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One bike vs multiple bikes?

Old 01-02-17, 01:05 AM
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mlau
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One bike vs multiple bikes?

Do any of you guys just have/want only one bicycle?

I know that bike forums might not be the best place to ask this question.
However, I've been thinking a lot about life--what's needed for happiness--and the idea of having less things.

For most of my life, I've only had one bike.
However, on the eve of Christmas eve, I splurged on getting a Miyata 1000LT off ebay (supposed to be one of the best vintage touring bikes ever made).

The thing is, are any of you guys happier with just one bike?

Most bike nuts that I know of have around 3+: a pure roadie, commuter, maybe a mountain bike, and fixie.
On my end, I'm looking forward to my first non-folding bike in years (and properly fitting, too!).
I'm also thinking of paring away at my books, guitars (way too many), and woodworking tools.

Anyways, I've posted this on this sub-forum, since the C&V crowd seems to have the most bikes (8-10), the folder crowd has about 2-3 (mini-folder, moderate folder, full sized folders), and racers have about 2-3 bikes as well.
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Old 01-02-17, 01:09 AM
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caloso
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I'd no sooner have a single bike than a single pair of shoes.
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Old 01-02-17, 01:38 AM
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I just got a second bike off Craigslist in November. Like my main bike, it will be used mainly for commuting. I wanted the second bike so I could:
  • have a little bit of variety
  • still have something to ride to work even if one of the bikes was experiencing maintenance/repair issues
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Old 01-02-17, 02:05 AM
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Scuderia Sinestro at present contains four bikes for me, two for SWMBO, a tandem, three kiddo bikes, and one road frame I don't really know what to do with. I've ridden to work on all four of mine at some point but there's only one that's "the commuter"
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Old 01-02-17, 02:15 AM
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mlau
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Nice to hear!

Although a part of me feels like an AA member going to a wine club...

I hope to hold onto my folding bike indefinitely, as it's super convenient to pop it in the trunk and visit friends for rides around town. However, a nonfolding steel touring bike with a nice brooks saddle is sort of my dream ride. Hnngh!

Currently, I'm justifying my purchase by telling myself that I'll lose weight by riding longer/more. Also, a used Miyata is much cheaper than getting a Porsche!
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Old 01-02-17, 02:18 AM
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There have been rare times in my life when I was down to two bikes (one for touring and road riding, back before the Balkanization of cycling, and one beater for commuting), but I couldn't possibly get below three since my wife and I started riding tandems twenty-eight years ago. In reality, I have more bikes than shoes, but I'm staying below double digits.
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Old 01-02-17, 02:30 AM
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I have two MTBs, one 26" and one 29". Could easily with only one, probably a better fitted 29". But am reluctant to part with the 26" that I built up from a bare frame. A very nicely performing bike.
I have one dedicated commuter. Rack, fenders, lights etc. Priced, aged, and painted so that I can leave it parked w/o excessive worry.
Then there's the road bike. Mostly a social thing. Have friends that do plenty of road riding, and the road bike lets me join their rides. Also sparingly used for fair-weather commutes. Also a fair bit of sentimental investment in that bike.

If it wasnt for nostalgia, I could manage well on 3 bikes.

Changes I'm thinking of:
- double wheelsets with different style tires to the commuter and MTB, to make riding in shifting weather nicer/safer.
- and/or maybe a mid-drive ebike as a winter commuter.
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Old 01-02-17, 03:03 AM
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I rode essentially one bike for most of my life. What is now considered to be a vintage road bike.

Lately I've started having fun experimenting with new stuff... but the old bike is still "special"
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Old 01-02-17, 05:41 AM
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Jim from Boston
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Originally Posted by mlau View Post
Do any of you guys just have/want only one bicycle?...The thing is, are any of you guys happier with just one bike?

Most bike nuts that I know of have around 3+: a pure roadie, commuter, maybe a mountain bike, and fixie..
As a decades-long year-round commuter, and nice weather road cyclist, I posted to this Winter Cycling thread
:
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…After 40 years of cycle commuting on a year-round minimal one-way 14 mile route, I have this year finally assembled IMO, the perfect bicycle fleet:
  • One nearly year-round dry,clean-road bike (carbon fiber road bike,except for deep winter with lingering salt)
  • One year-round wet,dirty-road bike (aluminum road bike, just recently acquired)
  • One winter bike for anything (steel mountain bike with Marathon Winter studded tires always on, for the least possibility of ice…)
The first two bikes are smooth, easy riding, and easy to carry upstairs; the third is a heavy and significantly tougher ride…I'm very happy with my Specialized S-Works for dry weather riding but my Cannondale Mountain bike was pretty heavy and cumbersome as a Wet/Winter beater.

So I recently bought the Specialized Diverge Elite aluminum bike as a wet weather beater, and it rides nearly as nicely as the S-Works.The ride and shifting of the Diverge is as smooth as the S-Works, but the feelis more ”solid,” with 30 C tires. I think this is a great all-purpose bike…

Furthermore,
Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
The only [studded] tire I know of in 30 c that might be better is the Schwalbe WINTER HS 396. It's a cheaper cousin of theSchwalbe Marathon Winter wth only 2 rows of studs instead of 4, but comes in 30c

ttps://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/road_tires/winter...
So now, the Cannondale will be reserved completely for only miserable, sloppy studded-tire riding, maybe about 3 to 4 weeks during the winter and my riding needs are completely met. I liken my three bikes to a Lamborghini,aLexus, and a Humvee.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 01-02-17 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 01-02-17, 06:43 AM
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There is something good, simple ,and efficient about owning and using just one of any product/tool/etc. Using it completely in all types of situations over time produces a kind of appreciation and kinship that is not going to occur with multiples. Each time you look at it you can remember the different times you've been together and enjoyed its company.
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Old 01-02-17, 06:47 AM
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I'm down to five bikes:
Commuter/tourer/gravel grinder with three wheelsets
Road bike with two wheelsets
Mountain bike
Fat tyre bike
Bar bike also used to run my dog
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Old 01-02-17, 07:06 AM
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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.
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Old 01-02-17, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mlau View Post
Do any of you guys just have/want only one bicycle?
I mostly commute, and I was happy with just one bike for decades. But ten years ago I added a second bike of a completely style. It was an old road bike, vs my MTB-based commuter. Having two different bikes helped me appreciate each even more, as I was able to compare and contrast. I now have three, the third being a "blend of the two".

I could be happy with the one new bike as it fits my needs perfectly. But I like having a variety of riding experiences. And from a practical standpoint, I never miss a commute due to mechanical issues, since there are always two other bikes ready to ride.

Now, if I could only get a second or third human body for me, as my original body seems to require some repair work.
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Old 01-02-17, 07:39 AM
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If you commute, 2 bikes is good when one of the bikes needs repairs.

Of course that doesn't explain the other 15 or so bikes that I own,
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Old 01-02-17, 08:17 AM
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If I had to, I could be happy with just 1 bike. I own 3, but ride just one bike 98% of the time.
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Old 01-02-17, 08:38 AM
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I prefer simplicity, so for me, there is real appeal in having just one bike. The way I ride would make that easy too: I'm a year-round commuter and like to make longish, rambling weekend rides. My Bianchi Volpe comes pretty close to being "the one" for me.

I do have a second bike, though, and it gets ridden pretty regularly (an IGH Omafiets with all the trimmings). I think I'll always have two bikes so that I have something to ride if one of them is unavailable for some reason. In spite of my stated preference for simplicity, I might even end up with three. I'm considering adding a folder to the fleet.
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Old 01-02-17, 08:51 AM
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I have two bikes, my Trek 520 for three-season riding and my Specialized Expedition for winter commuting. Around here, winter is a very different beast from the other seasons and requires a different approach to riding. I suppose I could modify my Trek to be usable in winter, but winters are hard enough on bikes that I am happy to shield it from the winter elements.

The things that make the Expedition good for winter are that it has 2-inch studded snow tires; platform pedals that I can use while wearing boots and YakTrax; and has a straight handlebar with a twisting shifter so I can operate both brakes and shifter while wearing lobster claw-style thick mittens. OTOH, the Expedition is no fun to ride, and I don't ride any more than I have to during the winter. So, come spring, I get out the Trek and add joy rides to my cycling diet.
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Old 01-02-17, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
I prefer simplicity, so for me, there is real appeal in having just one bike. The way I ride would make that easy too: I'm a year-round commuter and like to make longish, rambling weekend rides. My Bianchi Volpe comes pretty close to being "the one" for me.

I do have a second bike, though, and it gets ridden pretty regularly (an IGH Omafiets with all the trimmings). I think I'll always have two bikes so that I have something to ride if one of them is unavailable for some reason. In spite of my stated preference for simplicity, I might even end up with three. I'm considering adding a folder to the fleet.
Those are nice bikes. I had a chance to buy one way back in the 1990s and if I had, I might still be riding a Volpe. But I went with a flat bar hybrid instead (which I still own).

My version of the Volpe is the Salsa Casseroll. It is not the fastest or lightest but then again, neither am I. I can put anything from 28 mm road tires for club rides up to 42 mm or wider semi knobby tires for trails.
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Old 01-02-17, 09:01 AM
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In 2008, I had 4 bikes, one for every purpose, Sold them all.
Discovered the Surly,,Long Haul Trucker ,it rides so nice, someday, I plan to get on it, head ,,,,,,???? down a road, and not come back
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Old 01-02-17, 09:09 AM
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Enjoy your new Touring bike. Extremely versatile, short of throwing it in the trunk.
I retired a touring bike to become my winter town bike (stays outside). New touring bike for next season. And like most here a road bike for youthful "rips". Add a few other projects.

If I was down to one bike it would be a touring based bike, fenders a must!

Again enjoy yourself


-Snuts-
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Old 01-02-17, 09:11 AM
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regardless of whether or not more than one bike is useful. it's fun!
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Old 01-02-17, 09:23 AM
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mlau, this 2010 blog post from Bike For The Rest Of Us responds to your philosophical question and even has an homage to the Miyata 1000:

Bikes For The Rest Of Us: The Case For Owning Multiple Bikes
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Old 01-02-17, 09:28 AM
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Since acquiring multiple bikes years ago, I would never want to go back to just one bike for daily bike commuting. At a bare minimum, two bikes are nice because one can serve as a back-up if the other is out of commission for some reason.

Additionally, for the climate I commute in, studded tires are a really nice safety precaution to have for winter riding, but there are also a great many winter days when studs are completely unnecessary, particularly in the shoulder seasons. so having a dedicated winter bike that wears studs year round, and a regular commuter that always wears slicks, I can ride the right tires for the conditons without swapping out tires or wheelsets on a daily basis.

Many other bike commuters seem to get along fine with just one bike, and that's great for them, but I've grown too accustomed to the convenience of owning multiple bikes.

My current stable:
1. Aluminum disc brake CX bike that serves as my daily commuter bike.
2. Aluminum disc brake IGH hybrid that serves as my winter beast.
3. Aluminum SS folder that serves as my multi-modal maximum versatility machine.
4. Titanium road bike that serves as my super fun go-fast bike.

Do I need to own all 4 of those bikes? No.

Do I enjoy owning all 4 of those bikes? Yes.

Last edited by Steely Dan; 01-02-17 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 01-02-17, 09:34 AM
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mlau, I'm assuming you've heard of the book "Spark Joy". I have not read it myself and I'm sure I'm over-simplifying, but the basic premise is that you de-clutter your home and life by getting rid of things that don't "spark joy".

I can think of lots of items in my life that I use all the time (and would be hard to do without) which don't really "spark joy" so I'm sure there's more to it than that. But anyway, the impression given is that a lot of things we keep are really a drag on our life rather than something that adds to it. We'd be happier without all of that stuff.

Would it work applied to bikes? I have two bikes. One definitely "Sparks Joy" more than the other. But the bike that sparks joy would more likely spark injury during the winter, so I have a winter bike.

Another forum I participate in relates to film, in particular old 8mm film. Most of the people that participate are collectors (I'm not). There are some that have hundreds of titles including ones they haven't viewed in years, if ever. It strikes me (as mostly an outsider) as almost a sickness. Then again, I found myself the owner of 8 old film cameras (35 mm SLRs and a range finder) in a pretty short period of time. I don't need 8 cameras. So I decided I needed slim down the collection. Limiting it to the ones that "spark joy" is a useful criteria.

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Old 01-02-17, 10:09 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
mlau, I'm assuming you've heard of the book "Spark Joy". I have not read it myself and I'm sure I'm over-simplifying, but the basic premise is that you de-clutter your home and life by getting rid of things that don't "spark joy".

I can think of lots of items in my life that I use all the time (and would be hard to do without) which don't really "spark joy" so I'm sure there's more to it than that. But anyway, the impression given is that a lot of things we keep are really a drag on our life rather than something that adds to it. We'd be happier without all of that stuff.

Would it work applied to bikes? I have two bikes. One definitely "Sparks Joy" more than the other. But the bike that sparks joy would more likely spark injury during the winter, so I have a winter bike.

Another forum I participate in relates to film, in particular old 8mm film. Most of the people that participate are collectors (I'm not). There are some that have hundreds of titles including ones they haven't viewed in years, if ever. It strikes me (as mostly an outsider) as almost a sickness. Then again, I found myself the owner of 8 old film cameras (35 mm SLRs and a range finder) in a pretty short period of time. I don't need 8 cameras. So I decided I needed slim down the collection. Limiting it to the ones that "spark joy" is a useful criteria.
There is something to this theory of de cluttering, and I can relate. It is one thing to say that as an avid cyclist, you need 2, or 3 bikes, say, a fast road bike, a mountain bike, and a commuter, or whatever combination of bikes you feel makes your cycling life full and happy. That said, many of us have made mistakes, and some of those mistakes might be hanging in our garages and basements as we speak. So the question is, what do we do with those mistakes, and would we be happier divesting ourselves of these mistakes?

For me, the answer is, not yet, but maybe some day. For now, I am fine keeping an extra 3 or 4 bikes in my garage because honestly, there is a large amount of stuff I can get rid of before I get rid of perfectly rideable bikes but the day may come when I have to divest of extra, unused bikes.
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