The V-Lion of Flanders

The V-Lion of Flanders

Brush Strokes On The Soul

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I dream of painting and then I paint my dream.

-Vincent Van Gogh

Poor old Vinnie may have been Dutch, mad as a cut snake, riddled with gonorrhea, a romantic in the most insane sense, and a raging alcoholic, but despite these encumbrances he knew a bit about the use of colour. He also spent a good chunk of his short, sad life in Belgium and France, so there are more than a few virtues that he and I share. (For the record, I’m not Dutch, so you can speculate on the other common denominators…) If he was alive today, he could possibly hold down a job in the paint shop for Jaegher. Because those guys know a bit about the use of colour too, and have just painted my dream. What, you didn’t think I was going to call them earless drunkards now, did you?

When this dream of mine was first conceived, the most difficult decision to make was not what materials to use (there could only be one), not which components to use (ditto), nor how I would actually be able to afford to realise it. No, the thing that most often kept me up at night was the choice of colour. After all, I’d have to live with this for the rest of my days, much like VVG and his problems both upstairs and down. Just when I’d think I’d found the right combination of hues, another option would present itself and throw the whole process into chaos once more. Too often I would revert to the safety of black, then change to something more risky like a Belgian blue or mossy green, before once again ending back at black. But there are way too many black bicycles in the world, and while 99% of them definitely look badass, there had to be something else out there to state that this bike is a one-off.

Gritty Grey. The name alone conjured up images that I could relate to; the tone and texture of the cobblestones of Northern France and Flanders for one, and as that’s where the bike would be born and christened, it seemed like a logical choice. To give what could be a monochromatic canvas some punch, the logos and highlights had to be orange. After all, it’s the shared colour of both Jaegher and The V. Commitment was needed, and made. There was no turning back.

The suspense and anticipation was almost unbearable. What if I’d got it wrong? It wasn’t like I’d had the chance to walk into a shop and look at the choices in the flesh, not that one gets any choice when buying off the shelf anyway. When the email came through with a file attached, the opening of it actually made my heart race. Open file. Relief. Joy. Ecstasy! Each new image put a bigger smile on my face, and I think I actually let out a few ‘whoop’s and ‘fuck yeah’s as I realised that this was my bike, in my colours, just for me. The Jaegher artisans had excelled once again, and the result exceeded all expectations. The finished project will no doubt take the stoke levels up a few further notches. Only two more weeks to wait.

My dream is in living colour, and Vinnie would be proud.

// Awesome Belgian Guys // Belgian Affirmations // Il Progetto // Keepers Tour // La Vie Velominatus // Reverence // The Bikes

  1. @Brett

    I am digging the new number 1. You made a wise choice on both the bike and color scheme. It has the look of glass bead blasted Ti. I don’t know how you can focus on anything else until that steed is in your barn. Ride it well and then hang it on your den wall because it is a stunning piece of art.

    – Sparty

  2. This is bike porn, pure and simple. Thankfully the parental filters on my computers are oblivious to this and have allowed some salivating. Keep the photo’s coming.

  3. Perfect.

  4. Fuck me that’s beautiful. Enjoy.

  5. Great to see a frame made with fire and steel ,such a refreshing change from carbon. 1 1/8 headtube ,external cables , simple perfection . Colors are drool worthy . Can,t imagine it being any better aside from ripping it down the road ….

  6. But how will it fare in the V-bike head to head?

  7. @frank

    @Gianni

    I admit I didn’t read much of the post. I went right to the photos. Holy Shiet that is a Bel Mezzo!

    Fantastic.

    There’s an article?

    What article, ohhh, at the top. Gotcha. Far Canal, thats amazing. ENVEous.

  8. @the Engine

    But how will it fare in the V-bike head to head?

    and the gauntlet has been thrown on the table.

  9. Breathtakingly beautiful bike Brett! Congratulations.

    +1 for the King Cages too – i have them and they are very functional and look fantastic on a grey bike.

  10. Looks great, internal cabling not an option? Not a criticism just interested.

  11. I especially like the orange accents. They look stunning against the matte black finish. The Lion of Flanders with the “V” is too cool for words.

    Perhaps it will spawn a new Velominati sticker.

  12. @Analog

    Breathtakingly beautiful bike Brett! Congratulations.

    +1 for the King Cages too – i have them and they are very functional and look fantastic on a grey bike.

    King cages rock. I have the stainless steel version on my MTB

  13. @brett

    @Deakus

    Fuck! Someone pass me the tissues…

    @Brett are you sold on the bottle cages or might you try orange, black or a combination/mix?

    I like them, they are King Cages so I think the raw beauty of titanium needs to be on display…

    King headset too. No reason to use anything else.

  14. @Jay

    I especially like the orange accents. They look stunning against the matte black finish. The Lion of Flanders with the “V” is too cool for words.

    Perhaps it will spawn a new Velominati sticker.

    It sure will, If you go to a keepers tour.

  15. @RedRanger

    @Jay

    I especially like the orange accents. They look stunning against the matte black finish. The Lion of Flanders with the “V” is too cool for words.

    Perhaps it will spawn a new Velominati sticker.

    It sure will, If you go to a keepers tour.

    I believe you mean “decal”

  16. @Jay

    @brett

    @Deakus

    Fuck! Someone pass me the tissues…

    @Brett are you sold on the bottle cages or might you try orange, black or a combination/mix?

    I like them, they are King Cages so I think the raw beauty of titanium needs to be on display…

    King headset too. No reason to use anything else.

    And King ceramic BB

  17. build the fucker up and beat the fuckin shit out of it like a good flandrian would ….

  18. Yea Yea Its a frame ,build the fucker up ,ride the fuck out of it like a good Flandrian would .

  19. @RedRanger

    @Jay

    I especially like the orange accents. They look stunning against the matte black finish. The Lion of Flanders with the “V” is too cool for words.

    Perhaps it will spawn a new Velominati sticker.

    It sure will, If you go to a keepers tour.

    Yes, the only way to get a V-Lion decal or tee shirt is to be on a KT Cobbled Classics tour. Of which this is possibly the last.

  20. @The Pressure

    @Jay

    @brett

    @Deakus

    Fuck! Someone pass me the tissues…

    @Brett are you sold on the bottle cages or might you try orange, black or a combination/mix?

    I like them, they are King Cages so I think the raw beauty of titanium needs to be on display…

    King headset too. No reason to use anything else.

    And King ceramic BB

    Super Record cranks and ceramic BB for this build.

  21. @brett

    Nice!

    How-a-bouts a “VSP” for weight when finished? Win just bragging rights.

  22. OK Brett, So you’re not Dutch, but at least you are choosing orange. Yellow would be Belgian.

  23. @brett

    Yes, the only way to get a V-Lion decal or tee shirt is to be on a KT Cobbled Classics tour. Of which this is possibly the last.

    Whoa! More on that bombshell please!

  24. @piwakawaka

    We have build 1000’s of frames with internal cabeling in the past. Today we stand we performance and durability. Any type of internal cabeling will cause problems in the future That’s why we don’t offer this.

  25. How they build strength with welds so delicate is a mystery. Gritty grey – nice. Beautiful bike!

  26. Totally relate to paint being the most intense part of the decision making process.

    Chapeau – it’s gorgeous!

  27. GOR-GEE-US!

  28. That frameset looks pretty damn excellent. Rule 12 notwithstanding, I’d be pretty content to grow old with a bike like that.

  29. Brett, you must be thrilled that your frameset has caused so much cursing amongst the Followers. Good cursing, but still salty commentary all the same.

  30. What a beauty !!! I love it and it is not one of those carbon bikes people use so often these days.

    only steel is real

  31. Love custom steel. Great lines and the color choice gives it a little bit of the stealth look, and I love when the color accents are inside the fork blades and some even go inside the seat and chain stays, obviously not for this frame, would not work. Color combo is spot on! I love orange.

  32. @Jaegher

    @piwakawaka

    We have build 1000’s of frames with internal cabeling in the past. Today we stand we performance and durability. Any type of internal cabeling will cause problems in the future That’s why we don’t offer this.

    thanks, is it the cables or the holes through the tubing that is the issue?

  33. Beauty! People who say that pleasures diminish over time have never ridden their own custom frame. I rode mine today and it fixed a bad mood I was in.

  34. @teleguy57

    @wilburrox

    @brett

    @Deakus

    @Brett are you sold on the bottle cages or might you try orange, black or a combination/mix?

    I like them, they are King Cages so I think the raw beauty of titanium needs to be on display…

    I love the Ti King Cages… They work perfectly on metal frames. They’ll hold a bottle well. And when ya let go of them they’ll float away. What a stunning bike you’ll have. Cheers!

    Yes, +10 on King ti. Have them on my ti Hampsten and they look as good on your frame as on mine.

    Another vote for the King Ti cages,have them on both my road bikes and they do not mark your bidons.

    Not big fan of carbon cages, had issues with then not holding on to bidons securely etc plus scuff your bidons.

    And for what it is worth the King cages are not related to Chris King in any way.

  35. @piwakawaka

    Over time gears shift will not be smooth anymore and brakes will feel sticky. Changing cables won’t cure this. Internal cables will fully covered cables will always have more friction than an external cable.

  36. @Jaegher

    @piwakawaka

    Over time gears shift will not be smooth anymore and brakes will feel sticky. Changing cables won’t cure this. Internal cables will fully covered cables will always have more friction than an external cable.

    Thanks for your replies, I look forward to meet you guy’s one day.

  37. @piwakawaka

    You are very welcome for a visit and ride with us and so is every Velominatus !

  38. That is an absolutely sweet colour scheme!

    At the minute I’m agonising over the colour scheme for a new steel machine black/ grey/orange or flashes thereof against one or both of the others. However rather than make a decision that I too my regret or wish I’d thought longer about in the future, I’m wimping out and swithering towards the natural beauty of naked titanium. Timeless.

  39. Brett & Jaegher, those are incredibly well done welds. Probably not any stronger than the welds on my bike, but so much more gorgeous. All the details just right too.

    Used to have stainless steel cages on my bikes to sorta match material, but would sometimes lose bottles. Often on the MTB; rare occasion on the RB. Finally switched to same brand cages as bottles. Perfect fit. End of lost bottles, though a compromised aesthetic.

    Really looking forward to pics of the build!

  40. Get it, build it asap, ride it much … report on frame pls … DO IT .. OBEY !!!

  41. @JohnB

    Why not go for your ultimate combination; naked stainless steel ?!

  42. @Jaegher

    @JohnB

    Why not go for your ultimate combination; naked stainless steel ?!

    I like your thinking. I had briefly considered 953 stainless but had it in the back of my mind that it was a more harsh than conventional and Ti. There are not so many builders working with stainless but I haven’t dug that deep yet. Time enough to give it some more serious consideration and chat with a frame builder or 2.

  43. @Jaegher

    @piwakawaka

    Over time gears shift will not be smooth anymore and brakes will feel sticky. Changing cables won’t cure this. Internal cables will fully covered cables will always have more friction than an external cable.

    I’ve been thinking exactly that. I was constantly tinkering and adjusting my DuraAce rear derailleur and could never get it shifting as well as I thought it should on my internally cabled bike. I convinced myself it was the combo of the routing around BB and back in to chain stay and then the awkward exit angle at the rear of the chain stay that created too much friction. Ultimate fix for me? Di2.

  44. @JohnB

    FYI : a large part of our production is in stainless steel, either semi-painted or completely unpainted.

  45. Excellent…. simply awesome!

  46. I am not jealous as I am more than satisfied with my ride, but they is a fine looking bike.

    @wilburrox

    @Jaegher

    @piwakawaka

    Over time gears shift will not be smooth anymore and brakes will feel sticky. Changing cables won’t cure this. Internal cables will fully covered cables will always have more friction than an external cable.

    I’ve been thinking exactly that. I was constantly tinkering and adjusting my DuraAce rear derailleur and could never get it shifting as well as I thought it should on my internally cabled bike. I convinced myself it was the combo of the routing around BB and back in to chain stay and then the awkward exit angle at the rear of the chain stay that created too much friction. Ultimate fix for me? Di2.

    What is it about the internal routing that causes this? The increased friction?

  47. Brett, I’m sorry to shatter your dreams, but this paint scheme simply did not work out. Pedestrian, bland, uninspired… a complete failure. I feel so bad to be the one to break the bad news. I really do. To make it up to you I am offering to take it off your hands. Give you a chance to start fresh and fulfill your dreams. I’ll pay for labor, shipping, etc. It’s the least I can do. Again, I’m really sorry.

  48. @Louis Nomad

    Thanks mate, that’s really kind of you… I’ve been wondering how to deal with such a monumental fuck up.

  49. @Louis Nomad

    Brett, I’m sorry to shatter your dreams, but this paint scheme simply did not work out. Pedestrian, bland, uninspired… a complete failure. I feel so bad to be the one to break the bad news. I really do. To make it up to you I am offering to take it off your hands. Give you a chance to start fresh and fulfill your dreams. I’ll pay for labor, shipping, etc. It’s the least I can do. Again, I’m really sorry.

    can’t blame a guy for trying.

  50. Seems the Jaegher word is spreading, quoted in this piece on Cyclingtips this morning.

    http://cyclingtips.com.au/2015/03/how-does-stem-length-affect-a-bikes-steering-and-handling/

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