The Justification games.

In Articles by wheelsofkarma1 Comment

The ratio of bike ownership is, as we all know by now N+1, Where N= the number of bikes already owned and the +1 is whatever you can dream up.

The best bike justification I have ever heard was “Do I already own one? if not, then I should get one.” Thanks to Bruce for that. This eagerness to find a reason for just one more bike is inexplicably evident in most cyclists psyche.

Since Baron Karl Von Drais first invented his running machine in 1817 people have found ever increasing niche environments that require more and more specialized machines.

Gone are the wartime days when a bike would be shared by a whole family and used for every occasion from grocery collection to weekend racing. It seems there is always something else we need, not want, NEED, in case we find ourselves hopelessly out of our current bikes perfect terrain.

In the modern bicycle market there is a bike for every occasion, be it a gravel track, muddy field, sandy beach or glossy tarmac. The situation may seem similar (key word) but the bike chosen to do the job must be specifically designed to give you the highest chance of being the best, fastest or most capable/ equipped rider on the trail. Brands and designers see N+1 as a reason to keep our glorious sport, pastime, hobby and even job developing and changing. This is an evolution happening right in front of our eyes.

What should your next bike be ? How many of this list can you check off as owned, tried or still to purchase? I hope this helps you expand your horizons and try something new. Just be sure to check with your “other half” beforehand.


Commuter Bikes-

The Hack bike – pieced together from your spares box and available for theft.

The antique – Flea market chic is back you know.

The professional -Flat bars, mudguards. Made for the job.

New school hero – Made for gravel adventure riding but it will do your 9-5 also.

The Ex tourer – Dawes Randonneur, panniers, Nuff said.

The Singlespeeder – No repair bills / lazy man’s friend, and thigh builder.

The Fixed – Easy cool points every morning and evening commute.

The Go anywhere – for those snow days or field shortcuts (see mountain bike)

The Electric – So you can arrive without a bead of sweat to be found. Practically chauffeur driven.

The Folding – For multi-transportation commuting.

Road Bikes-

The Carbon tech expert – electronic gears, bells, and whistles optional.

Speed on a budget – Aluminium 105. The gateway drug of road cycling.

Steel is real. Heavy for sure but at least it can be repaired.

The Eroica retro ride – Yes it is once a year. But you can’t enter unless you own one and know its history.

The Single-speed for a good excuse when you loose and bragging rights when you win.

The road tourer – Yes you should splash out on the Rohloff hub and Ortlieb panniers.

Mountain Bikes –

Hardtail XC – For the whippets out there.

Suspension XC – For the older whippets.

Hard-core hard tail – Beards and shin pads a necessity.

Jump bike – Aren’t you too old!

Downhill rig – You won’t use it but nothing else comes close on the (1 day a year) uplift.

Show-stopper titanium – Just to make your mates jealous and to feel the “zing”.

The Full sus, (terrain dependent)  80mm, 100mm, 120mm, 140mm, 160mm 180mm, 200mm More? You need one of each.

Fat-bike – Because it floats over stuff that you will likely never ride.

Less fat but still fatter than a normal bike, 650b trail smoosher.

Sports Specific Bikes –

Cyclocross race bike, Otherwise known as the torture machine.

Cyclocross 2nd race bike – Because it’s really muddy.

Cyclocross training bike –  Wouldn’t want to ruin your carbon bike whilst training.

Cycle speedway – Yes, it still exists and is hilarious fun.

Bicycle polo bike – It’s ice hockey on bikes!

Gymnastic bike – Possibly the coolest thing ever to come from Germany.

The Other categories –

Street BMX – For use in the streets with 2 or 4 stunt pegs.

Dirt BMX – Longer by an inch but completely different to the street bike.

Flatland freestyle BMX – For spinning continually on as few wheels as possible.


Cargo Bike – To carry literally anything.

Cruiser – Beach or otherwise.

Recumbent – Must have tried all other forms of cycling before this.

Tandem – Share the love.

If you find yourself drawing your finger down this list exclaiming “GOT, GOT, NEED, like a 90’s football card collecting teenager then you are truly a cyclist. Maybe you have too much time, too much money or just a good old-fashioned obsession. But you are what makes cycling great. Variety is, after all, the spice of life.




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