Is it possible not to have a forever bike?

How do you know that you have found your ‘forever’ bike?

In the last 5 years, I have been through a number of bikes however I am unsure if my current bike is my ‘forever’ bike. Yes it is nice and all but how do I know if this is the peak or pinnacle of all bikes that I have or will ever own? And is the ‘forever’ bike based on personal brand desire or serious comfort or…?

Let’s chat about this!

I’m looking for the forever bike too. I’m not sure what it will be, but it will probably be made of titanium. There is also a chance I will have a non forever bike to coexist alongside it.

Anything is possible. My hobby is building road bikes, starting with the best frame I can buy at the time, with the money I’ve got, which is never too much, so the frames are almost always “gently” used, or NOS. My goal with every build is to put together a better bike than the last one I made–and I do learn, so, over the years, those bikes have not just been good, they’ve been great. I keep myself to a maximum of 4 bikes, and after each build, if it is better than any of the current four, I put it in the four, and sell off the one that no longer matches up. However, after about 30 bikes, they keep coming out perfect, so, I stopped making any new ones, and simply keep the final four in perfect shape–for now, and forever.

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I got my forever bike in 2008, a 26" custom titanium hardtail MTB. It was a great bike for the time, but was built at the end of the line for 26" wheels, near the end of 1 1/8" straight steerers and 100/135mm QR, and we won’t get in to the geometry. I rode it regularly for many years (7-8?), but it was less and less my first choice. It sat mostly unused for a few years.

Beginning around four years ago, I experimented with converting it to dropbars, and since then it’s been through several iterations including different bars, brakes, drivetrains, forks and wheels. Most of these changes were difficult because of the outdated standards on the frame. How many decent rigid disc forks with reasonable tyre clearance and a straight 1 1/8" steerer do you think are around? What about wide tubeless rims with nice hubs and 100/135mm QR?

These days, and for the last year or so, it’s setup with dropbars, rigid fork (a c.2009 Kona P2 29er), 650b wheels (I laced my old Hope QR hubs into some new Stans Crest Mk3 rims) with XTR 1x10 and hydraulic Gevenalle levers. It gets as much or more use then my other bikes.

So, maybe there are forever bikes, but you may have to be flexible and hope it can change with your preferences and standards.

The original build, 2008

An awkward stage, 2017-2019

The current form, 2021

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I got my forever bike 5-6 years ago, have put 100,000km on it since and it’s still going strong. Titanium, rim brake, external mech cables, threaded BB.

I hope to be riding it for a long time but over the last 18 months or so I’ve started to worry about being able to source good rims and brake pads in the future. And now, I have additional worries about mechanical groupsets!

Which leads me to a more practical discussion:

Can you even aspire to own a forever bike when the industry keeps changing standards and forcing obsolescence upon us?

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There must be something about this Eriksen frame that you find yourself getting relatively (strongly?) attached to. Perhaps it is the comfort factor or just the way the geometry just works for you. Either way, it is awesome to see a bike that getting well used! :slightly_smiling_face:

That sounds like a wonderful hobby and it is great that you reached your idea of perfection for bike build! Even better that you now have 4 ‘forever’ bikes!

Let’s be true to ourselves… we will probably (ideally) have more than one non-forever bikes to co-exist alongside that ‘forever’ bike!

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Good question and yeah, I find it hard to keep up!

Hence I am interested to hear about what it is that made us declare that “This is my forever bike!”. My thoughts are currently split between (1) a group that bought the most expensive bike they can afford, and (2) a group that found a particular bike that is so bloody comfortable for most of the rides they do.

I also believe those with custom-made bikes would have automatically declare it to be their ‘forever’ bike anyway.

I was thinking very much along the same lines. I think a lot of forever bikes will end up not being daily drivers just because maintenance, up keep and parts replacement becomes difficult and expensive… if not impossible.

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I think for some time into the future I’ll daily drive my metal/mech/rim/threaded bike, I have a couple of DA9000/9100 groupsets up my sleeve… and I think rims and pads should also be available but I’ll no doubt horde a few of those.

I can probably see myself getting another bike when the next round of groups come out and they’ve hopefully made some further refinements to disc brakes and axle/rotor/mounting/bb standards have really matured.

I got my (first) forever bike in 2003, while I was studying in Firenze, a Daccordi Profidea, with at the time top of the line Dedacciai steel tubing. It’s been updated to Campy Record 11 speed, I’ll probably go to 12 speed at some point, and hopefully replace the original carbon fork while such things are still available. It has immense sentimental value, and it currently my daily driver, but ideally is more of a special day bike.

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My CAAD10 is probably my forever bike. For now. I’ve built up a couple of other bikes since, and none have matched it. It probably has some upgrades in the future, but it’s been all round brilliant.

But also, I bought it at a point in my life where I’m not going to get more ambitious with my riding or need a better/lighter/aero-er/internal-routed-er bike any time soon, so as long as they make 700c wheels, caliper rim brakes and mechanical shifting, I’ll be good.

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My forever bike: A 2006 1140g Merlin Metalworks CR3/2.5 (size ML). it’s still min preferred go fast/climbing lightweight road bike and it does two week Alpine creditcard touring and 29mm tyres too.

Doubt i will ever get rid of it, have considered to have it retrofitted with S&S couplers though.

Weight with pictured 32 spoked aluminum clincher wheels (Record hubs, Open Pro ceramic rims & Challenge Paris-Roubaix tyres w. latex tubes) : 7.1kg - with my carbon tubulars & super-record cassette it becomes UCI illegal… Only frame i would even consider trading it in for is an Athos…

(upgraded from Chorus/Record 10-speed to 11-speed & new Fizik components & barfly integrated GPS mount in 2015)

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Here’s to caliper rim brakes and mech shifting being around for at least another decade… :sweat_smile:

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Ha! I am secretly coveting an Aethos too! :laughing:

Ah here. I’m banking on it all lasting a lot longer than that…

As long as people carry on using rim brakes and mechanical shifting, there’ll be companies around willing to provide replacements parts.

It may no longer be Shimano/Sram/Campag but there’ll be smaller companies happy to fill the gap.

Look at some of things you can still buy today for vintage bikes.

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My Soma Pescadero (pic in the steel topic) could very well be a forever bike. It is technically completely outdated already and rides like a charm :slight_smile:

I think forever bikes are the bikes you get pleasure from, instead of performance. Any performance bike will be taken over by the next sharperfasterlighter bike. Riding pleasure is another game. My forever bike is a custom steel endurance bike, rim brakes, 105. I’ll manage finding spares in 40 years and possibly one of my sons will likely keep it, at least as something to hang on the wall.

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