Friday Group Ride #110

I am about to buy a new bike. Never mind which bike. It’s a bike that I will love. It’s the one I want the most right now. It’s another bike, but it’s a solution for a problem I didn’t know I had, but am now very concerned about.

Of course, I already have a bike for every reason I can think of to have a bike. I have five of them. I had more, but I gave some away, and I sold others to make room for new ones. They were all, at one time or another, the bike I wanted the most.

And because I’m like you, and you’re like me, there is always that bike, the next bike, and I am always having that internal conversation over which bike it should be and the follow on conversation about how I’m going to go about paying for it.

My latest idea is to sell my vinyl record collection. Let’s not discuss this part of the plan any further. My gatefold, lime-green version of Zen Arcade has been a prized possession since I was about 20. The idea that I am somehow “done with it” has already precipitated an ontological crisis I’m not yet emotionally prepared to share with you.

Moving on.

This week’s Group Ride is a pretty simple one: Of the bikes you own right now, which one is most important and why? Another way to think of the question is this: If you had to get rid of all the bikes you own but one, which would you keep?

I am not concerned with which bike might be the ideal, single solution to riding, racing, and commuting. We all know the answer to that question is a disc-brake cross bike with an internal hub, rear rack and dyno hub. Each of us will buy that bike next year when it makes up 65% of the new bikes on the market.

No. I want to know which of your bikes is most important to you, the one hanging in pride of place in the garage. Or maybe you don’t have a garage, and the bike lives inside with you. It’s house broken. Maybe you even have a nice wooden wall rack for it. That’s the bike I want to know about. Why is it where it is?

61 comments

  1. Dan B.

    I have to be a little biased on this one, but my full-rigid 29er singlespeed. I built the frame myself during my apprenticeship with Paul Wyganowski. She’s not super-light (17 pounds), but she’s a ton of fun on local singletrack. Pictures and description here: http://bit.ly/GKdWC5

  2. The Tashkent Error

    I don’t love my bikes, I don’t give them names and I don’t think they have souls either. Sure, I like all of them, I wouldn’t own them otherwise, now would I? But “love” for an inanimate object is a concept I can’t really wrap my head around.

    My current road bike is a very comfortable and innovative titanium rig which is not manufactured anymore and I’m pretty confident that if I ever let it go I most likely won’t be able to get another one in my size, ever. It would suck losing it, since I very much like the ride quality it offers.

    But if it came to the point that I have to get rid of all but one, I’d keep “a” steel ‘cross bike, for its versatility. It would suck not being able to ride on the track anymore, but for everything else with a few pairs of wheels it can perform very well and it would offer me more freedom for riding. And that’s the most important thing for me.

  3. gene r

    Well I own a 1972 Atala fitted with a Neuvo Record gruppo. It was real pretty when I bought it used but has since become my mudder. Then I have a custom built Medici which I bought new around 1977. I restored it with Super Record with a polished crank. It looks like a piece of jewelery. But the pride of the fleet is my 97 DeRosa. Columbus SLX and a Chorus 11 gruppo. That is the bike I won’t part with. It never fails to get complimented on group rides. It is a very civilized bike. Does everything well. They haven’t made a carbon fiber bike that looks as good. Ferrari red with a chrome fork.

  4. dvgmacdonald

    I just bought a steel Raleigh Sojourn. Disc brakes, barcons, rear rack, double kickstand, pedals that let me clip in on one side, and wear street shoes on the other. I added a Yepp Maxi seat for my 11 month old daughter, and a Chariot Cheetah 2 trailer for her triplet brothers.

    It’s unquestionably the most important bike to me right now, as the road bike is destined to hang from a hook in the garage ceiling unused for most of the summer. The only way I’m getting out of the house without an insurrection is to take all of the babies with me.

    I can also remove the trailer & seat and throw the panniers on the rack to get to & from class with books & a laptop (I’m working on a masters degree, too).

    If I’m ever to get rid of this spare tire, this bike will be the one to help me shed it.

  5. Billy

    Of my 4 bikes the most important to me is my IF Crown Jewel (steel w/ carbon seatstays). It is the only bike I own that was purchased new. I have been revising the fit over the last 4 years, so it is on it’s 4th set of wheels, 4th handlebar, 3rd seatpost, and 2nd drivetrain. It stays next to me at work, and lives inside when it’s too cold in the garage. With this bike I have ridden gravel grinders, some light trails, and of course most of the roads in my area. I can roll out of the driveway & find bliss for hours on end, or until my wife calls to tell me it’s time to be home. The other 3 bikes are purpose built, and are only to supplement my Crown Jewel.

  6. michael

    1986 Peugeot PB14. Ishiwata EX 4130 triple butted Chome Moly Tubes. Unremarkable. 10 speeds. Weighed a ton. Simplex downtoube shifters. It was bright pink. It was my first road bike. It is still hanging, in all it’s now salmon-coloured faded glory, from the rafters in my parents garage.

    I love that bike, because it introduced me to freedom.

  7. Wanderer RN

    It would be my mid-90s Rockhopper that died of mechanical failure one day after work on the streets of Portland. It’s still in my garage, non-functional, but I will bring it back to health like a latter day Steve Austin.

    Why?
    That bike got me through some of the worst years of my life, nursing school, death of a child, daily commuting when I couldn’t afford gas, a couple rare moments of unbridled joy on singletrack and much more. The memories that bike holds are worth more than any high zoot carbon fiber miracle of technical engineering ever could be. (although if someone wants to donate one, I wouldn’t say no!)

  8. Geoffrey

    I have a 2009 Turner 5 Spot. It can go everywhere, and does. I commute on single track on it. When my son is a little older, I’ll take him out on the trails in our neighborhood. It isn’t light, but it is lots of fun, and, last time I checked, that’s why I ride.

  9. RPD

    Late 80′s Waterford built Schwinn Paramount. Columbus SLX, 1st generation Campagnolo Record Ergo 8 speed. My dad bought it for me in early spring 91 from Gamache’s Cyclery in Fitchburg, and it was set up with Shimano 105, and the heaviest wheel set on the planet (something from Mavic, 36 spoke).

  10. Life ticks away

    I love my 11 year old Seven that I took home on the roof the car that didn’t cost that much when I bought it.
    In the last year, I think I only rode it as often as I once rode in a month for the first few years.
    I considered my Rivendell, my name painted on by Joe Bell, wood fenders, canvas bag, the rides with the family after my girls outgrew/refused to get on the used tandem I got for less than the Burley tag-a-long I attached to make it a threesome.
    My current go-to bike has been my 10 year old fixed Surly Monkey, I still ride even though the winter has passed. I convince myself I had it in my garage WAY before a fixed gear bike became a hipster fashion accessory.
    The thing is, the reason I even take the time to comment at all is that the bike that has been front and center in my mind all day is the one I have never seen. The bike was destroyed, the owner is gone.
    It was a head on collision with a car.
    It was a fellow cyclist but younger, fitter, someone I never knew.
    I tried, WE tried, to save his life but he died.
    Did not ride today.
    Maybe tomorrow.

  11. troy

    I have a 2011 trigon with sram force. I would keep it over the van dessell country road bob; over the 98 specialized stump jumper; and the diamond back topanga frame I bought as a bike while living in Beijing and have kept in the basement storage room just to remember what is was like to live in such foreign and exciting place where bicycles were the main form of transportation. I would sale the others just because the trigon is the bike that I ride for fun. It is the type of bike I dreamed of as a child, the bike my kids call “the plastic bike”, and the one that after I complained of a thunking noise, my wife first said better take it to the shop, and when we took it out of the car, told a neighbor – this is the first time Troy has ever taken a bike to be fixed. I would keep it just because it is fun to ride.

  12. brucew

    Pride of place currently belongs to my ’99 Schwinn Peloton. It was one of the last of the steel crit bikes made.

    I have no business owning it. I shouldn’t even be allowed to use the word crit in a sentence. Or peloton for that matter.

    To me it’s like being one of those people who rescues racing greyhounds. The bike could have been a contender, but it was too little, too late, and before the cobalt blue paint had dried on its Reynolds 853 frame, it had been eclipsed by aluminum and carbon bikes with snazzy new sloping top tubes and stiffer bottom brackets.

    By the time I bought it second or maybe third hand, its salad days were well behind it.

    But I like it. And it apparently likes me. I turn it loose in city traffic going to work and it rewards with leaps and bounds, darting through the gridlock in search of that mechanical rabbit.

    It delights in chasing down the big dogs. “Hey Blue,” I tell it, “There’s a Porsche. Go get ‘im!” It obediently chases it down. Sometimes I can barely pedal fast enough to keep up with it. It’s that eager to please.

    And earlier this week it was perfectly content to poke along on the bike path while I shot the breeze about daffodils with some old guy on a hybrid.

    It’s learned to tolerate its headlight and blinkie light because it knows that the other bikes are staying home while it gets to go outside to run and play. And maybe get a chance to piss of that guy in the Boxter again as we sail by in the big ring.

    Yet, when I park it at work, or at the store, or at the lunch break on a group ride, and when people comment about it—good, bad or indifferent—I just say, “It’s my old Schwinn.”

    Yup. Right there on the first bike hook next to the door.

  13. Craig

    I have a 1980′s Rockhopper I rebirthed a couple years ago. If I had to, it would go although it was my first complete rebuild. I have a 2009 Trek 1.5 that was my starter road bike. It could go. My 2012 Roubaix with SRAM Force is still too new and shiny to part with…not to mention I built it from the frameset up, so it will probably always live in my house.

  14. Petros Vasiliou

    I started my ‘real’ bike collection in 1986 with a TREK Elance. Red with a white head tube and white TREK logo on the downtube. It had a real badge on the head tube. Ishiwata triple butted steel frame, 6-speed freewheel. Upgraded to SIS drivetrain (oooohhhh!!!); Shimano 105. Put quite a few miles until 2000.
    I had managed to save a little money, and I just HAD to have a sexy Italian. Bottecchia, ‘titan’ gray paint with a fully chromed fork and drive-side chain stay. 9-speed Campy Athena gruppo. Wide and deep Cinelli bars, Cinelli stem. A classic San Marco Regal saddle with the copper rivets. It was then, and still is, a love affair. Italian bikes still get lots of attention and nice comments.
    Fast forward to New Year’s Eve, 2010. I drove north to San Luis Obispo, and took delivery of a full-custom, made-for-me, KISH titanium bike, built up with SRAM Force. Ritchey bar, Thomson stem and seatpost. And my name on the top tube.
    My best riding buddies ride a LOOK Ultra, a Giant, and a TREK 6.9 Madone. They all seemed to lust after my bike. I was very worried that my ti bike was overhyped. It was not. It is very stable and rides a lot like my Italian. Only it’s better. Not in any one way, it is just simply better.
    The TREK is gone. I gave it to my brother in hopes that he would ride to escape the misery and BS of everyday life.
    The Bottecchia goes out on easy Sunday rides. She is still firm, but very accomodating. There are enough miles on her that the Campy shifters could use a re-build. No worries, though; I can still go fast downhill, and still blind everyone around me with the shine off all that chrome.
    The KISH is truly like a finely tailor made suit. It was built that way. I can almost say that the cost was justified.
    P.S. I’m already saving for the Campy Super Record upgrade!

  15. Pascal

    Paradoxically, the last bike I would get rid of is also the first bike I would get rid of. If I had to get rid of ONE bike only, it would be my early 90s Pinarello cross bike, picked apart and raved about here http://tinyurl.com/7lk74fw. I sort of gave up on cross racing last season during a Saturday walk in the woods with my family and realized how much I missed leisurely fall MTB rides. (Given the whole family thing, I can only ride one day per weekend and CX was eating it up, so now I have this CX bike hanging there being redundant)

    BUT, if I had to get rid of all of my bikes but one? Like if my bikes played a game of “Survivor” or “Highlander” in my garage and there can be only one? The Pinner would be the last one standing.

    Go figure.

  16. Rich

    My Steel Bianchi EVO Boron. I found it as a stripped frame at the SFO swap meet about 6 years ago. I had never ridden a steel frame and this one was cheap. I built it up using a lot of bargain parts. The fork had a 45 rake and the bike was good but not great. The next year I found a Profile Design fork with a 43 rake. With that change the bike came alive. It has since seen up grades on most of the parts. It is not my fastest bike or lightest bike. It just seems to handle intuitively and fit perfectly. Only one problem, the seat stays are now cracked. I have found what look like exact replacements. And I will be getting it repaired.

  17. reverend dick

    Whew! Great post. I know exactly what you mean, and I’m up against it myself. Maybe you can find, in your vinyl collection, the LP featuring Chuck D wherein he rightly says, “Cycles. Cycles. Life goes in cycles- new is old, no, I ain’t no psycho.”

  18. Champs

    OK, but barring the internal hub, you’re basically describing my Litespeed Blue Ridge. That hodgepodge of 9 and 10 speed Shimano from Tiagra to Dura Ace hauls cargo, drives pacelines, climbs walls, and doesn’t care what kind of road (or lack thereof) it’s on. With fenders and the disc CX fork I added, it’s never the bike that’s not ready for the weather.

    I’ve done gearhubs, and I say “never again”. They’re not worth the exponential weight and price increases you need to keep your legs fresh over long distances, especially when junk drawer 8 speed parts and bar end/downtube shifters do it cheaper and ligher. Dutch style is as far as the concept should really go, maybe with upgraded brakes, because not everything is flat like Holland.

  19. Peter Lütken

    This might be a long read, but I think it will be worth it..

    A few years ago I had several bikes with enormous amounts of sentimental value. I had a Niner One Nine single speed that I loved both riding and looking at. The deep red color combined with mostly silver components looked like a million bucks, it rode like a magic carpet on 29″ wheels and it was pretty dang light too.

    I had a 2002 Turner DHR that was almost like a family heirloom in my circle of friends at the time, I also had a 2002 Eddy Merckx Team SC built up with all the most ritzy stuff I could find at my employer at the time – Shimano.

    And then there was the 1980-82 something Eddy Merckx Professional that I bought for peanuts from a guy in the neighborhood. It was built up with 9 spd. 6500-series Ultegra-equipment and a few choice Dura-Ace parts, including hubs, headset and seat post. It showed some signs of wear, it was everything but light and I got a lot of flak for putting “new” (yikes!) Shimano (gasp!) components on such a classic frame.
    I didn’t give a f@ck though – This thing was all about L O V E.

    After a long summer riding my lovely bikes all the time I spent the winter moving 340 miles and cross country skiing a bit. Come easter I took my Merckx Team SC out for a spin again.
    The morning after this inaugural ride of the season all of my bikes were stolen!

    I was devastated, after all I had tons of emotional baggage in imaginary panniers on each of these bikes, lots and lots of sentimental value. I swore to never get so attached to a bike again and to treat all future bikes like the commodity they could be to a shop rat. To change bikes every season, buying cheap in the winter, selling cheap in the fall.

    And then someone found the Merckx Professional!
    It was found in the courtyard of a sort of half way house/rehab center type thing a few blocks from my house. The Dura-Ace/Open Pro-wheels I had built myself were gone, the frame had gotten a few more nicks but the blue Eddy was back!
    If this bike is taken from me again I’m not quite sure what I’ll do, but for now, this is my most prized possession with wheels on it, and at the moment I’m toying with keeping it as my only road bike for the coming season

    To me, the most important bike I have is the least high tech, the cheapest, the oldest, the least shiny, the heaviest and the most awesome. It’s the bike that like an old friend came back to hang out with me. Thank you bike!

  20. Tedd

    1989 Cannondale road bike with sexy and efficient Sante’ components. It KISS racing team and Maui windsurfing logos on it. Best bike I have ever owned. Still ride it on rainy days. It has reces for me and been the bike I have loaned to countless others thinking about getting into the sport. Love the stiffness of the all aluminum frame and fork, the sexy oversized tubing and the memories of all the mile in all the countries we have ridden together!

  21. scaredskinnydog

    I think that I’ve had this discussian about a million times with riding buddys over the years (usually over pints). To me the answer seems to change from year to year. Thats why you should never sell one of your bikes for monetary reasons. Sell the car, sell the lawn mower, sell the kids if you have to, but definately don’t sell one of your trusty steeds because sure enough you’ll regret it later. So..I guess what I’m trying to say is sell everything you own before letting go of your bikes (and keep the records and turntable too).

  22. spiff

    If I had to keep one bike, it would be my Rossin that I brought bake from Milan in 1999. Pined and lugged with Deda zero/uno tubing and Campy Athena groupo, and, my red Gios Torino track bike.
    The bike I ride now may be a better bike at with newer stuff, but the Rossin is my Sunday go to meeting bike that I built to do everything. And the only one of its kind here in the states. Just like the Gios, did I say it was red?

  23. Deezil

    My most valuable bike: A Y2K Trek 5200 that has forever been tethered to my indoor trainer and has taken more abuse and neglect than any bike deserves. It has torn decals, no bar tape, frayed cables, no brake calipers, and headset bearings that have turned to dust. It has not seen a wrench, a drop of lube, a fresh chain, or any grease since before anyone ever heard the term “social media”. I brutalize this poor bastard of a machine every season, drowning it in buckets of sweat as I go nowhere fast and flog it mercilessly while locked into the trainer. Amazingly, it still shifts perfectly even though the chain rings and cassette are well past their prime. A number of well-pampered (and far fussier) outdoor riding steeds have come and gone during this time. I guess these are the “girlfriends” and the Trek is the “wife”.

  24. Tristan

    The one I ride the least and have had for the shortest amount of time, my Marinoni.

    It reminds me of where I cut my teeth of bikes of all types, from my teens into my late 20′s. Montreal.

  25. Ray Akamuri

    A 1986/87 Atala SLX frame that I bought from a friend after he broke the fork on it and it lay rusting in his house. This was back in 1996 and I spent the next year getting it repainted in a pearl white finish with original decals. Had all Campy record grouppo, the original 8 speed Ergopower. I love this bike because of my associations with it. it still has blood (mine) on the drive side chain stay, when I crashed during a rain sodden road race in Wichita Falls, TX. Although I have newer and better riding bikes, that’s the one. Next would be the DeRosa Track Sprint bike with full Suntour Superb Pro grouppo:)

  26. armybikerider

    I really enjoy my 2 year old Lynskey…the ride, the look, the fit, the material….but I have a non-descript full rigid Cannondale mountain bike with a mix of equally non-descript components that was my sole transportation for a year while I was stationed in Seoul Korea in ’01. I’ve had it (or the earlier frame that the current one replaced when it cracked at the seat tube/BB) since 1993 and it’s been transportation in a variety of jobs, schools, and countries. It would be the one that I would keep.

  27. Dan O

    Tough question. I have two bikes I’d probably never sell, my ’97 Ibis Hakkalugi being one of ‘em. Built up with various parts by me; then commuted on, road ridden, dirt ridden occasionally, with a few ‘cross races tossed in. My most used bike. Still, at times, if presented with the possibility of newer ‘cross bike – would maybe, just maybe, sell it.

    So that leaves the one I most likely will never part with, and I haven’t even ridden in decades. My ’86 Fat Chance. An upgrade from my ’84 Miyata, back in ’86 – the year my wife and I were married. She thought I should buy myself a new mountain bike as a wedding present. Hard to argue with that logic. Fat Chance it was, from the hallowed halls of Fat City Cycles.

    That Fat was road ridden with slick tires, experienced a few zillion dirt miles, and saw the occasional mountain bike race and observed trials event. It did everything and was my only mountain bike from ’86 to ’91. Afterwards, in semi-retirement, loaned out to friends to experience mountain biking. Some even catching the bug and getting their own bikes.

    It’s been many years since I’ve pulled the old Fat out for a ride, it now being buried in a tangle of older bikes hanging in the garage. It hangs there like a time capsule from another era, in terms of bike technology and my life itself.

    Twenty six years later, I’m still married to the woman who suggested a new bike was in order. Kids now in the picture, including my 12 year old rider/racer son. Maybe someday he’ll think the old Fat is cool and I’ll hand it over to him. A much cooler transfer then seeing what it would score on eBay. True?

  28. cormw

    Great post! I would have to say the one bike I would not let go is the last bike I purchased. Which coincidently the name of the bike describes my relationship with cycling, Addict! The bike is stored right next to my side of my bed and is not going anywhere without me!

  29. Richard Francis

    renovated BLOWER from the 70s; bought in 1980, stored and loaned and now rebuilt with new drivetrain. Arthur Needham frame (Argos) and original campag components. Best bit? – talking to Owen Blower on the phone about replacement decals (mailed me originals) and discovering he had ridden 2500 miles by April, at age 79.

  30. Christopher

    Lemond Poprad CX bike, commuting through cold Canadian winters in snow and ice, fast weekend rides, cruise with the family rides and it looks cool- white with blue panels and matching blue rims. It’s my favourite because it’s the only one I own and I can ride it wherever/whenever I want/need.

  31. Karyg

    I have had a lot of bikes come and go over the last ~27 years, but the one I will always keep is my ’87 Rossin SL. My wife bought it for me the first year we were married and it has seen 50K miles on the road. It is still the one bike that if I have neglected it for a while and get back on that just feels right. Two years ago I had it repainted and put all DA 9sp stuff on it (with DT shifters) and it is like new again.

  32. The_D

    Wait… you can “sell” the bikes you own? Under no circumstances should any of you mention this to my wife.

    Oh, and the Red/404T BMC Team Machine stays.

  33. PMAC

    I want to say the ’99 Merlin Extralight with full D/A and Mavic Heliums, I found it for a song in early 2011; no way I could afford it new while in grad school.

    But for all around, past great adventures, good and bad races, and 10+yrs service as a commuter, my ’99 Michigan blue Gunnar Crosshairs. It sits in my office built up as a single-speed for quick escapades on the local dirt loop. I don’t sleep next to it, I keep it next to me at work to gaze longingly at while shackled to the computer. And it’s safe there, work is a federal research lab.

  34. NickV

    Stainless Steel Firefly with S&S couplers, Athena/Chorus 10spd and 32 hole Mavic Open Pros.
    Just about to be boxed up for the flight to Belgium and a serious hit out at the Ronde Van Vlaanderen cycle sportif on Saturday.
    It’s my new bike and it will travel with me til my legs turn no more…

  35. Full Monte

    Bikes, fishing & hunting gear, guitars, cars.

    I’ve been afflicted with coveting the “next one” my whole life.

    My new mantra: Lord, protect me from what I want.

    I have more than I need already.

    That said, if I had one bike (and believe me, I really should have only one bike) it’d be the carbon/Ultegra road bike I picked up from my LBS last spring. Light, comfortable, dependable.

  36. CycloSportif

    As with most questions, I cannot find a single suitable answer. With that, I have two responses:
    (1) A 1998 Merlin Mountain with old XTR and Cannondale CODA Magic cranks. There is no good reason I still have this bike, other than I love it so. For the past 10 years, I’ve ridden it maybe once a year, but I love it because it was built in the original Somerville factory by the original Merlin folks and my value of that far surpasses the market price. I love it because when I got it, I lived for mountain biking and defined myself as a mountain biker, and this was our shop team’s frame sponsor along with IF and that blew me away. And CODA Magic cranks! The original outboard bearings! Of course, I love the way it rides on the rare occasions I ride it – titanium and trail is an amazing duet. I had very nice dual suspension bikes and aluminum race bikes and nothing compared to it. It’s in the basement now and I often think it should go, but I always rationalize why I should keep it.
    (2) A custom steel Tom Teesdale road bike made for full fenders and up to 28s. I think I had this bike made about six years ago, a bit before this type of bike seemed to resurface as the “it” bike. For me, it was about training and riding through the rainy Winter (and Spring and Fall) in Portland, Oregon on whatever roads or conditions came up. I submitted my order to Tom, who appeared to specialize in everything great and nothing fancy – my favorite race bike geometry but in True Temper OX steel, lengthened accordingly for tires and fenders and head tube extended a bit for my poor pelvic flexibility. Plain white, nothing ornate other than the beauty of expressing a simple purpose. I waited and hoped. And this was one of those times when the results exceeded my unrealistic expectations. The bike is smooth yet stiff in a way that only good steel under an expert hand can be, and fits me and my purpose perfectly. I ride lots of fancy bikes among lots of fancy bike riders, but this is the bike that always gets comments about perfection – the one bike that stays in the quiver year after year while other ones come and go. It’s a keeper.
    Thanks for offering up a great question and for everyone’s responses. Such nice reading.

  37. bryand

    My ’05 Moots road bike. Rides great, won’t rust, handles dirt roads just fine.

    Wish I never got rid of my old Ciocc Mockba 80 for lots of reasons…

  38. Adam

    Not to add a shameless self promotion, because I’m not hear to sell anyone on anything. The bike I love the most is my KindHuman Sports KorsAir. I won’t go into detail about innovative tube shapes, or construction techniques or vertical compliant this or laterally stiff that. Hell, I won’t even tell you how it rides. Even if it rode like shit, I would love this bike. Four years went into finding a production partner, designing, laying up and finally producing this prototype. I’m proud because it is a goal I realistically never thought I would achieve when I set out to do it at the age of twenty-three. And now it’s here and I love it more then I ever thought I could.

    My Ritchey P-29er is a close second. The bike is so, so, so much fun. Set up single-speed it is a mindless ride, as in, when you get on it, you don’t think…you just ride. Super fun.

  39. Spencer

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, since I recently purchased what should be my favorite bike– a BMC built up with Chorus 11 and a bunch of hand-picked parts. It’s exactly what I wanted from a road bike, but it somehow is still only my second favorite.

    That title goes to a green Niner Air 9. That was the first frame-up bike I bought, and the one that instantly felt right, and instantly helped me ride better. It doesn’t have a real high-end build, but I carefully picked every part, and it came together wonderfully. It may be one bike I never sell– there is always use for a metal hardtail 29er no matter how much tech changes.

  40. @Pub_Cap_Scott

    This is an interesting topic for me. I loved reading everyone’s responses, as it really shows the passion we have for our bikes. To some, they are just a machine, but to others, they are our children, our lovers, our confidants.

    With going through a divorce, and needing to move into an apartment from having a basement shop I just finished (yeah, a little bitter about that one!), I am trying to figure out what I am going to do with everything. It’s looking like a 2 bedroom apartment will be the way to go, with one bedroom for the bikes. With a race bike, a TT bike, a SSCX, 2 mountain bikes, an older road bike for cruising, and another road frame to build up, I have thought about selling a few, but not sure it would be worth it in the end. I have reasons why I can’t sell any of them.

    The bike I could not part with is my original. It is a 1978 Trek TX900. It was painted as an 81 or 82, with Suntour components from 81. I have most of the original components, and the bike just needs to be repainted. When I’m ready to build it up, a Brooks saddle and matching bar tape will be applied, and I’ll use as much of the original components as I can. I also plan on building the wheels myself, under the guidance of a local wheel builder. Heck, I’m even going to try and see if I can paint it myself, also under the supervision of a painter (my race team sponsor). It is my baby, and I want to do it all myself.

    While it was the first bike I raced on in my early teens, I was not the original owner. My step-dad bought the bike from a friend that worked at the Trek plant. He road it around Wisconsin and Michigan in the 78′s and 80′s. When we moved to PA though, it found a spot in the shed. After he passed away, I got it out, fixed it up with the help of the local shop, and began riding it around the neighborhood. It was my first taste of freedom, and I loved it. I found a local racer who road laps in the neighborhood, and tried chasing him. One day, he slowed down, we chatted, and that’s how I got into racing. Since then, I’ve had 3 other road bikes I’ve raced on over the years, but the TX900 is one bike that I will never get rid of. It has so much sentimental value to me, regardless of what it is actually worth.

  41. Jake

    My wife and I bought a very small foreclosure. The rear addition was in serious structural decay. It was water tight (mostly) and it became a great place for bike storage. The back room became a 24′ wall of hooks filled with more bikes than two (or ten) people need. My addiction is even to the point of having a full carbon rain bike with mostly Campy Record and Carbon rims, excessive to say the least! Like most cyclists I enjoy each bikes nuances.

    One bike didn’t get put with the others, my Cervelo R3. Sure it’s just a production frame, I know it’s not as cools as a custom steel bike, and it’s graphics are hideous, but it’s ride… it’s ride is sublime. It’s the last bike I’d hang on my wall, and the last I’d part with. It’s full Campy Record, Reynolds Wheels, and every single piece of the bike was hand-picked by me. The bike has got the stiffest bottom bracket and most compliant ride of any bike I’ve ridden. It sprints like a rocket, climbs like a hot air balloon, and has unsurpassed all day comfort. The bike makes me constantly strive to go faster and faster, I just love the way it rides. I’ve got an immense amount of enjoyment from it in the past few years. Did I mention it’s ride?

    During our never-ending home remodel the R3 eventually moved into the backroom, “coach class” so to speak. My wife affectionately jokes about me loving the R3 more than her. As I pushed the R3 though the kitchen and into the backroom I gently whispered to the R3, just loud enough for my wife to hear, “try to blend in!” I don’t think I’ve ever seen my wife laugh so hard! I know she really laughed because I’m such an idiot, but I like to think that she laughed because she even knew that a thoroughbred can’t blend in with plow horses.

    Needless to say I’ll keep the R3 until a new bike can surpass the stiff bottom bracket and all day complaint ride.

  42. andrew

    I love my Burls custom Ti road/touring bike, i love my marin MV 5.8.

    I wouldn’t be happy to see any of them go, but if I only had ONE bike, it would be an MTB, a bike capable of riding rough ground in the woods and forests. It might not be the marin, it could well be the burls, but it would be capable of taking me away from the noise and pollution and cars. And people.

    Out in the night, in the rain and in the sun. Out amongst the frosty bracken, the warm pines, the nodding bluebells, the singing larks, the silent deer.

    I would be able to take me away, up to the mountain.

    To solitude.

  43. Jody

    I could not sell any of them. I had to in the past to get the latest and greatest and now I find myself searching the internet to find what I had. Even when I sold them I had seller’s remorse. There will always be new bikes I want but I find a way to buy without selling. BTW I have been trying to find a 1986 Gitane Team Pro in blue with Campy Record in a 56. I still am made at myself for letting that one go.

  44. Lugged Nut

    I would keep my Surly CrossCheck, its made of steel, can carry racks/panniers, its a lovely brown color, and most important its the heaviest of my 5 bikes–thereby reminding me that its the rider not the bike–no matter what new or recycled technology I may be pining to own.

  45. Greg

    I like my Ritte Bosberg the best. As the Ritte ad in May/June Peloton says, “I should train more. or drink less. or eat better. Whatever. At least I look awesome.” Seriously, I like my Bosberg because it has made me a better rider. I’ve got four other bikes and they’re all fun, but the one I end up grabbing most is the Bosberg. But, I really think I need another bike. How am I going to convince my wife?

  46. Geoff

    You should be ashamed of yourselves. Why are you breaching the code ? This is a dumb discussion idea.

    Get rid of all but one !!?? Good god man – what if the women get onto this ???

    Repeat after me … I NEED ANOTHER BIKE. (or)
    …. HEY Honey, I just saved $1000 on this XXXXXX it was on sale ..

  47. Jesus from Cancun

    I guess my favorite bike is a Schwinn Prologue I got around 1988. It was a nice bike with Tange Prestige tubing, but I broke it in a crash. I got it repaired and turned it into my neighborhood clunker.

    That frame received all my discarded parts, and now it has a nice blend.
    Dura Ace 39-50 cranks and cartridge square taper BB, Campy Super Record seat post and rear derailleur, Dura Ace front derailleur, Chris King headset, Cinelli Grammo stem, Modolo brakes and anantomic bar, Dia Compe brake levers, Mavic G40 rims laced to 36 hole Shimano Ultegra hubs and a 14-32 mixed cassette, and the best: Turbo Matic 2 saddle, Specialized Tricross clinchers and a Campy bar-end right shifter.

    It is my favorite because that is the one I use to play around with my kids. I guess that most people would love their most advanced or exotic bike, but when I think which is the one I look forward to the most… no questions, the clunker for a ride with the kids.

  48. D

    My first road bike. It’s a Giant “Team Edition” with a black and yellow paint job like a wasp. It’s too big for me, the rear hub is creaky and the seat post is pretty much fused but it was my first road ride, until that point no bike had ever propelled me faster or felt as unsteady.

    Saying that I will probably try to get rid of it to make room for a new bike!

  49. tiny tim

    I once wanted a bike that would be stiff and strong. With looks that could kill and a ride quality of it’s own. A machine where an alchemy of speed and skill are one. Alas, my custom Magna, with cement filled tubes won.

  50. Ron

    The bike is where it is because I simply don’t have enough room in my small house to keep it & it gets ridden the least. I don’t ride it that often not because it isn’t awesome, but because it is only for the nicest, best days. It’s my Sunday cruiser, my always-polished, always-clean rollin’ machine.

    I keep the bikes I ride often at my house while this one sits high on the wall in my riding pal’s garage. It’s in great company, as he has a stable of the nicest bikes I’ve ever seen in one place. It’s about a half hour ride from my place so when I need a fix I ride another bike out there, pull out the ladder, bring the bike down, blow off the pollen, and hit the road for awhile. Then I return, hang it back up, grab my other bike & head home with a huge smile on my face.

    The bike is special because when my grandfather died my parents gave me a bit of money he left for his grandkids. My parents said, “Use it for something you don’t need, but something you’d love to have.”

    A 1990 Tommasini Diamante with Columbus MultiShape tubing & Campagnolo C-Record gruppo. Yes, I’d like that. No I don’t need it. But, it’s the one that is most important to me. Irreplaceable, totally awesome, & riding it makes me think of the hours of work my grandfather put in as an airline mechanic to earn his money.

  51. Eto

    Great topic.

    I have three bikes that fall into this category… a 1995 Serotta CSI that I rode and raced up to and through my peak fitness era (even though I was already in my 30′s)… a custom steel Curtlo MTB that my brother had made for me for my birthday, circa 2000… and my 1996 Caloi (Eddy Merckx) ex-team Motorola bike that belonged to George Hincapie. The frame followed the stout Columbus Max tube design, but was built with Titanium tubes (speced and welded by Merckx, drawn by Litespeed). The bike originally came from George with a prototype Shimano 9 speed group complete with hand scribed serial (reference) numbers on all the components and frame. The bike had seen some kilometers so I had it re-painted to a better than new state in 2000. I still have all of the original parts, but rebuilt it in 2010 with modern Dura Ace, etc.

    I really enjoy the Curtlo because it is versatile, it fits well and will always be sentimental for me. But, the Caloi has such a history, looks, fits and rides great. So, if I had to keep one bike it would be the Caloi. That bike would be hard to replace and will represent a time period that transitioned us to what is now referred to Modern Cycling.

  52. Kendall

    I’m a US expat living in Rome. I came here with one bike; a Moots Vamoots road bike. In the two years that I’ve been in Italy, I have justified purchasing four bikes. That’s one every six months. All finely crafted and beautiful. My wife says that if I buy one more, there will no longer be room for me. I love them all. But if I had to choose one, it would be my Vamoots; we’ve shared too much history.

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