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One bike vs multiple bikes?

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One bike vs multiple bikes?

Old 01-04-17, 12:57 PM
  #101  
79pmooney
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I think the issue is that one of the most important "demands of racing" is that the bike be in perfect working order with no bearings dragging, no brakes rubbing, no misalignment in the shifting system, etc. The surest way to keep a bike in this state is not to ride it.

But I think this goes beyond racing. Many of us want a bike that's in perfect working order that we can hop on a ride without a care. If a bike is only ridden in ideal conditions it's really easy to keep it running like that. Conversely, many of us also want a bike that we can abuse.

I've read people saying that you should wash your bike and clean the drivetrain after every rainy ride. Do you know how burdensome that would be in the PNW? I want a bike that I can take out and ride in any conditions and then just hang it on a hook when I get home and take it out for more of the same the next day. This takes a major toll on the drivetrain, but it makes my life a lot easier. My rain bike only gets maintenance when something is obviously wrong.

I used to have a "nice bike" and a "rain bike" because of this, but my "nice bike" was a cyclocross bike and when I actually took up cyclocross racing I discovered just how much abuse it could take. And since it rains almost every day nine months of the year here, it made sense for my "rain bike" to be a nice bike, so I made that change. My designated rain bike is now one of the nicest bikes I own. But I still have other bikes that I only ride in fair weather for the reasons stated above.
Yeah! I live around 4 miles east of Andy. Weather and road conditions aren't significantly different here. A good bike is one that can be ridden hard and put away wet. I usually hose them off after riding with a light spray to get most of the abrasive grit and aluminum grey off, but that's it. And now, my outside faucets are shut down 'till freezing is no longer a threat.

In my early days of serious riding, everything was a step harder on the bikes. New England, not the Pacific northwest. Faucets off for far longer. I didn't own a car and commuted 12 miles each way. Bike went into a dark basement and wasn't looked at again until morning. There, two bikes as a bike racer was essential. A race bike could not handle those winters. Nor could the rider of that race bike. (Salt, crashes, the real need for big tires and fenders.) Beater was an epoxy painted UO-8 ridden fixed. A white crust of salt and 5 crashes/winter was its lot.

Now I have the luxury of 5 bikes:

Custom ti - takes up to 28c with fenders. Designed so fenders on/off is easy.

Custom ti fix gear - takes up to 25c with fenders. Removing fenders isn't so easy but this bike has another agenda; as a fix gear where cog changes are done frequently and over a very wide range so this fix gear can climb ans descend almost anything. COgs go from 12 to 23 teeth and both are often used the same ride. That puts some real challenges into using fenders. It works.

Custom steel - my username. Fenders and can handle any tires. 32c are on there now but I could go far larger. Not a bad bike at all off road and superbe (except externally geared) in snow. (It's one snow ride, the FW cogs froze up and the chain slipped. NOt altogether bad. I was coming home form Andy's neighborhood at rush hour. Drivers were so bad that the sidewalk on foot was much safer (but not completely - I crossed 4 sets of tire tracks on the sidewalk).

Raleigh Competition - fenders and 35c. A great ride off road and equally goor snow and ice bike.

Trek 410(?) fix gear - fenders year 'round and 28c tires. I've tried snow tires but the fits are really too close. Would work well without fenders but I never intended that bike's fenders to be on and off. It is a fix gear so it isn't all bad in the slippery stuff, even with just 28s and with fresh snow, skinny is good. (The nurse at work did patch me up one morning when it was icy.)

Note: 5 bikes. All with fenders, even the best custom ti bikes. All the rest can handle big tires and fenders except the workhorse fix gear, and that bike is a workhorse fix gear. Every bike can and does get put away wet regularly.

Ben
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Old 01-04-17, 12:58 PM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I'm not convinced about the extra maintenance argument. In general, maintenance is a function of mileage. Assuming your total mileage remains the same, the total maintenance should also be about the same. A bike that never gets ridden needs very little maintenance (although I admit it does need some). I think there is even a case to be made that you have less maintenance to do with multiple bikes.

There's a theory that if you have two pairs of identical shoes and wear them on alternating days they will last significantly longer than if you wore one pair every day until they were worn out and then wore the other pair every day until they wore out. The theory is that the "rest day" allows the materials to relax or decompress in some way. Apparently this theory has been tested with shoes and shown to have some correspondence to reality. I have a hunch (though I've never attempted to test it) that something similar might happen with bike tires and perhaps other components as well.

At the very least, if you have one bike that gets ridden in the rain and another that doesn't, the components together will see less total wear than if you had just one bike that you rode rain or shine. My reasoning is that if you have just one bike, the drivetrain will accumulate extra grit on the rainy days and unless you do an excessive amount of cleaning some of that grit will still be there when you ride it on dry days, so the dry days put more wear on the components than they would on a bike that was only used in fair weather. Also, those who live in places where it doesn't rain every day nine months of the year (obviously I'm just theorizing here, as I can't apply personal experience) are likely to ride the rain bike fewer times before cleaning the drivetrain thoroughly after rainy rides than they would if it were their everyday bike.

On the other hand, maybe I'm just an addict trying to justify his habit.
The shoe theory is correct, but doesn't apply to bikes, except, maybe leather saddles. The shoe theory applies because your feet sweat. If you give shoes time to air out or better yet, use cedar shoe trees, your shoes will air out and your foot sweat will evaporate. If you wear the same pair of shoes every day, you will slowly destroy your shoes from the inside out. The other thing is, because shoes have a decorative function, it makes sense to have a beater pair of shoes for bad weather, and to save your good shoes for sunny days.
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Old 01-04-17, 01:59 PM
  #103  
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Originally Posted by towndock View Post
I'd like to see a photo of a xootr swift as a dutch bike (having a hard time imagining this - but I like it).
Most dentists (and where I live, there are 200+ dentists living here) tend to gravitate towards fancy porsches/teslas/mercedes/etc.

For me the big luxury is being able to bike to work, and take good care of people that I like (with a team of people that share the same heart). It took 6 years of 1+hour commutes, and lots of crap jobs with crap dentists to really appreciate the luxury that I have.

My xootr has north road bars, a thudbuster post (thinking of changing it to a sprung brooks), rack, brass bell and fenders. It's dressed up in unassuming black retroflective tape.
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Old 01-04-17, 02:04 PM
  #104  
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Hopefully this goes through.

I've since upgraded to Ortleib Panniers, and a double leg kickstand (bike kept falling over when I went to load it).
They are super nice!
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Old 01-04-17, 02:08 PM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by mlau View Post
Most dentists (and where I live, there are 200+ dentists living here) tend to gravitate towards fancy porsches/teslas/mercedes/etc.
Most of the dentists around here ride Harleys. Heaven forbid you need emergency dental work on Bike Weekend.
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Old 01-04-17, 02:14 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I'm not convinced about the extra maintenance argument.
So are you putting fenders, lights, racks, pumps, tools, patch kits, bags, computers on all of your bikes, some of them, or do you move them as needed? Batteries will eventually lose their charge whether used or not. Do all of your bikes use the same size tubes or do you store different sized spares?

What do you do if discover a great new light or pump? Do you get one for each bike or do you suffer with lessor ones when riding a different bike?

Stuff ages whether used or not and sometimes corrosion in the drive train is worse if a bike sits as opposed to being ridden frequently.

Do you ever have to move or walk around one bike to get to another? Do you ever have to rearrange your bikes so you can fit more in that space?

All that is a little bit of drag on your life and finances. Now, it may be worth it to you. You may enjoy outfitting all those machines. At first I truly did, but after awhile, I didn't.

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Old 01-04-17, 02:16 PM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by mlau View Post
My xootr has north road bars, a thudbuster post (thinking of changing it to a sprung brooks), rack, brass bell and fenders.
Thank you for the pic - that is a damn cool ride. Like the black swift frame.
Go ahead, spoil yourself. Add the sprung brooks... and leave the thudbuster. It will be good for your teeth.
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Old 01-04-17, 02:28 PM
  #108  
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I do find maintenance to be a pain, which is one reason I want to own fewer than I do.

My wife and I have two homes, complicating it.

City apartment:
My bikes:
Raleigh International: commuting, recreational rides
Bianchi Volpe: commuting, for sale soon, as it's redundant
Raleigh Twenty: a project which I will sell when done
Raleigh Pro Track: I raced on it and don't ride it now
Lemond Ti (road racing): recreational rides
Wife's bike:
All-City Macho Man (CX): recreational rides
Both of us also belong to Citi Bike, which we use frequently.

Upstate house:
My bikes:
McLean (road): recreational rides
Raleigh Super Course: shopping, recreation on roads and gravel
Wife's bikes:
Trek 820 MTB with slick tires: guest bike
Trek 7.3 FX: all purposes
Our bike: Burley tandem
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Old 01-04-17, 03:04 PM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
So are you putting fenders, lights, racks, pumps, tools, patch kits, bags, computers on all of your bikes, some of them, or do you move them as needed? Batteries will eventually lose their charge whether used or not. Do all of your bikes use the same size tubes or do you store different sized spares?

What do you do if discover a great new light or pump? Do you get one for each bike or do you suffer with lessor ones when riding a different bike?
These are outfitting issues, not maintenance issues. I don't dispute there's some extra cost or effort there, but maybe not as much as you'd think.

I only keep fenders, racks and computers on a few bikes. I try to have pumps, mini-tools and patch kits live with an appropriate bag. I've got one trunk bag for all the racks. I've got a backpack that I sometimes use without a rack. I've got a couple of seat bags that I move around. There was some extra cost accumulating these, but given that I sometimes want to ride with a rack, sometimes with a backpack and sometimes with just a seat bag having just one bike wouldn't avoid this cost and would add a lot of extra effort in reconfiguring the bike depending on my mood.

I've got one primary set of lights and extra mounts that let me easily move them between bikes. The bikes that I don't ride frequently have nothing battery powered on them.

Most of my bikes use the same size tubes, but I've accumulated a pretty good cache of patched spares in a variety of sizes. To be honest I have tubes that don't fit any bike I currently own. They'll probably rot before I use them again.


Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Stuff ages whether used or not and sometimes corrosion in the drive train is worse if a bike sits as opposed to being ridden frequently.
This is true. It's a good point. A couple of times I've put a bike away with a wet chain and found rust on it the next time I wanted to ride it. A little oil clears it up, but I suppose it shortens the life of the chain and maybe even the cassette.

One thing I discovered recently is that the hooks I use to hang bikes in the garage will put a crease in a deflated tire if left hanging long enough. I found this when I pulled down my wife's bike in preparation for giving it away (my wife prefers motorcycles). Since tires deflate over time this does concern me slightly. In fact, I would say that the need to keep air in the tires is the biggest increased maintenance burden of having many bikes.

The thing is, despite having a ridiculous number of bikes, I ride them all pretty regularly. This will taper off during the winter as I've got a lot of bikes I don't ride in the rain, but I believe I've ridden 13 of my 14 bikes in the past three months. The exception is the mountain bike, which has been hanging since I broke a rib crashing it this spring. I've been thinking of selling that one for my own personal safety.


Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
Do you ever have to move or walk around one bike to get to another? Do you ever have to rearrange your bikes so you can fit more in that space?
Sure, and I do recognize this as an indicator that I have too many bikes. Right now I've got a couple of bikes in my garage that I'm fixing up for relatives. If it weren't for that, I'd have enough hooks on the wall to keep all of my bikes up and out of the way. Some are squeezed in tight enough that they aren't easily retrieved, but there's enough seasonal variation in which ones I want to ride that it's easy to predict which ones will be left hanging so I can rotate them to the less convenient spots.


Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
All that is a little bit of drag on your life and finances. Now, it may be worth it to you. You may enjoy outfitting all those machines. At first I truly did, but after awhile, I didn't.
It's a pretty small drag. Financially, I'm fairly certain that 14 bikes are cheaper to purchase, equip and maintain than an average automobile. They also take up less space. So, yeah, I'm willing to live with it, but I can understand that it isn't for everyone.
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Old 01-04-17, 03:17 PM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
It's a pretty small drag. Financially, I'm fairly certain that 14 bikes are cheaper to purchase, equip and maintain than an average automobile. They also take up less space. So, yeah, I'm willing to live with it, but I can understand that it isn't for everyone.
It depends on the bikes.

Let's see...

$10K per bike... that comes up to about $140K worth of bikes

Plus, having all the right clothes and all the right shoes.
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Old 01-04-17, 03:22 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
currently have:

road bike (Madone CF 2x10)
swiss army knife of bikes (Troll steel 1x11)
monstercross/commuter (Lynskey titanium 2x11)
travel bike (World Troller steel with couplers 3x9)
fat bike (bikesdirect special from CL aluminum 2x10)
You have a Troll and a coupled Troll?
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Old 01-04-17, 03:27 PM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
It depends on the bikes.

Let's see...

$10K per bike... that comes up to about $140K worth of bikes
You don't think the people who buy $10K bikes drive $140K cars?

And I don't even want to think about the maintenance cost on a Ferrari. It's painful enough getting new tires for my wife's Challenger.


On the other hand, Western Bike Works has a Bianchi Specialissima Super Record EPS in my size for a mere $14K. If I sold all of the bikes I currently own and my car....
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Old 01-04-17, 03:30 PM
  #113  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
You have a Troll and a coupled Troll?
I've got a Kona Jake, a Jake the Snake and a Major Jake, and even I can see that owning a Troll and a World Troller is redundant.
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Old 01-04-17, 03:55 PM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
You have a Troll and a coupled Troll?
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I've got a Kona Jake, a Jake the Snake and a Major Jake, and even I can see that owning a Troll and a World Troller is redundant.
Long story short, I wanted a coupled travel bike, and the cost of adding couplers to the Troll, repainting, buying a travel case and shipping ended up costing about the same as a new World Troller frame plus case (package deal from Bilenky). So I ended up with essentially a free frame, which was repurposed into a 1x11. The new components set me back around $500, and already had extra wheels and other parts on hand. Still my favorite bike, and it has some serious competition for that honor.

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Old 01-04-17, 03:58 PM
  #115  
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Yeah, I'm not suggesting that one or any particular number of bikes is the right number. I just know that when I see a bike or anything else that I've "been meaning to _____ " (fill in the blank) and I haven't actually filled in the blank for a long time, I feel a little twinge of guilt and that means that that bike has become a downer rather than an upper. A reminder of one of a number of things I should have done but haven't.

I know, that's my issue and not one that everyone shares. Getting rid of those things removes the bad feelings, however minor.
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Old 01-04-17, 04:03 PM
  #116  
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The two bikes are worlds apart, sort of.
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Old 01-04-17, 04:14 PM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
The two bikes are worlds apart, sort of.
Yeah, mine too. Barely even similar, really.



To be honest, I've since sold the orange Jake the Snake in this picture and bought a newer Jake the Snake that's about the same color green as the Major Jake here and has disc brakes like the silver Jake. But, really, I have good reasons for owning all three.
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Old 01-04-17, 04:21 PM
  #118  
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Yeah, mine too. Barely even similar, really.



To be honest, I've since sold the orange Jake the Snake in this picture and bought a newer Jake the Snake that's about the same color green as the Major Jake here and has disc brakes like the silver Jake. But, really, I have good reasons for owning all three.
Takes a trained eye, but I see it...black tires, kinda reflective tires and really reflective tires.
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Old 01-04-17, 04:57 PM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
The two bikes are worlds apart, sort of.
If you take the bags off the tourer, what's the difference (other than wider gearing)?

Also, why are the fenders on the 1x11 instead of the tourer?
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Old 01-04-17, 05:06 PM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
If you take the bags off the tourer, what's the difference (other than wider gearing)?

Also, why are the fenders on the 1x11 instead of the tourer?
Main difference is the coupled bike fits in a suitcase. Other stuff such as wheels, tires, rack and fenders can be swapped as desired. I brought fenders for the World Troller on this trip, but didn't install because the weather was predicted to be clear, and the forecast turned out to be correct. One less thing to install and remove.
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Old 01-04-17, 06:07 PM
  #121  
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Originally Posted by mlau View Post
Once you get a folder, you'll never want to be without one.

The xootr swifts are being discontinued, but they'll be honoring their lifetime warranty on frames (which are pretty bombproof). They ride great, but don't fold small. Bromptons fold small, and ride okay. Bike fridays don't fold as small, but ride much better. Then, there's Oribikes, Birdy, Tern, Dahon, etc.

I'm planning to keep my Xootr Swift indefinitely because:
1. It was my only bike for about 12 years!
2. It's super versatile. I've set it up as a hybrid, quasi-cross bike, and now it's a dutch bike
3. It rides super nice...like marshmallow on speed.
4. Visiting friends! Since I have a Corolla, it's much easier to pop the thing in my trunk than to have a rack.
5. Thieves. the main reason that I bought it was because I lived in SF at UCSF. Bikes left overnight would usually be stolen.

Anyways, I'm looking forward to getting my Miyata 1000LT in the mail. It's supposed to be one of the best touring bikes ever made.
I've been looking for a long time and think I'm getting close to a decision. The main thing I want in a folder is the ability to put it in a suitcase and check it for air travel without a lot of disassembly. For a long time, I thought the Brompton was my best choice, but I felt a little too stretched out on the one I borrowed. Plus, I like to wrench on my own bikes and wasn't crazy about the proprietary parts and IGH for that reason. Right now, the new Bike Friday Pakit looks like just the thing I've been waiting for: light weight, standard parts, easy to pack in a suitcase, comes in a size that should be just right for me. Anyway, that's a topic for another thread....
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Old 01-04-17, 07:06 PM
  #122  
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So then why not sell the 1x11, ride the tourer around and enjoy it just as much?
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Old 01-04-17, 07:42 PM
  #123  
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
sure, you could get by with just one bike, but where's the fun in that? This is, after all, a hobby for many of us here, as well as a mode of transportation. You wouldn't dream of playing a golf course with a single club, would you?

there are other areas in my life where i can reduce and simplify, cycling doesn't have to be one of them.
+1
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Old 01-04-17, 08:48 PM
  #124  
tjspiel
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Sure, you could get by with just one bike, but where's the fun in that? This is, after all, a hobby for many of us here, as well as a mode of transportation. You wouldn't dream of playing a golf course with a single club, would you?


Next question?
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Old 01-04-17, 10:24 PM
  #125  
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
So then why not sell the 1x11, ride the tourer around and enjoy it just as much?
You sure ask a lot of questions.
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