Most people in cycling circles would be familiar with the N+1 rule, or the less favourable equation of N-1. Where ’N’ is the number of bikes you currently own - so ideally the rule you would live by is N+1. This scenario would have you scouring shops and the internet for the latest addition to your bicycle family regularly.
For those where N is dictated by space, finances or a spouse with opposing views, N is the figure that will result in you getting into hot water. So N-1 it is. If you are in this situation and N is equal to 1 or 0, you need to desperately change your situation. In fact, stop reading and change it now!
Let’s imagine you were in a situation where you could only have one bicycle. What would it be? This was the thought I had when I was riding on my Cyclocross through the You Yangs in Melbourne’s West recently. What if the house was burning down and I had enough time to grab a bicycle? After everyone was safe of course…
Do I grab the mountain bike? That probably brings the most joy and gets me amongst the fantastic Australian flora and fauna. Maybe the road bike? I enjoy road racing and riding in local bunches. Maybe the TT bike? Nah, why would I want something that causes so much pain!
Even though I walked through each of my bikes, I already had an answer. The CX. Hands down. Purely for the versatility. This year alone I’ve used it to race, a four day tour on lovely country roads with panniers and a number of long one day rides like from Echuca to Melbourne.
During Melbourne’s coldest winter in 20 years, the versatility provided by a CX has been critical. Last weekend for example I did a 90km ride with my brother that took us on bike paths, dirt roads with 18 per cent gradient (2500m gained) and bitumen roads with little to no shoulder.
For me and my style of riding, I’d grab the CX from the flaming house. What would be your bicycle, if you had to pick one?