N+1 Is A Simple Yet Complicated Equation … aka Rule #12

The rules of cycling are applicable to all forms of the sport; be it road, time trial or MTB.
They are many, but they are clear; there are even rules that can be interchanged to allow variations under extreme circumstances.
For the purpose of this post I will focus on one rule only… RULE #12

While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner

I own three bikes already.  My beloved Zooey, her road riding sister Sara and my hand built single speed commuter.

As the girly will attest, I spend a lot of time with my bikes.
Put aside the 10-12 hours I spend in the saddle each week; after each ride I will meticulously clean and mini-service Zooey.  Every few days I will do the same with Sara.  And I spent weeks stripping down the frame, sanding, painting and finally building my SS roadie.

It is not a chore for me, it is therapeutic   Maybe it stems from my years in the Army where you unpack, clean, reassemble and refit to fight all of your equipment and stores post exercise or operation.  I’m have a set way I clean and service my bikes; I follow the same formula each time.

…Anyway I like bikes; and I like the concept of Rule #12; you are always on the look out for a new bike.  Which brings me to my +1 bike crush!


The Giant Composite XTC 29er 1.

It’s an amazing bike.  It looks great, rides great and it’s a carbon frame.  N+1 indeed!
However there are a few complications in my equation:

  • It’s rather expensive
  • I’m getting married soon (do I really need to spend money on another bike?)
  • It’s a hardtail 29er (I ride and race a dual suspension)
  • The girly doesn’t really support/understand my need for this bike

I was at a point prior to my crash and torn pec where I was stupidly bike fit.  I had spent enough time in the saddle that I was stronger, fitter, faster and healthier than I had been in a few years.  The simple truth being; riding gets you fit and healthy and makes you happy.
However I also reached a plateau in my riding too.  I wasn’t getting anymore big gains and I wasn’t getting much faster on my standard rides.  Something had to change.

That change was adapting my riding.  Firstly, my riding position; secondly, my bike setup; thirdly, my nutrition.  I started to make more gains, but they were slower than I expected; I was slightly disillusioned and quietly disappointed.  I made the mistake of increasing the intensity of every ride.  Doing this is sure fire way to failure.  I was experiencing muscle fatigue and DOMS on a regular basis.  Instead of putting together a proper training program I just hit it hard; too hard.

The end result was over training and over confidence… Ergo, a poorly executed jump at the end of a race that resulted in a torn chest muscle and weeks off the bike.

Which brings me back to N+1.  I’ve decided I will compete in the CORC XC Series on Zooey for the time being.  I’ve got some ground to make up once I’m able to ride and I’ll do that properly with a training program and medical guidance.  So no +1 for me in the near future.

For the time being I’ll leave a picture of the XTC above my desk at work and put in the required kilometres on the incredible bikes I’ve already got.

Hopefully one day in the future; for a brief 24 hour period N+1 becomes N, and I’ve got an XTC sitting in my living room…. And then the equation reverts back to N+1 once again.

3 thoughts on “N+1 Is A Simple Yet Complicated Equation … aka Rule #12

  1. Zooey is a noble steed Dobbsy!

    Cube make 29er carbon hardtails too you know! Just sayin’ is all!

    Oh, and tell your lovely lady that it’s important to realise you don’t fall off hardtails nearly as badly as duallys! *coughs*

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