Saturday, 9 July 2011

How many bikes?

If you're a regular reader you will already know I've got a couple of bikes.  The oldest is my 1984 Dawes Galaxy and earlier this year I added the Thorn Audax Mk3.  To be honest I have been feeling a little guilty about having two.

A while back I thought of selling the Dawes in order to save a little room in the garage and recover some money.  Then there's the thought of not hoarding and being too materialistic as it could be argued that goes against the simplicity of cycling.  The Dawes has 27" wheels which are obsolete nowadays, the gears are vague, stiff and not indexed, the chain is worn.  Both of these bikes have a fair bit in common, so surely there's duplication and what's the point in having both.

During the last week I've had the opportunity to cycle to work on 3 days, each using the Thorn Audax and covered almost 90 miles and it was on one of these rides the question of how many bikes occurred to me.  Bearing in mind it's a brilliant day ride bike with a light touring capacity, a training bike, a shopping bike.  I like it, why would I need anything else?

Then this evening, I needed to pop out for a Sainsbury's visit: this is not the weekly grocery shop but more of a "top-up" and I used the Dawes - and that's when the penny dropped.  Yes it's fine to have more than one bike, providing they get used.  These two bikes handle very differently and I like them both because of that.  As one is elderly, the Dawes lends itself for local trips only, keeping the Thorn for longer rides.

So as these bikes have a slightly different purpose, does the footwear principle apply here?  I have two pairs of work shoes so I can avoid wearing them on consecutive days, a best pair, a worn out scruffy pair for messing about outside, a pair of wellies for when we have snow, a pair of hiking boots, a pair of SPD cycling shoes, a pair of sandals and flip flops (for holiday), two pairs of running shoes and - but don't laugh - a pair of slippers.

Given that analogy, having two bikes seems very restrained!


  1. I don't think 3 is enough...
    1. Time trial/Triathlon
    2. Fixed wheel
    3. Cyclocross/training (depending on wheel/tyre choice)
    4. would be a mountain bike (hard-tail, preferably 29er)
    5. would be a 2nd cyclocross/training/light touring...

  2. What a lovely thought.
    Is that 3+ bikes for everyone in your family?!?!

  3. It's a well known fact that the correct number of bIkes is n+1
    n being the number of bikes you currently own

    1. Hi Anon

      Number of bikes = n+1.

      I like that.