My dream fleet


To possess a bicycle is to be able first to look at it, then to touch it. But touching is revealing as insufficient; what is necessary is to be able to get on the bicycle and take a ride. But this gratuitous ride is likewise insufficient; it would be necessary to use the bicycle to go on some errands. And this refers us to longer uses … But these trips themselves disintegrate into a thousand appropriative behavior patterns, each one of which refers to others. Finally, as one could foresee, handing over a bank note is enough to make a bicycle belong to me, but my entire life is needed to realize this possession.

Jean-Paul SartreOn Being and Nothingness (1943)


The idea of a “fleet” comes from a colleague who refers to his bikes that way. He has them all custom painted to match.

What’s my ideal bicycle fleet?

This question came up on Facebook last week when I noticed the bike cage on our front porch looked low bikes. I checked with my partner and indeed, we’re below quota. Years ago when things were really getting out of hand, we set a family limit of fifteen bikes. This prompted a discussion of what I’d do if we lifted the quota and money wasn’t an issue.

So here are the bikes I’d own if money and space allowed:

1.Cruisy style fashionable funky coloured bike with bells, baskets and a kick stand. I’ll ride it to the market and to lunch with friends wearing colourful dresses and sandals and shades. If I lived in a European city, I’d ride this bike without a helmet.

2. Cargo bike for groceries because I can’t fit enough food in my panniers

3. Super nice racing carbon road bike, with electronic shifting

4. Rainy day/off season road bike on days when conditions aren’t perfect for taking out the super nice bike

5. Cyclocross bike

6. Mountain bike

7. Time trial bike

8. Track bike

9. Touring road bike

10. Spare road bike for friends!


How about you?


For other posts on this theme see:

New bike lust

How many bikes is too many?

10 thoughts on “My dream fleet

  1. This is such a great topic! License to daydream, and no wrong answers.

    I like the categories of your list. Even were money and space not issues, though, I might make my cross bike and rainy day bike the same one. (Maybe keep a different set of wheels ready with different tires to swap in and out depending on the use.) I’d also add a fast commuter (possibly flatbar hybrid) kitted up with fenders and a rack, but lighter than the tourer; this would also be my cargo bike, because I’d get a cargo trailer and just leave the hitch attachment (there always seems to be one!) on the commuter bike permanently.

    Never done TT or track, so I don’t (yet) feel the pull there. But I could see having two go-fast road bikes, one more aggressively aero (in tubes, wheels and rider position) and one more granfondo or 12-hour-day in its design and spec.

    Though I currently have zero mountain bikes, I really should have two: one with dual suspension, and one hardtail, maybe even with a solid fork, for messing around on most trails.

    Clearly I need to think more about this…

    1. I wondered about the go fast Gran Fondo bike versus a fast touring bike for trips. And also about a go fast bike for racing criteriums. So clearly there’s room for expansion in the fast road bike category!

  2. How fun. And how amazing to think that even I would have more bikes! 1. Funky cruiser 2. Hybrid 3. Road bike 4. Triathlon bike.

  3. I have 4 bikes in 2 cities (because of 2 homes): They are 3 hybrids (all different models), 1 folding bike (Dahon with internal hub), 1 mountain bike.

    Wishes for others when space wouldn’t be a problem:

    a 2nd folding bike in a 2nd city.
    a cargo bike
    a fat tire bike –for true hardy winter cycling where I live* This is probably a top priority.
    a lightweight dutch hybrid (if such a thing exists)
    a cross bike

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