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An honest question for those with many bikes...

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An honest question for those with many bikes...

Old 01-30-24, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
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...I have 20 pairs of boxer shorts, and I can only wear one pair at a time. I don't get the point of this thread ?
20 pairs at the same time is definitely better than 1 pair, 20 times.

I got the impression the OP was trying to figure out the actual, real world use profile of N+1.

To carry on with your example:
1 pair o' drawers at a time in rotation always keeps it fresh. Sometime a supporter is better suited for softball. You wouldn't want to wear one every day but it's great for competitive exercise. (Your tempo/threshold bike)

Other days, like Valentine's for example the pair with the hearts print are nice. (The tandem.)

The (C&V) holey ones get worn on Sundays.

The tighty-whities are the go-to for routine business. The utility commuter that sees duty 5 days a week.

Could you ride all at once? No. But each has a use profile that it is suited to best.

OP: A person that has 5x bikes doesn't ride 5x as much. They have 5x the options to ride.
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Old 01-30-24, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
.
...I have 20 pairs of boxer shorts, and I can only wear one pair at a time. I don't get the point of this thread ?
I don't do laundry every day and can't imagine wearing underwear for more than one day. BTW I don't wear boxers
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Old 01-30-24, 05:39 PM
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The cross bike is used mostly in the fall, the road bike mostly in the nicer spring/summer days, the gravel bike sees more nasty weather and longer rides that aren't always meant for speed, just being out enjoying the ride. The MTB is for any time I feel like hitting the dirt and playing in the woods, while the track bike is just for the track. The single speed cross is half for cross season and half for trips into the city with the kids, no one is stealing my cheapie bikes-direct UNO even with the carbon rim upgrade but it lets me ride with the kids and get some effort in at the same time. It just means I have the bike for my intended purpose or mood, gets boring always doing the same type of ride every time.
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Old 01-30-24, 05:57 PM
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one unintended consequence of this thread is that it’s made me feel less guilty about buying expensive bikes, they get ridden a lot by comparison! i can totally see the case for having six $2k bikes rather than one $12k bike if you do six different kinds of riding regularly.

also pleased that it almost made it three pages, with lots of good commentary, before someone said something snarky.
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Old 01-30-24, 06:23 PM
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I prefer a harem. Variety is the spice of life.
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Old 01-30-24, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
I prefer a harem. Variety is the spice of life.
OK, I know that people can love their bicycles, but are you implying with your choice of words that your passion is taken to another (ahem) level?
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Old 01-30-24, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer
.
...I have 20 pairs of boxer shorts, and I can only wear one pair at a time. I don't get the point of this thread ?
​​​​​​
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Old 01-30-24, 07:31 PM
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I have 1.5 bikes. I have one basic bike that I use for everything - primarily commuting. If that one is broken down, I will ride my wife's bike, which is almost identical to mine, for a couple of days.
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Old 01-30-24, 07:43 PM
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As is pretty clear it is different for everyone....which is good

Old bikes last when they are maintained regularly and parts replaced as needed, not because of low miles

me I keep 3 bikes
1) my "best" bike which is used for long rides (would say training...but that is overstating it) and commuting (when I commuted). bike are meant to ride and I try to ride this one the most (Dave Kirk custom)
2) A vintage friction bike, which is backup to bike 1, ride to change it up and for fun and fore vintage events (84 team miyata)
3) bike for errands...just throw a leg over and do a quick errands, run to brewpub, etc avoid short car drives (SR semi pro)

that said I am open to a n+1 if is something interesting (italian...frame have some parts stashed, beater 531 frame...build from more stashed parts I like building bikes )
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Old 01-30-24, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mschwett
An interesting variety of responses ! The most common seems to be, perhaps, wider riding conditions/terrain/situations than I personally prefer, so, a wider range of bikes. It does seem that most bikes get ridden far less than each of mine, so all the relatively frequent maintenance issues (chains, pads, rotors, tires, cassettes) are spread out over way more time. And finally, I appreciate that sometimes things are just nice to have, to look at, to tinker with, and perhaps if i had more space and time I’d have a lot more bikes. But i know they’d all be really, really similar, which goes back to the first point about terrain type and riding purpose.

i realize I’m also the same about cars, having driven the same two seater for ages until the arrival of a child forced the purchase of a car with a backseat. It’s not that i didn’t think trucks or jeeps or big cruiser sedans weren’t cool, it’s that i preferred small and light and fast most of the time, so i drove small and light and fast all the time.
Someone long ago at the beginning of my career said “when in doubt, make a graph”. I keep yearly mileage of my bikes and have since 1988 when I got my first bike computer. I won’t put out all of my bikes but of the current fleet of 9 bikes, here is the graph of their years in my fleet (multiplied by 100 to show on the graph) and the total miles on each



The amount of usage kind of depends on the utility of the bike. My Moots YBB, for example, was purchased to be a bikepacking bike. I ride it sometimes as a mountain bike but, mostly, I use it for short trips (80 to 150 miles) on a semi regular



My Dean is one of my older bikes but it is just a fun bike with very little utility. Since I can’t carry much on it, I don’t ride it all that often. It’s not one that gets used for commuting, for example.



This one (Philll) gets ridden a whole lot. Its wheel size is about the same as my wife’s 650C bike so I ride it with her. And it is fun to ride and much more useful.



Ah, my embarrassment. This is a great mountain bike but I just don’t ride it. It’s the mountain bike version of the Dean above only it gets used less.



My Cannondale T1 is a bike that may sit for a couple of years and then it gets ridden for a whole bunch of miles at once.



My Dean mountain bike gets ridden a lot on various terrains and commuting (makes the commute more interesting).



This one is at my daughter’s house. We get down there a couple of times a year and it gets ridden only a few miles at a time.



This Cannondale T800 replaced a Salsa Las Cruces that I used for many years simply because I got tired of the color.



My Cannondale Tandem is relatively new and I do have to ride with someone else.

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Old 01-30-24, 11:10 PM
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Well, since Mr. Black threw down with a graph, I'll plop another one too. I also suffer from the affliction of spreadsheeting my miles (since 1989), and here is the graph for cumulative miles. You may see odd trends as one bike takes over for another as the years pass and the bikes accumulate.
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Old 01-30-24, 11:15 PM
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love the charts! RCMoeur interesting to see that from 2017 on, you were fairly steadily riding 6 separate bikes, but from 98-02, just one. how would you compare those periods?
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Old 01-30-24, 11:36 PM
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I have three bikes and they all get used pretty frequently:

Alberta Clipper - custom Ti road bike. For good weather recreational rides (weekends and holidays)
Silver Jet - steel commuter / gravel bike. For daily commuting and poor weather recreational rides. Also my travel bike since I don't trust baggage handlers with my titanium bike.
Dahon Boardwalk - folding bike. Used for shopping (has a big basket on the back), sometimes commuting (if my regular commuter is down with a mechanical problem), and slow rides with my daughter.

Love them all. They're all well maintained so I can use any of them on any given day without any real preparation.
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Old 01-30-24, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mschwett
love the charts! RCMoeur interesting to see that from 2017 on, you were fairly steadily riding 6 separate bikes, but from 98-02, just one. how would you compare those periods?
You can see when some bikes joined the gang - I'd owned the racer since 1982 and the recumbent since 1983, but in those disorganized days I didn't track anything, let alone mileage. You see spurts where new bikes (in some cases bikes boxed up for decades that finally got built) were added and took miles away from others. And stretches where some bikes didn't get touched for a long time, such as the 6 years the Rans had a broken handlebar I couldn't readily source or when the chrome cruiser was buried in a back room. Hence why I try to give all of them a few miles in recent years.

In 1995 I met the woman who became my wife, we bought our cruisers and the tandem, and rode a lot. Then from 1998-2002 we were busy with other stuff - both working long hours, planning a wedding, buying a house - it all ate into the riding time. Then in 2004, after an exceptional bout of cycling ennui, we decided to get riding again. And she promptly got pregnant, so it was just me. Some years are good, some years not. And that's an excuse for posting yet another graph - this one superimposing mileage by date per year from 1989-2024.

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Old 01-31-24, 08:18 AM
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And let us never forget the bike that you donated and deeply regret donating because you felt you had too many bikes. I dream that my old Miyata road bike will pop up on Facebook Marketplace some day.
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Old 01-31-24, 02:33 PM
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Don't know if I'm unique or common on this, but I have a few.

Had two working bikes--my commuter and the fun road bike--then the commuter needed service that was delayed awaiting parts. Commuted on the road bike until a ghoulish chain drop destroyed the RD and wheel. Zero bikes.

The hulks and basket cases in the garage were no help and I spent a few months bringing them all back, suddenly I had five! Then, because I was pondering bikes for the first time in a decade I bought a new one, then another. What's that, seven?

They are not ridden equally, not close, but I rotate through them to keep all rideable.

While I was at zero the mechanic and I devised the two bikes are just one theory:
A bike is a collection of parts arguing over whose turn it is to break; therefore, 1 bike < 1, and 2 ≈ 1.
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Old 01-31-24, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by RCMoeur
You can see when some bikes joined the gang - I'd owned the racer since 1982 and the recumbent since 1983, but in those disorganized days I didn't track anything, let alone mileage. You see spurts where new bikes (in some cases bikes boxed up for decades that finally got built) were added and took miles away from others. And stretches where some bikes didn't get touched for a long time, such as the 6 years the Rans had a broken handlebar I couldn't readily source or when the chrome cruiser was buried in a back room. Hence why I try to give all of them a few miles in recent years.

In 1995 I met the woman who became my wife, we bought our cruisers and the tandem, and rode a lot. Then from 1998-2002 we were busy with other stuff - both working long hours, planning a wedding, buying a house - it all ate into the riding time. Then in 2004, after an exceptional bout of cycling ennui, we decided to get riding again. And she promptly got pregnant, so it was just me. Some years are good, some years not. And that's an excuse for posting yet another graph - this one superimposing mileage by date per year from 1989-2024.

a lot of data to be gleaned there. seems like summer came later between 1999 and 2002!

here is my illustration of cycling serial monogamy for the last three years. the first bike (pinkish red) does still get some miles, but only with my 5 year old onboard and not worth logging. selling the light blue and dark blue.

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Old 02-04-24, 10:03 AM
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Multiple bikes means you've always got something to ride if one develops an issue you can't fix right away. And it's nice to have bikes that save your other bikes from road salt, etc. There is probably no rational reason for "many" bikes after that. But I do find myself riding more, because I find myself needing to claim a rational reason for owning many bikes. Plus it's a lot of irrational fun.
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Old 02-04-24, 08:10 PM
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I have 6 operating bikes, and another 4 that are not at this time, not including a bike my wife use to ride.

I don't keep track of how many miles I ride on each bike because I simply don't care! I have 2 bikes I ride almost exclusively, the 13 Lynskey Peloton is my regular bike, when I go touring or bike camping I take the 19 Masi Giramondo (after the warranty it is now a 23 Giramondo frame and fork with 19 components). The only other bike I will now ride for special occasions is the 77 Raleigh Competition GS, but that one I will keep the miles low as I can on it. One other bike I take when I go RV camping is an 84 Fuji Club. The others I'm saving for my grandkids, they ride them when they come over, but they can keep them if they want too when they get older. The ones that don't work I will restore them and sell them over time.

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Old 02-04-24, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by mikeoverly
Multiple bikes means you've always got something to ride if one develops an issue you can't fix right away. And it's nice to have bikes that save your other bikes from road salt, etc. There is probably no rational reason for "many" bikes after that. But I do find myself riding more, because I find myself needing to claim a rational reason for owning many bikes. Plus it's a lot of irrational fun.
I can’t agree. First, every bike that I have is ready to ride everyday, with the possible exception of a flat tire. Any problem that develops is fixed right away. I have frames in reserve but those are for if something really bad happens and they can be made operational in a couple of hours.

Second, while I do have bikes that are better for winter…see my titanium bikes above…and it is nice to have them set up for winter use, I do have rational reasons for having multiple bikes. The Dean road bike and Specialized Epic are the least rational bikes I own. They are almost pure toys. Joys to ride but, in all honestly, mostly useless. The other bikes in my quiver all have special uses. The touring bike gets used for expedition touring. My YBB gets used for shorter extreme touring. The black Cannondale is a touring bike which makes one of the best commuting bikes I’ve ever used. I commute on the Dean mountain bike and the Nashbar Flashback to keep the commuting fresh. I worked at the same place for 39 years. I commuted roughly 3 days out of 5 all year around. I followed the same route for the most part but along that route, there were trails along a creek that I could ride my mountain bike on. It cut down on the boredom and made it possible to commute like that for that long. I’ve always had a road type bike and a mountain bike for commuting for just that purpose.
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Old 02-05-24, 10:15 AM
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I always thought, in consumer America, the person with the most toys wins, No?

1 car family with a 3 car garage = space to make me smile.

To grow one must experience.

Is a DeRosa, better than a Bianchi? Or a Pinarello? Or a Bottecchia?

Does Trek make good bikes?

Are Italian bikes better than English bikes?

ShimaNo vs Campagnolo - across the ages.

I need multiple bikes to mount all the tubular tires I want to test.

One bike does not include vintage, modern, ebike.

How much wrench time can you get with one bike?

There is strength in numbers.

Sometimes, it IS about the bike.
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Old 02-05-24, 10:48 AM
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I have a hard time getting rid of bikes I've spent some time riding on. They usually end up with people I know so I can keep track of them, lol. My old commuter got refurbished when I retired and is hanging at the back of the shed. When I dig that deep it comes out and does some of the old streets from my working days. Thought the neighbor kid might get it but he fell off it 20' out of the driveway and then told me he had never ridden a bike. No way he was going out in traffic with it. Guess the kids will give them away someday.
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Old 02-17-24, 08:13 AM
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My titanium Holland is my main go-to road bike.
I ride a tandem with the wife.
I take a folder on our vacations.
And I have a backup road bike that I ride if it's raining or if the Holland is out of commission.
The other three bikes are rarely used and I just consider them 'guest' bikes for when company wants to take a little spin around the neighborhood.
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Old 02-17-24, 03:05 PM
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I rotate between my road bikes, one is strictly a crap weather bike, and 1 is when I ride with my wife, commute, or go to the store kind of thing. I get rid of one every so often, but then I have a spot open in my wall of bike racks, and it looks lonely, and wants to be like the other racks and have a bike girlfriend, so I have to get one for it. Recently I thought about picking up a Ti frame and moving parts over from one and use the old frame strictly for a trainer. Sounds like a solid plan, but other project have to come first.
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Old 02-19-24, 09:18 AM
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I spoke with a musician a while ago about guitars. He says guitar players do have more than one guitar and if "serious musicians" will have a collection of guitars. Sounds like bikes.
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