Friday Group Ride #290

Friday Group Ride #290

It’s a call I get too often. “Someone broke into my garage and stole all my bikes,” he said. Starting over. He’d lost a Madone of some stripe, a custom Davidson from way back, a handful of other nice bikes. They were all Campy. He was a Campy guy. I’ve had bikes stolen before, but I’ve never had ALL my bikes stolen. I know the anger and blood lust that comes from losing an everyday rider. I’ve loaned bikes to people who’ve had them stolen, and I know the complicated feelings that begets. But all of them?

“It’s odd,” he said. “There is that feeling of violation from having your home broken into, and more than the monetary value, the sentimental value of some of those bikes, some of which I had for a long time. But there’s also the blank slate.”

In all of the calls I’ve received about stolen bikes, all of the stories I’ve heard, this is the first time the completely blank slate idea has presented itself.

“I’m doing Shimano bikes this time. I’m doing disc brakes. I’m doing more metal, less carbon. I just feel like this is a chance to see what’s out there,” he said.

Very quickly I went from feeling sorry for him to being somewhat envious. It pointed out to me how much cycling baggage I carry. How many decisions I’ve made about the bikes I have now, based on bikes I already had or bikes I’d once had. And forget about the frames, what about drive trains? Pedals? What would I do in his situation?

This week’s Group Ride asks, what would you do with a blank slate? Would you get the bikes you have now all over again? Would you cross the Shimano/Campy/SRAM divide in one direction or another? Would you go to electronic shifting or disc brakes? Would you have more of one kind of bike and fewer of another? Assuming an insurance company is covering the tab, what would you do?

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16 comments

  1. phaedrus

    Custom TI for frames. (1 Road, 1 cross, 1 MTB)
    Electric shifting 11 speed Shimano
    TI seatposts
    Specialized Romin Saddles
    Speedplay pave & SYZR
    Carbon bars
    Carbon Fork
    Carbon Wheels
    Rim brakes

  2. Aar

    Yes, I’d get my S-Works Roubaix with Campy Chorus all over again but this time I’d go with a Power2Max crank instead of a PowerTap hub. I’d add an internally geared commuter, prolly an AluBoo. I’d also add a steel road bike, preferably a handmade Ellis but I might have to settle for a Ritchey Break Away.

  3. John K

    I think I’d get a pressed in Taiwan cross bike with Shimano discs to ride while I was waiting for my custom steel with Dura Ace mechanical and rim brakes to get rebuilt. Though that SRAM electronic is tempting…

  4. Michael Hotten

    I have three bikes doing the job that two could do. So if someone were to come along and “blank my slate” then there would be some consolidation. My two road bikes and one cross bike would become one road bike and one gravel/cross bike. The current quiver includes a so-called “endurance” bike and it and the cross bike could become one. The replacements would be shimano 11spd equipped with the gravel getting hydro disc (currently it’s a mix of SRAM, 11spd and 10spd). Both would have seatposts (no more seatmast torture) and in 27.2 thank you very much.

    On the mountain side I would replace both in the current stable but instead of two xc bikes (one HT and one FS) I would go with a HT XC and a FS trail or enduro rig. Again, shimano all the way.

    There’s also a TT bike, a SS steel machine and my wife’s ride to consider. My bride would get something similar with an upgrade to 11spd elec, Shimano. Those other two, write offs.

  5. Les.B.

    I haven’t been in cycling long enough to appreciate retro anything, farz cycling is concerned.
    So everything would be latest tech.
    One of those new aero frames that handles and rides almost as good as non.
    Firecrest 202 or equivalent.
    Disc.
    Shimano Di2 11-speed.
    Aesthetics are important to me, so the frame needs to stand out.

  6. Gary W

    “Assuming an insurance company is covering the tab, what would you do?”

    Have several margaritas, ponder the situation and probably take up running again:-)

  7. Jay

    The only bike of those that I have that is irreplaceable, figuratively speaking, is my Spectrum custom steel framed bike. There was a lot of thought that went into that bike considering I waited 35 years to finally order one. The others, meh… That said, if starting over I would definitely duplicate the Spectrum and I would go for a titanium framed bike (probably a Seven, because the number seven figures prominently in a number of significant life events).

    That’s it. Just two: road steel and road/gravel titanium. That’s probably one more than I need.

  8. Paul Thober

    I own two bikes: My S works Tarmac/Campy I would duplicate as is. My 7-11 Merckx Corsa/Campy town bike I would replace with an inexpensive hybrid. The balance of the insuance settlement would go into my checking account.

  9. Stephen Barner

    The haul would be over four dozen machines, most unusual, several unique, so I suspect it might not be too hard to track down the thief. I expect that I would look for similar bikes–just a lot fewer of them. Most of my bikes I’ve owned a long time, some for decades, and I still like the way they ride. Some were purchased just because you can buy a machine that was a superbike 20 years ago for chump change, today, and you know what? It will ride just as amazingly sweet as it did when it was new. No matter what, you’re going to take a bath on the insurance settlement, so I expect I would have to be pretty selective about the replacements, and those that I have kept for their connection to my past, could not be replaced and have the same meaning to me, so I wouldn’t try. I might splurge and try to score a 1960 or 70s Cinelli, like the one I had when I was young, instead of several similar, but less valuable classics, but I wouldn’t have any more interest than I do now in electronic shifting, or road disks, which is to say, none at all.

    1. Andrew

      4 dozen bikes!?! Dear Lord, when I have 3 I start feeling guilty about not riding one of them enough.

      I am slowly whittling down my bike needs. A steel road bike , as light as is sensible, with calipers and 10 spd Shimano, is good enough for me, as is a Ti gravel bike with discs.

  10. Waldo

    Rob English custom steel with clearance for 32mm road tires and SRAM wireless electronic shifting (2d generation — I’d let them work out gen. 1 bugs).

  11. Kurti_sc

    This would take some PAINstaking research for me. I have a strong desire to start over and consolidate brands as well. I’m an engineer and the is something I appreciate in commonizing my bike quiver. Three bikes only. SS 29er, SS cross, and a buttery smooth road machine.
    Custom is always an option, but I’d like to seek out more of a brand. Italian? Maybe. Belgium, or German? Vielleicht. Colorado? Hmmmmm.

  12. KJD

    I’d buy an aluminum road racer with nice wheels and 105. It’ll get ridden, just not as often as more general bike.

    I’d spend the bulk of my insurance money on a Ti or small-builder steel CX/gravel/light tour bike with two or three nice to stupid-nice wheel sets. Hydro DA or RED… Rack and fender options, two bottle cages.

    I wouldn’t have enough insurance money left to buy a fat bike, but I’m tempted by the 27.5+ as an only mountain bike, maybe with a 29×2.1 wheel set to change things up.

    1. Jackie Gammon

      I’d replace my custom ti road bike for sure, and as always with Campy. NO electronic shifting though… A gravel bike with disc brakes, and the ability to use fairly wide tires… 700x 38’s or so. And I would need a somewhat budget road bike for the trainer… again Campy and either steel or aluminum.

      Mtn bikes for sure with disc brakes, one high end aluminum and a full suspension as well. And of course, I can’t forget the FATBIKE.

      That is providing of course that the insurance company is doing their job as well. 🙂

  13. Tom in Albany

    I’d probably buy something more commuter-y/charity ride-ish. My Serotta Ti doesn’t get the racing and work it deserves. As for a mountain bike, I wonder if I’d buy one or not. If I did, I’d probaby get teh SRAM 1x drivetrain.

    And a unicycle. Definitely want to learn how to ride a unicycle.

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