• frank wrote a new post, Youth 1 week, 6 days ago · 

    I’ve never been afraid of imitating my heroes, they always seemed like the best examples available and as a student of life (as every child is) it seemed normal to me to copy every aspect of their lives that I […]

    • All the cyclists I know are big kids.

    • I’ve said it before but – You can’t help getting old but you can stay immature for ever. My Teddy Bears also agree.

    • we don’t stop cycling when we get old, we get old when we stop cycling.

    • I’m looking at that photo and first thing I notice is the purple bike. Okay. Then I see the guns. Wow ! Then I think to myself, thank goodness we’ve evolved and have moved beyond the black shoes white sox thing exhibited here…

      Cheer all

    • oh… and if that pic were snapped today we can guess what they’d be looking at? Such a natural pose. Staring at the phones and txt’ing/snapchatting/instagramming…

    • Photo angles can be deceptive but those frame seem to have way different geometries.

    • @Teocalli

      The purple bike’s seattube looks more angled back – but the saddle looks like it’s pointing up so perhaps the front wheel is slightly raised on something.

      I want a new bike. Racy, carbon, Ultegra (but not Di2), not too pricey. What should I look at? More concerned with stiffness, aerodynamics and position than weight.

    • Awesome! I thank heavens that I’m able to ride a bike every day. It’s incredible. Have you ever seen an unhappy cyclist? Nope, we’re too buzzed on oxygen (and recovery ales!). It certainly keeps you young, and I think some sort of other athletic pursuit that involves a bit more play, creativity, etc., is very helpful too.

      I keep on wondering when I’ll grow up! I’ll do something and think “Heck, I’ve been acting like this since I was a teenager, aren’t adults supposed to stop finding humor in _____?” Oh well.

      On a cynical note, the one unfortunate thing about getting old is definitely knowing too much and not being able to believe that bullies and idiots and selfish assholes will mature and grow out of it. Nope, they just grow older. That’s been the one big disappointment of adulthood for me.

    • @Randy C

      When I’m cycling around town I sometimes can’t help myself…when I see someone completely ignoring the world and/or me approaching them on a bicycle, I’ll yell “Oh my god! Would you look at that!” Usually gives them a pretty good reminder that you shouldn’t walk around oblivious to the world. And, I guess this is proof that I haven’t outgrown enjoying a simple prank.

      AND…YES! We have a new article. Youth following Dead Tired. This is exciting!

    • @RobSandy

      Sarto are sweet and you can customise the tubes for not a lot extra. http://www.sartoantonio.com

    • Having recently purchased my first ever road bike, it’s taken me back to being a teenager again, the tires are a lot skinnier than my downhill bike, but I love being on a bike again

    • I recently (December) started cycling again after 13 years without a bike in my life. I used to ride fat tyred downhill bikes and viewed road cycling as the domain of lunatics and drug abusers.

      Having purchased my first road bike, I love it, the speed it accelerates is amazing, the feeling of taking corners far quicker that my 700×25 tyres should (in my mind) cope with and gunning it both up and down hills.

      Getting back on the bike has given me a new enthusiasm (even in the depths of British winter) to get out there and blast around, even if its just the 5 mile sprint to work. I find myself making some very childish sounds as I ride down hills, swerve drain covers and overtake (stationary) cars.

    • A bit of a counterpoint. Youthful exuberance and openness to new beliefs and points of view are certainly qualities one should continue to foster as one gets older. However, let’s not discount the value of experience and wisdom that comes with age (for some of us, anyway!). There are a lot of things that I “believed” as a younger man, without necessarily having the experience to know if those beliefs were valid. Many of those beliefs have been tested throughout my life, and many have fallen by the wayside. However, there is a certain joyousness when life’s experience affirms a long-held belief. It’s a way of sorting through this mess we call life and finding a way in the world and peace within ourselves. I’ve had occasion over the past year to examine and sort through a lot of what I believed about myself, the people around me and my life. While that work is never done, I feel more more free and at-ease as a result.

    • @RobSandy

      I just got this

      https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/tcr-advanced-1-disc

      but I don’t race. Super solid bike though as I’ve had it out on some pretty rocky two tracks, short sections of single track, and tons of dirt road with no issues. It just barely fits 28mm continental clinchers. I’m 1.88m and 84kg (6’2″, 185lbs). The bike is a size M/L. This is an “Ultegra” bike, but only the FD, RD and cranks (comes with compact) are Ultegra. Brifters and brakes are somewhere between 105 and Ultegra, cassette is 105, chain is KMC. It has thru-axles so that may not work for racing either, but ups the stiffness factor. It’s not bespoke, but Giant’s factories make frames for lots of other brands so in theory their crap should all be ironed out. YMMV.

      Good luck.

    • Great piece! The pic is from, I’m pretty sure, the 1957 Tour. Four of the ten man French squad are there, but besides Privat and Anquetil, I’m not sure who the others are! The team comprised: Roger Walkowiak, André Darrigade, future world champion Jean Stablinski, Gilbert Bauvin, Louis Bergaud, Albert Bouvet, Francois Mahe, Rene Privat, Jean Forestier and Jacques Anquetil.

      There were six French teams in the race: France, France North East-Centre, France Southwest, France-Ile de France, France-West and France South-East. Nothing like a little competition!

      I suspect the purple Mercier bike is Privat’s and the blue Gitane (?) is likely Anquetil’s. Privat won stage 2 and held the maillot jaune until stage 4 when he lost it to Anquetil who would win the race overall for the first of his five tour wins. He was only 23.

    • @Oracle

      Hey Oracle. I hope you’re well. Will you drop me a line at greid@wisconsinart.org please? Thanks!

    • @RobSandy

      Don’t we all !

      I was/am so tempted to pick up a new CAAD12 Ultegra bike just because I suspect it’s a awesome combo of great bike and price, I dig the color (yep, black, go figure) and I love my CAAD10. I’m sure the bike would be a blast to ride fast and race and a mech Ultegra you know is gonna be buttery smooth. And so far I’ve successfully resisted that temptation. You know what’s stopped me ? I was looking at the junction of the seat stays and seat/top tube and w/the alloy welds it looks like they’re all attached with a big blob of bubble gum. Seriously.

    • Frank: I like this essay and you express in it thoughts that many of us probably also think. But, I have another view of my bicycle and riding it. My bike is a time machine. When I ride it I am often transported back to my youth and the feelings that I enjoyed while riding my bike, at least in a metaphysical sense. That is the best part of riding for me. I am chasing my youth and while I will never capture that, I can recapture those feelings and I will do so for as long as I am able.

    • @RobSandy

      I’ve been riding this, most impressed, Trek do full groups so it is all Ultegra, (I swapped mine out for DA9100), the wheels are excellent, nice and wide, throw on some Vittoria Corsa in 25mm and it’s a great ride. I race masters 45-50, certainly not the flashest bike in that demographic…

      http://www.trekbikes.com/nz/en_NZ/bikes/road-bikes/performance-road/émonda/émonda-sl-6-pro/p/1441990-2017/

      google tells me £2875

    • @Randy C

      Ha! Now don’t start that again (b/c we all know that it does not get any more classy than pure white socks with pure black shoes!)

    • @Buck Rogers

      agreed!

    • @RobSandy

      Don’t know the pricing in the UK, but the Focus Izalco Max might be worth looking at. Same frame all the way through the range, pricing changes pretty much come down to wheel & group combo you choose.

    • @RobSandy

      Looks fucking sexy too

    • That Focus is a gorgeous bike as shown in that pic. But I’m a sucker for any bike in black I guess. Still, that’s a hot bike.

      I’m also a sucker for alloy bikes. Just love the price/performance idea. Both my CX and road bikes I race are alloy ‘dales. And really, nowadays with the modern wide rim-bed wheel sets and high volume low p tires one can get a pretty good ride on any decent well engineered bike. I’ve bombed the CAAD10 down miles and miles of dirt roads and pounded out fast century rides over chip seal with no comfort issues. And I also have a C Roubiax. So I’ve compared the two “ideas” over a bazillion miles. The C bike is just a little lighter. I’d posted a little back about the idea that a CAAD12 had to be a damn good bike for the money and a blast to ride fast and I wanted one. But there is the aesthetic quality about this:

      that I just can’t get past. See what I’m talking about ? Seriously, does that look like a wad of chewed bubblegum that the tubes are all joined up with?

    • No matter how they feel, I think cyclists look younger on the bike. I also think I (and most people) look heavier when on the bike for some strange reason. The Gorilla for example looks well, like a gorilla on the bike and like a little kid on the podium (if you don’t look at his guns that is).

    • @Randy C

      If you want to be tempted by a new alu bike, check out Bond Bikes. Beautiful frames. One of the co-founders is my fellow PEZ contributor Lee Rodgers. If I had the $$$ lying around for another bike, I’d be seriously tempted to get one.

      https://www.bond.bike/

      https://www.facebook.com/bondbikes/

      https://www.bikerumor.com/2016/11/30/newcomer-bond-bikes-touts-customizable-frames-wont-break-bank/

    • @Randy c

      I’ll just put this here for you to contemplate.

    • WTF? The pic didn’t post. Trying again.

    • @Jay

      In a similar vein, I know I’m old(er) but when I ride I don’t feel quite so old. Not quite chasing my youth, but feeling younger than my actual chronological age. And always nice when I’m able to hang with the young(er) guns.

    • My bike is a time machine for me due to the fact that whether I ride for 30 minutes to get to my office or for a few hours for pleasure, I’m always transformed, calmed, and of a better mindset than prior to the ride.

    • Was playing soccer last night when a sweetheart of a Youth decided he wanted to kick around my spare ball on the sideline. He and his pal kept on coming onto the field, interfering with the game. Someone told him to cut it out. He proceeded to punt my ball into the woods, then try to walk off. Told him to go collect it. He did, then threw it into the middle of our game. I told him to quit being a puke. He gave me the finger and told me to fuck off.

      I imparted some wisdom to the scrawny teen: You’re going to do that to the wrong person one day soon and it’s gonna hurt. Badly.

      I cannot imagine acting like that to a field full of much larger adult strangers. Good god.

    • @Ron

      The kid is lucky you were not the “wrong person.”

    • @Ccos

      Agreed. Off the bike in street clothes I look pretty decent (6′ 1″ and around 190lbs) but I’ve seen pics of me on the bike and I look like Lampre man. WTF?

    • @wiscot

      Many years ago in the era when I used to play Rugby, 3 guys went to mug a chap who happened to play for another Rugby club in the area. They picked on the “wrong person”, 2 ended up in hospital with broken bones and the 3rd ran off while he was dealing with the other two. In those days the Police were able to say “they got what they deserved”. They still charged them with attempted mugging though.

    • @Teocalli

      I’m told, “he had it coming” was (or perhaps still is) a legitimate plea in Texas courts for when you’re charged with killing someone…

    • @RobSandy

      The top tubes seem to be running parallel but I think it’s just the angle and that the bike behind is further forward.

      Any idea what the thing on the bottom of the down tube on the blue bike might be? A sort of canister. Maybe for tools or something but it seems an odd place to put it.

    • @chuckp

      Very cool. And these cats too, Low bikes in San Fran, are building custom alloy frames and bikes. They have quality snapshots of their bikes at Flickr and that are fun to check out different colorways.

    • Looks to me like the purple frame is sitting more upright, and the blue is leaning over at a greater angle against the car.

      To me the canister looks like some sort of Wile E Coyote rocket apparatus. i’d like to think that is what it is anyway. I loved Road Runner.

    • @ChrisO

      Probably that is the canister where they kept La Bamba back in the day. They did not have to be so discrete in those days, ya know.

    • @Buck Rogers

      The boring bit is that it might be a CO2 canister as they did use them way back and given that they have their own spare tubs under the saddle they were obviously not depending on the team car.

    • @ChrisO

      It’s the motor.

    • @Cary

      You got the same shoes as me. Except mine are white, obviously.

    • @Mikael Liddy

      You’re right, it looks an awesome bike. But about double my hypothetical budget.

      Any thoughts on the more budget end aero road bikes? I’ve seen bikes by Sensa and Boardman that both look awesome, full aero carbon frame and mostly Ultegra kit, for roundabout £2k. Granted, you’d probably want to replace the wheels pretty sharpish.

    • @RobSandy

      1500GBP for a Speshy Allez sprint with 105. Seems like a reasonably priced bike yet I betcha would be a lot of fun to ride fast and put the hammer down in some crits. Especially after you upgraded the wheels yes. Doesn’t look like Speshy is offering up the Allez sprint frame sets alone in the UK. They have some cool color ways available in US that would be fun to build up.

    • @RobSandy

      These folk are not far from you. http://www.pilothousecycles.co.uk/new-page/

      I fancy coming over sometime and talking a look at Paulus Quiros based in the same building as I hone down my options for a custom build.

    • Ha Ha – I think my posts re the cylinder on the frame are being filtered out by a spam filter on the site so (assuming this posts) search on Pennine CO2 Pump on ClassicLightweights. Can’t think why that is being filtered out!

    • As an Arsenal-mad lad, my favourite player was Liam Brady. I had the yellow away kit circa 1979, and whenever I played it had to be all left-footed like him, even though I was naturally right-footed. He just looked cooler than anyone else, and I still think lefties look more stylish than right-footed players. If I was a kid today, I’d have to be Mesut Ozil. Style is everything.

      Great picture, by the way.

    • @Steve T

      I’m assuming you’ve read Fever Pitch? Great book.

    • @wiscot

      @wiscot

      You’re right. Everyone recognises some part of themselves in that book. Classic.

    • They obviously hadn’t read the rule on rear skewer nor one of the older articles on this site how to lean bicycles properly against each other.

      Been skiing all week and crashed this morning so now recovering with this new article! Agree it’s great to have a new one.

    • wiscot replied 1 week ago

      Just figured it out. Anquetil is reading the paper as he has misplaced his sunnies and needs something to protect his eyes from the glare coming off Privat’s guns. It’s the Tour. It’s therefore July. Has Privat been wearing tights all season? At least I’ve an excuse for my legs being that shade of white: a) I’m from Scotland b) I live in Wisconsin, and c) it’s February. What Privat’s excuse?

    • @wiscot

      I’ve had a couple of good shaves now to pre-empt the race season and because I was having a massage last week (the thought of going for a massage with hairy or stubbly legs now fills me with horror) – is it common to be upset by the pale-ness of one’s guns?

    • @RobSandy

      I would say no. I wore knee warmers on my ride yesterday which exposed much of my calves. Even with super white socks on, my legs still looked awfully pale. Supposed to be 65 on Wednesday, Dare I wear shorts?

    • @wiscot

      If you never uncover you’ll stay pale all year.

      I will uncover as soon as I can and still stay pale all year. Because I live in Wales.

      I am, however, highly versed in Rule #9 and #5 as a result.

    • While on the topic of black shoes…

      My new dancing shoes…

    • @kixsand

      Love those!

    • @RobSandy

      Is there an inverse relationship to Rule #7?

    • @Rick

      I think I meant to say “I should say SO.” I’m always embarrassed by the glare from my guns when I first wear shorts.

    • When I turned 40 years old, I realized that I had started doing two things regularly again in the year leading up to that birthday- reading books for pleasure and riding a bike. These were two of the main things I did for fun when I was twelve. I would read for hours or go on long rides around my neighborhood for no reason other than to ride. I met the Man with the Hammer for the first time (they called it “head exhaustion”). I walked my bike up hills until I could eventually ride them without dismounting. Just as it did for the Prophet, the bike made me feel free.

      Cycling, in particular, was something I had not done in over twenty years. This connection with my younger self was like finding the mainline of happiness that I had lost for many years. When I ride the bike, I still find freedom in each pedal stroke.

    • @Rick

      I think to comply with Rule #7 there has to be the potential for tan lines. It’s not a rule I’ve ever been that worried about, to be honest.

    • @RobSandy

      After 13 minor surgeries to remove Basil Cells, I am constantly covered in 75 SPF sunscreen. As a result, I am in violation of Rule #7 to perpetuity. That is much better than being forced to take 4 weeks off of my bike to prevent scarring on my Pantani like pate.

    • @ChrisO

      @Cameron W

      The canister is a CO2 inflator. I think they were first used before WWII, and you can see Bartali carrying one behind his seat tube in photos from the 40s.

  • frank wrote a new post, Dead Tired 1 month, 1 week ago · 

    Before I make this about me, as I always do, I want to give credit to Roberto Ballini, who is pictured here sunning himself against nothing less morbid than a gravestone during the 1971 Tour de France, presumably […]

    • Righteous.

    • Good to see you back, it’s been a while.

      Time off the bike can be a dangerous thing. Work is a bit stressful at the moment with a seemingly impossible amount to achieve in a very limited time. The information we need is flowing slowly from external parties whilst internally there are resourcing pressures that threaten to take people out of my team.

      I’ve been lucky never to have suffered from depression but I certainly find it harder to maintain a focus on it all and not to get snappy at home if I don’t get on my bike every few days under these conditions even if it’s only an hour on the turbo.

    • Or a kilometer or boundary marker near the town of Malesherbes being a former commune in the Loiret department in north-central France. Did the 1971 route go that way?

    • So maybe on Stage 7 Rungis to Nevers 4th July, stage winner Eric Leman.

    • Well said, Frank.

    • “A vigorous five-mile walk (or a vigorous 50 mile ride–my insert) will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world” Paul Dudley White.

      I have loved this quote ever since I first read it in Med School.

      Depression is a dangerous and real animal that lives around the edges of some people’s lives and gnaws at their psyche like a rat. I know a lot of athletes that have it and when training, they liken it to “feeding the rat” which keeps the rat at bay.

      Five years ago I was hit with my first ever episode of anxiety and man it fucked me up. I had never experienced anything like it. For me (now making this all about me, eh?), anxiety can be crippling and it was for a couple of years. But I learned that I could keep my “rat” at bay with the bike, as well.

      Like you, I can still feel it around the edges and I am always trying to keep it fed but fear that it will come back full bore.

      Glad to have you back and “keep on keeping on” because that is all that we can do sometimes.

    • When I saw the word writers’ block, I immediately thought about riders’ block. Which is what I am facing now. I do not like turbo in the cold garage nor the slippery and wet roads outside (oh, and it’s freezing here too, maybe that plays a role as well). When in one of my first English tests, we had to conjugate “to write”. I heard “to ride”. So I wrote “to ride, rode, ridden” which was wrong but still correct.

      Fortunately I have next week a 5 hour indoor spinning sponsor event after work, so look forward to be dead tired then. Only problem is these sessions go up to x%’s of HRM and I do not have a heart rate measure so am just gonne give it all.

    • A brilliant article @frank and perfect for the new year. A chest infection has had me off the bike (and out of the pool) for 3 weeks now and enough is enough. I am not only reminded of Rule #5 but also the only cure for this funk is to get out and work the guns. Thanks.

    • The season of nasty colds and shitty weather can leave you hanging on the chinstrap of your helmet.

      Managed my first ride of 2017 on Tuesday night. It gets really dark out here in the wilderness and an hour and a half in your little bubble of light is like meditation – although in meditation you don’t usually get covered in shit.

      I’m going to drone on about the TCR again (like @BuckRogers I can make it all about me at the drop of a hat) but if it hadn’t been for this site I can’t imagine that I’d even be aware of its existence let alone considered entering it as I would likely have settled into depressed medicated sedentry middle age some time ago.

      Having @frank explain on the cobbles that I was a fat cunt and should do something about it clearly had an effect.

    • Sorry to hear you’ve been struggling, Frank, but glad to hear you’re working your way through things partially thanks to this wonderful machine we are all so passionate about. Keep it rolling, bro.

      However – there had to be a however, innit? – I’d like to second @Teocalli‘s assessment that this is not a gravestone at all but a town marker on Stage 7 of the ’71 Tour, but only because I’m pissed off that he got to point it out first.

    • Frank – I’ve been there. There was a time when my whole life was playing and singing in a band; the band started to break up and I lost my voice. All of a sudden I had nothing.

      We’re lucky, however, being cyclists.

      Unless there’s a major mishap we generally have at least one bike available, and on the road, rollers or turbo a means to get on the thing and pedal.

      We don’t need to rely on anyone else when we ride (although sometimes it’s nice to), and although of course there are The Rules about how we should ride, there are no rules to say where we should go, or for how long, or for how far. Even the simplest ride around the park can become the profoundest expression of freedom.

      Since I’ve been cycling I wonder often what on earth I used to do before.

    • Life comes in waves. Good, Bad, Highs and Lows. Helps to have some bedrock below it all to stand on I suppose. Family and Community is certainly a bedrock. Cycling and everything it involves is another. Combine Cycling, Family and Community ? Well, that’s some damn solid bedrock so to speak. Sure glad to be part of the community. And thanks @frank for building a foundation for this little community. Cheers all

    • Frank – Sorry to hear you’ve been in a bit of a funk. I know you’ll snap out of it. And I know the bike will help do that.

      When I was young(er) and racing and running a (local) team, I used to say/think, “Cycling is life.” The rest of the saying was, “The rest is just details.” But it really isn’t. Rather, cycling is a metaphor for life. And it can be a big (and important) part of our life for those of us who are Velominati. But it’s not (or shouldn’t be) our whole life.

      Ride to live. Live to ride. But live life … on and off the bike.

    • Nice one, Frank! Keep on rolling. I’m the same way – when I stop moving and reading and writing and being active, I start to overthink things and get frustrated and depressed. My year has been off to a very up-and-down start – sick young child, snowstorm that shut down the city for four days, not enough riding, the extremely negative energy of a dissertation advisor, and a lack of energy. I’ve caved in to being lazy of late, and it’s a terrible cycle for me. I skip a rollers ride and instead of feeling better for saving energy, I feel worse both physically and mentally.

      Today I’m snapping out of that rut. There is no reason not to AND there is no reason 2017 can’t be my most successful year to date.

      Best of luck to everyone swimming against the tide right now. I hope things improve for ya!

    • @RobSandy

      I’ve shared it before, but I was in a similar position. I played ball sports from a very young age, including through college at the DI varsity level. Then I graduated and suddenly at 22 I’d lived my biggest dream and felt completely lost and disoriented. I had a full life, but that sport was the center of everything. I was living abroad and needed to occupy my mental space and creative side. I decided to write a memoir of my life to date. That was now years ago but a friend I shared it with told me he was just recently reading it and, despite some spots of immaturity, the writing is pretty damn strong. It was great to hear that since I haven’t given it any thought of late. I’m glad I put forth the effort to do something creative.

      Also, right around this time was when I started commuting to work by bike. Within a few months I was hooked. Now I’m a full-on avid cyclist and cannot imagine life without bicycles or riding them. I honestly have no idea what my life would be like without cycling. No clue.

    • @chuckp

      There’s a lot to be said for that. And I find being organised about training helps. That way, when it’s not a training day I can just switch off, put cycling from my mind (mostly) and certainly don’t worry about whether I’ve been riding enough or too much. Then the next ‘on’ day, is new, fresh and you can give it your all.

      But I fucking love cycling.

    • An apropos article on Lieuwe and at the bottom, you’ll find links to a number of other articles on cycling and depression.

    • I’ve been struggling to find a reason to ride. It’s not that I didn’t want to, but that when the time came I always found other pressing matters that got in the way. Felt ashamed every time – but managed to convince myself that it was only me that saw through the lies. I consoled myself and kept ‘bike fit’ on the turbo and even (whispers) at spinning classes – lots of them. But never a ride, not since 9 July 2016 anyway. Until this morning. It could have been the blue skies and promise of warmth from the sun (but I’ve seen plenty of those since July, so it must have been something else). I think the time is right when it’s right. Today it was right, and I’m adamant that I’ve never felt my bicycle move so serenely and so silently. Didn’t go far, didn’t go fast. But in others ways I’ve never travelled further in 45 minutes than I did this morning.

    • Surprised no one has posted this yet.

    • @Ron

      Yup, I had seen that. Really hope he can find his way out of the darkness.

      Maybe it is a misconception but it seems that a lot of the great climbers of old suffered from depression and some committed suicide either deliberately or via alcohol/drugs.

    • We’re there for you, Frank.

      Bill

    • @RobSandy

      Cycling is life – push thru your limit – there is no end – all of the above. And now I’ve added a focused effort on Spring, turkey season as well. Planning to combine all-road { gravel } cycling with scouting for turkey flocks in March.

    • Thanks for sharing and good to see a glimmer of the old Frank back. Without going into too many details, in 2012 and 2013 life was handing me way more stress than necessary. Without the bike, I have no idea how I would have survived it intact. When the world is seemingly going to hell in a handbasket, a few hours solo pedalling really, really helps.

    • Righteous writing.

      The bike is glorious.

    • Sometimes it can be tough to have the confidence to feel well.

    • @Oli

      Courtesy of my team doing a very long night migration leaving me long gaps to surf.

    • Been there, and often. However, is my faithful adherence to the power of Rule V that keeps me from returning to the dark vortex. Onward, Frank.

    • @Simon Balsom

      Good on ya, Simon!

      I have that same feeling…whether I get out for 45 minutes or 4 hours, I always ALWAYS return feeling completely transformed for the better. Keep on crankin’!

    • I too have felt “dead tired” of late. I’ve always been high energy and kinda able to do as I please – not sleep much, drink and eat as I want, ride as far and as fast as I want, sprint around at soccer twice a week without warming up/cooling down, etc. And I felt great and limitless.

      Whelp, I’m sure having a new son doesn’t help. Nor hitting my mid-30s. But lately, I feel things catching up to me. Nothing would have stopped me from a long ride in the past, but now I feel tired and second guess it. I’m sore for two days after soccer. If I stay up too late having fun, I have trouble getting out of bed. (I’ve never used a snooze alarm or coffee in my life). But, all of a sudden, I can feel I’m changing. It’s pretty strange to me, as I’ve always had endless energy.

      Oh well, I’m not really complaining. Life is good and I’m in a good state. Additionally, I think this might just be a knock-knock from Father Time. He’s just checking in to let me know that I need to take a bit better care of myself. But, with all of this catching up with me, seeing someone like Jaromir Jagr playing at the highest level in his mid-40s truly blows my mind. My amateur career is catching up with me at a much younger age.

      A good weekend to all! Ride up, rest up, keep on turning the cranks.

    • @frank

      So few words, yet so much awesomeness. Ride On!

    • Oli replied 1 month ago

      @Ron

      You are simply experiencing the Human Condition, same as the rest of us. Better get used to it!

    • So true. I suspect there’s a great many of us that are hopelessly addicted to the sport for that magical moment of calm that descends somewhere mid ride. For me it’s like the bells of Shangri-la banishing anxiety. Whatever was gnawing at me will still be there but the bike has turned it into something manageable again.

      Thank you for sharing that Frank. You are definitely not alone in your sentiments.

    • A very, very belated ‘Happy New Year’ to all you fine Velominati – and my apologies for the deafening radio-silence from these parts. I’ve been (and still am) in the process of staging a fairly radical career change these days, which has kept me off the streets (and then some). At the ripe old (young?) age of 58, such a change can both be very exciting – and absolutely terrifying, as it turns out. (Details to follow, perhaps, at some point).

      Thanks for the article, Frank (resonated on many levels) – and good to ‘see’ you again. As for riding my bike…. well; winter in Scandinavia, and busy as hell – nuff said. *Sigh*. But something tells me that I’ll be back on two wheels in a matter of weeks. And it won’t be a minute too soon. I miss riding.

    • Ha! I see that my prolonged absence has caused me to be demoted to ‘Level 1’. Serves me right.

    • @ErikdR

      Hi Erik, best of luck with the career change and good to see you’re still alive and kicking. Best way to change your level is by writing a guest article; that gives you the honorable guest-contributor-V.

    • @KogaLover

      Cheers, mate.

      I happen to have a little ‘early spring guest article’ lined up, actually: Needs a bit of polishing still, but on its way. And for (much) later this year, I may even attempt to present – in these hallowed halls – a 3D rendering of a virtual project called “The bike-shed of my dreams” (if the Keepers will let me get away with it, that is…). Let’s see how things develop.

      But it’s good to be back.

    • @ErikdR

      Tell me about it. I was all the way down to level 4. I had to contribute a guest article just to cover up the embarrassment!

    • @Oracle

      Heheh… Y’know what? I actually made a mistake here, I think (which happens a lot – and doesn’t bode well for this ‘new career’ of mine, perhaps…): I had somehow convinced myself that Level 4 was actually the HIGHEST level I’d ever obtained – and that being at Level 1 meant a considerable three steps back – while it’s the other way around, of course (Mild case of dyscalculia here, I’m afraid).

      In fact, I have, so far, never made it past Level 1 (and into the orders) to begin with – so things aren’t nearly as bad as I feared.

    • Ccos replied 1 month ago

      Nothing beats pain in making pain go away.

    • MikeK replied 1 month ago

      “Cycling has saved my life.” I say it all the time. And when I fall back into the rut, one ride pulls me right back out. Stay tough Frank, spring is right around the corner!!

    • Ccos replied 1 month ago

      @universo

      Yes, I can routinely get close to the crafty buggers when on a bike unarmed. When otherwise, well…

    • Richo replied 1 month ago

      Love your writing Frank. Despite how it sometimes feels don’t think you’re alone in the battle mate. Keep those pedals turning.

    • Ron replied 1 month ago

      Oli – say it ain’t so! One upside to having a child: you are too tired and overwhelmed to give much thought to anything more than surviving another day/night. It can make life easier!

    • “When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    • Rick replied 1 month ago

      @rfreese888

      Glad to see Sir Arthur was a purveyor of Rule #6.

    • @Ccos

      Buddy, truer words have not been spoken.

      -Eddie

    • @Rick

      And he was an ophthalmologist as well! (and also seemed to think and speak (and type) in all capitals, just like me!!!)

    • @Rick

      A google search of this quote brought up not only Doyle, but many tortured souls like those of us who seek relief from the tyranny of our daily lives through self-inflicted pain in the saddle. I have on my business website “About Us” a blurb about my lifelong love of riding which helps me in my work:

      “David does some of his best design work while out for a ride.”

      Check out some other visdom: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/recreational-cycling/20-quotes-that-capture-the-beauty-and-brutality-of-cycling/

    • Ron replied 1 month ago

      I haven’t really used a car since the early aughts. These days I have to in order to drop my 8 month old son off at the sitter. I’m lucky in that I can easily park and pull my bike out of the back of my truck, then ride to work. Some days, when it’s cold or wet, I think it’ll be easier to just drive to work. After mere minutes of dealing with a-hole motorists, I curse the decision.

      Being on a bicycle is the easiest, simplest joy in my life. Damn, it keeps the heart and body young!

      Ride on, everyone!!

    • Rick replied 1 month ago

      @David Beers

      Years ago, when grad school and family responsibilities took a major bite out of my riding time, I would occasionally face learning block. I would stare at the words but see nothing but black ink on white pages. No meaning would would make it from those pages to my overworked brain.

      In these times there was only one thing to do. Saddle up, and ride. Every single time that I relaxed my brain and thought only of the ride, the solution to whatever academic question would come to me. Like a beacon in the night the answer would come to me whilst I turned over the pedals.

      Through the tough times in my life, I could always count on cycling to raise my spirits. The pain of divorce, the anger over a lost job could paralyze me at times. Riding helped me cope and brought me back to the living.

      I was devastated when I had to give up marathoning in my 20’s. I bought my first road bike to stay in shape but I really didn’t think I would stick with it. Thank The Lord that I bought that bike. My life would be a much less enjoyable place without the pain that our sport can (and does) dish out.

    • @Rick

      @Rick how did you know? 5 Months ago, my wife of 37 years walked out on me; tallying up our assets she told the lawyers about my bikes, to put their value against the jewelry, art and antiques she took with her. Sure, the bikes have more value to me than is rational (see Rule #11), but in the harsh light of the accountant’s spreadsheets they don’t add up to much. What a cruel joke that she had encouraged me last year to insure them at replacement value.

    • Almost dead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0XrrLkDMoQ

      Good reminder of Rule #0: Ride but get home alive.

      See here for more background info

    • @David Beers

      That sucks about your wife. Sorry to hear about that. Glad to hear your bikes got you a little bit of sweet justice. And know you have friends (even if you’ve never met them) here for support.

    • As an antithesis to “dead tired” and “winter blues” (for those of us in the northern hemisphere), I’m actually largely the opposite … surprisingly rejuvenated and refreshed. Part of that is the result of decided to join the gym in my ‘hood and lift weights (probably the first time in 20+ years I’ve done any “serious” lifting). Not with any real purpose but as something to do (OK, I’m hoping I gain a little leg strength in the off season). But more because I joined this local winter team competition called Freezing Saddles. https://freezingsaddles.com/  A fun way to keep motivated to ride. The vast majority of the participants are anything but Velominati but a really good and fun group of people. Riders of all different abilities on all sorts of different bikes. Folks from different walks of life. Lots of being social. Lots of “stupid” stuff, e.g., like who can ride the most one mile rides (called sleaze rides). But there’s method in that madness because the first mile of your first ride of the day (a lot of commuters) is worth 10 points. So I’m actually motivated to hop on my mountain bike and ride a mile in my ‘hood just for the 10 points to help my team if that’s all I have time to do given work, family, etc. But somehow in the process I’ve racked up more than twice as many miles as I rode last January!

    • @David Beers

      I am sorry to hear that. Bikes are better than art, jewelry, or antiques anyway!

    • Yowzers, my wife, my 9-month old, and myself have all been sick for around three weeks now. Chest cold and cough, not bad, just plain annoying at this point. The little guy had a virus and was upchucking for around 4 days. That was not fun!

      Riding beyond commuting just kills my lungs. Oh well, I have a major project and I’m determined to get it finished up by RvV roll-out…nothing like the Spring Classics as motivation to keep yer head down and hammer away at a big project!

  • I won’t hold liking cats against you, but if you don’t like dogs, you’re dead to me. Some things aren’t left to opinions, like whether Star Wars is good or not. You’re free to be an outlier – and I loves me some […]

    • A-Merckx fronk.

      I may have been a bit scarce around here lately but I cannot let this article pass without an endorsement. I have long maintained that every Velominatus who is so inclined should experience commissioning a custom bicycle from a master. It is an unparalleled experience.

      @frank, I suppose you haven’t made an appointment at Hampsten Towers yet?

      It is your destiny.

    • @userfriendly

      Love at first read. Absolutely, fronkatively, correct. May the cat be always on your lap, and your ales appropriately chilled for the style.

    • I’ve always looked down on people who don’t have a custom frame that was built for them dating back to the early to mid 1990’s. So many newbies out on the road nowadays.

      Also, rats make great pets — AKA low maintenance dogs.

    • Also, the Laws of Physics show that the more lightsabers you have in a movie, the better the movie. Except for Episode I and The Matrix, two anomalies which balance each other out.”

      Right!

      But Rogue One only had a bit of lightsaber and really kicked some ass.

      And do not forget Ti frames when you are thinking of steel! Esp if you have Eriksen weld it together for you with Hampsten pulling the strings!

      My Eriksen/Hampsten TI frame arrived two weeks ago and it is mind-blowing fuckingly awesome!!! Picking up my new wheelset next month and then “Ronde” is done and ready to destroy the pave’ and bergs in Belgium this Spring!

      Already set up my RVV trip with the Pave Classic Boys!!! The only thing that would make it better is more V members there!!!

    • @Nate

      Fucking-Amen! Do you have a Hamsten as well???

      Fucking dreamingly amazing!

    • So, I’ve been to see Rogue One and am in the process of getting a rescue Vizsla (Hamish) – all good.

      Wait. What’s this? I also got an entry to this year’s Transcontinental Race in July?

      Why, that means I’ll need a new bike (and to cease being a fat bastard).

      I’ll just kick this off by saying I’m considering a Trek. What do you all think I should get?

    • Absolutely bang on. My #1 – Shand Skinnymalinky, custom steel, Built by Hand in Scotland, 90 mins from my house. It’s not flash, it’s not carbon, its not off the shelf, as custom as my mutt Mavic, a smooth coated Wire Haired Vizsla. I like cats but they are just not dogs.

      @userfriendly ‘cats are the roadies’? Aye, the roadies that barrel by and never acknowledge another cyclist, up their own arse unless they need fed.

      @Buck Rogers – sadly not this year, too many other demands on my time and cash.

    • @the Engine

      Bloody hell, you just had to ask that!

      Welcome to the Vizsla owners club. Never a quiet moment.

    • @JohnB

      Ohhhh! Who built your frame? I am having a FUCK ALL awful time finding someone in the UK who is qualified and willing to build but my Eroica bike project frame with the original 753 Reynolds tubing!

      Totally understand about the RVV. Next year I am planning on riding Strade Bianche so mark yer calendar!!!

    • @the Engine

      Well, it all starts with how much money can you smuggle out of the bank account without the VMH realising it!

    • @Buck Rogers

      About £5

    • I have mixed feelings …

      Don’t get me wrong, I agree that every cyclist should have a custom build – it’s like putting on a glove. And they are surprisingly not that expensive by comparison to off-the-shelf stuff.

      On the other hand the whole artisan aspect makes me think that the boom was to an extent built on hipsters and newbies who were in it for the style and the polish not the fundamental reality or the practical usage. I won’t be sorry to see some of them go.

      As the market boomed here my local framebuilder, a very well-known and loved brand in existence for three generations, folded because they had nobody to take over the business as the incumbent retired. Yet new artisanal builders with catchy names and sparkling logos seem to pop up every other month.

      I wonder whether it’s skill at brazing or just brazen marketing which is most useful.

      @buck rogers Where have you looked? I would have though traditional builders like Mercian or Bob Jackson would be able to do whatever you wanted.

    • @the Engine

      Ha! That got me!

    • @ChrisO

      Funny you should mention Bob Jackson and Mercian. Donald at Bob Jackson said that they no longer do any custom builds, only “off the peg” stuff. I was really surprised to hear that. Mercian has not replied after three weeks of emailing and trying to contact them. Dave Yeats also said that he could not do it for me.

    • My view here:

      Dogs being superior to cats is obvious. I’ll take Lawful Stupid over Chaotic Insane any day of the week (extra points for getting that reference).

      Star Wars (and yes, that includes all the prequels if anyone is wondering) is not only superior to Star Trek but to absolutely every movie or TV show that has ever been or will ever be produced. The only negative is that the Star Wars Universe does seem to need some education about riding bikes!

      But steel bikes in this day and age, custom or otherwise, is where I lose interest unless it’s purely for nostalgia or easy coffee runs, which is entirely valid of course. I’m well aware that modern steel frames (and some older ones) can perform very well but the limitations compared to carbon are obvious, weight, flex, and absolutely no aero element. The only steel frames that get close to matching carbon (or even aluminum) in these areas all seem to cost twice as much as a carbon frame that still does all of it better.

      And then there are looks, which I’m given to understand is considered even more important here. Put simply, steel frames (to my eyes, I don’t speak for anyone else of course) may look beautiful but they also universally look old, heavy and slow. That includes monstrously expensive things like Jäeghers which I know are neither heavy nor particularly slow. They still look like they are. Carbon frames on the other hand look fast, mostly due to the shaping (for extra strength, stiffness or aero sauce) which the eye probably reads similarly to the way fast movement is drawn in cartoons.

      Ride feel I can not comment on as I have never ridden a steel road bike, but even if that is as great as it is described on post after post on this site that does not make up for going slower than you could be going on a carbon frame. And it will be slower, perhaps not much slower if you paid a king’s ransom for the frame, but still slower. I would not say no if offered a free steel bike (I’m on this site after all!) but I would never spend money on one.

    • @ChrisO

      Most shops will not do it because it requires a builder who has taken the Reynolds 753 building course and also it needs chroming and a lot of shops will not do that, either. A few builders I spoke to said that they had never taken the course and would not try it without having done the course and that I should not trust any builder who would do it that had not taken the course.

      Bit of a fix!

    • @Buck Rogers

      Look no further than Garry at Argos Racing Cycles in Bristol for that elusive custom 753 steel frame. He built mine back in 2005 – it’s still my #1

    • @Ben

      Oh, those will presumably be here very soon!

    • @Buck Rogers

      Waiting for the new wheels before posting pictures of the long awaited machine?

    • Regret I do not have a local frame builder to support! Local luthier yes. But frame builder no.

      This idea is a lot like the idea of maintaining classic Mustangs and Camaros or even rebuilding ’em as resto-mods with modern brakes and such. I love these old muscle cars. And thank the good lord every time I see (or hear) one. And much respect to those keeping the dream alive. And even though a modern twin turbo four door sedan could outperform these old cars in about every measure, the one measure, and a very subjective one at that, they cannot is the one about being cool and grabbing the senses in a way a modern/common car cannot. And that’s the local frame builder’s bespoke craftsmanship.

      There’ll be a time and place for me to go down this road. And I so look forward to it as will have had decades of planning in my head!

      In the meantime, this little beauty was built local and it’s the burled walnut headstock and subtle bear claw in the spruce top that sets it apart from most any Taylor or Gibson you’ll find on the wall at a shop. Mr. Woodward (right name or what?) simply loves and collects cool wood. And uses it to make guitars. Much respect. Cheers all !

    • @Buck Rogers

      Steven Shand at Shand Cycles, Livingston. Mine is 853. Worth a call to them to ask.

    • @Quasar

      No need really, they look just like an off the peg sized frame in a photo plus mine has the mudguards on it for the winter and nobody needs to post pics of that!

    • @Buck Rogers

      Another couple of places suggested to me Argos in Bristol, Woodrups in Leeds. I don’t know of either personally.

    • @Sowtondevil

      Right! This one had actually been suggested as well at Steve Goff and Ellis Briggs so now I have a few leads to work on!

    • @userfriendly

      Spot fucking on! Dogs are pedestrian in every way. Cats are aristocratic.

      -Eddie

    • Oh, an did someone say custom steel?

      -Eddie

    • @Buck Rogers

      Dylan thomas at Poetry In Motion, in York

    • @EBruner

      are these both yours?! gorgeous bikes!

    • @Cary

      Yeppers!!

      -Eddie

    • Kelly’s Bar at Brian Rourke Cycles makes for a unique venue to be measured up for your ‘Rourkie’

    • My beautiful custom Benson made from Columbus PegoRichie OS tubes is without question the best riding bicycle I’ve ever owned, and I’ve owned plenty!

    • Bummer about NAHBS. I’ve been to a few and enjoyed it very much. Between it being in SLC (meh) and saving the cash for a week riding somewhere above freezing I choose not to go this year.

      Plan to pull the trigger on a handmade frame sometime this year – at this point, I’ve satisfied any practical need I have so it’s time to start building something special.

      Odd how the fortunes of the builders seem to run in such divergent directions. Some are only doing stock sizes, some have year+ waiting lists and others aren’t in a great place. No explanation, but it’s interesting how much it differs.

    • @HampCo

      Where is the friggen “like” button !?! As a matter of fact I am drinking beer btw. Cheers !

    • So, do I buy an off the peg Trek and mod it (wheels, saddle, bars) – or do what I did with the gravel bike (a mighty Veloforma V-bike) and spec a frame (carbon surely) and add my own stuff? More expensive I fancy to take the latter course.

      Also has to be disc and Shimano for the sake of reliability, endurance and spares.

    • @JohnB

      I usually don’t acknowledge other riders when I’m rocking my Asso Zegho Werksmannschaft eye protection system.

    • @Quasar

      Agree with the cats/dogs and Star Wars slaying all others.

      But you’re way off on the steel or Ti frames. I’ve raced all materials, never felt faster than on steel. Was faster on an Alu/carbon frame but it was godawfully painful and I attribute the speed to the team training and superb coaching during those years. Which is why I still have the old Condor (early 80’s). I will ride it until I die, then my son gets it. Just got a steel CX so I can shred the mud in style next year.

    • @HampCo

      Steve! Is that you? Lay off the hooka pipe, Mate!

      I am building an exact fucking 1985 La Vie Claire Hinault bike for Eroica with all original parts.

      It’s going to be FUCKING Awesome!

      Between that bike and my new Hampsten Ti, there will not be anything that I cannot ride!!!

    • @Major VVald

      My post ignored titanium completely, and on purpose. It costs about as much as a ski vacation on Pluto and titanium frames are rare enough that I’ve never actually seen one except on pictures on this site.

      But here is the thing: Feeling faster and being faster are two very different things. If you race and ride with a team on your steel bike and easily keep up with the guys on the latest and greatest it means exactly one thing: That you are strong enough to make up for the extra weight/flex/drag of your frame. That makes you cool of course, but with the right (and this is important) carbon frame you’d leave them in the dust, which is always more cool.

      It is entirely possible that you would have been faster on steel than the painful alu/carbon hybrid thing purely because it would not have beaten you up as much, but carbon has evolved considerably since then. Test ride any of the models companies showcase during the cobbled classics and it will feel like you’re riding in a sofa.

    • @Quasar

      There’s no bike finer than the one you’re riding.

      P.S. Titanium frames aren’t rare at all – if you haven’t seen many you must be living in a very small town.

      P.P.S. Frame material matters much less than build quality. A good steel frame will smoke a bad carbon frame all day long; less mass isn’t the only part of the equation.

    • @Major VVald

      I can ride my alloy CAAD10 with HED+ wheel set mounted with 28’s set at low p and that bike will ride plenty smooth.

      I had a skinny piped steel CX bike that definitely provided mucho style points. I really liked that bike. Style points provided especially when the skinny piped down tube failed on a rough hit and I went sailing over the bars in to mud and it was all captured in high def photo burst.

      see the down tube buckling here… that’s beginning of an oh sh** this is gonna hurt slo mo moment

    • Star Wars is awesome. It’s also complete crap. Discuss.

      can’t stand dogs but I’m highly allergic to them

      and this wasn’t a custom frame for me, but it probably was for someone and I want to show it off all ready for the Welsh Track Champs, team sprint and kilo!

    • @RobSandy

      Pic didn’t post…

    • @the Engine

      Look at a Sarto custom carbon?

    • @Randy C

      Great Odin’s Raven! I had something similar happen at Sea Otter one year – bottom of a long hill the Rockshox Judy (100mm of plush, remember those?) hit deep sand and fully compressed and I stopped right there. I blame myself for poor positioning – not far enough off the saddle. Did Ritchey replace the frame (always lusted after a swisscross)? Seems like you were using it as intended so they should have. I did go with a heavier frameset for that reason – I’ll let you know how it works out.

    • @Buck Rogers

      As I understand it, the scarcity of frame builders for this kind of project has less to do with the certification needed for 753 but more likely the large minimum orders that builders are obliged to place with Reynolds for the tubing as it is manufactured only to special order. 753, like 725 tubing, is heat treated and so the silver brazing technique required for lug joints is much the same for both because you have to avoid annealing the heat treated alloy when applying heat to the joint. Hence, technically a 725 certified builder should be able to build you a 753 frame if, and this is the kisser, if they are prepared to source the tubing for you. You may wish to consider 725 (a chrome-moly alloy) as a more practical alternative to 753 (manganese – moly) as the mechanical properties are very similar. As a consequence, 725 has pretty much superseded 753. A 725 tubed frame is a ride of serene beauty.

    • @Oli

      @Oli – always love that Benson. Class. Right on with build Quality. Ditto Bike Fit. In the end, what matters is where the rider is placed between the wheels. All materials can perform in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing. I ride 3 bikes regularly: Canyon UltCF SLX (carb), Custom Cyfac Prox(alum), Custom Bixxis (steel). When I look at my solo training data, you can’t tell which bike I was on. The Canyon is close to 2 pounds lighter, so feels quicker starting from a stop light…..but I can’t remember any stop lights or stop signs in races. I do race on the Canyon, but that’s simply because it has a crash replacement.

      PS: Don’t feed the trolls spouting gospel from the pages of Bicycling Magazine.

    • @sowtondevil

      I actually found a set of NOS NIB full frame building 753 Reynolds kit from the early 1980’s, which is perfect. Looks like it was made yesterday.

      The same stuff the LVC 1985 Hinault bikes were made out of.

      So the frame building kit is not the issue, just a builder who will weld and chrome it!

    • @Oli

      I live in Iceland, so small town is probably not far off (the entire population of the country is about 330.000)…

      I am talking about good carbon frames, not the cheapest possible, apologies if that was not clear. Of course you can get crap in any material. The comparison I meant to make is a high quality, correctly fitted carbon frame that suits your riding style and other needs vs. any steel.

      There is no disagreement here however:

      There’s no bike finer than the one you’re riding.

    • Can’t beat seeing this:-

      Turn into your dream bike at the hands of a skilled craftsman…

    • @fignons barber

      It seems that’s me. This is certainly not meant as trolling, in any case trolling does not seem to work on this site which is part of the reason I keep reading it. The numbers for weight, how much the frame flexes under power and how much aerodynamic drag it produces matter a lot for how fast a given rider on a given day with a given effort will travel on the bike. That is not really up for debate. It is also not much of a stretch to point out that steel really struggles on these factors against a good carbon frame (again, I’m not talking about all carbon frames here, I’m talking about high quality ones). I’m sure the best steel frames can get close on weight and stiffness, and I’m sure they’re great frames, but that still leaves out aero and at that point even top of the line carbon always seems to cost much less.

      Opinions do not form in a vacuum of course, I only started really riding when I discovered Strava (if it’s not on Strava it didn’t happen!) and my primary motivation in everything, not just cycling, is competition. That is just who I’ve always been, say what you will about Strava and big Garmin computers but these things actually keep me riding a lot more than I otherwise would. Add to that a very limited budget and extremely limited time to ride and then bikes that are neither maxed for racing (within my budget) nor useful for commuting in the snow or on ice become something to ignore (I know, that’s heresy on here!).

      In any case I kind of felt the article needed a response from someone who genuinely disagreed with the bike related point and not just dogs or Star Wars…

    • @Quasar

      Just one more thing to point out, and now I’m quoting myself (recursion for the win!), my point was not that steel bikes were crap (they’re not, obviously) but that they don’t interest me for the reasons that I mentioned. No more than that.

    • @Randy C

      Holy crap, that could have been very bad. Were you OK after the crash?

    • @Teocalli

      Seen a couple of Stache’s set up for long range riding, both owners rated them highly, I bought this years Emonda, Ultegra 11 speed, Vision Metron 40 carbon wheelset, sold the Ultegra and replaced with DA9100, very pleased with the result at a reasonable price.

    • @Quasar

      Ride an Merckx MX-Leader or keep your mind shut.

    • @Randy C

      You’re fortunate that those tubes are designed to bend on hard impact. And fortunate you experienced a bright moment of learning here { as pictured }.

    • @the Engine

      Transcontinental Race – bloody hell! (Quite envious really!). Well I have the bike for it now…

    • @universo that wasn’t my first lap thru the obstacle and plenty of racers were riding it. I’m not thinking same as you here. Something a little more solid might just plowed straight ahead and I’d have rode on out ?? But when the head tube angle instantly goes from 71 to 90+ as front wheel stops and rider keep going forward ?? No chance. Anywho… who knows?

      @Major VVald I didn’t deal directly with Ritchey and left that to my LBS (my team sponsor). They assigned rider error and offered small % crash replacement. I’m an engineer by training and specifically a metallurgist having had many years in steel failure analysis and claims and warranty before moving on to sales mngmt. We’d have to cross section the tube to see how far the butt extends in to tube and just where it folded. Ritchey apparently had no interest in checking it out/no interest in return according to my LBS. I did not replace and went with alloy CAADX to replace instead. I know what my gut tells me. The C fork sure was solid after all ! And levered all stress right in to down tube. And yes, go hvy duty steel w/cross bike. The Ritchey was very cool bike and gorgeous when built up but the whole skinny tube thing had me thinking… I had a 105 FD and was always fine tuning to prevent the chain rub when standing on pedals and under power. I’d put my daughter on one as she goes 100lbs. But I race at 168lbs and well…

      @Quasar I was fine and had my mtn bike (w/C rigid fork and CX tires) in pits, not far from me, and completed race. I endo’d in to squishy mud ! And entirety of event was caught frame by frame. Was classic.

    • And like I said, the Ritchey sure was a gorgeous bike… how can ya not love the classic lines of steel framed bikes? When I first built it up I rode and raced a pile of dirt roads on it (pictured here) before swapping the front rings to smaller CX for season.

    • @Frank

      When trawling through the e-dungeons, I noticed that you changed your wheels but also your bars (and the bartape…). What was there no to like before? What gear do you ride now?

      Rule #8 poses many challenges in the way it is written. Also the Dutch translation is rather poor; I thought that white bar tape with a black saddle is a no-go, but am glad to see that it is apparently OK to do so. Note: my orange track bike has a white saddle.

    • @Quasar

      Right! This is EXACTLY why I am building out of early 1980’s 753 Reynolds.

      Not b/c it is the best/fastest/strongest/whatever steel there is out there but because it is exactly what the 1985 LVC team rode. I want it for the Eroica/nostalgia.

      Hell, I am 45 years old with 5 young kids and a full time job. I have no time to get in any amount of training for a race.

      I ride as much as I can but when I ride, I ride for the open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at my wrist, and the wind in my hair. Not to crush my enemies, see them driven before me and to hear the lamentation of the women!

    • @Stuart Fairhurst

      Wow! THAT is awesome! Cradle to the grave … hell conception to the grave for you!

    • @Quasar

      The problem with this argument is that YOU are 100 times more aero drag than either frame. Nothing cracks me up more than an aero’d out bike with a nice “comfy” upright riding position. Except old guys on TT bars above the seat. Marketing parted these fools from their money.

      My #1 is a completely modern lugged Italian steel bike. I also have a Carbon bike issued to Griepel’s team a few seasons back. The steel bike’s headtube is about 30mm lower than my carbon bike of equivalent size and the carbon steed is aggressive by modern standards. I’ve set plenty of PRs on Strava segments on the steel bike on both climbs and on the flats. I can put out the power to flex either frame. I’ve ridden a bunch of bikes over the years and the modern hollow crank has made the biggest difference in terms of reducing BB flex. It’s far more noticeable than the difference in material around the bottom bracket in my experience.

      But why you owe it to yourself to ride high quality steel isn’t the speed, it is the feel. High end steel provides feedback from the road surface in a way that inspires confidence when deserved, without the vibration grating on your nerves.

      At its best, carbon can provide a great ride, no doubt. At its worst it can produce a numb ride or unbearable chatter. To me, the GTR team is one of the best carbon bikes I’ve ridden (I have a feeling a C60 would change my mind), but it is no match for the ride quality of the Master.

    • @Buck Rogers

      And that is nothing but awesome, there is of course more than one way to enjoy this sport/game/lifestyle/<insert own choice of description>.

    • @GoldenGorilla

      I said “properly fitted” carbon, and I meant that to include the same geometry or at the very least allowing the same riding position. Yes, the rider is a much bigger factor but if you are racing you will of course have sorted clothing and riding position properly already. That is why I stressed the difference being between steel and the right carbon frame for you.

      As for feel, which I’m well aware is one of the main reasons people ride steel frames, that does not interest me, beyond the ability to keep riding as long as I want to. Racing speed does.

    • @asyax

      Very nice Jaegher! What size Vittoria G+’s are they? 27mm on a Belgium?

    • I think what I’d talking about just now is the bike as the proper tool to do the job.

      Even with a modded off the peg bike I’m going to get a sweeter deal on a warrantied piece of kit than I will if I’m putting it together from scratch.

      This thing has to do 4,000kms in a onner without putting a foot wrong and I’ll take reliability and comfort over a “just so” piece of detailing any day of the week. It’s also the case that riding bikes in the dark on unpaved roads in forests in Romania isn’t going to be respectful of the latest electronic porn from Campagnolo.

      However, as with the Spitfire MkXIV and P-51D, there’s no reason why a functional mass produced device shouldn’t look the tits.

    • I haven’t had the money yet to drop on a custom frame, but I do have a set of custom wheels from Café Roubaix and I agree with @frank completely on how they feel tremendous- even magical. Besides being fantastic to ride, I can email the person who built them on advice for maintenance or simply to share pictures of where the wheels have traveled. And let’s be honest- having something that nobody else has in your town is cool as hell.

    • For a minute there I was WTF Romania then I remembered the Transcontinental.

      I agree simplicity and reliability is your better option, although TBF that is one of the advantages of steel over carbon.

      Have you read Tim Moore’s book about cycling on the route of the former Iron Curtain, on an old East German shopping bike. Not a race of course but it’s remarkable how things can keep going in all sorts of conditions.

    • @ChrisO

      I’m in communication with Tim whom I hold in awe.

    • @HampCo

      You are too modest to post some of your own work. I have lusted after a Strada Bianca for quite a while. I need to work harder so I can afford to order one.

      http://www.hampsten.com/bike/strada-bianca/

      Go look people, you won’t be dissapointed @Randy C

    • @GoldenGorilla

      I get what you’re saying, but the first thing that came to mind was my dad’s TT aero bars in a slightly upright position. The main reason has nothing to do with parting a fool from his money, but that he’s getting older (78) and he needs to give his wrists some relief. We did a century ride together yesterday. I had to wait for him a long time at the end), but it was still awesome to see him finish strong. I can only hope I’m still doing that at his age. VLVV

    • @Buck Rogers

      I assume that you’re headed to one of the Eroica events on the continent, even the original.

      If not, and you’re coming to Eroica California, drop me a line. I live nearby and would be happy to help with logistics.

    • @Lukas

      Dayuum those are some nice bikes

    • @Buck Rogers

      Such is best in life! May Crom be with you.

      100% agree with you, Buck. Unless you’re super-competitive, and/or actually involved in competition, marginal gains are meaningless. What does it matter what you ride as long as it achieves the desired effect? Namely euphoria.

      I intend to participate in my local track league this coming season on a vintage steel bike and I don’t care if I come last every week. At least I’ll have a great time doing it.

    • @DVMR

      Good luck in your racing – Elinor Barker won the Amsterdam 6 days on a steel bike only last month, but as you say it’s enjoying the ride that counts more than frame material.

    • @ChrisO

      Having just watched the Pedaled film of last years race I’d be inclined to agree about steel. I’d want something a Romanian farmer could weld well enough to carry on with.

    • @fignons barber

      25mm Vittoria G+ on std HED Belgiums (not Plus), with latex tubes – they sound fantastic!

      I have a pair of 28’s I will try and fit once this set wear out – I am hoping they will fit but will be tight.

      Whilst the frame wasn’t exactly “local”, the wheelset was – Melody Wheels in Fremantle – White Ind T11’s on HED Belgiums 32R/28F.

      I love the damping effect the steel has on the road surface, as opposed to my carbon bike, plus the thing corners scarily well – I’m very happy with it.

    • @Buck Rogers

      No, I have a Kirk. But when I go in again for a custom Hampsten is on my shortlist.

    • @Buck Rogers

      Buck there are more modern better alloys out there than 753.

    • @Oli

      That is the tits, mate

    • @DVMR

      Ha! Glad someone picked up on the quote!

      Yes, I used to race competitively in my teens and 20’s but now, with my five kiddos and VMH, to train enough to race a bunch of guys in the Master class instead of spending the time hiking with my family, just does not make sense.

      I still sneak in 3-4 hours on the average week, usually during lunch at work on my rollers in my office and the occasional long weekend ride, but rarely more.

      Once all my kids are off to college, then maybe I’ll think about racing again for results but not for now.

    • @nathaniel spencer mork

      You will NOT be disappointed! I’ll post pics of mine as soon as I get the wheelset next month!

    • @nathaniel spencer mork

      Right! I COMPLETELY get this as I have said two or three times already in this thread (but I really cannot blame you for not noticing as I post about 20 times a day, eh?)

      I want, and will have, a custom steel made out of 753 Reynolds because that is my fucking dream bike, an ACTUALLY built out of the real early 1980’s 753 Reynolds steel bike with all original bits from the early ’80’s for my Eroica La Vie Claire Hinault Eroica bike.

      I know that I can get “better” steel but I cannot get “better” steel for the job that I will be using it for; i.e. riding a 1985 LVC Hinault bike at Eroica for the pure blissful feeling of knowing what it felt like to ride a 1985 LVC bike.

      I have a lovely steel 2006 Lemond bike, I have a really awesome Merckx Scandium bike, I have a fucking amazing mind-blowing Hampsten/Eriksen Ti road bike (hell, I even have an original 1993 Team Motorola Merckx) but now I will have the dream bike of my youth.

      So thanks, but there really is NOT any better steel for the job that I want.

    • I’ll just leave this here.

      Not local, but handbuilt, steel, and Scapin is a relatively small company..

    • @Lukas

      That truck looks awful but does adhere to Rule #25

    • Re discussiona about dyno hubs acceptable in this context?

    • @Bart

      WOW! The stays and the fork and the polished silver/chromed lugs. Gorgeous. That fork! Beauty. Cheers

    • @chris

      Probably not 753 then.

    • @asyax

      Apparently the G+ 25mm measure up closer to 27mm. I run them too and really like them.

    • I really agree we buy far too much from global companies and by that loose contact to the the products we buy. They don`t have a story to tell. Currently I own a Specialized Diverge. My first and last carbon bike. I just bought a steel frame not from a local frame builder, we have none near by from which I could afford to buy a frame right now ( I have 3 kids and a dog ). But it is not off the peg, I am completing it, it will definitely be no mass product.

      Support your local bike shop, frame builder before it is gone.

      In my business many small shop were shut down because bigger companies made lower prices. Don´t let that happen in the bike business !!!!

    • @Teocalli

      Yes, I’ve been using the 25mm G+ with shamal C17 wheels (which aren’t even as wide as the Belgiums), and mine measure 27mm. My guess is that those on the Belgiums are probably 28mm. They offer a nice comfy ride, but for racing I think I prefer a mounted tire to be 26mm max. I may try the 23mm Vittorias.

    • @Teocalli

      Ha! Brilliant! Made my day right there!

    • @the Engine

      Please rephrase your question?

    • @Buck Rogers

      What’s more important: waiting another couple of years until you finally have your bike and get the paint chipped off from riding your first Eroica (and hurt/cringe) or take the short cut, which is just get a cheap steel bike that you can use for this year’s Eroica (or borrow one from @Teocalli).

      Someone who posts a lot on this website, wrote “I ride as much as I can but when I ride, I ride for the open steppe, fleet horse, falcons at my wrist, and the wind in my hair. Not to crush my enemies, see them driven before me and to hear the lamentation of the women!” Now that’s an example to follow…

    • @KogaLover

      Are discussions about dyno hubs acceptable in this context?

      (Sticky keyboard)

    • @KogaLover

      Coffe/Keyboard interface issue………….

    • Good lord, who in the hell told everyone to show off such goddamn nice bikes!! I don’t need this right now. My 8 month old is a money drain, nothin’ left in the Budgetatus. Then again, no time for bike riding, much less planning.

      Buck – I have dragged out my rollers for the first time since I left the Empire State. They’re so much less fun than riding outdoors, but damn, I’d rather ride in my bike room in the dark in the morning for however much time I get before the little man wakes up than not ride at all.

      I was about to ask, “Where is the NAHBS this year?” and then I read Frank’s very, very unsettling sentence. Salt Lake. Don’t forget to pack your flasks. I’ve been to two, one in VA, one in NC and met that Casati family at the second one.

      Oh, and Frank. Superb new bike! I’ve been riding my track bike on my rollers, more fun than geared bikes, at least for me.

    • @Teocalli

      Probably not.

      Speaking of custome frames, Angus was racing at the CX Nationals in Bradford on Saturday. Isla Rowntree was there racing in one of the Earlier races. She had a gorgeous custom singlespeed in unpainted 853. Wish I’d got some photos now.

    • @fignons barber

      I have the non-newest version of the Evo Corsas on my Ambrosio non-fattie rims. If a piece of gravel gets stuck to the tire it’ll rub against the fork. Clearance on my Casati Laser is soooo small. But the ride quality if awesome! The Vittorias are so much wider than 25 mm Veloflex tires. It’s pretty crazy.

    • Frank – just mentioning this. Wippermann makes a black chain with gold pins. Might look hot as on your mostly black drivetrain and with those deep black rims.

    • @Teocalli

      Wait, Conan the Barbarian posts on here?

    • Oh, and almost forgot – my riding buddy just had a Capricorn cx bike built by Bradley Wilson, a fella of Waterford roots. It’s AVVesome and he went with a lilac purple color. Damn, I LOVE purple, it’s a stunner.

    • @Buck Rogers

      A man has to have a plan ! And cheers to this one. Love it.

    • @KogaLover

      Right! But the one factor not taken into consideration here is not the Eroica bike (I could probably get it built up in time) but the VMH and kiddos! I’m already doing the RVV full cyclo–no way of getting off to more events this year, I’m afraid.

      But I’ll be there next year with my 1985 Hinault LVC bike and I will ride that fucker into the ground. She will not be a museum piece but a workhorse that is ridden and loved!

    • Then again, Christoph Aglert rides a pretty much standard Jaeger to race on…

    • @wiscot

      No, it’s worse…

    • @Cycle72

      Off topic, but I’m thinking of getting a Diverge for a #9 bike – do the carbon versions come with mudguard/fender eyelets?

    • @LeoTea

      Hi LeoTea,

      You can mount the plug and play fenders from Specialized or buy seperate eyelets for the fork otherwise you could Mount the rails of the front fender to the midblade eyelets of the fork. The chainstays have eyelets.

      I am really satisfied with my Diverge even though my bottom bracket makes some noise. Think I am going to bring it to my bike shop when I have finished my next bike.

      cheers Andy

    • @Cycle72

      The bike business is changing … for better or worse … whether we like it or not. There will be more and more direct-to-consumer bike sales. Not just Canyon, but Specialized, Trek, Giant, and Cannondale. Price and convenience will be more and more important to a lot more consumers. Many bike shops will have to figure out a new business model to stay in business.We may not always like the results, but consumer demand and market forces will determine what happens next in the bike biz.

      Custom frame building always has been and always will be a niche market. Yes, I ride a “mass produced” carbon fiber bike (Felt FC). But I also own a custom (or bespoke for my friends across the pond) Reynolds 653 bike (circa 1990). My “local” framebuilder has long since retired.

    • @Cycle72

      What kind of bottom bracket with what crankset? I didn’t have a noise problem using adaptors when I first built my Felt FC (Ultegra crankset with FSA BB30 bottom bracket). But I ended up replacing the FSA bottom bracket with a Wheels Manufacturing outboard bearing bottom bracket.

    • @chuckp

      Hi Chuckp

      I still have the Praxis Zayante cranks and the original Praxis BB30 my Specialized was equiped with. I still have warranty on it so my bike shop has to deal with that problem. Maybe the BBcups are loose.

    • @Stuart Fairhurst

      Cheers, thanks, but I’d be reluctant even to call it racing. I hopefully won’t be taking it too seriously. But if I manage to not lose a couple of races, I’ll be pleased!

      On the whole support your local frame builder subject; absolutely, wholeheartedly agree with the principle, and I could only wish for a made-to-measure machine that is practically hewn from my own DNA, but then there’s the small matter of parting with substantial sums of legal tender. Not all of us have that kind of coin to part with at any one time.

    • @asyax

      Note to self for this weekend, try to peel eyes away from this gorgeous bike long enough to guide its owner around the Adelaide Hills…

    • @Mikael Liddy

      Whhhhhaaaattt

    • @Stuart Fairhurst

      Super sharp. That seat stay to seatpost wrap is always stunning.

    • @DVMR

      I wouldn’t have been able to order a custom myself, it was a bittersweet experience because my mum died last year and although not a wealthy woman she left me enough to get a little ‘treat’. A custom steel bike seemed like the perfect thing (carbon just doesn’t fit the bill of a forever bike).

      The whole process of picking every detail was a welcome distraction at the time (only someone who reads this website will understand the length of time I spent agonising over QR skewers!)

      Best of all I got to put my Mum’s own Rule #5 on the top tube and I get a smile on my face every time I go out for a ride.

    • @Stuart F

      Nice touch, and a stunner of a bike! Also, my condolences. By the way, I wasn’t directing the second paragraph of my comment to you specifically, but to the article itself. I would most probably do the exact same thing in your situation, and bizarrely, Rourke would likely be top of my list too. Guy Martin put him on my radar, and I have been very impressed by what I’ve seen of his work. Is it 853?

    • @DVMR

      Thanks – power of the bike to help us through hard times is amazing!

      I can’t recommend the experience at Rourke’s highly enough – great group of lads and Brian is still running about chatting to the customers and offering advice – well worth a visit to ‘Kelly’s bar’ upstairs which is stacked with memorabilia.

      Glad you like it – 953 with enve 2 forks – all comes in at under 18lbs – could have gone lower by spending many more £$£$ but when you weigh 15st on a good day…..

    • @Stuart F

      That’s really a cool story behind the gorgeous bike. And gotta believe Mum would dig it too. Cheers

    • @Stuart F

      Very well done. So much more to a person (or a bike) than meets the eye on first blush.

      Thanks for sharing and sorry for your loss.

      It must be very nice to ride that gorgeous bike and know that a part of your mum is with you every time.

    • @Stuart F

      That’s the most heart felt frame on the planet! Can feel the joy and sorrow on every ride.

    • @Stuart F

      Wow, Stuart. I came into my Tommasini via some money left to me by my paternal grandfather. My parents told me to spend it on something cool, not something I needed. It’s a Guest Article in the archives here.

      Sorry for your loss. Great bike! And what a good way to remember your mum…spinning around on that lovely bike. Thanks for sharing.

    • Oh, and Stuart…I think your Mum laid down the groundwork for Rule V right there…

    • Thanks to everyone for the kind words – just goes to confirm – nice people ride bikes!

    • Hi Stuart,

      a really beautiful bike. Great way to remember your mum. Hope you have great rides on it

    • @asyax

      Crikey. That’s a beautiful bike, Scott! So you couldn’t resist, huh?

      @the Engine So why not a Jaegher? It worked for Kristof.

    • Interesting article…..

      Steel returns to professional cycling

    • @sthilzy

      That’s pretty cool. Love that kinda thing. I love steel. But seriously… Think maybe steel returning to TdF has as much chance as Ferrari getting back to making cars outa steel?

      Really is a good point on the recycling. Steel counts for sustainability that’s for sure.

      Cheers

    • @Bianchi Denti

      I’ll be passing the shop in early April. Heresy alert – I’m of the opinion that I need disc brakes…

    • @the Engine

      Need ? I can believe want that’s for sure. Jaegher is making such very cool bikes that’s for sure too. Cheers

    • @Shandawg

      In the spirit of Rule #3: I made the mistake once to put a meme up here; one that I even created myself, so it was unique and not just plucked from the interwebs. Was not well received.

      Signed, your cycling sensei

    • @Randy C

      There’s a mountain of painful practicality to look forward to in 2017.

      My road bikes have a tendency to eat rim brake pads and the TCR on conventional rims would see me have to change out blocks whereas disc pads should last the distance. Also from the point of view of practicality, in case of disaster, through axle disc braked wheels are available across a wide area because montianbikes.

      I’ll also go Group-San so that I can acquire spares in case of malfunction.

      I believe the Masturbation Principle may apply…

    • @the Engine

      No Rule against Shimano!

    • @RobSandy

      More Guidelines – I’m a Gruppo man for the road and Bro-Set for CX/Gravel so Group-San on the TCR steed will at least give me the full set.

    • @the Engine

      2017-enve-road-bike-fork-12mm-TA-jaegher01

      I’m sure the Jaegher boys can sort you out with a disc set-up (even a Bro-set – sacrilege)

    • Someone supported a local framebuilder a while ago… This might be something for @Frank: for sale on Dutch-ebay-like-site:

      Description: Bike will be sold as is, fresh barnfind, has only seen soap since found 67Cm Ex pro bike and an extremely rare size Reynolds 531 tubing (probably with a mix on other tubes to improve stifness) Clement tubes (completely fucked up)

    • Shout out to Saffron Cycleworks in Woolwich.

      Love my new build!

      http://www.saffronframeworks.com/build/gregs-mg-inspired-handmade-disc-road-bike/

    • I’ve posted up my custom Hollands before but here it is again. Reynolds 653 with Kinesis carbon fiber fork (the original fork was Reynolds 531). Built way back in the day (circa 1990) by John Hollands (now retired) in Reisterstown, MD. Re-painted by Grant Soma as my homage to the Prophet. Drivetrain (Dura Ace) set up as my homage to Andy Hampsten’s win on Alpe d’Huez (you can’t see it in the pic, but that’s a downtube shifter for the front derailleur).

      http://www.classicrendezvous.com/USA/Hollands-John/Hollands_frames.htm

      http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1992-11-15/news/1992320095_1_hollands-bicycle-frame-bike

    • @chuckp

      And therein lies the crux of this article yes?

      >>> “It’s the best period of my life for work, one of the worst periods for money.” <<<

      Support your Local Framebuilder

      I just need a local framebuilder.

    • @Randy C

      Exactly! My next bike (whenever that is) will either be custom or some “esoteric” Euro frame. Good article about custom framebuilders.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/04/americas-rebel-band-of-custom-bike-builders/360058/

    • @gladoe

      @gladoe – just looked at the detailed photos on the Saffron website – that is one tasty build, the polished XCR and that deep deep green is stunning.

    • Not custom, but if you’re somewhere in the neighborhood of Little Rock, AK, this is a local framebuilder: Allied Cycle Works.

      http://alliedcycleworks.com/

      http://redkiteprayer.com/2017/01/33593/

    • @gladoe

      F**king beautiful! Trying to picture it with eTap. :-)

  • Another year come and gone, another pile of New Year’s resolutions out the door, done and dusted. It’s a good thing I don’t recall what they were; I have a feeling this period of reflection might loom a bit […]

    • Rick replied 2 months ago

      Coppy New Year? Shouldn’t it by Coppi? I guess your spell check is not cycling friendly.

    • Oli replied 2 months ago

      Merry Christmas to you and yours, Frank. Also the very best of the Festive Season to the other Keepers, and lastly a very Cool Yule to all you mad Velominati that make this place tick.

    • To be able to share time and guide the young and exuberant can be as gratifying as any of our own accomplishments.Sometimes more.

      I fell way short of any of my cycling goals for the year. But it was the most gratifying year for me as I not only purchased my son his first “real” bike, I saw him race his first bike race. A challenging muddy cyclocross race. Then saw him do a few more that ended in a full-on affirmation of Rule #9.

      The gift I passed on to him was the same gift I receive every time I come to this site and engage in this community. The goals we’ve accomplish do not always need to be the ones we have set for ourselves.

      To Frank, the keepers and everyone – Merry Christmas.

    • Rick replied 2 months ago

      Joy to Le mond(e)

    • Cary replied 2 months ago

      merry christmas man! and thanks for the site.

    • VbyV replied 2 months ago

      I had my best cycling year ever, achieving a bucket list ride:

      https://www.strava.com/activities/613483932

      I know, I know, no Strava, blah blah blah…Rule 1,453,297…

    • Merry Christmas to all! My and the rest of the PEZ Crew’s holiday musings.

      http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/features/seasons-greetings-from-the-pez-crew-6/#.WF1LxrGZPdQ

    • Happy Holidays! I hope 2017 is an awesome year for everyone, its shaping up to be pretty exciting for me.

    • Merry Christmas all. Thanks for another great year motivating me to get out there on my bike and pedal til I hurt.

    • @chuckp

      Cheers to ya and just for a point of I know where you are coming from; the young lady of our house has taken to following my wheel up a hill before attacking and… well, not much I can do. BUT, she cannot beat me at golf ! Just don’t tell me yours is driving the ball further than you, you young man! And it was sometime this good year that I had my first Negroni thanks to you and your PEZ crew. All best, Randy C

    • Merry Christmas and wishing everyone a great 2017

    • @Randy C

      Randy – I can still hit the ball further than my daughter. She just hits it consistently straighter and in the fairway. Plus from her tees, more times than not she’s actually longer in the fairway. Such is my lot in life. :-) My approach game is probably still better, but that’s only because I can modulate my wedges. But her short game and putting really took a big step forward this last year. So I’m doomed, but happy to have a golf buddy for life. And once you’ve had one Negroni, you never go back. Welcome to the club! Cheers, Chuck

    • Jay replied 2 months ago

      I hope that everyone had a Happy Christmas or Hanukkah, and hoping that we all have happy and healthy New Years, both on and off of the bikes!

    • You know you’re a cyclist when the presents which give you the most joy are Fignon’s autobiography and a new coffee maker.

    • Well Rollers work up a sweat in the way a Turbo does not in like for like pedalling. Must be getting better as the motion detector (or lack of) in the conservatory turned the lights off………..

    • @RobSandy

      Indeed. I picked up the 7-11 book, one called Wheelmen (about COTHO’s scam) and one on the hstory of the Tour (clearly written before COTHO’s fall from grace) and a charity store in Madison for $6 for all three. Merry Christmas to me! Coffee makers I have: stovetop espresson, french press and big ass coffeemaker.

      What gifts, pray tell, gave you the least joy?

    • @Teocalli

      I’m getting better each time I ride them, but can only do 20 minutes before I need to get off and give my ass a break. Next up, riding out of the saddle. I hear a big gear is the secret to this. Any input from fellow roller users?

      BTW, posting that Slade vid shows both your age and nationality! I say that because I remember it all too well too. Thursday night, BBC!, 7pm. ToTP. The original “must-see-TV.”

    • So what did y’all get for Christmas? Some of what I got:

      ProViz 360+ cycling vest (absolutely brilliant … almost literally … piece of kit for night riding)

      Yellow Jersey Racer

      Shoulder to Shoulder: Racing in the Age of Anquetil

      Road to Valor: A True Story of WWII Italy, the Nazis, and a Cyclist Who Inspired a Nation

    • @chuckp

      Santa was good to you! I have Shoulder to Shoulder and Road to Valor. Both excellent. Hero is a much overused word, but it applies to Bartali 100%.

      Yellow Jersey Racer is on my list.

    • @chuckp

      Since you asked… had to play my own Santa, the wife has no clue what kind of bike kit I need (want).

      Something I never thought I’d go for – carbon wheels. Campagnolo Bora tubulars. I have a set of Record/Ambrosio box section tubs I occasionally ride and tubs on my CX bike, but for some reason I agonized over the clincher/tub decision this time. Last night all I dreamed about was getting flats and not being able to fix them.

      Book – Lantern Rouge: The Last Man in the Tour de France.

    • @wiscot

      I just started reading Road to Valor. Had to finish The Boys in the Boat first. Great book about the 1936 crew team from University of Washington who won the gold medal at the Berlin Olympics. Many similarities between crew and cycling in terms of how both work as a team. Had to read the book after seeing PBS documentary (will have to get the DVD). And speaking of documentary, I understand there’s one for Road to Valor. My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes. I’ll have to get that too.

      https://www.amazon.com/My-Italian-Secret-Forgotten-Heroes/

    • Rollers

      The Racer – David Millar

      Cycling Climbs of South East England

      Cycling’s Strangest Tales

      Some interesting anecdotes to be found in the last book.

    • @MangoDave

      I need to get and read Lanterne Rouge. It’s the name of a club/team that I helped a friend start (it’s now, sadly, defunct) after I quit the club/team I built, Unione Sportiva Coppi’s which became Squadra Coppi. I still have kit for all the different clubs/teams I rode for, including Lanterne Rouge (and I can still fit into all of it!)

    • @chuckp

      Boys in the Boat is fantastic! The PBS documentary is good, but the book offers so much more depth about the characters (and character of the characters) and their highly improbable story and success. I hear a movie is being made. Hard to believe such an incredible tale was ignored for so long. The whole thing has a “yeah, sure that’s what happened” quality to it. I mean, you have the Depression, kids from the wrong side of the tracks going against Ivy League boys, Olympics, Hitler, the Nazis, cheating by the officials, a photogenic sport. t’s incredible!

      I have the book of Riefenstahl’s Olympia and there are a couple of shots of “The Boys” in there.

      Sometimes truth is better than fiction!

    • DVMR replied 2 months ago

      @MangoDave

      picked up lanterne rouge myself a while ago. Very much looking forward to reading it as soon as I finish my current book which is proving to be a bit of a slog.

      Last year our Sam Bennett finished tdf as lanterne rouge in heroic fashion after a nasty crash in stage one. Chapeau Sam, here’s to better luck in 2017.

    • @wiscot

      I loved reading the book. Definitely had a “can’t put it down” quality. I saw The Boys of ’36 on PBS back to back with The Nazi Games-Berlin 1936. It’s amazing that the pomp and spectacle of the modern Olympic Games has its roots in Hitler and Nazi Germany. And the corruption too.

    • Sorry for a “downer” post on a holiday thread, but a reminder that life is fragile and that our sport/passion is not without danger.

      http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/canadian-neo-pro-ellen-watters-dies-from-crash-injuries/

      Especially during the winter months where days are shorter and visibility may not be as good, be safe and smart out there. Even if it means violating the rules and resorting to the YJA or YVA if that helps you to be seen and reduces your risk.

    • SamV replied 2 months ago

      @wiscot

      RE: Riding out of the saddle on rollers. Big gear is the way to go. I’ve found a slow cadence is easiest, but with practice have moved upwards and can maintain 75ish relatively safely. Also, don’t put too much weight on your arms/front wheel. I’ve had the back start to float up on me. The benefit of this is that it also builds the supporting muscles in your glutes and core. In a 65-minute threshold session, I do 90-120 seconds standing every 10-12 minutes. This helps with the inevitable numbness in places that shouldn’t be numb…

    • @SamV

      You need to learn to ride rollers in your smallest gear spinning at 120rpm … no hands. :-)

    • @chuckp

      Well, tonight’s a roller night so we’ll see how we go with both strategies!

    • @chuckp

      Oh you got that right. Juan Antonio Samaranch was a pal of the Fascist dictator Franco too. He certainly turned the IOC and Olympics into the corrupt cash cow it is today.

    • SamV replied 2 months ago

      @wiscot

      I will occasionally do 10-20 seconds at 90-100 with no hands. 120 is begging for a trip to the ER, though…

    • @wiscot

      Two words … Avery Brundage.

    • @wiscot

      a freestanding fan. Essential, but boring, and a reminder of the hard work and pain on the turbo to be ready for race season.

    • @chuckp

      yeah. there is a good book about the 20th century history of US Cycling by Peter Nye called Hearts of Lions. it covers Major Taylor through Art Longsjo right up to the Borysewicz/ 7Eleven/ Lemond era. Brundage is covered throughly, although they call him Slavery Brundage. lol i can’t recommend this book highly enough for those individuals too young to remember when the USA was a laughing stock of world cycling, and how inspirational it was to see our riders start to claw back some respectability in the ’80s. Nye’s tales of the VERY lean mid 20th century years, and how it was held together reveals that Lions on bikes aren’t exclusively a Belgian deal.

    • Happy New Year to each and every one and Best Wishes for 2017.

    • @Cary

      Very familiar with Hearts of Lions (I have it) as I actually know Peter. And yes, great book.

    • @chuckp

      wow. i have loved that book for 20 years.

    • @Cary

      I haven’t been in touch with Peter for about that long. I don’t know where he is these days, but he used to be in my general vicinity (metro DC area). Really great guy.

    • @chuckp

      he surely wrote an amazing book. US cycling history remains underappreciated, i feel.

    • My plan is simple this year. Why not aim for my biggest year in cycling – on and off the bike.

    • Haven’t been here for a while, but with some new info that came my way thought it was time to contribute.

      At our son’s wedding in Nov a cousin said ‘You knew Grandpa was a bike racer, right?” Had never heard that before — new info for me which was very intriguing. Fast forward to last week when I was helping my mother sort through boxes after a move. Found a piece of yellowed paper with a telephone number from the mid-60s scrawled on it. When I unfolded it, to my amazement , my hands held a page of letterhead for the West Side Cycling Club in Milwaukee dated in handwriting December 2, 1898.

      Two people listed as officers on the letterhead had my surname, and there in pencil, written in that elegant cursive hand of the times, was a list titled “Current List of Members.” Fourteen names on the list, with 3 lined through And there, not crossed out, was my grandfather’s name! He was 21 at the time; the others with my surname were one of his older brothers and his cousin.

      More penciled stuff on the page, this time numbers and a multiplication result written at an angle as though added as a afterthought to the list. It was a calculation of individual and the group’s total fee. Looks like they individually paid $6.61 — That was a chunk of money back then.

      Doing my best google-fu, I found the Milwaukee Co. Historical Society web site shows the location of a box/folder with info from or about the club housed in their collection. I’m eager to get there to see if there may be any photos, race results, etc. At least I have this document; I need to check into getting it archivally framed so I can display it.

      Time for more research about that time period and cycling. I do know Milwaukee was known as one of the hotbeds for the sport (and that from the cycling activity grew Milwaukee’s own Harley-Davidson, so who knows what else I’ll learn. But I do know for sure that Grandpa was a bike racer!

    • @teleguy57

      That’s a great motivation to start the new year!

    • Happy New Year all, hope it’s a great one.

    • The PEZ Crew’s picks for best moment of 2106.

      http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/features/the-pez-pick-of-2016/#.WGvHKLGZPdQ

      @Randy C – You are now immortalized forever in PEZ annals. :-)

      Cheers!

    • @frankAnd yes, it’s time for me to make a fresh batch of Cyclist Gingerbread cookies.”

      You’ve had these at least since Dec 2010, so I do assume they only exist electronically now anymore.

    • @teleguy57

      Hey there. I know the folks at the MCHS. Good people. There was also a book that came out recently (I have it at home) on cycling in WI. Lots of great stuff about the early days when your grandfather was riding/racing. Here’s a link: http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/whspress/books/book.asp?book_id=418

    • @wiscot

      Excellent; I was hoping you might chime in. Let me know if there’s anyone in particular at the MCHS with whom I should speak.

      Just looking at the book is on the shelves at the local library so I’ve reserved it and will pick it up tomorrow for some evening reading. Thanks for the reference! Stay warm…

    • Happy New Year to one and all.

      Hey, have I missed the Anti-V Moment of the Year award? I can’t think of a standout favourite in any case…..

    • @davidlhill

      Nah, you haven’t missed it. Haven’t had one for a few years now. The obvious nominee IMHO is Running Man Froome.

    • @teleguy57

      Ben Barbera would be a good place to start. Juliet Hills is very helpful too.

    • @wiscot

      It’s all gone a bit quiet over here recently so you haven’t missed much David… Happy New Year to you too.

      I don’t know about Froome as a nominee – I thought that was pretty gutsy actually. FFS the guy is perpetually criticised as a robot, then he does something that shows intense determination to overcome a shitty problem not of his own making and that’s also a bad thing?

      My nomination would be John Degenkolb at the World Championships, spraying his water bottle over a Belgian rider who was refusing to help chase down the break which included his team-mate. Petulant piece of stupidity.

      Having said that the UCI and Qatar could get a meta-nomination for putting the World Championships in Doha in the first place, and then Qatar quietly cancelling the Tour of Qatar and pulling out of all cycling, even lower-level events.

      There’s also that tosser smashing his bike at the Red Hook criterium – Jeremy whats-his-face.

    • @ChrisO

      I did think about the Degenkolb bottle incident. Certainly a strong contender. Regarding Qatar, I’d agree but give the award jointly to the UCI and Qatar. $$$$ before all else.

    • It’s funny how it goes all quiet in holiday periods and picks up when everyone is back at work……..

    • Froome anti V? No way – his mad downhill descent, his two man breakaway, and the run? Plenty of V shown.

      Actually, for me its the UCI. Good call ChrisO. Qatar and the change to the omnium seals it for me. A far better writer than I wrote that once sport follows the money to the detriment, or compromise, of the actual sport then it’s fundamentally doomed in the long run.

    • Folks, on a serious note and I’m not sure if qualifies under the spirit of anti-v (?) if is meant to be a little more light hearted or assigned to a person but the issues this past year with race mottos and safety are just not cool at all. Incidents with Antoine Demoite’ and Stig Broeckx are terrible reminders. Is this a more frequent modern times occurrence or just a perception I have?

      Froome? I loved his tour this past year and the running man. Degenkolb? I can’t even assign the cool Degencobbles nickname after the WC. Petulant is good descriptor. Doha local for world champs and UCI ? Agree. But I would probably think same if was in China too.

      How about the inflatable coming down on Yates? That really sucked.

    • i don’t know where else to share this, it doesn’t fit in any particular topic i’ve come across, but this is the menu from a cafe near my house in the French Quarter.. how cool is this?

    • @ChrisO

      Agree with the Red Hook guy but I do not want to bring any more publicity to that tosser. I think he is also a model or something. Dude just needs to disappear forever.

    • @davidlhill

      yeah. Froome don’t lack for nuts.

    • @Cary

      Pharmstrong’s ingredients all seem to be too healthy and organic. Surely the missing ingredients to the right of the picture will include things that increase production of natural EPO levels.

    • @KogaLover

      Home made Pickles about sums it up?

    • do y’all think Froome is dirty? maybe i’m naive, but i think it’s possible he’s clean. it’s all about power to weight for a GC rider, no? look at the guy.. Froome looks like he was raised in Darfur, not South Africa.

    • @Cary

      I’m pretty sure as he’s clean, and also that he’s a physiological freak who trains super hard, and super smart.

      Anti-V moment – was the thing with the motor in the CX bike this year?

    • @Cary

      I wouldn’t bet my house on any of them being clean, but I believe in Froome as much anyone. That said I believed in Wiggins too, and whilst I don’t believe he used EPO etc, as far as I’m concerned the medication taken prior to the 2012 Tour WAS cheating, even if it was “legal”.

    • @RobSandy

      Of course – we have a winner.

    • @Steve Trice

      Re Wiggins. Yes – I think another rider put it like this (paraphrasing). “He was 5% down, got the TUEs signed off, ended up 5% up”. So Legal, but……

      Still, he’s a legend as far as I’m concerned, and so happy to have been in Ghent to see him and Cav win the 6 day. What a night that was!

    • @davidlhill

      I think that was a low for cycling in general.

      What about V Moment of the year? I’m going to ignore Froome and offer 3 for initial consideration:

      1. Sagan riding away from everyone to win the Ronde

      2. Steve Cummings TDF Stage Win

      3. Sagan retaining the rainbow bands

    • @RobSandy

      Matty Haymen winning P-R and Boonen being such a class act at the awards ceremony?

      (all of your suggestions are great as well)

    • @davidlhill

      Yeah, me too tbh, just with a slight tarnish.

    • @Buck Rogers

      Yeah, I loved that – the vid of how amazed and elated Haymen was afterwards was beautiful.

      I also liked Stannard’s solo stage win in the Tour of Britain. He’s my hero, nice to see him take the glory for once.

    • @Cary

      @KogaLover

      Right! The Lance should just be a steaming pile of shit between two perfect pieces of bread just like he was so “clean” on the outside but just a pile of shit through and through.

      And shouldn’t Le Blaireau’s sandwich be a huge piece of raw meat that you just grab and ravage, kind of like he did to everyone that he raced against whenever he felt the fuck like it?

    • @RobSandy

      Right! Just loved that video with his disbelief at the end and his saying, “This doesn’t happen?” and his Mate saying, “It does today to you!”

      Literally choked me up watching that.

      And then seeing Boonen looking up at Haymen on the podium from the lower step and being such a good sport even though you just have to know that it KILLED him not winning his fifth, esp in that final group.

    • @Buck Rogers

      Yeah, you’re right.

      I’d vote for that one. Hayman FTW.

    • @Steve Trice

      I thought this was a good article on Froome’s physiology.

    • @Rick

      that’s pretty interesting. of all Froome’s wild performances of the last few years, the one that really made me take notice was his breakaway with Sagan and Geraint Thomas last year. flatland power is not the same as mountain power. i was very impressed that he went off the front with those animals.

    • @Cary

      That was impressive but as I recall that break Thomas buried himself as did Sagan’s team mate who was also in the group. When it came time to sprint, Sagan easily distanced Froomey even though the latter got the jump on him.

    • @Rick

      It would have been pretty well drilled had it been a TTT

    • I’ll go with the Hayman if Tommeke gets an honorable mention. Boonen and Vos are two of my favorites because a) I believe they’re clean, b) they ride with panache, and c) when they lose they are 100% class acts in giving the victor the respect they deserve. No pouting on the podium.

    • @Teocalli

      yes! this is the one. Froome did some clever racing at the Tour last year.

    • @Buck Rogers

      @Teocalli

      All good votes, but I’d forgotten about this little escapade from two of our favourite riders…

      http://www.velominati.com/awesome-french-guys/tough-boys/

    • @Teocalli

      One of my highlights of last year, so beautifully unexpected.

  • What we do in life echoes in eternity. – Maximus, Gladiator

    We all make mistakes. We can only hope that they are not repeated by our disciples. It is only for the sake of this lesson that I expose you visually […]

    • I could have easily entered into the holidays without seeing this.

    • Cary replied 2 months ago

      sure it does. the struggle will get worse in the age of social media, too, now that everything is documented. our capacity to surpass our obvious mistakes, limited to begin with, is now hopelessly outmatched by the net’s ability to remember our missteps.

    • Gore-tex gloves are just updated Marigolds.

    • Is that a Belgian cap/ neck warmer combi or a peaked balaclava? Either way I’m surprised that Rapha have never tried to market it, although it would have to be as a “passe-montagne”.

    • The worst, worst thing about the picture of the Prophet is that he looks so cheerful about it all.

    • Try Googling “Colombian Women’s Cycling Team” for the breathtakingly hideous and embarrassing. What has been seen, cannot be unseen …

    • Mmm, looks like Merckx is cleaning a tank on the inside, or washing the dishes with rubber gloves to protect his hands. And Big Mig is testing his Spiderman outfit for Belgian carnival or Halloween.

      Since there are no pics on the web displaying my winter garments, in the interest of transparency: this morning I wore a neck warmer and skull cap. I also have a balaclava which I normally wear for skiing but when it’s colder, I can use it also for cycling. Issue -for which I have no solution (except pricy Assos skull cap)- is Rule #37 violations for either option.

    • @Cary

      and publish and distribute !

    • SamV replied 2 months ago

      @RobSandy

      One of the key components to style is confidence. It really says a lot that Merckx looks only slightly more casually deliberate than

    • SamV replied 2 months ago

      @Randy C

      Or in Frank’s case, not allow your community to edit their own posts.

    • @SamV

      Your picture reminded me of this picture of one of the Keepers (who appears to be recovering from a hideous accident, get well soon!).

    • @SamV

      My daughter and I were just talking last night about having to watch that classic! I guess if you’re not getting a bike under the tree then a BB gun could be next best thing. Merry Christmas and Cheers

    • @Randy C

      Your username is appropriate for this post.

      Merry Christmas!

    • Last night’s holiday lights nighttime bike ride. Merry Christmas to all my fellow Velominati!

    • @Teocalli

      Now I know where Tyler Durden inspiration.

    • Rick replied 2 months ago

      @KogaLover

      My Rudy’s stay perfectly secured to my head and Rule #37 compliant when I don my balaclava in cold weather. This works despite my ears being kept warm and toasty on the inside of the winter garment.

    • Just because its out on the internet doesn’t make it true. So maybe that awful photo of the prophet as some kind of hideous photoshop mash-up?

      Indurain has no excuse, however.

    • Base layers, arm and leg warmers, winter jersey, gilet, shoe covers, balaclava under the helmet, arms of cycle specific eyeware over the helmut straps, gloves…we’re good down to about 3 degrees C. Below that, the jackets come out and some rule violations, such as thermal tights, might be employed.

    • @Rick

      Which is why I will find a pair of Oakley Jawbreakers under our Christmastree!

    • @chuckp

      Where you’ve been so long? You kept a low profile recently but welcome back! However, why did you re-emerge with a YJA-vengeance? There’s no rule to forbid the Santa-hat…

    • I wonder if there’s a corresponding photo of the Prophet during the race or ride which followed that picture?

      Because I bet he looked awesome. He always did.

    • @RobSandy

      @RobSandy

      Picture featured in Miroir Sprint (french cycling mag) on March 17, 1970

      Miroir Sprint

    • Rick replied 2 months ago

      @KogaLover

      Sweet! Either someone has been exceptionally nice this year or had considerable input in their own Xmas list (perhaps even bought for themselves?).

    • @Rick

      The latter I am afraid. Would not want to leave the choice of Christmas present to Santa Claus, except socks (what can go wrong there you would think, although I got so-called no-show-socks and a camel hump2 years ago; never wore them).

    • @KogaLover

      Thanks for that link! Lots of incredible pix on there! Could lose a few hours browsing easily.

      Happy and safe holidays to all Velominati wherever you are and whatever you ride. Here’s to more miles (kilometers) and fun in 2017.

    • Rick replied 2 months ago

      @KogaLover

      At least you will be getting something you want in your stocking. Just act surprised when you open them haha.

      Happy Holidays!

    • @KogaLover

      I know I’ve been absent. Combination of having a lot of stuff going on and the fact that my access to certain websites at my current work location can be finnicky. It’s that time of year when YJA rules. :-) I’m a skinny little runt of tropical heritage so get cold easily. Live and ride in an urban environment. And this was actually a night ride to view holiday lights in Arlington, VA. So in the interest of safety and survival, f**k the rules! :-) I will also be rocking’ the YJV on a lot of rides between now and spring thaw. Besides, class isn’t what you wear but how you wear it. If you’re simply fabulous, you just are. :-)

      http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/technspec/gore-windstopper-review/#.WF6SBbGZPdQ

    • @RobSandy

      That is what I was thinking as well!

    • @Ron

      I was thinking the same thing, until I came upon the following thought;

      He was probably just enjoying a little chuckle to himself, contemplating the souls he would shortly be crushing / legs he would be pulling off / fools he would be destroying whilst looking like a dork.

      In my book (and if I am right in the book of the Prophet too, this negates any un-coolness he might be exuding whilst dressed in such attire.

    • @Frank – where the blazes are my Olympic rings? I won, didn’t I?

  • frank commented on the post, Inanimate Objects 2 months, 1 week ago · 

    @Oli

    Not true! Not true!

    I was on the verge, though. It was the situation where I was on a good day and it was harshing on my visit with La Volupte!

  • frank wrote a new post, Inanimate Objects 2 months, 1 week ago · 

    I have a love-hate relationship with inanimate objects. I appreciate them for their utility, but I genuinely have no patience for their insubordination. Take, for example, bungee cords. By far the most mischievous […]

    • If I ever catch anyone throwing their bike anywhere, I’ll throw them into the bushes.

    • Well, get ready to chuck Frank. I bear witness to him throwing his baby into prickly bushes on CA 155.

    • What’s the saying? Like hitting an invisible car? Maybe you should consider something direct drive. Like a unicycle.

    • @ccunix

      There’s a wonderful one of Wiggins hurling his bike away, only for the bike to bounce and skip, and settle to a perfect lean against a wall. Talk about Casually Deliberate. The bike that is, not Wiggo.

    • guilty of all of the above, except buying the flowers. I did have to buy them for the VMH though as a result of step 4.

      Something i did do (being young and naive at the time) is utterly destroy a nice set of wheels by taking them out of my bike and throwin/smashing them on the tarmac that were not coöperating.

      Being older and much calmer (would’t say wiser) now i seem to be mostly stuck on steps 1&2. Step 2 seems to be quite entertaining for other road users.

    • @Spankles

      No. Seriously?

      @ccunix

      @Mark Elliott

      I can grudgingly admire the style of those throws (and Bjarne Riis’ one in ’97) but it still totally grinds my gears to see bicycles treated like trash.

    • Of course, Messers Wiggins, Riis and Millar can chuck their bikes because there’s another brand new, pristine machine waiting for them. We mere mortals are not so fortunate.

      Check out the size of the chain on Coppi’s bike. That thing is a beast! Nice cut out on the BB shell though . . .

    • @Oli

      Same goes for guitars ! Chuckin em and smashin em and all… wtf ?

      Golf clubs… now that’s different.

      Cheers !

    • @Oli

      I’m with you, Oli.

      Always makes me think of one of my favorite songs when I see these entitled, temper-tantrumed idiots chucking their bikes.

    • @Randy C

      Ha! Great minds think alike (and post at the same time, too)!!!

    • I find that sweet talking my machine works much better than anything past step 2. It also helps if I do so in Italian:

      Sei una donna deliziosa, ti prego, aiutami a tornare a casa, dove posso darvi una melodia approfondita su.

    • Long day in the saddle with a good friend. With maybe 4 or 5km to go his shifter breaks with the bike on the 11 tooth. After a lot of anger and swearing he picks the bike up, and gives it the wheel bump of frustration, only to cause the chain to come off. It was almost as if the bike was fighting back.

      He also lost his pump that day and I believe sustained grease stains on his kit. I call this the “fuck you” principal. The gods have conspired to just fuck with you that day and nothing you do can change it.

    • I call this the “fuck you” principal. The gods have conspired to just fuck with you that day and nothing you do can change it.”

      Thanks DCR, I don’t feel so alone…

      One fine day on an what was turning out to be a great ride, my pump fell out of my jersey and got run over by a truck as I was approaching an intersection. Within seconds of this I flatted. I switched gears then dropped my chain (after spending what seemed like hours earlier that day adjusting my front derailleur that I just couldn’t get right). Of course, as I came to a stop I couldn’t get my cleat out and tipped over with a line of cars honking at me to clear the roadway. To top off these iniquities my new kit was torn during the first wearing.

      My bike almost made it successfully through the windshield of the obnoxious horn blower that couldn’t ask if I was ok. Almost. I remembered just in time how hard I worked to afford my bicycle before that imagined hurl. Not quite inanimate, but just the same.

      The saving grace of these ten minutes of getting mercilessly sodomized by the Gods was the local bike shop a block away. Took my shoes and socks off and walked my bike to get the flat repaired (pump was toast) and maybe a new set of shorts. Maybe the most important thing the owner of the bike shop offered soothing words. His knowing the taste of this particular shit sandwich had me laughing about the whole thing before the front wheel was off my bike. He said it was damn near impossible to keep from laughing out loud when I came in with flat tire, torn shorts, barefooted and screwfaced. He let me come back to pay him when I had more than the fiver in my kit.

    • “Take, for example, bungee cords. By far the most mischievous object in existence” Well I’ll nominate Race Dots to that list too. Their tendency to fuck with you is inversely proportional to the time between their placement and your race. I’ve gone back to pins (always an odd number, always a lot, always aligned and never likely to bunch up into a giant magnet fuck ball when you’re pulling on your jersey).

    • @Shemsuddin

      we should have different badges for Velominati who experience such bad luck.

      Velomalheuratus!

    • As well as threatening the recalcitrant machine with dismemberment, death, or recycling, you could also threaten to turn it into a fixie and give it to a hipster for general transport.

      A classic steel bike would find that particularly disturbing.

    • I found my mtn. bike in in the woods, besides a MUP. I’m guessing it was stolen and ditched. I’ll happily return it, if I could find the owner.

      I walk my dogs in the woods during the winter. The other morning I noticed that someone tossed a Ping putter beside the walking trail. And a t.v. satellite dish. Hmm.

    • @Oli

      Not true! Not true!

      I was on the verge, though. It was the situation where I was on a good day and it was harshing on my visit with La Volupte!

    • @frank

      Phew, I was about to despair!

    • Lol. I had an incident where I unknowingly lost the bolt on my lower jockey wheel just after cresting a climb and starting a steep 3km descent. As I attempted to stand to power up the next climb, I soundly bashed my soft bits on the top tube, veered into traffic, veered toward the curb, and barely avoided coming off. After a shameful 3km uphill walk intently looking at the ground and collecting bits of my rear mech, I found everything except for the offending bolt. After searching about for 30 min or so, a fellow cyclist out walking his dog offered the services of his parts bin only for me to find that he ran Campy exclusively and that Campy jockey wheel bolts are just shorter enough than shimano bolts that one will spend 15 min vainly trying to make it work before calling the broom wagon (velomissus).

    • @Fred

      Good lord, that sounds fucking horrible! Yowzers.

    • @Ccos

      OMG yes.

      Although I don’t think it’s strictly true to put them under the heading of inanimate objects.

      They are tiny metal minions of Satan animated into spiteful, malicious movement by hatred of mankind.

    • @Buck Rogers

      I love that song. John Hiatt is awesome. I still feel fortunate to have seen Pete Townsend smashing a (YIKES!) Gibson Les Paul Custom. Nonetheless, I bet even Petey regrets a few of those crazy moments. We all make poor decisions in the heat of frustration or while high on adrenaline at one time or another.

    • @Art G

      I was at the first live performance of Quadrophenia. Mr T was not a happy bunny with the backing track or something – or maybe just the overall volume. Anyway about half way through he rather lost it and broken gear was a plenty. He also booted Entwistle’s trumpet into the orchestra pit that was open to keep the audience away from the stage (they were not happy with that either).

    • @wiscot

      What is that chainring too – something like 56 or 58T.

    • @Teocalli

      I think it’s his track bike – no inner ring or front mech. It’s a beast for sure!

    • Bungee cords, that is

    • Fred replied 2 months ago

      @Ron

      Indeed; that is what I get for not pedaling on the downhill though!

    • My gripe with my bike at the moment is that I clean it, then 5 minutes into the next ride it’s stinking again.

      I’m riding with my race wheels on this afternoon, with my new 12-25 cassette (including the holy grail 16t). Oh yes, a horrific storm is forecast. I’ll be riding.

    • @Oli

      what about post-broken chainstay?

  • frank wrote a new post, Patience 2 months, 2 weeks ago · 

    It’s been about a month since I’ve last been on the bike; I can’t recall the last time I went for such a dry spell. The reasons don’t matter; life and work have been hectic, I moved, the bikes were just out of […]

    • You and me both. It will be rainy this evening and that is my reason for starting back this evening.

    • As I get older I fear that if I stop for long it will be too hard to start again.

    • @ChrisO

      Exactly. And as I am old enough, I’ve found myself canceling this evening rain ride to be with family at home for holiday LEGO nite. Although the makeup Thursday ride duration will dip into the 30’s before it is done – that will work.

    • I am experiencing the same since my winter bike being out for about a month due a troubling experience with a truing stand, and the very slow journey to the realization, that I just can’t true a wheel…

      Finally, I have been able to turn this into a mini Rule #12 experience…. “I never liked those wheels anyways, they aren’t worth bringing to the LBS to get fixed. This bike has way too much Shimano on it anyways, what I need is a new set of wheels and a nice Campag set to throw my Group-san off-kilter!”, hopefully will be able to get back in very slow and slightly heavy action soon..

    • These short days darken. Relocating darkens. Social and romantic discontent darkens. The impending death of a loyal companion darkens.
      Depression is a lot like The Man With The Hammer, for some of us. You can do a lot to stave it off. You can go months without being smashed. You can train yourself into form to avoid being smashed. You can do all of these things, but he and his Hammer will always lurk nearby; and so too does the darkness of depression. When the time comes, the darkness WILL fall, just like The Hammer.
      I had a bike a while back, but it wasn’t until I needed an outlet three years ago after a terrible breakup that I fell in love with riding. Seeking The Man With The Hammer became a way of life. Feeling the blow of that Hammer became therapeutic for me, as the pain of utter exhaustion was nearly the only thing that could drown the pain of depression for me. Riding was like cranking a dynamo, feeding the light bulb that was, and is my life. The more and harder I rode, the brighter things got. I met friends. I developed new goals; new dreams. I pedaled through the darkness that comes before the dawn and rode my way into the glorious (if occasionally rainy) day that has been the last 2 years.
      And then came the sunset. A sunset as beautiful as could ever be imagined. Painted on the background of a long-needed move, an escape, really, from living somewhere I did not like. The sunset, A masterpiece, highlighted with the vibrant rays of a beautiful but fleeting romance… a romance as brilliant and fleeting as the pinks, purples, azures and oranges that spill across the sky as the sun sinks towards the western horizon. And tinged with the dark knowledge that my best friend and most loyal partner is being consumed by cancer.
      The sun’s last rays fade, like that romance has and like Buddy’s life soon will, leaving the cold reality of life shrouded in darkness.
      It is night. A dog can never be replaced. A woman may never be forgotten. What was, may never again be. But I know the way towards the light is on the bike. I know that Rule #6 can work in reverse.
      So yes, ‘Patience’ will be the mantra for the coming months. I too, will experience a shadow of something resembling strength begin to take shape in my muscles and in my heart, and it will spur me on to ride more. And yes, eventually, the power will return and the memories of this darkness will take their place in the catacombs of my mind as a new day dawns.
    • Kia kaha, @KlamSoss

    • Too Fat To Climb. A fate worse than death. Which reminds me I need to stop cramming down the calories and get out in the rain. If I see a lanky Dutchman huffing and puffing so much the better.

    • I recently took time away from the bike as I moved from New Mexico to southern California for my job. It took two months out of what had been a great year of riding for me. From July to September I stared at boxes of cardboard, always putting off the inevitable reassembly after a long move. I do have to say that after two great days in the hills and mountains around northern Los Angeles in the middle of December those two months are not so sad a loss. I still cannot understand riding in December with nothing more than arm warmers and a forecast of 60 degree days and sunshine. I don’t think “winter base miles” exists here.

    • @KlamSoss

      Another guest contributor in the making!

    • @Frank must have spilled some espresso or ale on this picture from Pellos? You can still get them for 20 GBP, get your clean copy here: http://galibier.cc/product/revenge-mountain-fine-screen-print/

    • Patience, yes. Patience is key. Preparing for the early season races I know I must be patiently training in accordance with my plan. I’m not racing yet, so performance doesn’t matter, just the intensity of effort. High when needed, low when planned.

      However, the regular base miles to and from work and the efforts at the velodrome are starting to pay off; I can feel it. I can feel that my legs have the capacity to ramp up the power, and kick…and kick again. A couple more months of effort and, with patience, full form will come.

    • @Frank,

      Not to worry. Indurain never did a thing except eat and nap from his season ending race until December 1. On that day he would ride 50km, at a pedestrian pace. That would kick off his methodical build to Le Tour. That is patience. You have hope, Dusseldorf is still 7 months away.

    • Holy cannoli, I needed that! Just last weekend, after doing some cross riding and realizing I’m horribly out of shape, I found myself wondering if I’d lost my love of cycling. Will it come back? What is wrong with me? Will I ever enjoy 3 hour road rides again? What in the hell am I going to do with all these damn bikes and clothes and lights and helmets and shoes and tools?

      I sincerely mean it that it’s comforting to know other Followers & Founders are going through, or have gone through, these spells. Considering that cycling has given a lot of meaning, fun, focus, fitness, mindfulness, and happiness to my life in the last 14 years, which is when I began avidly riding, I absolutely cannot imagine my life without it. And, to be honest, I really felt an inner sense of fear when I started questioning if I’d lost the love.

      I haven’t had the time to ride lately, not with a 7 month old in our hands. My form is awful, so it makes riding that much less fun. It’s harder, when it used to be easy. Then I took five weeks off from twice-weekly soccer to let an injury heal. Losing both forms of movement crippled my fitness level.

      I’m at a new place in my life, both with a newborn and a career transition. Patience is a virtue I lack, but I think now is a time in my life to really work on finding this.

      Thank you Frank & others for the inspiring words. I don’t feel as alone, as fearful, or as desperate. I already feel the cloud of questioning lifting.

    • @ChrisO

      Just in the last few months I’ve started to feel old. Maybe it’s having our first child and that feeling/reality of more responsibility and living not just for yourself anymore. But, beyond the mental change, I’m definitely noticing changes in my body and athletic ability. I can no longer drink and eat without much consideration and then go tap out a century or run for 90 minutes.

      Oh well, it’s high time to take better care of myself and be a bit more mindful.

    • @KlamSoss

      Bravo. One of the finest pieces of writing I’ve come across lately.

      I have a friend with a different (but similar) struggle and your words echo around my head. Thank you.

    • @Ron

      Sonny, you plain ain’t old ! (Insert optional random punctuation keys here).

      The benefit I have of losing some of whatever Summer fitness I had is that I found at the weekend that my main riding buddy is in even worse shape.

    • When I was a young rider, my impatience and desire to keep adding strength led to digging a deep hole of over-training. Fast forward to now, I’ve finally learned to listen to my body and mind. Where before I would drive through the malaise, now I step off and relax a while. Certainly a long break does soften the legs and add to the belly if you are a beer drinker as I am. But that time away allows those little injuries to heal that nag but do not stop you from riding. It also clears the mind of taking for granted that special feeling of freedom as you ride. Patience, yes. Spring and Summer is coming, as it did last year, as it will next. You will ride, the legs will come around, the belly will shrink.

    • @KlamSoss

      I see you, “Klam”. Raising a non-ABI beverage in Buddy’s honor tonight, and sending happy beams from Houston,

    • @ChrisO

      For over thirty years, I have always feared that when spring came, I wouldn’t be waiting for that first warm day, to go for that first long ride, where even thou you dressed light, your still a little too warm, you can feel summer is just around the corner. Thankfully, it hasn’t happened yet.

    • @KlamSoss

      I see you, “Klam Soss.” Raising a non-ABI beverage to Buddy tonight, all the way down here in Houston.

    • Thanks Frank. A helpful reminder.

      The past three weeks have been impossibly busy for me. I took a couple days off to spend with my wife, and spent most of the time working on a school project.

      Yesterday, with the project nearly finished, the sun out, and a rare few hours of daylight at my disposal, I stared at my bike locked up on the porch and just couldn’t get myself on it.

      I can tell I’m already gaining weight. Shorter days means getting on the road happens less – cold, dark rides just aren’t as rejuvenating – which means beer takes on a greater role in stress relief.

      How to balance embracing the burnout with the desire to improve though? I’ve got goals for next year.

    • work has cut my 200 mile per week program back to about 100, if i’m lucky. did a cold 40 miles at tempo in the fog this morning, and it felt great. i was lucky to be riding with an accomplished local velominatus, so i stayed on pace the whole way. better than climbing the same bridge 30 times, which is what some of my rides lately have amounted to.

    • @KlamSoss

      Damn! Nice perspective.

    • I love that picture. It reminds me of The Triplets of Belleville.

    • @SamV

      By accident and the way the racing calendar works, for the past two seasons I’ve planned my first peak to before the first races and TT’s of the season. This has three effects:

      1. Base miles are done at the end of the summer and in the autumn when it is pleasant to long rides.

      2. Intensity ramps up/volume goes down through the winter meaning that when I’m out on the road I have a distinct goal.

      3. The turbo becomes more important in building form and I don’t begrudge the time on it when its dark and the weather is crap (which I would if it were the summer).

      After the early season races I plan to ease off for a bit, then build up again for another peak towards the end of the season.

    • @RobSandy

      Holy shit what’s wrong with my writing today?

    • @ChrisO

      Precisely what can happen. I can speak of that experience this year. BUT, that’s when interest in race directing and coaching increases! Cheers

    • @Teocalli

      Ha, I know! One upside of having a newborn is you’re too crazed, busy, and sleep-deprived to reflect on any existential matters.

    • Holy Shit, Batman! That lead photo seems so Nazi to me (maybe it is the local German influence???) but damn that is great. Is it a Rouleur image?

      As for “Running up the stairs, my body doesn’t feel as springy and I know that springiness will translate to lethargy on the bike”, I am the opposite. If I feel springy on the stairs, I know that I have not been riding hard enough lately as normally my legs are dead and a bit burny when climbing stairs but if I have not been riding, they feel fresh on the stairs.

      (and welcome back, Mate! You’ve been missed!)

    • So, I’m not alone in being crazy busy in December and neglecting my form? Woo hoo!

    • @BacklashJack

      Funnily enough I’ve just been thinking I need to build in a bit of neglect.

      My PMC has been going along nicely but I need a bit of a dip now and then or it isn’t sustainable.

    • @Ron

      I think the plea for patience applies to your situation equally as well, Ron. They don’t stay tiny very long in the scheme of things, and you’ll find your way back to ‘normal’ pretty quick. Of course it’ll be a different ‘normal’ than before, inevitably with less time for yourself.

      If it’s any encouragement I’ve got a 5 year old and I’ve been riding an average of 6-7 hours a week since he was coming up 4. I just fit the hours in unusual times (i.e. long rides on the weekend are out, extended early morning commutes are in). It can be done. And your kids are more important than cycling anyway. Emoticon.

    • @KlamSoss

      this is quite a piece of writing. my best to you in this difficult time. this resonates with me. i lost my little buddy yesterday morning to a brain tumor. he had a great life.

    • @RobSandy

      Thanks Rob! Interesting that it’s almost the inverse of what I’d expect, but it makes sense if I think about it, especially points 2 and 3. What I’m having a hard time with is just getting motivated to get on the turbo. Broadly, my goal is to do low-volume, high intensity sessions through January, easing off volume slightly in February, bringing it back up in March and starting to mingle in more road rides the closer we get to spring. I’m only planning on doing one race this year (end of July), but I’d like to do it well.

      You’re welcome to critique my “training plan,” but that’s not what I’m after. My woe is a tale of two competing desires and the reconciliation thereof: replenishing the depleted wells of discipline and self-control versus finding the fortitude to put in the work to become a faster rider.

      @Cary Damn. Sorry for your loss.

    • @Cary

      So sorry for your loss. I hope that you can find peace in the coming weeks. These partings are always so hard and esp so during the Holiday season.

    • @ChrisO

      I like to think that I neglect one form for another. Right now, “round” more approximates my condition.

    • @KlamSoss

      I so feel for your pain, having been there myself. And lord how your post resonates. Even to the place I did not like. All I can say is I’m out the other side, and no doubt at all the rides heloped me through it. I’m going out today, and like a Buddhist prayer wheel, every turn of the crank wI’ll be for you.

    • @Joe Bloggs

      It’s all relative. I’m getting used to constant 70° to 80° days. Low sixties feels chilly. And due to the drought here there is a very low chance of a Flemish tan happening. I will say I miss the hard days in the saddle fighting exhaustion, frost bite, and losing the bike on an icy turn.

    • Thanks @frank for posting this, and thanks to all of the commenters—this is exactly what I needed to read tonight. I’ve been off the bike for a while as well. Roughly three years to be exact. Excuses come easy—work, children, family, other made up things…

      I’ve made plenty of excuses to not be on the bike only to discover that those excuses are actually reasons to be on the bike. Riding makes me eat better, sleep better, laugh more, and it makes me a better worker. More importantly, it makes me a better father. I need to ride not only to expose my children to the sport, but to be a happy father for them. They deserve to live in a happy house and I can’t imagine a house being happy without bikes and the people who ride them.

      I’ve been back on my bike consistently since the end of October. I’m not good for much more than 40 miles right now, but it’s coming back. Patience.

    • @frank that makes two of us. 3 weeks off here for no other reason than work, big illness, and sheer fuckn laziness.

      Like you, I will now show patience on the comeback trail. Dont reckon the infamous Garmin will even get turned on.

      “No Garmin, No Rules” Well some rules maybe, we aren’t savages after all.

    • If riding is to be a lifetime thing, patience is what it’s all about.

    • Long time lurker here!

      After a year of excuses many on here will recognise (work, kids and a DIY “project”) I’ve barely ridden a quarter of last years mileage and nothing at all for the last 3 months.

      Today I was presented with an opportunity to cycle to the in-laws that had to be taken. What followed was 30 long horrible miles in to a headwind. It was brutal.

      But now, now I feel great. I know that was the hardest it will be and I’m back on the bike at last.

      Most importantly though for the first time in ages I’ve earned my malted recovery beverage!

    • i just concluded my own month long layoff this morning. holidays, a chest cold, and my family’s health insurance policies being discontinued, with the resultant scramble of research and daily phone calls, all kinda ganged up on me, and i basically spent a month in bed doing business on my laptop and ignoring the world at large. 40k today felt like 80k, and i struggled to average 30k/hr. but damn my bike felt good as it ate the asphalt.

    • I recently had surgery to repair a leaky brain blood vessel. (It is not as scary as it sounds). I was off the bike for over a month (doctor’s orders which also included no climbing at all). I must admit that the forced histus was somewhat enjoyable. Today was my third ride post surgery, the legs feel rubbery and my arse aches. Patience…patience…patience. Thanks for the reminder.

    • @EJ Acosta

      Keep well, best wishes.

  • Cary and Profile picture of frankfrank are now friends 3 months, 1 week ago · 

  • When it comes to training, no one loves riding outside and loathes riding inside more than I do. On the other hand, riding outside is dangerous, especially with something like the Tour de Trump running the show. S […]

    • @frank

      “On the plus side, nothing will give you a more Magnificent Stroke than this heinous combination will. Thirty minutes feels like a lifetime; forty-five like an eternity. I’ll let you know what fifty minutes feels like when I get there.”

      Forty five minutes? Not bad young one…my fixed gear limit to date is an hour and a half, but I have done 3 1/2+ hours on the road bike….I did an hour on the 53×16 this past Wednesday. :-)

    • man.. i worked as a messenger in downtown SF on my Guerciotti in a 52X16 one summer. didn’t do much for my stroke, but my quads and butt got so big i looked like a centaur or mantis or something. not in the Forstenmann/ Bauge category, but enough that i looked really weird next to normal people and i had to buy Dickie’s pants four sizes too big and have the waist taken in like a cholo. my favorite all around gear was a rather pedestrian 46×18. i had a 16t on the other side of the hub for when i got bored. never, not one single day in the 17 years i spent riding that, did i ever untilize a freewheel or brakes of any kind.

      one thing about riding a fix for a long period of time is that it will alter your pedal stroke in terms of power delivery. as a road cyclist, i spent a lot of time honing the Guimard method of kicking your foot over the top of the stroke and sort of dragging it back, as if you were scraping mud from the sole. after a few months on a fix, that was out the window. my cadence was WAY up, and i found that i was delivering most of my power about ten degrees shy of bottom dead center of the stroke. like a machine gun, as it were. better for rapid accelerations and drastic changes of pace, but nowhere near as good in terms of efficiency.

    • I too added rollers to my collection of “things you already have and don’t need to spend money on…” as the wife calls it. I did my best to explain the difference between rollers and a trainer.

      I started using them to smooth out my stroke, then to warm up pre-ride, then to warm pre-trainer. Now, as the dark months set in, I use them to remind me that I didn’t properly seat my tub on my front wheel when I swapped back to the winter treads.

    • Welcome to the Machine, Frahnk!

      I’ve been a Roller Convert since 2011 when my Kreitler 2.25 rollers arrived. I have a trainer as well but it is the rollers for me.

      I have never ridden fixed gears on the rollers so that’ll have to wait until I get a track bike but I have hit 3.5 hours on the rollers on my road bike.

      The key, for me, is to ride out of the saddle for five straight minutes every 15 minutes. Helps the blood flow to the bits and pieces and really gives you something to look forward to every quarter of an hour on the bike.

      I usually ride them at least twice a week year round. I keep them in my office and do it at lunch. Quiet and efficient use of an hour that I could never steal outside the office. My staff has “accepted” it as just another weird fucking thing that I do and they just come in and ask me questions all the time while I ride.

      Nothing like the ’93 RVV on youtube in French, my fan blowing in my face and the rollers humming beneath my wheels!

    • @Buck Rogers

      the ’93 edition is a particularly fine vintage.

    • 4 sessions this week x 45 mins. It’s better than a turbo. Cannot imagine it at work though!!!

    • I’ll be doing a 3 hour indoor session tomorrow. I actually look forward to them on Zwift.

      Turbo, not rollers, but constant pedaling for three hours is something you feel afterwards.

      I might put the fixie on it one day to see what it’s like.

    • @ChrisO

      I’ve started doing hour long turbo sessions every week. I find that causes me enough undercarriage problems. 3 hours sounds like hell.

    • @Cary

      The fan is essential for headwind training.

      Speed #1 = Flanders

      Speed #2 = Wellington

      Speed #3 = Netherlands

    • @Harminator

      the New Orleans lakefront is enough for me. 25-35kph this time of year. of course we have a lovely subtropical climate to mitigate this.

    • @edster99

      The rollers are so quiet and I have a shower right there. Works perfectly, esp as I have five youngish kiddos and a saintly, wonderful VMH at home that I cannot justify taking the time away from them when I am at home as I work pretty long hours as it is.

      Best solution to an imperfect world!

    • @RobSandy

      That’s why I stand for 5 straight minutes every 15 minutes. Otherwise I’d have to be sneaking into the Pharm for the costco-sized viagra bottles!

    • @ChrisO

      Could I use zwift if I had a powertap? Right now I do not have any powermeter and I do not think that I can use zwift with my rollers or even with the KKPro trainer that I have.

    • @Buck Rogers

      For sure you can use it with a Powertap, or any power meter. You would just need an ANT+ USB dongle ($15) to receive the data into your PC or Mac.

      But actually you can use it with a KK R&R, it’s on their list of supported trainers. So all you need is a speed monitor (and the ANT+) and Zwift calculates your virtual power from the known speed and resistance of the KK.

      It’s a calculation rather than a measurement but if you follow the instructions it is reasonably accurate, and if you’re not using the power for anything other than making your avatar move then it doesn’t really matter.

    • @ChrisO

      Oh man. I might have to do this.

      I just LOVE numbers/tracking data (but have held off on power as I am not racing and do not want to get too caught up in numbers) and the idea of Zwift is spookily drawing to me. I have always wanted to do it but did not have a power meter and could not really justify it.

      My KK trainer is an older Pro model from 2010 that works really well but is wired.

      I might surf ebay for an old powertap wheel to use on the rollers/trainer. I know buying wheels off of ebay is scary (I have never done it before b/c I feel that I could never really trust it on the road) but it would be safe on the rollers.

      Now to search some ebay for wireless power wheels. Do I need the headset computer zwift or just the power meter wheel?

    • @Ktc

      But it’ll be so big and so beautiful the Tour de Trump Ohhh…yea, how did that work out ? Worth a good chuckle to check it out.

      Cheers

    • @Buck Rogers

      It’s so good.

      I don’t have any time now for people who say indoor training is So Booooring…

      It’s not just about the numbers. Today I lead a 3 hour ride with 137 people on the start line. We had lots of chat in the ride online and through a voice channel and it meant a huge number of people could follow a structured endurance ride all together. We had Brits, Japanese, Americans, Slovenians, Germans, French, Norwegians, Danes, Swedes, Portguese…

      It’s certainly better if you have accurate power, and yes an old powertap wheel would be fine on a trainer. Or a basic crank PM like Stages or 4iii. If you’re not sure about the KK I can ask on the FB page – someone is sure to have tried it. What are the details?

      You don’t need a headset unit at all. If you have the ANT+ connection then Zwift does the same job, displaying power, recording HR etc and it produces a .fit file which you can upload to Strava or any other programme to record or analyse.

      I would just say you need a reasonable computer. Specs are on the website. The better the graphics card the more detail you’ll see on screen.

    • And BTW, since so much of our rationale is based on “We do it because the pros do it”…

      This week I’ve seen Matt Brammier, Edvald Boassen-Hagen and Andre Greipel on there. Laurens Ten Dam leads a regular morning ride through the off season, and Matt Hayman credits it with allowing him to do enough training to win Paris-Roubaix while he recovered from injury. Jody Cundy, the paralympic gold medallist, has often joined our rides.

      And if that wasn’t enough, Jens Voigt is one of their ‘ambassadors’.

    • @ChrisO

      Ho Lee COW!!! That looks amazing! I really have to check this out since I ride inside all the time anyways.

      I made a really low offer on a new, buy-it-now PowerTap Ant+ G3 Shimano Wheelset on ebay and they have just counter-offered. Too high on counter offer but I’ll go up a bit and try again.

      Really exciting stuff!

    • Surely it can’t beat a post gale ride in the wet with a slow puncture…………..

    • @Teocalli

      A fitting reply for the man with Ronde icon.

    • @Harminator

      Even after 28 years living in Wellington it’s still possible to misunderestimate the wind. Once the aftershocks had eased and the floodwaters receded last week I headed up the Rimutakas, finding it all relatively easy. Turning around at the summit was another story. On the way down I was brought to a complete stop and just managed to avoid getting blown over. Managed to get going again between gusts, with the first 2-3km downhill no faster than the last 2-3km uphill… Appreciated the extra weight of a steel bike that day.

    • In the last few months, I have finally learned to stop worrying and love the turbotrainer. Like the hour record (which I have no experience with other than watching a few recent ones on the internet and listening to the riders pontificate on the mental challenge) I found them bearable if they’re broken down into smaller intervals. The idea of a 45 minute steady-state workout on a trainer is awful. But, a few 5-10 minute FTP intervals or a series of 30 second sprints spaced between some easy spinning has actually given me some proven results.

      Let me repeat- the damn things actually work. I find my stroke is much more magnificent on the road and my sustained suffering increased.

      In summary, Rule #10.

    • Love my rollers. Whenever I have only an hour or so to train they are the go to. Super efficient. For some reason I can’t stand turbo trainers, they are just so boring (for me). Rollers make you balance, engage your core and pedal smoothly. There is just something about them that is engaging.

    • Owen replied 3 months ago

      @Ktc

      To be fair, I’ve never been run off the road by a Prius with a Bernie sticker on the back.

    • Rick replied 3 months ago

      @BacklashJack

      I find the turbo trainer incredibly boring. However, recently I have found some good training videos that keep my interest. The workouts are typically shorter but much more intense than I would maintain on my own. I use those from a popular cycling site so the instructors seem familiar. These workouts get me on the trainer more often for more intense sessions.

      I have not tried rollers and am terrified that I would break something should I do so.

    • Owen replied 3 months ago

      @Rick

      I ride rollers in a doorway so that when I inevitably roll to one side or the other I can stop from flying off entirely.

    • Rollers are great. I have two sets with different diameter drums. It’s been the off-season go to for me the past couple winters. Just picked up a Tacx Vortex Smart and finished the free trial on Zwift. Did a group ride on Watopia and Box Hill on the London circuit. I’m sold. The connecton to Strava is also great as, being a social animal, it keeps the motivation up for me. It looks like I’ll be in better shape come Spring.

    • @Rick

      Link please! I also find Turbo boring but am even more bored with the same videos…

    • @Rick

      You’d be fine. Just make sure the first time you use them you put them between the wall and the bed (that’s what I did). It really only takes a little bit before it is very easy.

      And they are so much better in all aspects than the turbo, in my opinion (although I still ride the turbo once in a while, esp if I am going longer than two hours).

    • Rick replied 3 months ago
    • Rick replied 3 months ago

      @Buck Rogers

      Unfortunately I am also confronted with space limitations. I have no place to store rollers. My #1 spends the winter months set up on the trainer in the living room.

    • Rick replied 3 months ago

      @Rick

      @KogaLover

      I should have added this to the reply above but I really like the 30 Minute Workout- Indoor Cycling Hill Climb Training. The scenery is from a ride up the Sa Colobra.

    • @Rick

      It sounds like you have a great set up, which is exactly what I used to do so I only offer the following if you are truly looking to switch over to rollers.

      I actually store my rollers under the bed (they fold up easily and nicely into a small unit) and the bike in the garage and then when I want to ride, I pull the rollers out from under the bed and bring the bike inside to ride it. This actually is much more space efficient than having a turbo set up all the time.

      Also, a #1 bike on fixed turbo always worries me. Maybe someone with more experience and tech knowledge (that would be almost any one here on the site) can weigh in on whether or not it hurts a bike to be fixed into a turbo for long periods of time. Always makes me worry about the rear triangle with the odd stress of the turbo fixation (depending on the turbo interface with the bike but most hook into the rear triangle).

      But, please keep doing what you are if it works for you! Just some alternative thoughts.

    • @Rick

      How could I have overlooked these… I watch GCN regularly but focus apparently too much on how to botch-repair chain breaks or flats, besides cornering like a pro or the 10 devious ways to gain the unfair advantage against your competitor…

    • Ha, no one wants to see a shirtless man cry, not even a mouse. That is awesome.

      I haven’t been on my rollers since I moved 600 miles south in 2011. But, with a 7 month old, and at the suggestion of Buck,…I shall been unfolding mine and rollin’ ’em out this winter. “Honey, I’m going out riding for three hours, have fun with the screaming baby,” really, really doesn’t cut it these days.

      Zwift looks pretty cool, just not gonna dip into the Budgetatus these days for the gear needed.

    • @Buck Rogers

      Although I am not an engineer, it is unclear how keeping the bike in the trainer would threaten structural integrity. Can someone please let me know if my steed is at risk from doing this? The bike is held upright by fixing the rear skewer to the trainer. The front wheel is in a training block and there is no weight on the bike when I am not training. To my uninformed self, it seems that the trainer in this case simply functions as a stand.

    • @KogaLover

      You are not alone, I found them quite by accident. I much prefer the shorter more intense workouts to the longer more monotonous spinning sessions that I would have on my own. I hope you enjoy the workouts as much as I do.

    • @Rick

      I agree with that. The clamp is on the skewer not the frame.

      However on the general issue of No.1 bikes on trainers you should note that many manufacturers exclude trainer use from their warranties and some advise against using them – I’m talking mainly carbon frames here.

      From the general feedback on Zwift there are no particular issues with using carbon bikes on trainers and personally I think it’s just a bit of ass covering from manufacturers.

      Some people have had frame failures but that happens in real life too and there doesn’t seem to be any evidence of a higher incidence. The only problem might be if you’re doing massive sprints the bike has less ability to flex and move so that might stress the frame.

    • @ChrisO

      See , this is what reading gets me! Being not overly mechanically engineering inclined, I read about the stress one puts on the rear triangle by having the skewer fixed into the turbo and the side-to-side motion of intervals beating it up and causing microfx’s and eventual frame failure. I have never used my #1 on the turbo for that reason. But like I said earlier, I have no idea what I am talking about so don’t listen to me!

    • @Buck Rogers

      I understand how that puts stress on a frame. I am very careful not to rock the bike side to side on the turbo. Any intervals are short and I make sure that my upper body is stationary so as not to stress the frame. I understood your original post as simply keeping the bike fixed to the trainer as a source of frame stress. I am careful and conscious of any potential frame stress that might result from my turbo sessions. In addition, all feedback and suggestions are always welcome as I still make mistakes and break rules after years of riding.

    • @Rick

      I’ve asked this same question for years and looked at the flex points and the consensus among mechanics and everybody I know who uses one is that trainers don’t damage a bike. My carbon frame is just fine. In fact, a frame is made to flex and you can see that happening when you’re pushing power on the trainer. That said, getting out of the saddle is awkward and I don’t do it much other than to stretch the legs a bit. The reviews seems good on that Kinetic rocking trainer, so that looks pretty neato if you want to train out of the saddle more while in the garage.

    • @BacklashJack

      If you think about it, it’s probably not a lot different to what happens on the road, it just mentally seems to be worse when the rear wheel is locked and you can easily picture the frame under torsion around the BB and Chainstays. However, if you are stomping it on the road the bike will be laid over to one side while you stomp on the other side so you still have a similar torsional load. In fact, if you consider that you might be actually levering the bars one way while stomping the other way the torsion could be greater on the road vs on a turbo.

      Then again I could be talking bollox.

    • @BacklashJack

      I have also done some research on this topic. I agree that the consensus is that the trainer does not damage the frame under reasonable use. I have only found one person on the entire interweb who claims to have seen frames damaged in a trainer. This person posted in a forum and claimed to be a former rep for a bike manufacturer. While I have no doubts regarding his claim, by guess would be that those frames were put under unreasonable stress while training.

      According to the forums, an all out spring on the road puts a frame under more stress than most anything done on the turbo trainer. Although these anonymous forum posters could be fabricating their data, I did see a GCN video where Si stated that they had contacted a number of frame manufacturers who said that a trainer would cause no frame damage if the bike was mounted properly.

      I have seen the kinetic rocking trainer. Although it does look pretty cool, I really have no need or desire to be out of the saddle while on the trainer. Also, I feel like I am more likely to rock too far on the kinetic and take the bike, and trainer down on top of me. I am fine just sitting down and going forward for now.

    • @Rick

      Putting my money where my suffering is, I plunked down for a new Cycleops Powerbeam Pro ANT+ today as they were only $400 on Competitive Cyclist / Backcountry and I bent my old one.

      Quite honestly, if I ever broke a bike on my trainer I think it would be a badge of honor for the V that I laid down in my suffer cave and I would Instagram the shit out of that and hang it on the wall of the aforementioned suffer cave next to the flag of Flanders.

    • @Rick

      Great discussion! I just use it as another justification for another bike!

      Anyways, I HAVE to get out of the saddle every 15 minutes for 5 minutes or so, at least, just to save my arse from going numb on the rollers/trainer. I cannot imagine riding for 1-3 hours and not getting out of the saddle at all. That just cannot be healthy!!!

    • @Buck Rogers

      When I do long trainer rides I do regular intervals out of the saddle, although in the UAE we often had to make ourselves get up on the pedals.

      I remember a chap came out to ride with us, very good rider, while he was there on business and commented afterwards how his arse was numb because you just sat down for so long, whereas at home you naturally stood up every now and then.

      And he was from Ipswich (which will mean something to @Chris) but for non-Englishers it’s a famously flat part of the country.

    • @ChrisO

      Must be my northern Vermont heritage. You cannot go 2 k’s in any direction without hitting a climb up there!

    • I’d used rollers predominantly for years, but then got a used turbo last year and leaned on that for most training, and mixed in rollers for recovery and some pedal stroke work. Last night I did my first honest-to-goodness workout on them in probably a year or so and goddamn I forgot how effective they were. I did intervals to an album with 2.5-3.5 minute tracks using HR as the metric. The intervals were roughly 95%-90%-95%-recover-95%-90%-95%-recover-95%-90%-recover-end.

      It was only a 32 minute album, but by the end of it I was losing form to the point that I almost went rolling off. I’m optimistic about gains this winter…

    • @Buck Rogers

      I vary my seated position on the trainer. Every 15 minutes or so I take my hand off of the bars and sit straight up. I reduce my cadence as resistance increases given the additional weight on the back tire and ride upright for a minute or so. Then I resume my normal position on the handlebars. This seems to keep me from getting too stiff or numb.

    • Brilliant find today on my lunch roller ride.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BosoKajLw_I

      I watched this race and man it was awesome! I have never seen Dwars Door Het Hageland but if you need an hour-plus vid for the rollers, this will not disappoint, esp with Matthew Stephens commentating.

    • @Buck Rogers

      Ha, awesome. I’ll save that for Thursdays session.

      You really have immersed yourself in the Euro race scene. I’d never heard of that one!

    • @chris

      Man, I had never heard of it, either but it popped up on my youtube suggestions and I had to try it when I saw the description which was “The Belgium Strade Bianchi”. Esp when I saw that Matt Stephens as co-commentating! I am going to have to go watch it next year! I wonder if they do a cyclosportif of that race???

    • @Buck Rogers

      Tro Bro Leon 2018?

      Haven’t been on my rollers for a while but I came close to losing my lunch in the turbo last night. I think my FTP is probably nothing more than a good indication of 90% of how much I can hurt myself in 20 minutes and bears no relation at all to what can be achieved in an hour or even 45 minutes.

      There is much work to be done before the Ronde.

    • @chris

      That is one race that I have watched many years of on youtube on the rollers. Another awesome, under-the-radar race. I would love to do it as a sportif in 2018! I am planning on doing Strade Bianchi in 2018 without a doubt, though so not sure how close they are to one another. Cannot do too many or I will be in trouble with the VMH and kiddos! Only one or maybe two if they are well spaced, per year!

      And as for the Ronde, oh yes, much work to be done. I am riding the rollers four days a week now for the last month, up from three days a week in October but now my right knee is starting to bitch at me a bit.

      Need to try to get outside for longer rides as an hour, ten minutes on the rollers is not going to translate well into 230 k’s of Flanders at all, even if I do it seven days a week!

    • @chris

      Good lord. Due to a nagging injury, I took 5 weeks off from twice-a-week soccer. I played last night and had serious trouble running for the full 90 minutes. Add to that a 7 month old and very little time for long rides, and my conditioning is HORRIBLE and my waist line has grown.

      Ugh, I officially felt old last night having trouble running for a full scrimmage.

      Gotta drag the rollers out!

    • Just got my first set of rollers in like . . . 30 years. Once turbo trainers came out in the late 80s it was bye-bye to the rollers (which were so crap and noisy they could be heard by my folks in the house when I was outside in the garage).

      Damn, they’re tricky to get used to. First session was basically worthless. I think I rode unsupported for maybe 10 seconds. Second session was better – a couple of 10-15 minute sessions. Determined to get to “second nature” point soon.

      What gets me is the strange mixture of having to relax and seriously concentrate at the same time. It really makes you aware of any subconscious tension or flaws in your stroke.

    • @wiscot

      Isn’t it amazing?!?!? You describe it perfectly, the weird sense of having to be 100% aware all the time but needing to be relaxed and keeping it all balanced.

      And it truly is a steep learning curve. Another one or two sessions and you’ll be cooking up yer eggs while riding like that amazing video of the female pro that was posted here a year or so ago!

    • I’ve started taking a different training approach with my turbo sessions recently. I’ve always used HR to train, so a tempo or threshold session would be based around trying to hold a steady heart rate.

      I’ve had some HRM issues recently and it dawned on me that a I have a power curve for my turbo (and Excel), I effectively have a power meter. I did an FTP test on the turbo and worked out power zones.

      A session training with power is so different from a session training on HR. On the latter, I’d be trying to maintain a steady HR while my speed (ergo, power) dropped lower and lower. Now, I just hit a steady speed and hold it while I work harder and harder to keep it there.

      Feels like I have to go deeper for the same workout, and it feels a lot of targeted.

    • @Buck Rogers

      The thing about winter training is that it is a well known fact that the cold air is thicker which explains why it is slower/harder in the winter……

    • @Teocalli

      I genuinely put a post on my club’s Facebook page asking if it was possible for Shimano Dura-Ace bottom brackets to gain increased resistance when worn. Turns out it was just a bit cold and I was a bit tired.

    • @Teocalli

      Does that also apply when I’m on the turbo or the rollers in my garage? It can get into the 20s or 30s in there sometimes. Thicker air would explain a lot!

    • @wiscot

      Is cold Treacle harder to stir than when hot?

    • @wiscot

      Just a thought, which you probably know stone cold anyway, but if I remember mm’s can make a difference to your stability – that is where your front wheel falls on the front roller. Off just a little and you won’t be happy… It’s worth fiddling with it to see if anything changes. Problem is I don’t remember if spot on, a little behind or in front give the best result.

      I’m sure the real pros here will set me straight about this – I may be imagining it all since its been 35 years since I trained/raced rollers.

    • @Rob

      Any advice from the Velominati would be welcome. I’ve seen various ideas about the placement of the front roller vis-a-vis the front hub. Some say the hub should be above the back edge of the roller, others completely behind. Currently my front hub drops right behind the roller.

    • @wiscot

      My front hub is almost-but-not-quite directly above the front roller, when looking at it a minute ago it is set back by maybe 2-3 mm.

    • @wiscot

      But, I should add that I’m fucked if I know if that is correct or not (but I can attest that it has worked for the 100’s of hours that I have done on them over the last 4 years)

    • @Buck Rogers

      And therein lies the dilemma. Am I squirrelly because I’m a newbie or squirrely because my set-up isn’t right? Time and practice will tell I guess. Thanks for the advice!

    • @Buck Rogers

      @wiscot I think Bucko has it my memory is center of hub (wheel) is 2-3 mm behind. If your whole hub is behind then maybe too much behind? But my hope in opening this can of worms was that you fiddle with it and see if you get a more stable ride. My memory of the kind of stability is that when it’s right you can do 150rpm or take your jumper off with no hands at 50 rpm.

    • What are the considered opinions between Tacx and Elite models (or any other)?

    • @Teocalli

      For rollers only? – in which case I can’t help – or for their turbos? in which case it’s a matter of budget and intended usage.

    • @ChrisO

      Ah yes I should have been specific. For Rollers.

    • @Teocalli

      Kreitler are the number one name in rollers. You cannot beat them in my opinion.

    • @Buck Rogers

      Never used them so no help… but I will say that for an extra 30 quid over the Kreitler standard rollers you can get a Tackx Vortex Smart which gives you variable feedback resistance on Zwift and other training software.

      If you’re going to use the rollers then go for it, but if you want to get into the whole virtual cycling thing then the entry point is about the same. You don’t even need a high-spec laptop now, Zwift have released an IOS app.

    • @ChrisO

      I have a dumb turbo that I’ve had for quite a few yearsand I guess that is the question as to whether to try rollers for a different game or a new turbo.

    • I too have a love/hate relationship with my rollers. I now own two different sets of them. WTF?! You say? It started with a set of the Kreitler 4.5″ full alloy rollers on full-length frames. So freakin’ smooth. Unlike me. For years, they have served me well. Then a couple of months ago, a kind-hearted old gentleman walked into the shop and right up me then asked if I would be interested in a free set of “cycle rollers”. Of course, I said yes. I walked out to his car with him. He opened the trunk (boot?) to reveal a set of full alloy 3″ Krietlers on a compact frame. The man told me that they had been his son’s rollers and that his son had passed away “years ago”. Of course, I accepted them. They definitely are a different kind of ride than the 4.5s. By comparison, the bike is much more squirrelly and requires a quite bit more effort to maintain speed while riding on the 3’s. On the 4.5’s, accelerations happen more sluggishly due to the increased mass, but then maintaining a speed is much easier and there is a bit more coasting power before unclipping. Getting on and off of them is easier with the lower deck height of the 3″ rollers. Those rollers under Mr. Simpson up there look massive. I bet those rode like a Cadillac!

    • Back in the distant 80’s, my brother attempted what he described as a land speed record on my rollers in our kitchen. He hit a monster speed and the bike jumped off the rollers and left a good black screech across the linoleum that remained until the day we did a remodel. I did the remodel demo so that I could grab that portion of flooring and many years later created an engraved trophy with a piece of the tile that commentated the achievement. The trophy was given to him at Christmas, and when he opened it and began to read and see the bit of linoleum, he rolled over laughing and I enjoyed every minute of the gift that came back to him about 10 years after the occasion!

    • @Teocalli

      Rollers will fine tune your balance, round your pedal stroke, and teach you to ride with a quiet upper body. Or make you good at falling over sideways. Turbo trainers will build strength.

    • @Art G

      Rollers will also build strength and endurance and as you get better at using them, you can easily do all the hard intervals that you want on them.

      Nothing against turbos (I still use mine as well as the rollers) but with a power meter and rollers, there is pretty much nothing that you cannot learn to do that you can do on a turbo and get all of the additional roller benefits, to include using zwift if that is a consideration.

    • @Buck Rogers

      True, you can certainly use Zwift, Sufferfest, TP or any of those.

      The only thing you can’t get though (and the same applies to a standard turbo even with a power meter) is the smart resistance i.e. on Zwift if you have a smart trainer it changes resistance to match the gradient on screen so you get a more lifelike feel. I think there is a brand of rollers that does variable resistance (I’m not sure if it is smart-controlled) but mostly they don’t.

      Doesn’t bother me – I use the trainer to avoid lifelike issues like going downhill at the exact moment you’re supposed to be doing 450 watts. But it is a big factor for many.

      In fact the top of the range Tackx trainers now have a kinetic feedback like in game-console controllers. You ‘feel’ different road surfaces like cobbles, planks on a bridge etc. Lot of people really get a kick out of that.

    • @Rob

      Happy news to report. Did 45 mins on the rollers last night (after Green Bay pounded Seattle, of course) and all dismounts were by choice, not poor technique. It’s amazing how tuned into one’s stroke and body language you become. Managed to move hands around the bars and even go one handed a couple of times. For anyone thinking of getting a set, I’d recommend it and don’t let a bad first experience get you down. This was session #3 and the confidence is climbing. Hopefully, pride shall not precede a fall . . .

    • @wiscot

      My Turbo is right next to a large pan of glass – if I get a set of rollers I’ll have to find a different location………

    • @Buck Rogers

      I also use both rollers and a trainer. The strength gains I’ve noticed from riding my rollers is core support. Not so much the legs, but then this new-to-me set of smaller 3″ rollers might be quite different. I immediately noticed how much more difficult every gear feels on them than with my 4.5’s. I still think of my rollers as primarily to improve my technique. I have to justify ownership of both a trainer and rollers. Otherwise, one must go away.

    • My rollers and I have developed a mutually abusive relationship. I sweat on them, swear at them and have recently been unfaithful, having gotten a cycleops fluid trainer for group interval sessions. In retaliation, they consistently dish out helpings of wintertime V and still occasionally buck me when I become a little too involved with watching stage 15 of this year’s Vuelta.

      Having just moved back northward (Ohio) after 5 years in the armpit of North America (Houston… think about it… Florida being the arm, south Texas and Mexico, the body; Houston is always humid and it normally smells pretty foul…) I am beginning to miss the adequate outdoor riding weather. While not cold-averse (in fact, I prefer it to the other thermal end of the Rule #9 spectrum), I am averse to idiot drivers on wet roads who lose the ability to make rational maneuvers when the days grow shorter.

      To this end, I’m hoping some southern Velominati brethren can offer suggestions about where good roads and good people can be found for long weekend trips in the coming months. I’m looking at Tennessee, maybe north Georgia or Alabama… The Carolinas are a possibility. What do you all suggest?

    • @KlamSoss

      Fouche Gap in North Georgia. Great roads, great climbs (the former Tour of Georgia rolled through there). Just don’t ride a pink bike, that’s like freakin catnip to rednecks with empty beer bottles in their trucks.

    • Ok, just gotta brag a bit. Went on the rollers last night. 30 minutes in, I took a break, basically to, ahem, ease some numbness. Second session I got it in a nice big gear then slowly and carefully released the bars and . . . sat up, riding no hands! Still had to focus, but boy, was I happy with myself.It took me maybe 7 or 8 sessions to get to this point.

      The rollers are all about technique, but also confidence and feel. Shit weather in WI means I’ve only ridden outside once since I got the rollers, but I feel a distinct smoothness to my stroke and a change in upper body tension. Looking forward to more roller rides and seeing the extent to which they affect the open road riding.

    • @wiscot

      Nice one.

    • @Teocalli

      Thanks. I’m old enough to not remember the feeling I had a a kid when I rode solo for the first time without help or stabilizers, but this had to be pretty damn close.

    • @wiscot

      Ever ridden at the velodrome? I know what you mean and diving down the banking at full gas is something equivalent to this sensation.

    • @wiscot

      Chapeau!!!

      I actually ride standing up every 15 minutes, for a full five minutes each time, while on the rollers to help with the blood flow and comfort.

      Not sure if you have tried this or are already doing it but if you can ride no hands, then you can easily ride standing up while on the rollers and then you will not need to ever stop!

    • @Buck Rogers

      Nope. Not done out of the saddle yet. That’s the next trick to learn. I’m guessing it’s all about weight distribution – not too much up front, but not too much on the back. I’ll give it a shot tonight.

    • Oh man. I rode my rollers on Sunday for the first time since probably 2010 (I moved far south, not much snow/ice here). While my pedal stroke is vastly improved from all the riding I’ve done, my confidence on rollers is low. I’m fine getting out of the saddle to relieve and adjust…but no hands or 5 minutes out of the saddle, no thanks. I’m riding in a small room where I store all my bikes, plus next to a window. A fall is not worth it in there.

      But, nice work on those with the skillz!

    • @wiscot

      Methinks I need a higher gear than compact 50×12 as not really enough resistance to stand – or maybe that’s me and needs more work.

    • @Teocalli

      Out of the saddle is hard on a compact but not impossible. Resistance helps (I remember reading somewhere that placing a folded towel on the floor under one of the rear rollers will increase resistance), as does good weight distribution but I think the key is smoothness which I find so much harder to achieve standing than sitting.

      I know it’s easier said than done but at the end of the day though it’s just about getting up and doing it. Rule #5.

    • @Teocalli

      Interesting. I was in a 50-13 or 50-14 I think when I was going no hands. Clearly, the big gear is essential for stability. I warm up on the small ring and the whole affair is certainly much more twitchy. I’ll be rolling tonight so I’ll experiment on the gears and report back.

    • @Teocalli

      Can’t speak regarding rollers, never having tried them (yet), but at our local track training sessions we do out-of-saddle drills, which I imagine have similar effects. My personal record out of the saddle is around 1.5km (but actually 2x 1.5kms with a couple rest laps in between), not a world record or anything but improving with every attempt. Never felt a burn quite like it before.

      I’ll shut up now and go get some rollers, so I might actually have something useful to add to the conversation.

      Carry on.

  • @KogaLover

    That’s not the cover!! And it’s only the kindle version…

  • We are just about done with our next book, The Hardmen. At its core is the question: how hard is hard enough when it comes to effort.

    None of us really know the answer, but when you can’t stand up after winning […]

    • Sent you an email, and this is not related to this post, but when is the gear getting shipped? Still says September/October.

    • Ok, August/September.

    • I”m going to suggest when they have to give you oxygen and cart you off in an ambulance..you went hard enough…

    • @Brent

      Ya, but is that 2015 or 2016 (maybe 2017)??? (wink)

    • @Haldy

      First thing that I thought of when I saw the subject matter. Just look at the ashen skin tone and the 1,000 kilometer stare. Roche is fucking COOKED here.

    • @Haldy

      Roche! nice memory. i think Phil Liggett was in similar oxygen debt at the conclusion of this stage to La Plagne. i remember similar Liggett histrionics when Sean Kelly hunted down Moreno Argentin descending the Poggio in ’92.

    • @Cary

      Such a famous stage. Just HAVE to love Auntie Phil!

    • dude i love Phil Liggett. in the age before cable TV and the internet, Phil was THE voice of european cycling to us statesiders. it is upon these scribes of myth: Liggett, Leth, Abt, etc, that the very legends of the Velominati were built. one who never had cycled could get a vague idea of the intensity of what they were watching by just listening to Liggett. if not for he and those like him, how would an average viewer have any idea what’s really going on? you only have an idea of the OPERA of suffering and torment housed in a rider like Fignon, Criquelion, or Mottet, if you’ve ridden before yourself. i had never turned a pedal in competition, and the hair on my arms stood up listening to Liggett describe Robert Millar chasing down Hinault on the Peyresourde descent in ’86. i said DAMN. that’s what i’ve been looking for!

    • Or just loosing……..

    • @Buck Rogers

      I’m just hoping (against hope, naturally) that the winter gear I ordered in the height of summer will arrive before winter is out. [sigh.]

    • @davidlhill

      Ha! Get in line, Mate!

      I placed my order for the new VLVV summer kit on December 18, 2015 hoping to use it at Battenkill last spring and it has not arrived yet.

      But I still love Frahnk and the V site. I have survived just fine and will continue to do so even without the greatest V kit yet, at least in theory, made.

    • @Buck Rogers

      Yeah you have to go through at least one clear season of the season type you were planning. Hoping last winter’s gear will get here for this winter………

    • @Buck Rogers

      Odd, as I received my bib shorts I ordered in December 2015 around May, I think.

      Perhaps the theory is that by the time we get our gear it becomes ‘classic’, in nature. This could tie in with the rule that says we can’t wear current team kit but are allowed to wear kit from defunct teams. Exhibit A below.

      I’ll order the arm warmers now, then. In time for next winter.

      Cheers,

      David

    • @davidlhill

      Those are the Classic bibs you have on, right? I have a set of that kit from prior.

      I ordered the new VLVV bibs last December but I think that there has been a hang up with the VLVV kit.

      Not sure anyone but Frahnk has the VLVV kit (at least I know that I do not have it!)

    • @davidlhill

      Fucking amazing shoes, by the way.

      I was looking at those online the other day and was wondering if they would go well with modern kit and your post proves that they do!

    • @Buck Rogers

      I love those shoes (Quoc Phan). That pic was taken on day 1 of this year’s TdF, and I knew there would be a fair amount of walking off the bike. Hence I used those ones, and clips, instead of clipless.

      Btw – I’ve met a few guys who bought the black version. They all regret not buying them in tan.

    • Damn, only seen photos of that Quintini situation. He looks like he’s about to die. And his feet look far too big for his body. Talk about shaped like a frog, he almost looks chubby with his teeny legs and huge abdomen/lungs.

    • @Ron

      Did he become Italian since I last looked?

    • I listened to Graeme Obree talk to a group of us on Tuesday. 2 things really stuck out that illustrate his mindset when training or going for a main event.

      When he failed to get the outright world hour record that first time he was not content with the sea level record so he went again. His mindset was that we was willing to die to give his all. He reckoned that in order to go as hard as you can you must be willing to blow the engine. He says he was never the best rider, he was just willing to dig deeper than the other guy.

      When training and welded to his turbo set up he said he would go as hard as he could for 18 minutes. The difference and again being willing to blow the engine, was being able to give absolutely everything humanely possible in that last 2 minutes to 20. It wasn’t the hard 18 minutes that made the difference it was the final 2 beyond that.

      A Legend of a Hardman, I hope he’s in your next book @frank. If not, he should be.

    • Also for consideration…..Sir Chris Hoy used to do efforts so hard on his trainer…he’d collapse on a mat next to it right after the effort is over. Think about that next time you are suffering on a trainer….

    • @Buck Rogers

      AND he still managed to be witty when he was asked if he was ok: “yes, but I am not ready for a woman straight away.”

    • @JohnB

      I raced against Graeme regularly in the 80s. Toughest rider there ever was – and truly one of the nicest guys. Always had a kind word for his competitors. A legend in his own time.

      What was the occasion you met him at?

    • @Teocalli

      Haha!

    • one of the coolest things about this post is the very first sentence! i cannot wait. TAKE MY MONEY NOW

    • @wiscot

      Graeme was keynote speaker at day 2 of the grandly titled International Cyclefit Symposium in Manchester. The theme was The Intelligence of Fit.

      It was a truly international bunch, some giants of bike fitting there. I think they see themselves as the Keepers of Bikefit.

    • @Haldy

      Alas, next to my turbo there’s the snow thrower or another couple of bikes and skis. I cannot afford the luxury of dropping off the trainer and take a nap.

    • @KogaLover

      That’s a great pic. I did a 2×8 minute FTP test on Wednesday, and was close to collapse at the end of the 2nd effort. But the easiest thing is to slump on the bars and spin your legs in some manner until you’re ready to not die.

      I like to think I can hurt myself pretty well but I can’t imagine the effort required to actually collapse like Millar in the lead picture.

    • @Cary

      they will, but it will be eons before the product arrives…

    • @Cary

      Available on Amazon on pre-order The Hardmen

    • @KogaLover

      Lunch is June/July according to the session in London.

    • Lunch? Crikey that’s a long wait………Launch.

    • @KogaLover

      That’s not the cover!! And it’s only the kindle version…

    • anybody that wishes to emulate Roche, Millar or Quintana doesn’t need to go climbing any mountains, or set off on a 40k TT into the teeth of a North Sea gale. all that is necessary is to attempt to ride a kilo like it’s 200m, or do tabata intervals at a similar pace. if you do it right, you’ll wish you were dead in the time it takes for a TV commercial break.

    • @frank

      regardless, it’s gonna be cool to read. i was stoked to see Van Hooydonk in the description. there are just so many cyclists from that era that really have faded into semi-obscurity. at least, in the US.

    • semi off topic, but tangentially relevant is the subject of track riders. they don’t necessarily get the same credit for being “hard” as roadies do, and they’re nowhere near as famous, but guys like Patrick Sercu, Urs Freuler, Etienne DeWilde are right alongside Sean Kelly, to me. to race six days for a career is not for the faint of heart.

    • @JohnB

      ooops!

    • @Cary

      Did you see any footage of Gent six-day with Twiggo and Cav? That track is so short. All the action is compressed. What a place. That is on my big list.

    • @Gianni

      hell yes. there seems to be a sort of six day renaissance going on in terms of coverage, thanks to YouTube. it is FANTASTIC to me. one of the prized possessions of my 20s was a Famous Cycling Videos VHS tape of the 1993 track worlds. Huebner, Niewand, Obree, Boardman, DeWilde, etc. I think Florian Rousseau won the kilo that year too. i mean, they even had a stayer race for chrissakes. that was the coolest thing ever.

      the Ghent track is insanely small. do you remember the Vandedrome “portable” velodrome? the turns were near-vertical.

    • @Gianni

      after a recent perusal of YouTube, i do not see any footage of Wiggins and Cav at Gent. there are a few clips of them winning the Madison at the 2015 Revolution 6, and a couple of Cav winning at Gent with Iljo Keisse in 2014. if you find any more links, please post em.

      also, i looked up the Gent Velodrome, cuz i HAD to know. it’s only 167m long. pretty rad.

    • Has anybody here read “Push Yourself Just A Little Bit More” by Johnny Green? There’s a bit in there where he describes watching Jean Patrick Nazon cross the line after a TDF time trial. Apparently JPN had so little left in the tank that he collapsed to the floor and lost control of his bodily functions, ending up lying in a pool of his own body fluids.

    • @Gianni

      Come and try the one at Calshot over here. I believe it is the second smallest in the world. You actually feel compression on the banking.

    • @Teocalli

      What’s on my list it to sit in the stands at Gent, drink some Belgian ales and watch a shietload of racing on that track. Riding it would be fun too but I don’t think I would get access.

    • @Gianni

      a friend of mine and myself were just talking about this two weeks ago. this is totally doable, isn’t it? man i would be like a little kid. even moreso than usual. haha

    • @Teocalli

      Felt that at Newport last night. I was apparently doing about 60kph at the time though. I actually said ‘wooooow!’ The coach didn’t tell me off for being an infant, he said ‘yes, it’s great isn’t it?!’

    • @Cary

      Just saw the most insane derny race at Ghent. The final 6 or 7 laps were ridden three abreast. Keisse is absolutely smashing it.

    • @DVMR

      And the following Madison was absolutely mental. 3 teams in the hunt, and they all managed to take 10 laps in an hour. Except wiggo and cav managed to get one more right at the end to take the overall.

    • @DVMR

      derny racing is the coolest thing ever. those guys are gods of sport.

    • @Cary

      Just got back from two days there with my son. Absolutely superb event. Seriously, seriously old school. Like a tiny music festival … of bike racing. Lovely city too.

      Very emotional seeing Brad and Cav racing in the champs jerseys. Only slightly marred by Brad’s heinous bars.

    • this thread has me researching a vacation to Belgium next year. it is possible to see the Ghent six, and catch the Duinencross @ Koksijde in the same week. i’m not getting any younger. time to make it happen!

    • @Cary

      Me too. not sure about this or the spring classics, but I really want to experience all of it. Plus, I spent part of the day researching a Jaegher frame, would love to pick it up in Belgium.

    • @Gianni

      I saw it on Eurosport only yesterday. Missed the preceeding 5 days but keen to keep tabs on the Amsterdam six early December. Too much adverts on the track though!

    • @MangoDave

      i checked out the Jaegher site. those rides look nice, but for that kinda coin i’d buy two Ritchey Road Logics.

    • @Cary

      You’re not really helping my cause. I’m trying to justify a trip to Belgium. Don’t tell the Mrs. that I could get something for half the cost and pick it up locally.

    • @KogaLover

      According to Carlton Kirby Eurosport weren’t able to cover the first five days because the organisers didn’t set up the production facilities or something like that….

    • @MangoDave

      i’ve never seen a Euro race, road, track, or cross. the thing about track and cross races is that it seems like you get to see more of the race. i don’t know about sitting in a field, waiting to watch Tom Boonen pass at 55kph, then go home, although maybe i can understand sitting in the velodrome for hours, waiting to see the winner. am i missing something? i know there’s a lot of people here that have seen a LOT of live racing. looking for some input, please.

    • @Cary

      So much more to a 6 day than just the racing, it’s basically a boozed up nightclub that happens to involve some bikes going around at some point…

    • I too have just got back from watching the Saturday night session at Ghent with my son. Absolutely fantastic atmosphere. And I second the Derny race as being one of the best. Watching Cav win one of them by a hairs breadth after spending 4 or 5 laps trying to pass – watching Keissel slap his derny rider as he was going too slow…….just superb.

      As for the nightclub atmosphere – well, I wasn’t expecting to see Cav lead the YMCA dance routine during one of the breaks. The racing finished at around 1.30. They didn’t close the bars at the track until 2.30.

      And as for Wiggins’ bars – what on earth is the idea behind them?

      We shall be returning next year.

    • @davidlhill

      I think it lets him ride “on the hoods”. I’ve read stuff saying that riding on the hoods with forearms horizontal is actually more aero than being in the drops.

    • @Cary

      I haven’t seen any Euro races in person, either. I’m in the US – growing up it was hard to find anything here, and TV coverage was almost non-existent. I might have been willing to sit in a field to see the peloton fly by, just because it would be better than nothing. I did see Davis Phinney dominate a crit here, but even that was hard to watch how the actual racing played out.

    • @Cary

      For sure if you want to see the race unfold then TV is the best option, but it’s just a different experience.

      People follow the TDF around and enjoy camping or riding the route ahead of the race or sitting by the side of the road with a barbecue and beers. Then there’s the publicity caravan ahead of the race, and afterwards if it’s a summit finish the riders often come back down through the crowds. In a TT stage you can wander around the team bus areas and watch people warming up.

      Some of the spring classics with finishing circuits can be fun in the spectator areas where you can watch the race go past then go back to a big screen and pick up some frites on the way and be part of a big crowd cheering the finish. But you aren’t going to be able to give a succinct account of how events unfolded.

      What I would say about the racing in Europe is that as a cyclist you really get a lot more out of it if you also take the opportunity to ride the routes. Once you’ve been up the same climbs or over the same roads your appreciation for the riders and the races reaches a whole new level.

    • @Spaghetti Legs

      Fuck! Perfect story and sounds absolutely like what I would expect.

      Super story. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reckon from memory young Jack went pretty deep chasing 60 minutes

  • frank commented on the post, Shifting Sands 3 months, 2 weeks ago · 

    @MangoDave

    The bosses are connected via a bolt through the frame. Make sure that bolt is tight otherwise the shifters will slip forward. Maddening.

  • frank commented on the post, Shifting Sands 3 months, 2 weeks ago · 

    @chris

    You must not have noticed my face. I got a TUE from Wiggin’s DS, and I will shave it off in Spring. I consider it winter wind resistance training.

  • frank commented on the post, Shifting Sands 3 months, 2 weeks ago · 

    @Clean39T

    I have a 42T I’ve had laying around. Can’t understand why I haven’t loaded it up. I rode it briefly in the Spring a year or two ago, when I was out of shape, but I should really have it on the #1 at all times.

    @Oli

    FUCK SAKE!!

    @Oli

    Done!

  • frank commented on the post, Shifting Sands 3 months, 2 weeks ago · 

    @Rick

    One of my favorite bikes ever was my Cannondale with Shimano 105 dt shifters and…wait for it…SCOTT DROPINS.

    And the more it changes, the less it stays the same.

  • frank commented on the post, Shifting Sands 3 months, 2 weeks ago · 

    @ChrisO

    I think Campa lets you set it in whatever gear you want once its dead, but my bullshit meter is landing somewhere between “I am sure I heard that” and “I might have dreamt that”, so there is no telling if that’s true or not. And, on account of me not being a sissy, I’m not looking it up in the user manual.

  • frank commented on the post, Shifting Sands 3 months, 2 weeks ago · 

    @chris

    Campa stopped making a 177.5, so this is actually my old Rotor 177.5 while I wait for Rotor to build me a new 177.5. Carson Hedrick sprayed it in matte black and it looks completely badass.

    You make a great point at maintaining momentum, but I don’t see EPS vs Mechanical making that all that different; the DT shifter to Brifter with…

    [Read more]

  • frank commented on the post, Shifting Sands 3 months, 2 weeks ago · 

    Photo uploads are working again. Sidebar: When David saw my bike and the seatpin height he said, “Well, it’s got to look good when it’s just sitting there, doesn’t it?”

  • frank commented on the post, Shifting Sands 3 months, 2 weeks ago · 

    @Teocalli

    Well, given the development here yesterday, I may move to London which would make doing both those rides a lot easier!

    FFS.

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