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N+1 justification question.

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N+1 justification question.

Old 09-29-22, 08:19 AM
  #1  
mr,grumpy 
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N+1 justification question.

Let’s not sugar coat this. I just want strangers on the internet to validate my sketchy decision.

i have a 6 mile ride each way to work. Currently I do this on my old trek 820 full rigid conversion with 26 inch semi slick “street” tires. It gets fro point A to point B but with no great speed. My “nice road bike” is a FX S4. The older aluminum one. It is without a doubt a faster bike but I don’t want to hang a bunch of crap off of it to make it a “commuter” nor do. I particularly want to put the wear and tear on it.

what I am thinking is that I should pick up a used Marlin. Fit some semi slick tires on it and rack it up. They are a dime a dozen around here and it would be cheeper to run one of those into the ground than replace my S4

the key factor is that I am a new computer and my #1 point of anxiety is “on time” ability. To the point where I’m either an hour early or I don’t peddle. In my imagination it’s because my commuter is too slow. ( comsideringhear ratios it’s probably “faster” than the Marlin would be but there’s no dopamine hit in calculating gear inches).

the other factor is that I have been exploring. Some farther afield dirt roads (I REFUSE to rebrand “dirt roads” as “gravel”). The S4 just isn’t cut out for this kind of activity.

so, should I buy a Marlin? (I’d be looking at a DS or cross trail but they aren’t as poplar around these parts).



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Old 09-29-22, 09:04 AM
  #2  
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If you want it; if you can afford it; if you have a place to store it; if any partner you may have won't kick you out of the house for buying it...

Sure, go ahead!
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Old 09-29-22, 10:42 AM
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Or - modify the 820 a little more. Put LowRider pannier rack and small panniers on. Keep the rear rack but pull the big panniers off and keep them for the occasions where you need more cargo. Set up the handlebars and stem to be closer to your good bike; both type and position. Get new wheels with skinnier rims and tires. Turn it into a fun fast ride! Want to do gravel/dirt? Just swap the wheels back.

Huge fan of LowRiders for commuting here. Been doing it for many decades. I love that the bike behaves so much better on hills when I am out of the saddle. And I know well that Boston has a few. I used to commute from Milton through Readville, up Jamaca Plain and down Goddard Ave. The second "breakthrough" for me was discovering the Ortleib panniers. Work very well on LowRiders and what you put in them stays absolutely dry. Now and 20 years from now. (My oldest are 1999.) I have memories of riding through very deep puddles in a Boston storm off the Atlantic and near putting my hubs underwater. Wish I'd had those panniers then!
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Old 09-29-22, 11:16 AM
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The Marlin is not a lot different than an 820. It's certainly not going to get you anywhere any sooner. You want to go faster but not use the fast bike. The fast bike, being built to a higher spec, is better able to tolerate mileage.



I have five or six bikes depending how I count but the one I absolutely keep in service at all times is the front suspension mountain bike and the second is much like your FX. Some of the ones not in service are definitely faster. If you want to go fast for not a lot of money pick up an old but good steel roadie.
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Old 09-30-22, 01:46 AM
  #5  
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What do you have to take to work? Do you need panniers or will a bikepacking style saddlebag work (I use a 6 litre saddlebag and either a small bar bag or hip pack for commuting, but I don't take anything besides a change of clothes, repair kit/tools, office keys, and maybe some lunch). Maybe buy a new "fast bike" and use the FX4 for commuting duties. Commuting is a lot more fun when it's not a slog. I don't have a dedicated commuter and use whichever bike I feel like using, unless the weather is crap/winter- then I use my gravel bike (which in the winter is set-up for road riding, unlike summer when the gravel wheels go on for off-road fun). In nice weather, I'll use my summer road bike, maybe extend the ride home or meet up with friends after work for a ride. If I have a TT after work, I have commuted on my TT bike- admittedly not the best of commuters and I do look a bit ridiculous in my skinsuit, aero helmet and a backpack, but it works. And then I have my gravel bike. In the summer, I have 40mm knobbly gravel tyres on it, which means pretty much nothing is off limits terrain wise. And I've had some really fun off-road commutes home this summer. As we move into fall and the beginning of the rainy season here in the UK, my road wheels have gone on it, as have mudguards and a set of bar mitts.
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Old 09-30-22, 05:09 AM
  #6  
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No, replace those heavy looking panniers with a smaller lighter pair, replace the front rack with something smaller and reconsider how much stuff you really need to schlep with you for the commute. If your doing semi daily trips to Market Basket then pick up a cheap used kids trailer for the days when you need to haul more than your new smaller lighter panniers aren’t enough.
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Old 09-30-22, 06:59 AM
  #7  
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Justification granted.

I now have five commute-ready bikes and I like the variety. I enjoy comparing and contrasting the 'personality' of each bike.

Go ahead and get the Marlin; but by next spring you will be obsessing with some other new ride. That's how N+1 works.

Buy it, ride it, enjoy it!
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Old 09-30-22, 07:22 AM
  #8  
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If you are not going to use the Marlin for occasional mountain biking I would buy a Verve instead. They are about the same price but the Verve would be a better commuter and a much more enjoyable ride.
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Old 09-30-22, 07:35 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by rivers View Post
What do you have to take to work? Do you need panniers or will a bikepacking style saddlebag work (I use a 6 litre saddlebag and either a small bar bag or hip pack for commuting, but I don't take anything besides a change of clothes, repair kit/tools, office keys, and maybe some lunch). Maybe buy a new "fast bike" and use the FX4 for commuting duties. Commuting is a lot more fun when it's not a slog. I don't have a dedicated commuter and use whichever bike I feel like using, unless the weather is crap/winter- then I use my gravel bike (which in the winter is set-up for road riding, unlike summer when the gravel wheels go on for off-road fun). In nice weather, I'll use my summer road bike, maybe extend the ride home or meet up with friends after work for a ride. If I have a TT after work, I have commuted on my TT bike- admittedly not the best of commuters and I do look a bit ridiculous in my skinsuit, aero helmet and a backpack, but it works. And then I have my gravel bike. In the summer, I have 40mm knobbly gravel tyres on it, which means pretty much nothing is off limits terrain wise. And I've had some really fun off-road commutes home this summer. As we move into fall and the beginning of the rainy season here in the UK, my road wheels have gone on it, as have mudguards and a set of bar mitts.
my change of cloths and lunch and bike sundries takes up about 3/4 of one of those big bags, so that’s what I use. One of them. The basket is removable and only goes on when there will be shopping. Maybe it’s just too “upright” so it feels slower?
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Old 09-30-22, 07:39 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Gunther20 View Post
If you are not going to use the Marlin for occasional mountain biking I would buy a Verve instead. They are about the same price but the Verve would be a better commuter and a much more enjoyable ride.
i picked “Marlin” because they are plentiful and cheep(ish) on the use market around here with the lower end ones (that seem better for commuting) being prevalent. I know it might seem as though I’m a trek fanboy but it’s just what’s available.
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"MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
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1980ish Raleigh Marathon (Vintage Steel)
2006 Trek 820 (Captain Amazing)
2010 Specialized Tricross (Back in Black)
2008 Specialized Roubaix
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Old 09-30-22, 03:59 PM
  #11  
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I don't understand this n+1 rule. Also, i don't follow rules that i don't understand. Keep it simple, stupid.
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Old 09-30-22, 09:01 PM
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When I search for decent recent mountain bikes on Craigslist I use this search string

slx|xt|xtr|sx|nx|xo|x0|xo1|x01|xx|xx1|roc*|fox|dvo|dropper medium
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Old 10-05-22, 05:59 PM
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If you have space and can afford it I would spend money on a bike you would want to ride. It might not be any faster or more comfortable but you just might enjoy the ride more because it looks nicer.

At least with your bike hobby ( vs say guitars, guns, cars, archery, boats, yada-yada ) you are getting transportation, fresh air and fitness. Go spend your money.
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Old 10-06-22, 08:08 PM
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If you're worried about speed, pedal a little harder and build up your legs. And buy the other bike. If you can afford it and have room, get it. HTH.
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Old 10-06-22, 09:21 PM
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Well, as I was looking around, I came across this little gem. It was cheep and came with the front fork racks that 79P had suggested that I fit on the 820. There were a couple of things wrong with it so I negotiated it down and got this baby for much less than $200! I figured that, even if I didn't like it much I could strip off the cool parts and sell the bike in the spring. I took her home, made some adjustments and took her for her maiden voyage tonight. It was only a short ride but I have to say, I am blown away by how smooth this bike rides! TOTALY different than the FXs4. It feels more like the spiritual descendant of the 820 mores than the ancestor of the FXs. Tomorrow is going to be her maiden voyage. Wish me luck.



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"MTBing is cheap compared to any motorsport I've done. It's very expensive compared to jogging."-ColinL
Rides:

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2006 Trek 820 (Captain Amazing)
2010 Specialized Tricross (Back in Black)
2008 Specialized Roubaix
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Old 10-07-22, 04:56 AM
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The older FX were more like road bikes, while the newer ones are becoming more gravel.

NIce score, better than a Marlin for commuting. Enjoy!
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Old 10-07-22, 05:15 AM
  #17  
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So since you probably won’t get much (life impacting $) for the 820, buy the dirt cheap used Marlin, use that for your off road adventures, and keep the 820 as a computer, evaluate after a couple months then make your decision.
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