Author Topic: one bike  (Read 968 times)

KDean

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one bike
« on: October 13, 2021, 08:42:22 AM »
Not being one for having several bikes , if you could only have one for doing a bit of everything I reckon it would have to be the Nomad ? at least it wouldn't break .Have you ever been out on a trip & wished you'd taken another bike ? What would yours be ?
« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 12:08:18 PM by KDean »

PH

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Re: one bike
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2021, 09:57:52 AM »
I'm glad I don't face that dilemma, if I did mine would have to fold. 

mickeg

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Re: one bike
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2021, 11:50:58 AM »
Probably my titanium touring bike.  Eight speed 11/32 Sram cassette, half step plus granny triple, bar end shifters, dynohub lighting and USB charging, steel fork.  But if it was my only bike, I would have to add S&S couplers.  With fenders (mudguards) it can take up to 37mm wide tires.

I would not take it where I have taken my Nomad, that is one reason to own multiple bikes.  I think my Sherpa can take a heavier load, I consider the Sherpa my medium touring bike where my titanium bike is my light touring bike and the Nomad Mk II is my heavy touring bike.  I am sure that my titanium bike would have worked well on some of the bike tours I have done on my Sherpa, but the Sherpa that can take 50mm tires probably was a better choice on some of those trips.

But my titanium bike rides and handles similar to both my road bike and my rando bike while it can also carry a load on wider tires.  I built it up before "gravel" bikes became a separate category of bikes, but it is very much like a "gravel" bike but with a triple crank drive train and fenders.

Two of my bikes were spur of the moment decisions to buy, not a long thought out process.  And my titanium bike is one of those snap decisions.  I got a great deal on the frame, with factory warranty.  When that manufacturer gets a new frame returned from a dealer they put it on Ebay instead of putting it back in inventory which is how I got it for a great price.  I had always wanted a titanium bike so it was a quick decision to add some bling to my bike collection.  But in the end I found it to be one of my favorite bikes.

Since I built it up for touring, I wanted it to be reliable, robust, easy to repair and easy to replace components.  For example, the rear hub I chose has a steel axle, it is a Shimano XT hub with quarter inch ball bearings, technology that has been around for decades.  But I recently switched to cartridge bearing jockey wheels, as I got tired of cleaning and re-greasing the jockey wheels every couple years.

No racks on the bike when photo taken, when touring I have racks front and rear with a four pannier setup. 

« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 02:30:30 PM by mickeg »

martinf

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Re: one bike
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2021, 07:04:02 PM »
If really pressed for space I'd keep two.

Raven Tour, as it will do everything any of my full size bikes can do, albeit slower and less fun than my Raven Sport Tour for lightly-loaded day rides.

And one of my Brompton folders. Less necessary than when I was working but still extremely useful for multimodal trips.

Danneaux

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Re: one bike
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2021, 08:15:50 PM »
I currently have 15 bikes, ranging from my late father's 1938 Hercules to several road bikes and folders from 1970 to more modern/contemporary bikes including ones I've built myself and a tandem. Each will of course do anything and go anywhere, but is best suited for a particular task.

My Nomad is my primary expedition bike and is nonpareil for the task. It handles extreme loads well, has extremely low maintenance requirements, and the low gearing I need making it perfect for me in this use. It is also (necessarily) heavier at 20kg dry and unladen than my other bikes and less well-suited for really long 300-400km day rides than my randonneur and lighter touring bikes that weigh around 14.5kg and have lighter wheels. The Nomad works so well for me off-road and on logging roads, any intended road ride soon turns into an impromptu exploration of whatever gravel lane or dirt track I come across. The bike has been superb for this.

At the other end of the spectrum, I have my Fixie which has ended up being my go-fast bike and is also lightest at 11.8kg fully outfitted.

In-between is a 1987 production steel MTB/commuter frame (Diamondback Transporter) fitted with a choice of Thorn Sherpa Mk2 forks, one providing neutral trail, the other low-trail geometry. It is my Enduro-Allroad and closest to being the One Ring That Rules Them All in my stable (the do-all "only" bike). It is about halfway between the Nomad and the Rando bikes for weight yet has 26x2.0 slick tires and the usual mudguards, racks, bottles and sus-seatpost I need for rough-stuff while weighing about 16.3kg. However, it would not be my choice for a long tour because of the shorter lifespan and greater maintenance demanded by the 3x9 derailleur drivetrain.

I put about 9,000kms on a Thorn Raven on my 2014 tour. It was closest to my mutant DB Transporter but with the added advantage of a Rohloff drivetrain. Weight spotted in pretty close to the same as well. I could have become my "one bike".

Still lusting after an Audax or Mercury, so there seems to be no cure for "n+1 Syndrome".

Best,

Dan.

mickeg

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Re: one bike
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2021, 08:29:48 PM »
... there seems to be no cure for "n+1 Syndrome".

Best,

Dan.

Yeah, my last two were not planned purchases.  The most recent one, I thought about it for maybe five minutes before I bought it.  That one was on Amazon, a complete bike with Campy drivetrain and Ritchey Breakaway frame, cost was less than the cost of the frame.  I rarely ride it but am still glad I bought it.

I had to think hard several months ago when I saw that Thorn Enduro on Ebay, but as you know I eventually decided that even though it was a great deal I would probably not use it enough to warrant purchase.

But, I am at the point where there are redundancies.  Hard to justify even great deals.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 08:31:24 PM by mickeg »

geocycle

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Re: one bike
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2021, 08:02:55 PM »
I could do 90% of my cycling on more RST with little compromise. Great for touring, commuting,shopping and some recreational rides. I would miss my audax bike for fun day rides and the folder was great when meetings were held in London before Zoom. If buying now it would be a Mercury which is similar to the RST but with bigger wheels and disk options.
 

Matt2matt2002

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Re: one bike
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2021, 10:30:43 PM »
Raven Tour man here.
It took me over the Pamir Highway fully loaded.
No issues. Maybe I was lucky but I don't tour with luck in my panniers.
Maybe longer and tougher/ rougher roads but I recall thinking the Raven handled it all so well. I wondered what else the Nomad would have offered. Apart from weight. Security of mind of course. And when one is above 3500m and 100+ miles from another soul, I guess that can be important.

Isn't it great that we can all have different opinions and views?

Reminds me of my friend Rodney's quote:
I never lose. I either win or learn.

Never drink and drive. You may hit a bump  and spill your drink

mickeg

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Re: one bike
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2021, 12:24:14 AM »
I commented above that if I could only have one bike, it would be my titanium bike.  But, I am sure that it would have not performed well if I had this load on it on this rough of a road. 

Photo of my Nomad Mk II and a photo of the road that day attached.

I do not think I would have even attempted that road with my titanium bike.

John Saxby

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Re: one bike
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2021, 12:40:16 AM »
Wellll... Horses for courses, if I may coin a phrase.

My Raven-mit-Rohloff does well on more courses than either of my other bikes, an Eclipse ti-framed light-touring bike, and a Miele San Remo road bike repurposed and re-kitted as a city errands bike.  No contest within my stable.  The "but" is significant:  I wouldn't use it for any purpose that meant leaving it locked and unattended in public view.

If the Raven were stolen today (perish the thought), I'd replace it with a Mercury with 650B wheels and (if I properly understand Moronic's reports) I could use an ST front fork that would allow front rack & panniers.  Of course, the Raven is no longer built so there'd be no choice to be made.  But even if it were available, I'd still opt for the Mercury - the lighter weight and (unladen) nippier feel make it attractive.

Moronic

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Re: one bike
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2021, 06:36:52 AM »
Yes mine would be the one I've got, a Mercury Mk 3 650b, and I got it with versatility in mind as a one-bike solution. For me it wouldn't be a Nomad because I don't dream of long trips in remote places. Andy B makes the point in the Thorn megabrochure that you need a bike that will handle your most stressful use, and the corollary is that ifmthe bike will handle your most stressful use then it's as strong as you need it to be.

I expect I'll be touring with less than 10kg on board. Thorn's charts suggest a Merc could take that just about anywhere but I'm yet to put it to the test, since my city is still under the world's longest lockdown.

Yes John when ordering a Mercury Mk 3 you can specify the Thorn 853 fork, ST fork, or disc-brake fork. The latter two come with low-rider rack mounts.

martinf

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Re: one bike
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2021, 07:26:09 AM »
My Raven-mit-Rohloff does well on more courses than either of my other bikes, an Eclipse ti-framed light-touring bike, and a Miele San Remo road bike repurposed and re-kitted as a city errands bike.  No contest within my stable.  The "but" is significant:  I wouldn't use it for any purpose that meant leaving it locked and unattended in public view.

One of the reasons that I have a lot of bikes. I have seven (my wife has three, one "best", one utility one Brompton folder) and we have two "visitor" bikes at our island flat. My seven are :

Best bikes:

- Raven Tour with Rohloff set up for loaded touring.
- Raven Sport Tour with Rohloff set up for lightly-loaded day rides.

Utility bikes, which I feel comfortable leaving locked up in public view. I have too many of these, but as I have a large garage and no car I prefer to keep them rather than selling them for virtually nothing:

- Raven Tour with Nexus 8 set up for load carrying and trailer towing. I bought this frame a few years ago because 650B tyres for my old utility bike were getting hard to find. Now it is 26" tyres that seem to be on the way out.
- Old Peugeot 650B with Sturmey-Archer S5/2 5 speed hub gear. Frame made before 1970, maybe as early as the 1950's. It is now easy to find 650B (27.5") tyres.
- My 1977 Woodrup lightweight. I recently put an S5/2 hub gear on this as I have rarely used it in its original derailleur setup since getting the Sport Tour.

Folders:

- Lightweight Brompton, with an S5/2 hub gear. Was my multimodal commuter, used less often now but still very useful for some errands.
- "Touring" Brompton, with rear rack and Rohloff. Was my survey work folder, now used mainly for train-assisted cycling/walking holidays with my wife.


PH

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Re: one bike
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2021, 11:11:34 AM »
We seem to have wandered a bit from the one bike theme, interesting to hear others thought all the same, and as we have...

My Bikes:
Well two that I donít really consider mine, theyíre work vehicles and only get used for that.  A Trek Allant+ 5 Ebike, quite a recent acquisition used for delivery work and more than paying for itself.  And a Brompton B75, used when I have contract work that requires multi modal transport, average distance when I use it is under 10 miles, there are no practical alternatives other than driving. I know Bromptons have their devotees, I'm not really one, sure there's nothing folds like it, I'm just not keen on riding it.

Then my three favourite bikes:
Top of the list is my Rohloff Mercury, if Iím out for fun, not too much off road, donít need to transport it, and not carrying too much luggage, this is the bike Iíll be on.
My most used is the Surly Ogre Rohloff, everyday utility, anytime I need to carry a heavy load, off road, camping.  It also acts as a back up delivery bike (It was originally bought for delivery work)
Then the one I would probably keep if restricted to one, an Airnimal Joey Rohloff, itíll do at least 90% of what the above two will, just not as well. Iíll comfortable sit on it for a 200km Audax, itíll just be a touch slower. I have a Radical Designs trailer to go with it, so itíll carry any load and then pack into the trailer bag to be transported by any mode.

Then an additional two just because:
My first proper touring bike, a Hewitt Cheviot SE, currently in a light Audax build.  I hardly ride it; I havenít been out on it this year and only a couple of days last year. If all the stars align itís a joy to ride, that just doesnít happen often.  I wouldnít really miss it, but it costs nothing to keep and they fetch so little money thereís no reason to part with it.
Lastly my other Mercury, crash damaged and written off last year, the salvaged parts were gathering dust and I was suffering lockdown boredom! So, new ST fork, powder coated and Alfine hub I has sitting around.  Bigger tyres and no guards, lighter than the No 1 Mercury, itís a bit of a blast to ride.  Plus itís reclaimed, it owes me nothing, Iím not going to be upset if it gets a bit knocked about, so it might get used where I wouldnít want to take the other.

This yearís mileage to give some idea of usage, whatís clear and sort of brings us back to the thread topic, is that if I had to choose one, it would be the best compromise rather than my favourite bike:
Trek (2 months)    1,850
Brompton    260
Ogre   3,600
Mercury R 2,060
Joey   320
Mercury A   460
Hewitt 0
Trailer 0
« Last Edit: October 15, 2021, 11:13:09 AM by PH »

JohnR

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Re: one bike
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2021, 12:47:48 PM »
Then the one I would probably keep if restricted to one, an Airnimal Joey Rohloff, itíll do at least 90% of what the above two will, just not as well. Iíll comfortable sit on it for a 200km Audax, itíll just be a touch slower. I have a Radical Designs trailer to go with it, so itíll carry any load and then pack into the trailer bag to be transported by any mode.
At the risk of going off-topic can you clarify what's good and bad about the Joey? I'm currently wondering if there's a Rohloff-equipped bike that's a bit lighter than my Mercury (it must have disc brakes as well). Otherwise I'll have to continue taking bits off the Mercury when I want less weight and add them back again when i want more features.

mickeg

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Re: one bike
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2021, 02:17:08 PM »
I can't answer for PH, but I also have a Joey.

In my case it is a long tale that I will try to keep short, with some disappointments along the way.

I bought the frame and fork to build up in 2006.  All folding bikes are a compromise, some emphasize better portability at the cost of the ride and handling, some emphasize better ride and handling at the cost of portability.  The Joey at that time was marketed as the best handling folder that you could fit into a case that would not incur airline oversize fees.  I previously had a job that involved a lot of travel and I would have liked to have had a folder at that time, but by the time I bought the frame and fork and built it up, I was not traveling for work much so the purchase was more to fulfill a past desire, not a current need.

Then after I built it up, I tried to buy the airline case for it.  That was when I learned that the case was not sold in USA.  I asked the dealer that sold me the frame about a case, they said they had a nice case to sell me, but it was not the case I specifically asked about.  I decided to wait until I was near that dealer (~400 km away) so I could look at it instead of buying it and having it shipped to me.  Good thing I waited, their case was huge and would incur oversize charges.  The dealer than said that there was no case that the Joey would fit in that would meet USA airline size criteria.  At that point I realized that the case that Airnimal suggested for the Joey was not sold in USA because the USA airlines all had more stringent luggage sizes than British Air.  And the marketing was oriented towards British Air flyers, not anyone else.  That was when I suddenly had a huge case of buyers remorse.

So, for the next decade the Joey was rarely ridden, there was no way I could recover even a small fraction of my costs if I tried to sell it.  I stored it in my truck in case I wanted to ride a bike somewhere that I had driven to. 

Then in 2016, when I unpacked my Nomad Mk II with S&S couplers from the S&S Backpack case, I looked inside that empty case and decided to try to fit my Joey into it.  It would take a lot of disassembly, but I could make it fit. 

So, I finally learned that I had a folder that I could take on an airplane after all.  This was a decade after I had first built it up.  And by now I was retired and almost never flew anywhere anymore.

Two years later in 2018, two friends and I all signed up for a van supported bike trip in West Texas run by Adventure Cycling Association, each day we would ride our bikes to the next campground while the van would transport all our gear for us.  The three of us flew on an airline that gave you two free checked bag allowance.  On a whim, I decided to take my Joey on the plane, it would travel for free in my S&S Backpack case.  It took as much time to pack it as it takes me to pack my S&S bike, a few hours, but it worked.  Instead of taking their bikes on the plane, the other two shipped their bikes ahead to the motel, they had road bikes in bike boxes.  Rode my Joey for that week, everyone else rode road bikes or touring bikes.  And my Airnimal Joey was almost as good as my other non-folding bikes.  It has a bit of flex in the tall seatpost extension.  And there is flex in the steerer tube extension.  But after several hundred miles, I got used to that flex, so not a problem for me.

Since then I have occasionally considered taking it on a trip but have not done so.  Occasionally take it out of my truck and ride it.  Just yesterday when I dropped off my truck to a repair shop to do some maintenence, I rode my Joey home, plan to ride it back to the shop later today.

Airnimal made a lot of changes since 2006 when mine was built.  Mine is rim brake, and I learned the hard way that my tire size is extremely rare, so I have bought spare tires to keep in storage.  They apparently changed the chainstay design later to fit wider tires so there are more tire options on the newer ones.

Mine is derailleur, not Rohloff.  I can't fit a front derailleur to mine, I use a Sram Dual Drive for wider gearing range, that is a three speed hub that can take a cassette, thus mine is a 24 speed bike with an eight speed cassette.  Newer Joeys can take a front derailleur.

A few photos.

1 - The bike packed in my S&S Backpack case.  I even had to remove the crank arms to make it fit.  Thus, not a quick one to pack.

2 - That trip in West Texas was hot and dry, I carried two water bottles, one liter each on the frame plus more in a saddle bag.

3 - The Joey in the motel room, the first fold takes less than a minute.  I folded it to carry up the stairway to the room.  To fold it you first remove the front wheel, the rear wheel goes into the fork.

4 - When I store it in my truck, I put it in a larger bag, I basically pack it like in the photo into that bag.  Only takes a couple minutes to pack it that way into a storage bag.  The pedals are not shown in this photo, I use MKS EZY removable pedals that are quick release.  As shown in this photo, it took no tools to break it down to this size.

Although I have not enjoyed it as much as I thought I would, for some people that would find a need for a well handling bike that folds down to a slightly more compact size for commuting or for taking on a commuter train, I can see where they would have gotten a lot more use out of it than I have.  For a small number of people, this would be a great bike.

In my case I probably should have bought a Bike Friday and the standard Samsonite suitcase that it packed into instead of the Joey.  But, we live and learn.

ADDENDUM:

The Sram Dual Drive is no longer in production, but I have heard that Sturmey Archer makes a similar hub.  I am using a Sturmey Archer bar end shifter for my Dual Drive, is indexed just right and works great.

I use drop bars and bar end shifters with my Joey, but I think most Joey users use flat bars which would be much more compact when folded.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 08:49:00 PM by mickeg »