This is a complete and total stealing of a blog idea from anniebikes blog. Miss Annie writes about the ideal bicycle out of her stable and I am going to write the same post here instead of blog-jacking her nice site with the sort of nonsense that bounces off my keyboard.
The premise? Can you reduce your bike stable to just one ideal, for you, ride???
Spoiler alert....If you don't want to keep reading....I don't think you can get to one perfect ride.
Now, many of you ride along on the one bike you own and you are perfectly happy with that. I understand. You have a purpose for your riding and your bike fulfills that purpose and all is right with the world. I maybe could use some of that singular pleasure and fulfillment in life. But noooo, I find a need to muddy the waters with choices!
Here we go!
I have three bikes and I actively ride all three. I have one more bike, the 1979 Univega that I rebuilt and gave to one of my boys to ride. He enjoyed it and rode it as a commuter for almost two years. He recently got himself a 29er and the Univega came back home in need of some tune-up help. Not sure what I will do with this bike so it is not included here.
In no particular order:
2008 SURLY LONG HAUL TRUCKER
My touring bike
Close to the ideal bike. It is very comfortable, easy to ride. Steel frame with 38's for tires gives a road absorbing plush ride. Can double as a commuter because I can put one bag on the back rack and bring my workout stuff and lunch for the work day. It has tire size that can handle rolling along pavement or you can get more aggressive with the tred and it will handle dirt, forest service roads. I have this set up with the albatross bars for a very upright touring posture, seat and bars are on the same plane. I really did get this bike to be a bicycle tourist and it has served me well for that purpose. Every summer I have been out somewhere as my vacation time has allowed, tours around Colorado and down into New Mexico along with some simple overnighters. Laying the groundwork for a future in some years ahead that includes retirement and some longer multi-week tours. My idea of an ideal bike has to perform this function This bike is the equivalent to driving a Suburban in the car world.
The downsides???? OK, it is heavy and a bit slow a foot, especially if you are used to a super light road bike. I would not want to attempt any single track on this bike although I am sure it could do it as long as it is not too extreme. Which leads me to bike #2
2013 SURLY OGRE
Not sure what to call this bike yet!
XXL steel frame, Headpost extension with a short stem, (this accommodates my crazy t-rex arms that don't match my overall height!) and Surly open bars to give me an upright touring position. My ultimate goal with this bike is participate in some off pavement touring. The before mentioned FS road tours, rails to trails, and ultimately, a big dream of mine, The Great Divide Route. 29er size rims with 29x2.1 stock tires that came with Surly's complete bike kit. My thinking is, the ideal tour will combine pavement, country gravel, a little single track, just an enjoyment of touring with no road condition limitations. This could be the bike for that!
The versatility of this bike is only contained by your imagination. This bike has so many braze-on attachments for racks, fenders,anything cages.
This is pretty close to the Ultimate do-all ride.
The only drawbacks????? Like the LHT, it is a heavy ride, a bit clunky on pavement, although more nimble footed than you would expect. It is actually more nimble than LHT as an around town commuter. As I ride this bike more and get to know its ride.....this may move into #1 on my list as the one bike to have if I had to have only one.
That said.....I am agreeing with my bike friend TJ.Comstock. As I ride this bike on pavement I look down at those wide tires and wish for my more pavement friendly 38's on LHT or the 32's on my roadie which leads us to bike #3
2010 SCHWINN LE TOUR ELITE
This is my go to bike when I want to put in some miles on a ride. Whether I am getting ready to ride a road ride event or I am getting ready for a tour, this is the bike I put miles in on. It is fun to ride and very comfortable even when the miles and hours pile up. Yet, this would be the last choice if I had to just pick one to have forever. I need that versatility of packing my stuff on the bike and heading out on a tour. I love the daily commute and the just riding and putzing around town on bikes but I always have a tour in the back of my mind that I am pointing towards.
Those are my three rides. Are they the best or most expensive bikes out there??? Not even close. But they are set up to fit me and I am very happy with how they all work for my riding and purpose.
To add on to this post, I got the real first ride of 2014 in this last Saturday. My truck had to go to the dealership in Loveland for some warranty work where they had to keep it. It was a pretty nice day for us so I decided to pack the bike and just ride back up the mountain.
Back up there where the wind monsters reside. Obligatory Longs Peak picture!
Made my way back to the narrows of Big Thompson canyon and....oh yeah...it might still be winter.
Most of the canyon you had to pay attention and not wander off the shoulder too far!!
Is there one ultimate ride??? Yes, for many of you there is. For me?? I am so lucky to have found the bikes that I own and thus I don't have to make that choice. My choice is; what bike do I ride today!!
Safe rides and tailwinds everybody!!
Thanks for reading!@