TCI Friday

TCI Friday only really works when you participate by reading and commenting below.

Cycling can be an expensive sport/hobby/obsession. I don’t think that’s a controversial statement. And I am not what you’d call a spendthrift, although my wife might quibble with that one. Regardless, I’ve accrued a large quantity of bikes and bike gear, and I sometimes wonder if it’s all too much. I don’t want to become a hoarder, and I don’t want to lose sight of what most folks go through to acquire they’re bike-specific stuff.

Because I’ve worked in the industry for some time, a lot of gear has just happened to me. I worked for a custom builder for most of a decade, and so I have three custom bikes. That’s more than most bike riders, probably by about three, but these were both part of my compensation AND part of the company’s marketing efforts. I have a couple other bikes as well. The ones in the basement that belong specifically to me number five.

That seems like a lot, and yet I know so many people who have more. I know you can get by with much less. I think it’s important to reinforce that idea. You don’t need a giant pile of expensive stuff. Sometimes the pile just seems to happen.

As a writer in this space, I also get stuff for review, even though I seldom pursue review gear. As a result, I own about two dozen pairs of cycling gloves (the image above is only a partial inventory). I have four wind vests. I count eight pairs of cycling shoes. It seems odd to have more shoes than bikes, no?

My point here is not to impress you with my pile of toys. In fact, I’d wager a lot of you have more of each of these things than I do. Some of that is down to my natural resistance to accepting or keeping things I don’t need. Some of it stems from your obsessive love for new gear.

This week, TCI Friday is exploring what’s “normal” for a committed bike rider. Let’s take three items, bike, gloves and shoes, and try to figure out the average owned. There’s no need to give details or justifications. Just tell us how many of each thing you’ve got, and hopefully a picture will emerge. Feel free to say whether you think you have too many or too few. I’m not here to judge you either way. I’m just very curious about what’s enough, given that most of us ride different types of bikes in different seasons.

Join the conversation
  1. Jeff vdD says

    Bikes: 11
    Gloves: 10 pairs
    Shoes: 5 pairs

  2. rides in be says

    4 bikes
    2 shoes
    3 gloves

  3. erikthebald says

    Bikes: 4.5 (down from more)
    Gloves: 12+
    Shoes: 2 (pairs)

    Seems like that is just right. The bikes have a half number because I robbed many parts from my road bike to hang on my ‘cross bike. The gloves number is high (but appropriate) because I have many pairs of the same thin full finger gloves that I run on the MTB and dirtbike, and I like wearing clean gloves. I also wash my moto helmet liner and goggles every other ride. Clean gear is more comfortable and wicks sweat better.

    I’d like to add:
    Dirtbikes: 2
    Moto boots: 2
    Moto helmets: 2
    Moto goggles: 4

  4. jmelnarik says

    Bikes 5
    Gloves 3
    Shoes 4

  5. jlaudolff says

    Gloves: 3 pairs (basically winter, summer, in-between).
    Shoes: 3 pairs (same concept)
    Bikes: 2 (winter/gravel, summer road)

  6. hmlh33 says

    8 bikes (5 in use)
    5 pairs of gloves
    3 pairs of shoes

  7. trabri says

    Bikes: 10
    Shoes: 4
    Gloves: 8

  8. alanm9 says

    3 bikes
    2 shoes
    0 – 15 gloves

    Sorry gloves are a tough one cause I don’t buy bike gloves; I rotate in regular gloves including 2 pairs of mittens.

  9. albanybenn says

    Bikes 5
    Shoes 2
    Gloves 4

  10. jcs2317 says

    Four bikes, three pair of gloves, three pair of shoes. For me, it’s enough.

  11. Wesley Woolard says

    Bikes: 3
    Shoes: 2 boots, 1 gravel pair, 2 road pair
    Gloves: at least 8

    1. Wesley Woolard says

      Forgot my Ebike, so 4 bikes.

  12. Pat Navin says

    Bikes: 5
    Gloves: ∞ (every variation of short-finger/long-finger glove/mittens, etc.)
    Shoes: 3

  13. oldtimecaramels says

    4 bikes
    2 shoes
    5 gloves (including heated mittens)

  14. Dan Murphy says

    Bikes: 5 complete, only 1 used now + 2 frames
    Shoes: 2, only one used
    Gloves: 0 stopped using gloves a few years ago

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