Archive | Accessories and Gear

Pete Boydell shows us what Rule #5 looks like.

On the Rivet

by / / 94 posts

I’m proud to declare that I am fluent in three languages: Hyperbole, Dutch, and English. All of them rubbish. The language of the peloton is, by and large, the most beautiful and expressive in French and Italian, which already make anything sound sexy. But they really excel in le langage du peloton: Sur la plaque, La Volupte,…

Kelly crushes fools with properly layered kit.

Dress Like An Onion: The Art of Layering

by / / 93 posts

The thing about the cold is that you can never tell how cold it is from looking out a kitchen window. You have to dress up, get out training and when you come back, you then know how cold it is. – Sean Kelly Apart from the obvious lesson in Rules #5 and #9, hidden…

Casually Deliberate embodied to the bones.

The Pain of Adolescence

by / / 58 posts

There are three subjects you should not bring up in new company: Politics, Saddle Bags, and Helmets. In my experience, in fact, politics are a much safer subject with a stranger than that of the cursed EPMS; no subject I’ve ever broached has been met with more vitriol. Except maybe the use of helmets. I’m not…

Misty Mountain Hop

The Nine Kit

by / / 77 posts

Riding in bad weather is an incredible experience assuming you don’t fall off and break your hip, or you don’t get hit by a car. Those realities aside, the weather adds a dimension to the ride that you simply don’t have on a sunny day, lovely as they are. The other day I was riding early…

A ride for the people, the Sean Kelly Cyclosportive


by / / 93 posts

My first bike was a Sears Moonlight Special. It was literally a piece of shit – figuratively. I mean, it would only “literally” be a piece of shit if shit was made of sand-filled steel tubes salvaged from the plumbing of the local sewage facility. Which it might have been, but I simply don’t have…

Hinault keeps the guns clean.

Cover High Before You Cover Low

by / / 102 posts

With the transitions of seasons occurring all over the world as Summer shifts to Fall in the Northern Hemisphere and Winter to Spring in the Southern, we are faced with the seasonal challenge of how to kit up properly for volatile and variable weather conditions. One of the most common mistakes made, apart from overdressing,…

The Funnybike

In Memoriam: The Funny Bike

by / / 78 posts

Summer, it appears, has been snatched abruptly from Seattle’s grasp, like a squeak toy from a puppy’s mouth. A week ago, we were setting record temperatures which were sadly playing their role in producing the worst wildfire season the state has ever seen. On the plus side, I haven’t ridden my Nine Bike in so long both its…

13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. That's a corncob Popeye would make a pipe of.

In Memoriam: The Straight Block

by / / 150 posts

Disc brakes and 1x drivetrains. These are the sort of things that belong on mountainbikes, are questionable on cross bikes, and should make an immediate trip to the rubbish bin when it comes to road bikes. Change for the sake of change; gimmickry masquerading as innovation. And to make matters worse, the appearance of 11-speed blocks has killed…

Certificate Of Unoriginality

Maker’s Mark

by / / 64 posts

If the best things in life are free, Messrs Lennon and McCartney must’ve just been given a huge bag of top-grade cocaine and were off their little chops when they wrote that one. There are plenty of great things in life that are free, the outdoors, mountains, air, but no-one is giving away bicycles, cocaine or…

The dreaded slow leak

The Race of Truth

by / / 70 posts

We’ve all felt it; going over a bump or through a corner and feeling that unmistakable bit of slop in the handling that sends your heart straight to your feet. Hoping you’re wrong, you bounce the tire as you roll along, confirming you’ve got a puncture. But it’s not really flat – not yet, at…

The Kuwahara Hirame pump head

Reverence: Kuwahara Hirame Pump Head

by / / 35 posts

I pump my tires up every single day, and every day it is the only part of Cycling I don’t like. The act of pumping while holding the pump in place is itself a bit of a bummer, especially if you are trying to do it in your Cycling shoes because your brain is too small to…

Meet your Maker

Meet Your Maker

by / / 44 posts

The wheel has always fascinated me, and why wouldn’t it? It’s one of the oldest known inventions, with the earliest archeological example believed to be about 5500 years old. They get us from point A to point B every day, one way or another. Without the wheel, we’d be reduced to walking. It’s not natural.…

Rollin' Dirty

Defining Moments: Dust Caps

by / / 81 posts

I genuinely miss the eighties. Funny Bikes, which I say without thinking this though. Then again, time trial bikes today are basically road bikes with a position for  tuned for “more speed”. In other words, switching to your TT bike today is like switching from your road bike to a slightly less comfortable road bike, with your…

How big is too big? How soft is too soft?

The Goldilocks Principle: Deflategate

by / / 125 posts

The Rider is the best book ever written about Cycling. I don’t mean that figuratively, I literally mean that literally. I say this despite having had my hand in writing our own Book about Cycling. What makes this book great is not just the prose, which is immaculate, but the spirit of the Velominatus that permeates the…

Diego Caccia demonstrates how to make tights work. Photo: Pedale.Forchetta

The Tightness of Being

by / / 117 posts

Sprezzatura. Leave it to the Italians to dedicate a word to trying to Look Fantastic without looking like you’re trying too hard. I’ve haven’t spent much time in Italy, but I automatically love a country where an entire nation holds aesthetics in the same high regard that I do. Not to mention their dedication to drinking…

Keep this on the massage table

There Ought to be a Rule…

by / / 104 posts

We all know where I stand in the cycling sock department, white and not too tall, any color sock as long as it’s white. If you have diminished calves and need to somehow hide that by wearing too tall socks, that is sad but not a crime. I always thought I was less flexible on…

Every path has a beginning...

The First Step

by / / 87 posts

I’ve spent my adult life believing that Mario Cippolini was the first rider to soil the Rainbow Jersey with matching bibshorts. Granted, Super Mario could pull off even the worst soilings with the most possible class, but nevertheless it kicked off a trend of matching bib shorts to jerseys – which is something I cannot abide unless they match because…

My only remaining hub with loose ball bearings.

In Memoriam: Loose Ball Bearings

by / / 113 posts

The darker months bring out the macabre in each of us; for Gianni it was the extinction of his beloved Park Tool adjustable clamp. For me, I found myself mourning the fact that I recently purchased a headset press. Ignoring the fact that a Velominatus of my stature didn’t already own one, the mourn behind…

Spinal Tap Black

The Dark Side

by / / 184 posts

White is a troublesome color; hard to keep clean. I have a white dress shirt that I never wear because even if I manage not to spill on the front of it, the cuffs and collar will look crap by the end of the day regardless. I mean, I can keep from eating something all…

Not for the faint hearted: the Winter Cycling Cap.

Experts Only: The Winter Cycling Cap

by / / 98 posts

We just finished a thorough examination of the Cyclist’s marquee accoutrement, the Cycling Cap. Today’s lesson is about the Cycling Cap’s red-headed step brother, the Winter Cycling Cap. This is a toque born of necessity; the thin cotton cap is nowhere near warm enough for the demands of the Flemish winter training season. Form should follow function,…

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