Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Hello, I'm Jon, And I Have A Problem...

I think I'm addicted to building bikes. Worse, I'm addicted to owning bikes. I can't even answer people when they ask how many I have, because I have lost track.

And, I'm not talking about all of the bikes lying about, waiting to be built and sold. I mean, I can't really tell you how many of my own bikes there are.

So, as I periodically do, I have been trying to make a list of must-haves, so that I can get rid of the rest. I have a good bit of money tied up in these bikes, not to mention the storage space that they take up.

I guess that when it comes to "must-have", I could get rid of everything other than my all-rounder; the 650b Stumpjumper. Narrow slicks, and it's a road bike. Wide knobbies, and it's a mountain bike. Throw a rack and fenders on...commuter.

But, I can justify (in my mind, at least) having bikes for specific uses. I have no conceptual problem with having one each of a mountain bike, road bike, fixed gear, commuter and classic (either a cruiser or a 3-speed). Add to that what I call "souvenir bikes", bikes that have no real use but are uncommon enough to want to just have them (the Formula 1, the high-wheeler, the pink Gary Fisher, and the vintage Iver Johnson), and that's 9 bikes. Probably 15, or so, less than what I have now.

But, and this is the problem, I have a hard time picking what type of bike in each category to have. Let's take mountain bikes, for instance. I can think of 36 different iterations of mtb, without factoring in such things as frame material, components, etc.

This illustrates what I mean (click for big, if you actually want to read it):

And, that's just mountain bikes. Each type of bike listed above has a similar range of choices. How do I pick just one of each?

Well, the Stumpy can fill the role of road bike, and also a 650b, geared rigid mountain bike. Add the geared 29er (with a suspension fork to throw on when I feel the need) and two categories are filled. Of course, that means I sell the KHS softtail. Hmmm...

The Peugeot is the only fixed gear I need. So, the LeMond goes on the block.

The commuter is a no-brainer. The new Raleigh Supercommuter stays. I have a set of disc 26" fixed-gear wheels onto which I will mount the snow tires, so that the Super can also be my snow bike, during the winter. So, the 700c orange Ghetto Rockhopper and the chrome Schwinn can be sold.

I suppose that I might cheat the list a bit and keep both the drum-braked Schwinn Cruiser 5 and my Hercules 3-speed. (I have to keep the 3-speed for reasons I will reveal, soon.) The box-bike Murray grocery-getter can go away, in that instance. It's on long-term loan to a neighbor, currently, anyway.

The pink Gary Fisher frameset can go on the wall. I have decided to retire it before it breaks. So, I can use the parts currently on it to build up something else to sell.

The Miami Vice bike goes to Tennessee to stay at my Mom and Dad's house.

The other "souvenir" bikes can stay as they are. I ride the F1 and the high-wheeler, sometimes, and the Iver Johnson is just too cool to part with.

So, with 8 bikes I can fill the 9 slots. I'll sell the 24" BMX cruiser, as well, since I never ride it, along with a couple of old-school mountain bikes (although the Nishiki with elevated chainstays may attain "souvenir" status...)

Now, to commit to the theory and actually act upon the plan!



At 10:14 PM , Blogger Dottie said...

Hi Jon :)

At 8:17 AM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

All I can say is,"welcome to the ranks of the bike obcessed."I too have lost count and sometimes others I gather think that I have lost my mind in the process.Lets make a list and see if I can ride them all.

Mountain and mountain(ish)
-rigid geared ritchey 26"
-front susp. kona 26"
-rigid ss kona 29"
-rigid fixed ross 26"
-front susp. giant dirt jumper 26"
-front susp.Giant 650b conv.

Road and Cyclocross
-rigid 1x8 Kona monstercross
-Surly pacer 650b conv.
-rigid SS Surly crossXcheck
- Kona Sutra Tourer Commutter
-Soma Rush Fixed Gear
-Schwinn Traveler 10spd
-1985 trek SS

-Shreckengost three speed

Freak bikes
-Double high tall bike(2) yes I have 2 of them
-Sidewinder (bends in the middle)
-Retro Direct pedal 6 spd. (forwards and backwards gears)
-Front wheel drive rear wheel steer recumbent.
-short wb recumbent
-long wb recumbent
-24" wheel unicycle
-52" wheel highwheeler9(In peices)

That makes 23 total 22 can ride now.The high wheeler just needs solid tires. Plus countless other that remain in various states of dis- repair that probably # in the 30's.So what I am trying to say is that you aren't the only one there are a lot of us out there with the "bicycle bug" and the only thing that can cure it is MORE BICYCLES.

At 8:20 AM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

Obsessed,I meant D'oh!

At 11:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You poor, poor man. Please step away from the bicycles and no one will get hurt.
Now you need to add a list of must-have motorcycles.

At 11:55 AM , Blogger getinlost said...

Hi Jon. Thank you for sharing. Ownership of the problem is a beginning. Wait a minute, ownership IS the problem. I'm just glad that I don't have that issue. (snort);)

At 12:31 PM , Blogger Apertome said...

Wow, that's a lot of bikes! I love the chart of different types of mountain bikes.

I only have three bikes (although to many people, three bikes does not garner the modifier "only"). Anyway, I have my Long Haul Trucker, which is very versatile for road riding and offroad riding that isn't too insane. A hardtail mountain bike for the crazy stuff, and a beater around town bike.

Maybe that is a better way of looking at the bikes. Think about the different types of riding you do, and limit yourself to one or two for each style of riding. Of course you should also take into account versatility like you have with the 650b Stumpjumper.

This still doesn't solve the problem of the "souvenir" bikes, though. Not sure what to tell you about that!

At 4:18 PM , Blogger Big Oak said...

Wow, that chart is scaring me, man. I think you'd better keep working with the bikes. Don't want to bottle that up! Could be dangerous!

At 4:34 PM , Blogger frankenbiker said...

Jon, do you realize that if you built every mountainbike on yor chart that you would have 336 mountain bikes?!That is to say if every material in every configuration existed, but were talkng theoretically here.

At 10:11 PM , Blogger Jon said...

So many little time...

You probably don't want to see the whole chart, where all of the different road bikes, cross bikes, bmx bikes, etc. are displayed. It's mind-boggling, and just the sort of stuff I sit around drawing up.

It's a sickness, I tell you.

speaking of sitting around drawing, there's a new post on 52 Card.


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