Friday, April 11, 2014

Day 11: Need vs. Have vs. Want

I had a nice spin this evening around the metro park loop. One of the many great things about our location is that we're less than a mile from Glacier Ridge Metro Park. They have a lightly used multi use path running through the park, and from our house it makes a nice ten mile loop. Especially for afterwork or weekday morning rides, it's a pleasant way to get away from traffic.

I did ten fixed miles on ye Olde Trek, stopping at a vernal pool for a picture:

I was rolling along in a happy mood because I had just sold my Niner frame. With my bike budget solidly in the black again, it was fun to chew through some possibilities:

I need a mountain bike. I have my Krampus and my FSR, and maybe my Breezer, if it goes that way. I want, perhaps, a Chinese carbon frame, or a super blowout, half off 2013 Salsa Spearfish 3... even though I've already had a Spearfish and was just whelmed by it (not overwhelmed or underwhelmed, just whelmed). I don't really want the Spearfish, but it's such a good deal! I feel like an alcoholic staring at the bottle, knowing I would hate myself for giving in. So I won't. But a Chinese frame with a carbon fork, a 3" Knard up front, a 2.4" in the rear, and a 1x9 or 10 setup? That's got some real potential.

I really need to try out the Krampus on some real dirt. I have an idea that after trying out the big rubber on it, I won't be able to go back to normal sized tires. That might squeeze out the FSR, but make room for some 26 x 2.75" Dirt Wizard tires for the Breezer.

I need a road bike. I have ye Olde Trek and my trusty CC (sometimes). In many ways, the Trek is perhaps better for me than the Cross Check, at least due to its flexier tubing and lower trail front end. But the CC wins on tire clearance, braze ons, and sentimental value, and maybe I just want a low trail fork for it. I also kind of want to turn the CC back into a fixed gear--I'm not super happy with it as a utility bike, due to the tall standover.

The oddball part of me also wants an ERB frame with the super light scandium wheels from the FSR and some 2.3" or so fat and supple 26" slicks. Quick, light wheels, disc brakes, a springy feeling frame... it could be a lot of fun. Or a disaster, and I worry the resale value on the ERB would be just about zero. But it's just $350 shipped, about what I'm clearing for the Niner...

I need a city bike. I have the Novara, the Breezer (sometimes), and the CC (sometimes). I want to sell the Novara (see the note about limited resale value above), so I can make room for the oft-mentioned Velo Orange Carmargue. The VO is not quite perfect--I would give it a bit more bottom bracket drop and quite a bit more head tube--but it's very close to a custom I drew up a while back and almost went with. I'm also tempted by the Specialized AWOL. Both it and the VO are similar to my Fargo, a bike I really enjoyed, but with lighter tubesets.

So potentially I could end up with:

- mountain: Krampus (or a Chinese carbon frame)
- road: CC fixed gear
- city: VO Carmargue (or AWOL)
- alternate: Breezer or ERB

Three is my ideal, but four is doable. The problem is, there's an infinite number of ways to get there, and I'm trying to find them all.


  1. Thank you for this. I am always grateful when others voice their struggles with what bikes they have, want ad need. I suffer with these issues often.

    1. Paul,

      Since I wrote this post, the Novara is gone, the Trek has become my main "go fast" road bike, and both Surlys will be facing the chopping block soon. So it goes.

      I don't think bicyclus-ad-infinitum is recognized by the American Psychological Association (yet), so we may have to form our own support group in the meantime.

  2. I believe you've left out "purpose" based on desire in your analysis.

    You don't *need* any bikes. You have a car and use it to get to work and the store. I also have a car, but commute to work due to traffic and parking issues (best I can tell from this blog you don't commute to work). So I need *one* bike.

    I also bike my daughter to school once a week on my way to work with a Burley Piccolo, so I need a bike that can pull it. This could still be done with the commute bike I need.

    Now to purpose -- I race crits and cyclocross (old middle-age division) as a desire. Since the commute bike that hauls a Burley Piccolo isn't suitable for crit racing, I "need" a fast drop-bar road bike. So now that's two bikes I need.

    I used to use the entry-level cyclocross bike for hauling the Piccolo (since it had full rack mounting eyelets), but got tired of removing and reinstallin the heavy rack every other weekend (Autumn to Winter). So now I "need" a cyclocross bike. So now that's three bikes I need.

    I *want* a carbon drop-bar road bike for training rides and century rides (I race a used aluminum bike for crit racing -- too many crashes and I've seen
    several carbon frames cracked just this month).

    I *want* a FS mountain bike as the videos I see of folks look so much fun.


    I suspect you're in the same boat. You need a kid hauler, you need a mountain bike. But from the blog it seems there are two different styles mountain bike riding you like to do, so you need a FS and hardtail bike each. Etc...


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