I have four bikes. I ride two of them frequently. Sadly the recumbent and the folding bike are the two I don’t ride. I’ve been considering selling them to pay for upgrades on the LHT and single-speed, which I will keep. This would also allow me to stick with my simple-living idea.
The problem is, I can’t bring myself to sell them. I love the ‘bent, even if I don’t ride it much anymore. The folding bike has a two minor purposes in my home.
I guess simple is going out the window. I’m not selling. Here’s the plan:
Folding Bike: I’ll clean this bike up and shove it in a closet for when visitors come over. It’s adjustable enough for nearly anyone to ride. It’ll be a guest bike. It’ll also work in the rare instance that I need a folding bike. I won’t upgrade any parts on it.
Recumbent: I’ll start tearing this bike down for a rebuild. It may someday sport a dynohub and Rohloff rear hub. I’ll get it repainted a different color, upgrade the brakes, and do something different with the handlebars/cockpit. This will end up being quite expensive, but I’ll stretch it out over several years. I may eventually need a recumbent for touring when my body can’t handle an upright anymore.
Shorter term changes would be new rear rack, adding midship rack, and upgrading the brakes.
Long Haul Trucker: This is a great touring bike. I used it on my 5-day tour, and I’ll use it again. At some point I want new brakes and a dynohub, but the bike rides well as-is. It’ll also be my gravel ride, hilly ride, and winter bike.
Single Speed: This bike has recently become my primary commuting bike. The intended use was as a stripped-down, light-weight, pretty bike, but it’s now sporting a rack and fenders. It’s still pretty, and I’ll be careful when choosing new components to not ruin the (admittedly weird) aesthetic it’s got going on.
I do want to add a dynohub to it also. See a pattern here? At some point it’ll get some tougher tires, as the rough roads here mean I get the occasional flat on my commute – not fun.
The issue with four bikes
Everything I just outlined is part of the problem of having four bikes. I have four bikes I need to maintain and upgrade. Not only does this cost money, but it takes time. It makes life more complicated, not simpler.
If I could keep only one bike, it would be the LHT. Luckily, that’s not the case. I could do everything I need on it, but although I use a bike for transportation, I also enjoy the cycling experience. I enjoy variety. I’d be fairly happy with two bikes, and four just gives me more to worry about, but with the possibility of more in the future.
In addition to my four bikes, I’m also maintaining my wife’s bike and my daughters. Neither is seeing much use right now, so it’s not an issue. I hope that changes this year.