Why I only own one bike


In cycling there is this one famous formula. The number of bikes to own is “n+1” – where “n” is the number of bikes, you currently own.

In fact, at first this rule does make sense. You will need a bike for all different situations in your life.
Winter = Cyclocross Bike (Canyon Inflite 1600€)
Summer = Roadbike (Canyon Aerorad 3200€)
Rain = a bike with cheap parts (Wilier Strada 700€)
Trail = Mountainbike (Kona Precept 1500€)
Holiday = Touringbike (Patria Randonneur 2700€)
Citiy-Train-Station = a very fucked off bike (50€ – otherwise it will be stolen)
Mountains = very light Roadbike (Trek Emonda / Dura Ace / Mavic R-Sys – 7000€)
and of course you need a Time-Trial-Bike, because it looks cool, you can do triathlons and you can be absolutely sure that your slow speed is not the fault of your bike (Canyon Speedmax 9200€). In total: 25.950€, if I had this collection of dream bikes. Jup, cycling is expensive 😉

If you want to, you can always find reasons to buy another bike. But ultimately, you will always turn some pedals. Alternatively, you will also find reasons, to only own one bike. Imagine you own this eight bikes as prescribed. First of all, you have to wash them every two weeks. We calculate 20 minutes for every bike, so you will need almost three hours (2h 40m) to do this job. In one year this summs up to to 52 hours.  This is 6.5 days, more than one week at work.
When you only have one bike, washingtime will shrink to 8.6 hours in a year.
This is one workday for me. On one day, I earn about 150€. So if I’m owning eight bikes, I will not only pay the bike, but also pay with my time and therefore 750€ (5 more washing days x 150€). This is time that I won’t get to ride my bike.
But, if you have eight bikes, you will also need room for this. And eight bikes is an entire room in your appartement or garage, where you can’t place your ridiculously cheap stinky thing which you call car. Let’s be honest, there’s no money left for a car. 🙂
So, let’s say I only need 5m² for this. I bought my flat at a price of 3.200€ per m². So this room costs me 16.000€. Alternatively – when I rent my flat – I would pay 70€ per month for this 5m², which summs up to 840€ per year.
But: I can only ride one bike at a time. This means (840+750)/8 = 198.75€.
So I put out an extra money of 1391.25€/year for bikes that I don’t ride.

So let’s calculate the initial costs in the first year – just for fun – with a bought real estate:
25.950€ + 16.000€ + 840€ = 42.790€

Puh, thankfully I only own one bike. But to be fair: I also don’t own this money

How many bikes do you own?

#onebikeguy #randonneur #roadbike #moneybike #bikelife


61 responses to “Why I only own one bike

  1. Three. 🙂 A road bike, a cyclocross bike (as my winter/commute/rain bike) and a time trial bike for those speed thrills moments. For the past two months I’ve only had the one road bike as the other two are packed away in a shipping container. I’ve missed the other two, but I could live without them if it came down to it.

    Then again I wouldn’t mind adding a mountain bike to the collection….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I own two bikes, my winter mountain bike and my summer road bike. I love the snowy, icy winters where I live, the downside is that so much salt is poured on the roads that even with cleaning my bike after each ride, it is still rusting. But I didn’t buy a “touring bike” for this summer, my road bike works just fine so maybe I am in the somewhat minimalist category. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I smiled at your math. Not a single cyclist I know would exercise this kind of rational logic when it comes to the next new bike 😀

    In answer to your question – 2 bikes. A road and a triathlon bike. I confess I would like a new road bike and a trail bike but unfortunately I don’t see either of those happening any time soon … Although a new helmet is now in the cards :/

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have one…a Trek 5000. I love it. When I was in college I switched the carbon fiber seat out for a steel one that would support loading it with bags to use as a commuter bike. worked great. Converted it back eventually, and use it for training now and occasionally to make short trips. I only have room in the garage for one bike (and of course one each for my kids, and one trike for my wife)…and as you said, to properly maintain bikes would be time taxing having more than that.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice post! I just got rid of my fixie and am down to one bike; my Look 555. I’m hoping to get a steel frame to replace my carbon so I can put more weight on it for longer tours.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As Shakespeare’s King Lear says, “reason not the need.” Great posting! I read in some cycling magazine that the perfect number of bikes to own is n-1, n being the number of bikes that would cause a divorce. But of course that assumes one is married.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. “I can only ride one bike at a time”: exactly what I say. I own just one bike.

    I live in New York City. Some people here own a beater for commuting to and from work—if it gets stolen, they can live with it—plus a serious bike for weekend rides. Others who commute by bike don’t own one at all—they just use the “bike-share” program. As the blog post I put up today mentions, I indulged my taste for bikes way back in high school, with a Stingray for doing my morning paper route and a 10-speed for getting to school and other rides. Should’ve been giving my mother some of my extra cash instead of putting it into a second bike, but I didn’t see it at the time.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. One! Surly LHT. It’s slow on roads, fantastic on hills, excellent when you need to put extra weight on it, a little bumpy off road, but it works! Thank you for this post. Makes me feel like I really don’t need any more. Sometimes I want more, but it’s crazy how much good bikes cost.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Only one for me! I hair got into the biking scene this week and I’m learning that the community is SERIOUS about their equipment. I might get me a second ‘commute to work’ bike. But that’d be later on.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I only own one bike, but my primary motivation for that is living in an apartment with limited storage. I have a cyclocross and just keep changing out my tires depending on my situation.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. 4 bikes, a road bike, a mountain bike, a TT bike and a fixed for the winter. One tricycle because… tricycle.

    I ride whichever one feels right, I’ve time trailed on the trike and toured on the mountain bike. They all put a big smile on my face and a song in my heart

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I ride one bike currently, a Surly Ogre. That thing can do just about anything decently well but I don’t race or ride for sport though. I also fix up older bikes to sell and enjoy riding steel frame road bikes occasionally.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I have one bike (and most of the parts of a totally different one). I have been riding since 1968 and rarely owned more than one. However, I’d like to have two. One I already have for long rides and cargo (Diamondback Edgewood LX, modified for my “problems”) and another bike to use in conjunction with buses. The Diamondback is heavy and my modifications make it too tall (blocks driver vision). Depending on how the money goes, I expect to get another folder, preferably another Dahon, for that. If I get really a lot of money, I will then replace the Diamondback with a recumbent. I’ve had two of those, and they’re the best riding for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I had two but sold my road bike leaving a cyclocross. My lack of confidence in our road quality (north England) and my descending skills (eyes shut and screaming) mean the thinner tyre/rapid speed scares me… And when comparing times with other cyclists (my brother) I contentedly imagine I’d have been beaten him on a level playing field*.
    (*this is a metaphor, I tend to avoid fields due to dogs and their droppings). Happy and safe cycling to all. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Three here: my lock it and leave it ride it in the winter who cares banger Raleigh talus commuter, my much loved Kona Sutra as my do anything – gravel, road, trails – bike, and my Kona Precept 130 trail bike for when single track calls loudly. I have a couple of cool old antique bikes as well which don’t get ridden.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Yeah, I think I have two bikes, and am about to add a 3rd. But when I count I find I already have five now. I have a good road bike (4 years old now) and my race bike, a Cyclocross bike. And I am about to add a TT bike as I borrowed it for most of last year and have to grudgingly confess I just loved going as fast as I could on it plus it is a looker.

    I also have a budget road bike Triban 3 (great value for money) but my youngest borrows it so it does not count :-0. Then I have my L’eroica bike, it has been round L’eroica Britania twice and cost me nothing (saved from the rubbish tip, re-built using left over bits). well it cost me time so do I need to count it? And a twenty or so year old basic rigid mountain bike that weighs a ton and has been know to serve as “no one will knick it” transport plus occasional Cross race bike in desperation.

    Could I go to one, yes the Cyclcross bike and a spare set of wheels/tyres and mudguards. But I would miss the lovely feeling when I get the road bike out and head to the hills and the UCI tell me its Disk Brakes are not eligible for some events and certainly not L’eroica. And I would be heart broken if my cross bike was nicked. And think of the time I would spend swapping tyres. The advantage of the “do not count bikes” is they need little cleaning and maintenance. My road and cross bikes have to be cleaned etc before he next event 🙂

    I know I failed.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Three. A full suspension mountain bike which I love and will have to last for years (it’s a 26er too so already outdated but it’s awesome). A sport road bike that can tour, aluminium frame so lighter but still strong. Got me up Mont Ventoux, which I am forever grateful for. And a super old Kona that I use to run around town and I’m not afraid will get stolen. Could lose that one as I appreciate and try to adhere to a simpler lifestyle, although we sort of live on our bikes at times. And I have to say our very tiny apartment is full of bikes! My boyfriend has four of his own…..I’m not sure he needs them all, ha! We just make up for the deficit of minimalism in other areas of our lives.
    Oopsy, I forgot to admit to a beat up old three speed Raleigh in storage that I want to spruce up. Definitely not minimalist in the bike arena!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. i own 2 bikes. One is for the road, which is my Rose SL Pro 3000 full carbon and a cube fully mountainbike. You can only bike on one at the time anyway so why the need for more than one?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I LOVE this!!! I am laughing out loud 🙂 So true….the more bikes, the more money, the more time 🙂 I am still at two road bikes (one is very old and I just can’t part with it) and one cross bike. Until I REALLY get into cross I refuse to buy another.

    Thanks so much for this delightful post!!!

    Happy Riding!

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Love it!😃 I’m a one-bike woman; my hybrid takes me everywhere I need to be. Roads, country lanes, the country park… It’s a part of me and I’m forever on it. Except at the moment, as I need the brakes adjusting after an unfortunate incident this weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. One bike? Well, that grabbed my attention. Is it possible? I have three – one roady and two mountain bikes. I suppose one road bike could count as just one bike, right?


  22. I own three: (1) Specialized Allez Comp for working out/endurance; (2) Surly Straggler for commuting and touring; and (3) a Giant Escape 3 for shopping, films, etc. so I’m not so paranoid about it getting stolen. Definitely not a minimalist.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I own one bike – a Charge Plug Zero – a single speed bike that the local bike shop called a “svelt little black number” when it was sitting in their bike rack one day 🙂 I simplified after my commute started to cost quite a bit in servicing for a normal mountain bike.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Just 1 bike a Giant TCR1 for commuting to work 45k each day and my long 100+k Saturday rides although I do have 2 pairs of wheels, one for commuting and the other, a fancier pair of carbon wheels, I use only for the long rides.

    Liked by 1 person

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