My wife posted a photo on Facebook of my newest bike purchases with the caption, “This is getting ridiculous.”

When we ordered the CETMA cargo bike a few months ago, Irene and I agreed I would take a hiatus from buying new bikes for four to seven years unless it was a bike for Luci.

We have a lot of bikes and while they all serve a specific purpose, I couldn’t think of another bike I “needed” or wanted so it was agreement I was happy to make.

That was until the Schwinn Twins came back into my life.

I saw these two Schwinn Suburbans a year and half ago at the winter GABA Bike Swap. I liked them a lot and called Irene to see if she wanted to come take a look. In the time it took to call Irene and head back over, the bikes had already been purchased.

I was bummed, but not heartbroken until I learned about their history.

The story as far as I can tell goes like this:

The bikes, manufactured by Schwinn Chicago, were built 41 years ago to the month, according to the serial numbers. They were purchased by a couple as a matching pair from Tucson Schwinn Cyclery located on East Broadway. The sticker for the shop is still on the seat tube.

The couple sold them at a garage sale where a young man and his girlfriend purchased the bikes with the understanding they would be kept together. Eventually, the couple broke up and the girl took the bikes.

At the bike swap a year and a half ago, the pair was up for sale again. The young man who originally bought the bikes at the garage sale bought the bikes again.

I fell in love with the story and was pretty disappointed I missed out on them. I gave my card to the new owners and told them if they ever wanted to sell they should let me know.

A couple weeks ago I received an email saying they were moving out of town and weren’t planning on taking the bikes with them because since they were bought in Tucson and had been a pair, that they should stay in Tucson.

Now I was regretting our agreement.

Irene liked the story, but pointed out we already had a lot of bikes and we didn’t need two more.

After a little wrangling, we decided we could buy the bikes and loan them to my parents. That sounded like a good deal because when the four to seven years was up I could bring them back into our stable.

We picked the bikes up last week and got them home. Irene decided to take hers for a spin and came back with a big grin on her face. When I asked if she wanted to keep them instead, she rolled her eyes and said it was ridiculous, but yes she wanted to keep them.

The bikes, which are completely original, save for the tires and brake pads, needed a tune up but they are amazingly comfortable.

I’m not sure if I love the bikes or the story more, but I’m glad they made their way into my garage and am grateful that while Irene isn’t as neurotic about bicycles as I am that she is just crazy enough to let me keep the Schwinn Twins.

I’ve heard two equations about the number of bikes you should own. The first is N+1= # of bikes you should own. In that equation N is equal to the number of bikes you currently own.

The other is N-1=# of bike you should own. In this equation, N is equal to the number of bikes your spouse or significant other would decide to throw you out of the house with.

What do you think? When is enough, enough? How many bikes is too many?

12 thoughts on “Schwinn Twins: Is there such a thing as too many bikes?”
  1. Hey Mike – Karen & I have 5 but if you ever decide to part with those 2 I’m first in line to buy them!

  2. Wow, that’s an awesome story.  I think I saw them at There & Back the other day when Steve was working on them.  What a score!

  3. True story: When I bought my house, I promised my three bikes that they could have their own room. And now they do.

    As far as the bikes are concerned, this is a big move up in the world. Because they lived in the kitchen of the rented place I had before. Matter of fact, they took up so much space that there was no room for a kitchen table.

  4. How many bikes “should” you own?  Since there’s a bike for every occasion, for a lot of styles of riding, it’s ok to own bike for every style you ride.  Doubling up on any style would be ridiculous : )

  5. It’s hard to imagine having too many. Patricia and I are at 11, plus 1 welded in to our patio railing. That gives us a bike to car ratio of 11 🙂

  6. That’s a great story. I hope the bikes stay together for a long long time. 🙂

    I agree with Mlemen, one for each style of riding. 

  7. That’s a great story. I hope the bikes stay together for a long long time. 🙂

    I agree with Mlemen, one for each style of riding. 

  8. I propose a garage makeover for the McKisson family. After all, they need to store those bikes stylishly!

    Psst, Mike, didja know that one car parking space can hold 12 bikes? And, since it’s a garage, you can also hang bikes from the ceiling?

  9. I have a road bike, a mtn. bike and my trike.  My wife only has her trike.  I think we’re under our quota.

    My duaghter has a Shwinn ladies bike just like the one in your photo.  It’s very sad, she keeps it outside.  : ( 

  10. Actually, our garage is pretty well made over. We’ve got 7 of our bikes hanging from the wall. The two Xtracycles take up the space of three bikes and of course we’ll be getting the bakfiets, which is like a small car.

    I’ve thought about the whole “12 bikes one car thing” and while it may be accurate space wise, you still have to have a way to move the bikes around and that gets tricky when you have two walls and a car on each side of your bikes.

  11. Schwinn always seems to come with a great story.  I know a guy who restored a 1936 Auto-Cycle originally owned by  man who died in WWII.  The widow kept the bike for decades until my friend bought it and brought it back to life.

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