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Thread: Bike Minimalism

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    Default Bike Minimalism

    How many bikes do you own? How much cycling stuff do you own? My three moves in the past five years or so have me considering these things. And another move is being considered and will probably result in a much smaller living space.

    I've been taking stock of all the cycling stuff I own and am slowly evaporating it. I go through the drawers in my tool box and find tools that have no relevance today, yet I've carted them around during these moves. They're going in the trash and won't make another move. Components that haven't been used in years and also have no more relevance are going in the same place.

    I expect to do the same with my whole fleet of bikes and I'm not sure that any of them is truly sacred. Over the years the fleet has ballooned to about 8 bikes, which is probably about 6 too many. Having more bikes hasn't made riding more fun. On the contrary, it clutters the mind.

    Anyone else feel the same way? When something goes I almost never miss it. Looking at these things it's hard to imagine them gone but when they are gone I barely remember I owned them.

    The past few months in the new house have resulted in noticeably less stuff and it's going to continue to get whittled down to a more reasonable size. Based on the classified ads here and ATH I'm quite sure I'm not the only one. Less is definitely more here.

    That is all.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    certainly a good impulse.
    I would keep your indy fab, your zank and one carbon racer. that's more than enough.
    If you are getting rid of stuff--see if you can donate it to a local shop/ co-op/ junior team rather than tossing it in the trash.
    godspeed.
     

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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    Four bikes with a new frame in the mail right now. The plan is once that’s built up I whittle down to 3 bikes again. Realistically I could get down to two, but the $$$ I could get for the third one versus what itd cost to acquire something similar is slightly out of whack. So that, plus my plenty of garage space gets in the way of what could be considered minimalism. Also once it’s built I am going to sell or donate to a co-op most of the orphaned parts in my bins.
    And since I’ve been riding less frequently since the kids came along, I try to only buy New Jersey’s/ bibs when I have two older ones ready to toss
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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    Quote Originally Posted by skouri1 View Post
    certainly a good impulse.
    I would keep your indy fab, your zank and one carbon racer. that's more than enough.
    If you are getting rid of stuff--see if you can donate it to a local shop/ co-op/ junior team rather than tossing it in the trash.
    godspeed.
    Trash is a big word. Some goes in the garbage and some stuff is being given away. Expect more here. The stuff that goes in the garbage is truly just clutter.

    I also see one carbon racer, the steel Zanconato and probably the incoming Zanconato all-road bike. Possibly nothing more.
    La Cheeserie!

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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    Good for you, Saab2000. Great post.
    My life is generally minimalist in nature, yet I do enjoy a selection of bicycles.

    It is handy when meeting a group ride and you discover the bike you picked has a mechanical issue.
    No problemo, grab another one, and repair the problem at your leisure once you return home again.
     

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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    I have almost four bikes: a gravel bike, a road bike, a “coffee” bike and a soon to be delivered MTB. I am very happy with what I have. I do replicate on-the-bike tools as I have similar tools for each bike so I dont have to switch out tool bags etc etc.
    Last edited by joosttx; 04-13-2018 at 09:25 AM.
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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    About three years ago my wife and I moved across the ocean which necessitated a ton of downsizing. We had been living (and I racing) in Chicago for nearly 7 years and over that time I had stockpiled 6 bikes built, 2 extra frames and she another 3. We had a whole room that was just bikes, rollers, and a workstand/box of tools and parts. Not to mention a lot of kit (necessary when you're riding 6-7 days/week in a city that goes from -10 to +30C every year). Moving made us reevaluate what was necessary (not just in bikes, but in all of our "stuff") and in the end we moved with 1 bike each, 1 backpack each and 1 duffel bag each. Since then I've acquired an additional 2 bikes so we have 4 in the household, but kept the rest of the "stuff" to the same minimum. With a good rack we could theoretically fit everything that we own in a car right now (though in keeping with the minimalism neither of us own a car or drive at all).

    You are completely right that more bikes does not make riding any better or more fun. For me it is a utility issue. She has 1 bike because she works from home (i.e. no commuting) and only rides on the road or hardpack trails. I ride on the road (bike #1), gravel and bad-weather road days (bike #2), and do all of the groceries/errands/ultra-shitty days with the third bike (fendered, rack, 1x11, cantis...etc.). I still dont know why I thought I needed multiple bikes that served the exact same purpose...
    "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."


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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    There will be three. Two road bikes of different personalities - one set up conventionally square and one long and low - and a comfort* bike.

    *incoming Drifter that will be set up somewhere in between the two road bikes.

    When I win the Firefly raffle that bike will mysteriously get measured to fit Karen.
     

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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    I have way too much of everything, and a wife who beats me by a factor of ten in this department. But I plan to change the former, and persuade my wife to follow suit. As for bikes, I used to have less than twenty. I sold many, but still have a bunch of frames and parts, etc.

    What keeps me up at night is having too many cows. Parting with animals is problematic in the extreme.
     

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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    Two.

    One is my steel Spectrum (V'Salonist Tom Kellogg) road bike. Cannot imagine ever being without it. I ride it on clear dry days. every ride is special.

    Second is my city / travel fendered 650B single speed. I've not owned a car in years. Unless I move somewhere I can get every place I want to go cannot imagine being without the bike or something like it.

    I've had at least 15 custom bikes over the years. All the rest I've either given to family members or a local bike related non-profit organization.

    About 15 years ago I started amasing what turned out to be a completely unsustainable collection of new or very good condition mostly vintage Campagnolo but some other French and even Spanish (Zeus) bicycle components and tools along with an incredibly large collection of head badges. About four years ago I came to grips with how much of my time and my living space these things were taking. I sold all but a few of the components and tools at swap meets. I had a local picture framer (who turned out to be a cyclist himself) frame some of the badges and smaller tools. These are the only thing on my walls.
     

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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    Having more bikes hasn't made riding more fun. On the contrary, it clutters the mind.
    I find that to be a universal truism, not only wrt quantity but to pursuit of the latest, greatest technical gizmo (in bike world, electronic shifting springs immediately to mind).

    The 1x5 drivetrain on my CX bike doesn't reduce enjoyment. Actually, it's an enhancement as I'm using components that have become old friends which are easy to get along with and which, with modest luck, will be enjoyed by others after I am dust.

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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    Having more bikes hasn't made riding more fun. On the contrary, it clutters the mind.
    To each his own. I have way more bikes than I need, almost all of them road because that's what I mostly ride. I love pretty much every one of them, they all get ridden a reasonable amount, and the variety is nice. If I'm using it, it stays. If I'm not, it gets sold or donated. But I never feel burdened by the stuff.
     

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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew J View Post
    Two.

    One is my steel Spectrum (V'Salonist Tom Kellogg) road bike. Cannot imagine ever being without it. I ride it on clear dry days. every ride is special.

    Second is my city / travel fendered 650B single speed. I've not owned a car in years. Unless I move somewhere I can get every place I want to go cannot imagine being without the bike or something like it.

    I've had at least 15 custom bikes over the years. All the rest I've either given to family members or a local bike related non-profit organization.

    About 15 years ago I started amasing what turned out to be a completely unsustainable collection of new or very good condition mostly vintage Campagnolo but some other French and even Spanish (Zeus) bicycle components and tools along with an incredibly large collection of head badges. About four years ago I came to grips with how much of my time and my living space these things were taking. I sold all but a few of the components and tools at swap meets. I had a local picture framer (who turned out to be a cyclist himself) frame some of the badges and smaller tools. These are the only thing on my walls.
    What's a good local non-profit bike organization that could use used but still good kit, tools, maybe even a bike/frame?

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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Strongin View Post
    To each his own. I have way more bikes than I need, almost all of them road because that's what I mostly ride. I love pretty much every one of them, they all get ridden a reasonable amount, and the variety is nice. If I'm using it, it stays. If I'm not, it gets sold or donated. But I never feel burdened by the stuff.
    I'm on board with this. When Dr. Brooks (DBRK) was a participant here, I recall him striking a resonant chord with me when he wrote that it was just stuff and if it provides pleasure for a period of time, so be it.
    "Certainly I would have been dropped had it not been for my hydraulic disc brakes....."

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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    Quote Originally Posted by El Chaba View Post
    ”...When Dr. Brooks (DBRK) was a participant here...”
    He possesses a modest collection of bicycles.
     

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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post
    How many bikes do you own? How much cycling stuff do you own?
    Three and damned little, respectively. Even my framebuilding equipment is pretty much bare bones, short of doing it with string and straight edges. I have been gradually de-cluttering for a while. It's a never ending process but I can feel the weights lift and it's good.

    This, but now with a proper 1/8", Sugino 75 drivetrain: Flickr

    This: Flickr

    And this, hot out of my FB shop: Flickr

    The last one, 650b x 42, will do essentially anything the others will do....

    Three is a number (a magnitude) I can live with but I could live with two, or one and be just as happy. It won't ever be = or > than four.

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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    Theres a certain point when having too few working bikes adds stress to me. I need a commuter, I want a running MTB, and two bikes with drop bars, set up differently. If I got ride of one of the drop bar bikes, I'd spend a lot more time fiddling with things and therefor not be able to just go ride on a whim. They all get ridden a lot, and I'm considering adding a true road bike, as well as building up my older HT mtb.

    That said, the only thing I am a little pack raty about is parts. I dont think I've ever sold used parts, yet I buy a ton. I have so many old cassettes with notes on them, like "maybe has a little life left" or "I have no idea" and "completly trash". I think we have 5 or so frames/partial builds in the basement that wouldnt mean anything to anyone, yet I dont really want to see them go. Wheels that have blown hubs, but everything else is fine, etc. These are the things I need to get rid of. Theres even a frame that I have earmarked as, "someday we'll have a kid, and when their about 10 years old..."
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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    Quote Originally Posted by s_curran View Post
    Theres even a frame that I have earmarked as, "someday we'll have a kid, and when their about 10 years old..."
    I did this too, and it worked. And I was able to keep my kids rolling on stuff I had around, plus some community help. That was really gratifying. I have been gradually clearing out crap I will never use - lighting systems with halogen bulbs and big dead old-fashioned batteries, for example, wheels with galvanized spokes for another - and getting slowly organized, but I don't really see the point in getting rid of old stuff that's still useful but has no real market value. Space is not a problem at my house.

    I only have one road bike and one fatter-tired road bike in the rotation; it's the mountain bikes that really proliferate. 29er, fat bike, my old rigid Ritchey, mountain tandem all moto ready right now.

    Somehow I own a trials bike with caliper brakes. That bike, I could get rid of.
     

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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    I've whittled down from four road bikes, a TT bike, an mtb, a track bike, SS/fixie townie, two folding bikes, two CX bikes (12) to just three road bikes, two CX bikes and two folding bikes (7). At least one of the folding bikes is on it's way out. And the TT bike now just a framset and is the next to go. Ideally I'd just have two CX bikes and two road bikes, with one of the road bikes staying at the office. j

    I've let go of a bunch of kits recently, donating them to other programs. Old components and spares are finding their way to the trash.

    While it can be fun to different things to ride, maintenance starts taking its toll when its come time to replace chains, cassettes, tires, etc.
     

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    Default Re: Bike Minimalism

    Quote Originally Posted by Saab2000 View Post

    Anyone else feel the same way? When something goes I almost never miss it. Looking at these things it's hard to imagine them gone but when they are gone I barely remember I owned them.
    Yes. Weird, isn't it? Now when I struggle to get rid of something, I tell myself that in a month or less, I'll have completely forgotten about it.
     

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