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Backup plans when bike is in the shop

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Backup plans when bike is in the shop

Old 02-28-21, 01:03 PM
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CoogansBluff
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Backup plans when bike is in the shop

One of the more frustrating aspects of cycling is that a broken-down bike takes you off the road, sometimes for days or even weeks, especially if you don't know how to fix hardly anything beyond a flat tire.

Curious what people have as backups. How many of you have a second road bike? How many have a spare set of wheels? Or tires? If you have a backup bike, is it your former first-string bike that was demoted after a new purchase? Or did you buy a spare bike used?

I have another bike, but it's a hybrid that's not ideal for the road. There's a paved trail near me where I can go 40+ miles, so the answer might just be to use that as the backup. Trying to decide if I should stick with that or buy a used road bike, or spare wheels, etc.

FYI, the latest mechanical issue is a back wheel that cracked near the hub. Surprised I didn't crash. Happened mid-ride. Bike shop is checking to see if the manufacturer will warranty it. The company hasn't yet responded. Similar thing happened 1.5 years ago. Manufacturer responded several days later and sent 2 new wheels. Now, one of those has malfunctioned.
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Old 02-28-21, 01:13 PM
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My Back Up Bike

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Old 02-28-21, 01:14 PM
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Old 02-28-21, 01:15 PM
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I ride the backup bike.
Or take the wheels off the backup bike if that is the issue.
Or ride the touring bike.
Or the winter bike.
Failing that, I hear walking is nice.
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Old 02-28-21, 01:24 PM
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N+1 . That is a perfect excuse for another bike. I am working on a bike right now and never in a hurry. I have plenty of bikes and wheels and parts . Always something to ride, unless the wind is blowing a gale ....like today
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Old 02-28-21, 01:25 PM
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I have a spare set of wheels bit only one bike. I don't want to store a second road bike and it's a very long drive to anywhere interesting to ride a MTB. Bike is in good working order but yesterday a friend and I skied up North Mountain and had a blast. Great workout too.

It's ok to do other sports and be a well rounded person.
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Old 02-28-21, 01:32 PM
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I have two identical bikes. If I crash one, I have a spare. I do all of my own work, so my bikes are never in the shop, which is a great idea - learn to work on your bike. I've built a bunch from scratch.
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Old 02-28-21, 01:48 PM
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My second bike is a gravel bike and I've got a spare set of wheels. Between the two of 'em, I've got a lot of versatility. I can keep different sets of tires on the wheels so that they can be swapped out, if desired/necessary. Right now, during the winter, I've got gravel tires on one set and heavy studded tires on the other. When there's no longer ice on the ground, I can go gravel and slick. The bike also gets a lot of utility use - I keep rack on it to pick up groceries and beer and whatnot. It's not nearly as nice and fun to ride as my primary bike, but it's still quite serviceable; I've even taken it out on group rides when the main bike was out of commission and I was waiting on parts.
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Old 02-28-21, 01:48 PM
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As for tires and tubes - always have at least one spare tire and a few extra tubes (so I can patch several at a time).

But having a tire inventory isn't very expensive . . . I'm going to put it on eventually.
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Old 02-28-21, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
If you have a backup bike, is it your former first-string bike that was demoted after a new purchase?
Wait, I'm supposed to rank my bicycles?
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Old 02-28-21, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by mercator View Post
Failing that, I hear walking is nice.
That's what I did today. My wife likes that option because she comes along.
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Old 02-28-21, 02:20 PM
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This is why you should not sell/trade in your entry level road bike. Keep as a backup/beater/foul weather ride.
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Old 02-28-21, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by CoogansBluff View Post
One of the more frustrating aspects of cycling is that a broken-down bike takes you off the road, sometimes for days or even weeks, especially if you don't know how to fix hardly anything beyond a flat tire.
Most things are relatively simple to fix, so it might be a good time to invest in some tools and develop some repair skills. There are few motivators that are better than saving time and money (and those can't be pursued while clothed).
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Old 02-28-21, 04:09 PM
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I have three bikes, my son has two. Sure our extra bikes seldom get ridden, but they are there when needed. And you are likely to hear from others that have dozens of bikes for their personal use.
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Old 02-28-21, 04:16 PM
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n+1, dude.
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Old 02-28-21, 04:26 PM
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2 bikes, 2 sets of wheels each, spare set of tires and tubes.
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Old 02-28-21, 04:29 PM
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Spare wheels, spare bike, and all the tools to fix everything myself. You can learn anything bike-related on youtube.
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Old 02-28-21, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Spare wheels, spare bike, and all the tools to fix everything myself. You can learn anything bike-related on youtube.
Same here. But I have 4 road bikes. They are all different and I got them because they're different.. and they're all "front line" in that I ride them all regularly. None are really primary or back up.

I built them all up from the frame and fork. In order of how long I've had them:

My formerly only bike ~10 year old CF Felt (bought frame set new and built with new and used parts), a similarly aged aluminum Jamis cross/gravel bike bought used and built with mostly parts on hand, an 80s Sannino built with 90s-era all-Italian parts, and the latest, a 90s titanium Litespeed built with 10 speed era parts, again many of which I had on hand.

The gravel bike serves as an excellent road bike by simply swapping the wheels. I also have an old set of wheels with studded tires for the Jamis for the few times they're needed.

I've accumulated a lot of parts and wheels mostly buying used on eBay or scavenging from bikes that have gone through the family.

You can see that all the bikes are distinctly different- although they're all road bikes they're different in material, geometry, handling, style and feel, but they're set up as close to identical fit as I can make them.

So with the exception of a wheel stand, I have all the tools I need for everything to be installed or fixed. I have a couple of less than perfect home made tools in lieu of expensive tools that I would hardly ever use - headset/BB press for example.

Last edited by Camilo; 03-01-21 at 03:13 AM.
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Old 02-28-21, 05:20 PM
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I guess at this point, even with one main road bike, I've got some spare wheels, chains, tires, even a handlebar, saddle, and stem and so on. If something breaks that I don't have a spare for, then Uber.
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Old 02-28-21, 05:31 PM
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I have only one road bike on an upgraded wheelset so I have the original wheelset as a spare, and a hybrid bike that I ride with my son (or to lunch or coffee pre-pandemic).

My local bike shops are super busy during the pandemic, so I have been forced to learn how to do some beyond basic maintenance, e.g., indexing the derailleurs after swapping cassettes.

I can afford a new road bike but have not pulled the trigger in view of the stark reality that I will most likely be no faster on it. I don't ride XC, gravel, mountain, or BMX. So a new bike only means I have to learn about disc brakes.
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Old 02-28-21, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
This is why you should not sell/trade in your entry level road bike. Keep as a backup/beater/foul weather ride.
Correct.
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Old 02-28-21, 05:58 PM
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I would be embarrassed to admit I only have one bike. How does the old saying go? It is just as cheap to feed two mouths as feeding one!
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Old 02-28-21, 06:19 PM
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Now might not be the best time to shop for a bike just because you might someday need a backup. Lay in some consumables like tires, tubes, a chain, cassette, cables etc. and learn how to replace them. If you cycle long enough, something will come along that you feel compelled to have.
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Old 02-28-21, 06:41 PM
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Two bad wheels from the same company? I think I'd forgo the possible warranty and get something else, especially if the type of failure you've experienced could lead to a crash. You've still got a mountain bike but if you're injured and can't ride at all that'd be a lot worse.
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Old 02-28-21, 07:39 PM
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Backup bike? Never heard of such a thing. If the road bike has an issue I can just hit the gravel roads with the gravel bike, the pavement or mtb trails with the cross, the tougher trails with the mtb, take the hybrid for a spin on the boardwalks, spend an evening at the track on the fixie or take my first road bike out for a relaxing road ride. No real backup but who needs that when there's plenty of different riding available?

Also need to learn how to do repairs, not much to do if you're waiting for a new wheel to show up but a lot of repairs shouldn't require waiting for a shop to get around to it. I've got a full repair area in the basement and another in the garage, every time I need a repair I see no issue with buying the tool and getting it done.

Last edited by Russ Roth; 02-28-21 at 07:42 PM.
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