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What is the Minimum Number of Bikes a Cycling Enthusiast Needs to be an Enthusiast?

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Now, look, I’m not about to sit here and say to Bob, “Hey, Bob, because you don’t have “x” number of bikes, you can’t be an enthusiast like me”. That would be stupid, ignorant, and repugnant. I’m not that kind of guy and this won’t be that kind of post.

That said, let’s break it down for shits and giggles.

You need one bike. Preferably a gravel or cross bike with two sets of wheels, one for the road and one for the dirt.

With that you can do anything… except snow.  Crap, forgot about the snow.  Okay, so let’s make the bare minimum, two bikes. A fat bike for the winter and a cross bike with two wheelsets. Bob’s your uncle.

That doesn’t really get it, though, does it? Let’s face reality… You’re going to be out of the fast group rides because you’ll be at a disadvantage with that gravel bike. Let’s go with three bikes. Add a sweet carbon fiber aero road bike. You can use the gravel/cross bike with two sets of wheels for a rain bike.

Wait a minute, though… You’re going to want to chill on the mountain bikes with your buds in the fall, right? That fat bike is going to be cool and all, but let’s face facts; that fat bike is for the snow and it’ll be slow, right? You don’t need a disadvantage trying to hang with your friends. Right!

You’ll need a mountain bike, too.

So let’s make that four bikes. A mountain bike, an aero road bike, a fat bike, and a gravel bike… with two wheelsets.

Then you see a classic you’ve gotta have. Better make that five. Besides, you can use that as a rain bike and hammer almost as fast as you would on the race bike.  Yeah.  Five works.

That’s not quite the done of it, though, now that I think of it…  You’re going to need another mountain bike for your really nasty days.  One of those, “I don’t care how gnarly it gets outside.  Sometimes you just gotta ride!” bikes.

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I may have to paint this one black…

So let’s make that six.  Six bikes should do.

Oh, shit.  What about a track bike?!  And a time trial bike?!

Hang on, Baby Jesus.  This is gonna get bumpy…

You need a lot of bikes.  A whole lot of them.  In fact, you’d better invest in a bigger house while you’re at it.

Or just ride what you’ve got an be happy.  That works too.

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22 Comments

  1. unironedman says:

    And not one with a basket? How on earth do you manage to pick up the shopping, Jim?
    P.S. Yes, that last Trek needs a paint job. Winter project sorted!

  2. This just goes to prove there is no “one” bike. I’m only just starting out, wonder how many I’ll have in a few years?

  3. Hahahahaha! Nice post. As I get older, I really only NEED two bikes — one as my regular ride, one to back up my regular ride. The rest are just there to make the riding experiences more sweet.

    Until this post got down to the Treks, I was going to say you are the poster child for Specialized (I bet your wife would put an emphasis on ‘child’).

  4. All the bikes. Surely the answer is ALL THE BIKES! 🙂

    I could get by with one bike (don’t tell the wife that) but it would be far from ideal. I’m happy with my current “fleet” of three, but would of course love to add a mountain bike too.

    Oh and a tandem…

    …and a time trial bike

    …and a folding commuter

    …and a cargo bike

    …and

    • bgddyjim says:

      I didn’t even count the tandem! I’d have a tough time with less than four. The second mountain bike I could do without… and the fat bike, I don’t need one of those, either. 😁😎😜🤪

      • Brent says:

        I will look forward to checking back with you in mid-February when the snow is clean and white and inviting and you’re busy sweating in the basement over your trainer while watching reruns of The View. We are gonna get you aboard the Fat Bike express eventually. Might as well let it happen and enjoy it, just like you did with the gravel bike.

      • bgddyjim says:

        LOL! The View… Not if it was the last thing on earth to watch.

  5. Brent says:

    Of course, you’re forgetting the best way to determine the number of bikes someone should have. For this, we need to resort to actual science (actually, we need to resort to math).

    The correct number of bikes is either:

    N+1, where N is the number of bikes you have today

    or

    D – 1, where D is the number of bikes that will cause your
    spouse to divorce you.

  6. Tony says:

    My dog objects to your remark about the basket on her bike. Without it, I would have to carry her in a backpack over my shoulders. BTW, although, I am not a bike mechanic, my guy built me a basket with a pet carrier inside that is magnificent. He put a carrier on top of the front fender, then mounted a basket on top and put my padded pet carrier inside. The brilliance of it is that it lowers the center of gravity about 8 inches, so the bike rides much more stable. Lastly, none of you mentioned the bikes I used to see as a kid when I lived on west Madison Street in Chicago. Every liquor store had a bike in front with a small front wheel and a big basket on it. This was used for delivering cases of beer by bike. Have a great weekend!

  7. Tom Rengert says:

    Oh, what about a touring bike!
    I need to simplify my bike collection. I need not, twenty one any more.

  8. rennrad says:

    n+1, being n the current number of bikes you have. s-1, being s the number in which your significant other tells you s/he will break up with you if you buy another bike. – it’s in the rules. 😁

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