The Bikes

by / / 12630 posts

The Bike. It is the central tool in pursuit of our craft. A Velominatus meticulously maintains their bicycles and adorns them with the essential, yet minimal, accoutrement. The Rules specify the principles of good taste in configuration and setup of our machines, but within those principles lies almost infinite room for personal taste.

It seems in some ways like a kind of Stockholm Syndrome, the way we honor our machines. We love them to a point that lies well beyond obsession. Upon these machines upon we endure endless suffering, but also find an unending pleasure. The rhythm, the harmony between rider and machine, the outdoors, the wind in our faces and air in our lungs.

The Bikes is devoted entirely to our machines. Ours, The Keepers, and yours, the Community. It features articles devoted to our bikes, and proves a forum for uploading photos of your own machines for discussion. We will be harsh, but fair; this is a place to enforce and enhance our observation of The Rules.

If you’d like to submit an article about your own beloved bike, please feel free to send it to us and we’ll do our best to work with you to include it.

  • Weight Weenies Parting the waters on a 24 pound bike.My bike weighs about 6 kilos. It is no waify little thing either, with it having a 61cm frame and and three stories of seatpost. It has beefy tubes, a stiff bottom bracket and steerer, and deep section wheels which are laced 3x in the back and 2x in front. This bike has never made me go faster; ...
  • Leave No Bike Behind Pre Rule #26 photoWords of advice for the lads: If your girlfriend is a very good cyclist and you two are going to get engaged, a nice racing bike is not a substitute for a ring. I tried it. In my cyclo-centric male brain, she needed a proper racing bike a lot more than she needed a ring. ...
  • Voyeurs Sometimes, the eyes can only take so much.We are a sick lot. We have no morals whatsoever. I understand why others are wary of us, why café patrons reel in disgust, why real men driving utes want us dead. We attempt to assimilate while at the same time exhibiting no shame of our middle-aged bodies swathed in a thin shield of no real protection (for us or ...
  • The Goldilocks Principle: Deflategate How big is too big? How soft is too soft?The Rider is the best book ever written about Cycling. I don’t mean that figuratively, I literally mean that literally. I say this despite having had my hand in writing our own Book about Cycling. What makes this book great is not just the prose, which is immaculate, but the spirit of the Velominatus that permeates the ...
  • That New Chain Feeling Chain Breaker.  photo-Cor VosI replace my chain every year, more or less. It tends toward less as I don’t have a set anniversary for new chains. Usually I notice the shifting is lagging a second and it dawns on me that the chain is in need of replacement. In my youth I would keep the same chain on ...
  1. @Chris

    @wiscot

    Wow, Wisconsin really is a bit remote. No one has desk tops that shape any more.

    They don’t? Damn! Might have to git me one of them fancy tablet thingys!

  2. kixsand – I’m sure you know what you’re doing, but I thought I’d inquire about your choice of brakes. I had some nice FSA SL-K cantilevers and switched to the TRP 8.4 V brakes. Not wildly muddy where I’m at, but no clearance issues with the level brake cable and the braking is vastly better. And, the pull when matched to Red levers is incredible, zero friction or drag, almost like the lever has no cables attached.

    Either way AVVesome looking new frame you’ve got there. I was just thinking the other day, “My cross bike is a few years old, it doesn’t have disc brakes…but, I’m okay with that. Not every bike has to be brand new and extra fancy.” And now you post that and it has me thinking about a new cross bike!

  3. @frank

    Uh oh.

    Little Annapurna?  Really, Washington?

  4. Considering the size and variety of kit in the bike bazaar it’s remarkably restrained of me only to buy a shiny seat binder bolt.  This is just a small sample of the stalls………………..

  5. @Teocalli

    Brilliant, thanks for posting. So, those are the photos before Steel Vintage Bikes’s van crashed? Is it an annual vintage bike seller bazaar?

  6. @Bespoke

    That was after they had the crash.  If you look you can see some bent wheels on the ground and the frames under the wheels were all damaged.  There was a stunning Olmo frame with a stoved in seat stay.  I’d guess they will fix the Olmo.

    This is in the showground at L’Eroica Britannia where they have a whole section of stalls selling steel bikes / frames / components / clothing of all types and ages.

  7. @Nate

    @frank

    Uh oh.

    Little Annapurna?  Really, Washington?

    Its worse than that. There’s also something called Aasgard Pass.

  8. @Teocalli

    I think it would be best to go to such an event and leave the wallet and credit card at home. One could do a lot of damage at such a place! So many beatiful shiny things.

  9. @wiscot

    No kidding.  The VMW had a rope round my neck and confiscated my plastic.  She did say she’d go on the ride with me on Sunday though if I took the front seat……….

  10. @Ron

    kixsand – I’m sure you know what you’re doing, but I thought I’d inquire about your choice of brakes. I had some nice FSA SL-K cantilevers and switched to the TRP 8.4 V brakes. Not wildly muddy where I’m at, but no clearance issues with the level brake cable and the braking is vastly better. And, the pull when matched to Red levers is incredible, zero friction or drag, almost like the lever has no cables attached.

    Either way AVVesome looking new frame you’ve got there. I was just thinking the other day, “My cross bike is a few years old, it doesn’t have disc brakes…but, I’m okay with that. Not every bike has to be brand new and extra fancy.” And now you post that and it has me thinking about a new cross bike!

    Good question!  And good timing as the topic is under discussion.  The original plan at the suggestion of my friends at the LBS was to keep it all uniform and go with Shimano Cantis, but we weren’t certain if they came in something other than silver.  The Ultegra group set is dark grey so silver ain’t going to cut it.  AVID shorty’s were the fall back.  I know nothing about canti brakes so would actually appreciate some feedback on what to do.

    This bike is going to be a bit of an all rounder for me…9 bike, trails, gravel and maybe some mud from time to time.

    Im going to go and look at the TRP brakes you’ve suggested now Ron.  Thanks!

  11. @Teocalli

    Thanks very much – one year I would love to join you! Maybe the one in Italy as well. Looking forward to more of your photos of the event.

  12. @frank

    @Nate

    Little Annapurna?  Really, Washington?

    Its worse than that. There’s also something called Aasgard Pass.

    Not to mention Humptulips.

  13. @Nate

    Yes, really.  “Little Annapurna”.  That’s it there on the left.

  14. @frank

    And Aasgard Pass is pretty freaking awesome, too.

  15. @frank

    @cognition

    You all in the Pacific NW are blessed with the Cascades and what has to be some of the coolest hiking in the US of A. Over here in the east we can find some cool views and all in the Smokies or up north in the Adirondacks but the beauty is a lot more subtle. I’ve not had much opportunity to cover ground in OR and WA though a day hike up to Carbon Glacier one year was a treat. And I was amazed at how Mt St Helens had come back to life when I got to do some hiking there. Cheers.

  16. My #1

  17. #2

  18. #3

  19. kixsand – No problem. I’m definitely not an expert on brakes. I just got tired of the poor stopping power on my cantilevers and read good things about the TRP CX8.4s. I’m very happy with them. I think some others ’round here (Frank?) are also using them. As with all V-brakes and road shifters, the pull takes some fine tuning, but I couldn’t be happier with mine. Smooth, great braking, nice looking, no issues in well over a year on them.

    Shucks, looks like they only come in black, red, and blue. Silver fronts, might be able to get the arms powdercoated.

    But check around and see what others have to say. I just wanted to share. I have the cheap-o Tektro equivalent on my commuter, a mudguarded cross bike. Still much better stopping power than any cantis I’ve used. But, as they say, why are you braking on a cross bike?

    I also use my Van Dessel G&T for many things – cross racing, cross training, gravel roads, 9 road rides with road wheels, light mtn (formerly…I now have a mtn. bike!). Cross bikes are awesome if funds don’t allow numerous different bikes for various applications. But, you know this!

  20. @GalleySlave

    My #1

    Been lurking around for a few years now.Love the site.

    Here’s  my Wilier trio.

  21. @GalleySlave

    Sweet by 3 – unless it’s a demo of photoshop skills!

  22. @Teocalli

    Haha….Sadly I’m not that talented with photoshop

  23. @frank @cognition

    What a cute little bijou mountain compared to its namesake.

  24. @Nate

    @frank @cognition

    What a cute little bijou mountain compared to its namesake.

    I wasn’t consulted on the naming, but I would be willing to bet that’s why they called it, “little”.

  25. @frank

    @Nate

    @frank @cognition

    What a cute little bijou mountain compared to its namesake.

    I wasn’t consulted on the naming, but I would be willing to bet that’s why they called it, “little”.

    How about Isengaard, is that in Washington too?  I always thought is was in N Zed.

  26. @Ron

    I’m going to give the Shimano CX70 brakes a shot.  They actually do come in the “Ultegra Grey” to match the GroupSan.

    If they suck then I’ll have a future project to work on – and that’s something to look forward to!

  27. @GalleySlave

    I’ll go out on a limb here, but I’m guessing you’re a fan of Williers? Lovely stable btw.

  28. @Mikael Liddy

    @GalleySlave

    I’ll go out on a limb here, but I’m guessing you’re a fan of Williers? Lovely stable btw.

    No kidding about that ! Gorgeous bikes. Where in the world you find these Wiliers w/that collection of bro-sets beats me but dang… very cool.

  29. @wilburrox

    The LBS was a Wilier dealer here in Basel.Sadly the shop is gone now.

    The owner was the Kaiser’s team mechanic back in the Telecom days.

    Very cool old Italian guy….

  30. She’s home…

  31. @kixsand

    Now that’s a bike room.

  32. @kixsand

    WOW. Gorgeous. The black on the bars/tape, stem, saddle and post are just right. What’s the story with the fork? That’s unique hey?

  33. @kixsand

    Love that fork, very cool bike, almost makes me want to try ‘cross, but nah…

  34. @wilburrox

    @kixsand

    WOW. Gorgeous. The black on the bars/tape, stem, saddle and post are just right. What’s the story with the fork? That’s unique hey?

    I wish I knew what the story with the fork was!  As nice as the fine people at Marinoni have been, their website blows donkeys.  They don’t even have this bike listed on their site.  The standard Fango with smaller diameter tubing is said to have a Cadence AX carbon fork but it looks nothing like this one in the pic.  Some of their bikes have Columbus front forks?  I honestly don’t know which this is and I wasn’t sure that I loved the look of it when I first saw it.  Hearing positive comments about it here makes me feel better but I would like to know who makes it.  I may have to send my guy there a note to ask.

  35. @kixsand

    that’s gorgeous! Nice move getting such a pretty bike for cross too, you’ll have no choice but to spend much time cleaning her after each race just to do that colour scheme justice.

  36. Apologies for returning to an older post, but I knew there was something I’d read recently re untraceable noises.

    I will now cross my fingers and hope to fix issue before ride home tonight. But am not optimistic.

    One third in to Saturday’s group ride and a shocking click starts emanating from BB region, a loud click nearly every rotation. Nothing while allowing freewheel to activate (we wouldn’t coast would we), soft shoeing it and it’s still there, out of seat still there, tried one legged pedalling LHS gone, one legged pedalling RHS also gone ???

    Not sure if group believed my dropping off on last climb was to save them from the annoyance.

    @Welsh Paul

    @Beers

    @VeloJello

    @RobSandy

    NEW AND UNSETTLING BIKE NOISE HELP NEEDED

    Clicking/pinging/clanking noise which occurs when I am pushing hard on the pedals (i.e. climbing) in the inner or outer ring. Noise coincides with the downstroke of my left leg, when my pedal is at its lowest.

    I’ve had a look and can’t see anything obviously loose, wondering if it might be something inside the body of the pedal?

    And it’s definately not the end of a cable hitting the crank, before anyone suggests it.

    Strip the chain rings off, thoroughly clean them and the chainring bolts. Strip your cassette off. Thoroughly clean this, and your chain. I find 99% of annoying noises in my experience are from the drive train. Even if it feels like its from the pedal. If that doesn’t succeed, strip and service pedals. If it still persists then move on to the crank arms/bottom bracket.

    Good luck!

    I too had the most annoying clicking noise in my bike, which seemed to coincide with powering on the pedals. Turns out it was mainly when I rocked the bike side to side under power. Had the crank out, regreased, chainring bolts tightened etc.

    And it turns out it was a slightly loosely tightened front quick release, that is all!

    Hi Everyone,

    I’ve been lurking in the shadows of this great site for a while, but felt compelled to sign up and say a massive thankyou to @Beers for this gold nugget of sanity-saving info.

    I too, had this pinking noise, which appeared to come from the cranks/bottom bracket area. No amount of stripping, cleaning, re-greasing, tightening, etc, would get rid of this noise. It was driving me absolutely bonkers!

    So I happened upon this thread the other night, and at my wits end, was prepared to try anything……but surely it can’t be the quick release! A 2 minute fiddle later, and the noise has disappeared!

    And now everything in my world is complete again!

  37. @kixsand

    Really looks great… and compliant too. I agree with @wilburrox, the black is a nice offset. Not trying too hard.

    How’s the ride?

  38. @ChrisO

    @kixsand

    Really looks great… and compliant too. I agree with @wilburrox, the black is a nice offset. Not trying too hard.

    How’s the ride?

    I took it out last night for a 90 minute thrashing in the rain no the mud and it was sublime.  So smooth, so comfortable!  It just soaks up the road like nothing I’ve ever experienced.  And yet it’s plenty stiff when you stand on the pedals.  Easiest bike I’ve ever had to ride with no hands.  It felt just perfect.  The Ultegra group set is pretty slick, I must say…really nice to use.  Happy with the 46/36 – 11/32 with long cage dérailleur I chose.

    The brakes need some work though…squealing and grabby, they go from being ineffectual to full lock up and make entering corners at speed a bit of an adventure presently.  I don’t see any simple toe in adjustment on them so it may take some mucking about to resolve.

  39. @Teocalli

    @kixsand

    Now that’s a bike room.

    That’s a nothing but bike room. I hope that n+1 didn’t clear out the family and all (other) worldly possessions.

  40. kixsand – what a lovely bike! I’d just be reluctantly to actual use it for cross riding and get it muddy or crash on it.

  41. @markpa

    @markpa

    Apologies for returning to an older post, but I knew there was something I’d read recently re untraceable noises.

    I will now cross my fingers and hope to fix issue before ride home tonight. But am not optimistic.

    One third in to Saturday’s group ride and a shocking click starts emanating from BB region, a loud click nearly every rotation. Nothing while allowing freewheel to activate (we wouldn’t coast would we), soft shoeing it and it’s still there, out of seat still there, tried one legged pedalling LHS gone, one legged pedalling RHS also gone ???

    Not sure if group believed my dropping off on last climb was to save them from the annoyance.

    @Welsh Paul

    @Beers

    @VeloJello

    @RobSandy

    NEW AND UNSETTLING BIKE NOISE HELP NEEDED

    Clicking/pinging/clanking noise which occurs when I am pushing hard on the pedals (i.e. climbing) in the inner or outer ring. Noise coincides with the downstroke of my left leg, when my pedal is at its lowest.

    I’ve had a look and can’t see anything obviously loose, wondering if it might be something inside the body of the pedal?

    And it’s definately not the end of a cable hitting the crank, before anyone suggests it.

    Strip the chain rings off, thoroughly clean them and the chainring bolts. Strip your cassette off. Thoroughly clean this, and your chain. I find 99% of annoying noises in my experience are from the drive train. Even if it feels like its from the pedal. If that doesn’t succeed, strip and service pedals. If it still persists then move on to the crank arms/bottom bracket.

    Good luck!

    I too had the most annoying clicking noise in my bike, which seemed to coincide with powering on the pedals. Turns out it was mainly when I rocked the bike side to side under power. Had the crank out, regreased, chainring bolts tightened etc.

    And it turns out it was a slightly loosely tightened front quick release, that is all!

    Hi Everyone,

    I’ve been lurking in the shadows of this great site for a while, but felt compelled to sign up and say a massive thankyou to @Beers for this gold nugget of sanity-saving info.

    I too, had this pinking noise, which appeared to come from the cranks/bottom bracket area. No amount of stripping, cleaning, re-greasing, tightening, etc, would get rid of this noise. It was driving me absolutely bonkers!

    So I happened upon this thread the other night, and at my wits end, was prepared to try anything……but surely it can’t be the quick release! A 2 minute fiddle later, and the noise has disappeared!

    And now everything in my world is complete again!

    I had a similar issue. Tightened/lubed everything to no avail. Overhauled the BB (crank off, bearings out, cleaned, relubed) and that fixed it.

  42. @markpa

    Apologies for returning to an older post, but I knew there was something I’d read recently re untraceable noises.

    I will now cross my fingers and hope to fix issue before ride home tonight. But am not optimistic.

    One third in to Saturday’s group ride and a shocking click starts emanating from BB region, a loud click nearly every rotation. Nothing while allowing freewheel to activate (we wouldn’t coast would we), soft shoeing it and it’s still there, out of seat still there, tried one legged pedalling LHS gone, one legged pedalling RHS also gone ???

    Not sure if group believed my dropping off on last climb was to save them from the annoyance.

    @Welsh Paul

    @Beers

    @VeloJello

    @RobSandy

    NEW AND UNSETTLING BIKE NOISE HELP NEEDED

    Clicking/pinging/clanking noise which occurs when I am pushing hard on the pedals (i.e. climbing) in the inner or outer ring. Noise coincides with the downstroke of my left leg, when my pedal is at its lowest.

    I’ve had a look and can’t see anything obviously loose, wondering if it might be something inside the body of the pedal?

    And it’s definately not the end of a cable hitting the crank, before anyone suggests it.

    Strip the chain rings off, thoroughly clean them and the chainring bolts. Strip your cassette off. Thoroughly clean this, and your chain. I find 99% of annoying noises in my experience are from the drive train. Even if it feels like its from the pedal. If that doesn’t succeed, strip and service pedals. If it still persists then move on to the crank arms/bottom bracket.

    Good luck!

    I too had the most annoying clicking noise in my bike, which seemed to coincide with powering on the pedals. Turns out it was mainly when I rocked the bike side to side under power. Had the crank out, regreased, chainring bolts tightened etc.

    And it turns out it was a slightly loosely tightened front quick release, that is all!

    Hi Everyone,

    I’ve been lurking in the shadows of this great site for a while, but felt compelled to sign up and say a massive thankyou to @Beers for this gold nugget of sanity-saving info.

    I too, had this pinking noise, which appeared to come from the cranks/bottom bracket area. No amount of stripping, cleaning, re-greasing, tightening, etc, would get rid of this noise. It was driving me absolutely bonkers!

    So I happened upon this thread the other night, and at my wits end, was prepared to try anything……but surely it can’t be the quick release! A 2 minute fiddle later, and the noise has disappeared!

    And now everything in my world is complete again!

    I had a problem like this.  It was an extra hidden bolt inside my shoe, that is there for some obscure bolt pattern.  The bolt was in a slot and slid back and forth, making a clicking sound.  I found the sound by shaking my shoe.  Under the insole I found a perforation in the footbed, and cut through it to access and extract the offending superfluous fastener.

  43. Chain catchers: has there been a discussion on these? This a good place to discuss under bikes? I ordered four of them after I witnessed recent spill from a bike.

    So the individual is cross changed little to little and rides over a speed table in road, chain drops off little ring and as she pedals there’s the jam as chain is wedged between frame and crank, her left foot pops from pedal and momentum carries her off the bike and down. I’m guessing little ring to little cog is kinda sorta position of lowest tension on chain? Or at least the derailleur is having to take up the most slack yes? I was riding alongside her and saw the whole thing in that slo-mo kinda way accidents are witnessed. She was okay other than some road rash, ruined bibs (new ones, ughh)  and bar tape.

    Anywho, I figured such a simple little device to have on the bike to prevent an issue so why not? What’s it hurt? I especially thought of my daughter’s bike being first one in need. Until now however I just never considered a chain catcher as something I wanted. But I have ’em now. Though haven’t installed yet I plan to do so soon.

  44. @wilburrox

    Well the pro’s do fit them on the Pave and CX bikes often use them but there are other lessons here re using gears correctly vs trying to equip around bad technique.  Little to little is not a great idea for the very reasons you mention that you will be pretty much at the limit of the ability of the rear mech to take up the chain slack even on a new chain.  So add some chain stretch for some wear and tear and everything will be pretty slack.  It may only take a bit of a back pedal to cross up on the jockey wheel and hey presto you’ve trashed the rear mech and hanger.  Just because you can go big-big and little-little does not mean that you should.

  45. Noobs don’t know about cross-chaining unless someone tells them. There are so many duplicated gears on a bike that there’s no need to go anywhere nearer than about 3 or 4 cogs away from big-big or small-small.

    Also, some chain devices can prevent these things, but I’ve also seen some truly hideous and expensive carnage from chains getting caught up in chain devices!

  46. @Teocalli @wilburrox

    @wilburrox

    Just because you can go big-big and little-little does not mean that you should.

    I was always taught to never “cross the beams”…

  47. @Oli

    Also, some chain devices can prevent these things, but I’ve also seen some truly hideous and expensive carnage from chains getting caught up in chain devices!

    I used one for one seasom of cross country mtb’ing back in the 90’s. I trashed it as soon as the season ended!

  48. @Oli

    Noobs don’t know about cross-chaining unless someone tells them. There are so many duplicated gears on a bike that there’s no need to go anywhere nearer than about 3 or 4 cogs away from big-big or small-small.

    Also, some chain devices can prevent these things, but I’ve also seen some truly hideous and expensive carnage from chains getting caught up in chain devices!

    We all know about cross chaining. Yes. And just me, maybe no one else here I suppose, but I still manage to find myself cross chained every now and then for no particular reason other maybe than finding myself on redline and focused on a wheel or simply just being careless. With the auto trim on the Di2, it’s easy to get in and out of cross chain quickly and w/o thinking much about it. The classic cross chain for me is 53-25 when hitting a climb or steep pitch that catches me by surprise. Little to little is kinda rare I’d guess as I presume most folks jump back to big ring asap. Still, I’ve done it. And this young lady, in no stretch considered a noob, did learn a lesson I suppose. And I know why in little ring in this particular instance as we’d stopped to regroup a little down road and then took off quickly. A lotta times when group is coming to a regrouping point I’ll drop in to little ring for convenience. And then take off down the road… that’s another classic time to find oneself quickly cross chained and exactly what happened here.

    Anyways, I’m gonna be sure to carefully set this thing up. Good point on them creating other issues of chain hang ups. Your point is that yes, they are not w/o issues. thx

  49. @wilburrox

    @Oli

    Noobs don’t know about cross-chaining unless someone tells them. There are so many duplicated gears on a bike that there’s no need to go anywhere nearer than about 3 or 4 cogs away from big-big or small-small.

    Also, some chain devices can prevent these things, but I’ve also seen some truly hideous and expensive carnage from chains getting caught up in chain devices!

    We all know about cross chaining. Yes. And just me, maybe no one else here I suppose, but I still manage to find myself cross chained every now and then for no particular reason other maybe than finding myself on redline and focused on a wheel or simply just being careless. With the auto trim on the Di2, it’s easy to get in and out of cross chain quickly and w/o thinking much about it. The classic cross chain for me is 53-25 when hitting a climb or steep pitch that catches me by surprise. Little to little is kinda rare I’d guess as I presume most folks jump back to big ring asap. Still, I’ve done it. And this young lady, in no stretch considered a noob, did learn a lesson I suppose. And I know why in little ring in this particular instance as we’d stopped to regroup a little down road and then took off quickly. A lotta times when group is coming to a regrouping point I’ll drop in to little ring for convenience. And then take off down the road… that’s another classic time to find oneself quickly cross chained and exactly what happened here.

    Anyways, I’m gonna be sure to carefully set this thing up. Good point on them creating other issues of chain hang ups. Your point is that yes, they are not w/o issues. thx

    On the subject of other issues… My chain keeper is set just a couple millimeters from the little ring. Somehow or another during transport to the Sunday ride my chain had found its way off the chainrings… to the inside of the little ring… underneath the chain keeper. I have no idea how it happened, but it did, and man was it a motherfucker to fix. Had to take the damn thing nearly all the way off, luckily I was plenty early for the ride, but it made me miss my pre-ride espresso.

  50. That doesn’t sound like a fun morning.

    I have a Deda Dog Fang on my LOOK that has a clamp-on FD and use a K-Edge like one on my Casati, which has a braze-on FD.

Leave a Reply

Skip to toolbar