Suit you, Sir?

Suit you, Sir?

The Suit Lining

by / / 59 posts

“A fine suit is only as good as its lining” once said someone more versed in the art of the clothier than me. They didn’t actually, I just made that up. But it sounds like it could be something that an Italian tailor would say, but I’ve never met one of those either. The point is, a suit, or a bicycle, or even a person, can be shiny and attractive on the outside, but may not be all it’s cracked up to be underneath.

It, or they, may not have any soul. (*Not ‘a’ soul, because that is merely a concept dreamed up by nuts to scare other nuts and their offspring into conforming to and fearing some other nonsensical notion which most kids would see through in five minutes if they weren’t the spawn of the spawn of a long line of morons. But I digress.) I’m talking James Brown soul, not the misogynistic bits, but the funky hip shakin’ do the splits bits. I’m talking Soul Train audience soul. It’s not an entity, it’s a sensibility.

The finishing touch to a nice suit, or jacket, is the lining. You can have a jacket that is so expensive you won’t even tell your friends how much it cost, but if the lining is pink and white stripes then people are gonna notice. It can spoil an otherwise outwardly attractive garment. Sometimes, a matching plain liner can be a bit too boring, so a balance of understated yet attractive is required. Same with a bicycle. The metaphoric suit lining for a bike has to be the inner surface of the fork legs.

Matching the fork to the bike isn’t something that has always been done, in the carbon era at least, with a history of plain black or exposed weave units with whatever brand all over them, totally mismatching and taking away any aesthetic uniformity. Conversely, having every component painted exactly the same colour (and every wheel decal or logo the same) can have the effect of monotony, and depending on the base colour, be a bit dull. A painted inner fork leg gives the counterpoint needed in a subtle way, and depending from the angle the bicycle is viewed has that suit liner quality down pat. It says “I may Look Fantastic, totally relaxed and at ease with my Awesomeness, but take a look inside, just there… yeah, I’m all business, but when it’s party time, I’m on the soul train.”

// Musings from the V-Bunker

  1. Pink and white stripes as lining? I am sensing a Seinfeld reference…

  2. @Phillip Mercer

    Pink and white stripes as lining? I am sensing a Seinfeld reference…

    No getting anything past you, eh mate? Was it the link I provided?

  3. It may not be custom steel but I loves me the custom tailored paint job on current #1, that is until Don Walker builds me my road steed with extra low BB for mo’betta stability. Can’t. Fucking. Wait. Spoiler alert: We’ll have it in our booth at NAHBS.

  4. I can’t remember what @Roadslave said exactly, but the spirit of his quote is worth noting because he is also the originator of the term ‘Look Fantastic at All Times’. I mean, we all say that shit, but he capitalized it, and that made it more important and official, obviously.

    He said something like, “Every man needs to have a tailor, a frame builder, and a wheel builder.”

    So. Fucking. True.

    We can become our own provider in any of those categories, but fuck me if that shit ain’t troof in it’s bones.

  5. @brett

    Didn’t see the link. I was sneakily reading at work so can’t watch video without fear for my job. you know how it goes, they see me not working, yada, yada, yada…

  6. @Oli

    You took that pic from that wierd angle just to disguise the big scratch you put into it last week, didn’t you?

    (Twists dagger)

    If it makes you feel better, my CX/Gravel crusher which is meant to crash, doesn’t have a scratch on her magnificent paint scheme, while the road steed’s non-drive (left!) side is all mangled up from various incidents of non-focus on my part.

    So the bike that we’re meant to routinely come off is flawless, and the one we are meant never to come off is jacked.

  7. Yes, I have a nice slash of red on the inside of my forks. It means I can’t get away with lazy cleaning.

    Also, a note to others (probably not Velominati), if you’re going to clean you’re bike, clean all of it.

    I saw 2 half decent road bikes on the train this morning, both in states of utter disgust, filthy dirty, saddlebags, dork disks…made me sad.

  8. Just wanted to take the opportunity to express my solidarity to all my friends in Belgium today. I know this site isn’t for political posturing or opinion, but felt that as we all have an affinity with our Belgian friends that you’d allow me the exception.

    Je suis Belgium

  9. @frank

    What scratch? I don’t know what you are talking about!

  10. @Velodeluded

    Well said. Terrible news.

  11. @Velodeluded

    Just wanted to take the opportunity to express my solidarity to all my friends in Belgium today. I know this site isn’t for political posturing or opinion, but felt that as we all have an affinity with our Belgian friends that you’d allow me the exception.

    Je suis Belgium

    Completely agree. Up until February I was flying through there quite regularly. Its scary to recognise a place I know very well in such a state. Brussels is a great place too.

  12. @Velodeluded

    Just wanted to take the opportunity to express my solidarity to all my friends in Belgium today. I know this site isn’t for political posturing or opinion, but felt that as we all have an affinity with our Belgian friends that you’d allow me the exception.

    Je suis Belgium

    +1 with prayers

  13. My bike is black on black with a just a hint of black accent. Its “murdered” out. Not because it’s the popular thing right now. It’s just my style, always has been. I think I have a fear of color actually. Before I was married my wardrobe was strickly black and white. I can’t imagine having color on my bike, I would be compelled to match it, and that would cause stress. I Love looking at other bikes that are flamboyant or just done nicely with cool colors. I do dig the idea of some color on the inside of the forks. Maybe I will do white.

  14. @Velodeluded

    Just wanted to take the opportunity to express my solidarity to all my friends in Belgium today. I know this site isn’t for political posturing or opinion, but felt that as we all have an affinity with our Belgian friends that you’d allow me the exception.

    Je suis Belgium

    Yes, today we are all Belgian.

  15. Back on topic … Agree about suit lining on fork legs. Especially with black being the prevailing color for carbon bikes, a hit of color is nice.

  16. have to say, I do quite like the look of the ‘digital camo’ on the insides of the new genesis datum…

  17. #1 and #2 are all black for me. I do try and trick them out with a wee dash of color (orange, naturellement). Fortunately, my #3 (Giant) which is now about 8 years old, has a pretty decent paint job of black front end, white rear end with a hint of blue pinstripes. (Looks better than my description.) Oh, and my graveur is all black too but with an orange stem.

    Would I get another black bike? Sure, but it would depend on the options.

  18. @frank

    It may not be custom steel but I loves me the custom tailored paint job on current #1, that is until Don Walker builds me my road steed with extra low BB for mo’betta stability. Can’t. Fucking. Wait. Spoiler alert: We’ll have it in our booth at NAHBS.

    Wait, are you talking the 2017 edition> Just realized it’s in…SLC?! Yikes, a bunch of bike nuts in a city that only allows half strength recovery ales? Gonna bet there are a lot of hip flasks carried that weekend!

  19. Many of those bike nuts will be passing through Colorado on their way where no such restrictions apply. The wise stock up before entering that parched land.

  20. @Ron

    @frank

    It may not be custom steel but I loves me the custom tailored paint job on current #1, that is until Don Walker builds me my road steed with extra low BB for mo’betta stability. Can’t. Fucking. Wait. Spoiler alert: We’ll have it in our booth at NAHBS.

    Wait, are you talking the 2017 edition> Just realized it’s in…SLC?! Yikes, a bunch of bike nuts in a city that only allows half strength recovery ales? Gonna bet there are a lot of hip flasks carried that weekend!

    There are many hip flasks on sale in the show by some of the various bike brands….this group knows how to party regardless of the situation…

  21. Yes, but will they come pre-filled? Yup, have seen the assorted flasks on sale. Been to the show when it was in Richmond and then when it was in Charlotte. Always a fun day of bike-immersion.

    Only been to Utah once. Went to an AHL game, paid full price for a beer…only to then realize it was not full alcohol. That really pissed me off.

  22. lovely article. my fork legs have been prettied up with some bizarre media, colors, patterns, and such. the upcoming one will reverberate Rule #5, literally

  23. @Ron

    Yes, but will they come pre-filled? Yup, have seen the assorted flasks on sale. Been to the show when it was in Richmond and then when it was in Charlotte. Always a fun day of bike-immersion.

    Only been to Utah once. Went to an AHL game, paid full price for a beer…only to then realize it was not full alcohol. That really pissed me off.

    I can guide you to the builders who will happily provide the proper fluid contents said flasks. :-)

  24. This will be my #1 bike when I finally finish it. You cant really see it but the inside of the fork blades are a kind of pealescent blue (like the inside of the chain and seat stays)

    She aint much to look at and after being built by a mere pedalwan she probably wont ride so nicely either but… shes MINE. With a genuine grouppo to boot. Apologies in advance for the plerithora of rule violations.

  25. My forks are chrome all over, what does that say about my sartorial taste ??

  26. @RichardH

    banishment

  27. @brett

    Not that there is anything wrong with Pink and White stripes….Jerry

  28. Dammit…

  29. What about the application of decals to the inside of the forks?

    In hindsight it would have been a good place for a subtle ‘Obey the Rules’ decal.

    I’ve used them all though, ‘Velominati’ on each side of my top tube at the front, the ‘V’ on the front of my headtube and a small ‘Obey The Rules’ on my helmet. The other ‘Obey the Rules’? That’s on my 4year olds bike.

  30. @dinosaurJR

    This will be my #1 bike when I finally finish it. You cant really see it but the inside of the fork blades are a kind of pealescent blue (like the inside of the chain and seat stays)

    She aint much to look at and after being built by a mere pedalwan she probably wont ride so nicely either but… shes MINE. With a genuine grouppo to boot. Apologies in advance for the plerithora of rule violations.

    Hey, hey! No need to apologize! You built it up yourself? Kudos for that. That you’re here and are aware of the Rules means you’re on the right path. How do you like those one-piece bars? They look like they’ve got some serious forward throw to them. Are those spd pedals?

  31. Decals might be a good idea for those of us with bland forks. Might be something fun to look at on those long rides when you sometimes zone out.

    I love the rotation of the etching on some of my front hubs, fun to watch over the bars. Also, colored nipples can be quite mesmerizing. Both on and off the bike…

  32. @dinosaurJR

    This will be my #1 bike when I finally finish it. You cant really see it but the inside of the fork blades are a kind of pealescent blue (like the inside of the chain and seat stays)

    She aint much to look at and after being built by a mere pedalwan she probably wont ride so nicely either but… shes MINE. With a genuine grouppo to boot. Apologies in advance for the plerithora of rule violations.

    Not a brand I’m familiar with (I’m in USA), but nice looking bike. And good for you for building it up yourself. Nothing better than building your own bike. My first “serious” road bike (Trek 560 Pro Series) was an off-the-shelf bike, but I learned how to build up a bare frame after that. Don’t worry about rules violations. Rules are meant to be broken (@frank, of course, will beg to differ). :-)

  33. @wiscot

    Thanks, it’s a real education, that’s for sure. To be honest, the Cinelli Ram is not going to make the final cut; the reach is just crazy (over 90mm if my measurements are to be believed) and try as I might I cannot get the hoods into an acceptable position. I completely miscalculated my fit and threw away a chunk of cash in to the bargain… You live and learn, though, eh? I think they look awesome, though… As a replacement I’ve just ordered a 3T Ergosum Team at 400mm and a 90mm Deda Elementi Superleggera stem.

    Also – guilty as charged. They are Ritchey Paradigm Pros. Nothing to do with walking (Im not a pedestrian, not when I’m in lycra, at least) just economising (one pair of shoes for two bikes).
    @chuckp

    Thanks. I am trying my best on all fronts. To be honest I actually saved some cash over the built up off the shelf model and got to spec the bike as I wanted so its a win win for me.

  34. @chuckp

    Dang – dodgy keyboard again with that punctuation.

  35. @EBruner

    I tend to agree.

    -Eddie

    Love that! Just awesome!

  36. @Oli

    Talk about throwing all the trump cards on the table at once. Purely beautiful right there!

  37. @dinosaurJR

    @chuckpThanks. I am trying my best on all fronts. To be honest I actually saved some cash over the built up off the shelf model and got to spec the bike as I wanted so its a win win for me.

    Building your own bike is good for the soul. Plus, as you’ve found out, you can spec it exactly as you want. Matters both in terms of personal choices and bike fit. And rarely is the OEM saddle the saddle your butt really likes anyway. BTW, it’s not a rule but I consider it somewhat sacrilegious to have a mis-matched (brand) stem and bars. In fact, I’d argue that your entire cockpit (stem, bars, and seat post) should be the same brand unless your frame requires something proprietary for one of the above (yours looks like that might be case for the seat post).

  38. @chuckp

    I completely agree about the OEM saddle thing. I bought the same saddle I have on my mtb – my butt agrees with this saddle.

    As for the cockpit; I can see your point but I couldn’t find a Deda Elementi bar that I liked in stock and the Superleggera stem was just too good to pass up. At least both brands are Italian… Oh, and correct again; the seat post is frame specific.

  39. From the front you see black, from the rear you see red. Same with rear of frame. Kinda cool

  40. @azryder

    From the front you see black, from the rear you see red. Same with rear of frame. Kinda cool

    I had this bike! It was just a bit too small for me so away it went. It was a good climber though – light and stiff.

  41. Flames everywhere….

  42. @Michael

    Can’t stand that bikes only come in two colors; murdered out black or flat black. Years ago one of the British mags was reviewing a team Koga and said how it looked slow: black frame, black wheels, seem, saddle, bars/tape. The early days of deep black carbon and the perception was heavy, not slick. Times change, unless you ride Celeste!

    It took a while before I could post the picture, but here’s to show that Koga has stylish suits with classy linings.

  43. @KogaLover

    Woohooaow!! Yours? Damn, that looks hot… Details and specs, please?

    Something about that deep indigo colour strikes me as a subtle reference to the olden days of bright blue Koga Miyata Pro and FullPro models. Nice touch from the Koga people.

  44. @ErikdR

    @KogaLover

    Woohooaow!! Yours? Damn, that looks hot… Details and specs, please?

    Something about that deep indigo colour strikes me as a subtle reference to the olden days of bright blue Koga Miyata Pro and FullPro models. Nice touch from the Koga people.

    Yep, mine since about a year. Koga Signature, AL 6069 (aluminium) frame, carbon fork. All Ultegra Group San. Blue is my favourite colour, hence my fondness of Koga (although my steel/ninebike is Indian Red; I could not afford a bright blue Koga Pro/FullPro back then), so I had to get me a blue one this time round. Which is reason why I abstained from carbon, which nowadays only comes in black or black and last year in red or white.

  45. @KogaLover

    So those wheels on your blue beauty are Ultegra too, then. How do they ride? (I spoke to a rider in the U.S. last summer who had a titanium rig with an Ultegra wheelset – he seemed very pleased with them.

    Blue Koga’s are hot. If I can figure out how to upload a photo, a nice 1979 specimen should appear below: The all-blue ProLuxe. Seriously: if I ever come across one of these with a 63 cm frame, my bank account will be in grave danger.

  46. @ErikdR

    Blue Koga’s are hot. If I can figure out how to upload a photo, a nice 1979 specimen should appear below: The all-blue ProLuxe. Seriously: if I ever come across one of these with a 63 cm frame, my bank account will be in grave danger.

    This would be the one that I could image: 1981 Koga FullPro. Imagine without the framepump…

    On the Ultegra wheels, they do the trick for me and are supposed to be light, but when it comes to having experience with different rims, I am a Pedalwan. I can hardly compare them to anything else, so first let me get some carbon rims and then I let you know.

  47. @KogaLover

    I’ll gladly admit that that looks very sweet as well. The black rims look really cool – and the white handlebar tape doesn’t hurt, either. Beautiful bike…

    If you should ever get stuck with one of those at 63 cm, I’ll be happy to find a good home for it

  48. @KogaLover

    Or rather: to provide a good home for it… (Picture banned, smiley-winky etc. emoticon here)

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar