At some point, when you’ re into bikes, you may feel that one bike is not enough…
I’d never buy a fatbike to ride as a “primary” bike, but it certainly has its charm and use. Maybe you’ re living in a city and hybrid bike is perfect for you, but for some time, you may want to ride fast on asphalt with a slick road bike, or want to jump around with an MTB.
I’d probably have like 10 bikes at a time, if money and storage permits. This is sick, considering there are 3 types of bikes and their variants. This is my classification of course: #1 is road bikes, these are like hypercars: you need good, slick roads and preferably superb weather to enjoy them. Speed and adrenaline is the thing, and they just don’t go fast, but they’ re also “direct” to ride. Just like proper, old school sport cars, each watt you throw at them translates to speed, and they’ re sharp.
#2 is ATB’s, “All Terrain Bikes”, which are MTB’s (ranging from M38 to Range Rover), Gravel’s (sporty SUV’s like Porsche Cayenne, sort of), Cyclocross bikes (Lamborghini Urus? meh!) and obviously Fat Bikes (monster trucks). They’ re good for wilderness, but also can be fun in cities.
Lastly, #3, sedans, hybrid bikes, all sort of them – from slick, flat bar, road-bike-look-alikes to full steel, well-protected, all-weather Dutch bikes.
Each type of bike have their ins and outs, you’ll want to experience them all if you ride long enough, but almost always prefer a particular type, or bike.
From a rational standpoint: you need a spare!
I live in a small village where nearest bike shop is 35-40 km’s far away, which does not have an impressive stock. I shop from internet, almost always, for almost anything, bike related or not.
For a broken rear derailleur, I wasted 15 perfect riding days, which was very annoying to me. I thought I need a spare bike. One that is different to what I ride daily, so I can enjoy at least 2 different bikes.
If you repair / maintain your bikes like me, it’s good to have a second bike, because I don’t like to be in a schedule when I’m doing it. Bikes are my hobby. My profession needs soldier-like discipline, I have to be always on schedule and always available. When I’m getting away from my job and relaxing with my hobby, I don’t wanna be cornered by time. I may want to take apart the crankset, and not want to fix same day. Or, I may not want to fix a broken bike that day to ride, just take the spare and go out.
I also buy lots of second hand stuff, or sell my items. Almost always,it pays great to wait for a good deal, rather then buying an overpriced, brand new item in the wrong time. With a second bike at your disposal, you don’t need to worry about shopping that much.
A second (maybe third, fourth…) bike also serves another purpose, too – you may want to lure a clueless friend to your hobby, baiting him/her with your bike, saying “give it a try”.
It doesn’t have to be the best bike. My wife also have a bike, it’s a nice bike, but totally unrideable for me. It’s like a Dutch style city bike, with a hybrid frame and MTB components. If I have to ride a bike, and have no other alternative, I’d choose to walk, or drive.
Is folding bikes good ?
Folding bikes are not good. But fun to watch. I suggest against folding bicycles as a second bike, but they can be third, maybe. However, I really like electric folding bikes!
I’ m not a fan of rollers or trainers, but I have one. You “seem” to can use any bike on trainers, or rollers, but you may also dig tunnels with a spoon to escape a prison. Obviously, second one is much more rewarding and probably fun. So, if you have a plan to ride indoors, you’ll either skip it altogether, or get a cheaper road bike.
Not just only a road bike fits better for the purpose: most people with fancy road bikes buy another cheap for indoors, which is a smart choice. You probably don’t want to replace all those fancy parts like DuraAce cassettes, Ultegra cranksets, as they wear out at always the same rate indoors. You may wonder, why ride with crappier components inside, still its a ride meant to be fun, right? Not really. Good components make lot more difference when used on road. Indoors, it’s pretty much more predictable, and not much fun to be outside.
Also, even if you have a road bike, you’ll still need a rear wheelset: you wouldn’t want to replace your trainer tire each time you go out / go in. Since weight is no issue on rollers or trainer (that) much, its wise to get a rim with more spoke count (much more stabile) for much less.
Buying a cheap, second hand road bike is not much expensive, compared to building / getting a brand new rear wheelset. And you don’t need to replace rims, tires, etc. It’s convenient to have it on your trainer, or besides the rollers. Indoor training is not fun, and its better to have less excuse to skip it.
I never start a new hobby with inferior equipment. Most people do such mistakes; and when they fail, they give up.
Good equipment fails less. People tend to buy cheapest of the cheap when they start anything. Cheapest of the cheap is, “bring it home, and it will fail in earliest opportunity” crap. It’s not entry level Shimano that will start to disintegrate after few thousands of km’s, putting out consistent, reliable and almost fun level of performance. It’s some sort of experience like a broken shifter, broken rear derailleur, skipping crankset, etc, which will make you suffer, and quit it altogether.
Buying the top notch stuff when beginning anything new doesn’t make sense, either. There are obvious reasons to it: first, you’ll be afraid to wreck it. Second, it’s probably made for performance, not reliability.
I think having 2 $1000 bikes is a bigger commitment then having a single 3000$ bike: you may say you make a big mistake, shelling out 3000$ for something that is not for you. Yet when you have 2 different bikes, that are still not dirty cheap, its hard to say that, realising maybe its you; not the bikes!
I bought some really bad parts or bikes, and probably will probably continue making such weird choices. But I’ve ridden nice ones, and love riding. For me, and for many people riding long enough, cheap and bad bikes are fun too, its just “something different” – not the prime choice obviously, but it’s a nice experience to try something different, though it is total junk.