How many bikes do you need?

How to resolve the question of how many bikes one person should own.

This is an age old issue. Logic dictates that, unless you have some form of circus or acrobatic training, you can only ride one bike at a time. So it follows that one bike should be enough – right?

Wrong. There are so many different styles of riding, various surfaces to negotiate, different goals to reach, that one bike simply won’t do.

Here are just a few of the different bikes you might need:

  1. Commuter (folding) bike
  2. Commuting bike – regular road, hybrid or other bike
  3. Hybrid – kind of a mild cross between a road and mountain bike ( – so you can do both types of riding poorly haha!)
  4. Winter commuting bike (same as #2 but an older version that you don’t mind getting dirty/salty etc.
  5. Cyclocross – trails, gravel and paths; weekend fun!
  6. Gravel bikes (thanks to gmanuk65 for pointing out this omission! – this article in helps differentiate between gravel and cx, which was where I was going wrong!)
  7. Mountain bike – er… a bike for when you’re riding in mountains…
  8. Road bike – er…. for on the road…
  9. Aerobike (not really sure about this one – it’s like a road bike but super efficient from aerodynamic perspective
  10. Time Trial bike (really, really uncomfortable version of #7)
  11. BMX – little bikes big kids ride to show off bike-handling skills
  12. Mary Poppins’ bike – ladies bike with basket, massive wheels and guards
  13. Tandem bike – just no, it’s wrong, don’t go there…
  14. Unicycle – madder than a box of frogs – you NEED to learn to ride one of these!
  15. Clown bike – specialised bike that does stupid stuff when you try to ride it.
  16. Recumbent bike – for those too lazy to throw their leg over a cross bar! (actually fits into category #13 too!)

This in mind – how many bikes do you need – well, I have a formula for you to work it out:

Number of bikes needed = N+1 (where N = the number of bikes already owned)

…and one type, a very important type I missed from my list – an adapted bike! Love this one!