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Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

n+0 - I think something must be wrong with me.

Old 06-06-16, 11:33 PM
  #1  
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n+0 - I think something must be wrong with me.

Not that I'm complaining, but I wonder if I've come down with a bizarre virus?

I recently came into a modest inheritance. Most of it is going towards my retirement and some of it is going to pay for some kitchen remodeling, and of course it occurred to me that I could also buy a new bike.

So, I've been thinking about it, and damn it, I can't think of a bike to buy that I could care enough to purchase.

I have a great lightweight road bike that I love, an intermediate alloy road bike that is good for low key rides, and a steel touring bike that I use to commute, to ride unpaved trails (very rarely) and converts into my winter bike for half the year. I really like all 3 of these bikes in their own way, and have no desire to replace any of them.

I'm not a MTB type - I have an old MTB that I seldom ever ride. A new one wouldn't find much more use.

I maybe would like a CX or gravel bike - I certainly gaze at them when I'm in an LBS, but in truth I'd not have too many occasions to ride one. Maybe when I retire.

I have no desire for a fatbike.

A few years ago I thought about a traveling bike (folding bike or something with couplers), but the hassle of traveling with one seems greater than the benefit - again, at least until that distant day when I retire. Usually I find a bike to rent in any place where I have enough time to ride.

I know - you guys are going to throw me out of the forum for this heresy, but I think I'm actually content with those 3 bikes.

My current thinking is that I'm going to treat myself to a really great pair of Lake winter riding boots and some RudyProject prescription sunglasses. I might also get a new wheelset for my Trek, as the current ones are kind of dinged up.

Strange, I know. Do you think I should consult a professional?
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Old 06-07-16, 12:10 AM
  #2  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
"Do you think I should consult a professional?
Yes.

You say you "have no desire to replace any of them." Well, you didn't buy them all at once, and you kept them all. So I don't know why spending a large amount of money on another bike means you have to replace any you already have and like.

I inherited some money three years ago. This year I purchased an insanely super-lightweight, all mechanical road bike. Did I already have an extremely nice bike? Yes, I did replace it with the new bike, as it now belongs to my nephew. I still have my back-up alu road bike, though. I still have my 1961 road bike, too, which I got in 1961. I have a fixie and a mountain bike and mountain bike tandem.

So, again, yes, with your failure to act like the good consumer you're supposed to be, you're evincing serious symptoms of mental illness. ;-)
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Old 06-07-16, 05:04 AM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
I maybe would like a CX or gravel bike - I certainly gaze at them when I'm in an LBS, but in truth I'd not have too many occasions to ride one. Maybe when I retire.
I recently picked up a CX as a "foul weather" bike. I'll be putting better wheels and road tires on and it's a nice change from my road bike.
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Old 06-07-16, 05:49 AM
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There's something to the old saying that "money can't buy you happiness". However, money can afford you a more pleasant form of misery! In time you'll find something that'll speak to you. And that could be a bike that you wish you could have owned when you were younger.
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Old 06-07-16, 06:03 AM
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e-bike might fit in there somewhere, in the gap between driving and riding. And it seems to me that the nice thing about a folding bike is you could stow it in a closet, out of the way until that rare occasion that you need it.
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Old 06-07-16, 06:23 AM
  #6  
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A TT bike? There's just something satisfying in going fast without the assist of gravity. I'm sure Alexander felt the same way, that there is nothing stopping you from conquering the world.
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Old 06-07-16, 07:08 AM
  #7  
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Some incredible wheels, while you wait for the therapy and medication to cure the virus....
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Old 06-07-16, 07:19 AM
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I'm kinda-sorta with you MinnMan. I have my trusty old Fuji (one that I'll never get rid of due to the memories from riding it for 40 years...), a dedicated touring bike, a pair of decent 'gravel-grinder' rigid MTBs for the crushed-stone rail-trails, and a couple of mid-grade 'sports' bikes. I also have 'disposable' bikes for trips to the corner store that I wouldn't miss too much if they got stolen...

I have no desire for a full-suspension MTB, BMX, Fixie, anything aluminum or carbon, etc.

I'm not a weight-weenie racer-type, so anything 'exotic' would be wasted on me. Besides, since I'm a borderline 'Clyde', I'm probably over the weight limit for ultra-lightweights.

AND I'm a Luddite that doesn't want to come out of the '70s to mid-'80s. I like the looks of a level toptube. I like lugged steel. I like friction shifting.

So where does that leave me? I'm happy and content with what I have. My 'collection' is complete. I have no more 'gotta-haves'. The only thing that I DO want is to actually get out and ride more!!!
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Old 06-07-16, 07:38 AM
  #9  
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You are a wise man. It's best to be happy with what you've got. I am not so fortunate and recently had a relapse of N+1 fever. I had no need for another bike but came across a nice frame that was just my size and succumbed to the illness.
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Old 06-07-16, 08:14 AM
  #10  
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I like the Rudy Project sunglasses idea. Maybe start a 'project bike', where you purchase the components you want for the style you want. Make it a true custom, get the frame painted, anodize the metal bits a custom color, etc. Or upgrade what you have, go for top of the line or electronic components. Or take your bikes on a vacation.
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Old 06-07-16, 08:47 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
I like the Rudy Project sunglasses idea. Maybe start a 'project bike', where you purchase the components you want for the style you want. Make it a true custom, get the frame painted, anodize the metal bits a custom color, etc. Or upgrade what you have, go for top of the line or electronic components. Or take your bikes on a vacation.
I LIKE THAT IDEA! It will be hard to find the time, but I know people who have had wonderful experiences on bike tours in France, Italy, Portugal.....
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Old 06-07-16, 09:20 AM
  #12  
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I'm with you MM. Same story on inheritance. Plus I had some expected one time income from retirement. But I've carved out some dollars for major home remodeling as well. Updated Bathrooms, new deck, outside covered so maintenance free, all new floors and 32 gallons of paint.

My bikes are not new but they suit my needs and bike lust has not hit me just yet. Even all my wheels are above average and in great shape. Having just retired I'm a little reluctant to toss dollars towards bikes right now until I get comfortable on just how much I need to live on. Lots of folks here getting gravel bikes and that would be a nice luxury but frankly I'm still enjoying exploring the pavement. Speaking of traveling with bikes, I have the Trico hard shell case and it works great. It only takes about 20 minutes to pack up a typical road bike. And it's a lot cheaper than folder! In fact my bike was just delivered to Glenwood Springs yesterday and we'll meet up on Saturday. I can typically ship my bike domestically one way for around $60 so not too bad.

Maybe spend some dollars on a bike vacation using your current fleet???
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Old 06-07-16, 09:57 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by volosong View Post
A TT bike? There's just something satisfying in going fast without the assist of gravity. I'm sure Alexander felt the same way, that there is nothing stopping you from conquering the world.
Very true!
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Old 06-07-16, 10:22 AM
  #14  
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[QUOTE=Do you think I should consult a professional?[/QUOTE]
Yes.
And here's the best place to get professional help:
North American Handmade Bicycle Show ? Inspiration | Craftsmanship | Quality

It worked for me
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Old 06-07-16, 10:32 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Speaking of traveling with bikes, I have the Trico hard shell case and it works great. It only takes about 20 minutes to pack up a typical road bike. And it's a lot cheaper than folder! In fact my bike was just delivered to Glenwood Springs yesterday and we'll meet up on Saturday. I can typically ship my bike domestically one way for around $60 so not too bad.
Since I go back to the same place every year -- my mother lives in AZ - I found a decent bike when I was out there last December ('86 Miyata 710 in my size!) for $120 and left it at her place. Now I don't have to worry about shipping a bike back and forth...



That is actually my newest and lightest and 'best' bike, and it is somewhat ironic that I only get to ride it when I visit her once or twice a year. Oh well, C'est la vie! I'd like to find a smoking deal like that purchase around here, but I can 'get by' quite nicely with what I have back here in OH...
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Old 06-07-16, 10:56 AM
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My parents favorite bumper sticker was "we're spending our children's inheritance".. LOL.. I don't fault them at all for that and encouraged them to enjoy their golden years but with no inheritance and a forced early retirement for me a new exotic bike is out of the question. Actually I find myself very satisfied with what I'm riding now, a cheap big box store bike. I have gone to several bike shops and rode some nice bikes but nothing that gave me a "gee wow" feeling.
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Old 06-07-16, 01:38 PM
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3 can be enough but sounds like something that takes a fatter tire may be what you need. Or something different from the back of your mind. Craigslist can be cheap.

Good god man, at least upgrade one of the three you have. Or go visit a bicycle shrink. My exercise cardiologist supports a bike for every day of the week.
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Old 06-07-16, 04:51 PM
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You're not alone, MinnMan. I've adopted/embraced the N+0 philosophy. I have four bikes...mtn, cruiser, and two road bikes. That's quite enough. I did buy a new road bike this year but it replaced/rotated out my vintage back-up roadie.
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Old 06-07-16, 05:05 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Cougrrcj View Post
I'm kinda-sorta with you MinnMan. I have my trusty old Fuji (one that I'll never get rid of due to the memories from riding it for 40 years...), a dedicated touring bike, a pair of decent 'gravel-grinder' rigid MTBs for the crushed-stone rail-trails, and a couple of mid-grade 'sports' bikes. I also have 'disposable' bikes for trips to the corner store that I wouldn't miss too much if they got stolen...

I have no desire for a full-suspension MTB, BMX, Fixie, anything aluminum or carbon, etc.

I'm not a weight-weenie racer-type, so anything 'exotic' would be wasted on me. Besides, since I'm a borderline 'Clyde', I'm probably over the weight limit for ultra-lightweights.

AND I'm a Luddite that doesn't want to come out of the '70s to mid-'80s. I like the looks of a level toptube. I like lugged steel. I like friction shifting.

So where does that leave me? I'm happy and content with what I have. My 'collection' is complete. I have no more 'gotta-haves'. The only thing that I DO want is to actually get out and ride more!!!
You sound a lot like me, except that my timeframe has halted at a period just AFTER indexing, but prior to brifters. I also like large-diameter aluminum frames, but with a leather saddle and tubulars. I seriously don't see any advantage to having your shifter built in to your brake lever. I also HATE cables hanging in front of my bars! 11 sped cassettes?? Why? I have a 7-speed 12-24, with 2 rings set up half-step, giving me 12 bona-fide gear choices, and all with a short-cage derailleur. In 30 years, shifting has not improved one iota!
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Old 06-07-16, 05:31 PM
  #20  
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Well I for one am disappointed! Not really, you have a decent stable of bikes. I have been eyeing the CX style bikes as well. I could sell a couple of bikes and pick something up.

You should post before and after pictures of the kitchen remodel.
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Old 06-07-16, 06:20 PM
  #21  
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I commuted for years in especially nasty winter weather with lots of slush that would get into my brakes and shifting mechanisms and make them inoperable. So I built up a fixed gear bike for riding in slushy conditions (no brakes nor gears). To my surprise, I found the fixed gear bike refreshingly challenging. I turn 70 next month and I ride only my fixed gear bikes, now, and only for low impact exercise. I've geared way down. I can only go about 15 mph spinning like crazy. Hills don't faze me at that low of gearing. Platform pedals. No clips. Fun hobby. It gets my pulse above 120 for about 20 minutes every day as I cruise the local area spying on my neighbors. An option.

Another option: Runbike, the weirdest bike you'll ever see. Geared. I'd like to have one. Don't know how to post a picture but I can share the link. Worth a visit. You'll never see another one coming the other way.
WHAT IS RUNBIKE?
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Old 06-07-16, 08:01 PM
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Talk about bumper stickers, my son's was: "The best things in life, aren't things." Now that we understand life's priorities....

There is lots of value in being healthy, riding with friends or just nice people. So my question is not about your bikes but about your riding.

Are you fulfilled with the rides and experiences your current bikes offer. Being married to an exceptional classical musician, can say it's more about the artist or in our case the engine, and less about the instrument or the bike(s).

That said see some advantages in a fine bike if it's affordable. Bikes though aren't the key to speed or enjoyment in riding. The advantages in better bikes are marginal at best. Now I have a fine road bike that helps me focus on improving myself as I know a better bike will make little absolute difference.

So this is about you and whether a change in equipment will really improve your cycling experiences.
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Old 06-07-16, 08:48 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Miami Biker View Post
Talk about bumper stickers, my son's was: "The best things in life, aren't things." Now that we understand life's priorities....

There is lots of value in being healthy, riding with friends or just nice people. So my question is not about your bikes but about your riding.

Are you fulfilled with the rides and experiences your current bikes offer. Being married to an exceptional classical musician, can say it's more about the artist or in our case the engine, and less about the instrument or the bike(s).

That said see some advantages in a fine bike if it's affordable. Bikes though aren't the key to speed or enjoyment in riding. The advantages in better bikes are marginal at best. Now I have a fine road bike that helps me focus on improving myself as I know a better bike will make little absolute difference.

So this is about you and whether a change in equipment will really improve your cycling experiences.
Well, yes, this is all true - well partly.

For sure, riding is the real pleasure and reward, and my experience is governed chiefly by things like my health (this is the 50+ forum, and like many of you, my riding has been at time interrupted by injuries or other health problems, and this is a much more important issue than what bicycles we are riding), or other demands on my time.

The counter-narrative is the story behind my last bike purchase. My Trek was my main bike for 2 years (unlike many of you, my riding history isn't that long - I started in 2009) and for much of that time I told myself that an alloy bike was plenty good and that a more expensive bike wouldn't make that much difference to my experience. Then, I gave in and bought the Felt, and, good grief, it rocked my world. I write notes after every ride, and many many of my daily notes ends with something like, "god, I love the Felt". The shiny new bike is just an inanimate thing, and much less important than my engine, my health, my enjoyment of being out on the road, and so on. But it is also a thing of beauty, a wonder to ride, a sublime experience, and more.

At the moment, I could afford to blow $5k or even more on a bike if I thought it would give me something that really pleased me- for sure, that kitchen remodeling is going to cost a lot more than that- but I have 3 bikes that are near about perfect for most every ride that I want to do, and so I think I'm content at n+0. Even if that breaks The Rules.
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Old 06-07-16, 09:19 PM
  #24  
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Sounds like a plan. So much nicer to focus on all we have and not what we do not.

Guess having lost a wife 16 years ago my perspective may be different.
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Old 06-08-16, 01:41 PM
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Many hobbies have the gear acquisition phase. I think it just lasts longer with cycling because there's so many evolving choices. But once you find what works for you, it runs it's course. Having money burning a hole in your pocket is tempting, though. I got rid of most of my vintage stuff, and now I kind of miss it. I'm trying to build up resistance by riding more, and tinkering with what I already have. It seems to be working, I passed on a yard-sale 80's Schwinn a couple of weeks ago. But had it been something nicer I would have relapsed.
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