How many bikes are enough? and when is enough too much??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How many bikes are enough? and when is enough too much??

    I've been thinking about it lately, mainly because I have limited funds and can't afford to satisfy every type of use that comes into my head. Talking with some friends who share my same passion, I discovered many different takes on how many bikes are considered necessary and what "style" bike they should be.

    I personally feel that, in a dream world, the perfect "coverage" would be:

    1) a light, front-suspended, XC bike, for both light trail riding and city strolling. Relatively skinny tires, very light and maybe even v-brakes.
    2) an all-mountain pedaling machine for the epic rides but with a decent downhill characteristics. Here I'm thinking 4-5"/140mm. Now there are so many to choose from.
    3) an burly enduro (6"/160mm)
    4) a DH bike.

    Some friends of mine think that the bikes in points 2) and 3) are too similar and there's no point in owning both. Is that true? Are today's enduro/freeride bikes THAT similar? What would be a more logical list in your opinion?

    More simply: how many bikes does a person really need??????
    Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.

  2. #2
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    i agree with your friends, 2 and 3 are very similar, i dont see a need for those two...

    of course, i only have 1 mtb, and its a SS hardtail...thats all i need

  3. #3
    wanna dance?
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    Try a search on this topic. Prepare to be amazed.

  4. #4
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    To be honest, your are missing a mtb race bike.

    Along with your race bike you are going to need a road bike to train with. Or, there is little point to having a race bike. Middle pack finishes all season kind of suck. I know, I was there last yr.

    Then, you could make that XC a single speed.

    2 and 3 are very close. I run a 140 mm most of the time. There isnt much I cant do.

    So, my thoughts
    1. XC racer, (full suspension)
    2. Road bike for rainy days and training
    3. SS, just because you like pain.
    4. 140 mm full susp that can do well going up and down.
    5. Nice big DH bike for those days you can, and ski lift weekends at North Star or Whistler.
    6. A comfortable bike for the wife to keep her happy (very important)
    7. A bike for the kid to do things with them and teach them riding is fun.
    Crusin' on a fake duck with a Sharks jersey on and a pig's tail in my fork

  5. #5
    I like Squishy Bikes
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    dont forget the pimped out chi chi bike just fo show
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  6. #6
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    I'd agree that 2 and 3 are basically the same thing. Also, I'd dump the hardtail for a rigid SS, and add in a separate utility/commuting bike. The DH bike - only if you do DH, and even then, it may be more cost-effective to rent one at the hill and thrash the hell out of it. I would also add in a road bike just for fun.

  7. #7
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    My ideal setup would be 3 bikes.

    1. sub 24 pound full suspension XC bike
    2. sub 30 pound AM bike
    3. 1x9or10 to cruise around town for local erands

  8. #8
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  9. #9
    I Rode a Metric Century!
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    I would like to add a nice road bike, like a trek Madona or something similar.

  10. #10
    (Ali)
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    How about hyping even more categories in between the ones that are already listed? How about even more? The correct answer, as in most cases, either 1 or infinite.

    This is just like the number of gears you have: it should either be 1, or infinite... Ha ha...

    Ali

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pisket

    This is just like the number of gears you have: it should either be 1, or infinite... Ha ha...

    Ali
    This is probably the best answer. I think my wife and I just arrived at our ideal stable quota.

    We each have:
    - a road bike
    - rigid (me) or hardtail (her) mtbs with fenders for commuting/town duty
    - trail bikes (5" FS, call it xc, AM, whatever)

    on top of those she has
    - a 1974 Schwinn Lil' Chick (cheap kids version of a Stingray). Since she is short it makes for a fun neighborhood cruiser.

    and we just got
    - a rigid steel tandem mtb for riding everything except super hairy trails.


    I may trade the road bike in on something less racey and more touring-oriented but I doubt we'll add to the number of bikes unless we have a kid someday. There's just no more room in the garage.

  12. #12
    exacerbated member
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    Their as many good answers to this question as there are trails on the headlands.
    But don’t you think it all depends on where you live, what kind of riding you love, and how often you can do it. You could also throw in, how much room do you have for bike storage and maintenance?
    Here is an example.
    Take your list, and all your bikes, and plant yourself in Portland. Well now you need one more bike, a 20” beater. (For those that don’t know look up zoo-bombing)
    Or move yourself to a tiny loft in Soho where you own a little coffee shop. Now you are down to two bikes, a SS commuter and whatever you take out of town for your once a month country riding with the guys.

    For most of my riding days I had two bikes a road bike and a rigid steel XC race bike. And you know what? Al though the frames and components have gone through many many changes those are still my favorite two bikes.

  13. #13
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    oooooh...
    2

    -one good "do it all" mtb...probably a hardtail with a beefed up front fork. something light enough to take trails on a regular basis, and a little DH a few times a season
    -a decent roadie commuter, perhaps with knobbies and racks.

    not that having tons of bikes isn't fun, but if you REALLY wanna slim down your stable, you can do it with 2 bikes...in some cases just one...oh hell, i'll just change my vote to one cyclocross bike
    I ride a 26'er with tubes and rim brakes.
    Yeah, I'm basically living in the stone age.

  14. #14
    Zach Kowalchuk
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    Depends where you live. Personally, if I had the money, my limit would be 4 or 5.

    1.My actual main trail bike(rigid, current bike)
    2. trail bike(fully or hardtail)
    3. Trail bike for my dad.(fully)
    4.Singlespeed(for running errands for myself or my parents)
    5. Winter bike

    Now, out of those five, I only have the first one. Saving up for #2. Probably a moto or Stumpjumper Elite.
    At the end of the day, my bike is a bike, whether its made for XC singletrack or DH, I can make it do what I want.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwjnky
    My ideal setup would be 3 bikes.

    1. sub 24 pound full suspension XC bike
    2. sub 30 pound AM bike
    3. 1x9or10 to cruise around town for local erands
    Dude, 28 is the new 30 for AM bikes.....
    Crusin' on a fake duck with a Sharks jersey on and a pig's tail in my fork

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by New to MB
    I would like to add a nice road bike, like a trek Madona or something similar.
    I thought it was Madone ?
    Fu(k cancer

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  17. #17
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    I have a commuter fixed gear, a rigid SS MTB, a road racer, and I'm looking to add a cross bike in the near future. I think as long as they all get ridden and you have the money/space, you're OK. All the bikes you think you need (within reason) still cost less combined than a sports car...

  18. #18
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    Currently I have two: a HT and a 4"FS. I would like to add a ridged 29er cause there are no paved roads where I live so a road bike is out of the question. A winter bike is also required, something like a Pugsley. Then I would consider a longer travel trail bike, something in the 5-6" range.
    That should do.

  19. #19
    all about the ride down
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    I think I finally have my full stable.
    I have my cyclocross bike with 40c road tires on it. Riding locally includes miles of dirt
    potato farm roads. Doubles as my commuter.
    4" Trail bike
    Freeride/ Downhill bike with double rings for pedaling up hill +twin crown fork

    My Lady's 4"trail bike
    Her hardtail town bike.

    Hoping to convince her that we need to get her a cyclocross/road bike this summer (fingers crossed)
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  20. #20
    JmZ
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    Short answers.

    N+1

    N = current number of bikes

    OR

    S - 1

    S = number of bikes that will cause irreparable relationship damange.

    JmZ
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  21. #21
    i also unicycle
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    i was about to post the n+1 thing, and i've had the caveat of S-1 related to me more like as N approaches S, where S is the number of bikes that will cause spousal separation.

    practically though, you should have a bike that fits your primary riding/racing, a different mtb, either SS or AM or XC, or whatever your other favorite riding is. then a grocery getter, 'cross bike (could be the same thing), and maybe a full on roadie.
    currently in my stable there's a rigid 1x9 29er, a dj 26er, a steel touring bike, a full carbon roadie, and i'm on the lookout for a cross bike. plus my wife has a touring bike and an older trek mtb she uses for errand running/general poking around town. and we live in a modest 2 bedroom apt, and would have even more bikes if we had more space/money.
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  22. #22
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    RIght now, I'm content with

    1 entry-level road bike
    1 24lb HT
    1 29lb 5" FS
    1 SS to haul the kids on the rail trail

    Again, I'm content and don't feel I NEED anything else, as 95% of my riding is covered.

    Still, variety is always nice, and specialized (not the brand) bikes are always a joy to have. So I'd love to add to my fleet - a FR rig, a cross bike, a 22lb 4" FS, an 18lb ti SS, a top shelf road bike, a BMX bike, a tandem, a unicycle, maybe a 29r or two (never tried one), etc., etc. . .

  23. #23
    LCI #1853
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    Simple... The ideal number of bikes to have is:

    -- One more than you already have, and;
    -- One less than the number at which point your Sweetie says she's gonna leave you if you buy another frickin' bike.
    Ride a mountain bike... you will not regret it if you live.
    (with apologies to Mark Twain & The Taming of the Bicycle)

  24. #24
    Old man on a bike
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    I've always wondered how many bikes I'd have if funds were no limit... Robin Williams had over 50 road bikes a few years ago, but I'd want to collect both. Be a Harrah/Leno/LeMay of bikes...

    N+1 is a good formula in any case.

    Swthrtsuzy sounds like my kinda gal!
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  25. #25
    trail addict
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    Quote Originally Posted by PscyclePath
    Simple... The ideal number of bikes to have is:

    -- One more than you already have, and;
    -- One less than the number at which point your Sweetie says she's gonna leave you if you buy another frickin' bike.
    Good rule of thumb.

    I'd say you HAVE TO have a hardtail (IMO)...

    the next bike should be AM...

    third bike-I'm split
    maybe road bike, if you are into that
    maybe dirt jumper or BMX cruiser, if you are into that
    maybe DH, if you are into that
    maybe SS or SS rigid or SS rigid 29er or rigid fixed, if you'd like a change of pace
    maybe a FR bike, or maybe XC dual suspension-depends on whether you already own AM, and what kind of build you have on the AM...

    I think 7 bikes should have just about everything covered that *I* would want to own...
    You better just go ahead and drop that seatpost down to the reflector... the trail gets pretty rough down there.

  26. #26
    Bike to the Bone...
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    Is there something as having too many bikes?

  27. #27
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    You absolutely need two bikes for when a fork or shock goes in for warranty.For me its a burly 6 inch [ no bike parks on maui ] and a light 5 inch so I can XC.The rest is fluff.

  28. #28
    neko no basu
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    it's like with girls. two are always better than one, but three are always better than six.
    GT force && scott voltage

  29. #29
    all about the ride down
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    Quote Originally Posted by cunnilinux
    it's like with girls. two are always better than one, but three are always better than six.
    I must disagree! 6 is the perfect amount. 1 for each day of the week and then the opportunity for extra curricular activities with wondrous variety.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Six Pack
    Good rule of thumb.

    I'd say you HAVE TO have a hardtail (IMO)...

    the next bike should be AM...

    ...
    I think 7 bikes should have just about everything covered that *I* would want to own...
    Not much of a DH scene out here in the Mississippi Delta, so I've got my 26" hardtail and a 29er dual suspension XC bike, two road bikes, a Specialized Globe commuter set up to match my 29er, and a Cross-Check. If I get another bike, I'd want a Bike Friday folder that I could pack along for travel...
    Ride a mountain bike... you will not regret it if you live.
    (with apologies to Mark Twain & The Taming of the Bicycle)

  31. #31
    Zach Kowalchuk
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    I got 2 bikes right now.

    1. Trail bike 1(Cannondale F8)
    2. Spare trail bike(Fully rigid.)
    At the end of the day, my bike is a bike, whether its made for XC singletrack or DH, I can make it do what I want.

  32. #32
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    4.

    I have:

    Road:
    1. Rain bike with fenders to commute with or filler work out days
    2. Fast, comfy century bike for nice days or longer rides

    Mountain:
    1. 13y/o hardtail for riding with family or friends that don't ride regularly
    2. FS trail bike for the more challenging group rides or just bombing around by myself

    I'd like to swap road bike #1 for cyclocross bike so I can do a little offroading while commuting. I'd also like to swap mtb #1 for a newer hardtail with good disc brakes.

  33. #33
    neko no basu
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    Quote Originally Posted by split.therapy
    I must disagree! 6 is the perfect amount. 1 for each day of the week and then the opportunity for extra curricular activities with wondrous variety.
    too hard to handle & maintain
    GT force && scott voltage

  34. #34
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    I've got

    1) 3" XC Race Bike
    2) Road race bike
    3) 4" All around mtb
    4) Beater around town

    It'd be nice to have a Dh bill, but for how much I go, I just rent. I just sold my time trial Cervelo last year, so I guess 5 was too much for me!

  35. #35
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    I've got 3 right now, and will be buying #4 before I go back to school.
    1.) XC Hardtail
    2.) AM/Light FR FS(5.5 in)
    3.) DH/FR bike

    4.) (future purchase) either an entry level road bike or singlespeed/fixie for riding around campus.
    I'd like one more after that (dedicated DH race bike)
    Build.
    Ride.
    Repeat.

  36. #36
    Its got what plants crave
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    I have 3. I feel guilty that I don't ride my urban/dirt jumper much. Fortunately I bought it for a song on Ebay. When I take out my Coiler I usually hit the dirt jumps, drops, aggressive trail riding. When I take out my Kikapu I usually ride XC dirt paths and roads. I ride those two bikes the majority of the time. I think between those two bikes I have *most* situations covered, so I'm thinking about selling the dirt jumper.

  37. #37
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    On my needs list I have:

    A chromag sakura, will be running pretty light weight stuff on it, thin commuter dry tires.
    Then I need a beefier bike probably another chromag, maybe a samurai or something from ns-bikes, the same as the one above except a little beefier tires that will work in the rain.
    Then i need a 700c bike a cotic roadrat, to run skinny 700 tires.

    All bike will be steel and rigid forks with discs.
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    Carbon is a fad.
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    Just lube your ass with asscream and ride for how long you want.

  38. #38
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    its too much when you have so many bikes you cant get to your refrigerator or toilet.

  39. #39
    OnTheTrailAgain
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    Quote Originally Posted by stepping-razor
    I've been thinking about it lately, mainly because I have limited funds and can't afford to satisfy every type of use that comes into my head.

    More simply: how many bikes does a person really need??????
    My signature shows I have too many right now.

    I'm super tight on funds to, but since I have no expensive hobbies (drugs, drinking, gambling, wife , etc...), my disposable income is aimed at my bikes.

    I'm whittling it down to the following:

    1) A mid-high 20lb dual-suspension 5"+ AM bike (Roscoe I) for trail riding & all day epics (my primary steed )

    2) My first MTB bike (Opie) that I just can't bring myself to part with (will be my MTB bike at my home in Puerto Rico). However, I've been toying with converting it to an SS and keeping it here, buying a used '08 HiFi Deluxe, swapping the parts that I take off of the Roscoe to it when I upgrade that and sending the HiFi to the island. I just want to keep that Opie "around" as my zip around bike! I love riding it.

    3) My first road bike (Trek 1.5) that is also on it's way to Puerto Rico as my island bike (after some minor upgrading and personalization and when I've gotten her down to the high 15lb or low 16lb range).

    4) A Trek Madone 5.2 Pro road bike as my basic roadie (to be acquired mid-late summer).

    The Kona Explosif is gone but still in my possession (I had to get rid of it...it kept calling out to me "Build me, build me into your sub-25lb XC bike! Build me!) and my vingtage Giant RS900 is next to go (even though I really like the feel of steel). The Tarpon? At my ex's house for the kids.

    For me personally? Two dream bikes at home (roading and MTBing) and two great bikes on the island for my winter getaways.



    But if I had to pick just one bike?
    It would definitely, hands down, without a doubt be the Roscoe.
    (And I'd keep the Giant roadie that I got free anyway).

    Addendum: I MUST get either a vintage 1980 SE Racing PK Ripper Looptail or a 2008 PK Ripper Looptail Repro (or BOTH! )
    That is without negotiation! I have to have another PK Ripper (like I had when I was a kid).
    But I have to get all these bikes before I get hitched!
    Once wifee comes in, sheesh! out go the "wish" lists!
    Last edited by 2ndgen; 05-07-2009 at 09:03 AM.

  40. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swthrtsuzy
    42

    yeah i heard there's a book about this

    42 is definitely the right number

    right?

  41. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by pisket
    How about hyping even more categories in between the ones that are already listed? How about even more? The correct answer, as in most cases, either 1 or infinite.

    This is just like the number of gears you have: it should either be 1, or infinite... Ha ha...

    Ali
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    that's just what i've heard

  42. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by bucksaw87
    oooooh...
    2

    -one good "do it all" mtb...probably a hardtail with a beefed up front fork. something light enough to take trails on a regular basis, and a little DH a few times a season
    -a decent roadie commuter, perhaps with knobbies and racks.

    not that having tons of bikes isn't fun, but if you REALLY wanna slim down your stable, you can do it with 2 bikes...in some cases just one...oh hell, i'll just change my vote to one cyclocross bike
    FS 29er

  43. #43
    I Tried Them ALL... SuperModerator
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    As you may know, a bicycle is really a luxury item. I'm dirt poor(student) and still has a road race bike, Cannondale CAAD 9 - full Dura Ace, Ksyrium SL, Ritchey Carbon and my XC race hardtail; Cannondale F2000 SL - Crossmax SLR, XO/XTR and Magura Marta SL stoppers. Now, I WANT(not NEED) a 5" travel FS bike...but really cannot justify making more payments on another bike again.

    I know once my income goes up...my stable of bikes will outnumber the digits on both hands, easily. Luxury items- gotta love 'em!
    "This is a male-dominated forum... there will be lots of Testosterone sword-shaming here" ~ Kenfucius

  44. #44

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    actually the right number is 429 - try and work that one out!

  45. #45
    OnTheTrailAgain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah
    As you may know, a bicycle is really a luxury item. I'm dirt poor(student) and still has a road race bike, Cannondale CAAD 9 - full Dura Ace, Ksyrium SL, Ritchey Carbon and my XC race hardtail; Cannondale F2000 SL - Crossmax SLR, XO/XTR and Magura Marta SL stoppers. Now, I WANT(not NEED) a 5" travel FS bike...but really cannot justify making more payments on another bike again.

    I know once my income goes up...my stable of bikes will outnumber the digits on both hands, easily. Luxury items- gotta love 'em!
    I'd love to see that CAAD9 outfit!

    As for the Crossmax SLR's how are they?
    The Marta SL's, my only alternative to Elixir CRs I'm considering.
    Are they as trouble free as they advertise and how strong are they?

    Sorry OP.

  46. #46

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    Two of every kind. Straight out of Genesis....

    In reality, I think I would be good
    with one solid all around mountain bike, and a road bike.
    as far as brands go, whatever my current obsession is.

  47. #47
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    For my purposes 4 is about right.

    1. FS Mountain bike 4" front and rear travel.
    2. SS Mountain as a fun ride/back up/winter bike.
    3. High end road bike for group rides and such.
    4. Lower end road bike to keep on a trainer.

    Currently I have all but the FS Mountain bike. I have owned several but always end up selling them. I absolutely must have a trainer bike because a. Im lazy and b. I don't want to tear up my road tires on the trainer. I don't need an DH or FR bike because I live in Illinois and there isn't much use for one of those around here.

  48. #48
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    Right now I am getting by just fine with only one. I bought a frame that can do SS and gears; along with 100mm fork and a used rigid fork. Over the last 8 months this bike has been a SS hardtail, SS rigid, fixed hardtail, 2x9 hardtail, and 2x9 rigid.

    Changing out parts is fairly simple and quick, but I can see how it would be nice to have a second bike and always have two different setups ready to go

  49. #49
    I Have Gnarly Potential
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    Quote Originally Posted by JmZ View Post
    Short answers.

    N+1

    N = current number of bikes

    OR

    S - 1

    S = number of bikes that will cause irreparable relationship damange.

    JmZ
    Old thread but still one of the best rules.
    2000 Zaskar X

  50. #50
    The White Jeff W
    Reputation: jeffw-13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,673
    Depends on where and how you ride. I have...

    Rigid single speed - super fun bike for cross country in relatively tame singletrack

    Rigid fat bike - winter riding and it took the place of my full suspension bike for summertime technical rides. I thrash it pretty good, jump it, rock crawling, etc.

    All mountain hardtail - for when I wanna get a little more rowdy or just change things up. Rigid bikes made me not like suspension as much.

    Townie bike - road rides, pub crawls, rail trails, etc. Cheap steel frame with rigid fork and cheap build.

    Any more than that and keeping them all running gets to be a chore.
    No moss...

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