my bikes

I know the equation for how many bikes an enthusiast should have...  X + 1 = the perfect number of bikes (X being the number of bikes you currently have).

But for the time being I've really settled on five.

These bikes each have a special job in my life. Each one is vital to maintaining a lifestyle built around cycling as transportation. Here they are in no particular order.

The Xtracycle is the workhorse in the stable. It was built from an old Trek 800 steel frame I purchased off Craigslist. I bought it months before I was able to purchase a FreeRadical from Xtracycle, but I knew from the beginning that it would eventually become a utility bike.

Before I bought the LHT, this bike was used for nearly half of my miles. It's was my go to bike for just throwing something in the FreeRadical bags and leaving. I run an internally geared hub in the Xtra. It makes it a great option for snowy weather, as well. It also sees quite a bit of action hauling my kids... two on the Snapdeck and one in a trailer behind.

My Redline 925 was my rain bike. I sold it a while back but it still appears in the categories and in the archives. It was an awesome bike and I'd highly recommend it to someone looking for a single speed.

Six years ago I was starting to consider serious all-weather bike commuting. I knew, though, that the preventative maintenance that would be required of a bike with gears was more than I was looking for... or could afford. After realizing that replacing the drivetrain on a geared bike would cost nearly as much as a stock single speed, I bought the Redline. It was eventually replaced by this single speed Cross Check. It's known in the categories as "the other cross check." I bought the frame from Doug and built it us as the all-weather beater bike. Surly actually sells a Cross Check built up just like this one as a complete bike now. I've really enjoyed having a single speed. It's a blast to ride, even in nice weather.

The geared Surly Cross Check is my favorite bike I've ever ridden. It sees the most miles in the nice weather months.  It was my first true bike love. This was the bike I sold my possessions for. I sold lots of camping gear, computer gear and my kayak to allow this purchase. And I've never regretted it. I've had it for five years and haven't done any major maintenance to it. It truly is a versatile bike.

It's seen lots of accessories and variations. But for the most part it's just a stock Surly build. It's been on a few bike camping trips, lots of commutes and perhaps a cyclocross race in the future.

The newest bike in the garage is my Surly Troll. As I've ridden more and more over the years, I developed a love for mountain biking. I toyed with the idea of buying a Surly fat tired Pugsley, but in the end, this was the most practical option. This bike will ride any trail I throw at it, yet run fenders, racks and whatever else I may need it to for transportation options. Surly makes versatile bikes. The Troll is their answer to off-road versatility. My dream is to, one day, ride the Continental Divide on this bike.

The oldest bike but newest build for me is the Long Haul Trucker.  I bought the frame from Tim to build it up for my wife but I use it more than almost all of my other bikes. Since most of my miles are commuting, it handles the weight of my laptop, books and work stuff more than the other rides. It's amazingly comfortable and feels great under a load.

Well, that's it. Only five. But, like I said, they really do cover all I need. My wife rides these bikes, as well. Her primary ride becomes the LHT when I'm riding with her hauling kiddos on the Xtra. But these bikes are more than enough. They can pretty much do anything, on or off road, that I could throw at them. I'm blessed to have these options.