Optimizing my bike fleet

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jpr
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Optimizing my bike fleet

Post by jpr » Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:59 pm

I'm a bit of a bike geek and currently own at least one too many bikes. I wonder if anyone has been in a similar situation where they have felt the need to downsize their bike fleet?

My requirements are as follows:

- need to be able to commute year round in Helsinki (i.e. need mudguards, studded tires part of the year)
- need to be able to participate on bike tours with friends who like to do them (this can probably be the same bike as the commuter)
- want a fast "road" bike for fitness rides in groups and alone
- want a "mountain" bike for same reasons

Currently own the following bikes:
- a road bike
- a "racy" xc-mountain bike with front suspension
- another mountain bike that is fully rigid and made of steel, this I use as a commuter currently
- a cyclocross bike that has rack & fender mounts in the rear, this could double as a commuter and possibly even a road bike, but probably not at the same time (still building this one up, haven't ridden it yet so I don't know exactly how it feels for what use, should be quite cabable though)
- a beater I got for free, not worth selling

Of these the xc-mountain bike is probably the one that could go without me missing much. The rigid mountain bike is more difficult. It's a good commuter when it has slicks, and a good mtb when it has off-road tires. However, my commute is not offroad :D It has full rack and render mounts. The road bike is probably made somewhat redundant when I get the cyclocross bike ready. This means that I could sell the road bike and xc mountain bike, leaving me with the cyclocross bike and the rigid mountain bike. However, the bike geek in me says that I wouldn't probably be happy if I didn't have a proper road bike for fast road rides, even if the cyclocross would be just as fast with the right tires... Stupid, I know.

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Ego
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Re: Optimizing my bike fleet

Post by Ego » Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:54 pm

jpr wrote:I'm a bit of a bike geek and currently own at least one too many bikes.
Every bike geek I know operates on the belief that n + 1 is the ideal number of bikes, where n = the number of bikes currently owned. I think maybe you are an ERE bike geek. ERE can cause schizophrenia regarding optimization formulas from the general population.

I currently have the same number of bikes and hold similar rationalizations for each so I won't offer advice other than to say that your last line is not stupid at all.

jacob
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Re: Optimizing my bike fleet

Post by jacob » Sat Apr 23, 2016 4:47 pm

I feel a continuous need to downsize everything. I've owned over twice as many bikes (5) as I do now (2) and yet somehow I still don't think I have the right bike. If you're looking for the Swiss Army knife of cycling, it's going to be a compromise in all aspects. However, I think it's possible to get one which is "good enough" for almost everything.

The key is exchangeable tires and being able to go from 23mm racing tires to knobby 40mm trail tires which you change according to activity. Not all frames have the clearance for that + fenders but some do. I'd pick a road geometry but put MTB components on it along with a MTB handlebar but put aerobars on the handlebar. No suspension... if you have too put it in the saddle or seatpost. This bike will win dork-awards, but there will be few things it can't do.

JL13
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Re: Optimizing my bike fleet

Post by JL13 » Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:39 pm

Yeah for what you're after you'll need to switch tires back and forth. You're describing essentially a Salsa Vaya I believe. Your cyclocross bike is probably the most likely candidate with a few mods.

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C40
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Re: Optimizing my bike fleet

Post by C40 » Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:57 pm

If the chainring on your cyclocross bike is big enough to have enough gearing to go as fast as you need on the road, then you don't need to bother with a road bike. (and if the chainring isn't big enough, consider putting a larger one on there and using a large sprocket on your CX wheel)

Back when I was racing, there were some Cyclocross guys who did road races on their CX bikes and it didn't stop them from being competitive. If you're just talking about group rides, you don't need a road bike at all. If you just want one because it'd be more fun, that's totally cool. Just don't fool yourself into thinking you "need" one.

jpr
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Re: Optimizing my bike fleet

Post by jpr » Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:38 am

C40:

Yeah, I totally know that I really need only one bike, the rest are for bike geeking, which is pretty much my only hobby. Regarding the gearing, I'm starting with 46/36 in the front and 11-32 (11 speed) in the back, it should be fast enough, or if it isn't I can get a 50t or even bigger outer chainring.

jacob:

I don't think road geometry would really work with a straight handlebar, the top-tube length (reach actually) would be too short unless you go for a bigger frame, and then the standover could become a problem. And I prefer drop bars for other reasons, too.

I think that otherwise I could do pretty good with just one bike, but there are two problems:

1. Changing tires regularly takes time and effort, not much, but it could still mean that I would ride less than I would like to. Two wheelsets with different tires would solve this. They could also have different cassettes for different gearing.

2. The commuter should probably have full fenders on full time, but the sporty fun bikes shouldn't. I haven't yet researched clip-on fenders for the cyclocross bike so there's a possibility that there are products that could be put on/off fast enough without tools that this wouldn't be problem.

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Re: Optimizing my bike fleet

Post by jacob » Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:52 am

@jpr - Sorry, I actually meant multiple wheel sets to change. This would be even cheaper if you went with 26". It depends on whether you lean towards trail or street. Reach/speed is why I put the aero bars on. Otherwise a flat bar is pretty normal for fixies over here. Makes for an upright commuter/slow hipster bike. There's also the trekking/butterfly bar to consider.

jpr
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Re: Optimizing my bike fleet

Post by jpr » Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:51 am

I did some research and it seems that there SKS Raceblade XL would be a good set of fenders for the cyclocross bike. Should be quick to put on and off. This means that I can commute and tour on it if I want to since it has rack mounts for longer tours, for commuting and short tours a backpack is sufficient. And it should be fast enough for group rides with road tires and without fenders. Now it seems more that I should actually get rid of the rigid steel mountain bike and the road bike.

JL13
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Re: Optimizing my bike fleet

Post by JL13 » Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:10 am

Save the road bike wheels and part out the rest?

jpr
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Re: Optimizing my bike fleet

Post by jpr » Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:13 am

The road bike wheels are not compatible with discs, meanwhile all the other bikes have disc brakes. I'll sell it whole if anything, easier to find a buyer too since its an entry/low-mid level bike so the potential buyers won't have dozens of wheels themselves.

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Re: Optimizing my bike fleet

Post by jacob » Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:15 am

Why are fenders a problem for road biking? If it's just a weight issue, it only matters if you're in so good a shape that a few extra pounds materially affects your power-to-weight ratio ... and if you're that good, you should probably keep your road bike :)

wheatstate
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Re: Optimizing my bike fleet

Post by wheatstate » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:32 pm

I like to refer to bikes by digits.
A two digit bike cost $XX in US dollars. These are easy to play with as bike hobby.
A four digit bike cost $XXXX. These are what delay ERE.

For ERE, a two digit bike is an amazing tool for transportation, fun and exercise.

To combine ERE and my bike hobby, I look to minimize annual bike expenditures. I give a pass to previous bike purchases that were made before ERE that are largely depreciated. This allows me to continue my bike hobby at minimal cost. The false economy of this is if it keeps me in larger, or more expensive housing.

A cyclocross bike with road wheels is surprisingly fast.
A race road bike with minimal holding costs is an amazing tool. However, they are silly how they don't allow a tire larger than 23/25cc or fenders. I would not cut until the rest of my life is optimized at a higher level.

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Ego
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Re: Optimizing my bike fleet

Post by Ego » Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:02 pm

Velo-Orange had a good post on their blog today about standards....

http://velo-orange.blogspot.com/2016/04 ... -gone.html

I guess part of optimizing a bike fleet is to make sure the remaining bikes stick to the industry standards for the reasons they mentioned.

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Olaz
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Re: Optimizing my bike fleet

Post by Olaz » Sat Apr 30, 2016 8:58 am

Methinks a touring/cross bike like the Surly Cross-Check with fenders, a rear rack, a narrow/slick wheel set, a knobby/wide wheel set, and a studded wheel set (if ice) is the best all around bike. If you can choose a second, I'd get a mountain bike and shift the studded set to it.

Oo, Ahh: http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/231900396399?rmvSB=true

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