Sleeping with Your Bike is a Terrible Idea

02.5.2015 | 1:57 pm

A “Real Life Seems to Have Gotten in the Way of My Blog Life” Note from Fatty: If I could have my way, I’d spend all my time blogging about biking and talking about biking and biking while talking about biking. However, it turns out that I have a job and responsibilities and stuff. Some of which, inconsiderately, have gotten in the way of my plans to do some live / recorded podcasty things. So:

  • The Rockwell Relay Chat: This was supposed to be today! In fact, it was supposed to be really, really soon today. But I’ve got something else going on right at that very moment. So we’re moving this chat to Tuesday, February 17, at 7pm PT / 10pm ET. Register here
  • The Book Club: This was going to be this Tuesday, but it’s not ready to go. I’ll have a new date for this soon.
A Note About Racing Leadville with Fatty and WBR: If you’ve ever wanted to race the Leadville 100, this might be your best opportunity to do so, while making an awesome difference in the world. By raising $5K for World Bicycle Relief, you can be on Team WBR-Fatty-Queen of Pain. Which is my way of saying that by signing up, you can join Reba Rusch and me for training, talking, pre-race clinics, and otherwise hanging out. Read details and apply here.

Sleeping with Your Bike is a Terrible Idea

I’ve made no secret that I want to be fast when I race this year. Really fast. I’m working hard to drop the holiday pudge before the season begins, while simultaneously improving my form and strength on the bike.

I have also been doing some research on what the best bike would be for an XC / endurance racer like me. Basically, I’ve noticed that a lot of the fast guys locally are on Cannondale Scalpels and F-Si’s lately. And that they are incredibly innovative and light. 

And most importantly, I borrowed and rode one, and instantly obliterated my own personal record on a climb that had been vexing me the whole year.

And that’s why I got ahold of the world’s greatest Cannondale rep, Matt Ohran, who made a few calls on my behalf.

And a few weeks later, I got this SMS photo from my friend (and  soon-to-be Rockwell Relay teammate) Cory at SBR Cycles


Yeah. A Scalpel 29 Carbon Team. Complete with ENVE 29XC wheels and SRAM XX1 drivetrain and brakes.

“I’ll be right over,” I texted back to Cory, and within an hour, I had this:

IMG 1123
(Sprinter van not included) 

No, I don’t get to keep the Scalpel forever. Yes, I’m still outrageously excited. 

As you would expect, I immediately started texting friends. You know, for gloating purposes. Here’s an exchange I had with my friend DJ:

Screenshot 2015 02 05 10 46 45

It’s a common question, for some reason: Did you sleep with your new bike? Almost as if it’s expected of us.

Few of us, however, actually follow through and sleep with our bikes. Which is, as it turns out, a good thing. 

As I shall now demonstrate, sleeping with your bike is a terrible idea.

Reason 1. Bikes Are Bigger Than You Think

When you’re riding a good bike, it kind of just disappears from under you. This, unfortunately, doesn’t apply at all when the bike is in bed with you.

As it turns out, bikes take up more room than you might imagine, quite literally forming a substantial wedge between you and your loved one.

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This, of course, assumes you have a loved one in your bed. Which, if you have a bike in your bed, will not be the case for very long.

2. Not Very Cuddly

While most bikes are, thankfully, lacking sharp edges, they nevertheless tend to be a little bit bony, with sharp angles and edges that verge on the serrated (I’m looking at you, 11-speed cassette).

IMG 1151

It’s like it’s giving me the cold shoulder. Or headset. Whatever. Frankly, this made sleeping very difficult. And when I finally did get to sleep, well that’s when the bike finally decided it wanted to get close.

IMG 1152

Have you ever wakened to find a handlebar in your ear? It’s less pleasant than you might think.

3. Selfish Sleepers

Seeing as how it’s made of carbon fiber and metal, you wouldn’t think the Scalpel would require a lot of warmth when in bed.

But that doesn’t prevent it from being a total covers hog. 

IMG 1156

And the thing thrashes around and kicks in its sleep, too, taking more of the bed as the night goes on, completely oblivious to the fact that its saddle is in your face. 

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And even a new saddle doesn’t smell great at 3:00am.  

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But a well-worn saddle…well, that just smells nasty.

And don’t even get me started on morning breath from a bike. 

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Between the kicking and thrashing and poking and covers stealing, I promise you: sleeping with a bike is guaranteed to leave you completely exhausted when morning comes.

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4. The Morning After

Great, you’ve slept with your bike. Now it’s going to feel like it has the right to use your shower, where it will use up all the hot water and most of your soap 

IMG 1201

Then it’s going to leave a greasy residue on the shower floor.  

And you think it’s going to put the lid down after using the bathroom? 


Yeah, right. Guess again.

But the real problem—the biggest problem—with sleeping with your new bike is that your other bikes are going to find out. 

And they’re going to get all jealous and petulant, thinking that they should get to come in and sleep in the bed too. 

IMG 1130

And if you think sleeping with one bike is uncomfortable, wait until all your bikes try to crowd in.

It’s a nightmare.


  1. Comment by Rydeordie | 02.5.2015 | 2:14 pm

    I don’t know if that bike engages in the worlds oldest profession but it’s definately wearing a hookers uniform.

  2. Comment by Clydesteve | 02.5.2015 | 2:24 pm

    …while simultaneously improving my form and strength on the bike.

    Fatty, I recommend that you also work on “having good sensations in your legs”, as well. I do not know what that means, but all the European pros seem to say that from time to time. It must be good.

    Wait! that phrase is not a veiled reference to PEDs is it?

  3. Comment by Barb | 02.5.2015 | 2:28 pm

    Had a good laugh. I sleep with my bike if having it on a nice oak stand in my bedroom counts. And it does shower with me. Easiest way to clean it after dirty ride. We live in a condo so that might account for both

  4. Comment by Clydesteve | 02.5.2015 | 2:33 pm

    No front derailleur?! Is that common for racing MTBs, Fatty?

    The Hammer did an 8:39 in the LT100 last year with a drivetrain exactly like this one. 1×11 is the new black. – FC

  5. Comment by Isaac | 02.5.2015 | 2:36 pm

    @Clydesteve 1x setups are awesome. There are cassettes with huge ranges now, so you don’t lose much from either end, and it’s lighter and less complicated, so theoretically it should be more robust. I moved to a 1×9 for my fatbike and haven’t looked back.

  6. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 02.5.2015 | 2:38 pm

    I’m sure you had more fun creating this blog post than I did reading it, although I was definitely laughing.

    The Hammer doesn’t have her trademark smile on…

    I should show all the outtake photos, where she’s not as successful at putting on that frown. – FC

  7. Comment by Bart the Clydesdale | 02.5.2015 | 2:39 pm

    The bike in the shower picture reminds me of a conversation I had last year on a group ride.
    One of the group said he just returned from Mackinaw Island, a small Island where automobiles are not allowed. Now Mackinaw Island is a picturesque local, great fudge, great taffy, very quiet due to complete lack of auto traffic, but there is one major drawback. Horses are everywhere, horse drawn taxi, horse drawn freight wagons, horse draw fire tucks, you get the picture.
    Well the horses leave their mark so the roads are a mess. If you stay on the main part of the island the waste is picked up immediately. But if you stray off the main drag, by say riding your bike around the island as the member of this group ride did, well you get messy, and so does your bike.
    The group ride all had a good chuckle when this non to shy rider said “I was such a mess, and so was my bike that I took the bike in the shower with me. I don’t know whats worse showering with a bike, or how much I liked it.” All I could think was TMI man TMI

  8. Comment by Don | 02.5.2015 | 2:56 pm

    Petulant….of course they are. You waltz in with this shiny new rock star, replete with the bling of a Lefty fork and green ENVE’s. You’ve known this bike for what?….24hrs and you’re sleeping with it! They can already see themselves in the Craigslist post.

  9. Comment by dwb | 02.5.2015 | 3:24 pm

    Hilarious. I do not keep my bike in my garage. It hasits own room in my house. My wife is jealous enough of that.

  10. Comment by Corrine | 02.5.2015 | 3:27 pm

    This post is too funny and I agree, it must have been a hoot to photograph. I hope you didn’t end up with grease on your nice sheets!

  11. Comment by PNP | 02.5.2015 | 3:30 pm

    Wow, you have the coolest friends. Care to share?

  12. Comment by DJ | 02.5.2015 | 5:13 pm

    LMAO! I obviously had a much better experience sleeping with my bike than you (did). But let’s just keep that our little secret.

  13. Comment by wharton_crew | 02.5.2015 | 5:23 pm

    Bike whore!! I was reading some bike forums this morning (written by bikes, for bikes) and there was a cryptic thread about “Fornicating Fatty” and how he is unfaithful to his stay-at-home bikes while he constantly looks for the hottest new piece of saddle to take for a spin.

    …I had no idea they were talking about you! You now have a reputation amongst the bike (yes, actual bikes) community!

    I hereby call you to repent at the altar of your LBS for your two-wheeled fornicating ways!

  14. Comment by CVR | 02.5.2015 | 5:33 pm

    full squish and gears from a full rigid SS – you might want to keep that weight on so you can really bomb the downhills. Looks fun and fast – have fun with her

  15. Comment by Libby | 02.5.2015 | 7:52 pm

    ooohhhhh serious coveting going on here. Wish I was better at networking, maybe I too could get a borrowed bike to try out.
    My two bikes seem happy where they’re resting, in their own space inside our house. They haven’t made any hints on wanting to sleep with us though. Thankfully.
    Chuckled with your “Sleeping with a Scalpel” diary.

  16. Comment by MikeL | 02.5.2015 | 9:05 pm

    Sleeping with your bike is similar to my wife letting her cat into the bed except it doesn’t use the shower or the toilet. Except when it doesn’t feel like looking for the litter box. I think I would take the bike.

  17. Comment by J | 02.5.2015 | 10:54 pm

    I’m not at all surprised that you guys sleep with your medals on the headboard. I just hope you mount the trophies with seismic rated hardware.

  18. Comment by Paul W | 02.6.2015 | 3:11 am

    Anyone else thinking Godfather? Waking up in the middle of the night to find a severed front fork and wheel in your bed …..

  19. Comment by pbrmeasap | 02.6.2015 | 10:13 am

    That bike is so bad ass I can’t even stand it.

  20. Comment by Thad | 02.6.2015 | 10:22 am

    It’s not so bad sleeping with them if you have a dropper post.

    Do you just look for Rockwell teammates that have sprinter vans? Is that a required piece of equipment?

  21. Comment by Jenni | 02.6.2015 | 10:48 am

    But are the medals on the bed (perfect place for medals of course) proportionate to how many you both have respectively won? Hammer’s side looks a little more full. (;o)

    Yeah, we accumulate bike race finisher medals at about the same rate, but she collects running race medals at a MUCH faster rate than I do. – FC

  22. Comment by Clydesteve | 02.6.2015 | 11:27 am

    I hear that bike make a mess in the sheets when they turn over to the non-der side.

  23. Comment by davidh-Marin,ca | 02.6.2015 | 12:07 pm

    I heard in Utah, ‘Sister Bikes’, is not unheard of. I think Bravo has a series on that.

  24. Comment by Joe | 02.6.2015 | 12:15 pm

    I’m just glad that Fatty doesn’t sleep au naturale…

    Killer bike BTW!!

  25. Comment by ScottR | 02.6.2015 | 12:31 pm

    1. I’m glad this didn’t dive into the more ‘intimate’ time.

    2. Was the chain covered while it was in the bed? I can’t imagine the impact a bike chain would have on nice sheets.

    Great post.

  26. Comment by Jacob JG | 02.6.2015 | 12:46 pm

    Two guys were out riding late and the darkness caught them by surprise. They decided that it was to dark to carry on. So they lay down next to the trail and used their bikes as blankets to fight of the cold of night. Morning came. The first guy was in great shape but realised that his mate was in a terrible state. What’s wrong he asked? The other guy answered that despite using the bike as a blanket he had been freezing all night. The fresh guy took a look at the freezing guys bike and quickly realized the problem. No wonder you were freezing, he said, your front wheel have lost a spoke.

    This post reminded me of that old old bike joke. It can also be told slightly altered to people riding on Campagnolo Zonda.

  27. Comment by MattC | 02.6.2015 | 1:17 pm

    So Fatty, uhm…what would a Scalpel 29′er (w/ carbon wheels) run for an average person withOUT any contacts in the bicycle world? (and what does it weigh?) I’d most likely still need a 2 ring front setup tho (if I’m only going to have one bike, it has to be up to ALL my rides, of which I have a lot of steep long stuff where I NEED my 22×34 gear).

  28. Comment by Dave T | 02.6.2015 | 4:19 pm

    I usual wear a helmet when I sleep with my bike. You can never be to safe.

  29. Comment by Ian | 02.7.2015 | 12:52 am

    You come home to me with the stick of that Cannondale all over you! Is this what we’ve become… after all of these years?


  30. Comment by Tom Geordie | 02.7.2015 | 5:34 am

    Hallo Fatty,

    Totally unrelated topic, but could you ask (if you have his ear) Tim from RATM what he climbs to? He’s currently got 3 tunes in my top ten, it would be cool to hear his thoughts.

    Much gloves,


  31. Comment by Rick S. | 02.7.2015 | 11:29 am

    My bikes demanded a separate bedroom. Evidently I snore.

  32. Comment by Marty | 02.8.2015 | 6:48 am

    I sleep with my bike on RAGBRAI.

  33. Comment by Marty | 02.8.2015 | 6:53 am

    Too quick with the comment button! Here’s the photo that should go along with my “I sleep with my bike on RAGBRAI” photo.php?fbid=10204703001667696&set=pb.1016014440.-2207520000.1423399952.&type=3&theater

  34. Comment by Marty | 02.8.2015 | 6:59 am

    Maybe third time’s the charm.sleeping%20with%20bike.jpg?dl=0

  35. Comment by Joe in San Diego | 02.10.2015 | 4:25 pm

    For some reason, I have it in the back of my mind that you think (or used to thunk) that Cannodale bikes are junk. Do I recall incorrectly?

  36. Comment by Unglued | 02.11.2015 | 12:24 pm

    At least it lay down drive side up…

    (and to MattC above, this beautiful machine will not leave much change out of ten grand. And you don’t need a front derraileur and two rings, as it has an 11-tooth rear drivetrain with a low ratio which is not that far off the bottom of your 2×10. Although I may re-think this statement half way up Columbine in August)


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