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.

  • Rule #12 and the Cascade Effect That is a very reasonable opening salvo for the Rule about bike ownership. Three is good and certainly a minimum, and we are talking road bikes here, if there was any doubt. They naturally become ordered: the #1 is ichi-ban, top dog, go-to bike for every and all rides. #2 was the old #1, it ...
  • Guest Article: Black Is Not The New Black  @kogalover is singing my song here. Bikes are beautiful. ’nuff said. VLVV, Gianni With all those posts on riding in winter and being visible, either by putting Eyes of Sauron or other car melting devices on one’s steed, or by even considering a YJA instead of donning plain black kit, it was about time to finally get ...
  • Dialing in the Stable This was going to be an article about Rule #45. It is amazing how much time is wasted and matches burned when professionals stop for that second bike change to get back on their #1. With all the jigs available to team mechanics it would seem they could set up five bikes exactly the same. And ...
  • Matching the drapes to the rug As a longtime titanium bike owner, I’ve always been jealous of a beautiful painted frame but Ti and carbon frames don’t need paint like a steel frame needs paint. But I want some painted beauty. It’s like buying a white car; I can’t do white, need some color. So between a Ti frame and a ...
  • Festum Prophetae: Waiting for the Hour Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. – Mike Tyson The one thing everyone should always plan for is that however well-conceived a program might be, things will never go to plan. The high level plan for my Festum Prophetae Hour Ride was as follows: Have a custom Hour Bike built by Don Walker. Because reasons. Reasons like custom ...
  1. @Randy C

    They’re stunningly good value as well.

    @Teocalli

    It’s not that it didn’t work out, I just haven’t got round to sorting it yet.

    Should be good once it’s done although there was something said about getting it fixed and selling it being part of the deal with the new frame.

    I wanted an aluminium frame for the move to the desert. All the commuting time that I’m going to be forced to miss out on will become turbo based training properly and I’m not convinced that it’s any good for carbon. Probably not good for aluminium but less bad. And Caad12 frames are a lot more budget friendly than SuperSixes.




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  3. @frank

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    Very nice Frank, can’t wait to see it built up.




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  4. @Teocalli

    n+1

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    Even in clay, RdV makes this much cooler than I ever could.




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  5. @Oski Bear

    @Teocalli

    n+1

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    Even in clay, RdV makes this much cooler than I ever could.

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  6. my bike was stolen last night. a 2012 Masi Gran Criterium. i knew the first time i sat on it, it was made for me. not only is it my sole means of transportation (urban folks will understand this), this bike has saved my life. i’ve customised this bike to fit me like a glove, and i’ve had some of the best times of my life on it. to some, this would be just another bike in a long list, but this relatively unremarkable bike meant a great deal. 25t kilometers. recovery from diabetes. a passport to a previous me that i had missed for so long. the fool that swiped it has no idea what he has, likely. i regard this as insult to injury.




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  7. Gutted for you.




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  8. @Cary

    Why have we not seen pic’s of this beauty before ? And keep us posted on updates or good news. Hate to think a bike like this is in hands of someone with no idea. Best of luck getting it returned.

    Randy C




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  9. i’ve posted a couple, at various times. if i get it back, i’ll do a full centerfold layout! lol i’m optimistic. i learned who took it today, because he rode it to work, in a neighborhood i’ve lived in for 15 years, where everybody is looking for my bike. lol i was right about one thing, an idiot stole it!




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  10. it’s IS a nice looking bike, no? reminds me of a mid-80s Moser San Cristobal. the chrome is BLINDING in the sunlight.




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  11. @Cary

    i’ve posted a couple, at various times. if i get it back, i’ll do a full centerfold layout! lol i’m optimistic. i learned who took it today, because he rode it to work, in a neighborhood i’ve lived in for 15 years, where everybody is looking for my bike. lol i was right about one thing, an idiot stole it!

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    That is awesome news! Hope you get it back soon.




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  12. Bikes thieves have their own room in hell. I’ve had bikes stolen, it is not fun. Best of luck getting it back. I had my chrome Bianchi (I know, shoulda been celeste) stolen…and caught the a-hole riding it a few days later. A potential kiss from my u-lock was enough to convince him to get the hell off it and leave the area.




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  13. mine, all mine! 2016 Masi Gran Criterium frame. i’m building it up with a new 10 speed Ultegra groupset i’ve had laying around for years. King headset/bottom bracket, Nitto crystal post, Ritchey bars/stem, Prologo saddle, Shimano RS80 wheelset. i cannot wait!




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  14. @Cary

    Wow, that’s beautiful! Keep the pictures coming as the build progresses. Does this mean you weren’t able to recover your stolen one?




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  15. @MangoDave

    @Cary

    Wow, that’s beautiful! Keep the pictures coming as the build progresses. Does this mean you weren’t able to recover your stolen one?

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    not yet, but having only one bike has been a problem. i got in a wreck on the other bike before it was stolen, and it took me a few weeks to fix it. now that it’s gone, i haven’t ridden for almost two months. if i get it back, i won’t be in this position again. if i don’t get it back, i’ll build another bike when this one is done.




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  16. Superb blue color on the new one! Two months?! I feel bonkers if I’m off a bike for two days. Glad you’re putting a second one together!




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  17. @Cary

    Simply stunning




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  18. @Ron

    Superb blue color on the new one! Two months?! I feel bonkers if I’m off a bike for two days. Glad you’re putting a second one together!

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    the color struck me as well. i am very happy with this, and excited to get the build underway.




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  19. @Teocalli

    @Cary

    Simply stunning




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    even better than appearance, is how the bike rides. the only way i can describe it is that it positively SINGS underneath you. possessing a Gios Torino, i know you understand well this dynamic. the road feel of steel is simply unparalleled, and we are lucky men indeed.




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  20. Walmart heirs buy Rapha

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40856267




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  21. @Teocalli

    Walmart heirs buy Rapha

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40856267

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    seems they’re quite involved in cycling and promotion, and with the capital they possess, this seems like a good deal for cycling in general. i like rapha kit a lot, though i don’t own a single stitch.




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  22. @Cary. i like rapha kit a lot, though i don’t own a single stitch.

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    That’s a pretty exclusive group. Not owning Rapha seems to be an essential qualification for those who hate on it.




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  23. how can you hate it? would that everybody looked so good on a bike.




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  24. @Cary

    @Teocalli

    Walmart heirs buy Rapha

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40856267

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    seems they’re quite involved in cycling and promotion, and with the capital they possess, this seems like a good deal for cycling in general. i like rapha kit a lot, though i don’t own a single stitch.

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    I love me some Rapha kit. Just look at Sky in 2016 vs 2017 to see how they took a step down in looking fantastic.

    I don’t understand the fuss. When a company is doing really well, taking on investment usually means they can make investments to grow the company faster then they would organically. Firms don’t meddle unless they see the company faltering financially, and Rapha is doing great.

    The problem people seem to have is that their (our?) “luxury” brand wasn’t bought by the right investors with the right name. Pinarello is now owned by L Catterton and you can see that not all of those brands are “luxury”:

    http://www.lcatterton.com/Brands.html#!/current

    Example #2: My favorite local craft brewery sold to Budweiser a few years ago. Lots of “sellout” talk. What they got was a better supply chain (i.e. aluminum can supply was constrained) and a gift shop and now I can find my favorite beer in more stores. Same quality. Bud doesn’t even do any manufacturing. This was a brand acquisition and a few years in, the product is the same, there are more great products (beer!) and the founders (who spent every dime they had to create a business they were passionate about) made a bunch of money. Sound familiar? :)




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  25. @Cary

    I agree, but plenty of people like to knock it because of the marketing I guess. They do lay it on a bit thick with the epic shots of hipsterish guys on cobbled murs, and of course some of their notorious products like expensive shaving kits and leather-bound ride journals are just ammunition for the splenetics.

    Personally I’ve always forgiven them for that side because their stuff not only looked good but it was good – as good as anything else you could get without looking like something Mario Cipollini and Jackson Pollock put together on a cocaine binge.

    Which brings me to @BacklashJack‘s point. I do hope some of the money goes into putting Rapha’s R&D back on track.

    Sky may not have looked as fantastic in Castelli but there’s no doubt that 5 years ago Rapha was technically the best stuff you could get but I feel they haven’t really moved on. Castelli brought out the Gabba and have had several iterations and spinoffs, and look at the speedsuits they made for the Tour with the built-in dimples. Others like BioRacer and NoPinz have made big gains in specialised areas. I think Rapha only managed to bring out a Gabba-equivalent last year at a much higher price and it didn’t set the world alight. I suspect that was a factor in their parting company with Sky who probably demanded more advances than Rapha could manage.

    They still look great but without a technical edge there’s not a lot to justify the premium price, so I hope the new owners realise it isn’t just about looks.




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  26. If you want to get on peoples case in the UK , just point at their Rapha gear and say ‘oh, you get your bike gear from Asda?’. Works every time :)

    Personally I don’t care what people wear as long as it is smart, clean, matching and functional.




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  27. @edster99

    If you want to get on peoples case in the UK , just point at their Rapha gear and say ‘oh, you get your bike gear from Asda?’. Works every time :)

    Personally I don’t care what people wear as long as it is smart, clean, matching and functional.

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    Rapha by George at Asda………………




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  28. @chriso

    You’re not kidding about the Gabba iterations and spin offs. Every time i get a “discounted Castelli” email from one supplier or another, there’s a type of jersey or jacket that I’ve never heard of. They must have the most cluttered catalogue of any cycle clothing manufacturer.




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  29. as good as Rapha looks, the Post/Raas era Raleigh jersey will never be beat for pure class. the current Belgium Champion jersey even mimics its layout.




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  30. this one isn’t bad, either.




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  31. trying again..




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  32. some more pics of the new Masi.

    luggs:

    headtube and downtube detail:

    box crown fork:

    the box crown fork is the first thing that really made this bike attractive. so rare on modern steel bikes, and usually an expensive custom option if offered at all.

    this frame is the cat’s ass.




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  33. @Cary

    Dang that is stunning. Worst think is, it look like it’s about my size…………




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  34. New arrivals…….note the cleats for clips.




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  35. @Teocalli

    New arrivals…….note the cleats for clips.

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    damn those are fine. yessir.




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  36. @Teocalli

    @Cary

    Dang that is stunning. Worst think is, it look like it’s about my size…………

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    it’s a 53, w/54.5 top tube. BB drop is relatively shallow, and the rear triangle is super tight. the whole frame is tight, actually, with some toe overlap on the front. the modern Haro/Masi Gran Crit replicates closely the geometry of ’80s California-built Masis. for me, the best of all possible worlds.




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  37. @Cary

    @Teocalli

    @Cary

    Dang that is stunning. Worst think is, it look like it’s about my size…………

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    it’s a 53, w/54.5 top tube. BB drop is relatively shallow, and the rear triangle is super tight. the whole frame is tight, actually, with some toe overlap on the front. the modern Haro/Masi Gran Crit replicates closely the geometry of ’80s California-built Masis. for me, the best of all possible worlds.

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    Yup about my size – in fact forget the about bit……..




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  38. @Teocalli

    Been looking for those cleats for my old Dynamic Drive Shimano 600 AX gundecks for many years and then decided to install the now-common SPD-SLs. But for the Eroica I need to put on the original gundecks so those cleats are still a must have. Did they come with the shoes or can you buy them separately.

    To be fair, I did see some cleats on the webs but they were horrendously expensive and since I use cleats by the dozen, I decided against buying them, so now the toes of my shoes have a V inscribed into the leather.




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  39. @KogaLover

    Having some grief posting if I put in a link seemingly.

    I bought some of the ones from Yellow Jersey recently, not all that cheap though.

    Dromarti used to list them at a decent price but they don’t seem to have them on their web site now. You could try asking them.




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  40. @Teocalli

    New arrivals…….note the cleats for clips.

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    I have these in the bright white in the 1976 model. Maybe that is what those are? My bottom heel area looks a bit different. Mine are insanely light and very comfortable. Best of all, I happened to see mine on ebay. They’re the carbon sole version, seller (big shoe store, so not an individual) listed them as nylon. I picked them up for about 1/4 of retail.

    I use mine with modern LOOK cleats. Paired with white socks, they look wonderful. Problem is, now when I wear my Sidis they look so ugly and overdone, all of sudden.




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  41. @Ron

    Yes they are 1976 and as you say are amazingly light and fit like slippers. I’m tempted to get another pair in white or red for clipless pedals to replace my Sidis that are getting on a bit in miles.




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  42. @Teocalli

    @Ron

    Yes they are 1976 and as you say are amazingly light and fit like slippers. I’m tempted to get another pair in white or red for clipless pedals to replace my Sidis that are getting on a bit in miles.

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    1976? there were no 3-screw holes in shoes back then?




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  43. @KogaLover

    @Teocalli

    @Ron

    Yes they are 1976 and as you say are amazingly light and fit like slippers. I’m tempted to get another pair in white or red for clipless pedals to replace my Sidis that are getting on a bit in miles.

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    1976? there were no 3-screw holes in shoes back then?

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    Ha Ha! It’s the model/name that Vittoria use for them.




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  44. @Teocalli

    New arrivals…….note the cleats for clips.

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    Where do you find such wondrous shoes? They remind me of my first real cycling shoes in the early 80s – except mine had leather soles. And you say they’re available in white? Be still, my beating heart . . .




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  45. @wiscot

    @Teocalli

    New arrivals…….note the cleats for clips.

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    Where do you find such wondrous shoes? They remind me of my first real cycling shoes in the early 80s – except mine had leather soles. And you say they’re available in white? Be still, my beating heart . . .

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    they’re available in red, and wide sizes, too, with carbon soles. sheeeit!




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  46. And you can custom order about any colour apparently. ‘Net search on Vittoria 1976. I think standard colours are Red, White, Blue, Yellow, Black.




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  47. i looked at these before i happened upon my Sidis. they’re really cool looking.




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  48. and Orange…….




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  49. @Teocalli

    and Orange…….

    Darn, when I was reading the post I was relieved to not see Orange as a standard colour until I scrolled further down. I just secure a pair of Giro Empire SLX in orange to match the Nemo trackbike; also has laces.




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  50. @Teocalli

    @Cary

    @Teocalli

    @Cary

    Dang that is stunning. Worst think is, it look like it’s about my size…………

    1

    it’s a 53, w/54.5 top tube. BB drop is relatively shallow, and the rear triangle is super tight. the whole frame is tight, actually, with some toe overlap on the front. the modern Haro/Masi Gran Crit replicates closely the geometry of ’80s California-built Masis. for me, the best of all possible worlds.

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    Yup about my size – in fact forget the about bit……..

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    one of my observations regarding steel bike frames over the years is this: 52-54cm is really the sweet spot for traditional geometry steel road bike frames. my second really nice steel frame was a 56c Merckx Corsa SL. (my first was a Tange Prestige Schwinn Paramount, which i wrecked before i knew what i was doing) the Corsa was good, but too large for me. i bought it because i was in love with the idea of having a Merckx bike, and used with Campagnolo Chorus for $600 was affordable to me in 1994. overall, it was merely OK. it wasn’t until i got my 54c Serotta Atlanta later on, that i was able to grip the difference. varieties of round double butted steel chromoly tubes basically are what they are. some are lighter, some heavier, but across similar diameters and tube lengths, they are the same as far as ride characteristics, all other things being equal, weight is the only difference. it’s down to the design of the frame and details of geometry that make them special. also, welding is welding. tig welding saves grams vs lugged construction or fillet brazing, but the difference in a Ritchey Logic, Torelli Nitro, or Merckx Corsa is not about the welds, or who does them. it’s about the fundamental design of the frame. in my experience, that 52-54c is the sweet spot that epitomises the lively ride quality of steel, yet remains stiff and responsive enough for REAL acceleration and laying down some wattage. Columbus Chromor more or less rides the same as Reynolds 531, or Tange Prestige of equal geometries and diameters.

    i’m interested in your opinions and experiences.




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