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Why Im telling Santa about N + 1

Why Im telling Santa about N + 1

Fiona Russell is a Planet X sponsored rider and writer (, who this year competed in the World Age Group Triathlon Championships in London. It's really no surprise what she wants for Christmas...

Our house is jam-packed with bikes. We foolishly did away with a garage six or seven years ago to make way for a home extension. But that was before I developed a serious addiction to cycling.

(Well, in truth, it’s an addiction to all things sporty, including triathlon, mountain walking, open water swimming, snowboarding etc. Plus there’s my partner’s addiction to climbing and all the kit that is required for that.)

As a consequence, our house has cupboards full of outdoors clothing and equipment. We have three sheds full of overspill stuff. And several rooms in the house offer safe sanctuary to a growing number of bikes.

But this doesn’t stop the N + 1. Anyone who rides bikes seriously knows that the N + 1 theory has no basis in commonsense. And it runs roughshod over the feelings of your nearest and dearest.

Explaining the N + 1 to my family

This is how a recent conversation with my partner and daughter went:

Me: “I need a new bike.”

Them: “But you already have several bikes.”

Me: “Yes, but I need a bike for the winter trails. The cross country stuff.”

Them: “But you only just bought the Planet X cyclocross bike.”

Me: “Well, yes, and I love that cyclocross bike but that’s more for muddy stuff and not the rocky trails. It’s very useful for cyclocross events, canal towpaths, cycleways and pot-holed city roads.”

Them: “So what kind of bike do you need now then?”

Me: “I need a mountain bike. Something light but with front suspension and lots of gears and hydraulic brakes.”

Them: “Something new and shiny?”

Me: “Yes, something new and shiny.”


Which is why I am now telling Santa about the N + 1

Santa: What I want for Christmas is another + 1

  • I have a Planet X Stealth Time Trial bike for time trialling on roads. (I can feel a bit of an N + 1 coming on with this bike, too, because Planet X have just revealed a new PINK TT bike!)

  • I have a Planet X Pro Carbon Light road racer (in a stunning shade of pink) for cycling fast on smooth roads.

  • I have a Planet X cyclocross bike for cycling cyclocross events, canal towpaths, riverside cycleways and pot-holed Glasgow roads.

  • I have an almost dead Pinarello road racer that I can’t bear to part with because it was my first racer but doesn’t really go any more.

  • I have a “vintage” Kona hybrid that I have been planning to sell as a retro mid-1990s bike but somehow can’t bear to do that either.

  • We also have my daughter’s Giant hybrid bike and my partner’s Look road bike.

But, Santa, I would also love a mountain bike.

I have discovered that I enjoy cross-country style riding on rocky paths and trails through the countryside close to my home. While the cyclocross bike copes with a lot of it, the long rocky sections require front suspension and fatter tyres.

Mountain biking in the winter will keep me fit so that when the sun comes out again in the spring I will be in good shape for going back to my road and TT bikes.

And, Santa, I have been a very good girl this year. (And I could help a bit with the cost…)

19 December 2013

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