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 Real Diel There she goes, my beautiful worldEurope is full of history, ancient buildings filled with original masterpieces of art that you can spend days discovering. Looking at these artworks lasts but a moment, the only way to retain their majesty by memory or memory card. Other works of art take different forms, and some of these can be taken with you. ...
  • Brush Strokes On The Soul The V-Lion of FlandersI dream of painting and then I paint my dream. -Vincent Van Gogh Poor old Vinnie may have been Dutch, mad as a cut snake, riddled with gonorrhea, a romantic in the most insane sense, and a raging alcoholic, but despite these encumbrances he knew a bit about the use of colour. He also spent a good ...
  • 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 ...
  1. While Frank is riding the cobbles, we can quickly discuss this nugget of information and hide it before he comes back, smug about being right again:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/article/friction-facts-free-speed-from-proper-shifting-44016/

    So it’s true: A bigger ring is indeed more efficient…

  2. @tessar

    While Frank is riding the cobbles, we can quickly discuss this nugget of information and hide it before he comes back, smug about being right again:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/article/friction-facts-free-speed-from-proper-shifting-44016/

    So it’s true: A bigger ring is indeed more efficient…

    Thanks for that link. I needed that for ammo to back up a chat a had with a chum.

  3. I’m not sure if this is the right place to ask this but here goes. :-) Delete if its not appropiate

    I’m in the market for a set of new cheaper clincher training wheels for my road bike. I’m pretty out of touch as the last set I brought was some Mavic Heliums in the late 90s! The conditions here aren’t too extreme and I’m a 70kg rider, so just good all round wheels that brake wheel. Price around 300-400US. Any recommendations?

    My current set of Gipemme’s have developed a issue where there is aluminum shards inside the rims coming out through the gaps between the wheel tape/ valve and getting between the tube and tire and puncturing. I only noticed after about the 5th puncture when I checked the spokes etc and noticed some aluminum flakes rattling inside the rim. When I shook the wheel they fell out! I suspect the wheel is f&^ked as it cant be healthy for the wheels to be shedding aluminum.

  4. @Kieran

    At that kind of price point, you’ll be hard pressed to beat these – http://www.pro-liteoz.com/store/products/wheels/road-wheels/bracciano-wheelset.html?page=all

  5. Received my decals over the week-end and thought the v would go just nicely above the uci and pave ones.

    Apologies for crappy Sony phone pics.

  6. @Mikael Liddy

    @Kieran

    At that kind of price point, you’ll be hard pressed to beat these – http://www.pro-liteoz.com/store/products/wheels/road-wheels/bracciano-wheelset.html?page=all

    Thanks , I will check them out.

    Actually I think I need to spend more money (up to $800US) and I’m looking at wheels like the Zipp30s and others.

  7. Or not, those Braccianos are very well rated. I’m looking at the A27 and A42 models and the price is good and easy to get here in NZ, with Pro-lite being an Aussie company.

    Any thoughts on the Fulcrum wheels? The Racing 3 and the Quattro seem equivalent to the Pro-lite wheels.

  8. @Kieran Have heard good things about Fulcrums, but if you’re gonna through some extra $ at them – http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/shimano-dura-ace-9000-c24-clincher-wheelset/rp-prod85476 (not that I’d ever advise you to break Rule #58)

  9. @Kieran

    I’m not sure if this is the right place to ask this but here goes. :-) Delete if its not appropiate

    I’m in the market for a set of new cheaper clincher training wheels for my road bike. I’m pretty out of touch as the last set I brought was some Mavic Heliums in the late 90s! The conditions here aren’t too extreme and I’m a 70kg rider, so just good all round wheels that brake wheel. Price around 300-400US. Any recommendations?

    My current set of Gipemme’s have developed a issue where there is aluminum shards inside the rims coming out through the gaps between the wheel tape/ valve and getting between the tube and tire and puncturing. I only noticed after about the 5th puncture when I checked the spokes etc and noticed some aluminum flakes rattling inside the rim. When I shook the wheel they fell out! I suspect the wheel is f&^ked as it cant be healthy for the wheels to be shedding aluminum.

    If looking for an older model 10 sp compatible wheel set then you can find some discounted HED Ardennes at good prices I’m sure.

  10. @tessar

    Which is why I said, pad longevity or price are not the main consideration. Good braking and less rim wear are. If, between two near-equal options, one is cheaper – that’s fine by me.

    Stopped by the new local shop today and got two sets of DA pads. Super-nice shop, too.

    P.S If only my bike cost $2k…

    Sorry, my mistake there. Yeah, I just assume everyone has an expensive bike, mine also is well short of that. Good luck with the pads, I’m sure they’ll be sweet.

  11. So, I have been lurking here for a long time, finally created an account to join the Super Prestige and now that I have an account I thought I would share my bike. I know the saddle is way outside of the rules, but it is temporary. I occasionally have problems with my sciatic nerve and this is the only way I can be on the bike for more than 30 minutes.

  12. @AJ

    Holy branding Batman!

    In terms of the saddle, the only thing that’s really out is how far forward it is, you’ll find a few among the crowd here (including a keeper no less) have quite an affinity for the droopy saddle.

    Nice whip though.

  13. @AJ

    also, the mismatched cages could do with resolving…

  14. @AJ

    I really dig getting intro’d t bikes I am not familiar with and provided the info on his web site Mr. Kane has a pretty good story. I dig his custom paint and apparent expertise re: repair. Very cool. And local to the SE US of A. Thanks.

  15. @Mikael Liddy

    I know! I look like quite the decal whore, but the bike has nothing on my tool box. haha.

    Well, that is good to know. I actually stole that saddle off the velomihottie’s bike. I did El Tour de Mesa on it this past weekend and forgot all about having a saddle. Now I am in the market for one of my own, but with far less padding and hopefully a better position.

    Do you know where a guy could find a side release cage made out of hollow tube? I would take that over the plastic one any day.

    @Wilburrox

    I was introduced to the frame builder by a fellow Marine from the east coast. Shortly thereafter he offers me one of his frames (he had multiple of this exact frame) because he is leaving for embassy duty and doesn’t have enough room for all of his bikes. I think getting me interested in the builder was a setup…..

  16. @wilburrox

    Did you happen to see this when you were checking them out?

    http://kanebikes.com/mastergallery/nggallery/gallery-jack-kane-custom-design-paint-jobs-and-bicycles/matching-team-kits-and-bikes

    Scroll to the bottom of the page….

  17. @AJ

    I had not seen that but does look familiar yes… cool. I have a nasty ugly scratch/paint chip kinda thing going on smack on the top of the top tube of my mtn bike and am super intrigued by the idea of repair and especially custom paint. That could be fun.

    Also, on the side loaders I run with these on my Epic Mtn Bike: two cages on a mtn bike is premium as I’m not one for racing/riding with a backpack, and on my daughter’s small framed road and mtn bikes. Favorite cages we’ve found are Arundels. Cheers

  18. @wilburrox

    I can say that the paint on mine is very well done. The lines are all very smooth and the clear coat is a very light protective layer. I can feel the edges on the decals, and I wasn’t sure they were actually coated over until I tried to slide a fingernail under one. I feel as though they use just enough that it looks great, but isn’t heavy.

  19. @AJ

    I assume you’re running side releases cos of the compact frame? Why not just run one on the dt as well?

  20. @Mikael Liddy

    Yessir. You don’t think a side release on the DT would look odd? …I guess not as odd as mismatched cages.

  21. I am pondering a question that I’d be interested in hearing Velominati opinions on. At the moment I ride an entry level aluminum road bike (Specialized Allez Sport 2010 model) with a cheap mix of Shimano Sora and Tiagra. This bike has served me very well for just under 5 years (and will make a great foul weather bike/commuter) but in the last two years I have been doing some racing and found to my surprise that I am not the worst… So now I want a race bike to help me beat the guys around my skill level even if the top guys will remain out of reach. I do not expect to buy anything this year (just bought a house) but when my budget allows I would like to be more or less ready to go. This leaves me with the fun task of plotting my n + 1 for about a year. Ignoring brands and models (and cost) for now, I am wondering where I should try to position myself on the light/aero spectrum. To the extent that I can claim a rider type (other than rubbish) I am clearly a climber but the races around here tend to be somewhere between very flat and rolling. Long steady climbs (my preferred terrain) are rare but they do appear occasionally. The toughest routes include stretches of seemingly endless small hills with 10% plus gradient that go on for a hundred meters or so before a short descent to the next one. I also need to take into account frequent howling winds that make control an issue as I’m not much of a bike handler (not aero enough still tends to be faster than crashed in a ditch). Not surprisingly (I think) my game plan in a race involves trying to stay with the powerhouse guys to the foot of a decent climb and then either go on the front to grind them down or attack. I look forward to failing miserably many times…

    All this is essentially prelude to the question; do I go for a very light frame to maximize my climbing speed and then make marginal aero compromises to help with the flats (handlebars, wheels, helmet, kit, other?), or do I go for an aero frame and then try to lighten it as much as I can? Any input will be much appreciated.

  22. OK, note to self: Do not copy and paste from Word, the formatting goes to hell.

  23. @AJ

    @Mikael Liddy

    I guess not as odd as mismatched cages.

    exactly

  24. @Quasar

    thing is, nowadays the majority of “lightweight” frames, still have a fair bit of aerodynamic consideration involved in their make up, and the majority of “aero” frames aren’t exactly deadweights!

    Based on the kind of terrain you’re talking about there, I’d be looking for something that accelerates well so you can get up & over the rollers and also get back up to speed if you’re cornering a little slower than others. Stiffness/power transfer are going to be key, as well as a wheelset that spins up to speed quickly.

  25. Sir Bike has risen to Carbone heaven, will now be replaced by the Redback

    All things going well, I could be on her by next weekend. Quite literally frothing right now.

  26. @Mikael Liddy

    Redback – niiiiice!

  27. @Mikael Liddy

    @Quasar

    thing is, nowadays the majority of “lightweight” frames, still have a fair bit of aerodynamic consideration involved in their make up, and the majority of “aero” frames aren’t exactly deadweights!

    Based on the kind of terrain you’re talking about there, I’d be looking for something that accelerates well so you can get up & over the rollers and also get back up to speed if you’re cornering a little slower than others. Stiffness/power transfer are going to be key, as well as a wheelset that spins up to speed quickly.

    OK, point taken about the aero vs light frames. What you recommend still sounds like I should start with a frame designed for climbing though (light and stiff)?

  28. Hi,

    Picture the scene – I’m wandering into a Decathlon in rural France and notice their semi-annual second hand sale going on. I further notice this bike. My velominipper is 11, and she’s asked on more than one occasion for a road bike.

    Now, at 80 euros, was this the steal of the century?

    Apologies for the non-BR photo – at the time the Shimano NSX105 front derailleur wouldn’t leave the chain in the big ring. It does now.

  29. @davidlhill

    Nice one. Bargain.

  30. I’m just building up that steel Pinarello Sestriere frame I posted in the autumn and have a puzzle on the bottom bracket cable guide.  There are 2 holes under the BB but neither is threaded, one I assume is offset as the drain hole.  Anyone know how the cable guide was fitted?  I’m reluctant just to slam in a self tapper unless that is how they were fitted originally.

  31. @Teocalli

    On reflection maybe I’ll pop rivet it unless anyone has a better suggestion.  It may be that the original was a press in fit but at the moment I can’t source a press fit one.

  32. @Mikael Liddy – Chapeau! That is going to be one sweet ride.

    @Quasar – regardless of the type of bike you end up on, @cognition handed me this pearl of wisdom;

    “Don’t race what you can’t replace”

    Which is why, following the theft of my #2 leaving me with a stable of 1, I’m not taking a crack a racing this year. There is no way I’m racing the Blackbird with a bunch of other middle-aged men taking a grasp at glory in a Citizen/Cat-4 category race.

  33. @DeKerr

    @Mikael Liddy – Chapeau! That is going to be one sweet ride.

    @Quasar – regardless of the type of bike you end up on, @cognition handed me this pearl of wisdom;

    “Don’t race what you can’t replace”

    Which is why, following the theft of my #2 leaving me with a stable of 1, I’m not taking a crack a racing this year. There is no way I’m racing the Blackbird with a bunch of other middle-aged men taking a grasp at glory in a Citizen/Cat-4 category race.

    My current bike will of course remain as backup, so I won’t be “sans vélo” if I smash something expensive. But that is very good advice, considering all the carbon tacos a short google search will turn up.

  34. Slowly but surely getting bike #1 looking just right…

    Front chain rings are of an age now where they need replacing and considering these –

    for this …

    Too much black and orange?

  35. I reckon it would look fantastic.

  36. @Mikael Liddy

    Sir Bike has risen to Carbone heaven, will now be replaced by the Redback

    All things going well, I could be on her by next weekend. Quite literally frothing right now.

    Jaysus! Looks hot. Are you going to warranty your way up to a Dassi?

  37. @Harminator

    Initially aiming for a Baum, however the $20k cap on what the insurance policy will pay out may be limiting…

  38. Lilah MkIV, TMR01 “Stealth” 2015 Dura-ace, C35’s Zipp Sprint Stem, cages, Prologo Scratch Pro saddle, 3T bar with Lizard Skin tape. Lovin’ the Bell lid, haven’t worn the visor out yet.

    40km hit-out in the autumn sunshine, quite a different beast to The SLR01, 600gm more beast for a start, which you only notice on the steeper stuff, maybe all the extra weight has gone into increasing the stiffness in the rear end, she responds beautifully to Sur la plaque stomping, but really excels when ridden as designed, on the tops, flat back, full gas, feels absolutely brilliant above 40kph, now just have to keep her there…

    the devil’s in the detail

  39. @piwakawaka

    Lilah MkIV, TMR01 “Stealth” 2015 Dura-ace, C35’s Zipp Sprint Stem, cages, Prologo Scratch Pro saddle, 3T bar with Lizard Skin tape. Lovin’ the Bell lid, haven’t worn the visor out yet.

    40km hit-out in the autumn sunshine, quite a different beast to The SLR01, 600gm more beast for a start, which you only notice on the steeper stuff, maybe all the extra weight has gone into increasing the stiffness in the rear end, she responds beautifully to Sur la plaque stomping, but really excels when ridden as designed, on the tops, flat back, full gas, feels absolutely brilliant above 40kph, now just have to keep her there…

    the devil’s in the detail

    Fun post. Definitely looks fast, standing still. Such a funky rear triangle. Enjoy!

  40. @piwakawaka

    must be the day for new bikes…took delivery of The Redback today as well.

    2015 Cervelo R5

    Dura Ace group-san (apart from the Rotor 3D Crankset), 52/36 up front & 11-25 down back

    HED Ardennes Plus LT wheels

    FSA K-Force bars & seatpost, OSI-99 stem

    Fizik Aliante saddle & bartape

    Group-san 105 pedals

    6.9kg of awesome

  41. Of course, some spectacularly bad weather (we’re talking Gent Wevelgem like winds) arrived to ensure it goes unridden (properly) till Sunday morning.

  42. @Mikael Liddy

    @piwakawaka

    must be the day for new bikes…took delivery of The Redback today as well.

    2015 Cervelo R5

    Dura Ace group-san (apart from the Rotor 3D Crankset), 52/36 up front & 11-25 down back

    HED Ardennes Plus LT wheels

    FSA K-Force bars & seatpost, OSI-99 stem

    Fizik Aliante saddle & bartape

    Group-san 105 pedals

    6.9kg of awesome

    Gorgeous! No doubt Sunday can not come quick enough….

  43. @piwakawaka

    All black, looks very very stealth. Nice work sir, nice work.

  44. Introducing my ladies (and my ex-, the lovely the koga I’m still missing). Hope you like them, they are riding most of the time in Belgium trying to follow the rules.

    Cheers

  45. @piwakawaka

    I went from a mid tier aluminum Giant to the Racemachine and the difference blew my mind.  I love my BMC but this gives me bike envy for sure!

  46. @AJ

    It figures that as soon as I leave AZ, all you folks from AZ come out of the wood works. welcome to the site.

  47. @Mikael Liddy

    @piwakawaka

    must be the day for new bikes…took delivery of The Redback today as well.

    2015 Cervelo R5

    Dura Ace group-san (apart from the Rotor 3D Crankset), 52/36 up front & 11-25 down back

    HED Ardennes Plus LT wheels

    FSA K-Force bars & seatpost, OSI-99 stem

    Fizik Aliante saddle & bartape

    Group-san 105 pedals

    6.9kg of awesome

    Chapeau sir. Bel Mezzo.

  48. @piwakawaka

    Lilah MkIV, TMR01 “Stealth” 2015 Dura-ace, C35’s Zipp Sprint Stem, cages, Prologo Scratch Pro saddle, 3T bar with Lizard Skin tape. Lovin’ the Bell lid, haven’t worn the visor out yet.

    40km hit-out in the autumn sunshine, quite a different beast to The SLR01, 600gm more beast for a start, which you only notice on the steeper stuff, maybe all the extra weight has gone into increasing the stiffness in the rear end, she responds beautifully to Sur la plaque stomping, but really excels when ridden as designed, on the tops, flat back, full gas, feels absolutely brilliant above 40kph, now just have to keep her there…

    the devil’s in the detail

    That’s about the baddest looking BMC I’ve ever seen. Radar reflective finish so the cops can’t pull you over for going too fast through a school zone. Just badass.

  49. @piwakawaka

    This machine is severity at its best

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