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    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2012
     
    I have 7 bikes. I like all of them, but at the same time, I know that if I were starting from scratch, I wouldn't buy these 7 bikes. I am considering trying to optimize my bike quiver. Is it possible to reduce the number of bikes (less maintenance, more space in garage)? If I choose carefully, can I get better bikes for a similar investment, and can this smaller number of bikes make me a happier rider? For someone who likes mountain biking (cross-country), road riding (usually less than 40 miles, but would like to have the equipment on hand to do longer rides), some commuting, and some tooling around to the library or store, what is the optimal blend?
  1.  
    Great topic. It is a process to streamline your transportation tools (aka bikes). Our household is overflowing with bikes between me, my wife, and my son. It does get on my nerves when I seem to lose the little open space I have to work inside the garage.
    • CommentAuthorjacobk
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2012
     
    Good question, I'm looking forward to seeing what other people have to say. I'm also half-heartedly trying to downsize and trim the fleet a bit, so I empathize.

    I think that a cross bike or a (light) touring bike with larger tire clearances and braze-ons for different purposes would cover the majority of the riding you describe, or that most people do in general.

    I've recently become enlightened to the pleasure of riding a 26" wheeled "All Rounder" style bike, which I've been using for something like 80%+ of my riding lately. In my case, it's a vintage lugged and fillet-brazed steel mid-80s mountain bike set up with drop bars, but companies like Rivendell (preceded by Grant's time at Bridgestone with the XO-1) have done popular modern incarnations too that have fine-tuned the geometry more for different purposes.
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      CommentAuthorPaul
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2012
     
    Great topic. If I started over from scratch, the first bike in my quiver would be a 700c do it all road bike that could take fatter tires, like an Indy Fab Club Racer, Volagi or Rawland. I've touched my 26" LHT just once since I added the Moots cross bike. For me, the heavy 26" drop bar bike is just too sluggish to enjoy. The last time I enjoyed it was our Boulder Creek ride last year where I used it as an MTB. This year, I will definitely ride the crosser instead. The thing I'm potentially missing out on is the panniers, but I've willingly accepted a heavy load on my bike for a little more nimbleness.

    I think the optimal blend could probably be accomplished with 2 or 3 bikes. The all rounder Jackobk discusses for errands, commute and dirt and then a quicker road bike for 40 mile plus excursions would be a good start. I love the steel Stumpjumpers fitted with drop bars to make that 26" all rounder (if you can't score a Rock Combo a la Futch.)
    • CommentAuthormichael_s
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2012
     
    This is something I struggle with too. Garage space is at a premium for me with a one car garage. The complications I see are many ... a nice riding bike for unladen rides will have skinnier/lighter tubing. Which means something with stouter tubing is needed for touring with panniers. Real off-road rides are nicer with discs and a front shock. Commuting/town bikes should be a smaller investment to lessen the loss if stolen. I'm at 5 bikes now but would love to get a cross bike that fits 45mm tires.

    here is my attempt at the ideal mix.
    1. 700C road bike that fits 32mm tires
    2. 650B Light touring bike that fits hetres and 2" knobbies
    3. 29er MTB with front shock
    4. Commuter/town bike that fits 32mm min. tires
    5. your choice for specific activites. could be track/rando/cross or whatever.

    mike
    • CommentAuthorFitz
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2012
     
    I have 3 bikes and am pretty darn content with the quiver:
    1. Beach cruiser: I live in Crown Point, so...yeah.
    2. Salsa Vaya: steel road bike with disc brakes, fits fatter tires (currently running 700x35 but have run up to 700x42 before), lots of braze-ons, and is just as happy loaded up for commuting (rear rack with bag/panniers) or emptied for long road rides (no rack)
    3. 26" mountain bike: I'll make the jump to a 29er at some point, and when I do, the 26" will be sold.

    Some people wouldn't be content with only having the Vaya for road riding since it's not a sub-20 pounder. For me, it's perfect. I can say yes to any ride and be happy with 1 of these 3 bikes.
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      CommentAuthorSigurd
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2012
     
    Just get a good steel bike with strong wheels and tires and be done with it!



    (Photo courtesy Chris Kostman of the Rough Riders blog).
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2012
     
    Fitz:I have 3 bikes and am pretty darn content with the quiver:
    1. Beach cruiser: I live in Crown Point, so...yeah.
    2. Salsa Vaya: steel road bike with disc brakes, fits fatter tires (currently running 700x35 but have run up to 700x42 before), lots of braze-ons, and is just as happy loaded up for commuting (rear rack with bag/panniers) or emptied for long road rides (no rack)
    3. 26" mountain bike: I'll make the jump to a 29er at some point, and when I do, the 26" will be sold.

    Some people wouldn't be content with only having the Vaya for road riding since it's not a sub-20 pounder. For me, it's perfect. I can say yes to any ride and be happy with 1 of these 3 bikes.


    The Vaya would be high on my list as one bike to rule them all. I was actively seeking a Ti Vaya when I found my Moots. Far more versatile but I had a sweet set of Paul cantis and the Vaya is disc now.
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeDec 12th 2012
     
    I know someone who answered the question with one bike: A Specialized Stumpjumper 29er hardtail with a lockout fork.

    JacobK: I'm completely with you on the rigid MTB concept. My go-to bike these days is my '92 Kona Kilauea with slicks. Efficient enough on the road, but can still hop things and ride light trails.

    After pondering this for some time, I think if I were starting over I'd try three bikes:

    Full suspension MTB (front/rear lockout) for mountain bike rides
    Fully rigid MTB for commuting
    Cyclocross bike for road rides and rough-riding kinds of rides

    I would still want other bikes for certain situations, but I could live with the above set. Given the baggage that I'm burdened with, however, I will actually probably go with the following 4 (5):

    Full suspension MTB
    Fully rigid MTB set up for commuting
    Road bike for road rides
    Fully rigid MTB set up for CX-like rides (the Kona)
    (BMX bike for fun)

    Sell the folding bike and the new (but not needed) hardtail MTB.
    • CommentAuthoreaton
    • CommentTimeDec 13th 2012
     
    I have three that suit my needs.
    1 - beach cruiser that I share with my wife for going to the store.
    1 - all-round road/touring/off-road/commuting bike with lights and bags.
    1 - ti road bike.
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      CommentAuthormarkphilips
    • CommentTimeDec 23rd 2012 edited
     
    Not mine but you get the point

    What addiction problem? #mancave

    • CommentAuthorVeloCafé
    • CommentTimeJan 16th 2013
     
    I'm moving and will be converting a bedroom (no garage) into a hobby room / guest room / garage for my quiver of bikes. So maybe slightly off topic but not by much - I'm asking for your opinions on the best storage methods and racks to optimize space. Thanks. So far this one is leading my list.
    • CommentAuthorSerge2
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2013
     
    <blockquote><cite> ShadyGaga:</cite>
    After pondering this for some time, I think if I were starting over I'd try three bikes:

    Full suspension MTB (front/rear lockout) for mountain bike rides
    Fully rigid MTB for commuting
    Cyclocross bike for road rides and rough-riding kinds of rides</blockquote>
    I have a cyclocross bike, but find the tires too big and the bike too heavy for fast road rides.

    For me a lightweight fast road bike with 23c tires is the main all-rounder, including for commuting. I've heard the arguments for wider tires, but just don't see a problem that needs to be solved at the cost of additional weight.
  2.  
    VeloCafé:I'm moving and will be converting a bedroom (no garage) into a hobby room / guest room / garage for my quiver of bikes. So maybe slightly off topic but not by much - I'm asking for your opinions on the best storage methods and racks to optimize space. Thanks. So far this one is leading my list.

    That looks like a great sturdy rack. I think if your space requires a stand-alone rack, this is a pretty good option. If you plan to hang your bikes near a wall, maybe something like this or like this might work too...definitely cheaper.
    • CommentAuthorjacobk
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2013
     
    VeloCafé:I'm moving and will be converting a bedroom (no garage) into a hobby room / guest room / garage for my quiver of bikes. So maybe slightly off topic but not by much - I'm asking for your opinions on the best storage methods and racks to optimize space. Thanks. So far this one is leading my list.

    We have one of these Harbor Freight "cycle trees". It works ok for storing several bikes in an area with a small footprint, but it's not very convenient to have quick access to some of the bikes (especially the inner ones). I think we've had up to 5 hanging from ours at one point:

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cycle-tree-compact-bike-storage-2628.html

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      CommentAuthorPaul
    • CommentTimeJan 17th 2013
     
    Bruce already saw this, but I'm very happy with my Thules:



    The quiver has a visitor today:



    No, I didn't win the lottery-- (if anyone ever gives you a chance to demo Dura Ace Di2, say yes, especially if it's sitting on custom ti and carbon)
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      CommentAuthorsvelocity
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2013 edited
     
    Sigurd:Just get a good steel bike with strong wheels and tires and be done with it!



    (Photo courtesy Chris Kostman of the Rough Riders blog).


    After riding the Serrento Valley trail on a touring bike with 33mm slicks I couldn't agree with you more!
    • CommentAuthorVeloCafé
    • CommentTimeMar 11th 2013
     
    Paul:The quiver has a visitor today:



    No, I didn't win the lottery-- (if anyone ever gives you a chance to demo Dura Ace Di2, say yes, especially if it's sitting on custom ti and carbon)


    I saw that hanging in AAB yesterday. Just. Wanted. To. Touch.
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2014 edited
     
    Shady John:I know someone who answered the question with one bike: A Specialized Stumpjumper 29er hardtail with a lockout fork.

    JacobK: I'm completely with you on the rigid MTB concept. My go-to bike these days is my '92 Kona Kilauea with slicks. Efficient enough on the road, but can still hop things and ride light trails.

    After pondering this for some time, I think if I were starting over I'd try three bikes:

    Full suspension MTB (front/rear lockout) for mountain bike rides
    Fully rigid MTB for commuting
    Cyclocross bike for road rides and rough-riding kinds of rides

    I would still want other bikes for certain situations, but I could live with the above set. Given the baggage that I'm burdened with, however, I will actually probably go with the following 4 (5):

    Full suspension MTB
    Fully rigid MTB set up for commuting
    Road bike for road rides
    Fully rigid MTB set up for CX-like rides (the Kona)
    (BMX bike for fun)

    Sell the folding bike and the new (but not needed) hardtail MTB.


    New perspective: 5 bikes
    1. Full suspension MTB (trail, enduro, maybe XC; wheel size to suit individual preference)
    2. Fully rigid 26" MTB for commuting
    3. 29er hardtail MTB with 80-100mm lockout fork, disc brakes, flat bars with bar-ends; typically set up with 42 cm CX tires. Maybe a second set of wheels to allow quick changes. Maybe rigid fork instead.
    4. A cheap bike of some sort that can be locked up and left outside
    5. A true road bike with 23-25 mm tires
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2014
     
    I like your new perspective, John. Mine says 8 now. The 7 that I have (none are redundant) plus the Mooto-X YBB that would make my life complete until I think of the next one.
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2014
     
    Paul, that Mooto-X YBB looks pretty sweet. I haven't spent any time on a soft-tail other than the Downwind folder that I briefly had--sounds like a nice solution for XC.

    I haven't actually arrived at five-bike nirvana yet. I need to get rid of one hard-tail MTB and a CX bike, then ship a rigid MTB up to my sister's place as a vacation bike. Then I can allow myself to look for the 29er in earnest. I'm also not counting a couple of bikes that I've downloaded (retrievably, of course) onto family members.
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2014
     
    Paul:I like your new perspective, John. Mine says 8 now. The 7 that I have (none are redundant) plus the Mooto-X YBB that would make my life complete until I think of the next one.


    I guess a 20" frame might be big?

    http://sandiego.craigslist.org/esd/bik/4331944250.html
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2014
     
    SJ,
    I think you are on to something. I have long subscribed to the n+1 model; however, your rule of fives may be a much more workable solution. 5 road bikes, 5 mountain bikes, 5 cargo bikes, 5 commuter bikes, 5 ...
    • CommentAuthorShady John
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2014
     
    I recall that there is another rule that must be considered--I believe it can be stated as follows:

    "The probability of owning a bike in excellent working condition is inversely proportional to the number of bikes owned"
    • CommentAuthorgottobike
    • CommentTimeFeb 23rd 2014
     
    There ya go, SJ. Right back to the old n+1 model.
    Maybe to make the limitation of the rule of fives more palatable, a cap-and-trade scheme could be implemented? This would cap the number of bikes in any one specific bicycle design to 5 and if that number was to be exceeded, 1 of the bikes would have to be traded for a bicycle design that has room under the cap. Of course, this trade would preferably be with a friend or family member that would allow immediate access to the bike.