No Graveur needed here.

No Graveur needed here.

On Rule #12: The Luxury of Passion

by / / 84 posts

Rule #12 is a luxury of passion; the #1 for good weather and epic rides or races, the Nine Bike for bad weather, the Graveur (which is neither a cross bike nor a road bike), a ‘Cross bike, a mountain bike, a townie, a track bike, a time trial bike. Add in steel, carbon, titanium – a bike for each material and a material for each bike. The only logical conclusion is that we all need – need – a bare minimum of somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 bikes. Columbo couldn’t poke a hole in that case.

On the other hand, there is something to be said for just riding your bike wherever you happen to point it, in whatever weather you happen to be riding in, on whatever kind of road you happen to have at your disposal.

We should collect as many bikes as we can love, but we should also remember that bikes were meant to be ridden, not pampered. Vive la Vie Velominatus.

// Cyclotourism // Defining Moments // La Vie Velominatus // Nostalgia // The Rules

  1. @Gregory Higgins

    My first post, First I thank thee for providing a special place for cyclists to post. Yes I must agree Frank, there is nothing like a healthy obsession. Why are our brake cables on the wrong side in oz?

    Well, you’re already on the wrong side of the planet, so what does it matter you also fucked up the brakes?

    @KogaLover

    Already/only(?) have 4 bikes (new #1 to arrive next week, the 33yrs old steel #1 becoming the Nine Bike, a mountainbike, old steel Raleigh townie), plus I also bought a Koga for the VMW->VMH, so have reached my S-1 for now. Still need to decide which bike will get the inside-trainer-tube… Life’s full of difficult questions.

    I use this exercise this technique myself. Highly effective.

  2. @Oli

    I have a dozen bikes I could ride at any given time, but I seem to mainly ride one.

    Beauty. Almost didn’t recognize you without the Bianchi. I trust they are safe and well in the stable?

  3. @Ron

    I’ve got a big heart, so I can love a big stable.

    Right now I’m set on bikes, I just want to perfect a few to my liking. Would like a new wheelset for my Casati but I’m having trouble setting on rims. Right now it has mismatched Open Pros, one black, one white, with black Record hubs (not my doing, was purchased used). I’d like to use the hubs and go with low profile alloy rims, but not easy to find 32h rims. I’d love to go with the white/silver DT 465s, but they were only made in 28s. It’s a silver frameset with white and silver parts, so I’d like to stay away from black rims.

    Oli, great bike and great photo! I love seeing shots of New Zealand.

    On the contrary, I think an anodized rim (tubulars, if you are sufficiently sophisticated) would be a beautiful compliment. Mind you, anodized is not black. They’ll be stronger than silver rims, too.

  4. @Bruce Lee

    I, for one, agree that one should have a quiver of bikes to use for the adventure at hand. But I have to admit there seems to be a ratio between ones income, number of bikes, and time to ride. When I made very little money I had lots of time to ride, and just one bike (a great one, was the old Merckx). Now, I can afford that selection of bikes for whatever purpose, but the time to ride has been surrendered to the job for the money. I love having a selection of bikes in my garage but sometimes I’d rather have the time I had as a kid to roll the miles on just one good bici.

    A-Merckx, brother. A-Merckx.

    @wiscot

    I think they were replaceable. I never had a pair, but knew guys who did. I think they rinsed it out until it got too groaty them used the glasses without it. When you’re a pro, I’m sure Oakley gave you a bag full of replacements.

    It’s hard to tell from images, but I think when Hampsten wore his on the infamous Gavia state in 88, he didn’t have the sweat band thing on. In fact, from a bit of research, I think AH eschewed the sweat bar as from memory, it tended to push the glasses off the face.

    Yeah, they had sticky tape to stick them on. You could rinse them for ages (a season at least) and then when the foam broke down a bit you could stick a new one on. They shipped with spares, if memory serves.

  5. @Oli

    @wilburrox

    @Oli

    What is the story with these bikes named Benson? Someone had posted a snapshot of their orange Benson on the bike thread the other day. I’ve not heard of Benson and a google search across the inter webs doesn’t give me any clue. Dang, red is a great color for a bike. If I didn’t like black so much I’d have a garage full of red bikes. Black with a little red? maybe perfect. Cheers

    There aren’t many Bensons about, I’m part of a lucky select few. They are built by the wonderful guru David Benson here in New Zealand. DB has a full time job (working for the local Campagnolo importer) so the frame building is very much a part-time labour of love thing for friends, although he’s been building on and off since the early 90s.

    I was lucky enough to get one thanks to a syndicate of dear, dear friends who got together and commissioned (and paid!) David to build it for me – it’s truly custom in that DB has actually known me for years, he knows my riding preferences and he knows I’m an, er, “powerfully built” gent, so the geometry and tubing choices are super specific (Columbus Pego-Ritchie, for those interested).

    It’s designed to take 28mm tyres, although I’ve run 33mm ones no problem. Even though my life seems to be conspiring to keep me away from them, it’s designed for gravel road riding and day touring, which I’ve been into for as long as I’ve owned bicycles.

    Wow, what a cool background! The day touring I’ve been doing with the VMH in the Cascades has been so much fun. Taking it easy, taking time to enjoy the views…making a day of it is so much fun. Impressed it will take 30’s.

    The Veloforma, to my surprise, will easily take 28’s as well and I’ve a feeling I could squeeze a 30 in there; I’ve got some 27mm FMB Paris-Roubaix’s stretching in wait for my new wheels from Café Roubaix which I’ll take on Keepers Tour. I have to say I’m a convert on the whole wider tire thing.

  6. @frank

    @Oli

    @wilburrox

    @Oli

    What is the story with these bikes named Benson? Someone had posted a snapshot of their orange Benson on the bike thread the other day. I’ve not heard of Benson and a google search across the inter webs doesn’t give me any clue. Dang, red is a great color for a bike. If I didn’t like black so much I’d have a garage full of red bikes. Black with a little red? maybe perfect. Cheers

    There aren’t many Bensons about, I’m part of a lucky select few. They are built by the wonderful guru David Benson here in New Zealand. DB has a full time job (working for the local Campagnolo importer) so the frame building is very much a part-time labour of love thing for friends, although he’s been building on and off since the early 90s.

    I was lucky enough to get one thanks to a syndicate of dear, dear friends who got together and commissioned (and paid!) David to build it for me – it’s truly custom in that DB has actually known me for years, he knows my riding preferences and he knows I’m an, er, “powerfully built” gent, so the geometry and tubing choices are super specific (Columbus Pego-Ritchie, for those interested).

    It’s designed to take 28mm tyres, although I’ve run 33mm ones no problem. Even though my life seems to be conspiring to keep me away from them, it’s designed for gravel road riding and day touring, which I’ve been into for as long as I’ve owned bicycles.

    Wow, what a cool background! The day touring I’ve been doing with the VMH in the Cascades has been so much fun. Taking it easy, taking time to enjoy the views…making a day of it is so much fun. Impressed it will take 30’s.

    The Veloforma, to my surprise, will easily take 28’s as well and I’ve a feeling I could squeeze a 30 in there; I’ve got some 27mm FMB Paris-Roubaix’s stretching in wait for my new wheels from Café Roubaix which I’ll take on Keepers Tour. I have to say I’m a convert on the whole wider tire thing.

    The V-Bike will take a 32 and mine will be making a guest appearance on the cobbles with whatever the widest tubeless road tyres are. Because I’m driving I’ll take the Ridley for the smoother stuff.

  7. @Chris

    @the Engine

    I’m not known as a bike pamperer

    Ivor, we’re not tri-athletes, comfort stops are allowed.

    …and I promise not to shit myself on the KT

  8. @the Engine

    The V-Bike can take much more than a 32mm tire. Its a fucking CX bike, you git. Can’t wait to smack you upside the head in Lille for not bringing a road bike on Keepers Tour!

  9. @frank

    How was twelve my magic number? Didn’t I say 25? Also, I made that number up because doing math is harder than choosing a random number.

    You may well have said 25, but I said 12 as making things up is easier than actually reading your articles properly.

  10. @the Engine

    @Chris

    @the Engine

    I’m not known as a bike pamperer

    Ivor, we’re not tri-athletes, comfort stops are allowed.

    …and I promise not to shit myself on the KT

    No, but Museeuw will if you turn up to ride with him on fat tyres and cross sized rings.

    @frank is right the KT isn’t about comfort bikes

  11. Well this pampered little princess is actually RIDDEN since she is only one of two… Yes, I’m looking to ADD; perhaps an INFINITO CV lies in my future… MAYBE. But it has to be the right color, of course.This sweet little greenie is known in these parts as The Duchess. No interloper will ever rank higher OR get more attention. .. believe me. She takes me wherever I want to go.. whenever. Rain or shine.

  12. @Lynn Pauly

    Well this pampered little princess is actually RIDDEN since she is only one of two… Yes, I’m looking to ADD; perhaps an INFINITO CV lies in my future… MAYBE. But it has to be the right color, of course.This sweet little greenie is known in these parts as The Duchess. No interloper will ever rank higher OR get more attention. .. believe me. She takes me wherever I want to go.. whenever. Rain or shine.

    Nice, Lynn! As you may be aware, I too love the Celeste.

  13. And yet, there’s no evidence of that…

  14. @Oli

    And yet, there’s no evidence of that…

  15. @Oli

    Well, I wouldn’t say that!! And look how the beauteous water background accentuates!

  16. Sorry, that comment was because the photos didn’t come through when I initially tried to post them.

  17. @Oli

    @Lynn Pauly

    Shouldn’t everyone own at least one campagnolo’d up celeste Bianchi? I think so. They are just so good looking.

  18. @Oli

    Well you know, that didn’t faze me at all..simply thought of it as part of the grand presentation of these beautiful bikes. You down under? I’m in Minnesota… literally a stone’s throw away from where Greg LeMan lives. Lots of my buds know him. We don’t do drive bys of his house we do RIDE bys…

  19. @Gianni

    Yes, of course! And Im just such a princess myself about it… my friends call me the queen with my duchess!

  20. @Lynn Pauly

    @Gianni

    Yes, of course! And Im just such a princess myself about it… my friends call me the queen with my duchess!

    It should be no other way!

  21. @Lynn Pauly

    Well this pampered little princess is actually RIDDEN since she is only one of two… Yes, I’m looking to ADD; perhaps an INFINITO CV lies in my future… MAYBE. But it has to be the right color, of course.This sweet little greenie is known in these parts as The Duchess. No interloper will ever rank higher OR get more attention. .. believe me. She takes me wherever I want to go.. whenever. Rain or shine.

    Love the chromed stays and fork. Matching stem would be perfection.

  22. @The Grande Fondue

    @Lynn Pauly

    Well this pampered little princess is actually RIDDEN since she is only one of two… Yes, I’m looking to ADD; perhaps an INFINITO CV lies in my future… MAYBE. But it has to be the right color, of course.This sweet little greenie is known in these parts as The Duchess. No interloper will ever rank higher OR get more attention. .. believe me. She takes me wherever I want to go.. whenever. Rain or shine.

    Love the chromed stays and fork. Matching stem would be perfection.

    At least it’s a quill stem. And period correct: black stem (and bars) was the thing in the late 80s, early 90s. Almost a dead ringer for Fignon’s Gatorade-era Bianchis. But that Rule #41 issue needs addressing.

  23. @the Engine

    @Chris

    @the Engine

    I’m not known as a bike pamperer

    Ivor, we’re not tri-athletes, comfort stops are allowed.

    …and I promise not to shit myself on the KT

    Yeah we’ve all made that promise before…

  24. @Oli

    @Oli

    And yet, there’s no evidence of that…

    Man, I love your Bianchis. And Wellington.

  25. @Ccos

    There’s a shop near work that sells recumbents, that it also sells bikes with huge wicker baskets attached to the bars with frames made out of scaffolding poles tells you all you need to know about the customer base, most of whom have ginger beards.

  26. @frank

    @the Engine

    The V-Bike can take much more than a 32mm tire. Its a fucking CX bike, you git. Can’t wait to smack you upside the head in Lille for not bringing a road bike on Keepers Tour!

    Did I mention I’m bringing two bikes? The Ridley may get a 52 or 53 up front this year so that I can blow my knees up properly.

  27. @Chris

    @the Engine

    @Chris

    @the Engine

    I’m not known as a bike pamperer

    Ivor, we’re not tri-athletes, comfort stops are allowed.

    …and I promise not to shit myself on the KT

    No, but Museeuw will if you turn up to ride with him on fat tyres and cross sized rings.

    @frank is right the KT isn’t about comfort bikes

    The V-CX bike is as fast on the road as my road bike and the 49 on the front gives me exactly the same ratios that I use on the road – just misses a few steps. CX is only for P-R obviously. It is an astonishing piece of kit.

  28. @pistard

    Yes… an Italian fellow in Indianapolis put this together. He is a vintage Italian specialist. I can look for that fork. Fun isn’t it?

  29. @Chris

    I’m currently at n = 3 but that a slightly simplistic way to look at it as 3 = r + m + b where r is road, m is mountain and b is bmx.

    I’ve had the mountainbike on ebay a couple of times recently but suspect that it was too close to Christmas. I’m not in a rush to get rid of it but if I got a decent price for it I’d put the cash towards another road bike. As for the bmx, I should probably put that on ebay as well an look for a cheap second hand cross bike.

    12 might be Frank’s magic number but I suspect that for most of us a realistic maximum would be 3, the #1, a dual purpose cross/graveur and a nine bike. Or the #1, a cross bike and a dual purpose graveur/nine bike. Or combinations thereof.

    That’s about where I’m at. My N = 3 for the most part, and I manage to cover most niches okay.

    #1 is the plastic fantastic Bianchi Vertigo, the pure go-fast bike

    #3 is a rather nice aluminum hardtail for going well off the path

    and in between we have this:

    which given my absurdly large stock of old parts can be whatever I want it to be from week to week. Given some 42c knobblies and it’ll run cross pretty well, 25c tubulars and it’ll run road just fine, 38mm and fenders and a rack and it’ll get me to work or across the state. It’ll even take downtube shifters if I feel like doing that.

  30. @the Engine

    @Chris

    @the Engine

    @Chris

    @the Engine

    I’m not known as a bike pamperer

    Ivor, we’re not tri-athletes, comfort stops are allowed.

    …and I promise not to shit myself on the KT

    No, but Museeuw will if you turn up to ride with him on fat tyres and cross sized rings.

    @frank is right the KT isn’t about comfort bikes

    The V-CX bike is as fast on the road as my road bike and the 49 on the front gives me exactly the same ratios that I use on the road – just misses a few steps. CX is only for P-R obviously. It is an astonishing piece of kit.

    That says more about how fast you ride your road bike than it does about versatility or gear ratios.

  31. @brett

    Oh my goodness.. yes this is a 92.. I must look up #41. A little far down on the list … #5 and #9 are very much my concern… as my friends are wont to point out as well. Very often. And shut up legs. I will check out 41!

  32. @frank

    We should collect as many bikes as we can love, but we should also remember that bikes were meant to be ridden, not pampered. Vive la Vie Velominatus.

    that place where the VMH just shakes her head. Steel, frank forgot aluminum, carbon, and ti. Bases covered. Road, CX, MTB, SS. Bases covered. Actively looking for N+1.

  33. @frank

    @the Engine

    The V-Bike can take much more than a 32mm tire. Its a fucking CX bike, you git. Can’t wait to smack you upside the head in Lille for not bringing a road bike on Keepers Tour!

    Road bikes only at Keepers Tour! I thought that was an established rule.

  34. The latest folly. Steel. Chain (Izumi super toughness) matching text on the downtube (both are gold, an homage to Fausto Coppi’s hour record machine). In addition to satiating Rule #12 interests, I’ve also noticed that track riders tend to be a little bigger than the road rider. Which means I’ve okayed a certain laxness in my diet. For power, you know…

  35. @RedRanger

    @frank

    @the Engine

    The V-Bike can take much more than a 32mm tire. Its a fucking CX bike, you git. Can’t wait to smack you upside the head in Lille for not bringing a road bike on Keepers Tour!

    Road bikes only at Keepers Tour! I thought that was an established rule.

    An unspoken one, that might need to be spoken…

    @Lynn Pauly

    @brett

    Oh my goodness.. yes this is a 92.. I must look up #41. A little far down on the list … #5 and #9 are very much my concern… as my friends are wont to point out as well. Very often. And shut up legs. I will check out 41!

    I think you are addressing @pistard there, but that bike is a beauty!

  36. @Steampunk

    Nice!!

    Is there a velodrome in Terana now?

  37. @mouse

    In Milton, just at the bottom of Rattlesnake Point. Built for the Pan-Am Games this summer. It’s a spectacular facility.

  38. @Steampunk

    Classy looking bike! Love the bits of chrome and silver with the black and white. Are those Cafe Domestique frames built by Marinoni?

  39. @pistard

    Good eye: Marinoni build. Here’s a shot pre-chain addition.

    My question, though: track gearing seems to be measured in inches. How does the Velominatus handle such conversations? By following along? By translating into metric? Or by just Rule V: gears don’t matter.

    [dmalbum: path=”/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/Steampunk/2015.02.02.05.09.28/1//”/]

  40. love the look of this

  41. @Steampunk

    I’ve done just a few track sessions and I could get hooked, particularly on crappy winter days like the last weekend. Started browsing for an old steel frame for the next project though I’d better finish the current one first! I’m a little over an hour from Calshot which apparently is the second tightest track in the world. The tightest is, I believe, somewhere in Canada.

    The banking is at a claimed 45% and tight enough to feel the G (V?) Force pushing you down if you hold below the red line at speed.

  42. Nice looking track machine! Wheelset looks really sharp.

  43. @Steampunk

    No, just a guess. A friend was looking into their road frame and thought it might be Marinoni. I do see quite a few Nonis, new and old, around here.

    The metric system for gearing is “metres of development” which is the distance travelled for one rotation of the cranks. MoD = drive wheel circumference (in metres) x chainring teeth/cog teeth.

    Sheldon Brown’s “gain ratio” is a system that hasn’t really made it into popular use, but accounts for crank length. It’s the total distance travelled divided by the distance travelled (in a circle) by the pedals during one rotation. GR = drive wheel radius/crank length x chainring teeth/cog teeth. The result is a ratio independent of measurement units.

  44. @pistard

    @Steampunk

    That’s just way too much math. Feel like you’re spinning? Smaller cog or bigger ring. Feel like your knees are going to explode? Bigger cog or smaller ring or you’re just getting old.

  45. There’s some nice looking bikes in this thread and it makes me think that my 1 Road and 1 MTB bike are not enough, but my wallet says otherwise :-) But I think I can squeeze in a Single speed purchase this year!

    Somehow I have always survived with 1 bike and I even took my racing bike on a camping trip around the Coromandel peninsular here in NZ once. I was racing at the time, so riding to Whangamata from Auckland with a tent and small backpack on my road bike seemed like a good idea. Great fun and I wish I could do it again but i need something family orientated so I can take my daughter on some cycling holidays.

  46. @Teocalli

    @Steampunk

    I’ve done just a few track sessions and I could get hooked, particularly on crappy winter days like the last weekend. Started browsing for an old steel frame for the next project though I’d better finish the current one first! I’m a little over an hour from Calshot which apparently is the second tightest track in the world. The tightest is, I believe, somewhere in Canada.

    The banking is at a claimed 45% and tight enough to feel the G (V?) Force pushing you down if you hold below the red line at speed.

    Riding a short, steep track like that is insanely fun, once you get past the vertigo. The Canadian drome you mention is in London, Ontario. Built into a pre-existing structure, hence its size. Its original incarnation (hockey rink, naturally) saw Johnny Cash propose to June Carter — on stage in the middle of a concert.

  47. @pistard

    @Steampunk

    No, just a guess. A friend was looking into their road frame and thought it might be Marinoni. I do see quite a few Nonis, new and old, around here.

    The metric system for gearing is “metres of development” which is the distance travelled for one rotation of the cranks. MoD = drive wheel circumference (in metres) x chainring teeth/cog teeth.

    Sheldon Brown’s “gain ratio” is a system that hasn’t really made it into popular use, but accounts for crank length. It’s the total distance travelled divided by the distance travelled (in a circle) by the pedals during one rotation. GR = drive wheel radius/crank length x chainring teeth/cog teeth. The result is a ratio independent of measurement units.

    Since we all use 700c wheels on our road bikes (and most of us use the same tyre size as well) it’s a good-enough approximation to just use the teeth ratio. Crank length is insignificant anyway for those calculations, unless you like to measure your muscle contraction velocity.

  48. @Steampunk

    Brilliant. Sounds like it’s quite near you!

    I’m quite fortunate to live about 800 metres away from where Jack Bobridge had a crack at the Hour Record last weekend.

    Gear inches. Always gear inches. It’s tradition going back some hunnert years.

    If you tell of racing on a 94 inch gear, people at the velodrome will know what you’re speaking of. Any other complicated re-calculations will just confuse people.

  49. @Steampunk

    @tessar

    @mouse

    Yes, always speak gear inches at the track. Tooth ratios mark you as a roadie or fixie kid. I only mentioned other systems because math.

    51×16, 48×15 and 45×14 are pretty much the same, but it’s easier to say 94 inches.

    And as @mouse says, gear inches is the oldest standard. Obvious when it was the diameter of your high-wheel; now we have to whip ’em out and download an app.

  50. Hear, hear! @frank love the duality of art and function in bikes.

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