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Solving for -N-

Old 03-26-22, 06:19 PM
  #1  
Noonievut
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Solving for -N-

Piggybacking superdex post about his goal for one bike, was wondering if you've solved this yourselves, looking out next 3 to 5 years (who can predict much longer!). Not necessarily one bike, but whatever amount stops you from dreaming about the next one.

I think I've solved for -N- but I love bikes, components and accessories so you never know!

For me, my goal was a bike(s) built for purpose (the right tool for the job), easy maintenance, versatility, durability and comfort over speed.

For many years now I've owned a custom steel frame road bike - fits like a glove, I love it. Have upgraded components over the years as needed, and right now it's dialed in perfectly. Will replace parts as needed due to wear, but it's the road bike that I use for Spring-Fall road riding, in particular when riding with quick friends. Goes on the smart trainer late November and doesn't go outside until March.

After owning 6-7 other drop bar bikes over the years (touring, gravel, cross), I feel like I've solved for -N- by getting a Surly Cross Check with 2 wheelsets as my second bike. A few of the highlights that work well for my goals:
- one wheelset set up tubeless with 40mm WTB Ventures for 80%+ unpaved rides (they've been great on the worst of the conditions I'll put them through)
- second wheelset with 38mm Barlow Pass, riding it mostly like a second road bike, mainly on paved roads (some poorly maintained), when I'm looking for comfort over speed
- easily add fenders, racks, bags for CC tours
- good alternative to the road bike when called for: option to turn down a gravel road or rail trail, will take it out on wet roads as it has more traction than the 25mm on my road bike, when roads are busy and I want option to roll over a sidewalk for a while
- easy to maintain, set up, replace brakes, with more than enough stopping power/modulation for where I ride (me and discs have had a love/hate relationship)
- external cable routing, threaded BB, mechanical 105 11sp (I can maintain all of this myself, replacing parts as needed...all within my limited skill)
- spare chains, cassettes, BB used on either bike
- same saddle, q-factor, crank arm length, pedals, hoods as my road bike (going between them I hardly notice a difference)
- durable, worry-free, inexpensive
- could argue that downside is the weight, but when I want to go fast I use my road bike, I don't care about speed when riding this bike
- I had many of the parts to build up the frameset, so it felt good to use these parts that were in great shape, and not go all out on a new complete bike

I'm not a mountain biker but like non-technical trails, and the Cross Check has been great on local trails, so I'm not needing a mountain bike. I can rent a fat bike for the occasional snow ride. If I ever get into full blown touring, would look for such a bike.
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Old 03-26-22, 07:48 PM
  #2  
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A Cross Check with two wheelsets will get you through almost anything -- and it's nice that the fit isn't a huge departure from your other bike! But while I agree in principle with the philosophy of using proven, old-school tech (threaded BBs, especially), I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that tubeless wheels, thru-axle hubs, and disc brakes are more than worthy upgrades. I'm a retro-grouch at heart, but I will never buy another bike that doesn't have those features; I've even begun the process of ridding my garage of the bikes that don't.

I'll be building my version of the -N- bike over the next few weeks. Half of the battle has been coming to terms with the terrain I actually ride 90% of the time, and suppressing the desire to get all those bikes that I'd realistically only dabble in occasionally.
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Old 03-26-22, 09:40 PM
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Russ Roth
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The bike that keeps me from bothering to look for a while is my Rock Lobster. Built to my exact size and to the color I want. Built with the components I wanted to make it go fast. 2x12 so I have fairly decent road gearing, good enough to road race in the large ring with a small ring for cross racing. Not truly the one all bike, I specifically ordered it with one set of bottle cage bolts, don't like hitting my elbows on the second cage shouldering the bike, don't really need a second bottle for any race under 40 miles, and really I'd grab the race bike for most road races anyways.

Other thing that keeps me from person n+1 is the fact that with 3 growing kids its always n+1. Oldest just mostly grew out of her old road bike but partially the middle kid needed it as well. So oldest got a new road bike, at 11 I suspect I'll be lucky if it lasts 3 years but before then the middle will need it or a new bike of their own. In Feb the middle kid got a new mtb and I suspect the oldest will outgrow theirs next year. The youngest keeps getting hand me downs but I make sure to do an upgrade on the old bike each time to make it more than a worn out hand me down. And the wife's road bike is getting a little long in the tooth as well so maybe in the fall. The middle also outgrew their bmx bike so if the youngest keeps pushing for going to the track we might need a new one of those as well.
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Old 03-28-22, 02:27 AM
  #4  
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In the end the Cross Check is a great bike which is why I own two
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Old 03-28-22, 06:58 AM
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I have not solved my 1 bike conundrum because I do not have a 1 bike conundrum. I have no desire to reduce my road bikes to 1. I wont get rid of my gravel bike. And while my commute/touring bike is redundant, I like the frameset too much to get rid of it so here we are.

If I had to go to 1 bike because of some wacky scenario, it would be a Fairlight Secan 2.5 frameset that would replace my Fairlight Secan frameset. It the same geometry as mine but has mounts on the carbon fork. I would just have all my current components moved over and get a second wheelset for dedicated road riding.
43mm GravelKing SS tires and 32mm road tires.

That would handle road, gravel, and commute/touring since I can add a rear rack plus fork bags.

And I am convinced that my road wheelset would sit in my garage for months at a time since I would be too lazy to change on the fly.
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Old 03-28-22, 08:49 AM
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I have two bikes, but one of them lives exclusively on my indoor trainer now.

The only bike I'm riding outside these days is a Cannondale SuperX with two wheelsets, one for road and one for gravel/CX. I use this bike for road group and solo rides, gravel group and solo rides, gravel races and CX races. I even did a couple of crit clinics on it last summer, including a few practice crit races. My SuperX has fairly aggressive geometry and fit, and handles mostly like a road bike. It's light (17.5lbs) and fun to ride. I've compared my speed and power numbers over similar routes on this bike (with 45mm aero wheels) compared to what I've done previously on an aluminum frame road bike with standard non-aero wheels, and the results are nearly identical.

A couple of caveats for me:
1. I am not doing any road racing at a competitive level, so I don't really care if I'm giving up a handful of aero watts at the upper end of the spectrum.
2. I live in the city and have limited storage space. Storing more than two bikes in my home (in addition to other family member's bikes) isn't practical.
3. I don't need a commuter bike - I use our public bike share system for that.
4. I live in a flat area where narrow-range gearing for road/gravel/CX all overlap. I'm not doing long climbs, nor do I need a 52/11 for long road descents, etc.

I will likely buy another road bike at some point just because I think road bikes are cool, but I definitely don't "need" one.
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Old 04-11-22, 02:20 PM
  #7  
superdex
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
I have not solved my 1 bike conundrum because I do not have a 1 bike conundrum. I have no desire to reduce my road bikes to 1. I wont get rid of my gravel bike. And while my commute/touring bike is redundant, I like the frameset too much to get rid of it so here we are.

If I had to go to 1 bike because of some wacky scenario, it would be a Fairlight Secan 2.5 frameset that would replace my Fairlight Secan frameset. It the same geometry as mine but has mounts on the carbon fork. I would just have all my current components moved over and get a second wheelset for dedicated road riding.
43mm GravelKing SS tires and 32mm road tires.

That would handle road, gravel, and commute/touring since I can add a rear rack plus fork bags.
A Secan wouldv'e been high on my list, 'cept I wanted carbon to compliment the steel bike I have. Still, a beautiful bike and drool-worthy.

Oh, and here's one:

https://fortcollins.craigslist.org/b...468917069.html
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Old 04-11-22, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by superdex View Post
A Secan wouldv'e been high on my list, 'cept I wanted carbon to compliment the steel bike I have. Still, a beautiful bike and drool-worthy.

Oh, and here's one:

https://fortcollins.craigslist.org/b...468917069.html
A single picture with $3k asking? Oof, make it easy on potential buyers.
Its neat to see comparable bikes to what I have for sale because I have no idea what they are valued at/worth. I really would not want to sit and price out everything I have on each bike as this hobby should be fun and not depressing.
The claim that it costs $500 to import from England was odd. It doesnt at all cost that. I had to pay $56.60 in import tax for my frameset once it hit the US.
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Old 04-11-22, 02:46 PM
  #9  
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Yeah, it's CL. Total crapshoot and I hate what people 'represent' sometimes. But I thought it interesting to mention. My favorite is to ask for more pics and get dead air...
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