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Dream Bike Quiver: On a budget

By Bruce Lin

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The principle of n+1 is hard to live by when you don’t have money+1 to spend. I may not be able to afford an exorbitantly priced dream bike quiver, but that doesn’t mean I can’t build a multi-bike quiver on a budget! 

I recommend riders spend at least $1,000-2,000 to get a quality bike, so I decided to pick out a few bikes in that price range to put together a solid quiver of bikes that can satisfy dedicated riders. My ultimate goal was to make a full quiver cheaper than the $6,000 do-it-all bike I’m currently lusting after. 

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Waterford R-33 Steel road bikesRoad: Waterford R-33 Custom - $1,099.99

For just over a thousand dollars, this Waterford R-33 is a total score. Waterfords are handbuilt in Waterford, Wisconsin, and they are the progeny of Schwinn’s legendary Paramount. The steel frame is lightweight with superb ride quality. The classic Shimano Dura-Ace 7700 drivetrain provides the most buttery shifting you can get in a mechanical group. I’d probably want to change the handlebars and saddle, but otherwise, I’d leave the bike untouched. Maybe in the future, I could use the money saved to upgrade to some nice carbon wheels. 

All City Super professional gravel bikeGravel: All-City Super Professional - $1,588.99

An All-City Nature Boy singlespeed cyclocross bike taught me how to handle a bike on gravel, and the tough steel frame stood up to years of racing and abuse. This Super Professional is the Nature Boy just made better, stronger, and faster. It has flat-mount disc brakes, clearance for big 45mm tires, stealth dropper routing, and rack and fender mounts. It’s an ultra-versatile frame that can morph to suit your style. I’d probably keep the riser bars for control on the rough gravel and occasional singletrack. I like the low maintenance of the singlespeed setup, but the 2-for-1 dropouts will make it easy to convert to a geared setup later. 

Polygon Siskiu T7 mountain bikeMountain: Polygon Siskiu T7 - $1,849.99

If I’m going to get only one mountain bike, it needs to be a quiver killer that can handle a range of trails. The Polygon Siskiu fits the bill with an alloy frame, 140mm of RockShox suspension, and modern geometry. The suspension, long reach, and slack 65.5-degree headtube angle offers stability on gnarly downhill trails, while the 12-speed Shimano Deore drivetrain provides enough gear range to get up the steepest hills. Best of all, the Siskiu provides all these features for under $2,000, which is a steal compared to many modern mountain bikes. 

Raleigh Sprite iE e-BikeCommuter: Raleigh Sprite iE Step Over - $1,426.99

My office is over 20 miles away and commuting by bike can be a challenge. That’s where a comfy e-bike like the Raleigh Sprite iE comes in handy. The built-in rear rack can haul my laptop, groceries, and a few other goodies. I can get where I need to go without becoming a sweaty mess. I’ll still ride the “acoustic” bike into work from time to time, but if I’m completely honest, those will be special occasions. For the daily grind, an e-bike like this is exactly what I need to leave the car at home.  

Total cost: $5,965.96

This budget-friendly quiver came in just under $6,000. You could spend that same amount on a single, high-end bike. But this way, you have four bikes that will give you maximum riding options. Save up for a few wheel, drivetrain, or suspension upgrades, and you could eventually have a bike quiver to rival the dentist next door!

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