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What Does N+1 Mean in Cycling

what does n 1 mean in cycling

If you are still new to biking, chances are you haven’t heard about the N+1 rule among cycling and biking enthusiasts. Upon reading this article, you probably only know now, but this rule is a long-standing rule of owning a bike.

So, what does N+1 mean in cycling? It means that the correct number of bikes to own when you are a biker is N+1, where N is the current number of bikes you own. Some bikers follow it, but others just ignore it for various reasons.

N+1 Rule: Where it Came From?

The N+1 ruling is found in Velominati’s rules of cycling etiquette. The group calls themselves the keeper of the cog, where they set rules and the “do’s and don’ts” of cycling. The N+1 rule is rule no. 12, which means the minimum number of bikes you must have is one more than the number you currently own.

These ruling states that the biker must consistently think of what the next bike purchase will be. Of course, this ruling benefits the bike industry, the manufacturer, and the sellers. But when you are into biking or cycling, the tendency to collect more bikes is always a possibility.

With this ruling, owning six, seven, or eight bikes will not be enough. The rule may sound odd and expensive, but many biking disciplines offer various types of bikes. Even if you choose to stay in road biking, for example, the demands and the need to acquire more road bikes are still possible to fit the needs of a specific ride.

Today, many bike manufacturers make different types of bikes intended for various purposes. It is easy to understand why this rule came because biking is a way of life. For example, cycling is not just racing in a tournament or biking outdoors to see different places.

Biking is also doing your day-to-day tasks or your mode of transportation to and from your workplace. The only issue of owning several bikes does not come cheap, and it’s not for everybody. Only the people who have the means to add a bike consistently can follow the N+1 rule.

N+1 Ruling is Not for Everyone

bike n1 ruling

This ruling will not be an issue if you are a biking enthusiast. However, certain factors will prevent or limit the biker from following this rule. Check some of them below:


The primary reason why bikers cannot follow the N+1 ruling is the amount of money involved in buying several bikes. Bikes are expensive, and if you collect more than one, you will need to allocate a lot of money.

Owning a bike is expensive as the maintenance and upgrade also need you to shell out money for every service or new bike component you want to add to your two-wheel ride. So when you own multiple bikes, the maintenance and upgrade cost is also expected to go up.

Limited Space

Another situation that may limit someone from following this rule is the limited space or area of the biker’s home. It is a fact that a bike can also be compared to a car or motorcycle that needs a parking area. They may not require ample space if you own a single bike but owning multiple bikes will increase the space required for parking.

Most regular homes can fit one or two bikes. If you are lucky enough to own a bigger property, you can allocate space and organize your bikes for safekeeping. However, not all bikers have a great property to accommodate several bikes.

Biker’s Purpose

Not all bikers will follow the N+1 rule because not everyone is passionate about biking. I know some people ride bikes to do some physical activities when they are free. Others just want to stroll with their family during weekends.

A bike owner who uses the bike for day-to-day transport does not need several bikes to accomplish activities. These bike owners do not need to own multiple bikes to get their job done.

Technology Advancement

One of the reasons why bikers tend to own a bike is biking or cycling as a lot of discipline. Riding on flat pavement requires you to ride a road bike while dealing with trails requires you to ride on a mountain bike. Other types of bikes can be used for other purposes, such as commuter bikes and gravel bikes.

However, with the advancement of technology, more and more bikes are built for various purposes. Recently, 2-in-1 bikes have been manufactured to cater to various purposes. Bikes that can be used for gravel and other types of road are already invented and somehow limits the biker’s need to own multiple bikes.


When learning what does N+1 mean in cycling, one must understand that it is only a concept that aims to promote biking or cycling in general. The need to follow it is all up to you, your booking needs, and your capacity to own multiple bikes.

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