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How many bikes have you owned? How many were "mistakes"?

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How many bikes have you owned? How many were "mistakes"?

Old 03-03-15, 10:43 AM
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Man, I don't know. I think around the 20 number. At least. Mistakes... Most of them. Some didn't fit properly, some were too much bike for what I needed, some were so harsh they made me second guess getting into cycling and some I regret selling. I'm pretty pleased with the 2 road bikes I have currently and they fit great. I'm still having some buyers remorse on the Moots though. Way too expensive a bike than I need.
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Old 03-03-15, 11:56 AM
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Bike #1 :
$300 Bikesdirect junker. My first "real" road bike.
No regrets. Rode it for over a year; put 3000 miles on it. Learned a lot.
Only complaint: Although it was my size (54cm) it felt "big" (Long top tube and long stem) and I didn't like the relaxed geometry; I prefer a stiff aggressive race bike.
Traded bike for $150 value.

Bike #2 :
Used '97 Klein Quantum Race. Bought on Cl from 1000 miles away.
I absolutely love this bike; have put about 3000 miles on it thus far; will likely have it the rest of my life. $700 well spent!

Bike #3 :
Used Specialized Venge Expert.
Nice bike; has nothing on the Klein, but it's fun to ride a flashy expensive bike.
Purchased used when barely a year old. Cost 2.5x as much as the Klein, but it isn't 2.5x the bike...but for some reason, I really like it.
No regrets. But if I had bought it new for c. $5K ($4300 bike with some upgrades) I probably would have felt gypped.

To some-up: I've enjoyed all of my bikes immensely thus far; have no regrets; Don't feel that I've wasted one single dime.

Skipping back 35 years, when I rode department-store BSO's; none of those were bad deals either; and I had many great memories on them. In fact, considering the mileage I put on them, and the fact that none of them cost more than $99, they were probably the best deals. Never remember having any problems with them.

For some reason, one of my favorite bikes was a BSo I resuscitated from the garbage years ago as a young adult. It was a piece of junk- but it was a care-free ride and i had scads of fun on it. I think one can actually have more fun and enjoyment when they stop being concerned with their equipment, and just ride.
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Old 03-03-15, 12:53 PM
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Mistakes ? the Viscount Aerospace aluminum fork was recalled as un safe, but someone stole that one before the recall notice went Out.

College towns are full of bike thieves .

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Old 03-03-15, 01:24 PM
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The only mistake was the first one, which led to a lifelong addiction for which there is no treatment and from which there is no escape.

I've owned quite a few bikes, but if you don't count used bikes that I purchased or salvaged with the intent of fixing them up and soon after trading or selling them (flip bikes), I've owned six, only one of which was purchased new, and three of which I still own and ride frequently, my road bike, an all-rounder, and a rigid MTB.
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Old 03-03-15, 03:33 PM
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i have not owned that many... none were mistakes, I learned something with each of them.
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Old 03-03-15, 03:38 PM
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Currently own, counting frames, around 20 + or -

Currently rideable: 9 or so.

Number of currently owned, purchased new: one - a 1982 Schwinn World Tourist made by Giant. It has the original frame, fork, headset, front derailleur, front shifter - and amazingly front shifter cable. It is a very nice riding bike.

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Old 03-03-15, 07:17 PM
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Whoa....a 10yr old thread.
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Old 03-05-15, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Whoa....a 10yr old thread.
Yea, but some old threads are fun.

I don't think any of my bikes are mistakes. My mistake was selling my 1974 Raleigh Professional for college money. I loved that bike and it was pristine.
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Old 03-05-15, 08:46 PM
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I had one bike where the downtube pulled out of the bottom bracket two weeks after I got it, but it was a freebie, and it got me through college graduation, so it wasn't a mistake.
"He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.
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Old 03-05-15, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Whoa....a 10yr old thread.
Buddy, I don't know if English is your native tongue or not; but in this country, proper grammar dictates that the word "dude" ALWAYS follows "whoa"! [In California, the rules for the proper usage of "dude" are even more comprehensive]
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Old 03-05-15, 10:52 PM
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Let me answer this by saying I have owned 5 last bikes. The first last bike was a Univega loaded touring because it had a triple. Then I got a mountain bike to ride trails with my sons. I then went bent with a Rans Tailwind. It got sold so I could buy a Rans Straus. The road bike and the mountain bike got sold so I could buy a trike. So now I have the Stratus and the TT Cruiser. None of the bikes were a mistake. It is just that my wants and needs changed over the years. IMO this happens to most people.
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Old 03-05-15, 11:21 PM
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Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Whoa....a 10yr old thread.
Aye, ten years old and revived with bobbyl1966's brain-achingly illegible word soup of a post. "Mistakes bikes but is was good bikes?" Come again? o_O


Not counting the garbage toy-store bikes I rode during my childhood, I've owned only eight bikes so far.

1. 2005 Trek 820, in yellow and black. This was a Christmas gift from my parents prior to my going off to college. It was (and still is) the cheapest adult-sized bike that Trek makes, but it certainly served me well on campus. It was reliable and durable, at least. Then, one morning before class, I discovered that it had been stolen. I was pissed off, needless to say. Out of necessity, it was shortly replaced with bike #2...

2. 2007 Trek 4300, in yellow and charcoal. After my 820 was stolen, I got this bike as a closeout deal to replace the one I'd lost. I never really thought that it rode as nicely as that heavy steel 820, in spite of it ostensibly being an upgrade. Several years later, after moving to Ohio, I traded it in and treated myself to bike #3...

3. 2012 Trek Dual Sport 8.3, in red, black, and white. This was my first true commuter, my first 29"-wheeled bike, and the first bike on which I'd learn to do any of my own wrenching. It was honestly a great bike, and I rode the heck out of it for a couple of years. I eventually sold it to help pay for a new touring bike (bike #5), though I kind of wish I hadn't gotten rid of it. It would have still made a great bike for winter commuting, for camping, or just general "fun" riding.

4. 1987 Fuji Sagres, in metallic burgundy. This was my first road bike, my first non-Trek bike, and my first used bike purchase (via Craigslist). It was a cro-moly steel frame with downtube shifters, a cheap old saddle, and torn up bar tape. I gave it a full overhaul, with new (used) componentry, new cables & housing, new tape, new tires, a new saddle...the works! It was a really fun bike to work on, and to ride, though it was always just a tad too large for me. Eventually, I noticed that there was damage to the frame (how or when it happened, I've no idea), so I retired it from service. The components were switched onto a different frame, and what's left of the Fuji now hangs on my wall as a nostalgic art piece. This one was also my first taste of vintage steel, but was by no means my last.

5. 2013 Trek 520, in metallic bronze. This is the bike for which I sold my DS 8.3, because I'd had my eye on it for quite a while. It is a thing of beauty, and it's the bike which I ride most often. It's my first $1k+ bike, and the one I've taken the best care of and put the most money into (mostly accessorizing). It's my regular commuter, my errand-runner, and my tourer. This bike carried me on my first century and my first solo bike tour, and I plan to keep on riding it for many, many years to come!

6. 2014 Trek Stache 8, in "midnight tint" (sort of a glossy black/dark blue/green kind of color). While not my first mountain bike, this is my first good mountain bike! Awesome frame, awesome specs, awesome handling...just plain awesome, really! This bike introduced me to honest-to-goodness mountain biking for the first time ever in Brown County, IN, and more thereafter around the Cincinnati/northern Kentucky area. I had tried a wee bit of mountain bike trail riding in Flagstaff, AZ on my old 4300, but neither that bike nor I were really up to the task. The Stache, on the other hand, has helped me to fall in love with hitting the trails! I'm eagerly waiting for them to thaw and dry out...

7. 1985 Nishiki Team Issue, in metallic blue and gray. This is the bike that got the good stuff off of my old Fuji, and while it's two years older than the Fuji, it's a superior bike! It's lighter, fits and rides better, and generally seems to be built better overall. It even looks better! I bought it from a used bike store in Indiana as a full bike, but stripped it down, overhauled it, and built it back up the way I wanted it, adding a few new bits 'n' pieces here and there. It is now my one and only true road bike, and my second taste of vintage steel (I am a fan). When the weather warms up, I plan to ride it more often in general, and even use it as a fair-weather speedy commuter from time to time.

8. 2015 Trek District 8, in metallic copper. While I wouldn't say I've had any "mistake" bikes, this is really the only bike I've owned (possibly along with the 4300) that has been somewhat of a disappointment. I got it to be a slow-cruising, shorter-distance, "around town" bike, just to have something with a more upright, urban kind of styling. It's great for that, but as it turns out, I've realized that I don't much care for that kind of bike. While I like it in general for how comfortably it rides and for its looks, I find it a bit lacking in the "fun" category. All of my other bikes are just more fun to ride, and I was hoping that this new District would have the same character to it as its more zippy, fast-wheelin' predecessors, but alas... Honestly, I may sell this one before too long, or perhaps give it to my dad.
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Old 03-06-15, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Stucky View Post
Buddy, I don't know if English is your native tongue or not; but in this country, proper grammar dictates that the word "dude" ALWAYS follows "whoa"! [In California, the rules for the proper usage of "dude" are even more comprehensive]
I stand corrected.
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Old 03-06-15, 06:00 AM
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How many bikes have you owned? How many were "mistakes"?

Originally Posted by Crashtest View Post
...Feel free to flame me for being such a dufus. I know already. What are some of your stories?
Just this morning I posted this excerpt from a PM I sent yesterday:

Originally Posted by Jim from Boston
  • Childhood:
    Can’t remember well, but includes a heavy duty, step through (“girl’s") bike [but didn't mind]. One of my vivid early child hood memories was soon after learning to ride, I lost control and rode down a driveway into the busy street that we lived on. No damage.

  • Early adolescence:
    “English racer”; rode a lot around the neighborhood with a good friend; we considered (fantasized) about a 40 mile over-weekend ride.

  • College:
    -circa 1970: Five-speed Schwinn Suburban with upright handlebars, converted to drops, by me. I did more maintainance by myself on that bike than any other, and did self-supported tours around 50 miles per day over weekends

    -circa 1972: Mercier with sew up tires, with girl-friend-now-wife. Did week end tours, and some 5 mile one way commuting in Ann Arbor.

  • Early aduthood:
    Detroit was not a good place to commute (due to distance). Got in further week long tours, culminating in a cross country cycling honeymoon (LA to DC) as we left Detroit for a new life in Boston.

  • Later adulthood:
    Further week long tours in New England and Maritimes, and DelMarVa peninsula. The bottom bracket on the Mercier wore out around 1986, and I got a Bridgestone RB-1 (because it fit); eventually recognized as a classic, even by Sheldon Brown [only commuting since then].

    Bought a used rental Cannondale mountain bike around 1995-2000 as a beater bike. The RB-I was totaled in 2012 in an accident, and now my road bike is a Specialized S-Works
If interested I wrote my cycling autobiography as my Introduction to Bike Forums, updated since 2008.Thanks for the opportunity to reminisce.
In general all my bike purchases are more serendipitous than researched. My only (minor) mistakes were:
  • buying the Schwinn suburban as a starter bike because it soon became apparent I wanted a road bike; it was a borrowed Schwinn Varsity that sparked my interest.

  • fully loaded touring on the Merciers with sew-up tires, especially on a cross country tour. We had used them satisfactorily in Michigan and Ontario for week-long tours. The Merciers were a great ride, and handled the load, but flats were frequent cross-country, so we had to carry several spares. Repairing them was tedious after a long day’s ride, and twice en route we had to leave the bikes in a motel room and hitchhike to a city to buy more tires (Flagstaff, AZ, and Pueblo, CO).
When we arrived in Boston we got clincher rims.

The Bridgestone RB-1 was, and the Specialized S-Works is a fine machine.

Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
Whoa....a 10yr old thread. (OP 4/27/05)

Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
Yea, but some old threads are fun…

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 03-06-15 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 03-06-15, 08:45 AM
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As a Kid:

First Bike: a 1950's Schwinn Spitfire (20" wheels) Hand me down from my sister to me brother to me. Coaster brake. I still have it- now my nephew is riding it.

Second bike: A Schwinn Lemon Peeler (hand me down from my brother) long gone, but seeing what these go for now, I'm rather pissed the folks sold it.

Third bike: (Hign school) a Schwinn Suburban. 10 speed tank. Looking back I remember my thinking this bike was fast- it wasn't. Still have that one too. Garage Queen.

then a 20 year hiatus- college grad school etc.

Moved back to my home town and figured I should get a bike. Now in my early 30's and out of shape. Walked into Cycle Smithy in Chicago with no idea as to what to buy and then I saw this sitting on the showroom floor:

Fourth Bike: 1994 Ryan Vanguard

It was love at first sight. $1000 bucks was a lot for me then but I was sold after the first test ride. Rode it home through the City and put lots and lots of miles on it. still have that one too.

Fast forward 15 years.

The Ryan was great but I wanted something a little faster and that didn't weigh a ton. So I picked this up used:

Fifth bike: Early 90's Lightning P-38:

Still using this as a commuter/daily driver/rando bike

Started getting into racing (TT's) and needed something competitive- the P-38 wasn't going to cut it. So I picked this up used:

Sixth bike: M5 CrMo lowracer

Gave it to my oldest son and now it's being raced my my #2 son.

Seventh bike: M5 M-Racer- or how a 50 y.o. clyde can do half- mile sprints at over 35 mph.

Eighth bike: My daughter rides a lowracer do I got one too for riding with her
1990's Earth Cycles Sunset

Ninth bike: Got a free Motobecane Mirage from my wife's cousin (1970's) Mostly a garage queen.
Lightning P-38 / M5 M-Racer/Ryan Vanguard

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Old 03-06-15, 09:41 AM
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How many bikes have you owned? How many were "mistakes?"
How many bikes have I owned? Hmmmmmm. Well, since I got back into cycling about 25 years ago, I have owned 9 bikes. I currently have two in my stable (although one I pretty much use just on my trainer).

How many were mistakes? Just one, and only because it was the wrong size. I bought a 2013 Diamondback Edgewood with a Large frame when I should have bought a Medium frame. Even with the seat down, I had to do "tipee-toes" just to get my feet to touch the ground in some fashion. To have me feet totally touch ground, I had to straddle the top bar. Always made for an uncomfortable ride. That's what I get from buying a bike from a 'big box' sporting goods store. Didn't do a whole lot of riding that year. I've done much better since I bought a better fitting bike last Spring from a LBS.

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Old 03-06-15, 12:05 PM
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Lessee, my first bike was a Columbia something-or-other, 24-inch wheels that I got in 2nd grade. When I outgrew that, # 2 was a no-name 3-speed. The cheap 3-speed hub broke and was replace by a 2-speed, then when that broke by a single-speed. Then I handed it down to a brother and got a new Schwinn single-speed (# 3.) About the time I got my drivers license, that was stolen. A year or so later I got a new Raleigh Record (# 4) to ride to College. Hated it, sold it cheap to a brother and got a CCM Silver Ghost (# 5.) When I eventually started doing longer tours, I rebuilt it but eventually it was just too long in the tooth and I bought a Trek 1000 (# 6.) The Trek was sufficient for a few years, but like the Silver Ghost before it, I never felt like I could get good speed out of it, and besides it hurt my hands AND my butt. So # 7 was a RANS V-Rex. That was the bike that finally let me break 2.5 hours for a 50-miler; but by then I'd caught the speed bug. Enter #8 , an Optima Baron lowracer. By my old standards (never having broken 5.5 hours for a century on my uprights,) the Baron was amazing, and I lowered the mark to 4:31 for 106 miles. Still not enough, when the chance came along to pick up a broken NoCom frame, I grabbed it. That became # 9. If the Baron was amazing, the NoCom was stinking fast. Since getting it, it's been a 'work in progress,' but I think it'll be totally road-ready this spring.

While the lowracers were fast, they weren't very sociable. So when the budget allowed, I started looking for a highracer. The bullet points were dual-700c wheels, and carbon. I expected to lose a little speed to gain height. As I was doing the research, I noticed on the M5 page that the recommended inseam length for the dual-700 was something like 37". That was crazy, since I knew someone my height that rode one. So I emailed him and asked him if there were any problems. He answered back, no, and by the way, he was selling his. That 'done deal' became # 10 . As it turned out, although it's slower than my NoCom, it's faster than my Baron. Some of the shorter guys can even get a draft off me!

I've posted pics of my lowracers and highracer here before; so I'm not going to re-post them now. I *MAY* post a new pic of my NoCom when the work is finished. The only one I'd call a 'mistake' was the Raleigh.

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Old 03-07-15, 09:12 PM
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Bikes since coming of age:
1973 Schwinn Continental
1976 Schwinn LeTour
Old (?) Hercules 3-speed
1979 Schwinn Super LeTour
1985 Jamis Gentry
1994 Cannondale H300
2000 KHS Tandemania Comp
2003 Novarra Big Buzz - Current but don't ride
2000 RANS Tailwind
2008 RANS V-Rex - Current
2009 RANS V3 - Current
2010 RANS Screamer - Current
RANS V3 Ti, RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer
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Old 03-09-15, 10:31 AM
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The only mistake is spending too much $$$ on a new bike when not really knowing enough. The rest is research & fun. Then you know exactly what you want out of your new steed.
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Old 02-17-16, 10:45 PM
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Only 5 that i can recall. One for my 12th birthday, one I bought in HS (junk 10 speed) , a custom bike from Sweden i got from a guy in a cycling club, an Atala that I wish i still had ( ex-wife dumped it after the divorce was final), and my present Cannondale oldie.
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Old 02-17-16, 11:34 PM
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I've never had more than one bike a time, usually for several years each. None was a mistake. The last was a Motobecane Mirage that I kept for at least 20 years. Only mistake? I regret selling it and my tools after a car wreck 15 years ago, but at the time doubted I'd ever be able to ride again. Just began again late last year.

This is the first time I've been tempted to have two bikes at the same time. I like the Globe Carmel for an errand bike and leisurely rides around 10 miles, but after several months of getting back into shape I'm itching for something lighter for longer exercise rides. Ideally I'd set up the Globe pretty much permanently as an errand bike.
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Old 02-18-16, 01:02 AM
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I got into road biking only recently in 2013.
As a teen I had a BSO that I just ride around the park or to the basketball court.
2013: Started biking for fitness, had a Specialized HR. Didn't suit my uses and swapped it for a cannondale synapse alu. Rode it around and sold it 2 years after, lost over 15kg in 6 months.

2014: Purchased a 90's Bianchi MTB that was already falling apart, made it my commuter. One winter and it was not worth it to overhaul, everything was rusted and in bad condition. Purchased for $75, sold for $65

2015: Purchased a used Specialized HR, used it for a while and found a Kona Kilauea. The Kona was incredibly light, so I sold the HR. The Kona is still my current beater. I also purchased a Norco Valence in Spring.

2016: Purchased a Moto Fantom Cross Ti. Only done two rides on it so far.

I really hated the Bianchi. Seatpost kept slipping, bottom bracket and crankarm kept coming loose and the derailleur was absolutely horrible. My Kona has a lot of issues right now, but I have replacement parts on the way in the mail and should work great come spring. I've only owned one Kona thus far, but I'm a big fan. Really love the older Jakes with the green/white paintjob and straight tubes.
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Old 02-18-16, 02:30 AM
A Roadie Forever
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Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

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Starting at 14 years old, my first 10 speed, a Peugeot UO-8. It got me hooked Next bike, an early Lambert. Sew-ups, much lighter and fast. That bike got me into racing. Next season I bought last year's Fuji Pro from the shop I worked in. It fit. And I rode faster than I ever imagined possible for this body. Rode a 105 mile hilly race, made the cut, finished 2 minutes down on the winning two man break and ahead of the old course record. I loved that bike. But it was a pure race bike. After my head injury and my last season, it no longer had a place iin my life. Ordered my user-namesake, the Peter Mooney to replace it as a bike that could do anything for my sanity check over the very hard post accident recovery years to come. It kept me sane. Not perfect for anything. Way too many compromises. (When you order a custom with the specific requirement that it be rideable 12 months a year in the lower 48 and ride, fit and feel like a race bike, well you can see the challenge for the builder. And when it also has to have touring clearances and fit by design either 700c or 27" wheels, more compromise. It spent all its time on the west coast, 700c was always easy to get and it has never seen 27". (But I was looking at work in small town Maine in 1978 when I ordered the frame. 27" might have been its life and room for big tires and fenders essential.) Now its place is as a touring bike, off road and farmers market. (And there are no more elegant and better farmers market bikes out there!)

Next several bikes were city/rain/winter fix gear frames to replace the UO-8 which did its last half of life fixed. All used Japanese or similar '80s frames, a Japanese built Schwinn sport frame (actually a nice ride) that got stolen, a mediocre Sekine where a fork blade broke. (No crash and I rode it home.) A Miyata 610 that I put a lot of miles on, crashed hard with real injuries to me several times and finally did a crash that ended its life where I didn't get hurt after 27,000 miles and 18 years. Got a Trek 420 (1983?) to replace it. That Trek is the best fix gear city/rain/winter bike I have ever owned and a keeper.

I built up a Univega Competion, a nice pure race ride and the fit of my old Fuji as a geared winter/rain bike. Not the bike for the job, 23c only. Took the parts off it and put them on a Schwinn Letour. Big let down ride-wise but far better suited for the job.

Picked up a car accident trashed Peugeot ~1989 sport frame (the internally lugged 501 tubing) and set it up fixed. What a blast! Most fun since my old race bike. That was 2005. 2011 I ordered a custom ti fix gear frame to replace it. My most fun bike ever.

2006 I ordered my ti good bike. Got it almost a year later. Great bike, a keeper. A year ago I picked up an old Raleigh Carlton Competition to set up as a snow and ice bike. Learned the first ride that its real love is any road without pavement. Two days after this past New Year's, I rode it in snow with Continental ice tires (not studded, just incredibly grippy). Wow! Fun!

So that is eleven bikes. Still have 5 (The Mooney, the Trek, the two ti bikes and the Raleigh) and two frames. All five bikes are keepers. Losers over the years? Not really. The Peugeot wasn't a good bike but it served me well. 22,000 miles, probably 25 or more crashes, hit 2 car doors, 5 salt road winters with no car, my first fix gear and late in life it did sanity rides out of Alameda CA where I would ride up and down Juaquim Miller on a 42-17 (and go insanely fast down - that was 4 lanes divided by a median. I never, ever got passed by a car going down. I think they thought :This guy is crazy. I'm not going anywhere near him!" That Peugeot also never left me stranded on the road. Ever. Even when I broke the handlebars 25 miles from home.

The Sekine was the worst of my fix gear workhorse bikes after the Peugeot, but it served OK for 8k miles. The Lambert? A tough call: it exposed me to racing and opened doors. Also almost took my life. (The head injury was from the fork breaking.) My life changed completely. It cost me my profession but started a path, both spiritual and with people that could not have happened otherwise.

Best bike? The ti geared bike, a very custom TiCycles. The most fun? My ti fix gear. My cheeks get sore from the ear to ear grin. The one I owe the most too? The Peter Mooney by a long shot. In the dark years I did some crazy rides on that bike because i has to. The one with the most incredible rides? The Fuji Professional; the bike that extracted everything this body had to offer, several times.

Best part? Three of those bikes in in the garage now.

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Old 02-18-16, 06:54 AM
Life is good
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I've owned several bikes. Only one was a mistake. It was a 2010? Specialized Tarmac Apex. I didn't get much of a test ride before buying. Turned out I didn't like the compact frame or the low end SRAM. Sold it 9 months later.
Another bike that was a semi-mistake was buying a 2007 Giant TCX (on ebay). I loved the bike but it turned out to be a bit too small. Never felt comfortable riding it on the trails. Sold it after a year.
Somehow I can't find a picture of either bike but I have pics of every other bike I've owned.
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. - Psalm 103:8

I am a cyclist. I am not the fastest or the fittest. But I will get to where I'm going with a smile on my face.
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Old 02-18-16, 09:48 AM
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Bikes: Ridley Noah fast, Colnago CLX,Giant Propel Advanced, Pinnerello Gogma 65.1, Specialized S-works Venge, CAADX,Cervelo S3

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Originally Posted by Crashtest View Post
I was complaining to a friend about all the money I've spent on bikes over the years, and about how many of the purchases were mistakes. "You haven't wasted money" he said "You've been doing research on the perfect bike". This post is about the bikes I've owned and mistakes made along the way. This is my personal story along with some conclusions. Please send in your own story.

IN THE BEGINNING... I rode a Sears "Free Spirit" 10 speed bike. I smoked cigarettes while riding and sometimes carried an open beer bottle in the water bottle holder. I'm not kidding. What a moron. The bike was eventually stolen from my back yard. I didn't care much because I was a runner. I smoked after 10km races! I'm still not kidding.

Fast forward several years, during which time I didn't ride. I was overweight, still smoking, and in a high stress job. I suffered from chest pains. The Doctor suggested cycling. So...

BIKE ONE: Department store Mountain bike. Rule number one: don't buy a bike from a department store. It will be low quality, poorly assembled, and most important, the sales clerk will not be able to give meaningful advice. I rode this heavy monster for two years - mostly on the road. Eventually I realized this bike with the big knobby tires was not well suited for pavement. I could have put on slicks, but instead I sold it to a co-worker for 100 bucks. My longest rides on this thing were probably around 20km. Sometime around here I finally quit smoking.

BIKE TWO: A Raleigh hybrid with 7 speed rear end and toe clip pedals. Not a bad bike, but I bought it from a LBS that didn't seem to know anything about fitting. "Stand over the bike... yeah that looks fine. The seat goes up and down like this..." I rode this bike for a couple of years. The rides were getting longer - perhaps 40 - 60km. I watched all the roadies zip past me. I wanted to go faster.

BIKE THREE: I ordered a Giant Kronos road bike from a different LBS. It had 7 speed RSX components. The bike store guy said "You're about my height. I'll order you a 57cm bike." The bike comes in, and it's a 54cm. I want it real bad. Today. I gotta have it. To his credit the bike store guy tried to talk me out of it. "Looks a little small. I can get you the right size in a few days". I told him "Bikes these days are becoming smaller and smaller. It gives you a lighter, stiffer frame." I was a friggin genius. I rode this bike for ONE SEASON. I was starting to do 100km to 120km rides. The bike was WAY too small, and I gave it to my wife who is several inches shorter than me. It fit her perfectly, so it wasn't a total waste.

BIKE FOUR: From a "factory warehouse" bike store, now out of business. Still no professional fitting. It was a beautiful classic looking lugged steel frame labelled "Anquetil" in honor of the 5 time Tour de France winner. Campagnolo Veloce 8 speed. It had an aggressive racing geometry, and 21mm tires. I put clipless pedals on it. I thought I was fast. I did some century rides, and entered a couple of time trials where I finished with middle-of-the-pack times. The problem is, I'm not a racer. I never will be. This bike had such a stiff ride I was getting pounded to pieces. The reach was too long. Everything hurt. I tried putting wider tires on the bike but couldn't fit anything wider than 23mm. I rode this bike for about 4 years I guess, and did put a lot of miles on it.

THEN I STOPPED RIDING for a year. I gained weight. My friends said "You gotta get back on the bike."

BIKE FIVE: Things are going from bad to worse. Remembering the harsh ride of the road bike, I decide to buy a "comfort hybrid." Suspension seat post, front end shocks, wider tires. Still no professional fitting, but I lucked out there, and the bike fit well. This was a Giant Innova, and it was no doubt a good quality bike for it's style. I rode it for a while and decided I HATED it. The seat post and front end shocks bounced when I pedaled, taking away from my power. I felt embarrassed riding the thing and wanted a road bike again. I sold this bike to a co-worker at a huge loss, and went back to riding the Anquetil while I shopped around for a proper road bike.

BIKE SIX: I found a store that would give me a proper fitting, and ordered what was described as a "Sport Touring" bike. It took months to come from Marinoni, the builder in Montreal. This bike has Campy Veloce ten speed components. It has a longer wheel base, carbon fibre forks, and 28mm tires - all of which are designed to make the ride softer without totally giving up the feel of a road bike. In hindsight I think it's mostly the 28mm, 90 lb tires that make the difference for me. The Carbon Fibre fork probably takes away some of the "road buzz", but the tires contribute the most I feel. At last I have a bike that fits me properly, and I'm on my 3rd year with no complaints. (Picture attached.)

BIKE SEVEN: Well I still need something different for variety, right? After another professional fitting at a good LBS, I bought a Trek 7500FX to ride in the rain, and use as a commuter. (Picture attached) I now try to commute 3 or 4 days each week, round trip about 35 miles. This bike fits me properly which is probably the most important thing I've learned. GET A PROFESSIONAL FITTING. It only took me how many years to learn this? I could just cry when I think of the money I've spent, but at least I've been riding. I've done enough miles now to circle the globe a couple of times, and this year I'm picking up the pace a bit.

WHAT I SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT FIRST TO AVOID ALL THIS, and what I would buy today if I was starting all over, and if I could wait 2 years for it to be built: Mariposa Randonneur I'd buy this or something similar. Oh yes, if I could afford it...

Feel free to flame me for being such a dufus. I know already. What are some of your stories?
1-Steel bike custom made - Free bike -(first bike ever 2013)
2-Specialized Allez - Alu, good bike with Sora parts. Sold after 6 months
3-Felt F5 - (first carbon bike) One of the best (comfort, quick, price). Seat tube will not fit a large bottle, started making a loud noise from the bottom bracket when trying to sprint. Sold after 4 months
3-Cannondale Supersix Di2 - nice good looking bike, sold after 5 months
4-Giant propel adv 3 - Best looking, comfort and speed. Still have the frame in a box
5-Colnago CLX - Smooth ride...rode it for 2 weeks, boring. Sold
6-Ridley Noah Fast - FAST, STIFF, uncomfortable. Sold after 6 months
7-Venge S works- FAST, STIFF, uncomfortable. Sold to a teamate
8-Pinnerallo Dogma 65.1 - Super Comfort, speed- Still own it
9-Cervelo S3 - Smooth, comfort, FAST (racing bike) -Still own it
10- CAADX - Cross- Still own it (excellent commuter)

I don't see any bikes out there that interest me anymore except the Pinarello Bolide
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