One bike for life — what would it be?

One bike to ride for the rest of your life, choose wisely

In a past edition of Over to You we asked readers to weigh in with their N+1 situation, we’ve also asked what bike parts you’re guilty of hoarding. In this instalment of Over to You, I want to know that bike you would own, if it were the last bike you would ever buy and the only one you would ever own.

This may be different from the type of bike you might select if you were striving to survive a zombie apocalypse. Seriously, take a second and read that one, especially the comments. I had no idea the cycling community was filled with so many doomsday preppers. (The next big cycling niche, perhaps?)

My lifetime bike would be constructed from steel tubing, because it offers the trifecta of durability, ride quality and repairability

Now back to the matter at hand, this scenario assumes we've staved off Armageddon, and you've culled your quiver down to one machine to suit your needs.

To put it another way, this is the bike you assemble when you just can’t take it anymore. When you throw up on your hands and cry out “Enough! I’m through keeping up with machinations of the Bicycle Industrial Complex!”  

There’s certainly a lot to consider in this theoretical exercise.

Your current cycling tastes, as well as any possible future preferences, have to be weighed. And it needs to be a bike you can ride well into your golden years.

Such a machine also needs to cover a broad range of uses, which would be different for every cyclist.

As a rider who is fond of both singletrack and gravel roads, my machine would have dropbars and knobby tires.

It would be compatible with 27.5in mountain bike tires as well as 700c wheels with 40mm tires for gravel.

My lifetime bike would be constructed from steel tubing, because it offers the trifecta of durability, ride quality and repairability. It would have bottle bosses on the seat tube, and top and bottom of the down tube for endurance riding.

The geometry would be long and relatively slack in the front, but short in the back to keep it nimble on trails. Because it’s now an option, it would also have a dropper seatpost to make singletrack adventures more enjoyable.

This is the sort of machine I would choose for my forever bike
This is the sort of machine I would choose for my forever bike

Stinner Frameworks has nearly made my machine. Earlier this year, the custom frame builder was showing off a bike at NAHBS that ticked off many of my boxes.

So over to you: if you could only own one bike for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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