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Velominatus: Velosophe

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@Velosophe's activity:

The Velominati site has drawn out many interesting, talented people these last few years, from frame builders to custom V-bar plug makers. We all know @pedale.forchetta as a Moots riding, bidon cage disdaining Italian cyclist. What’s not to love already… and generous too? From the beginning he has been sharing his photos with us all:...

@Velosophe's posts:

  1. What’s with the leg warmers on top of bib shorts?  I see a couple photos of guys doing that.  Oh the humanity! »

That is the question. Are carbon wheels a viable option for everyday riding? Should carbon wheels be your go-to wheels rather than your just-for-racing wheels? I don’t really race and I don’t own any carbon wheels and I wonder. Granted, every professional is and has been on carbon wheels for many years so it’s easy to think we sho...

@Velosophe's posts:

  1. I say embrace your inner Carbone! I have a set of ENVE 6.7 tubulars which are absolutely amazing.  They are more or less my everyday wheels during the summer and nice weather. I use alloy clinchers during the winter and wet weather to avoid premature wea… »

Attention all hands-Cogal has been cancelled as of August 13th.  Continue reading...

@Velosophe's posts:

  1. Attention all hands-Cogal has been cancelled as of August 13th.


    UPDATE: I’ve changed the date from Friday the 16th to Saturday the 17th of August. This should allow folk with Monday thru Friday type jobs a better chance to attend. It’s highly encouraged that you plan on arriving Friday late afternoon, or early evening. Once off I-5, the road is narrow and mountainous. It’s also easier to set up your camp (I’ll have a site or 2 secured) without headlamps. If you plan on attending and don’t have my “real” e-mail addy, RSVP to Hope to see you out there. It’s gong to be HARD.

    After some IPA fueled texts between myself, the Dutch Monkey and McSqueak, we decided that it was time to take this whole Cogal thing up a notch. More specifically, we’re aiming for this to be the standard for which all others will be judged by.

    The date will be August 17th, 2013. We will roll out from Lower Lewis Falls Campground at 0730 on that day as V after VV will be too late a start. There’s a Cat II 14K in, you know, to warm up. Then we’ll get lulled by the speed of an endless decent some 65K long down to the Columbia River. Short trip up the river to White Salmon WA, then we get to go to “work”. A solid 30K of low angle climbing, except right at the end. Screaming fast decent, and of course, another Cat II. I thought it’d be nice to have a short bit of gravelling at the end. So this route is 210Km long with a solid 2700M of climbing. That’s 130 miles and 8800 feet of climbing for us Americans that can’t visualize that distance in our head.
    This Cogal is not for the faint of heart, and you REALLY need to assess your ability to finish this during daylight hours. This is truly going to be Rule V/VV stuff. There will be no sag wagon, and while there are small towns to refuel at, the last 60K there’s nothing except the occasional car and no cell service. Run out of gas, and you’ll be sleeping in alone, in lycra, in Sasquatch Country and/or poison oak, with just carbon to keep you warm.
    Once we figure out the number of people giving this a go, we’ll co-ordinate getting cars/ camping supplies to the campsite at the end. The site is wonderful, but there’s no 5 star, marble showers to be had. A glacier fed river will wash away the day. There will be a keg of the PNW’s finest, and Mrs Scaler, Ms McSqueak, and any other tag-along’s that just want to camp, will have food waiting.
    The route is tough, the views second to none, and the suffering: glorious.

    Event Details

    Loading Map....

    Date - August 17, 2013
    7:35 AM - 8:00 PM

    Lower Lewis Falls Campground

    Cogal Details
    Route Details

We are the Keepers of the Cog. In so being, we also maintain the sacred text wherein lie the simple truths of cycling etiquette known as The Rules. It is in our trust to maintain and endorse this list.The Rules lie at the beginning of The Path to La Vie Velominatus, not at the end; learning to balance them against one another and to welcome them...

@Velosophe's posts:

  1. @j-d Try a Big Gulp of lighten up Francis. The Rules are a set of informal conventions which far predate Velominati, and every type of subculture has them, no matter how much they are or aren’t outwardly proclaimed.  One could easily create a list of Ru… »

Rule #34-Mountain bike shoes have their place-on a mountain bike.During our very recent Cogal I gained some on-the-road insight on Rule #34. We were on a part of the route I have never ridden on a bike and had no memory of. The pavement was pavé, Maui-style. Somewhere deep down below the surface of the road was primordial road, patched with onl...

@Velosophe's posts:

  1. @Gianni Is it even an option to ask if you did in fact put the foot down?  Totally aside the point, of course.  A cliffhanger if I ever read one… »

Truth be told, how many of us can resist a photo of ourselves Looking Fantastic on the bike? How many of us can resist the temptation of taking our eyes off the road and stealing a glimpse of ourselves in a shop window as we pass by? Not me, but then again a strong case could be made for my being a narcissist and I freely admit that I love looking...

@Velosophe's posts:

  1. @frank Thanks!  I’m home now, on holiday with the family.  The snow should clear soon and I will be back at it! Although I miss my Afghan comrades, it’s good to be back! »

  2. Didn’t get to spend much time on the bike this year!  Me and one of our mercenaries, Aldo the Apache: »

It was said by someone in the posts following Gianni’s excellent review of his tubeless system that an honest, long term analysis by a ‘real’ rider was most welcome. Well, you’re not going to get that here. You will get honesty, for sure, but ‘long term’ doesn’t come into the equation when a week is the am...

@Velosophe's posts:

  1. @Marcus Agreed!  Total Anti-V Meter, and flying in the face of proper bicycle porn photography practice.  It’s just a picture I pulled off google. »

  2. Doh!  I should have noticed that the 3rd picture of the reviewed wheels showcases the 1st type of valve tape technique described above.  This probably is the best way to go about it, but it takes a good deal of foresight to remember to do it before gluing… »

  3. @Ron I wrapped a layer of tape around the valve stem before mounting the tires on the Enve’s to head off the rattling issue, but didn’t wrap it thick enough to actually hold the valve tightly in the hole of the rim.  The real solution is to push a small… »

  4. @G’rilla I’ve heard of that kit, but I haven’t tried it yet.  One thing that’s nice about DT hubs is that there seems to be a lot of options available, such as the aforementioned kit and easily swappable freehub bodies. I would love to try the 3.4s with C… »

  5. @Marcus Thanks!  I am thinking about trying Conti Comps next time around.  The Vittoria SCs are really nice but I have already incurred a pretty bad cut on the rear and the wear is showing.  They were super easy to mount though, and I hear the opposite ab… »

  6. Nice review!  The ENVE SES wheels really are where it’s at.  I have about 600mi on the 6.7 tubulars and love them.  Your friend did well to tape the valve stems for you – they have a habit of rattling around the valve hole in the rim.  In fact, I misinter… »

Aside from wheels staying in one piece and the frame holding together, the thing we take most for granted when riding a bike is how our bodies instinctively respond to and absorb bumps. The human body is, in fact, an incredible shock-absorber; our arms and legs are capable of flexing and shifting in ways that no mechanical suspension is capable of...

@Velosophe's posts:

  1. Waterproof backpacks are a bit over-rated in my opinion.  I was car free for 2 years and went through the ringer of all manner of commuting configurations. I do have a set of Ortlieb panniers which I use for touring and grocery-getting, and they are certa… »

If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that ‘useful’ things like practicality and functionality can often take a back seat to more basic pursuit of aesthetics and taste. If you haven’t, then your name might just be Paul.You may have also become aware that there is occasional flagrant flouting of certain guidel...

@Velosophe's posts:

  1. @frank Care to expound on the True Way for us uninitiated?  Is it out of respect for the RD spring? »

  2. Good post!  I went gumwalls for my first set of tubulars and I am really enjoying the look, in addition to the fantastic quality tire [Corsa SC]. »

I’ve said it once before, but it bears repeating now: adherence to Rule #29 carries with it the ultimate mission of the aspiring Velominatus, which is to geek out endlessly over the minimum amount of gear which yields maximum security in the event of a mechanical incident while riding.The goal here is twofold. First, with no European Poste...

@Velosophe's posts:

  1. @itburns I use the same pump.  I find it to be fantastic, although I have yet to have to use it in emergency.  In ‘controlled testing’ I have found it to achieve 90psi in 200 strokes.  Not too bad.  I am a recent convert from the CO2 world.  The followin… »

Erik Breukink, pictured here on the far right in the 1987 Giro, was on the upswing of what seemed to be very bright future. From a young age, he appeared to be a natural Grand Tour rider, so the Dutch teams he perpetually rode for did what Dutch teams do best, which is heap loads of pressure on an ill-prepared mind, micro-manage the snot out of him...

@Velosophe's posts:

  1. @frank “…the balding Pedro Muños who is doing a fantastic job demonstrating the Two-Eyed V-Squint.” »

When it comes to weight and body dysmorphia, we cyclists can go toe-to-toe with any thirteen year old tween who has done their time flipping through the pages of Vogue and Sixteen. However fit and thin we might be, at some point it dawns on us that we’re not as light as we could be. The obvious solution is to buy lighter parts for our bikes,...

@Velosophe's posts:

  1. @Marcus Hah! I suppose so.  Ideally a relocation of some ‘equatorial mass’ a bit more northward, along with an increase in strength.  Perhaps it will make for a more impressive Millarcopter when the time comes… »

  2. Timely article! Is there anything to be said for a happy medium which is not just an excuse for being fat?  I am talking about a more well-rounded appearance, perhaps more Boonenesque than Contadorian. I’m currently sitting at 175cm and 69kg, which I’m … »

The Bike. It is the central tool in pursuit of our craft. A Velominatus meticulously maintains their bicycles and adorns them with the essential, yet minimal, accoutrement. The Rules specify the principles of good taste in configuration and setup of our machines, but within those principles lies almost infinite room for personal taste.It seems in s...

@Velosophe's posts:

  1. @razmaspaz, @Oli Thanks! I’m looking to score a 6600 crank on the cheap to retrofit to the BB30 with an adapter.  A little rub on the small-small gears shouldn’t be too bothersome to get over, but I’m glad to hear about it ahead of time.  »

  2. @Ron Check out the Michelin A1 AirComp Latex Tubes.  They seem to fit the bill. @all Any advice on a cheap crankset that would be a good match for 9sp Dura-Ace?  I’m transferring the components from old #1 to new #3 [CAAD9] but I can’t use the octalink … »

Even as a Pre-Cambrian Velominatus, the rusty wires in my brain must have made the connection between my machine’s aesthetics and the lack of a saddle bag; I can’t remember a time when I rode with a European Posterior Man Satchel. But riding without a saddle bag means the tools go in the pocket, and that means great care must be take...

@Velosophe's posts:

  1. Here’s a photo of the Rule #31 tubular kit I’ve been employing as of late: 1.) Pre-glued and folded tubular inside bag, with Lezyne Pressure Carbon Drive rubber-banded to it. Inside the bag with the tubular I also have a tire lever and the tiny valve… »

As Keepers Tour crossed from dream to reality and routes over the cobblestones of Northern Europe were sketched out, with it came the familiar tingling in my fingertips and uneasy sensation at the base of my spine as my mind starts its irrevocable journey towards categorizing as mandatory an unnecessary indulgence. I was going to need a wheelse...

@Velosophe's posts:

  1. @Gianni Awesome. I might have to do that to keep renewing this crazy rocket booster sensation. I do love steel frames. Being new to the carbon thing, I must say I was a bit shocked to unbox the frame and wheels. Surely these wafer-thin plasticy thing… »

  2. @Gianni Truth be told, the entire shebang is brand new to me. Went from 80’s italian steel with 9sp Dura Ace and Open Pros to this. Yeah, upgrade is a bit lacking of a description! It’s a two-wheeled revelatory rocket ship! »