Yes, surprise surprise. I love bikes. Probably just as much as my fellow triathletes and cyclist friends. Folks outside of that circle think I’m crazy, but I’m sure there are things in their lives they love just as much as my love for bikes. Although it’s an inanimate object, they bring so much joy to my life.
Rule #1 – Don’t ever tell a cyclist they have too many bikes. Not unless you want to get the dirty eyeroll and a backhanded bitch slap in return. There’s a cardinal rule we follow for the correct number of bikes a cyclist should have…N+1 where N equals the number of bikes we currently own. We take that very seriously. This is synonymous to all sorts of other sports. Fishermen and their rods – fly, deep sea, spinning, tenkara, ice, surfing, trolling, etc. Skiing and types of sticks – powder, backcountry, all mountain, twin-tips, cross country, carving, etc. You get the picture. Same goes for bikes.
Rule #2 – Some cyclists name their bikes. We have a pretty intimate relationship with them…after all, we spend a lot of time on them and it’s a pretty simple (and safe) way to have fun with something in between your legs. Heck, even my bike shop (TriBella) calls my bikes by their names.
Road Bike. If you’re going to disregard the N+1 rule and only have one bike in your stable, this is the one to own. Pretty versatile, it can get you through tough climbs, flat roads, corners pretty well, and outfitted properly – you can ride this baby all over the world if it tickles your fancy. Its only downfall is you’ll be limited to mainly paved surfaces. Hard-packed dirt it does okay, but unless you throw on some robust knobby tires that can clear your brake calipers, probably not recommended and a sure fire way to getting a flat.
Time Trial (Triathlon) Bike. Probably the fastest bike out of all bike species.
More aerodynamic geometry, putting you in a riding position that saves your hamstrings for the run afterwards (if you’re a triathlete). Not great for climbing (wrong geometry), but if you’re racing a flat course this is your ride of choice. Now, even though this type of setup is more aerodynamic than a road bike, care needs to be taken to what accessories goes on this puppy so you don’t defeat the purpose of its potential. I’ve seen so many athletes splurge thousands upon thousands of dollars on a super sweet triathlon bike to only cancel
out any advantage they might of had by adding on a bunch of crap they don’t really need. Also, just like with anything…it’s all about the engine folks. Lose a few inches around the midsection to increase your power-to-weight ratio. It’s cheap, and mostly free.
Cyclocross (CX) Bike. Three words describe this bike. TOO
MUCH FUN! A lot like a road setMe and “Maximiliano” up, but some extra features to make riding off-road safer and more enjoyable. The frames are lighter than road bikes because CX riders at times will have to carry their bikes to clear obstacles in a race course. They also have increased clearance for any mud/debris that will eventually get picked up along the way with its wider and knobbier tires. Due to the nature of CX racing, the gearing is waaaay different. Almost similar to that of a mountain bike. CX race courses typically include a mixture of terrain – soft loose dirt, hard-packed dirt, grassy trails, dirt mounds, sand pits, paved roads, you name it. Throw in some snow and mud, then you have a party!! Hup hup kids! Check out this fun video from the Global Cycling Network of a cyclocross race:
Track Bike. Ever been on a fixie (fixed-gear bike)? Yep, a track bike is basically just that,
but way cooler! First (and only) time I ever got to ride on a track bike was a few years ago at the Boulder Valley Velodrome. I went and did one of their “taster” sessions. Pretty cool. $30 included group instruction and track bike and shoe rental. It is definitely a weird sensation not having a freewheel…and no brakes too. Say what?! No worry though…there is a method to the madness. Gently apply pressure to your back pedal to slow down and eventually come to a complete stop. I definitely plan on going back again once track season starts up!
Mountain (MTB) Bike. The ultimate off-road bike. There’s only so many hours in the day and days in the year…which is a big reason why I haven’t spent much time on the saddle of a
MTB. Last time was in 2008, Moab – Klondike Bluffs trail. It was spectacular. I had no idea what I was doing, but figured it out. Much like cyclocross, you just have to know what your comfort zones are and not be afraid to push them a bit. Most people ride anywhere between 10-30 miles on a mountain bike. It’s not uncommon for serious MTB’ers in Colorado to put in over 50-100 miles on any given ride. Then you have the crazies that tackle a race like the Tour Divide. 2,745 miles on the Continental Divide Trail starting in Banff, Canada all the way down to the US-Mexico Border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico. This is a completely self-supported endeavor. No aid stations or SAG support, and in the spirit of the race – no outside assistance. Any services utilized must be accessible to the general public. Insane…and it is no surprise that I personally know a few crazies that have done this ride. Nutters. Ha. Check out the documentary about the race, Ride The Divide, produced by local filmmaker and friend Mike Dion.
Commuter Bike. Here’s one that I need to add to my quiver of two-wheeled fun. The
thought of locking up any of my other bikes to a random bike rack just makes me shudder with fear. But whenever struck with the decision of upgrading one of my “racing” bikes versus picking up a toodle-around bike, I may just have to wait a bit longer. But…I do have a bike that I need to rebuild. It was my dad’s old road bike. This beast was hanging on a hook for the better of 30 years collecting dust in my parents’ garage, until I brought it back to Colorado in 2015. I’ll probably replace most of the parts – components, crankset, wheels, everything. But hopefully I’ll be able to bring life back into this ride and honor my dad whenever I take it out for a spin. Afterall, I’ve inherited his love of adventure and being active. So Padre, hang on there buddy…we’ll get you back up and rolling in no time!
Current Bike Stable Count: 4.5 (“Roberto” the MTB is #4, shown below)