd want another.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    I have two- a road bike for fun rides, trips to the movies, and light weight carrying, and a converted mt. bike for carrying and towing ( I have a converted kid trailer for a utiliy trailer)
    Not too much to say here

  10. #10
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    Well, I only have two bikes - one is a high-end hardtail. Very nice bike, great to ride and just about bullet proof. Suitable for riding on pavement if you wish just by switching tires. Then there is our tandem. This is so my wife will ride with me. It is impossible to drop your wife when she is on a tandem which improves martial harmony.

  11. #11
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    I don't really need to thin the herd as the OP suggested, I cannot afford currently more than one bike. I have a Specialized Sirrus (a hybrid) that gets used for everything from commuting to work to hauling stuff from the store to riding for fun. When I get the money I'd love to get a a true road bike and then dedicate my Sirrus to pure commuting/hauling and I'd also love to get a folder so that I can hop on the Metro trains without having to deal with the rush hours when all non-folding bikes are prohibited.

  12. #12
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    As has been pointed out before... you can never have too many bikes. In fact the perfect amount of bikes is n+1 with n representing the current number on hand

    I admit to being a bike addict. But most of mine were relative low cost and/or builds that I did myself. For quite a while I did manage with just one bike and it was a 1972 Raleigh Sports. Now I have the space and in theory more money I am enjoying several bikes that I have always wanted. Are they all practical...yes in their own way.

    I would at bare minimum keep two bikes if I were totally car free or have a good handle on mass transit.

    Aaron
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  13. #13
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    It is impossible to drop your wife when she is on a tandem
    Even if ya take a hairpin turn at speed?

  14. #14
    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
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    As unseen, omnipotent sky-lord as my witness, I will never own just one bike again!
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
    "Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria."

  15. #15
    Al noisebeam's Avatar
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    If you have public transport, walking, shared ride options I think one could be car-free with only one bike. Otherwise a 2nd one is essential if one depends on one to get around.

    A 2nd beater can possibly save $ in the long run I'd think as a backup bike vs. $ for taxi, bus and the abilty to take the time to do one own repairs/maintenance vs. a shop.

    Al

  16. #16
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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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.


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  17. #17
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot
    having two bikes is like how it is in the car world. You can find yourself w/o transportation. Sometimes a bike can go down just like a car. Once it took several days to get the correct wheel set, when my velocity rims went bust. I'd think one extra bike a least for emergencies.
    Yup. That's the most basic reason to have more than one bike. Everybody needs a beater.

  18. #18
    Senior Member wrafl's Avatar
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    I have 2 now and am thinking of getting a third one, another folder with 16 wheels. And a 4th next year for road cycling. I think, it's cheaper to own multiple bikes than to own multiple cars. The insurance premium alone on cars would drain your wallet plus the maintenance and repairs. Each bike serves different purpose, like commuting, touring, recreation and all out fun.

  19. #19
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    Quote 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.
    Can you tell us what your current four bikes are and what your 5th and 6th will be? If you really are interrested in thinning the herd, that could help us identify some candidates for culling.

    I own three bikes. My Breezer Uptown 8 is my primary transportation and utility bike. I use it for my daily commute, as well as for shopping and errands. I have a Bruce Gordon BLT touring bike that I use for weekend recreational rides, centuries, and bike touring. My third bike is a BikeE CT recumbent that I got when I was suffering from repetitive motion injuries in my hands from typing too much. Since I've recovered from those injuries, the recumbent doesn't see much action. My wife and I have a long term loan of an older Santana tandem that we ride together on weekends sometimes.

    At this point, I feel like I have bikes that cover all of my current regular needs. If I needed to use public transit on a regular basis, I might consider adding a folder to the stable.

  20. #20
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    Having just one bike is like having one pair of socks. You just can't do it.
    And self justification in purchasing more is good for the soul. The anticipation of receiving it is monumentous.

    I have lost sleep the night before a major bike purchase.

    Ibex Aprisa Team w/ full Integra, Mavic Aksium wheels
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    I need More

  21. #21
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    Haha, okay I really should have titled the thread "How to be happy with 2+ bikes?"

    There's some good justification here for keeping the bikes.

    For the record, here is what I have / plan on having:

    1 - 03 Gary Fisher Tassajara - My first bike ever, which is why it would be hard to see it go. Currently set up with slicks and 1x8 gears (good & bad weather). Still sees regular use.

    2 - 04 Santa Cruz Chameleon - Set up for all mountain riding. Used regularly on the weekends, sometimes during the week when I feel like hitting trails on the way home from work.

    3 - 04 Zoo Pitbull - This bike is the very first I ever built up. Set up for observed trials. There is no seatpost and no saddle, so it's for a very specialized use. It has helped immensely with increasing my skill and confidence in other disciplines of riding. Has been seeing limited use recently (1x a month).

    4 - 89 Tommaso - Vintage steel, classic racing bike. Used for good weather commuting and weekend recreational riding.

    5 - 03 KHS Flite 800 (currently being built) - modern 853 reynolds steel, 10 spd. Won't really know how I feel about this bike until I ride it, but this will be by far the raciest bike.

    6 - Surly LHT (planned) - Been thinking a lot about doing a Norcal--> Socal tour, and then a cross country tour SF--->NY. Would also use for commuting and recreational riding.

    There you have it. What can I scrap? It's a pretty diverse range I'd say. I am particularly attached to the Gary Fisher and Zoo. I don't race either, so maybe get rid of the KHS and Tommaso, and use the tourer for all things road? That's still 4 bikes haha. Maybe I should just give in and accept the n+1 argument.

    I guess I am not as dependent on a bicycle as many of you may be. I have access to a decent public transportation system, and aside from riding to work, all other riding is purely recreational.

    oh yeah, and thanks everyone for your responses.

  22. #22
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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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
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
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    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  23. #23
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote 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.
    You can't, I have only one bike, and would like at least one more, current bike is an MTB converted to a hybrid, I would like to add a tourer (pack mule ), and a racer ( to satisfy that manly lust for speed ), a 49cc scooter (for those longer trips ).... Maybe a beater for the winter.... Heck 4 sounds like an absolute minimum

  24. #24
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Winter bike, race bike and touring, as well as a trike in our house!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


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  25. #25
    Senior Member Nycycle's Avatar
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    Quote 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.


    I have a nice Dirt thing that was a gift. It is a toy, a toy only, it is very fun.

    My real bike is a Hard Rock with street tires and rigged for hauling and towing.
    It makes a good bike for that but it sure makes me want one of those skinny tire road bikes.
    Now I gotta confess that is a want thing, but with the gas prices going up I may just move it over into the need list.

    Reading this thread I see many prefer an MTB to use as a utility bike.
    I hate cars,

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