The right number of bikes to have is N + 1, according to a well established saying in the cycling world, where N = the number of bikes you currently have. Because the thing is, there's always a new bike to tempt you. So if you're looking for a reason to justify your purchase, let us help.
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We all know how it starts. You buy a road bike. After a while, you need a better road bike. You decide to try mountain biking so you need one of those too. Then you get more into mountain biking and decide that you need a short travel trail bike for your local rides and something with a bit more suspension for those mountain holidays. On the road, things get serious so you invest in a high-end carbon race machine. But you don't want to trash that on wet roads so you need a winter training bike for, you know, keeping your legs ticking over in the off season.
That's not to mention opportunities to try track cycling, singlespeeds, BMXs, jump bikes, recumbents, unicycles, off-road unicycles... the list literally goes on and on and on. While we completely understand the need for these new bikes, other people may not be quite so understanding.
So if you're looking for a reason to get that new bike you've been lusting after, or need a convincing justification to persuade your partner/parents/bank manager that it's not a waste of money, let us assist you with these pre-prepared excuses, fresh and ready to go out of the box.
You may want to practice stating these in front of a mirror to ensure you get your delivery smooth and natural.
1. My old bike is broken
An oldie but a goodie, and quite hard to argue with. Admittedly it depends on exactly how broken it is. A flat tyre and few broken spokes don't exactly make the strongest case, but lots of rust, any cracks, extremely wobbly wheels or cranks that drop off the bike when you pick it up certainly suggest that it's time for a new bike.
2. I need to sell the old one before its resale value plummets
The bike industry is innovating faster than a room full of engineers at Apple, or so it seems. That bike you've just spent a fortune on will have out-of-date tech before you know it, so if you want to sell it on at a good price you'd better do it quickly. And of course get a new bike to replace it with.
3. The new bike is actually the bike you've always wanted and you'll never ever need another one
This reason must be deployed with care. It's a one-use only justification, and may put future bike purchases in jeopardy if it seems like this was just a desperate attempt to get a new bike, which it probably was.
Essentially this boils down to the fact that all the bikes you've had before haven't been quite right, but the new tech and approach to bike design has finally, FINALLY, come together to create the ultimate bike, the bike with the ideal geometry, the bike you've always wanted, the two-wheeled equivalent of the promised land. The Bike To End All Bikes.
Until the next one.
4. A new bike will help me get fit
If you get this bike, you'll ride more, which means you'll get fitter and healthier. I mean, everyone knows that bikes are good for your physical and mental well-being, right? It's one of our favourites out of a list of 30 reasons to take up cycling.
And the fitter you are, the lower the risk of developing various illnesses like heart disease in the future. So when you think about it, its not just a new bike, it's an investment in your future health.
5. A new bike will actually save me money
Not only is the bike on sale — and even if it isn't it probably will be at some point soon — but if you had this bike, you'd be saving money you'd actually be spending on transport/the gym/eating (delete as appropriate). So although you're spending money on a bike, in actual fact you're saving money in the long term.
6. I have to buy it before the economy plummets!
In the face of global economic uncertainty brought on by Brexit/Donald Trump/approaching Armageddon, the chances are the price of things like bicycles will go up. So really it's crucial that you buy that bike now.
7. I know I have a road bike, but the roads are rough and a gravel bike would be more appropriate
We've used a road bike example here, but there are many variations on this theme. It all boils down to ensuring your bike is really fit for purpose, right?
You wouldn't want to trash your lightweight carbon race-machine on rough fire roads; that's what gravel bikes are for. Likewise, that lovely long-travel mountain bike you've bought for your all-mountain adventures totally sucks the life out of your local XC trails, so you'll have much more fun if you buy a short-travel trail bike. No, really!
8. It's cheaper to buy a new bike than upgrade my old one
You've had the bike a while and it needs some serious work, but new parts ain't cheap! Once you've factored in the cost of a new Eagle groupset, suspension forks, lighter wheels, tyres and grips then really that's nearly the price of a new bike anyway. Plus you can sell the old one and get some money towards the cost of the new bike which will help.
Of course, chances are you won't quite get around to selling the old one.
9. I'm supporting my local and national economy
Local bike shops are an important part of the cycling economy, often acting as the social and cultural hub of the local scene. Your friendly mechanic is always on hand to offer advice or have long conversations about the latest kit or recent race results. Spending in your local shop ensures they can continue to survive, and also means you'll have a much simpler and easier time of it if your new bike does break down.
And we could go further! The national economy needs cash to be changing hands in order to grow. So by buying a bike you're actually helping the country, boosting the economy, and combating recession. Buying a bike is your patriotic duty!
10. My old bike is out of date
Industry standards have changed, there's a lot of new technology and new kit coming out on an almost daily basis. If you don't upgrade, then like a Brompton in a field of Pinarellos you'll be left behind, floundering in the dusty wake of all those other cyclists who've made the switch. You don't want that, do you?
If none of these work, you could always try deception. Make sure your new bike is as similar to the old bike as possible, then claim it's the same bike. Warning: this only works if the person you are trying to convince isn't into cycling.