Letting go of a bike, or the N+0 strategy

IMG_3305The time has come to sell my Raleigh Crested Butte. I’ve been making noises about selling the bike for a year or so, but now is truly the time. The Bantam Rambleneur can do everything better than the Crested Butte, and the Crested Butte is just too small for me. I made it work for three years, but now that there is no need for the bike, it’s become more glaring. (Especially since I lowered the seatpost to a “reasonable” height in comparison to frame size, and man, I was almost slapping knees riding it around!)

But it’s hard. I loved this bike. It came into my possession when I was looking with something that could take fatter tires than my Long Haul Trucker. It got me interested in maybe not true mountain biking but more “rough stuff”.  It encouraged me to take roads that I may not have tried in my more paved riding days. And boy, it’s a beautiful bike: all that first-generation production mountain bike classiness, Deore and beartrap pedals and all that.

So I thought maybe, maybe I could keep the bike, redo it in someway to make it “less redundant”. But would I want to spend more energy on “redoing” this bike? One of the reasons for getting the Ramblenour was to have one primary do-anything-everything steed, not a fleet of bikes that are pretty similar but somewhat tweaked. Having the all rounder (Rambleneur) plus the three speed (Wayfarer) and a beater (Heavy Duti) would fulfill all of my primary biking needs.

But wait! What if something happens to the Rambleneur and I wanted to go camping? Wouldn’t it be good to have a “back up” tour ready bike? If money and space weren’t objects, maybe. But if anything happened to the Rambleneur I would get it fixed immediately, and the three speed is a lot more versatile than you’d think, as long as I wasn’t doing a mountain tour, I could pull off a camping trip.

And now back to square one: a nice bike that is redundant to the new bike, and doesn’t fit me well.

I’ve been trying hard to reign in the size of my fleet. As stated before, the three other bikes currently fit my needs and desires. I don’t want to expand the fleet unless I get another bike that does something differently, like a true road bike or true mountain bike. Or maybe a bike that’s a different configuration than one of my standard sized frame and wheels bikes, like a folding bike or cargo bike. But with such a major purchase like the Rambleneur, I’m in no hurry to do that, especially since I don’t have any desires for those bikes now. (Sure, if something good fell in my lap, then maybe.)

But parting with bikes is not always easy. While it doesn’t happen with every bike I own, sometimes I do become emotionally attached to a bike. There are several bikes that I loved over the years, like my Centurion Accordo, the bike that brought me down the Pacific Coast, and the Long Haul Trucker, which brought me to a lot of places. But eventually the luster fades, and while the emotional attachment may linger to a degree, the practical reason to keep the bike around doesn’t. But do I regret selling my bikes? Not usually. I regret having to sell the Long Haul Trucker at an inappropriate time (winter) due to cash flow issues, then having to accept a lower than wanted selling price. I also regretted selling the XO-3 too early as well. But now I have the Rambleneur, a bike that I like more than those other two combined.

Still, there’s that pang of sadness when it happens. The best I can hope for is that the new owner will like the bike as much as I did.

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4 thoughts on “Letting go of a bike, or the N+0 strategy

  1. Thumbs up on the n+0 concept and it works for living in general. I’ve found that a couple different sets of tires can make one bike much more adaptable at lower cost and minimal storage space than another bike.

  2. Pingback: Not letting go after all? | Urban Adventure League

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