The Bikes

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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.

  • The Torch Song That's not a robot right there.Live music is better than recorded music. It’s a given. Having that connection, where you’re sharing the same space as the artist is a unique experience that can’t be replicated on a plastic disc. To receive the gift from the giver personally is a moment of intimacy not possible if it arrives in a package in the mail. ...
  • Guest Article: The Emonda and the Montello The Red EmondaIt is important to have a steel bike and a carbon bike and maybe a titanium bike. It just is. The steel bike might not be ridden too often but it is worthy bike to ride. A steel frame will be heavier and less stiff but it will feel great. For many of us, we ...
  • How Soon Is Now? Eddy waits for his JaegherWaiting has never been my strong point. I’m anxious, but don’t really suffer from anxiety. Good things come to those who wait isn’t at the top of my list of proverbs to live by. Do What Thou Wilt always has been, though; kind of a Just Do It for early 20th century Satanists, and me. It ...
  • Where Have You Been All My Life? Yes, indeedLife is full of surprises. Some you don’t want, like a funnel web in a shoe, while others are completely unexpected but more than welcome, even if you are then left with figuring out the hows, whys and HOW?s of the serendipitous conundrum now presented to you. This is how I now feel, after fate knocked ...
  • Joe Kid on a Moto-Bike My Yamaha Moto-Bike, circa 74?Never forget your roots, they say… OK, I’m a child of the 70’s, and back then bicycles were as big a part of my life as they are today. We’d always be out riding, building tracks and jumps, and tinkering with our Dragsters, stripping them down to emulate our motocross heroes, with varying results. All these memories came flooding ...
  1. @Barracuda

    Nicely done!  I’m sure the boy will love it.

    Is that a keg of beer next to the refrigerator?

  2. I can’t help but share this gem.

    A guy has some Delta brakes listed on ebay. For some reason he has a action shot of a shark ready to chomp as the background. (superior chomping qualities of Deltas?).

    The brakes are listed as Companolo Delta brakes. I emailed him to let him know his spelling was a bit off. His reply made my day:

    YES. MY FRIEND BUT WE ARE I AMERICA WE ARE NOT IN (ITALY) THANKS FOR YOUR CONCERN HOW I SPELL CAMPY.

    I couldn’t resist inquiring how he spells Ferrari and Ducati.

  3. @Ron

    I have ridden this frame pretty hard for the last year, including some “off road excursions”.  I have had zero issues with performance. I got the frame with no expectations and it has surprised me to say the least. I also have a chinese carbon 29er mtb, not nashbar, that I have been beating with out mercy for well over a year and that has performed flawlessly as well. I have had some really nice bikes over the years and these current chinese frames are performing equally as well as any highend bike I have owned in the past, except for my custom Independent Fab 29er, which was retired last year after 11 years of dedicated hard service, but is looking to make comeback sometime in the future. My cycling budget has been cut significantly over the years so I have to do what I have to do, you know what I mean.

  4. Cool, I was just offering a word of caution. Glad you are getting great use out of the bike. Sometimes the gruppos on the big store bikes are worth buying the whole thing and then just using the frame for whatever.

    I gotcha, wife, house, vacations…I too am no longer a single grad student who thinks it’s okay to buy three road bikes a year. Well I actually do, I just can’t direct the money towards such endeavors any more.

  5. @Ron

    All good I appreciate it, I just got the frame and threw parts at it.

    Then added the Dura Ace tubeless wheelset and it has transformed the bike.

    Not a bad ride for only having $800 into it

  6. @PeakInTwoYears

    Now that the site is back up, I can share my enthusiasm–really, it’s just been a series of sustained, multiple squeegasms–for my new Veloforma frame. Having been back on the bike for only three years after over two decades off, having gotten back into Cycling on a perfectly decent (CAAD10) aluminum bike, I was more than ready for my first ever sustained Viagra-like overdose of Carbone.

    Sadly, my current state of penury and want means that it’s going to be later this year before I can put appropriate components on it. I’ll be going Bro-set, and I have good reasons to do that, and you won’t be able to talk me out of it. For now, though, I’ve had to move my 105 with Force cranks over from the C’dale. That’ll all go back onto the C’dale for a nine-bike once I get the funds sorted.

    Suffice it to say that the Veloforma (M’Lady Blackheart) does everything (everything) so much better than any bike I’ve ever ridden. My last bike in the 80s was a wonderful steel frame hand built by Glenn Erickson. So I sort of remembered what a nice ride felt like.

    But this is an entirely new experience.

    Awesome. I’m digging the orange tape. Perhaps I’ll go that way on mine.

    What size frame is this?

  7. @il muro di manayunk

    Speaking of which, working on your custom paint now.

    @peakingintwoyears – what tape is it? fi'zi:k? I have some stuff sent to me from ZA that is also a good match. Been tempted for ages to try it but can’t bring myself not to have white or black bars on my bike.

  8. @Ron

    That’s a classic. Why oh why did you tell him? Prime opportunity to get some on the cheap!!

    @unversio

    Diggin the new avatar.

  9. @Ron

    Cool, I was just offering a word of caution. Glad you are getting great use out of the bike. Sometimes the gruppos on the big store bikes are worth buying the whole thing and then just using the frame for whatever.

    I gotcha, wife, house, vacations…I too am no longer a single grad student who thinks it’s okay to buy three road bikes a year. Well I actually do, I just can’t direct the money towards such endeavors any more.

    s – 1 was ever thus.

  10. @Roger

    @Ron

    All good I appreciate it, I just got the frame and threw parts at it.

    Then added the Dura Ace tubeless wheelset and it has transformed the bike.

    Not a bad ride for only having $800 into it

    Nothing will transform a bike like a good set of wheels. I’ll take carbon wheels on shimano 105 groupsan any day over DA with stock wheels.

  11. @Barracuda

    Rescued an old and rusty kids bike and resto’d it for my 3 yar old son.  Touch of the “V” influence going on.  Now just to await the ordered V decals and its done.

    Good job ditching the purely cosmetic suspension fork. Advise that you take off the cranks along with the training wheels, and set it up as a balance bike.

  12. @frank

    Right on! Sounds like I’ll be able to have it all built up in time for the beginning of the season.

  13. @Nate

    Agree about the stabilisers, all they do is teach kids how *not* to balance on a bike, dump them and the cranks and let him learn to scoot around first and the illogical steering into a lean rather than against it that is the essence of keeping upright on a bike.

  14. @frank

    @Roger

    @Ron

    All good I appreciate it, I just got the frame and threw parts at it.

    Then added the Dura Ace tubeless wheelset and it has transformed the bike.

    Not a bad ride for only having $800 into it

    Nothing will transform a bike like a good set of wheels. I’ll take carbon wheels on shimano 105 groupsan any day over DA with stock wheels.

    I bought my bike in November and I’m already aspiring to upgrade it (obviously) but the only component I really think worth spending anything on is wheels.

    Mine’s a basic alu 105 type bike (Felt F75), what sort of wheel upgrade would be worthwhile? And how much £?

    Probably a ‘how long is a bit of string’ type question.

  15. @frank

    No doubt, the difference is significant in so many ways

  16. @RobSandy

    @frank

    @Roger

    @Ron

    All good I appreciate it, I just got the frame and threw parts at it.

    Then added the Dura Ace tubeless wheelset and it has transformed the bike.

    Not a bad ride for only having $800 into it

    Nothing will transform a bike like a good set of wheels. I’ll take carbon wheels on shimano 105 groupsan any day over DA with stock wheels.

    I bought my bike in November and I’m already aspiring to upgrade it (obviously) but the only component I really think worth spending anything on is wheels.

    Mine’s a basic alu 105 type bike (Felt F75), what sort of wheel upgrade would be worthwhile? And how much £?

    Probably a ‘how long is a bit of string’ type question.

    Really depends on budget, how you ride, how big are you etc. I picked up my Dura Ace Wheels for a few hundred bucks used from a local, the wheels new are like a $1000. If you wait and search a really good use set of high end wheels can be had for a reasonable price, carbon is nice, but you can also have a pretty light set custom built for the $600-800 range, check out the Bike Hub Store, he know his stuff and the components are pretty good.

  17. @frank

    @Ron

    Cool, I was just offering a word of caution. Glad you are getting great use out of the bike. Sometimes the gruppos on the big store bikes are worth buying the whole thing and then just using the frame for whatever.

    I gotcha, wife, house, vacations…I too am no longer a single grad student who thinks it’s okay to buy three road bikes a year. Well I actually do, I just can’t direct the money towards such endeavors any more.

    s – 1 was ever thus.

    I didn’t really mean that. Just getting the 20% together for purchasing our house, so I strayed a bit. But, it was only momentary. I’ll be living in n+1 mindset once again as soon as our mortgage is secured. My apologies.

  18. Do the grips and the saddle follow the rules?

  19. @JCM

    Was once a keg of beer, neatly converted into a beer cooler, with a flip top lid!  Great for parties , just roll in out to the pergola and throw a bag of ice in it and just add some ales !

  20. @Nate

    Tried the balance bike route, sadly he wouldn’t go for it, built this little beast up and its hard to get him off it.  You win some and you loose some.   Agree with the balance bike theory though.  If I could keep him on the balance bike we’d be on a winner, but riding a pedalled / trainer wheeled bike as opposed to no bike at all is a good compromise.

  21. Dropout reverence.

  22. @Barracuda

    @Nate

    Tried the balance bike route, sadly he wouldn’t go for it, built this little beast up and its hard to get him off it.  You win some and you loose some.   Agree with the balance bike theory though.  If I could keep him on the balance bike we’d be on a winner, but riding a pedalled / trainer wheeled bike as opposed to no bike at all is a good compromise.

    I had the same with my daughter initially with a balance bikes. She wasnt keen but I kept trying and took her to a different park where there was a very gentle slope. She was able to ride it without too much effort and from then on it was all good. The next time at the park she was zooming around and going across a low skateboard bowl, and then down the ramp onto the skateboard bowl as her confidence built up.

    Now she has a bigger bike but I had to put trainers on it as it was slightly too big for her, so we have gone backwards. But I took them off the other week and I am building her confidence in riding a pedal bike without trainers.

  23. Article/video explaining the TT bike that Thomas Dekker used at yesterday’s hour record attempt. 30’000 EUR, custom made of course. Tubes with silk in it, which you can throw away after the hour.

    http://www.rtlxl.nl/#!/u/3e815cfd-6aa7-6d4e-8f5f-226aaee6ae7c

  24. @tessar

    @Ron

    The annoying answer is probably “It depends”. I use latex on my racing wheels but skimp out on the training ones, which means they get very intermittent riding at times. Last time I raced mine was October. In between I try to pump them every once in a while but I don’t always get around to it so they sit flat quite often.

    So far, I noticed two problems:

    1. If you leave them with sealant in (which works better on latex than on butyl tubes, it’s no a bad idea), it can eventually glue the tube to itself if left flat. I had two tubes burst on the initial pumping after a few months off.
    2. Latex is very supple, so if you leave it flat and then pump again, the tyre can move and wiggle a bit, causing a pinch. I’ve heard of riders who had the tube wiggle into gaps in the rim tape, again causing flats.

    A good article on latex problems and solutions: http://austintriathlonstore.blogspot.co.il/2015/01/latex-tubes.html

    Quick question. Except puncture during the race, why would you want to repair clincher inner tubes, be it latex or butyl, with sealant. Surely patching them is easier and more effective.

    Also there is no rule that sealant works better with latex than with butyl.

    There are many sealants on the market now and some work better with latex, while others don’t.

    If you’re interested check tests below, tried most of the sealants tested there myself and had very similar findings. Generally I hate using sealants myself but just wanted to see what works better and what not. My main concern were tubulars of course. Don’t see a point of using sealant on clinchers.

    http://www.slowtwitch.com/Products/Things_that_Roll/Tires/Sealant_Test_-_Part_1_4147.html

    http://www.slowtwitch.com/Products/Things_that_Roll/Tires/Sealant_Test_-_Part_2_4155.html

  25. its nearly 4 years since my significant neck injury and Im happy that as of last night Ive got my stem back to a more respectable level, the bike handles completely different and am pleased that can get it looking good once again.

  26. Photo upload issues

  27. @Barracuda

    can see all 3, not complaining though. Bike looks good in each one (though if I’m being picky I could point out the bidon related Rule #26 infraction).

  28. @Barracuda

    Photo upload issues

    all three photos look good!

  29. @Mikael Liddy

    @Barracuda

    can see all 3, not complaining though. Bike looks good in each one (though if I’m being picky I could point out the bidon related Rule #26 infraction).

    Sorry about that, no photos showing my end.  Shit internet no doubt.

  30. @piwakawaka

    @Barracuda

    Photo upload issues

    all three photos look good!

    One would of been sufficient no doubt !    Shit internet connection down here doesn’t help uploading

  31. Just felt like saying “Bitches” !!

  32. @TommyTubolare

    Quick question. Except puncture during the race, why would you want to repair clincher inner tubes, be it latex or butyl, with sealant. Surely patching them is easier and more effective.

    Also there is no rule that sealant works better with latex than with butyl.

    There are many sealants on the market now and some work better with latex, while others don’t.

    If you’re interested check tests below, tried most of the sealants tested there myself and had very similar findings. Generally I hate using sealants myself but just wanted to see what works better and what not. My main concern were tubulars of course. Don’t see a point of using sealant on clinchers.

    http://www.slowtwitch.com/Products/Things_that_Roll/Tires/Sealant_Test_-_Part_1_4147.html

    http://www.slowtwitch.com/Products/Things_that_Roll/Tires/Sealant_Test_-_Part_2_4155.html

    Exactly, for racing. Even if there’s just a 20% chance (random number) of a successful seal, for the price of 50g and a slight hassle, I’m willing to take those odds if it saves a race even once.

    As for latex vs butyl effectiveness: There’s a lot of “anecdote-science” going on with sealants, but the thinking is that butyl, being relatively stiff, interferes with the sealing more than the pliant latex (but either way a small difference, especially compared to a tubeless situation). I’m not too clear on the details though, but some of that is MTB lore, and tyre guru Tom Anhalt mentioned it a few times, as did Schwalbe representatives (right before these idiots killed their excellent One and Ironman tubulars with a butyl tube).

    Anyway, for me it’s latex for racing with a sealant if I can be bothered, and butyl and a patchkit for everything else.

  33. @il muro di manayunk

    It’s a 48. I’m that huge.

    @frank

    Easton. Ran across it at Cyclepath down in PDX. I had to order more because in my excitement I wrapped the drive side all kitty wampus. (Kind of you not to bring it up.)  It feels good to the touch, but I haven’t had it in the wet yet because I got drug off to Hawaii for the week.

    How do you think black tape and orange cable housing would look?

  34. (Was planning to bring it to HI but discovered that Hawaiian Airlines has this ridic size limit on checked items that my bike box would not have met.)

  35. 'Mondrain-inspired LOOK logo I did as a prototype. This or similar designed nod to the bike company and artist will be finishing my bar tape when the new bike is delivered/completed.'

    I have a package coming in via UPS tomorrow- may need some ideas with the build up. The missus is going nuts with my asking “What about this? Or that? Or this one with those in that color?” So I’m going to need some help and save her sanity.

    This must be the female equivalent of what men go through when they go clothes shopping with their wives and girlfriends. God bless her though, she was the one that eventually made me pull the trigger and spend money, and God knows I’m a tight-ass.

    So any guesses to what I’ve bought?

    1st correct guess will receive the satisfaction of a well thought out hunch, and a hi-five.

    (and no, It’s not a 70’s era Raleigh Grand Prix to go with these bars….) Pics tomorrow after the UPS driver drops it off.

  36. @unversio

    Is that your machine, because FFS that’s beauty brother.

  37. @Tugman

    No, no, no! Festka is doing incredible work is all.

  38. @Tugman

    Since we’re in the “bikes” section, it ought to be a KG96.

    Or at least a La Vie Claire jersey…

  39. @cognition

    @Tugman

    Since we’re in the “bikes” section, it ought to be a KG96.

    Or at least a La Vie Claire jersey…

    Yes!

  40. @cognition

    Getting warm, but not quite there.

    @piwakawaka

    Lovely jersey brother. Deep envy, but your guess is cold.

  41. @Tugman

    @cognition

    Getting warm, but not quite there.

    @piwakawaka

    Lovely jersey brother. Deep envy, but your guess is cold.

    LOOK!!

  42. @Tugman

    If you’re not going old-school, then I’d imagine a new Look 695 in the Mondrian paint scheme?

  43. @piwakawaka

    Yes.

    @cognition

    Even warmer, but fuck sake, we could go on like this forever. So here she is…

    Nope, I didn’t buy a Tarmac….or a Venge.

    What is it??? Cue the drumroll…..

    Look 586 Pro Team Origin 2009-   from the rear dropouts to the front fork ends, she never saw tarmac, only a handful of wishful asses, indoors as a demo model from what I gather.  That soul-eating VHM 3k weave, none more black…UD rear dropouts and replaceable derailleur hanger.

    Candy coated goodness… my shit camera on my phone is not the best tool for the job, but the paintwork on this and the way the raw carbon bits interact with the paint is amazing in person. look

    Got some Super Record to match, all this 3k, and an Athena AL crank to make it pop where the engine meets the machine. Looking at some Reynolds Sixty-Six for shoes.

    Daddy is happy. Oh yes he is.

  44. Almost forgot the goody bag.

    What I got inside…

  45. @Tugman

    best thing that ever came out of that box….

  46. @Tugman

    dayum, daddy would want to be happy!

  47. @Tugman

    That soul-eating VHM 3k weave, none more black…UD rear dropouts and replaceable derailleur hanger.

    Daddy is happy. Oh yes he is.

    Hey you’ve been sold a duffer, that there dropout is upside down – and on the wrong side………..

  48. @Teocalli

    Smoke and mirrors me boy, smoke and mirrors….but as foggy as I was this morning, you had me for a second!

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