I am a complete newbie into this road cycling hobby thing - have done about four to five one-day trips and one two-day trips for now so I am getting more into it.

The problem is I don't want to use it for my everyday use, like cycling to work and the stuff since it is an expensive bike. Most of the time I would just walk but now I live even further away from where I work I need to cycle (public transport is out of question).

Is it ethical to have two bikes? Is it common among road cyclists?

  • 3
    Hello, are you concerned because you might wear out your nice bike, or because it might be stolen?
    – rclocher3
    Sep 7, 2016 at 22:29
  • 2
    Welcome to bicycle riding, the golden rule is referred to as N+1 where N is the current number of bikes you own. (you always need one more)
    – Nate W
    Sep 7, 2016 at 22:39
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    Ethics don't come into it at all. There's not a particularly limited supply of bikes,
    – Criggie
    Sep 8, 2016 at 1:19
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    A good bike for when you're not leaving it alone at all, you're racing or exercising. A beater bike for when you have to lock and leave it unattended. And you can always ride one to a LBS to get parts to fix the other.
    – Criggie
    Sep 8, 2016 at 1:21
  • 2
    It is unethical if having 2 bikes deprives one of your house mates a bike due to storage. So get one of these and free up some floor space: amazon.com/Racor-Pro-PLB-2R-Two-Bike-Stand/dp/B000077CPK/…
    – BPugh
    Sep 9, 2016 at 14:11

2 Answers 2


I don't think that we would all agree on an answer to the question about whether it is ethical to have more than one bike; opinions vary. Many of us here on this web site have more than one bicycle, so I would say that in many parts of the world, owning more than one bicycle is common. Many of us joke that the correct number of bikes to own is n + 1, where n is the number currently owned, but we are kidding. Whether you need a second bike is a question that only you can answer.

Some people only wish to own one bicycle, so they disguise a nice bicycle with a bad paint job to look like a low-quality bicycle.

  • But... Road bikes are beautiful!! Sep 7, 2016 at 23:18

The pragmatic answer to "is it ethical" is that you won't stop riding when the nice bike is stolen or vandalised, so the real situation is whether it's better to buy a series of nice road bikes, or one nice road bike and one cheap "beater bike" that you can leave locked up in public with little risk of losing it.

A different take is that you can still be "more ethical than average" even if you own two (or more) bikes, because the average person has a car or scooter that is much bigger (and uses much more fuel and space) than even five bikes. This is where money does largely work as a measurement tool. The cost of buying, parking and driving a vehicle is roughly proportionate to the ethical costs (almost regardless of your ethical system). So if you can buy and run five bike, or ten bikes, for the same as your neighbour pays for their scooter or car, you can say that one or two bikes is almost certainly better than that scooter or car.

sustainability.stackexchange is one place to find out more about environmental ethical questions, and it would be worth asking on buddhism.se about the religious-ethical side if that's your interest. I suspect that almost any number of bicycles would win over a car from that perspective because of the numerous harms that cars do. But I know buddhists who drive cars... :)

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