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.

  • Festum Prophetae: Waiting for the Hour The Machine of the HourEveryone 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 ...
  • The Aesthete’s Choice: Boyaux Naturel Going Phantom Aero on the FMB naturals. Photo: Rouleur.ccTradition and innovation are the two opposing edges that cut our evolution through the fabric of our sport. Tradition grounds us, while innovation ensures we advance ever forward. The problem with tradition is that it is comforting and familiar, often shielding us from adopting newer, improved practices and technology. The trouble with innovation is that its freshness can blind ...
  • On Rule #12: The Bike #1 Paradox This helps make a bike special.The only parents who proclaim to have a favorite child are the ones who have only one; all the other ones pretend they don’t have a favorite because they are each “different and special in their own way”. It’s complete bollocks, that, and we all know every parent does in fact have a favorite, but we ...
  • In Memoriam: The Funny Bike The FunnybikeSummer, it appears, has been snatched abruptly from Seattle’s grasp, like a squeak toy from a puppy’s mouth. A week ago, we were setting record temperatures which were sadly playing their role in producing the worst wildfire season the state has ever seen. On the plus side, I haven’t ridden my Nine Bike in so long both its ...
  • Guest Article: Testing Rule #12 The MasterIf Rule #12 does not smolder deep in your soul, you might not be a Velominatus. I’ll still be riffling through bike magazine porn, from the inevitable wheelchair, in the old folks home. Some of us have hidden new bikes from our better halves. Every known bit of subterfuge has been employed to downplay the ...
  1. @wiscot

    @EBruner

    @sthilzy

    Hey I remember that Galli Stuff. I always has record in the 80’s, but much preferred Modolo brakes.

    -Eddie

    I just found a pair of 80s Modolo aero brakes in my spares box! Dark grey anodized they are. They look better than they work!

    In 1985 i thought my Modolo Speedys were awesome. Now they don’t seem to stop anything. Funny how out perspective changes with time.

  2. @EBruner

    @wiscot

    @EBruner

    @sthilzy

    Hey I remember that Galli Stuff. I always has record in the 80’s, but much preferred Modolo brakes.

    -Eddie

    I just found a pair of 80s Modolo aero brakes in my spares box! Dark grey anodized they are. They look better than they work!

    In 1985 i thought my Modolo Speedys were awesome. Now they don’t seem to stop anything. Funny how out perspective changes with time.

    Modolo’s nice! As a kid hanging out at LBS there was this box of Weinmann Delta brakes staring at me through the glass cabinet, playing with my mind to get them. Too many paper rounds to get those!

  3. not finding much time to post lately, but wanted to share with the community a bike born from this shit-encrusted site.

    she’s about 75% there

    cheers, hope you all have been well!

  4. @roger

    not finding much time to post lately, but wanted to share with the community a bike born from this shit-encrusted site.

    she’s about 75% there

    cheers, hope you all have been well!

    That’s a beauty! Wow. Strong work.

    “Shit-encrusted”? I’ll grant you the whiff of excrement lingers occasionally , but its hardly encrusted. That would apply to the comments sections of certain popular cycling websites.

    Other than that, I’m fine, thank you. (Banned punctuation here)

  5. @roger

    What a super cool color way… like a burnt orange and spotted robin egg. Truly unique and I dig it very much. Is that a Seven cycles Axiom in alloy by chance? Cheers

  6. @Randy C

    @roger

    What a super cool color way… like a burnt orange and spotted robin egg. Truly unique and I dig it very much. Is that a Seven cycles Axiom in alloy by chance? Cheers

    or more likely is Ti yes? Like those seat tubes.

  7. @roger

    not finding much time to post lately, but wanted to share with the community a bike born from this shit-encrusted site.

    she’s about 75% there

    cheers, hope you all have been well!

    Is the bike called Kilroy by any chance?

  8. I really like the uniqueness of that Seven. Well done.

  9. massive mid life issues – solved. New rig as at 5pm today… Not best shot but you get the jist….

    t

  10. @smithers

    Nice rig! You just might want to reflect on Rule #41, and position your front skewer just a bit more vertical (too much aero position now). Rearskewer looks spôh-on.

    Rule #26: gundecks never on 90 or 180 degrees. And if you really want to make her shine, use a white door. (you saw a red door and you wanted to paint it black???)

  11. Updated Graham Weigh after little shake-down run this morning.

    Cinelli bars and stem added plus Fabric saddle(adjusted since) and spd pedals( this will get used as a commuter and that sometimes means walking about and using the train).

    Think that’s it at the mo although a more in keeping cage(Arundel?)and some tan-walled Veloflex masters would be nice.

    Hopefully a proper run on it tomorrow.

  12. Knock me down with a feather but the VMBugitatus has approved another project. Was sorely tempted to put it into immediate action at the weekend but this needs thought. The Benotto was too small the Gazelle too large (that was a NOS rig), was sorely tempted by one of the Bianchi’s in that stock but by the time it really sunk in that I had approval it had gone!

  13. @Teocalli

    Where was that? I would have bought the lot of the Banesto hairnets.

  14. @fignons barber

    @Teocalli

    Where was that? I would have bought the lot of the Banesto hairnets.

    L’eroica Britannia bike jumble @ Bakewell in the Peak District

  15. @Teocalli

    Argh! Must get over to EB one of these years. That champion mondial! What a beaut!

  16. @Teocalli

    Damn, That Benotto is the fucking business!!

  17. @EBruner

    @Teocalli

    Damn, That Benotto is the fucking business!!

    Agreed. The 70s and early 80s Benottos were sweet looking bikes

  18. thank fuck for the bikes…

  19. @KogaLover

  20. @smithers

    That’s a great snapshot of a very cool bike right there. Cheers

  21. @smithers

    @KogaLover

    beautiful, such an awesome frame, I reckon you need to rotate your bars down just a couple mm…

  22. @bovary1031

    Mmmmmm. Benotto.

  23. @frank

    @bovary1031

    Mmmmmm. Benotto.

    At the risk of being labelled a heretic, I like that Benotto even more than Merckx’s Hour Bike

  24. @KogaLover

    @smithers

    Nice rig! You just might want to reflect on Rule #41, and position your front skewer just a bit more vertical (too much aero position now). Rearskewer looks spôh-on.

    Rule #26: gundecks never on 90 or 180 degrees. And if you really want to make her shine, use a white door. (you saw a red door and you wanted to paint it black???)

    Agreed – a lovely bike.

    On the subject of the crank angle – I often find that the most pleasing angle is that which reflects the angle of the down tube.

    Thus;

    Yes – I know the bars are in complete disarray – they are fixed now. And look (and feel) all the better for it.

  25. @Teocalli

    Knock me down with a feather but the VMBugitatus has approved another project. Was sorely tempted to put it into immediate action at the weekend but this needs thought. The Benotto was too small the Gazelle too large (that was a NOS rig), was sorely tempted by one of the Bianchi’s in that stock but by the time it really sunk in that I had approval it had gone!

    Holy Shit! Where is/was this??? It is near impossible to find a Belgian Hairnet in the US for under $100, and even then there is never a large or XL size available. And those bikes!!! Momma Mia!

  26. @Buck Rogers

    Bakewell UK last weekend at L’eroica UK. Yeah I should have rummaged through that lot as the only ones on other stands were all small. The £5 though was the box below – over here they do seem to be in the $100 area too.

    Off to L’eroica NL in a week’s time so will take a look there too.

  27. @fenlander

    Updated Graham Weigh after little shake-down run this morning.

    Cinelli bars and stem added plus Fabric saddle(adjusted since) and spd pedals( this will get used as a commuter and that sometimes means walking about and using the train).

    Think that’s it at the mo although a more in keeping cage(Arundel?)and some tan-walled Veloflex masters would be nice.

    Hopefully a proper run on it tomorrow.

    Well Veloflexes ordered and I’ve bagged a metal cage for all of £2.

  28. @fenlander

    Nice!

  29. @fenlander

    @fenlander

    Updated Graham Weigh after little shake-down run this morning.

    Cinelli bars and stem added plus Fabric saddle(adjusted since) and spd pedals( this will get used as a commuter and that sometimes means walking about and using the train).

    Think that’s it at the mo although a more in keeping cage(Arundel?)and some tan-walled Veloflex masters would be nice.

    Hopefully a proper run on it tomorrow.

    Well Veloflexes ordered and I’ve bagged a metal cage for all of £2.

    Congrats on pulling the trigger on the veloflexes (master 25s?). You won’t regret it. Been riding them for a couple of years now and they are superb.

    As it happens, I’ve been pondering on buying an old GW frameset made of Reynolds 731 OS, with 531 forks. Not a builder or a tubeset I’m overly familiar with, but an interesting frame nonetheless. Unfortunately, the original paint is in slightly poor condition.

  30. @DVMR

    At the risk of starting yet another discussion of ti(y)res, I put on Master 25’s at the start of this season and had two pinch flats in three rides! On the Conti’s I’ve had one or two flats – ever.

    The Veloflexes looks fantastic but the sidewalls are far too supple. FYI, inflated to just below 100 psi and, I’m a lightweight. Roads around here are shit.

  31. @Bespoke

    @DVMR

    At the risk of starting yet another discussion of ti(y)res, I put on Master 25’s at the start of this season and had two pinch flats in three rides! On the Conti’s I’ve had one or two flats – ever.

    The Veloflexes looks fantastic but the sidewalls are far too supple. FYI, inflated to just below 100 psi and, I’m a lightweight. Roads around here are shit.

    I ride Vittoria on 5 of my bikes , but I have Veloflex on my Jaegher. I have to agree about the sidewalls. I have torn the sidewall on broken asphalt pavement more than once.

  32. I have Veloflex Roubaix (Tubs) on The Butler and ridden on tracks and some really dodgy trails and bad roads and touch wood barely a mark in 3 years.

  33. @Bespoke

    Sorry to hear that. My masters have served me well. No flats so far (touch wood). I’m a lightweight too, and my roads aren’t great either, but I run them around 105-110psi

  34. @EBruner

    I think it’s their suppleness that I really like about them. I’ve also hit some potholes pretty damned hard with them too. Hard enough that I was surprised they didn’t flat. Anyway, I’m no sales rep for veloflex or anything so…

  35. I’ve always had good luck with Veloflex and I’m a big chap.

  36. @DVMR

    @EBruner

    I think it’s their suppleness that I really like about them. I’ve also hit some potholes pretty damned hard with them too. Hard enough that I was surprised they didn’t flat. Anyway, I’m no sales rep for veloflex or anything so…

    @Oli

    I’ve always had good luck with Veloflex and I’m a big chap.

    Maybe I’ve been running them with too low pressure, maybe I was unlucky or maybe the roads here are even shittier. Anyway, shame to remove them as they looked really nice on the Litespeed. Argh – more discussion about ti(y)res.

  37. @Bespoke

    @DVMR

    @EBruner

    I think it’s their suppleness that I really like about them. I’ve also hit some potholes pretty damned hard with them too. Hard enough that I was surprised they didn’t flat. Anyway, I’m no sales rep for veloflex or anything so…

    @Oli

    I’ve always had good luck with Veloflex and I’m a big chap.

    Maybe I’ve been running them with too low pressure, maybe I was unlucky or maybe the roads here are even shittier. Anyway, shame to remove them as they looked really nice on the Litespeed. Argh – more discussion about ti(y)res.

    I’ve been using vittoria and veloflex exclusively for the last 15 years. They both have a different feel. With veloflex, you have more of a feel for the road. With vittoria, they have a more “pillowy” feel. Since I got a garmin in 2009, I’ve tracked mileage. For some reason, I get over 2x the mileage on veloflex and far fewer punctures. The only down side to veloflex is that the sidewall is thinner, and they are undersized. I measured the width (bead to bead laying the tire flat):

    veloflex master 25mm – 6.5cm wide

    vittoria graphene+ 25mm – 7.1cm wide

    vittoria corsa sc 23mm – 6.5cm wide

    As you can see, a veloflex 25mm is equal to a vittoria 23mm.

  38. @roger

    not finding much time to post lately, but wanted to share with the community a bike born from this shit-encrusted site.

    she’s about 75% there

    cheers, hope you all have been well!

    Sweet baby jesus! At least you have been up to no good while you’ve been away. That is some damn paint job, my brother. Damn, I say gawd damn. Very nice and unusual.

  39. @sthilzy

    @wiscot

    @Oli

    Haha, I’d forgotten all about that Galli stuff! I don’t think I ever saw any out of magazine ads though, apart from the black.

    I had some red Galli hubs. Rough as a badger’s arse as they say.

    And don’t forget Ofmega components! I believe it was an Ofmega crank that snapped clean through where the pedal screwed in when I was riding a TT on the Isle of Bute in the mid 80s. They did rear derailleurs that were basically all plastic and came in white and black.

    …and pink!

    I still have some Ofmega DT levers. Light as!

    And green too. I was trying to tell someone about this green plastic rear derailleur I saw way back in the 80s. It blew my damn mind when I saw it. I never saw another, it must have been an Ofmega. It’s funny Oli had one and they sucked. Still, the pink one, some Italian must have put one on a pink Giro bike back in the day.

  40. @Gianni

    Waaaay back then it was all about getting the lightest stuff! So jealous when my Cycling Sensai got a Vitus and hung a Huret Jubilee with Ofmega levers.

  41. oooeerrr – n+1 – looks like I’m going to have to start chewing gum………..

  42. @Gianni

    Pink (or yellow or red) bikes with matching accents is a relatively new thing – we can probably credit Cipollini with starting the trend, but certainly it was a late 90s thing not an 80s thing like those derailleurs. Also as far as I know Ofmega stuff was never used in the top pro teams, although perhaps some of the tiny Italian regional teams may have been forced to.

  43. @smithers

    @KogaLover

    pure art my friend…

  44. @Oli

    @Gianni

    Pink (or yellow or red) bikes with matching accents is a relatively new thing – we can probably credit Cipollini with starting the trend, but certainly it was a late 90s thing not an 80s thing like those derailleurs. Also as far as I know Ofmega stuff was never used in the top pro teams, although perhaps some of the tiny Italian regional teams may have been forced to.

    Atala used it. Someone will be able to find a pic of Bugno or Freuler with it on their jersey.

  45. At your service……

  46. @Teocalli

    At your service……

    Thank you kind sir. 99% of the pro peloton, please look at the way Mr. Bugno is dressed. Take full notes in longhand. Mr. Bugno got an A+ on his exam, most of you are barely getting a passing grade.

  47. Well, I’d completely forgetten about Atala – odd, seeing as I was a fan of Bugno, Freuler and Rosola! Thanks @wiscot and @Teocalli…I do note however that there is no sign of the plastic derailleur in any of the images I could find.

  48. @smithers

    @KogaLover

    My god man, that should come with an R18+ rating, and this comes from someone who owns that same bike!

    Talk me through the details, not much of that looks stock…

  49. @Oli

    Well, I’d completely forgetten about Atala – odd, seeing as I was a fan of Bugno, Freuler and Rosola! Thanks @wiscot and @Teocalli…I do note however that there is no sign of the plastic derailleur in any of the images I could find.

    I guess even pros have standards and even though Atala were an Italian team, no-one wanted a pink rear derailleur that looked like some kind of steampunk sex toy on their bike. And one that really didn’t do the job either!

  50. fignon’s barber – Thanks for the info. on the brake pads and thanks for answering my question before I answered it! Yep, have some Vittoria Corsas in 25mm on my Casati. They seem like genuine 25s and look pretty big. Put some Veloflex Masters in 25mm on my Tommasini and they looked like…23s. Didn’t measure, but they sure as heck are not as big as the Vittoria. Thanks for confirming what my eye thought.

    Now…if someone can explain why I’ve had 4 Vredestein latex tubes blow out at the seam, I’d love to know. Not puncture from glass, but at the “over” seam they develop little “peaks” that then blow out. All four happened at the “over” seam, but inspecting them shows a “peak” in the latex also forming at the “inner” seam. Two different rims, both pairs of wheels were fine for a few months, now suddenly a rash of blow outs. The “peaks” form on either side of the valve, a few cms from the valve, right along the seam. Spokes are not poking through, rim tape is in good shape. I’m confused.

    Bad batch of tubes? Any ideas?

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